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"The Ancient Way" discussion of George Boyd's "Justification by Faith" post

Discussion in 'The Ancient Way - Eastern Orthodox' started by Pavel Mosko, Jul 22, 2021.

  1. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic Supporter

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    Hey everybody! A few days ago I started a discussion in the Soteriology board of Theology on the Facebook post listed below. I enjoyed it and realized you might like it as well so I reposted it here for folks that avoid the rest of the forum.

    But the second reason for posting is to solicit any kinds of advice for arguing an Eastern position of Soteriology, the Bible etc. especially in regards to Protestant arguments on "imputed righteousness" etc. There are some folks like @ArmyMatt that don't want to be caught into controversies that are a time wasters, or maybe even negative to one's theosis (Is there a handy term for that?). But anyway if Fr. Matt and others got the time etc. I was going to ask that they lurk and if they think of some useful information, advice etc. maybe drop me an message / email on my forum account.

    Thanks and have a blessed day.


    Interesting Facebook post on Justification


    "The reason I cannot, of a good conscience, agree with the Protestant understanding of “Justification by Faith” is all because of one little word. Strong’s will tell you, with Luther, the Reformers, and countless Protestant websites, that “Justification” is “Dikaiosis” in Greek, and that it means “To be declared righteous.” For many years, this was unquestioned truth to me, and I based my whole understanding of my relationship with God on a legal process of God declaring me righteous.

    This worldview was completely destroyed when, one day in 2007, I discovered that this is not what the Greek word meant. It is not a legal term, and it nowhere implies “declaration.”
    The Greek root of Dikaiosis means “righteous”, and is used to mean “Saint” and “Holy” throughout the Biblical and Christian Tradition. The suffix “-osis” is the aorist tense and means “a state of”, and together the word means a “state of righteousness” not “to be declared righteous.”

    If the Septuagint gives the lexical context for the use of this word in the Ancient Church, the Protestant assignment of the meaning of the Latin word “iustificario” from the Vulgate (which was a legal word and assigned by St. Jerome in the 5th century), is an improper assignment. It was a simple mistake to make, but careful scholars can’t allow it to stand when so much hinges on the meaning of this one little word.

    To be “legally declared righteous” results in Luther’s famous “snow-covered dung” analogy. To be truly transformed by God’s grace through faith means that we are made into the likeness of Christ. One is external and involves God pretending, the Holy Trinity conspiring within itself to save mankind through legal loopholes, and Christ hiding us from the wrath of God the Father in an act of holy deception. The other is an actual relationship with God that manifests our original purpose and the harmony of Trinity for our salvation, and Christ fulfilled the will of the Father by the power of the Holy Spirit.

    We are indeed “Justified by Faith”, but this means that we are actually made righteous by the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives, not merely declared to be something that we are not."
    -Bishop Joseph Boyd
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2021
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  2. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    who is Bishop Joseph Boyd?
     
  3. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic Supporter

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    Well I guess I might have to amend the OP a bit... From his Facebook


    Joseph Boyd
    Bishop in the Anglican Vicariate of the Orthodox Archdiocese of America


    Goerge Boyd pic.jpg
     
  4. Lawrence87

    Lawrence87 Active Member

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    I don't think the faith versus works thing is a dialectic. It's not the case that all you need to do is profess faith in Christ and just go about doing whatever for the rest of your life, safely assured that you've been given the rubber stamp of salvation, nor is it something you can earn by doing 300 prostrations every day and only living off bread and water in a cave for the rest of your life... Like many things in Orthodoxy it lies in a kind of mystical balance between the two.
     
  5. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic Supporter

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    Oh I sort of disagree. Yes I know this does not fit into the usual Mystical Theology schemata / phronema of your typical EO. But some of the Church Fathers have operated this way, especially the Apologists. And there have been some EO that have done this sort of thing. One internet article, I have gotten a lot of mileage out of is "Dialogue on Free Will and Determinism" linked below.

    Dialogue on Free Will & Determinism
     
  6. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    he's poserdox. that's not a legit thing
     
  7. Clare73

    Clare73 Blood-bought

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    It seems a strange request, that one is more interested in arguing against a particular view than in what the Scripture actually presents.

    Nevertheless, I will present the NT Biblical teaching on the matter, for the sake of convenience going forward.
    A "state" is one's status, standing, position.

    A "state of righteousness" is the status, position before God of "not guilty," of a right standing with God's justice; i.e., righteous, sanctified (set apart).

    It is what occurs in justification; i.e., a declaration of "not guilty" by the Judge, giving one right standing, position, state, status with God's justice.

