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Chapter 2 Below we present Chapter 2 of the thesis, " The Orthodox Teaching on Personal Salvation," by Deacon Victor E. Klimenko, Ph.D., a graduate of the Pastoral School of the Chicago and Mid-America of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. The Pastoral School of the provides a program of study leading to a Diploma in Pastoral Theology (PTh.D), and in Orthodox Studies (OS.D). The program is designed for those who are prevented from attending a theological seminary by their current family or professional situation. It is open to any Orthodox Christian interested in studying Orthodox theology, and Orthodox clergy or laypeople interested in increasing their knowledge of the Faith. For more information on thePastoral School, please see their website. The School has given OrthoChristian.com permission to present several student theses for the benefit of our readers.

Go to Chapter 1 * * * The two main ³bastions´ of Western non-Orthodox Christianity ± Roman Catholicism and Protestantism ± are not as opposite as many tend to think. In Protestantism, we have ³a legitimate, although very insubordinate, offspring´ of Latinism.[1] Protestantism ³did not re-establish ancient Christianity, it only replaced one distortion of Christianity with another«´[2] Many characteristic features of the Roman Catholic and Protestant approaches to personal salvation stem from the same historic background. 2.1 St. Augustine¶s radical teaching on original sin as the heart of the Western non-Orthodox theology of personal salvation. St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), ³perhaps, the most important writer of the Christian West´, was a bishop in Roman North Africa. The legalistic view of salvation ± that has truly become a ³trademark´ of Western Christendom ± would not have been possible without his theology of original sin that had grown out of his famous dispute with Pelagius, ³a British ascetic who lived
St Augustine refuting a heretic, New York, Morgan Pierpont Library, (a C13th Book of Hours)

c. 350-425 and taught in Rome as a well-respected moral preacher and biblical commentator.´[3] The dispute started with St. Augustine¶s publication of his Confessions ± an autobiography detailing his early spiritual struggles. Pelagius and his circle found two themes in this work to be particularly objectionable ± ³and so began a controversy that was to mark all of Augustine¶s later life, and cause him to elaborate a profound and careful doctrine of grace that would become determinative for Western Catholicism.´[4] First of all, St. Augustine was ³setting forth the idea that in fallen man any dependent freedom to do good has been completely annihilated, unless grace comes to his aid.´[5] In many examples from his early days as a Christian he ³seemed to suggest that his moral will was rendered impotent in the face of so many difficulties, and he could only be saved when God came to his assistance and gave him the saving grace to be converted.´[6] Pelagius countered this ³fatalist´ view of salvation with an ³optimist´ one ± emphasizing his belief that, while God did give grace to humans, ³his primary grace was the freedom to choose and respond. Those who chose the path of goodness would be given further encouragement by God to progress in the spiritual life.´[7] His teaching ± while not immediately standing out as non-Orthodox ± was still dangerously bordering on turning ³Christianity into a simplistic cult of moral ³self-improvement´´, where sin and sinfulness were seen solely as a matter of one¶s conscious moral choice. This difference in St. Augustine¶s and Pelagius¶ views on the process of one¶s salvation was rooted in their difference of views on Adam¶s sin. St. Augustine saw Adam¶s sin as ³a deliberate preference of human pride to the law of God« which then became endemic to the human race. Sin«was in the very bones of the race, as it were, transmitted to the species as a whole´, almost like an infection. As a result, ³the human race¶s capacity for free moral choice was so damaged« that even the desire to return to God has first to be supplied by God¶s prevenient grace.´[8] Pelagius denied the inheritance of Adam¶s sin by humans. He taught that people are born innocent, with a pure and incorrupt nature ± the same as Adam¶s ± but fall into sin because of their moral freedom, thus producing their own personal ³version´ of the fall ± again, the same as Adam¶s ± however, the effects of this fall can be completely erased through one¶s moral effort. In Pelagius¶s view, ³disease and death are characteristic of this nature from the creation, and are not the consequences of original sin.´[9]

Eventually, St. Augustine ³won´ the dispute, as Pelagianism was condemned at the Third Ecumenical Council. The Orthodox East largely stayed out of this controversy, seeing the dispute as a local Western affair and both theologies as opposite extremes. As we already mentioned in Chapter 1, the Orthodox position could be, in a way, seen as a compromise between the Augustinian and the Pelagian views: that in the process of our salvation, our human free will cooperates with Divine grace. St. Augustine¶s exaggeratedly negative teaching on original sin and its consequences for human freedom and spiritual capacity ± clearly a theologumenon not supported by Patristic consensus ± became nonetheless the dominant teaching and, eventually, the doctrine of the Western (Roman Catholic) Church. The main problem is that ³the Western notion [of original sin] compromises the spiritual goal of man, his theosis«´[10] 2.2 Roman law and secular customs as the foundation of the Western non-Orthodox theology of personal salvation. From Apostolic times, the Christian Church in the West was developing in the highly legalistic Roman society and undoubtedly bore its imprint. Law was ³the main element´ of the Roman culture and ³defined all its familial, social and state relations. Religion was not an exception ± it was one of the applications of law. When becoming a Christian, it was from this side that a Roman citizen would try to understand Christianity: in it he was seeking first of all, juridical consistency.´[11] A typical young person in the medieval West would learn Latin first, before anything else. And the way one learned Latin then was through studying the best Latin texts available. Those would typically be the speeches by the best orators ± who invariably were courtroom lawyers. So, before one would get to study the Gospels, written in Latin, he would already have been immersed in legal terminology and a legalistic way of thinking for years. So it would be natural for him to start looking at the Gospels as would a lawyer: the world as courtroom, with God as the judge, man as the accused, devil as the accuser, and Christ as the advocate. The law says that the punishment for sin is death. Wishing to defend man, Christ tells the Judge: don¶t kill him, kill me instead. So, according to this legalistic picture, God the Father agrees to kill His Son instead of man ± and thus to forgive man.[12] This simplistic but convincing (on the human level) picture would also fit very well with the customs existing in medieval Western society. ³The Latin-

you heal it. once offended by Adam. Doing good works became the way for a believer to bring satisfaction to God. non-Patristic view of good works naturally led to further distortions of the Christian teaching in the Roman Catholic Church: most importantly. ³Kirie eleison´ ± in which the Greek word eleison means ³to anoint with oil in order to heal´ ± never received a Latin translation. the main Orthodox prayer. the sin of Adam was seen by medieval Roman Catholicism as an infinitely grave offense against God which caused His wrath ± which. restorable by shedding the blood of the offender. a violation of law ± while in the Patristic theology. How does one acquire personal salvation? Here the legalistic mindset found support in the fact that one of the dominant analogies used in the Holy Scripture when talking about salvation is the one of labor and reward. manifested itself in the removal from man of the supernatural gift of God¶s grace. with his nature not harmed as a result of his fall but brought into disorder: the flesh would now dominate over the spirit. a trauma: you do not justify sin. dragging man deeper into sin and eventual death. prompting him to stop looking for any other foundation of the Christian soteriology. in turn. The aforementioned Augustinian teaching on the spreading of Adam¶s sin to the whole human race grew to mean the passing of Adam and Eve¶s infinite guilt before God to every human. So what should a believer do to bring it to God? ± or.Protestant concept of the Redemption as the revenge of the Divine Majesty. Man found himself in his original ³natural´ condition ± that is. This non-Orthodox. then there was nothing to heal.´[13] In other words. sin is always seen as a wound. the concept of indulgences (that is. Here it is important to emphasize that in the West.[14]) For the sins committed by a Christian after his baptism ± that is. . so what did He do then? ± was resolved by legalistic soteriology in the following way: Christ brought satisfaction to God the Father for the sin of Adam. this view would immediately supply to a Western Christian the juridical consistency of the theology of salvation he wanted to see. the additional guilt which was not paid for by Christ ± God also needs satisfaction. (Not surprisingly. buying from the spiritual ³treasury´ of the Church the ³extra´ good works done by the Saints) ± that can be credited with bringing about the Protestant Reformation. The ensuing difficulty concerning the objective side of salvation ± if Christ assumed the pure essence. on Jesus Christ« grew out of the feudal notion of knightly honor. the very concept of sin grew to mean ³guilt´ ± a crime. Easily understandable on the human level.

