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Re: [LutheransLookingEast] What is meant by justification?

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  • Anastasia Theodoridis
    Hi, Andrew! ... Here s how I understand the Orthodox view of it, based on the first half of Romans 7 and on what Romanides had to say. Christ dies to this
    Message 1 of 24 , Feb 27, 2007
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      Hi, Andrew!

      > I also remember reading in John Romanides'
      > The Ancestral Sin a few short pages devoted
      > to the subject, in which he argued that rustication
      > should be understood as being made alive,
      > vivified, or something to that effect.

      Here's how I understand the Orthodox view of it, based on the first half of Romans 7 and on what Romanides had to say.

      Christ dies to this earthly life and rises again to a new life, a life of which the Law knows nothing. ("Justification" obviously is a legal term.) In the Resurrection Life, the Law has no jurisdiction.

      Then Christ brings me with Him into that Life, that *immortality*. I am ipso facto justified! That is, whatever the Law may say about me is now moot. The Law may prescribe death, but Christ has already made me immortal, viz., immune to death. I am justified. I am removed from the Law, as a widow is removed from legal obligations to her deceased husband.

      What works this justification? Grace.

      Through what does Grace work this justification? Faith.

      What form does this justification take? Holy Baptism/Chrismation.

      "Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For he who has died is freed from sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. For we know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. The death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. (Rom. 6:3-11)

      After the rites of Holy Baptism and Holy Chrismation (which normally take place together) the priest says:

      "You are baptized; you are illumined; you are anointed with the Holy Myrrh, you are hallowed; you are washed clean, in the Name of Father, and of Son, and of Holy Spirit. Amen."

      It's nice to "meet" you here.

      Thanks to Christopher for starting this group.

      love in Christ,
      Anastasia



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Christopher Orr
      ... St Mark s work is available here: http://orrologion.blogspot.com/2006/02/on-those-who-think-they-are-made.html Or, thanks to John Burnett, at:
      Message 2 of 24 , Feb 27, 2007
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        >
        > On 2/27/07, Charles Hogg <stoic1348@...> wrote:
        >
        > You might also check out St. Mark the Ascetic, "On those who think they
        > are
        > righteous by works," in vol. 1 of the Philokalia.
        >


        St Mark's work is available here:

        http://orrologion.blogspot.com/2006/02/on-those-who-think-they-are-made.html

        Or, thanks to John Burnett, at:

        http://jbburnett.com/resources/mark_ascetic-righteousness.pdf

        A critique of the fact that early Christian writers simply didn't write
        about justification in the ways that later scholastic and Protestant
        theologians did is that we should really look at what St. Paul wrote.
        However, that hermeneutical question is why we believe that we are more
        accurate in our understanding of St. Paul than were those writing in the
        same language he wrote in, in broadly the same culture, etc. I have always
        found this to be the arrogance of modern man and is simply a traditionally
        religious form of the Jesus Seminar.

        We can't get to what Paul wrote by jumping over how he was understood in the
        intervening years. Likewise, we can't get at what the Ante-Nicene Fathers
        "really" believed by jumping over the understanding of the Nicene Fathers.
        Christianity is a golden chain of faith from father to son, or it is a
        creation of one's own "inspired by" those texts that remain to us - and that
        agree with what we like of their faith or fit our personal standard of what
        is either 'likely' or 'worthy'.

        As the passage from 2 Thessalonians on the homepage states: Paul
        'traditioned' on to the Thessalonians traditions that were both written and
        spoken. It is an assumption built on top of the texts to state that the
        written and oral traditions were identical.

        Christopher


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Andrew
        Fr. Gregory, ... But why is this so? Why is it important to St. Paul and not to the pre-Augustinian tradition? ... Thanks. I ll get on it. Andrew.
        Message 3 of 24 , Feb 27, 2007
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          Fr. Gregory,

          > " . . . early Christian writers did not choose to express their
          > soteriological convictions in terms of the concept of justification. . .
          > their interest in the concept is . . . minimal, and the term generally
          > occurs in their writings as a direct citation from, or a recognisable
          > allusion to, the epistles of Paul, generally employed for some purpose other
          > than a discussion of the concept of justification itself . . . Justification
          > was simply not a theological issue in the pre-Augustinian tradition."

          But why is this so? Why is it important to St. Paul and not to the pre-Augustinian tradition?

          > You might also check out St. Mark the Ascetic, "On those who think they are
          > righteous by works," in vol. 1 of the Philokalia.

          Thanks. I'll get on it.


          Andrew.
        • Andrew
          Fr. John, ... What exactly is meant by fuller ? Could you explain this further or point me to books that might be helpful in doing so? ... But why? That s
          Message 4 of 24 , Feb 27, 2007
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            Fr. John,

            > 1. The word "justification" as it appears in the Old and New Testaments
            > is a much fuller term than the more narrow definition later hammered out in
            > the midst of various controversies in the medieval and post-medieval
            > schismatic West. It is this fuller use that is often applied by patristic
            > theology, and hence by Orthodoxy (especially in its Eastern articulation).

            What exactly is meant by 'fuller'? Could you explain this further or point me to books that
            might be helpful in doing so?

            > 2. The word "justification" is not eschewed by Orthodox theologians.
            > See the commentaries by these Orthodox theologians, e.g., St John
            > Chrysostom, St Ambrose, and St Augustine.

            But why? That's what I'm trying to get at.

            > 3. Although the word does not appear to be as precisely defined, the
            > right doctrine that the schismatic Western theologians (whether Protestant
            > or Catholic) attempted to articulate by means of this word is not denied but
            > embraced in Orthodoxy, but often using different words.

            Could you elaborate on this?


            Thanks,

            Andrew.
          • Andrew
            Christopher, Yes, this is the most compelling argument. And frankly, I m not quite sure what to do with it. Andrew.
            Message 5 of 24 , Feb 27, 2007
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              Christopher,

              Yes, this is the most compelling argument. And frankly, I'm not quite sure what to do with
              it.