    The definition of "state" is not in agreement with your friend's understanding of the "imputed" or "state of" righteousness in justification as internal transformation.

    And his understanding of "state" (as internal transformaton) is likewise not consistent with all the NT commands to be sanctified, to be holy, to pursue righteousness, since according to your friend's understanding, we already are.
    By which I take it that you are referring to "imputed" righteousness.

    "Imputed" means credited/reckoned/accounted to, and
    the Biblical view
    is taught in Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:3-5, Romans 4:22,
    it applies to the New Covenant (Romans 4:9-11),
    it is called "justification" (Romans 4:25) and
    it is positional, a right status or standing with God's justice; i.e., "not guilty' (because of remission of sin through faith in Jesus Christ), righteous, sanctified (set apart),
    it is not internal holiness, which is the outcome of the lifetime sanctification process through obedience in the Holy Spirit.


     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2021
  8. Not David

    Not David Someday an Orthodox

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    How can you be born again if the only thing that happens when "confessing Christ" is a change of status?
     
  9. HTacianas

    HTacianas Well-Known Member

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    Let's look at "state", status, standing, position.

    What is the state of a mafioso or a gang member who has never heard the gospel? What then is his state if he hears the gospel and accepts it, believing wholeheartedly and repenting of his previous sins then being baptized and chrismated? What is his state when he attends his first liturgy? His second liturgy? What is his state when he goes back to his old ways of robbery and murder? What is his state after he goes back to his old ways then publicly renounces Christ?

    What are these states, statuses, standings, or positions?
     
  10. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic Supporter

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    Not really. I know that many protestants think the Bible is "clear" on lots of stuff but many words actually have multiple meanings and nuances. Lots of stuff gets lost in English translations etc.

    And then from that you get into issues like some of the former Reformers referencing concepts that are more Latin based etc.

    Besides that you have idiosyncratic issues, of interpretation. Actually your post exemplifies that, you just think there is one way to view the Bible or a given passage that actually sounds a lot like naïve realism to me and that sort of thing actually is very serious.

    Naïve realism (psychology) - Wikipedia.
     
  11. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic Supporter

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    Is being an organizational gate keeper more important than the Logos? I mean, I understand based on knowing EO, that they are leery of being perceived of endorsing someone not fully canonical, not on the team etc. lest their be heresy or some other controversy...

    But you do have Bible passages like...


    Mark 9

    38 “Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”

    39 “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, 40 for whoever is not against us is for us. 41 Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.
     
  12. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    Mark 9 happened before Pentecost. he's talking about Protestants as if he's not one.
     
  13. Clare73

    Clare73 Blood-bought

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    The subject is justification, which is not the rebirth, although I don't know if you can really separate

    rebirth-->faith-->salvation-->justification-->(credited) righteousness (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:3-5, 9, 22)
     
  14. Clare73

    Clare73 Blood-bought

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    Precisely what the NT teaches they are. State, status, position is not necessarily permanent.
    Condemned. (Romans 5:18)
    If his faith is genuine, his state is forgiven/saved/justified.
    If his faith is genuine, his state is forgiven/saved/justified.
    Evidence his faith was not genuine, that his state of condemnatin had never changed.
    Condemned, which state had never changed in the first place.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2021
  15. Clare73

    Clare73 Blood-bought

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    Sounds like a flimsy refuge for unbelief.

    The proof of the pudding is the consistency of the translations with all of Scripture, regardless of "nuances."
    Scripture is the sole judge of all.
    Assertion without demonstration is assertion without merit.

    I await a Biblical demonstration of your assertion in regard to Scripture of your choice, being true to the Greek meaning of the words in the text.

    I suspect the issue here is not translation, but unbelief, masquerading as nuances, concepts, idiosyncratic issues, etc.

    Unbelief - Bible
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2021
  16. HTacianas

    HTacianas Well-Known Member

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    Tell me where you get the idea of someone's faith not being genuine.
     
  17. Not David

    Not David Someday an Orthodox

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    How can you have regeneration if your status does not present you as a regenerate person?
     
  18. Not David

    Not David Someday an Orthodox

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    Our Church wrote the Scripture, it is not something that drop from Heaven like the Quran
     
  19. Clare73

    Clare73 Blood-bought

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    Last edited: Jul 22, 2021
  20. Clare73

    Clare73 Blood-bought

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    100% the work of the Holy Spirit (John 3:3, John 3:7).

    God justifies the wicked (not the righteous) through faith (Romans 4:5).
     
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