but that does not save him. faith and knowledge. Faith was being turned into knowledge. as a separate field of learning. Scholasticism tried to answer questions posed by Revelation: Why did God become human? How is Christ present in Eucharist? Etc. Scholasticism would not touch the content of the faith ± whether correct or incorrect ± and would treat it as absolute truth. The brilliance and . Its job was to process. 2. while Protestantism teaches that Christ brought satisfaction for all the sins of mankind. The devil knows about God better than any theologian. it has been known to the Christian Church from the beginning that mere knowledge about God does not mean communion with God. the truths of revelation would receive their basis and explanation in human reason and logic ± and thus become the subject of knowledge. Human mind and logic were given complete freedom to produce all kinds of dialectic formulas explaining and proving every point of faith.[15] Scholasticism developed as a method of learning that placed an emphasis on dialectical reasoning. and not faith.3 Medieval scholasticism: replacing faith with the knowledge of God. Scholasticism polluted theology with a plethora of mundane and sometimes nonsensical matters. However. in the 11th-12th centuries. assimilate. All theological interests revolved around the study of the Holy Scripture. However. the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle spread in the West and spurred interest in society in abstract science ± which infiltrated theological matters as well. scholasticism sought to unite Christian revelation and Greek philosophy. presented in excruciating detail. Protestantism was unable to overcome the ³forensic´ view of personal salvation and instead radicalized it: the difference of the Protestant (Lutheran) soteriology from the Roman Catholic one is that Catholics teach that Christ brought satisfaction to God the Father for the original sin only. Revelation gave the material for theology. a variation of the same concept of reward was offered: salvation is yours once you bring to God your faith in Christ. Applied to Christian theology. As to personal salvation. did not yet exist in the West.Having developed in the same Western society and having legalistic Roman Catholicism as a ³father´. theology. prove and order the material given by Revelation. The job of philosophy was to present all these pieces in their complex interrelationships. as one theological system. while philosophy gave the form. As a result. with the primary purpose of resolving contradictions. And as if the excessive legalism was not enough« Up to the 10th century.

as everybody is welcome to take a shot at analyzing the ³scientific´ facts presented in the Bible and constructing his own ³scientific´ theory of salvation based on them. . Scholasticism died off by the beginning of the 16th century but left a long-lasting imprint on Western theology. In particular. The 13th and the early 14th centuries are generally seen as the high period of scholasticism. indulgences. will be addressed in more detail in the subsequent sections. In the 14th century scholasticism evolved into dark and empty formalism. In the moral sphere. the rule of scholasticism lifted the form of theology above its content and became the door to the understanding of the dogmatic teaching of the Church.´ The desire by the scholastic mind ³to nail down´ the question of the fate of those who died in repentance but had not yet brought fruits of it produced the concept of purgatory. scholasticism should be credited for the existence of tens of thousands of Protestant denominations disagreeing with one another in terms of doctrine.[16] with the Church being a natural ³financial institution´ to control these ³transactions.) The Holy Fathers never had the attitude that everything in Christian teaching can be analyzed and figured out. Three of those new dogmas ± the result of an attempt to ³systemize´ the dogma of Redemption ± became of paramount importance in Roman Catholic theology: the merits of the saints. Thus scholasticism helped raise a multitude of incorrect teachings from an embryonic form or a private opinion to the level of dogma.resourcefulness of the answer often trampled the theological essence of the question. The first two in this list are the result of a scholastic taking to the extreme the concept of mutual love and help among the members of the Church: the merits of one (a saint) could be imputed on another (who is lacking them). where one is paying God with temporary sufferings. (Various Protestant theological ³gimmicks´. The actual living faith ± as well as anything that would not fit the scholastic models ± was rejected. In general. Many questions were left ³unresolved´ ± such as the question of to whom Christ brought Himself as a sacrifice. and purgatory. An honest answer to another ³tough´ question (one which prompted Calvin to come up with his theology of pre-destination) ± ³Why did God create those about Whom He knew that they would choose sin?´ ± is: we do not have the fullness of Revelation about it. it produced a number of new dogmas pertaining to salvation within the Roman Catholic Church. In the modern era. fueled more by the ³makes sense/does not make sense´ type of ³analysis´ than anything else. scholastic hair-splitting was even used to justify crimes.

one can see that the Roman Catholicism and Protestantism each have their ³favorite´: the former puts an emphasis on ³redemption. ³the Kingdom of God´. fear of falling away. although there are recognizable and recurrent themes by which it was approached.) 2.´ ³Christ's incarnation. repentance. the preferred Patristic term is ³keeping God¶s Commandments´ (which are not necessarily external acts. ³deification´ (³divinization´ or ³theosis´).2. putting on the new nature. divinization. confidence in God's love and mercy. . There is no tendency to pick one aspect of salvation ³to reinterpret everything else to fit´. ³soteriology was never something that became a specific focus of attention in early Christian history. ³likeness to God´.) In general. and reconciliation« In the Latin West many of the earlier wide range of soteriological images came increasingly to be restricted until the ideas of redemptive sacrificial substitution predominated. the West picked one Scriptural image (legalistic) out of a multitude and built an entire theological system around it. ³acquisition of the Holy Spirit´. ascension. The Orthodox approach to salvation can be termed as ³integrative. descent into hades.4 Purging the teaching of the Church on salvation of its complexity. the so-called Social Gospel movement. redemption. However. ³holiness´. This is. carrying our cross. one of the key terms of the Western theology of salvation ± ³doing good works´ ± is the result of another such narrowing down of a Patristic theological concept: in this case. In Apostolic and Patristic thought the term ³salvation´ is used interchangeably with terms like ³the Kingdom of Heaven´. ³adoption´. . the biggest flaw of the legalistic-scholastic approach to the teaching on salvation that developed in the West. etc. ³redemption´.´[17] Furthermore. As such it was never specifically defined in the dogmatic or conciliar traditions.5 Replacing the content of personal salvation with one image used by the Scripture to describe it. . running the race. death. ministry. modern Protestantism is very non-dogmatic[19] and tends to replace the ³old´ concepts pertaining to one¶s internal spiritual struggle with an external code of behavior (for example. All these terms are synonymous. . resurrection. . Likewise. baptism. victory. our sinfulness. notably illumination.´[18] In other words. ³doing to the least of these´. purification. perhaps.´ and the latter on ³justification´ ± with these aspects of our salvation stressed at the expense of all others.

Throughout the history. for example. authoritarian earthly king because that is something people could understand very well.´[21] ³Ye are bought with a price´ (1 Cor. 3) ransoming from slavery. etc. wrath. For this reason the Divine truths had to be presented in the way that would be easy to understand by a pagan mind and logic ± as well as by people of the lowest ranks of the society. ransoming from hades. ransoming from slavery to the devil. namely« 1) ransoming from captivity. For example. St. 2) ransoming from prison. John Chrysostom ± perhaps.´ All three have counterparts in Christian theology: ³ransoming from the captivity of sin. For this reason. by ³redemption´ they understood the reconciliation of mankind to God and adoption by Him. in many places in his works we see St. ± which the Scriptures themselves condemn! God uses these images of Himself as a tough. Thus ³redemption´ was understood as a manifestation of God¶s love for . for what and how much one would receive for every action. more than any other Holy Father ± had to rely on this kind of ³financial´ language because in his pastoral practice he often had to confront heartlessness and selfishness towards poor people. as bought slaves belong to their Master.The legalistic approach had been known to theology before ± and it is not illegitimate. for debts. For example. ³Christ has acquired us for Himself so that we might belong to Him entirely.[22] There is no doubt that these quotes ± and even more so the similar passages from the works of the Western Fathers ± were used for support by the legalistic theologians. the Holy Scripture has been often preached to people having a pagan religious mentality. the one of salvation as ³ransom´ was very powerful because ³in those times the world knew three forms of ransoming people [Greek verb lytro-o]. Among other everyday images we find in the Scripture. revenge. 6:20. They both express the word of God and point to the same consistent view on the essence of salvation that the Church has always held. But the Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition are not a mere collection of quotations. a multitude of Scriptural quotes may be given that contain anthropomorphic descriptions of God ± including descriptions of passions like hate.´[20] Another powerful term used by the Apostles is the Greek verb agorazo ± to buy for oneself at a marketplace (Greek agora). John¶s ³inclination´ to calculate when. 7:23). The Holy Fathers were always careful about using this earthly imagery when describing matters of salvation.