              Andrew.




              > A critique of the fact that early Christian writers simply didn't write
              > about justification in the ways that later scholastic and Protestant
              > theologians did is that we should really look at what St. Paul wrote.
              > However, that hermeneutical question is why we believe that we are more
              > accurate in our understanding of St. Paul than were those writing in the
              > same language he wrote in, in broadly the same culture, etc. I have always
              > found this to be the arrogance of modern man and is simply a traditionally
              > religious form of the Jesus Seminar.
              >
              > We can't get to what Paul wrote by jumping over how he was understood in the
              > intervening years. Likewise, we can't get at what the Ante-Nicene Fathers
              > "really" believed by jumping over the understanding of the Nicene Fathers.
              > Christianity is a golden chain of faith from father to son, or it is a
              > creation of one's own "inspired by" those texts that remain to us - and that
              > agree with what we like of their faith or fit our personal standard of what
              > is either 'likely' or 'worthy'.
              >
              > As the passage from 2 Thessalonians on the homepage states: Paul
              > 'traditioned' on to the Thessalonians traditions that were both written and
              > spoken. It is an assumption built on top of the texts to state that the
              > written and oral traditions were identical.
              >
              > Christopher
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
            • Andrew
              Anastasia, While all that is helpful, it still seems to dodge the question: what is meant by justification? You say I am justified . Well and good, but what
              Message 6 of 24 , Feb 27, 2007
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                Anastasia,

                While all that is helpful, it still seems to dodge the question: what is meant by justification?
                You say 'I am justified'. Well and good, but what does that mean?


                Thanks for your contribution.

                Andrew.
              • tantuslabor
                ... justification. . . ... purpose other ... Justification ... pre-Augustinian tradition? Why is always the hardest question, isn t it? Perhaps someone else
                Message 7 of 24 , Feb 27, 2007
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                  --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, "Andrew"
                  <drew1095950@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  > Fr. Gregory,
                  >
                  > > " . . . early Christian writers did not choose to express their
                  > > soteriological convictions in terms of the concept of
                  justification. . .
                  > > their interest in the concept is . . . minimal, and the term generally
                  > > occurs in their writings as a direct citation from, or a recognisable
                  > > allusion to, the epistles of Paul, generally employed for some
                  purpose other
                  > > than a discussion of the concept of justification itself . . .
                  Justification
                  > > was simply not a theological issue in the pre-Augustinian tradition."
                  >
                  > But why is this so? Why is it important to St. Paul and not to the
                  pre-Augustinian tradition?

                  "Why" is always the hardest question, isn't it? Perhaps someone else
                  can offer a reason. For me, it's enough to know the fact. I could
                  speculate that justification is one of a number of soteriological
                  metaphors, and that the same territory is mapped by other metaphors.
                  But, as I say, the fact itself is enough for me.

                  The unworthy priest,

                  Fr. Gregory Hogg

                  > > You might also check out St. Mark the Ascetic, "On those who think
                  they are
                  > > righteous by works," in vol. 1 of the Philokalia.
                  >
                  > Thanks. I'll get on it.
                  >
                  >
                  > Andrew.
                  >
                • Anastasia Theodoridis
                  ... It means that, joined with Christ and living His *Resurrection Life*, (of which Life the Law is totally ignorant) we are no longer under the jurisdiction
                  Message 8 of 24 , Feb 27, 2007
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                    > You say 'I am justified'. Well and good, but
                    > what does that mean?

                    It means that, joined with Christ and living His *Resurrection Life*, (of which Life the Law is totally ignorant) we are no longer under the jurisdiction of the Law.

                    It means that however richly we deserve the death sentence, we are made immune to it. Christ has already joined us to His Immortal Life.

                    It means we no longer have any legal liability.

                    It means we are forgiven.

                    It doesn't mean we are set right with the Law, for the Law was never the point; Life in Christ always was. It means instead that the Law has no claim upon the dead (and risen).

                    It means God , Who has perfect vision and no need to pull the wool over His eyes, sees every one of us exactly as he is -- and miraculously still constantly forgives as we keep repenting! -- and still grants us communion in His immortal Life. And still promises to perfect and glorify us with Himself one day.

                    love in Christ,
                    Anastasia

                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Anastasia Theodoridis
                    ... Dear Andrew, In a nutshell: because the Orthodox do not view salvation in *primarily* forensic terms, but in broader terms, inter-personal ones, instead.
                    Message 9 of 24 , Feb 28, 2007
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                      >> 2. The word "justification" is not eschewed by Orthodox theologians.
                      >> See the commentaries by these Orthodox theologians, e.g., St John
                      >> Chrysostom, St Ambrose, and St Augustine.

                      >But why? That's what I'm trying to get at.

                      Dear Andrew,

                      In a nutshell: because the Orthodox do not view salvation in *primarily* forensic terms, but in broader terms, inter-personal ones, instead. The legal element (including justification) is certainly neither lacking nor, heaven forbid, denied; it's just not the emphasis.

                      love in Christ,
                      Anastasia

                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Christopher Orr
                      And I would go back to the fact that our read of Paul being so focused on justification is likely just that, our read of Paul. All those Fathers in the
                      Message 10 of 24 , Feb 28, 2007
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                        And I would go back to the fact that our 'read' of Paul being so focused on
                        justification is likely just that, our 'read' of Paul. All those Fathers in
                        the subsequent years after Paul was writing did not speak in exactly the
                        same way, so it is likely that Paul did not emphasize or understand
                        salvation in the way we do. In fact, he may have delivered much more of
                        Christianity to them than we have in the surviving Apostolic texts of the NT
                        - which is exactly what St. Paul says in 2 Thes.

