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:: Friday, June 18, 2004 ::

The Elasticity of Orthodoxy

Who owns orthodox theology?

The answer is no one because the truth about reality owns us; or rather, we allow orthodox theology to be our lifeblood and a means to Christ and a path to a more fully conscious acceptance of His Church.

I think it was Fr. Seraphim Rose who noted that "Orthodoxy is not merely a ritual, or belief, or pattern of behavior, or anything else that a man may posses...thinking that he is thereby a Christian and still be spiritually dead; it is rather an elemental reality which transforms a man, gives him the strength to live in the most difficult and tormenting conditions, and prepares him to depart with peace into eternal life."

"This is deeper than mere right doctrine; it is the entrance of God into every aspect of life lived in trembling and fear of God. Such is an attitude produces the Orthodox Way of Life which is not merely the outward customs or behavior that characterizes Orthodox Christians, but the whole of the conscious spiritual struggle."

Elizabeth, in the previous post's comments, noted that non-Orthodox "often see only the 'rigidity' of doctrine or the 'patriarchal' structure or the 'foreign' quality of a service...Orthodoxy is remarkably elastic, encompassing the whole of human experience and transforming it."

Orthodoxy, while making use of structures, canons, etc isn't defined by a collection of such things.
The Church has institutions but she isn't one herself. She is, as the hymnography of the Church proclaims, "leading the faithful in the way of life."

Update: Justin chimes in on the "open source code" analogy.
Update 2: "Why all this hard work at reinvention?"
Update 3: "The Gospel (and sound doctrine) matters because it is a real expression of revelation."

:: Karl :: 8:10:00 AM [Link] ::

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