According to St. A ³legal´ relationship. Secondly. That. the collective ³debt´ of our ³side´ of the agreement is constantly growing. but have everlasting life´ (John 3:16). the concept of salvation as ³ransom´ prompted the theologians to ask further questions like. that he gave his only begotten Son. This is supported by the words of the Apostle: ³For God so loved the world. of course. being self-sufficient. once and for all liberating it from the power of the devil. The Roman Catholic theology of salvation presents God as interested more in the ³letter´ of the law. non-Biblical image of God. Finally. The legalistic worldview is unable to explain the ³agreement´ in which one of the sides has no practical interest in having its ³demands´ met by the other. Symeon the New Theologian. while we are unable to pay it.[24] First of all. ³To whom was that ransom offered?´ To this particular question. God. a ³legal´ union between God and man ± taken as the essence of the Gospel ± is nonsensical in its core and fails its own test on multiple accounts.6 Accepting an absurd. the afore-mentioned analogies of ransom. Likewise. neither shadow of turning´ (James 1:17). that whosoever believeth in him should not perish. 2. as the whole of humankind continues to sin. Anselm of Canterbury (1033 ± 1109). this is a one-of-a-kind agreement. Western theologians developed this dogma further by using it to explain many other theological points connected to it. Needless to say. in the visible side of our ³agreement´. as there is nothing we have that is not already God¶s. For example. According to the Patristic view. does not need anything from us. because not only the debt holder is going out of His way to help the debtor ± but the debtor considers the debt holder obliged to reward him (the debtor) for trying to pay his debt. of labor and reward came to be seen in the West as the dogmatic expression of the very essence of salvation. God¶s love is the only reason for Christ¶s sacrifice on the Cross. in Whom there is ³no variableness.man ± and not a demand for a payment in a state of wrath. both of these views present a flagrant contradiction to the dogmatic teaching of the Church about God as Truth and as Unchanging God. than in its essence: God cannot see our deeds as ³merits´ but agrees to accept and reward them as such. one of the founders of scholasticism. Christ brings the mankind redeemed by Him as a gift to God.[23] While being legitimate images to explain particular aspects of salvation. the ³reward´ we get from God ± eternal salvation ± is immeasurably higher than any ³labor´ on Earth with which we could pay for it. ³Concerning God one cannot say that any kind of . Protestants do not seem to have a problem with believing that God agrees to accept a sinner as sinless because of Christ. Thirdly. gave the answer ³to God´. meant a multitude of compromises with the Patristic teaching in favor of the scholastic ³success´.

it is in act of change in God! This concept of a deity changing from wrath to mercy is characteristic of paganism. but is given by God. for holiness ± but. having promised us eternal bliss.[27] Neither Roman Catholics nor Protestants will deny that they are longing for God. Thus salvation is not an act of change of man. But where does this faith come from? It is from God.[26] Calvinists do not seem to be bothered by the fact that they are worshipping the ³loving´ and ³just´ God Who created some of His children (in His image!) with the sole intent of subjecting them to eternal damnation. While Orthodoxy states ± on a dogmatic level ± that one cannot be saved without his own . This attitude of man towards God is devoid of love.process is being performed in Him. if one¶s faith does not depend on himself. He appears to be more of a tyrant ± solely and arbitrarily deciding who lives and who dies. change of appearance. progress or anything of the like.7 Reviving the pagan concept of God and man¶s relationship to Him. The doctrine of ³satisfaction of God¶s justice´ is not only non-Patristic but also offensive. Here we approach the most fundamental difference between the Western non-Orthodox and Patristic Orthodox soteriology: for Roman Catholics and Protestants it is not man who is changing ± it is God Who changes His attitude towards man. He takes away from us all earthly pleasures? Other aspects of the Western theology of salvation also sharply contradict the traditional Christian concept of God as a loving Father. like in pagan religions. their idea of salvation boils down to the desire to avoid punishment. Most importantly. God predestined some for perishing. evolution. Man profoundly damaged himself as a result of his fall ± and brought upon himself sickness and death ± but God is mostly concerned with satisfaction for man¶s ³insult´? Is He also so petty that.´[25] God¶s attitude toward man does not evolve. And justification is determined by this faith in Christ. the Western concept of God is fused with the pagan concept of man as a ³dummy´ in the hands of God. then God is guilty of the deaths of all those to whom He did not give faith! This is what Luther could not utter ± but Calvin did! According to Calvin. What is the ³saving faith´ in Lutheranism? It is a strong agreement with and reliance on the Church¶s preaching about Christ. The concept of God as tyrant Who can be and has to be appeased (³satisfied´) is not simply the result of scholasticism run amok ± it is also familiar and very appealing to a pagan inside each of us that we are called to conquer. whether of growth. One can say that Christ Himself is present in this faith. So. 2. the Lutherans say.

the descendants of the early Church¶s Judaizing sect of Ebionites. is tempted by the Nestorian extreme. That is to say. Calvinism in particular is also a revival of the Judaism-like attitude towards Christians as a people chosen for a special mission: in Judaism it is by blood. in terms of its overall volume. they looked on the Christian teaching as a supplement to the law of Moses. keep the Jewish law. these ³Christians´ frenziedly began studying it«The Bible. he does not take the Incarnation in earnest. consists of the Old Testament. All Protestants are. Protestantism can be seen as nothing other than the adaption of Christianity to the desires of a fleshly man: the desire to keep the idea of God but at the same time not to disturb the pagan in yourself..9 Reviving the ancient heresies defeated by the Church. Thus the Judaizing sects made their appearance« The commandments given on Sinai became more important than the Gospel teaching«´[29] 2. a result of the doctrine of Sola Scriptura ± that sees the Bible as a sole source of authority for Christian faith. they thought of the Old and New Testaments as two equivalent sources of the same Faith. became a constant reference book« They began to lose a sense of proportion. Protestantism was bound to struggle between the extremes of old (and already resolved by the Church) dogmatic disputes ± such as the Nestorian-Monophysite controversy of the 5th century. in a way.. ³Left with the Holy Scriptures only. Calvinism is indeed very similar ± in cult. they demanded of all Christians the strict fulfillment of the law of Moses. three quarters of which. as mutually supplementing each other. Their temples ± with the services devoid of any sacramental meaning and having an emphasis on the study of the Scriptures ± are essentially synagogues.´[28] While modern Protestants do not. 2. the balance between the use of the Old and the New Testaments in their worship has been severely distorted in favor of the Old Testament. of course. This is a false humility that opens the door to a full-fledged pagan life.8 Reviving the Judaic mentality. Having rejected the Tradition of the Church. once again. who ³considered Jesus Christ to be a prophet like Moses. Protestantism is trying to strip one of any responsibility for his salvation by offering a soteriology that devalues humans as free creatures who make choices that can potentially affect their salvation. ³Modern man. deliberately or subconsciously. as two completely equal aspects of it. On the human level. This was. He does not dare to believe that Christ is a divine person. He .participation. and in essence ± to Judaism. Those who have been chosen for salvation can be identified by an unmistakable external sign in the form of good works. in Calvinism by faith.

the relationship of the Father to the Son defines the Father¶s relationship to us. resurrect the righteous only. God is covering the sins remaining in us (Lutheran terminology!) by the perfect righteousness of Christ. and establish a kingdom on earth in which the righteous. defeat the Antichrist.10 Replacing personal salvation as internal moral conversion with a fictitious external ³legal´ act. as a reward for their struggles and sufferings. For example. One can even say that God the Father does not know us and does not see us ± except in connection with His Son and what His Son has done. We have seen above. and receive in return a reward of eternal salvation. He is saving us not because He loves us (John 3:16 is somehow forgotten!) but because of the righteousness of Christ. stipulating. Salvation is seen as ³some sort of negotiated agreement between us and the Godhead. there is no need to insist that the merit of Christ is imputed to us and serves as a payment for our sins. when man is reduced to complete passivity and is allowed only to listen and to hope. that the Apostles and Holy Fathers never saw our forgiveness as a merely external act. for reasons unknown. Adventists. Anabaptists. only assisted by God.´[33] One is ³justified´ with all his sins intact because of someone else¶s (Christ¶s) righteousness (³imputed alien righteousness. The fact that our faith can be poor does not really matter. He is more interested in human psychology of the Redeemer than in the mystery of the divine love« On the other extreme we have in our days a revival of "monophysite" tendencies in theology and religion.wants to have a human redeemer. Christ will once again return to earth. One word that can describe the Protestant idea of salvation is pronouncement: a sinner is pronounced righteous by God.´[30] Virtually every heresy defeated in the early Church and the Church of the era of the Ecumenical Councils can be found in the teachings of modern Protestant sects.´[31] 2.´[32] ³In this understanding. Christ¶s death does not destroy sin but just liberates man from being responsible for it. enjoying all the good things of temporal life. when we talked about baptism. Swedenborgians and others have resurrectedchiliasm (known today as ³millennialism´) ± the heresy associated with the name of Apollinarius. If we are truly cleansed from sin. that we accept certain obscure statements and rules. Bishop of Laodicea. according to which ³long before the end of the world. .´) According to the Protestant teaching. will reign with Him for a period of a thousand years.