                        Christopher


                        On 2/28/07, Anastasia Theodoridis <anastasiatheo01@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > >> 2. The word "justification" is not eschewed by Orthodox theologians.
                        > >> See the commentaries by these Orthodox theologians, e.g., St John
                        > >> Chrysostom, St Ambrose, and St Augustine.
                        >
                        > >But why? That's what I'm trying to get at.
                        >
                        >
                        >


                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Jeremy
                        We are reading through a book called FIRST FRUITS OF PRAYER, by Frederica Matthewes-Green, for our Adult Class at Church. There is a paragraph in today s
                        Message 11 of 24 , Feb 28, 2007
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                          We are reading through a book called FIRST FRUITS OF PRAYER, by
                          Frederica Matthewes-Green, for our Adult Class at Church. There is a
                          paragraph in today's reading that might help clarify where the Orthodox
                          emphasis is in their understanding of justification:

                          "The Roman Empire established a monumental system of law that was
                          effective in regulating the whole of the ancient world. We descendants
                          of that history understand the word "justified" in that legal sense.
                          But in the Hebraic and Greek biblical sense, justice was a condition of
                          harmony between God and all Creation. It was a relationship. In this
                          kind of "justice," the members of the community are in peaceful unity
                          with each other.
                          "This is why repentance matters. Raw legalism, pursuing external
                          justice, could have no use for repentance. Repentance does not effect
                          repayment, so it is irrelevant."

                          Now this is a HUGE point. It's easy to just breeze right by that.
                          But let it sink in. If God was so stuck on "making up" for our sins,
                          like collecting debts so His balance sheet will balance, repentance
                          wouldn't matter if we didn't first "satisfy" what that legal justice
                          required. And besides, what concern with debt has compassionate and
                          long-suffering love? I digress.

                          "But we are justified because Christ loves us, and because we come
                          to Him in humility and love. "Righteousness" is "right relationship"
                          [yes, I know it's more than that, but this is a devotional] and a right
                          relationship with Christ will cause His followers to behave like He does
                          - not cowering before a code of "objective morality," but bearing "good
                          fruit" (Matthew 7:17-18) from a healed heart.
                          "Ponder the difference between theses two ways of understanding
                          "justification," the "courtroom" meaning and the "relationship" meaning.
                          Which is more demanding? WHich is more thorough? Which is more
                          enduring?"

                          As Anastasia said, keep in mind that the legal or forensic
                          understanding of justification and salvation is not so much absent, as
                          much as it is not very heavily emphasized.
                          A friend of mine put it like this:
                          "When it comes to confession and prayer, are we more likely to lay
                          bare all our iniquities and infirmities before the Divine Judge or the
                          Divine Physician?"
                          Besides, a Physician helps us see our infirmities and iniquities for
                          what they are, with the goal of healing and delivering us from them (two
                          of the primary meanings of "salvation"). A Judge is there to . . .
                          judge, and pass a sentence. Judgment will come at the Last Day, for
                          which we should be preparing, but not before. At this point we are
                          preparing, and God is our Helper. He Himself is our Life and Salvation.
                          That brings me to something that bothered me when I was a Lutheran.
                          It always seemed like we equivocated on "justification" and "salvation"
                          as if they were identical. The view of salvation always seemed very
                          one-sided. What of sanctification? glorification? Are they not also
                          integral to salvation?

                          This has really been a great thread so far! Keep asking the tough
                          questions, Andrew.


                          Jeremy




                          --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, "Andrew" <drew1095950@...>
                          wrote:
                          >
                          > Anastasia,
                          >
                          > While all that is helpful, it still seems to dodge the question: what
                          is meant by justification?
                          > You say 'I am justified'. Well and good, but what does that mean?
                          >
                          >
                          > Thanks for your contribution.
                          >
                          > Andrew.
                          >




                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Randy Asburry
                          Please forgive my tardiness to this thread, but last week entailed fighting a nasty head cold and then playing catch up, and I am just now reading through the
                          Message 12 of 24 , Mar 5, 2007
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                            Please forgive my tardiness to this thread, but last week entailed fighting
                            a nasty head cold and then playing catch up, and I am just now reading
                            through the emails.



                            Perhaps this little gem from Bp. Kallistos Ware on justification and
                            sanctification can be helpful (from his little book How Are We Saved: The
                            Understanding of Salvation in the Orthodox Tradition, p. 66-67):



                            "By this time it will be abundantly clear that, when we Orthodox speak about
                            salvation, we do not have in view any sharp differentiation between
                            justification and sanctification. Indeed, Orthodox usually have little to
                            say about justification as a distinct topic; I note, for example, that in my
                            own work The Orthodox Church, written thirty years ago, the word
                            'justification' does not appear in the index, although this was not a
                            deliberate omission. Orthodoxy links sanctification and justification
                            together, just as St. Paul does in 1 Cor. 6:11: 'You were washed, you were
                            sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in
                            the Spirit of our God.' The references to justification in the opening
                            chapters of Romans (for example 3:20, 24, 28), we understand in the light of
                            Romans 6:4-10, which describe our radical incorporation through baptism into
                            Christ's death, burial and resurrection. Salvation, as already stated, is
                            not a single event in our past life but an ongoing process of growth in
                            Christ. It is not simply to turn our face in the right direction and to take
                            the first step on our journey, but it is to continue walking until by God's
                            grace we attain our journey's end. We Orthodox, then, "see 'justification'
                            and 'sanctification' as one divine action.one continuous process", to use
                            the words of the Common Statement issued by the Lutheran-Orthodox Dialogue
                            in North America. As Bishop Maximos Aghiorgoussis says: Justification is not
                            a separate act of God but the negative aspect of salvation in Christ, which
                            is freedom from sin, death and the devil; whereas sanctification is the
                            positive aspect of God's saving act, that of spiritual growth in the new
                            life in Christ communicated by God's Holy Spirit. The two aspects, negative
                            and positive, form a single undivided reality."





                            + + + + +
                            Rev. Randy Asburry
                            Hope Lutheran Church
                            St. Louis, MO
                            <mailto:r.asburry@...> mailto:r.asburry@...

                            "...we on our part shall not omit doing anything, in so far as God and
                            conscience allow, that may serve the cause of Christian unity." (Augsburg
                            Confession, Preface, 13; Tappert, 26).



