06 August 2009

In a nutshell...

A protestant looks at the ecclesial life he experiences and thinks, "How can I improve it?"

An Orthodox looks at the ecclesial life he experiences and thinks, "How can it improve me?"

In this lies the difference between the two, in a nutshell.

5 comments:

Nathan said...

To which, the most zealous of “Protestants” replies:

The one straying from the rule of faith – and hence the Scriptures – looks at the concrete person of Jesus Christ he experiences and thinks, “How can the Church reform Him”, whom I love?

The one clinging to the rule of faith – and hence the Scriptures – looks at the concrete person of Jesus Christ he experiences and thinks, “How can He reform the Church”, which I love?

At least, if the Lutheran view is true, this is what it means, I think.

-Nathan

Fr. Gregory Hogg said...

Nathan,

Your remark doesn't illumine; it obscures.

The terms "protestant" and "Orthodox" are objectively verifiable.

The terms "straying from the rule of faith" and "clinging to the rule of faith," on the other hand, are subjective. Nestorios thought he was clinging to the rule of faith. Ten thousand denominations each considers itself "clinging to the rule of faith-and hence the Scriptures."

Cordially,

Fr. Gregory

Nathan said...

Father Gregory,

Well, I'm not sure if they'd characterize their belief in quite that way, but fair enough.

It seems to me that life is complex, and this bothers us. Therefore, sometimes while we might think we are illuminating we are actually being overly simplistic, ignoring the complexity that is often more obvious to others, perhaps clinging to our own "essences" of this or that word - and hence, in truth, obscuring. We are all guilty of it, some certainly more so (but, desiring certainty in a world with so little of it, to me this seems very understandable). As to the "10,000 denominations" stuff, all I can say is "come and see" (to those Churches treasuring our Confessions that is).

But I know you've probably already "seen enough"... :(

Love in Christ Professor Hogg! Sheila and I are expecting our fourth soon.

In Him,
Nathan

George Patsourakos said...

The difference between the protestant and the Orthodox is this: A protestant believes he is perfect, and it is the ecclesial doctrine that needs to be improved.

On the other hand, an Orthodox believes that his life -- primarily because of his sins -- needs to be improved, and being more faithful to Christ, is a way in which he can improve it.

Nathan said...

George,

That doesn't strike me as a very constructive way to put it either.

I'm a Lutheran and a) don't believe I am perfect, as my life needs to be greatly improved, and b) don't believe ecclesial doctrine needs to be improved, but more clearly defined as the need arises.

~Nathan