However. one just has to observe the external conditions of the union. as they diminish the merit of Christ. on-going participation in the life of the Church: repentance. he just needs to keep the Commandments in order to get a reward. human efforts are ³even dangerous. salvation as liberation from one¶s sins themselves is naturally replaced by the legalistic view of salvation as liberation from the punishment for one¶s sins. confession. ³Someone up there agreed to look at you as sinless even though you are still sinful. industrialized. One of the ³undercurrents´ of Protestantism was the need of the post-medieval Europe for ³Christianity lite´ that would do away with the strict moral requirements preventing one from enjoying the new ³blessings´ of life in a rich. he finds that ³one is based upon the concept of Christian perfection.´[34] The forensic concept of justification simply does not offer one any meaningful goals for his spiritual life. receiving the Eucharist. or holiness.´[35] This cold attitude of a mercenary who expects a reward for the bounty he brings (to a deity) invariably leads one to the minimalist attitude towards his spiritual life. When enjoyment replaces holiness as the goal of one¶s life. A believer is essentially told. Furthermore. baptism. that having been justified. such closeness is not presumed and not required.The main consequence of such a view of salvation for one¶s spiritual life is that it eliminates any requirements for it. one is called upon to lead a righteous life out of gratitude for the received salvation. In reality this does little to change the fact that one¶s spiritual life is perceived as ultimately unimportant because it does not influence the fact of whether one is saved or not.´[36] ³I think one can construct from the Church Fathers a ³normal´ Christian life: instruction. and from this standpoint evaluates the present reality. If one compares the Orthodox and the Western Christian teaching on salvation.´ Protestants will be quick to add though. rapidly developing society. But it is rare that you will find them attempting to answer the question ³What can I get by with and still be saved?´ or ³How far can one be from this ³norm´ and still be saved?´´[37] This ³soteriology´ is about finding a simplistic ³instant solution´ to one¶s problems without the ³hard part´: internal conversion. One may not love good and may remain the same old lover of himself. the other is firmly established on the status quo of the earthly life and strives to determine the minimum of religious practice which still allows for salvation ± if eternity truly exists.[38] . One¶s earthly life becomes an automatic and useless ³appendix´ to an already-received salvation. ³the main danger of [the legalistic view of salvation] is that with it one may consider himself having a right not to belong to God with all his heart and mind: in a legal union.

led to the modern Protestant ecclesiology. The Protestant term ³saved´ means ³going to heaven (upon death).Eternal life has already appeared. . The Protestant ³faith only´ doctrine (justification through faith alone) means rejection of the Church ± the Church that. in turn. ³internal´ salvation ± which is the experience of communion with God here and now. as we already mentioned. for which they are promised forgiveness of sins and future eternal life. while the ³visible´ Church on Earth is not necessarily ³true´: in fact. nobody knows how much the ³invisible´ and ³visible´ Churches ³overlap´. This. On some level he has to keep fighting off his conscience that exposes to him his true spiritual condition. Christ founded (Matt. Another effect of the Protestant ³forensic´ soteriology on one¶s soul is spiritual confusion. in the words of St. senseless obedience to the age-old rules and requirements.12 Dismissing the role of the Church in one¶s salvation. and blessed communion with God is obtained by unflinching asceticism right now. which can be summarized in the belief that the ³true´ Church exists only in heaven. as a believer struggling with his sinful inclinations cannot find a true peace through simply being told that he is already saved. but their life is dominated by dejected. 16:17). having ³expressed itself. as Apostle John says.[39] Even the Roman Catholic monasticism is largely lacking in the understanding of one¶s spiritual life as a communion with God that is already taking place. 16thcentury Protestantism was a revival of Donatism ± the 4th-century heresy that preached that the Church must be a church of saints and connected the validity of the Sacraments to the moral state of one performing them ± as part of Luther¶s opposition to Rome was fueled by corruption among the Roman Catholic clergy.11 Leaving one¶s soul¶s thirst unquenched by purging personal salvation of its present-time content. loved and ³gave Himself for´ (Eph. ³«There are ascetics in the West.2. Macarius the Great. to be sure. in many attempts to correct the Catholicism« finally exploded in that horrific upheaval that is called the Reformation.´[40] It was that longing of a soul for true salvation that.´ Needless to say. 5:25). ± all this is unknown to West. the concept of atonement in the afterlife is an accidental product of a legalistic view of salvation and is totally foreign to Christianity. The fictitious ³forensic´ act of salvation simply cannot be tasted in this life.´[41] 2. His soul is left in a state of permanent longing for the real. albeit unsuccessfully. in innumerable sects.

replaced faith with the reasoning of an individual person and replaced the salvation in the Church with a contemplative confidence in salvation through Christ without the Church«´[42] Even though Luther and Calvin split from the Roman Catholic Church. In modern American Protestantism this role of a local church is largely extinct and has been replaced by the ³just me and my Bible´ attitude. In addition to contradictions with the spirit of the Holy Scripture already mentioned ± a loving God Who knowingly creates some of His creatures for eternal torments. earthly Church can err. that it is precisely moral perfection that is the goal of the Christian life ± and not merely the knowledge of God (as Protestants would say) or service to the Church (Roman Catholics). see personal salvation as a reward for something. God Himself gives us moral perfection as a reward. worship. can thus be traced to Donatism (as disrespect of the ³earthly´ Church hierarchy) ± because the Church hierarchy. ³«They would not even understand. Rejecting the notion that salvation can be ³merited´. a true God Who does not see sin as sin. 2. ± the Roman Catholics and Protestants have had a long history of contradictions with their own doctrine of salvation. Ultimately. the Church hierarchy is obviously unimportant as well. the rejection of Tradition and the invention of false teachings like Sola Scriptura. an unchanging God Who changes His attitude toward man. is the keeper of the Tradition. etc. in their opinion. both Catholics and Protestants.13 Persisting in adjustments of an inherently dead-end doctrine. and that is why no denomination can claim having the fullness of Truth. In this worldview. the early local Protestant churches still played an important role: they decided theological matters and were places where one would learn how to read the Bible. ³Protestantism« objected [to the Papacy]: why is the truth given only to the Pope? ± and added: the truth and salvation are open to every individual independently from the Church.Furthermore. for which virtues. let alone agree. nonetheless.´[43] The Orthodox Church supported Protestants¶ criticism of the Papal abuses which became the integral part of the Roman Catholic doctrine of salvation ± indulgences. Every person was elevated into an infallible ³pope´« Protestantism« with its innumerable number of ³popes´ completely destroyed the idea of the Church. founding a new heresy . etc. Protestants believe that the ³visible´. common for all Protestants. as we know. first and foremost ± but Protestant leaders failed to connect with Orthodoxy and went their own way instead.

Protestants have to reject the necessity of doing good works. in the very point of view on the subject. Up to today. ± and did not realize that in the place of those conclusions. as all those who have accepted Christ are saved already.´[45] Protestantism rose against Roman Catholicism¶s mercenary attitude towards good deeds ± however. because the falsehood is not in the conclusions. if they are the consequences of one¶s salvation and thus are produced by the Holy Spirit? Why should one earn anything for the work of the Holy Spirit? This is just one illustration of how Protestantism gets entangled in contradictions with its own doctrine of salvation. they were seeking to explain it with accidental reasons only ± such as the abuses by the hierarchy. others. physical and spiritual. in this life and after it. how can one feel that these good deeds are truly his. For this reason. and thus only replaced one set of distortions with another.´ If one is expected to do any concrete deeds in his spiritual life ± like keeping the Commandments ± it necessarily divides all Christians into those who do and those who do not. Luther¶s doctrine of Sola Gratia (³salvation is by God¶s grace only´) led to the rejection of everything that the Orthodox Church viewed as means to assist the faithful in their salvation: the Church (as the treasury of the Grace of God). but in the foundation itself.´[46] But this makes things only worse. and the Sacraments. etc. just as false. Protestants only found the strength to reject some fruits of it. this necessity remains unjustified in Protestantism from the dogmatic point .upon existing heresy. Lutheranism (in ³The Apology of the Augsburg Confession´ written by Melanchthon) was forced to declare that good deeds earn one ³other rewards. being indignant over that flagrant distortion of Christ¶s truth that they saw in Catholicism. But what can this reward be? It cannot be salvation. its hierarchy. Instead of rejecting this main falsehood. Not only do these rewards still diminish the merit of Christ. And is it even acceptable to desire these earthly things when Christ already gave you eternal life? Does it not make it morally superior to reject these things ± and thus to do no good deeds that earn them? Also. they also put Protestantism in a position morally inferior to Roman Catholicism: at least in Catholicism one does good works to earn salvation ± while in Protestantism one does good works for earthly things. will appear. The legalistic worldview is built on the premise that those who do more are rewarded more than those who do less. those who do more and those who do less. the legalistic view of salvation that the two of them share could not allow Protestants to escape the concept of ³merits.[44] ³«The first Reformers learned to speak and think using the same Aristotle and Cicero as did their Catholic opponents. To be true to their doctrine.