                            _____

                            From: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
                            [mailto:LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Anastasia
                            Theodoridis
                            Sent: Wednesday, February 28, 2007 9:24 AM
                            To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: Re: [LutheransLookingEast] Re: What is meant by justification?



                            >> 2. The word "justification" is not eschewed by Orthodox theologians.
                            >> See the commentaries by these Orthodox theologians, e.g., St John
                            >> Chrysostom, St Ambrose, and St Augustine.

                            >But why? That's what I'm trying to get at.

                            Dear Andrew,

                            In a nutshell: because the Orthodox do not view salvation in *primarily*
                            forensic terms, but in broader terms, inter-personal ones, instead. The
                            legal element (including justification) is certainly neither lacking nor,
                            heaven forbid, denied; it's just not the emphasis.

                            love in Christ,
                            Anastasia

                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Jeremy
                            Right on! I just came across this quote in another article I was reading this morning: Justification is a word used in the Scriptures to mean that in Christ
                            Message 13 of 24 , Mar 5, 2007
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                              Right on!
                              I just came across this quote in another article I was reading this
                              morning:

                              "Justification is a word used in the Scriptures to mean that in Christ
                              we are forgiven and actually made righteous in our living.
                              Justification is not a once-for-all, instantaneous pronouncement
                              guaranteeing eternal salvation, no matter how wickedly a person may
                              live from that point on. Neither is it merely a legal declaration
                              that an unrighteous person is righteous. Rather, justification is a
                              living, dynamic, day-to-day reality for the one who follows Christ.
                              The Christian actively pursues a righteous life in the grace and power
                              of God granted to all who are believing Him."

                              - What Orthodox Christians Believe. (Ben Lomand, CA: Conciliar
                              Press), 1988. Pg. 7. -


                              John

                              --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, "Randy Asburry"
                              <r.asburry@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Please forgive my tardiness to this thread, but last week entailed
                              fighting
                              > a nasty head cold and then playing catch up, and I am just now reading
                              > through the emails.
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > Perhaps this little gem from Bp. Kallistos Ware on justification and
                              > sanctification can be helpful (from his little book How Are We
                              Saved: The
                              > Understanding of Salvation in the Orthodox Tradition, p. 66-67):
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > "By this time it will be abundantly clear that, when we Orthodox
                              speak about
                              > salvation, we do not have in view any sharp differentiation between
                              > justification and sanctification. Indeed, Orthodox usually have
                              little to
                              > say about justification as a distinct topic; I note, for example,
                              that in my
                              > own work The Orthodox Church, written thirty years ago, the word
                              > 'justification' does not appear in the index, although this was not a
                              > deliberate omission. Orthodoxy links sanctification and justification
                              > together, just as St. Paul does in 1 Cor. 6:11: 'You were washed,
                              you were
                              > sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ
                              and in
                              > the Spirit of our God.' The references to justification in the opening
                              > chapters of Romans (for example 3:20, 24, 28), we understand in the
                              light of
                              > Romans 6:4-10, which describe our radical incorporation through
                              baptism into
                              > Christ's death, burial and resurrection. Salvation, as already
                              stated, is
                              > not a single event in our past life but an ongoing process of growth in
                              > Christ. It is not simply to turn our face in the right direction and
                              to take
                              > the first step on our journey, but it is to continue walking until
                              by God's
                              > grace we attain our journey's end. We Orthodox, then, "see
                              'justification'
                              > and 'sanctification' as one divine action.one continuous process",
                              to use
                              > the words of the Common Statement issued by the Lutheran-Orthodox
                              Dialogue
                              > in North America. As Bishop Maximos Aghiorgoussis says:
                              Justification is not
                              > a separate act of God but the negative aspect of salvation in
                              Christ, which
                              > is freedom from sin, death and the devil; whereas sanctification is the
                              > positive aspect of God's saving act, that of spiritual growth in the new
                              > life in Christ communicated by God's Holy Spirit. The two aspects,
                              negative
                              > and positive, form a single undivided reality."
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > + + + + +
                              > Rev. Randy Asburry
                              > Hope Lutheran Church
                              > St. Louis, MO
                              > <mailto:r.asburry@...> mailto:r.asburry@...
                              >
                              > "...we on our part shall not omit doing anything, in so far as God and
                              > conscience allow, that may serve the cause of Christian unity."
                              (Augsburg
                              > Confession, Preface, 13; Tappert, 26).
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > _____
                              >
                              > From: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
                              > [mailto:LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Anastasia
                              > Theodoridis
                              > Sent: Wednesday, February 28, 2007 9:24 AM
                              > To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
                              > Subject: Re: [LutheransLookingEast] Re: What is meant by justification?
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > >> 2. The word "justification" is not eschewed by Orthodox theologians.
                              > >> See the commentaries by these Orthodox theologians, e.g., St John
                              > >> Chrysostom, St Ambrose, and St Augustine.
                              >
                              > >But why? That's what I'm trying to get at.
                              >
                              > Dear Andrew,
                              >
                              > In a nutshell: because the Orthodox do not view salvation in *primarily*
                              > forensic terms, but in broader terms, inter-personal ones, instead. The
                              > legal element (including justification) is certainly neither lacking
                              nor,
                              > heaven forbid, denied; it's just not the emphasis.
                              >
                              > love in Christ,
                              > Anastasia
                              >
                              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              >
                            • Trent Sebits
                              The following is a short essay written by Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon on justification that I found informative. Trent Sebits Although the Judaizing controversy
                              Message 14 of 24 , Mar 5, 2007
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                                The following is a short essay written by Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon on
                                justification that I found informative.

