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:: Friday, August 22, 2003 ::

The Nature of Reality

Christine recently wrote an interesting post in which she states (among other things) that "Protestants tend to emphasize words, and Catholics tend to emphasize actions."

This got me thinking about a brief sketch about the nature of reality between Orthodoxy, Catholicism, and Protestantism that someone on the Evangelical-Orthodox Discussion Group posted a few months ago:

In some RC thought, reality is intellectual.

*God as Intellect is emphasized.
*Faith is intellectual assent to propositions.
*The question is, "Who are You?"
*The goal is primarily (not exclusively) to KNOW God.
*Heaven is the beatific vision.

In Protestant thought, generally speaking, reality is volitional.

*God�s will is emphasized, what He says and what He does.
*Faith is trust and loyalty.
*The question is, "What do You want?"
*The most important thing is to OBEY God and thus be in harmony with His will.
*Heaven is where God�s will is perfectly fulfilled and every knee shall bow.

In Orthodox thought, reality is ontological, is being.

*God's Being is emphasized.
*Faith is an identity; it is the answer to the question, �Who am I?� Whatever I truly believe changes who I am.
*The question is: "How can Your Being and mine be joined?"
*The goal is to BE like God.
*Heaven is union with God, shared being.

I have a few problems with this trichotomy. One is that it is too brief. Secondly, it doesn't allow for the actual complexity of each paradigm. Third, one could make a convincing argument that it doesn't really address the main differences between the three ecclesiastical bodies. However, if taken generally, I think it offers an interesting way of looking at where we are coming from on certain issues-- particularly soteriological ones.

:: Karl :: 10:45:00 AM [Link] ::

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