however. this is not much different from the Protestant teaching: the justification remains an external action imparted to a human without any involvement of his will ± and it is thus deprived of any moral value and is unjustified from the very legalistic point of view that both Roman Catholicism and Protestantism insist on. even though it is the grace of God that is the first and main reason for any virtuous deeds. Unlike the Reformers. It involves a supernatural act by the grace of God that imparts internal renewal (that is. Let us assume. holiness) to the soul of a believer for the sake of the merit of Christ. the longing of the human soul for a life of continuing moral perfection forces Protestants to find ³creative´ ways to string the good deeds along as stemming out of feeling thankful to God. Catholics tried to remove this obstacle by proposing that it is the infused grace of God that performs the good deeds through one ± and thus the human will does not create holiness but simply accepts it. did not answer the question of whether one is capable of having any merits or of earning anything before God. But here.´ But in the end. Who receives this holiness? Why do some receive it and some do not? That forced the Roman Catholicism to try to diminish as much as possible the human role in receiving this initial renewing grace to make it truly ³unmerited. the . as evidence of salvation. they said.of view. However. one can keep it and increase it (with God¶s help) and thus increase his reward by his own will. Likewise. etc. the same question arises that was mentioned above with respect to Protestantism: if one¶s deeds are not truly his. This. This is the wall that the legalistic view of salvation is not able to overcome. because it is something that exists outside of the merit of Christ who already earned us salvation. the Roman Catholics have always tried to remain faithful to the many centuries of the Tradition of the One Universal Church whose experience taught that doing good deeds is necessary not just as a consequence. indebted to God. The Roman Catholics did try though. that the initial infusion of righteousness is unmerited and equal for everyone ± however. but first of all as a condition for salvation. how can he earn a reward for them? Roman Catholicism responded by declaring that. God sees one¶s efforts and adds to his holiness. However. the legalistic picture of salvation did not leave the Roman Catholics many ways of retreat in the face of the Protestant criticism that no human merit is possible before God: one¶s holiness imputed by the grace of God can only be seen as a reward for a merit. once again. the Roman Catholic concept of justification is not purely ³forensic´: it is not just a declaration of righteousness but is also an infusion of righteousness.

they made it sound like part of the Christian revelation that one must simply believe.[49] We have already mentioned that the Apostolic and Patristic tradition has always maintained that salvation is a life-long effort. And this brings us back to the same question: if one is not free. and to have truly merited eternal life. how can his deeds be his merits that can earn him anything? Thus Roman Catholicism was unable to explain.human will is the second. in accordance with the Holy Scripture: . In the realm of labor. For example. human will ³transmits´ the grace of God into an actual good deed. In other words. Modern Protestantism offers a never-ending abundance of these novelties. But the downgrading of one¶s efforts to the level of having no bearing on his salvation blatantly contradicts the general teaching of the Scripture and the voice of conscience in one¶s soul.´ and that ³by those very works which have been done in God. [they] fully satisfied the divine law according to the state of this life. But can we really say in this case that human will is free? The answer is no. using legal language. because we have already been justified through the merit of Christ. one ³feels´ that like his own inclination and has to decide whether to do this deed or not. they cannot have any ³justifying power´. the well-known Protestant concept of ³getting saved´ ± as one specific event fixed in time (some even remember the exact time of the day when they ³got saved´!) ± is one of these novelties.14 Introducing theological novelties and redefining the traditional concepts to support new doctrines. The expression ³getting saved´ is actually not found in the Scripture. it is the legalistic framework that is the main problem faced by the Roman Catholic and Protestant theology of personal salvation ± not the details of their teaching. the necessity of one¶s participation in his salvation. At the same time.´[47] In other words. merits and rewards. The Council of Trent simply declared that even though ³Jesus Christ Himself continually infuses his virtue into the said justified« we must believe that nothing further is wanting to the justified. human deeds are entitled to a reward. Whenever the grace of God directs itself towards a good deed.[48] As was already said above. While one can always claim that his doctrine is not new but simply removes later distortions to the Apostolic doctrine ± as the Reformers have declared ± a sure sign of this claim not being true is a number of theological novelties that this doctrine has produced in order to prop itself up. Roman Catholics and Protestants simply use different ways to disguise this inconvenient fact. 2.

etc.´ Once you experienced it ± ³faith´. It is important to understand what the Apostles and Holy Fathers meant by the word ³faith´. In other words. the Orthodox Church. etc. that is ± you are saved. it looks at it as ³conversion´ and not ³faith´. Such a realization (³feeling´. ³justified´. It was born out of the necessity to reconcile the ³faith only´ doctrine with the fact that the Scripture says quite a lot about the importance of good works. etc. In other words. In Apostolic times ³faith´ meant the opposite to remaining a pagan or a Jew. the conversion experience is seen by Orthodoxy as just the very beginning of the journey towards salvation ± that by no means guarantees it.) is what Protestants call ³faith. According to Protestantism. In Patristic times ³faith´ also came to signify one¶s belonging to the true Church. The Protestant concept of ³good works´ as something that demonstrates that one has already achieved salvation is an attempt to fill a Scriptural concept with a novel theological meaning. ³faith´ meant the entire Christian lifestyle. Judaism. or a heretical sect ± and adhering to all of her teaching ± was what constituted ³faith´. While the Orthodox Church sees the aforementioned spiritual experience as legitimate and vitally important in one¶s life. Needless to say.[50] The Protestant concept of ³faith´ is an example of redefinition of traditional Christian terminology ± that one has to be watchful about when dealing with Protestants. If an outsider presses an evangelical Protestant to explain what exactly that ³act of salvation´ is and why they believe it happened to them on some particular day ± he will be dealt another theological ³gimmick´: salvation as« realization that you are saved. This being in the true Church ± as opposed to paganism. one cannot be expected to do works to be saved because he is already saved through his faith ± hence the ³solution´: it is necessary for one to do .³Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling´ (Philippians 2:12). Another example of redefinition of terminology is the term ³born again´ ± used by Protestants to refer to someone who used to be a nominal Christian but became a true believer through a conversion-like experience.[51] The Church never understood ³faith´ as simply a passive mental conviction in the truth of the Gospel. one is saved the moment he felt acceptance of the fact that Jesus Christ had died for his sins. ³«to us who are being saved´ (1 Corinthians 1:18).) of having been ³saved´ (³redeemed´. Jesus Christ does use this term in His conversation with Nicodemus but He refers specifically to baptism (John 3:3-7). This is also often termed as ³accepting Christ as personal Savior´ and/or ³asking Jesus to come into your heart´. the entire spiritual life of one belonging to the true Church. ³trust´.

they say.[53] Any attempt to treat the Scripture differently ± for example. that faith without works is dead?´ (James 2:20). Martin Luther ± in accordance with his conviction that any individual can be divinely inspired to interpret the Scripture on his own ± judged the Scripture based on whether it felt right to his ³spirit. There are multiple ways in which Protestants interpret the Scripture± some of them deliberately. This is truly a theological ³sleight of hand´: seemingly staying true to the Scripture yet asserting something contradictory to it. Even the Last Judgment ± that will ultimately decide whether one is saved or not based on his works ± gets a whole new meaning in Calvinism. Jesus will be judged for those sins. He famously inserted the word ³alone´ (allein) after the word ³faith´ in his translation of Romans 3:28: ³«A man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.´[55] Indeed. my brethren. The founder of Protestantism himself. Luther felt that he had a license to edit the Scripture. realized that his ³faith only´ doctrine just did not agree with what St. and have not works? can faith save him?´ (James 2:14).works« to demonstrate that he is really saved. ³Luther. as the ³message from God´ addressed personally to every individual ± leads to distortions of unpredictable magnitude.´ He did not consider the book of Revelation as Apostolic and admitted that his ³spirit´ ³could not stand this book. some not ± to find support for their doctrine of personal salvation. The Orthodox Church has always maintained that the Scripture was written by the Church for the Church ± and thus can only be interpreted in the Church. Simply put.[52] One can only wonder how this is compatible with the fact that it is Jesus Christ Who will do the judging. so Luther declared that the book of James is not a canonical part of the Bible. more realistic than today¶s Protestants. what we have in the book of James is the repeated refutation of the ³faith only´ doctrine in plain language: ³What doth it profit. though a man say he hath faith. James wrote. 2. The judgment will only determine where they will be in the Kingdom of Heaven.´ [54] He also did not believe in the Apostolic authorship of the book of Hebrews and the epistles of James and Jude. O vain man. Yes. ³Wilt thou know. ³Ye see then how that by works a man is justified. ³Then what about the sins that the ³elect´ committed after they were ³justified´? Will anyone be judged for them?´ Protestants respond with another theological novelty.15 Misreading. . the salvation of the ³elect´ does not depend on this judgment. One may ask. manipulating and editing the Scripture.´ He also struggled with the book of James.