                                Trent Sebits

                                Although the Judaizing controversy of the 50's forced the doctrine of
                                Justification rather clearly to the fore in some of St. Paul's epistles,
                                this aspect of Christ's atonement is hardly the key to all Pauline
                                theology that later Western polemics made it out to be. Indeed, the
                                theme of Justification is hardly to be found in the Thessalonian
                                letters, which were written prior to the Judaizing controversy, and even
                                in some later epistles Jystification does not rise to dominance. If
                                Justification (dikaiosis) were the major topic of Paul's thought, we
                                would surely expect him to use the word more than twice (Romans 4:25;
                                5:18, but also dikaioma in 5:16). While the verb "to justify" (dikaioo)
                                is used 15 times in Romans and 8 times in Galatians, it appears only 4
                                other times, in fact, in the rest of Paul's writings (1 Corinthians 4:4;
                                6:11; 1 Timothy 3:16; Titus 3:7).

                                To gain a more balanced sense of St. Paul's theological perspective, it
                                is instructive to compare those numbers with the 62 times that Paul uses
                                the noun "church" (ekklesia). Simply from the perspective of vocabulary
                                frequency, it is obvious that Paul spent far more time and effort on
                                ecclesiology than on Justification.

                                This is not to say, of course, that Justification is a minor theme in
                                St. Paul. On the contrary, this aspect of the Christian's relationship
                                with God pertains to the heart of Paul's theology of revelation. The
                                revelation of God in Christ is the disclosure of the righteous God
                                foretold in biblical prophecy.

                                All through the Bible, and not only in Paul, after all, it is the God of
                                righteousness who brings deliverance to His people through His great
                                deeds of mercy and fidelity to His covenant. The culminating work of His
                                redemption is the act by which this righteous God makes man himself
                                righteous, "because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that
                                were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His
                                righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier (dikaon kai
                                dikaiounta) of the one who has faith in Jesus" (Romans 3:25-26).

                                This divine deed, by which God justifies man, is entirely of grace; it
                                is nothing that man can merit or deserve, because "all have sinned and
                                fall short of the glory of God" (3:23). The sheer gratuity of God's
                                justifying act is the basis of Paul's contention that those that are
                                justified in Christ have no need to justify themselves by the observance
                                of the Mosaic Law. Thus, the doctrine of justification, which Paul
                                elaborated in response to the Judaizing controversy of the 50's, laid
                                the basis for an essential step in the development of ecclesiology. It
                                enunciated the principle that would, in practice, separate Judaism from
                                the Church. It is the trauma of that growing separation that we see in
                                Paul's epistles and in the Acts of the Apostles.

                                The verb "to justify," dikaioo, when it is used in the Septuagint,
                                normally means a declaration of righteousness. This is exactly what we
                                would expect in the Old Testament, under a covenant that could not make
                                men righteous, and with sacrifices of bulls and goats that could never
                                take away sins.

                                This is not the case in the New Testament, however, where God's
                                justification of man in Christ is not a mere pronouncement, as though
                                somehow a guilty party has been declared "not guilty" by a forensic
                                declaration. No, what the creating God says, He accomplishes.
                                Justification in the New Testament is an ontological reality, not a
                                legal fiction. What the creating God declares, He makes come to pass.

                                And how does God make man righteous? By identifying him with Christ, His
                                own beloved Son, through the inner working of divine grace. It is man's
                                identification with Christ that renders a man just before God, for
                                Christ alone is the righteous One.

                                By Adam's sin, after all, we human beings were not simply "declared"
                                sinners, but "made" sinners. So too, St. Paul reasons, in Christ we are
                                "made" righteous: "For as by one man's disobedience many were made
                                (katestathesan) sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be
                                made (katastathesonatai) righteous" (Romans 5:19).

                                Man, with no righteousness of his own, receives the righteousness of
                                God. The believer is justified by receiving into his very being the
                                revelation of God's righteousness in Christ: "I also count all things
                                loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for
                                whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish,
                                that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own
                                righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in
                                Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith" (Philippians
                                3:8-9).

                                This "righteousness which is from God" is an internal fact, an
                                alteration of man's soul, the very action of justifying grace, by which
                                the believer himself becomes righteous, because God "made Him who knew
                                no sin to be sin for us, that we might become (genometha) the
                                righteousness of God in Him" (2 Corinthians 5:21).

                                Fr. Patrick Reardon is pastor of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church
                                in Chicago, Illinois, and a Senior Editor of Touchstone: A Journal of
                                Mere Christianity <http://www.touchstonemag.com/> . He is also the
                                author of Christ in the Psalms, and Christ in His Saints (both books are
                                published by Conciliar Press).


                                ________________________________

                                From: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
                                [mailto:LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jeremy
                                Sent: Monday, March 05, 2007 8:33 AM
                                To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
                                Subject: [LutheransLookingEast] Re: What is meant by justification?



                                Right on!
                                I just came across this quote in another article I was reading this
                                morning:

                                "Justification is a word used in the Scriptures to mean that in Christ
                                we are forgiven and actually made righteous in our living.
                                Justification is not a once-for-all, instantaneous pronouncement
                                guaranteeing eternal salvation, no matter how wickedly a person may
                                live from that point on. Neither is it merely a legal declaration
                                that an unrighteous person is righteous. Rather, justification is a
                                living, dynamic, day-to-day reality for the one who follows Christ.
                                The Christian actively pursues a righteous life in the grace and power
                                of God granted to all who are believing Him."

