Skip to comments.Orthodox Christianity
Posted on 12/20/2012 12:52:36 PM PST by don-o
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I am not trying to get into a tit for tat but the Christus Victor theory of the atonement is the most classical one among the Patristics, of which St. Ireneaus’s Recapitulation theory is a part of. Another early theory among the Fathers was the ransom theory but that does not get much support in Catholic Theology these days, and is not as old in Patristic though as Christus Victor. St. Anselm, representing the medeival Benedectine Tradition of the Catholic Church developed the “satisfaction theory”. Calvin and the other reformers took St. Anselms satisfaction theory and posited “penal substitution”.
While St. Anselm is a Doctor of the Catholic Church and one of the great theologians of the Benedectine Tradition, sort of like St. Thomas Aquinas represents the Dominican Tradition, St. Bonaventure the Franscisan, etc, his satisfaction theory is not posited by the Catholic Church these days. I would say the Christus Victor theory-Recapitulation, as articulated by St. Irenaeus is more the accepted theory. For the record, the Catholic Church has never dogmatically defined what is the “theory of atonement”, thus this is an area where there is room for theological discussion among the various theological traditions of the Catholic Church.
Nevertheless, as a general rule, in the Catholic Church theories that stress the “Love and obedience of Christ” in suffering for our sake are preferable to those theories that stress appeasement of God’s wrath [penal or substitutional] or ransom paid to Satan.
Now with respect to substitution, I think the Catholic Church embraces that as part of the theory of atonement to the degree that we are saying Christ suffered and died for us, sort of like the Nicene Creed’s statement,
“For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.”
So that type of substitution can be reconciled with the Christus Victor/Recapitulation theory, but when the subsitution suggests “in place of us”, that is more penal-substitution and that notion does not seem present in the Fathers. The Recapitulation theory, as you noted is dominant in the Eastern Orthodox and I think it is the one that the Catholic Church sees as foundational since it is rooted in Incarnational Theology and does not try to separate the Incarnation from the Paschal Mystery.
So you are correct, the Catholic Church and Orthodox, while neither havin formally defined a Doctrine of the atonement stress the Christus-Victor/Recapitulation theory as foundational.
so he prefers one of the many Orthodox churches to evil Rome?
don't get me wrong: Many people are attracted to the strict theology and beauty of the Orthodox church, especially if they live in "trendier than thou" Catholic dioceses in the USA
But I always wonder if some of these converts aren't just being snobbish: are they attracted to an Orthodox church full of blue collar Eastern European coal miners (like the Russian Orthodox church where I once was a member of a prayer group)? Or is their church full of yuppies?
There was a movement some years back - the son of Francis Schaeffer was involved with it - to bring Christians back to the liturgical and majestic observances of the church life and the Eastern Orthodox Church was part of that. I don't agree with all that this church does and believes, but I do think they are much closer to what and how the early church was.
One man’s bully is another man’s brilliant apologist. ;o)
LOL!!! There's just no such thing as an "Arminian Calvinist" (although I was reading an article by a Methodist Calvinist the other day). But I KNOW that you (and many others) believe my statement as well simply because I know the great faith in you. In heaven we'll all be Calvinists.
To quote the wise and powerful Jedi Master Obi-Wan-"You can't escape your destiny Luke". Obi-Wan and Anakin Skywalker believed in predestination. Sadly the Emperor did not. :O)
beautiful piece. I love the part where he talks of discovering the fullness and the richness of all of Christianity. That’s a good thing for all of us to remember.
"were often" -- indicating that this is not all so this is not a label
And also do note that this is specifically about a broader deposit -- so in no way indicating ignorance of everything.
I don't see it as a blanket label of ignorance for everything. Do you agree, Mr Lucky?
Echoing don-o, I am very ignorant of modern Baptist teachings and debates for today. I freely admit to that. And that's what the author means when he says like me, are/were often very ignorant of a broader deposit of Christianity outside of a post 16th century box. -- I'm sure all of us are ignorant of say, Oneness Pentecostal beliefs. The article does not say that all are ignorant about everything.
what’s the difference in mentality that you found?
I think their reasoning is "if it was good enough for Christ to teach His apostles, it's good enough for me..."
And that is a fact about the "broader deposit" -- do you know of St. Onuphrius or the meditations on Christ by +Chrysostom?
The article does not say ALL non-orthodoxy Christians and it does not say they are ignorant about everything
It says many are ignorant about some things
And that is a fact for all of us -- you and I are ignorant of say Christian Scientists perhaps or different Adventist groups.
well, it’s good he considers us one and the same :)
If you are a 5 pointer, then there is no chooses in time even by the Spirit -- this was all written before time as per strict Calvinist 5-er doctrine
“Arminian Calvinists “ — sorry, isn’t that an oxymoron? Arminianism and Calvinism are poles apart afaik
Well, if you were to read Calvin's writings you will find that he quotes from numerous early church writers. The danger of any writing is that it's simply is not inspired, not the way scripture is. (Especially the early writings who, althought they had good ideas, they also held on to some very strange ones as well.) So all one can do is read these writings and compare them to scripture. Regretably, the Church really no longer makes a distinction between the "inspired" Word of God and writings of anybody else. They have lowered the bar by saying that anyone can write something inspirational and the Church will decide what that is. Well, this is where much of the disagreements lie-what is actually written in scripture and what is someone's intrepetation.
I'm not sure what "novel" doctrines about baptism you're referring to. Most churches that I've been in believe in baptism and the three points you covered in various shades. However, there are different interpretations on baptism. This is one area that I've researched extensively and to be quite frank it's rather confusing. Augustine writes about how there was great confusion in the early church over baptism and what it signified. So is it any wonder that we should be confused as well? In the end I believe baptism is having a "clean heart" before God. It doesn't matter. (Although I will confess I have changed my position and believe the Presbyterians have it correct. I know Dr. E would appreciate hearing that.)
Yes, I believe like you that we are rapidly approaching the end. There are many signs around us but the most apparent sign is the hardening of the hearts of many people. People are falling away; not only Catholics but many Protestants as well. And there is little interest in sound doctrine. Not to underestimate Satan, but I think we give him way too much credit. It's our own hearts and sin that deceives us. He just tosses out an apple or orange occasionally to entice us. It doesn't take much. How many of us wished we could win the lotto? We're never contented with what our loving Father has given to us. Including His word.
There is now. :>)
As I recently wrote to a Freeper FRiend:
While I think God truly does open the minds of others to hear the Gospel, and while I do think they have been chosen in the Lamb who was slain since the foundation of the world, I still have serious questions regarding those whom He foreknew, He predestined.
I know that some say that foreknow should be seen as fore-loved. I have no problem with that.
However, Im stuck on the why did He fore-love those particular ones? Some say it was simply His divine choice, and I agree with that, but I also think there was a basis to it in the secret counsels of God Himself.
For me, the bottom line is that Im saved by the grace of God and not through ANY works of righteousness which I have done.
Period. No exceptions. Saved by Grace. Even though I don't see faith as a work, I still think it's God's eternal choice.
And, I think God had a basis in choosing the way He chose.
So...I call that Arminian Calvinism.
No. Arminius was a Calvinistic professor of theology. His Calvinism had a twist that got him in trouble, but he never recanted it.
thank you for the clarification
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