Wednesday, March 24

That Old-Time Religion, or, Orthodoxy Tonight

I went to catechesis at the Orthodox Christian church again tonight. It always blows my mind. In a good way. It always creates disequilibrium... *sometimes I get grouchy!!* :-)

I never knew that Augustine had been influenced by Gnosticism. I never knew that the duality of reality inherent in the Gnostic heresy (flesh and spirit are totally separate, the flesh is completely inferior) was the seedbed for the doctrine of original sin. Makes total sense with everything else I know, though.

The Eastern Orthodox view is that God created both flesh and spirit, that both are good. Sin is and will definitely (and soon) influence a child; but a child is not evil by very nature.

What if Dr. Warren was right? What if our salvation did not HAVE to be by substitutionary atonement? When you have original sin and are guilty before the day you are born, what else is there but to be judged and found guilty? Jesus' blood paid for our guilty, sad-sack selves. (This idea was introduced by Anselm.)

What if we are living in something that is in actuality much more like a hospital than like a courtroom? *This idea comes from St. Basil, one of the two great writers of the Christian Liturgy; the song-prayer that ALL of Christendom sang as ONE for around 1,200 years?? (and longer.)* What if sin has made us all very sick?? What if Jesus invites us to be made well and whole? What if the blood of Jesus is more like a transfusion than it is like money??

What if the main show was NOT the Crucifixion, but the empty tomb??


  1. With all apologies to my Orthodox friends; I am still learning my history. I hope I got it right.

  2. I realize that to some it might seem like a very fine distinction; that the words of these dudes from centuries ago might not be important. I do think that the implications for Christian practice are vast, though...

  3. editorial note: Dr. Warren was not the presenter tonight. He was my doctrine prof @ my evangelical Bible college "back in the day."

  4. <3 I agree. It's amazing how small changes in the way of thinking or speaking can change the course of history and mislead so many people! Shocking and enlightening revelations, huh?

  5. Wow I didn't know this was here Nyleen, well stated. And very informative. ~Jenne


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