                                - What Orthodox Christians Believe. (Ben Lomand, CA: Conciliar
                                Press), 1988. Pg. 7. -

                                John

                                --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
                                <mailto:LutheransLookingEast%40yahoogroups.com> , "Randy Asburry"
                                <r.asburry@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Please forgive my tardiness to this thread, but last week entailed
                                fighting
                                > a nasty head cold and then playing catch up, and I am just now reading
                                > through the emails.
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > Perhaps this little gem from Bp. Kallistos Ware on justification and
                                > sanctification can be helpful (from his little book How Are We
                                Saved: The
                                > Understanding of Salvation in the Orthodox Tradition, p. 66-67):
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > "By this time it will be abundantly clear that, when we Orthodox
                                speak about
                                > salvation, we do not have in view any sharp differentiation between
                                > justification and sanctification. Indeed, Orthodox usually have
                                little to
                                > say about justification as a distinct topic; I note, for example,
                                that in my
                                > own work The Orthodox Church, written thirty years ago, the word
                                > 'justification' does not appear in the index, although this was not a
                                > deliberate omission. Orthodoxy links sanctification and justification
                                > together, just as St. Paul does in 1 Cor. 6:11: 'You were washed,
                                you were
                                > sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ
                                and in
                                > the Spirit of our God.' The references to justification in the opening
                                > chapters of Romans (for example 3:20, 24, 28), we understand in the
                                light of
                                > Romans 6:4-10, which describe our radical incorporation through
                                baptism into
                                > Christ's death, burial and resurrection. Salvation, as already
                                stated, is
                                > not a single event in our past life but an ongoing process of growth
                                in
                                > Christ. It is not simply to turn our face in the right direction and
                                to take
                                > the first step on our journey, but it is to continue walking until
                                by God's
                                > grace we attain our journey's end. We Orthodox, then, "see
                                'justification'
                                > and 'sanctification' as one divine action.one continuous process",
                                to use
                                > the words of the Common Statement issued by the Lutheran-Orthodox
                                Dialogue
                                > in North America. As Bishop Maximos Aghiorgoussis says:
                                Justification is not
                                > a separate act of God but the negative aspect of salvation in
                                Christ, which
                                > is freedom from sin, death and the devil; whereas sanctification is
                                the
                                > positive aspect of God's saving act, that of spiritual growth in the
                                new
                                > life in Christ communicated by God's Holy Spirit. The two aspects,
                                negative
                                > and positive, form a single undivided reality."
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > + + + + +
                                > Rev. Randy Asburry
                                > Hope Lutheran Church
                                > St. Louis, MO
                                > <mailto:r.asburry@...> mailto:r.asburry@...
                                >
                                > "...we on our part shall not omit doing anything, in so far as God and
                                > conscience allow, that may serve the cause of Christian unity."
                                (Augsburg
                                > Confession, Preface, 13; Tappert, 26).
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > _____
                                >
                                > From: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
                                <mailto:LutheransLookingEast%40yahoogroups.com>
                                > [mailto:LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
                                <mailto:LutheransLookingEast%40yahoogroups.com> ] On Behalf Of Anastasia
                                > Theodoridis
                                > Sent: Wednesday, February 28, 2007 9:24 AM
                                > To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
                                <mailto:LutheransLookingEast%40yahoogroups.com>
                                > Subject: Re: [LutheransLookingEast] Re: What is meant by
                                justification?
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > >> 2. The word "justification" is not eschewed by Orthodox
                                theologians.
                                > >> See the commentaries by these Orthodox theologians, e.g., St John
                                > >> Chrysostom, St Ambrose, and St Augustine.
                                >
                                > >But why? That's what I'm trying to get at.
                                >
                                > Dear Andrew,
                                >
                                > In a nutshell: because the Orthodox do not view salvation in
                                *primarily*
                                > forensic terms, but in broader terms, inter-personal ones, instead.
                                The
                                > legal element (including justification) is certainly neither lacking
                                nor,
                                > heaven forbid, denied; it's just not the emphasis.
                                >
                                > love in Christ,
                                > Anastasia
                                >
                                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                >






                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • Laura
                                Hello everyone, I joined LLE a few weeks ago and haven t properly introduced myself yet. My name is Laura Frizelle. I live in Eagle River, Alaska and am
                                Message 15 of 24 , Mar 9, 2007
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                                  Hello everyone, I joined LLE a few weeks ago and haven't properly introduced
                                  myself yet. My name is Laura Frizelle. I live in Eagle River, Alaska and
                                  am currently a LCMS Lutheran and have been seriously inquiring into
                                  Orthodoxy since last August. I am reading lots and participating as much as
                                  I can in the local Antiochian parish down the road where my boys also attend
                                  preschool and kindergarten.

                                  The articles and quotes that you all have shared on justification have been
                                  good. Thank-you all. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on the
                                  following:

                                  I read an interesting essay by Dr. David Scaer from Concordia Theological
                                  Seminary in Ft. Wayne, Indiana yesterday. The title is "Sanctification in
                                  the Lutheran Confessions" and you can find it in the July 1989 Concordia
                                  Theological Quarterly.

                                  Many things that he said in the essay in regard to justification and its
                                  relationship to sanctification flowing in one continuous stream out of
                                  Christ for us and in us sounded a lot like the Orthodox perspective on
                                  justification that you have been talking about recently on this forum.

                                  Scaer sees that justification and sanctification are all wrapped up
                                  together.

                                  Of course what Scaer says here includes no notion of cooperation or synergy,
                                  but I thought it remarkable that he is almost criticizing the way that
                                  Lutherans tend to go overboard parsing God's saving work into scholastic
                                  categories. Subjective and objective, passive and active, the first, second
                                  and third uses of the law. etc...

                                  Also it is interesting that he says, "Lutheranism is the only one among
                                  WESTERN religions that offers a doctrine of justification which is not
                                  intrinsically moralistic."

                                  by this does he mean that the East also has it right???
                                  HMMMM? ;-)

                                  I quote Dr. Scaer further:

                                  "Doctrines should not be regarded as separate entities brought together to
                                  construct a whole, but perspectives on Christ's person and work (ie.,
                                  Christology). Justification, the chief article in Lutheranism, is only an
                                  extension of Christology into the life of the believer in regard to the
                                  certainty of salvation. God justifies the sinner for Christ's sake. In
                                  turn sanctification is an extension first of justification and then
                                  Christology. "

                                  and

                                  "When justification becomes an item which is now seen through the rear-view
                                  mirror as something which has happened and sanctification or the Christian
                                  life is seen as something which is viewed through the windshield as a
                                  current or future action, sanctification is bound to deteriorate into
                                  moralism (phariseeism)."