translated this verse ³God wills that all be assisted. We will look at just one telling example here.) For what he says elsewhere (1 Timothy 4:8) always holds good ² that bodily exercise profiteth little. 1 Corinthians 9:27. So . and shunned delicacies. however. The main thing. he is also making it clear that his own salvation is not a ³done deal´ to him. I myself should be a castaway´. treat the body so as to make a slave of it. so faith without works is dead also´ (James 2:26). to mean ³treating in a servile manner. John Calvin downplays the asceticism that the Apostle advocates: ³«in my opinion the Apostle has employed the word here. [58] In his commentary on this verse. who took the ³severe´ position on predestination. however. so as to occasion injury. and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. In Calvin¶s point of view. when I have preached to others. No mention. to others. to smite so as to cause bruises and livid spots. must have made the Reformers uncomfortable. and farther.´[56] One of the less radical methods of the leaders of the Reformation in dealing with the ³inconvenient´ passages of the Scripture is mistranslation of the original Greek text. With respect to his body the Apostle uses the Greek word hupopiazo ± which means ³to beat black and blue. that it may not. Another verse that bothered Luther was that God ³will have all men to be saved. keep us back from the duties of piety.´ Those before and after him who teach his view on predestination (such as John Calvin) have had to twist (if not mistranslate) this text. and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means. was wanting in them. it is not objectionable to ³enslave´ our bodies to some extent ± but only because our fleshly desires may get in the way of ³our duties of piety´ or because we may ³injure or offend others´.and not by faith only´ (James 2:24). for they did not apprehend why it was that the Apostle enjoins this. he uses this passage to attack the Orthodox monasticism: ³The ancient monks. that we may not indulge it. or offense. because they lost sight of another injunction ± to take no concern for our flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof (Romans 13:14. by its wantonness. ³As the body without the spirit is dead.´ (1 Timothy 2:4) ³Luther. with a view to yield obedience to this precept contrived many exercises of discipline. because here not only does Apostle Paul talk about his ascetic feats as means of achieving salvation. of the fact that our sinful passions get in the way of our own salvation. for they slept on benches. of course.´´[59] Furthermore. Let us.´[57].´[60] Calvin uses the quote from the Apostle¶s Letter to Timothy to make the Apostle sound like he opposed the mortification of the body. they forced themselves to long watchings. ³But I keep under my body.

Man can forbid it. This text alone does not settle the argument. neglect those things which I require from others.here we have an example of how Protestant doctrines are ³supported´ by the Scripture. though very early on they came to realize that by itself this was an insufficient solution to the problems presented by the doctrine of Sola Scriptura« This approach still is the most common one to be found among the less educated Fundamentalists. used by Protestants to ³prove´ that God provides all the work at our conversion.´´[61] Here Calvin is trying to avoid acknowledging the fact that the Apostle was concerned about his own salvation as well ± and instead rewrites the verse in a less ³threatening´ way. ³This approach was no doubt the first approach used by the Reformers.[65] Likewise. For example. as if Apostle Paul was solely concerned with not offending his flock. the Quest Study Bible (NIV) avoids dealing with this issue: ³The debate centers on whether the prize lost is salvation itself or reward for faithful ministry. and a grievous occasion of offense to my brethren. Accordingly. except the Father which hath sent me draw him´ (John 6:44) cannot be taken as a proof of the doctrine of pre-destination because later in the same Gospel Christ says: ³I« will draw all men unto me´ (John 12:32)[67] One of the sincere but still faulty approaches to the Scripture that may lend ³support´ to the Protestant doctrines regarding salvation is taking the Biblical passages literally. Love and obedience are our part. Regarding the second part of 1 Corinthians 9:27. with great disgrace to myself. as if the meaning of the quote is self-evident. Another method frequently employed is simply ignoring an inconvenient passage. and that thus I may not. Was there a chance Apostle Paul was not a true believer? Protestants also frequently take Scriptural quotes out of context. ³Without me ye can do nothing´ (John 15:5).[64] Both offer an argument that those who ³fall away´ are those who probably never truly believed.´ [62] The reader is referred to the articles ³Can believers fall away? (Luke 8:13)´[63] and ³Should we fear falling? (Heb. I strive to conduct myself in such a manner. is talking about ³cooperation between God and man. 6:6)´. in this way ± ³My life ought to be a kind of rule to others. Evangelicals and Charismatics ± ³The .´[66] ³No man can come to me. And what about the second half of Apostle Paul¶s quote? Calvin reads this verse figuratively: ³«It will suit better to view this expression as referring to men. that my character and conduct may not be inconsistent with my doctrine. ³Only believe!´ (Mark 5:36) in reality is addressed not to all Christians but to the ruler of the synagogue and in very special circumstances.

[69] Likewise. which cannot save. publicly confessed Christ as Lord. and compel them to come in. and defended Him when the other thief berated Him. These all are works. without faith in Christ. In rejecting the necessity of works for one¶s salvation. ³By grace are ye saved through faith. not just faith. that they are wrought in God´ (John 3:21)). ³a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law´ (Romans 3:28). that his deeds may be made manifest. 8:29) that the one would make a right use of his free will and the other a wrong.Bible says what it means and means what it says. then Christ is dead in vain´ (Gal. Orthodox say this is based only on God¶s foreknowledge (Rom. them he also justified: and whom he justified. the fact that the Wise Thief died on the cross right after confessing Christ as Lord cannot automatically ³prove´ that he earned his salvation without any works: he publicly repented. Moreover whom he did predestinate. Protestants make no distinction between two kinds of good works: the works produced by God through us (³«it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure´ (Phil.D. this is the only explanation proposed by anyone until the year A. them he also glorified.[70] Calvin¶s concept of ³predestination´ is based on a literal reading of the following: ³For whom he did foreknow.´[71] Calvin¶s concept of ³irresistible grace´ draws its Biblical ³support´ from the literal reading of the parable of a man throwing a feast (Luke 14:16-24): ³«And the lord said unto the servant. for example. ³«he that doeth truth cometh to the light. 5:15-17. Protestants¶ favorite quotes ± ³«By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight´ (Romans 3:20). the fact. that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son. which are needed for our salvation. 6:23) does not automatically mean that this gift cannot be stolen or lost. Non-Orthodox with the ³severe´ view on predestination believe we have no say in this assignment.´[68] However. a view developed by Augustine.´ (Romans 8:29-30) ³Predestination means God¶s preassigning of each person to either be saved or lost.´ (Luke 14:23) The word ³compel´ here does not mean ³an irresistible invitation. them he also called: and whom he called. ³for if righteousness come by the law. that my house may be filled. Go out into the highways and hedges. and that not of . or any forceful constraint of man¶s will´: the Patristic consensus here has been that it simply means ³to bring great pressure on.´[72] An unconstrained. 400. 2:13). straightforward reading of the Scripture often involves lumping together different uses of the same term. who was the first to question free will. and the human-produced ³works of the law´. that salvation is a ³free gift´ (Romans 3:24.´ is an oft heard phrase. 2:21).

still be called an estranged child of scholasticism. ³Not by works of righteousness which we have done. that is] ³overstates the doctrine and might be interpreted to imply that all men are guiltyof Adam¶s sin. lest any man should boast´ (Eph.16 Disregarding the Tradition of salvation accumulated in the Church and replacing it with delusional mysticism. However. this is indeed the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. ± obviously. it could. as it possessed symptoms of the same disease ± namely. In that state one feels the presence of God in his soul. Having fallen away from the Orthodox dogmatic teaching on salvation. looking for ³shortcuts´ to salvation. Mysticism was a movement concurrent with scholasticism[75] and. Using modern translations of the Bible ± as opposed to the Greek original ± to make theological points is not uncommon among modern Protestants.´ The Orthodox teaching on salvation can be traced back to the early Apostolic Church through the uninterrupted continuity of worship and practice. perhaps. Western Christendom also developed a non-Patristic mystical spirituality.yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works. 2.[73] Roman Catholics are also no strangers to drawing support for their teachings related to salvation from mistranslated Scriptural passages. talk about the ³works of the law´ that one performs without guidance from God. Bernard of Clairvaux .´ Mysticism asserted that one can come to the knowledge of God and His Revelation not through dialectic proofs. technically. it is the Orthodox tradition of spirituality ± and not any selection of Scriptural or Patristic quotes ± that delegitimizes the Western doctrines of salvation like ³faith only. The Orthodox Church. etc. For example. but according to his mercy he saved us´ (Titus 3:5). With all that said about the interpretation of the Scripture. but through one¶s spirit ascending to God through the state of ecstasy. The Latin translation of ³«and so death passed upon all men. the Greek original says ³anyone´ (tis) and not ³a man´ ± so it refers to the necessity of baptism for any human being. has never lived in a manner that would have been consistent with later Western doctrines. in ³Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit«´ (John 3:5). 2:8-9). opposed to it. bypassing the ³narrow way. thinking that they are his own and that those works can earn him salvation. not just an adult. for that all have sinned´ (Romans 5:12) as ³in whom all have sinned´ [Adam.´[74] As we know. since the earliest times. and he is filled and illumined by it.

