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An Eastern Orthodox View of Calvinism

Malihah

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The Orthodox concept of synergism, far from being a departure from Apostolic Faith, is attested to in Scripture and repeated throughout the centuries. “It is for God to grant His grace,” said St. Cyril of Jerusalem; “your task is to accept that grace and to guard it”. St. John Chrysostom exclaims, “All depends indeed on God, but not so that our free-will is hindered. [God] does not anticipate our choice, lest our free-will be outraged. But when we have chosen, then great is the assistance He brings to us.”
Quote box added and text shortened to conform to forum rules.  More at the link below.  --Ainnir

https://classicalchristianity.com/2011/05/09/eastern-orthodox-view-of-calvinism/
 

David Young

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Malihah said:
The Orthodox concept of synergism, far from being a departure from Apostolic Faith, is attested to in Scripture and repeated throughout the centuries. “It is for God to grant His grace,” said St. Cyril of Jerusalem; “your task is to accept that grace and to guard it”. St. John Chrysostom exclaims, “All depends indeed on God, but not so that our free-will is hindered. [God] does not anticipate our choice, lest our free-will be outraged. But when we have chosen, then great is the assistance He brings to us.”
Text shortened to conform to forum rules.  --Ainnir
I can't immediately see anything to disagree with in that, except the phrase "in Holy Baptism", as we believe it is our faith which unites us to Christ, confessed in baptism. I am also dubious about the phrase "through ascetic struggle and participation in the Mystery of His Body and Blood", not being sure what you mean by ascetic struggle, and unhappy with the implication (which you may not intend) that the Holy Communion alone renews divine energy within us - though of course I believe that obedience in partaking of the Lord's Supper is one effectual means of grace. However, concerning the rest of your quotation, I think I have heard and read it many times over the years in various evangelical contexts.
 

WPM

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She didn't write that . . It is borrowed from a website.
 

platypus

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Although we have much to disagree with Calvin about, there is also much to appreciate. Some of my favorite things about John Calvin:
- He wanted people to hear the scriptures in the vernacular.
- He spoke against a number of his era's popular false teachings, including ultramontanism.
- He knew his Augustine.
- He got the laity to sing the psalms.
 

Malihah

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This thread is in response to another poster that I will not name and his UN-orthodox view that since God is in control of everything then he must will for evil to happen which is very similar to the Calvinist philosophy of predestination.  God's will is for all men to come to repentance (Acts 17:20, 2Pet. 3:0) and come to a knowledge of the truth. Now we know that all men do not come to repentance and some are so hardened in sin that they are incapable of choosing good or choosing Christ but none the less human beings do have a free-will.  And when I say free-will I am talking about a faith response to Christ and the gospel not choosing my favorite ice cream flavor or my favorite station on the radio.  Free-will is a spiritual choice where one surrenders their life to Christ to be renewed by the Spirit of grace or hardens their heart in disbelief and spurns to the Spirit of grace.  It is very possible to look very religious on the outside and seemingly make all the right choices but inwardly the heart has never been renewed and the will never exercised in cooperation with mercy and grace.  To sum up:

Free-will is a spiritual, faith-based choice or synergistic cooperation with Divine grace

Free-will is NOT a carnal choice where outwardly I may look very religious but inwardly have never been renewed

Free-will is NOT a monergistic choice where God chooses a select few and damns the rest to hell

 

Malihah

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David Young said:
I can't immediately see anything to disagree with in that, except the phrase "in Holy Baptism", as we believe it is our faith which unites us to Christ, confessed in baptism. I am also dubious about the phrase "through ascetic struggle and participation in the Mystery of His Body and Blood", not being sure what you mean by ascetic struggle, and unhappy with the implication (which you may not intend) that the Holy Communion alone renews divine energy within us - though of course I believe that obedience in partaking of the Lord's Supper is one effectual means of grace. However, concerning the rest of your quotation, I think I have heard and read it many times over the years in various evangelical contexts.
Faith is expressed in works.  It is not 'alone' and always bears fruit.  Baptism is the beginning of our walk with the Lord and Communion is how we grow in the Lord.  These are not antithetical to faith but cooperational.

Jesus said baptize them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost and this is my body which is broken for you and this cup is the New Testament in my blood.
 

Malihah

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platypus said:
Although we have much to disagree with Calvin about, there is also much to appreciate. Some of my favorite things about John Calvin:
- He wanted people to hear the scriptures in the vernacular.
- He spoke against a number of his era's popular false teachings, including ultramontanism.
- He knew his Augustine.
- He got the laity to sing the psalms.
I don't hate Calvinists I just detest them strongly.
 

biro

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I always thought the Orthodox saw Augustine as a bad saint, or not a saint at all.
 

platypus

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Malihah said:
I don't hate Calvinists I just detest them strongly.
That may be, but will announcing it on a public forum help them come to Orthodoxy?

biro said:
I always thought the Orthodox saw Augustine as a bad saint, or not a saint at all.
He's canonized, and the OCA celebrates his feast on June 15. Some Orthodox Christians who took great pride in hating "the West" wanted to decanonize him, and as a result one of Fr. Seraphim Rose's pet projects was defending St. Augustine's sainthood. He was a big fan of Augustine and read Confessions during lent each year.

I think the anti-Augustine sentiment some Orthodox Christians have is because of his teachings on Original Sin, which are not commonly accepted in the Church. But his possible theological errors shouldn't detract from his personal sanctity. The way Fr. Patrick Reardon put it, rejecting St. Augustine based on a few of his ideas is like saying we don't like the Empire State building because there's a bad doorknob on one floor.
 

Ainnir

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Malihah said:
This thread is in response to another poster that I will not name and his UN-orthodox view that since God is in control of everything then he must will for evil to happen which is very similar to the Calvinist philosophy of predestination.
Malihah, there is a containment of conflict rule.  There is also a rule regarding posting quotes from articles.  I am editing the OP to reflect the article rule, and giving you a 20% warning for failing to contain conflict.  Please read the RULES to avoid incurring further penalties.  If you'd liked to appeal this decision, you may do so via PM. 
Thanks.  --Ainnir
 

RaphaCam

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platypus said:
biro said:
I always thought the Orthodox saw Augustine as a bad saint, or not a saint at all.
He's canonized, and the OCA celebrates his feast on June 15. Some Orthodox Christians who took great pride in hating "the West" wanted to decanonize him, and as a result one of Fr. Seraphim Rose's pet projects was defending St. Augustine's sainthood. He was a big fan of Augustine and read Confessions during lent each year.

I think the anti-Augustine sentiment some Orthodox Christians have is because of his teachings on Original Sin, which are not commonly accepted in the Church. But his possible theological errors shouldn't detract from his personal sanctity. The way Fr. Patrick Reardon put it, rejecting St. Augustine based on a few of his ideas is like saying we don't like the Empire State building because there's a bad doorknob on one floor.
He was confirmed a saint at an ecumenical council, people wishing to derail him "for tradition's sake" is so self-contradictory.
 

WPM

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If you want to have a look at Reformed Protestants of the 16th-century look at Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli for a detailed study of doctrine.
 

platypus

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Brilko said:
I love Calvin. He knew that a cardboard box can take you anywhere.
Fun fact: in The Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book Bill Watterson mentions he named them after John Calvin and Thomas Hobbes.
 
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If you want to have a look at Reformed Protestants of the 16th-century look at Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli for a detailed study of doctrine.
This is also a good way to read views get more 'extreme' in a linear fashion.
 
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