                                  "The Christian is alive to Christ and dead to sin and the law. By faith
                                  Christ is now living in him and he is no longer living, but Christ is living
                                  in him. In this moment the separate articles of Christology, justification,
                                  and sanctification have indeed become one cloth and one substance......The
                                  Christian or sanctified life is Christological, first of all because Christ
                                  lives in us by faith; secondly it is Christ who is doing these works in us;
                                  and thirdly these works are clearly recognizable as those which Christ alone
                                  can do and which He in fact does in us."

                                  "The Spirit directed life is a completely Christological life, because the
                                  Spirit who was responsible for his conception is the same Spirit whom Christ
                                  sent into the world."

                                  "The law and Gospel which stood in antithetical relationship for the world
                                  in sin find their perfect harmony and unity first in Christ who has
                                  fulfilled the law and given ust the Gospel, but also now in the sanctified
                                  life of the Christian. The good works which Adam could do before he sinned
                                  and could never do as a sinner, we can now do in Christ and as Christ did.
                                  This is Luther's understanding of good works in the Small Catechism and in
                                  doing this he showed us how Christology, justification, and sanctification
                                  belong together."


                                  Being in Christ, justified and sanctified all together---is this not what
                                  theosis is?

                                  Last August a Lutheran pastor who converted told me that the juridical
                                  paradigm that Lutherans and all other western churches emphasize over others
                                  is just one paradigm. Orthodoxy emphasizes healing and restoration. That
                                  doesn't mean that the juridical paradigm doesn't exist in Orthodoxy, it
                                  does. Christ will come to judge the living and the dead.

                                  But when you think about who God is and why he created us in his image and
                                  likeness--for communion with the Holy Trinity, each person unique, yet
                                  completely united in perfect love-- (In contrast to the Lutheran unspoken
                                  notion that he created us to be his happy and efficient workers-- alles in
                                  ordnung! How does the small catechism put it? Our chief duty is love,
                                  serve and obey...)

                                  What does God see when he looks at us? Which paradigm fits our relationship
                                  with him the best?

                                  For me, the next BIG questions was, "Who is man? What is sin? What do the
                                  Orthodox believe happened in the garden of Eden? Does sinful man have any
                                  ability to choose or seek God?"

                                  The answers to these questions opened my eyes and my heart in a big way.

                                  God wants us to see his face in everyone, especially the very least of our
                                  neighbors. I believe when he looks at humanity, and each of us as
                                  individuals, in his mercy and because of Christ, he sees the potential for
                                  love and communion with us more than he sees our rotten sinfulness.

                                  I believe healing and restoration is the better paradigm to describe the
                                  Holy Trinity's work for us and in us. Overemphasizing the juridical aspect
                                  of salvation causes many of us to color God, the Father especially, with
                                  worldly misunderstanding of justice and contempt because true righteousness
                                  is not experienced by many of us in our daily life and discipline that flows
                                  out of pure love is rare.

                                  I think that the Lutheran distinction between Law and Gospel sets us up to
                                  think ...law bad....gospel good.
                                  Our Lutheran tendencies toward minimalizing, sola-izing, and reductionism
                                  get us into lots of trouble.

                                  'Nuff said for now!

                                  Peace, Love and Joy in Christ Our Lord!
                                  Laura
                                • Laura
                                  correction, you probably caught it already, but... Dr. David Scaer said in his essay Sanctification in the Lutheran Confessions published in the July 1989
                                  Message 16 of 24 , Mar 9, 2007
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                                    correction, you probably caught it already, but...

                                    Dr. David Scaer said in his essay "Sanctification in the Lutheran
                                    Confessions" published in the July 1989 issue of Concordia Theological
                                    Quarterly

                                    "Lutheranism is the only one among WESTERN religions that offers a doctrine
                                    of ...sanctification...which is not intrinsically moralistic."

                                    Do you think he means to say that the Eastern Orthodox also have it right,
                                    meaning not moralistic?

                                    Do any of you who are already Orthodox view deification as moralistic?

                                    Peace,
                                    Laura
                                  • gshenricus
                                    Just for giggles and grins, I went to try and dig up that article from Dr. Scaer which you posted a portion of. I found out that I will have to order the
                                    Message 17 of 24 , Mar 9, 2007
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                                      Just for giggles and grins, I went to try and dig up that article
                                      from Dr. Scaer which you posted a portion of. I found out that I
                                      will have to order the entire issue which I have done. If there is
                                      away to post the entire article so that all (Orthodox and Lutherans
                                      alike) may understand what Dr. Scaer is saying, I will do so (that is
                                      if the moderator allows it).

                                      However in the meantime here is anothe article from Dr. Scaer from a
                                      CTQ issue in 1985, called "Sanctification in Lutheran Theology" which
                                      everyone here might find of interest as well. Here is the link:
                                      http://www.ctsfw.edu/ctq/text/aprjul85scaer.pdf

                                      Enjoy

                                      Pr. Gregory Hinners
                                      LCMS pastor & unworthy servant

                                      --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, Laura <lfrizelle@...>
                                      wrote:
                                      >
                                      > correction, you probably caught it already, but...
                                      >
                                      > Dr. David Scaer said in his essay "Sanctification in the Lutheran
                                      > Confessions" published in the July 1989 issue of Concordia
                                      Theological
                                      > Quarterly
                                      >
                                      > "Lutheranism is the only one among WESTERN religions that offers a
                                      doctrine
                                      > of ...sanctification...which is not intrinsically moralistic."
                                      >
                                      > Do you think he means to say that the Eastern Orthodox also have it
                                      right,
                                      > meaning not moralistic?
                                      >
                                      > Do any of you who are already Orthodox view deification as
                                      moralistic?
                                      >
                                      > Peace,
                                      > Laura
                                      >
                                    • Laura
                                      Thanks Pastor Hinners, I printed off the Scaer paper you linked in your message. I look forward to reading it. Father Harold Dunaway and his wife Khouria Barb
                                      Message 18 of 24 , Mar 10, 2007
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                                        Thanks Pastor Hinners,

                                        I printed off the Scaer paper you linked in your message.
                                        I look forward to reading it.