This teaching is Biblical and Apostolic as well: ³Beloved. encouraged one to imagine. Protestantism. believe not every spirit. without discernment. and Thomas a Kempis (15th century) were the most famous proponents of mysticism. a very detailed and graphic picture of Christ¶s sufferings on the Cross ± which was intended to induce in one the feelings of repentance and gratitude. etc. even though it largely eliminated all mystical spirituality ± Orthodox or Roman Catholic ± from its tradition. To the Orthodox. any mystical experience as coming from God. could not help but adhere to non-Patristic mystical practices. without fulfilling God¶s Commandments. the Franciscan friar Bonaventure (13th century). all Western spirituality is what is called prelest¶ in the Russian tradition: the state of spiritual delusion. Apostle Paul warns that ³Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light´ (2 Corinthians 11:14). ³No man putteth new wine into old bottles´ (Luke 5:37). encouragement of ecstatic ³prophesying´. In modern Pentecostalism. it is impossible to achieve communion with God. we encounter conviction in their ³divine´ or ³apostolic´ authority and possession of the ³gifts of the Holy Spirit´.(12th century). as they are much more appealing to human pride and other passions than the ascetic Patristic teaching of ³the narrow way´. With time a practitioner of such mysticism would develop consistent emotional states ± the states of ecstasy ± that would even manifest themselves physically in the form of wounds similar to Christ¶s (stigmata). in fact. and charismatic sects. without repentance. it became characteristic of Roman Catholic spirituality to seek and receive. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God´ (1 John 4: 1-3). Many Protestant denominations were born and developed out of their leaders¶ receiving ³divine´ revelations and ³ordinations´. The medieval teachers of mysticism. non-denominational evangelicalism. . belief in receiving additional ³revelations´ directly from God. However. The Holy Fathers have always warned against deliberately seeking mystical experiences. The starkest contrast between Orthodox and medieval Roman Catholic spirituality is that in Orthodoxy there is no meditation. The Holy Fathers have pointed out that without the struggle with one¶s ³old man´ and passions. speaking in tongues. for example. but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

hanover.xvi.iii. evidence that ³a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit´ (Matthew 7:17). http://bishop. Gregorios.´ http://history.edu/texts/trent/trentall. We also demonstrated that the distortions of this Tradition of salvation in Western Christendom go well beyond theological nuances or purely academic historical interest ± but are.html.hilarion. We pray for our non-Orthodox brothers and sisters to our Lord Jesus Christ ± ³Who will have all men to be saved. internally consistent. Holy. Catholic. and traceable to the teaching of the early One. John. Glory to God for all things! BIBLIOGRAPHY Alfeyev. ³The things which are impossible with men are possible with God´ (Luke 18:27). Mount Athos. Corinthians. ³The canons and decrees of the sacred and oecumenical Council of Trent. in fact.orthodoxia. . and to come unto the knowledge of the truth´ (1 Timothy 2:4) ± that He will guide them to the paths of true salvation.CONCLUSION With God¶s help.ccel. Bishop (now Metropolitan) Hilarion. Greece: Holy Monastery of St. Commentary on http://www. we were able to demonstrate that the teaching on personal salvation held by the entire Orthodox Church today is of Divine origin.org/1_3_3_1. Calvin. and have manifested themselves in a wide range of phenomena having direct implications on one¶s salvation: from virtually purging the believers¶ spiritual life of any practical meaning to presenting them with a blasphemous image of God.org/ccel/calvin/calcom39. and Apostolic Church ± as preserved in the Apostolic and Patristic writings. Theosis: The True Purpose of Human Life. Tainstvo very: Vvedenie v pravoslavnoe dogmaticheskoe bogoslovie (The Mystery of Faith: Introduction to Orthodox Dogmatic Theology). Archimandrite George. from distorting the Scripture to fit the new doctrines to accepting the practices promoting mystical delusion. as well as the Church¶s two-thousand-year cumulative experience of the ³life in Christ´.html. 2006.

org/booklets/english/end_w. Kucharek. The Shepherd. Kuraev.´ http://www.´ http://www.scribd.´ http://jbburnett. A.stjohndc.Elder Cleopa of Romania. Bishop Alexander.com/inquirers/frag_salv. Greece & London.´ http://www. ³Way Apart: the Difference between Orthodoxy and Western Confessions. Paul.com/doc/31364644/Florovsky-Georges-Revelation-andInterpretation. Osipov.krotov.net/theology/apocryphas/nt/hermcom. http://www. Fr.info/spravki/persons/16person/luther.pdf. Luther. ³Salvation by Christ: A Response to the Credenda/Agenda. KY: Westminster John Knox Press. Georges. Thessalonica. The Sacramental Mysteries: A Byzantine Approach. http://www. Casimir A.htm (accessed April 8. 2010). ³Revelation and interpretation. _____. John Anthony.org/Russian/orthhtrdx/e_Antony. Fragapane.´http://www.com/resources/florovsky/1/florovsky_1-1-scripmind.´ http://www. The Westminster Handbook to Theology.htm.org/Russian/homilies/e_HOMSALV. Metropolitan Anthony. McGuckin. Deacon Andrei. http://ministries. Jacobson. Carmen. Interlinear Study Bible. ³Martin http://www.orthodoxinfo.predanie. . ³The Lost Scriptural Mind.tliquest. Hermas. ³End of the World.ru/mp3/Lekcii_professora_Alekseja_Ilicha_Osipova/.stjohndc.html.´ Patristic Mileant.ru/mp3/Lekcii_diakona_Andreja_Kuraeva/. Public lecture on Catholicism.org/isb/. Florovsky. The Truth of Our Faith. http://www.htm#_Toc2662223 9. Ontario: Uncut Mountain Press. 2000. ³Orthodox Teaching on Salvation as Compared to That of Protestants. Alleluia Press. 1976.aspx. 2004. Khrapovitsky.fatheralexander. Public lectures.HTM.predanie. Louisville.searchgodsword.I.

Protopresbyter Michael. Athanasius.ru/Lib/Father2/Kliment8. Brookline. Grand Rapids. Dance.earlychristianwritings. 2010).aspx.ru/earlyfat/fath/IIIage/kipri1.org/booklets/english/old_new_testament_e. MA: Holy Cross Orthodox Press. St.´ http://azbyka. ³The Old Testament in the New Testament Church. Pomazansky. to Saint Paul. The http://www. http://www. 2010). _____. Romanides. CA: Saint Herman of Alaska Brotherhood.fatheralexander. 1994. Clement of Alexandria. . St.ru/otechnik/?Kirill_Aleksandrijskij/poslanie1_k_nestoriyu. On The Incarnation. St.com/inquirers/frjr_sin. Alexander. Crestwood. Hilarion (Troitsky). Of Water and the Spirit: A Liturgical Study of Baptism. http://apologia.com/text/1clement-lightfoot. ³Second Epistle Corinthians´. Frank. St. ³Original Sin According http://www. Vladimir¶s Seminary Press.´ http://www. John S. Constantine. 1974. Stromata. Vladimir Seminary Press. 1998.´ http://www. Dancing Alone: The Quest for Orthodox Faith in the Age of False Religion. _____. Cyprian of Carthage. ³Christianity or the Church?´. MA: Holy Orthodox Metropolis of Boston.fatheralexander. to St.html (accessed April 8.org/booklets/english/christianity_church_e. http://www. St. Cyril of Alexandria.orthodoxinfo. ³Epistle to Nestorius. ³First Epistle to Corinthians. Platina.biblicalstudies.html.´ Schaeffer. Boston.narod. ³Kniga o edinstve cerkvi´ (³Book on the Unity of the Church´).htm.html (accessed April 9. Orthodox Dogmatic Theology: A Concise Exposition. 1984. Clement of Rome. 1994. Michigan: Zondervan.htm. Crestwood. NY: St. O Isaiah: Questions and Answers on Some of the Differences between Eastern Orthodox Christianity and Other Faiths. The Quest Study Bible: New International Version.earlychristianwritings. Schmemann.Platis.com/text/2clementlightfoot.htm. 2000. NY: St.

