This is more than simply a good article, it is a necessary article for both Latins and Orthodox, many of whom have no idea of how to respond to the fundamentalists’ innovative theological nonsense about being “born again”. Like so much Western protestant theology, it is born of two things, first, a compulsion to deny, and a misunderstanding of, the efficacy of the Mysteria of The Church and second, a reliance on very bad translations of the NT read out of the context of what The Church believes and believed at the time of the definition of the canon of the NT in, for the West, the late 4th century. For those who are interested, a reading of the works of +Cyprian of Carthage, +Clement of Alexandria and +Cyril of Jerusalem will be instructive in this regard.
In the meantime, there is this, from the “Baptismal Instructions” of +John Chrysostomos:
“Are we only dying with the Master and are we only sharing in His sadness? Most of all, let me say that sharing the Master’s death is no sadness. Only wait a little and you shall see yourself sharing in His benefits. ‘For if we have died with Him,’ says St. Paul, `we believe that we shall also live together with Him.’ For in baptism there are both burial and resurrection together at the same time. He who is baptized puts off the old man, takes the new and rises up, `just as Christ has arisen through the glory of the Father.’ Do you see how, again, St. Paul calls baptism a resurrection?”
The world is fortunate that the “born again” nonsense is embraced by, comparatively speaking, so few people, almost all of whom are North Americans (the truly astonishing cultural chauvinism of N. American fundamentalists to the contrary notwithstanding).
Um, what John Chrysostomos said holds just as nicely for the Protestant view. I think you might not understand what is meant then.
Does he say that the individual is changed? Yup. Does it say he is now washed clean of all sins? Not really. Does this support baptismal regeneration? I would have to say no.
Perhaps if you gave your impression of the Protestant view, I can understand your meaning better.
I have my reservations that keep me out of the Latin church, and the Orthodox - try as I may - befuddle me. But on this, where both agree - I think they read the text correctly.
::Sigh!:: What an lonely place this forum is going to be without wideawake!
"Fundamentalist" is a rather peculiar term. It doesn't apply to a particular denomination, and is somewhat nebulous in its definition, being narrow or overly general depending on the intent of the person invoking it. As an historical Protestant I certainly don't subscribe to the view of being "born again" that is ascribed to "fundamentalists" yet would likely be considered one by most ill-informed Roman Catholics.
To be sure, there is a gross misunderstanding of the Roman Catholic Church among so-called Western Protestants, and that is largely because they are defined as "protestant" more by the fact they are not Roman Catholic than any significant semblance to historical Protestantism and because they haven't the foggiest notion of the actual doctrinal points which separate us.
I do find it ironic that you attribute this phenomenon to some measure of denial though considering the obvious denial involved in constraining this view to North American Protestantism (your definition of "fundamentalism" notwithstanding, of course). The fact is that the Protestant form of Christianity continues to spread throughout the world.
Happy New Year!