                                        Father Harold Dunaway and his wife Khouria Barb are going to get together
                                        with me after Bright week and we are going to read over these Scaer papers
                                        and the latest issue of Good News on Teaching which is, from what I can tell
                                        so far, a summarization of the Lutheran doctrines of Justification and
                                        Sanctification.

                                        It will be good to get an Orthodox critique of these Lutheran doctrines to
                                        figure out more precisely what the differences are so that I can better
                                        renounce them if and when I convert.

                                        Also I am simply looking forward to spending time with Fr. Harold and Kh.
                                        Barb. They converted from Campus Crusade for Christ back in the 70's with
                                        Fr. Peter Gilquist, Fr. Jack Sparks (who is also a part of the local parish
                                        here) and the other large group of evangelicals, about 2000 in all I think.
                                        These are dear, dear saints who I am growing to love and cherish more and
                                        more every time I see them.

                                        Praise Him in the Highest!
                                        Laura
                                      • Laura
                                        You know what would be the coolest? To have Dr. Scaer, his wife Dorothy, Dr. Weinrich, Roland Zeigler, Fr. Sparks, Fr. Harold and Kh. Barb all together for
                                        Message 19 of 24 , Mar 10, 2007
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                                          You know what would be the coolest?

                                          To have Dr. Scaer, his wife Dorothy, Dr. Weinrich, Roland Zeigler, Fr.
                                          Sparks, Fr. Harold and Kh. Barb all together for Happy hour and BBQ then a
                                          big long conversation about theology. If I could choose the topic it would
                                          be, "What does it mean to be created in the image and likeness of God?"
                                          Even better...to have Bishop JOSEPH there too. WOW!!! That would be
                                          amazing!

                                          Dr. Scaer and Dorothy came up to Alaska a few years ago to speak at a
                                          conference and we got the privilege to host them. We also spent a day on a
                                          glacier cruise with them and driving from Homer, to Seward and back to Eagle
                                          River. They were the most warm, down to earth people you would ever want to
                                          host. We have a very modest home and we had two boys 3 and 1 at the time. I
                                          was so nervous, but they set me at ease immediately.

                                          Our oldest son warmed up to Dr. Scaer faster than any other adult he had
                                          met, even his own Grandpa! Dr. Scaer constantly held Ian's hand and helped
                                          him cross streets. He kept him engaged in conversation about everything
                                          they saw.

                                          Dorothy impressed me so much too. The first thing she said to our littlest
                                          guy, James was, "How can I help you?"

                                          It is painful to meditate on the loss that we all suffer from Christ's
                                          church being so divided. I know that the Holy Spirit is working how he
                                          wills and God's plans are not our plans, but we get in the way of his plans
                                          so much! We are so full of pride and resist being united here on Earth. If
                                          only the Reformers and the Patriarch of Constantinople could have gotten
                                          over their pride and cultural barriers way back when....sigh!

                                          Heaven is going to be amazing!!

                                          In Christ,
                                          Laura
                                        • Reader Christopher
                                          ... doctrine ... right, ... Anastasia has often said something to the effect of, Works are not how we earn salvation, they are salvation. Salvation is not
                                          Message 20 of 24 , Mar 12, 2007
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                                            --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, Laura <lfrizelle@...> wrote:
                                            >
                                            > correction, you probably caught it already, but...
                                            >
                                            > Dr. David Scaer said in his essay "Sanctification in the Lutheran
                                            > Confessions" published in the July 1989 issue of Concordia Theological
                                            > Quarterly
                                            >
                                            > "Lutheranism is the only one among WESTERN religions that offers a
                                            doctrine
                                            > of ...sanctification...which is not intrinsically moralistic."
                                            >
                                            > Do you think he means to say that the Eastern Orthodox also have it
                                            right,
                                            > meaning not moralistic?
                                            >
                                            > Do any of you who are already Orthodox view deification as moralistic?
                                            >
                                            > Peace,
                                            > Laura
                                            >


                                            Anastasia has often said something to the effect of, "Works are not
                                            how we earn salvation, they are salvation." Salvation is not just
                                            being forgiven our debts, but in being conformed to the likeness of
                                            Christ. St. Anthony the Great defined union with God as doing what God
                                            does. The important thing to remember, and it is riddled throughout
                                            the prayers before Communion, is that we are unworthy and have not
                                            conformed ourselves to Christ's image - and yet we dare to approach
                                            because Christ allowed the sinful woman, the woman with an issue of
                                            blood, the persecutor, etc. to come to him. He do not question God's
                                            love and care for us because of our unworthiness and His ability to
                                            purify us of our sins by His presence, we question our own ability to
                                            receive "without condemnation" Christ in all His glory.

                                            The whole matrix of justification/sanctification seems to me to be a
                                            grasping at 'security' in God being good to me. The whole point is in
                                            getting God to be good *to me*, and not upholding His goodness,
                                            regardless of what I get out of it. Questioning our salvation is
                                            different than questioning whether God loves me.

                                            Christopher
                                          • Laura Frizelle
                                            Thanks Reader Christopher, Well said. For a long time now I have felt like Lutheranism is lacking or confused in the area of teaching sanctification and so far
                                            Message 21 of 24 , Mar 12, 2007
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                                              Thanks Reader Christopher,

                                              Well said.

                                              For a long time now I have felt like Lutheranism is lacking
                                              or confused in the area of teaching sanctification and so
                                              far it seems like E.O. has a better, more holistic even more
                                              biblical view in the area of how works relate to salvation.

                                              I guess like anything, we sinners can get this wrong and
                                              twist sanctification or theosis all up whether we are
                                              Lutheran or Orthodox, but I look forward to being part of a
                                              church that doesn't dodge good works and out of Romophobia
                                              or whatever.

                                              Peace in Christ,
                                              Laura
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