An olive branch to my Orthodox friends

I know I seem critical of Eastern Orthodoxy and I make no bones about that.   I do believe with regard to the believer’s confidence it casts doubt on the finished work of Christ and the down-payment of the Spirit (Listen to this interview by Fr Thomas Hopko.   One gets the impression that Christ might not be enough to save the believer.

Kevin Allen: Father, there are evangelicals who are listening out there, and they are saying, “You know what? These Orthodox, they have no idea whether they are saved or not, even if they have lived a righteous life, and they have spent all their time on their face prostrating, and tears, and everything else.” What you are saying is, you never know.

Fr. Thomas: Yes, I would say that is absolutely true, and the evangelical is completely and totally wrong. But I would say the evangelical is right if their answer to the question, “Are you saved?” is “Yes, absolutely, as far as God and the blood of Christ,” but to say that I can be saved, simply by saying that I accept Jesus as my savior, is blasphemous.

To put it mildly, that’s problematic.  But back to my main point.  It was because of the Orthodox guys that I read through the entirety of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers (Second Series).   I cross-referenced what they said with what Seraphim Rose said, noting both agreements and disagreements (anybody want to laugh at Rose on creation after reading Basil’s Hexameron?).  Perhaps more influentially, it was the outlaw priest Fr Matthew Raphael Johnson who really got me reading the fathers.   I am saddened that The Orthodox Nationalist is no longer broadcasting.  Those were some outstanding podcasts and his articles are well worth your time.  And for the record, I largely accept his apologetics proper

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2 comments on “An olive branch to my Orthodox friends

  1. I have to say, I’ve kept myself from responding to your last few posts, though I appreciate this (very small:)) olive branch.

    I believe you are simplifying our views towards salvation a tad here though. If you are interested, my last four posts (I have finally started writing again) have dealt with salvation from an Orthodox perspective. I have tried to use language common to everyone where possible, and tried (perhaps cause it’s all I am capable of) keeping it lay friendly. Not that you would need this, but I am attempting to boil it down to how the average Orthodox faithful would understand their salvation.

    The series isn’t finished. I will end it after the holiday weekend with at least one more on theosis.

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