) Moskva: Izdatel¶stvo Pravoslavnogo Svyato-Tikhonovskogo Bogoslovskogo Instituta. Whiteford.org/ccel/schaff/anf03. First (accessed Apology. http://www. Uspensky. Faith´). Istoriya hristianskoi tserkvi (History of the Christian Church.ru/academia/uspensky/spasenie.ccel. 2010). ³Sola Scriptura: In the Vanity of Their Minds´. Fr.viii.ccel.ii.ru/dictionary/17/sergiy_uchenie_o_spasenii. Stragorodskii. N.html (accessed April 9. ³Epistle to Philippians.xiii.html (accessed April 9. 2010).fatheralexander. 1991.html (accessed May 14. England: Penguin Books.ccel. to a family of scientists. 2010). 2010).xiii.ix.v. Timothy. Grew up atheist ± the situation typical for the 1970s ± 1980s Soviet Union. Vita Victor Evgenievich Klimenko was born in 1971 in Moscow. Talberg. http://azbyka.vii.St. St.org/ccel/schaff/npnf114. St.htm. John Chrysostom. Against Heresies.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.org/booklets/english/sola_scriptura_john_whitef ord.iii.shtml.ccel. Russia.com/text/polycarp-lightfoot. The Orthodox Church. http://www.´ http://www. Ware. 2000. ³Spasenie veroi´ (³Salvation through http://www. Tertullian.htm. London. N. John. http://www.earlychristianwritings. Pravoslavnoe uchenie o spasenii (The Orthodox Teaching on Salvation).lxi. Justin the Martyr.golubinski. The http://www. After graduating from high school.ii. St. Homilies of the Epistle to the Hebrews. Polycarp of Smyrna. Archimandrite (later Patriarch) Sergii.vi. entered the Physics Department of Moscow State University to follow in father¶s footsteps (he is . On Baptism. Irenaeus of Lyons.html (accessed April 10. http://www.html 2010). April 10.

2002. On March 11.. 2004). ibid.D. MD. Ph. The Westminster Handbook to Patristic Theology (Louisville. Since December 2007. In August 1995 left for the U. Upon graduation. for four years. ³Christianity or http://www.a physicist by training). 257. the Church?.D 13 / 05 / 2011 [1] St. ibid. VA... 162. Klimenko. VA. Worked for a small engineering company in Rockville. the post-Communion prayers and occasionally Epistle ± almost exclusively at the English-language services. In July 2002. On August 24. ibid. VA. 162. living in Falls Church.. Married (wife is an Orthodox convert).htm. Senior Analyst at a small scientific consulting company in Dulles. Hilarion. graduated from UVA with a Ph. became a researcher at the P. was baptized by Fr.´ [3] John Anthony McGuckin. Victor Potapov into Orthodox faith. [6] Pomazansky. . [9] Pomazansky. VA. [2] St. In 2002. Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow. in 1993. [5] Pomazansky. On September 14. 162. [4] McGuckin. John the Baptist in Washington. Deacon Victor E. ibid.. in Physics.fatheralexander. with two daughters. moved to Arlington. The following year also started helping with the readings ± the Hours. Started serving in the altar in the Summer of 2005. ibid. ibid.S. to start graduate studies at the University of Virginia (UVA) in Charlottesville. and got married.org/booklets/english/christianity_church_e. Hilarion (Troitsky). 40. 2007 ± the Sunday of the Cross ± tonsured a Reader by Metropolitan Laurus. 257. KY: Westminster John Knox Press. 256. tonsured a Subdeacon by Metropolitan Hilarion. DC. started attending the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of St. [7] McGuckin.. ibid.N. [8] McGuckin. 2008.

375. ibid. [29] Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky.´ http://www.org/booklets/english/old_new_testament_e. ibid. ibid. [12] Deacon Andrei Kuraev.´ http://www. Chapter 1. ibid. [25] Pomazansky. ³Vvedenie´ (³Introduction´). [17] Paul Jacobson. Georges Florovsky. ³Orthodox Teaching on Salvation as Compared to That of Protestants.stjohndc. ³The Old Testament in the New Testament Church.´ Scriptural Mind. 315.htm#_Toc26622239.pdf. [30] Florovsky. Part 1. 205. ibid. [18] McGuckin. ³Way Apart: the Difference between Orthodoxy and Western Confessions. ibid. [24] Stragorodskii. the World.HTM. 206.fatheralexander.´ . [11] Stragorodskii.. [28] Pomazansky. Public lecture http://www. [23] Alfeyev. ³The Lost http://jbburnett. ³End of http://www. [14] Kuraev. Istoriya hristianskoi tserkvi (History of the Christian Church) (Moskva: Izdatel¶stvo Pravoslavnogo Svyato-Tikhonovskogo Bogoslovskogo Instituta. [26] Osipov. Talberg. ibid... 68.´ http://www.. ibid. [19] Fr. [16] Stragorodskii..org/Russian/homilies/e_HOMSALV.. [21] Pomazansky. 165. [33] Alfeyev. ibid. [22] Stragorodskii. ibid.. ibid. on Catholicism. ibid. [32] Khrapovitsky.org/booklets/english/end_w.htm. ibid.ru/mp3/Lekcii_diakona_Andreja_Kuraeva/. [13] Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky). ibid.com/resources/florovsky/1/florovsky_1-1-scripmind.stjohndc. [15] The discussion of scholasticism in this Section is based on N.. [31] Bishop Alexander (Mileant). [20] Pomazansky. ibid. 347-360. 2000).predanie.fatheralexander.htm.org/Russian/orthhtrdx/e_Antony. ibid.[10] Pomazansky. [27] Osipov. ibid.

[52] This is a quote from a Presbyterian pastor... [37] Jacobson. http://www. [39] Stragorodskii. 383. ibid.ccel. ³to pommel´. 61. ³Vera´ (³Faith´). Georges Florovsky. . [41] Stragorodskii. http://www. ibid. ibid.info/spravki/persons/16person/luther. The Apostle undoubtedly refers to the brutal sport of pankration.html. ibid. [35] Stragorodskii.. John Whiteford. [55] Platis.hanover. ³Vvedenie´ (³Introduction´). ³Vvedenie´ (³Introduction´). [58] Translated as ³to buffet´. [45] Stragorodskii. [40] Khrapovitsky.. ibid. [59] John Calvin.xvi.. ³Revelation and interpretation. Chapter 5. [43] Khrapovitsky. 254. 58. respectively. ibid. Parts 1 and 2. ³Vvedenie´ (³Introduction´). ibid. RSV and NIV translations.. [47] ³The canons and decrees of the sacred and oecumenical Council of Trent. [42] St.. ibid. [49] Fr.´ Chapter 16. [46] Ibid. [38] Osipov.. Hilarion (Troitsky).´ http://www.searchgodsword.scribd.[34] Stragorodskii. [54] ³Martin Luther´.com/doc/31364644/Florovsky-Georges-Revelation-and-Interpretation. [51] Stragorodskii. ³Iskuplenie´ (³Redemption´). [56] Platis.. Commentary on Corinthians. [53] Fr.html. and ³to beat´ in ASV.iii. ibid. http://www. ibid. Part 1. Chapter 3.html. [36] Khrapovitsky. [48] The above discussion is based on Stragorodskii. [57] Interlinear Study Bible. [44] Talberg.edu/texts/trent/trentall. ibid.krotov. http://history.org/isb/. ibid. ibid. ibid. ibid. which was a part of the Isthmian Games that Corinth was famous for. ibid. ibid. [50] Schaeffer.org/ccel/calvin/calcom39. private communication. Part 1.

fatheralexander. [61] Calvin. . Their Minds´..htm.... Michigan: Zondervan. ibid.. [67] Platis.[60] Calvin. ibid.. [70] Platis.. [75] Talberg. 1581.. John Whiteford. 61.. [63] Ibid. 1994). [73] Platis. ibid. 57. 80. [64] Ibid. [69] Platis. 56.. ³Sola Scriptura: In the Vanity of http://www. [65] Platis. ibid. ibid. 1431. [72] Platis. ibid. 1665. ibid. [66] Platis. 166. 62. Orthodox Dogmatic Theology: A Concise Exposition. ibid. [62] The Quest Study Bible: New International Version (Grand Rapids. ibid. [68] Fr.. ibid. ibid. 61.. ibid. 62. [74] Pomazansky. 56. 359.org/booklets/english/sola_scriptura_john_whiteford. [71] Platis.