A while back, I published a blog on Faith vs. Works. It wasn’t very good and it received some much needed criticism for its lack of patristic insight. So, I thought I would give it another shot.
Probably the reason I got off track last time was because I started within the erroneous Western false dichotomy of faith vs. works. This time, I won’t discuss the Western positions, Calvinism, Arminianism, Martin Luther, or any others. The whole faith vs. works argument never existed in the East. Nor do we teach salvation through works, as if we can earn our way to heaven.
SALVATION IN ORTHODOXY
Instead, here is how I understand Orthodox Soteriology:
God created man in His image and likeness with the purpose of eternally communing with mankind. However, we fell into sin, shattering the image and likeness of God within ourselves, but not completely destroying it. The nous, that is the spiritual organ (sometimes translated as mind/intellect in the Bible and the Fathers), was darkened and blinded by sin. In that state, we could no longer truly commune with God. For communion in the Orthodox sense is not simply fellowship, but union and oneness. Death entered humanity through sin, and the creature that was created for eternal communion fell into decay. Continue reading Faith – Works – Salvation