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Protestant influence in Orthodoxy?

David Young

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It would interest me to know whether influences from Protestantism seep into Orthodoxy in countries where the Christian majority is Protestant. They say this is true of Roman Catholicism. You have both the general ambience, plus converts coming in from Protestantism. I sat and talked for quite a while over coffee with an Orthodox missionary, a convert from Protestantism, and there was no sense that he inhabited an alien culture or faith: it felt just like talking with any other Christian brother; and as far as I know, he felt the same.
 
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Protestant Christianity is so varied; for ex. the profound & common faith of C.S. Lewis is usually Orthodox but other variants like total depravity, neglect of sacraments etc. are not. Then there is the modern, secularist, false inclusive variety that seems to deny sin even exists.
 

Ainnir

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It would interest me to know whether influences from Protestantism seep into Orthodoxy in countries where the Christian majority is Protestant. They say this is true of Roman Catholicism. You have both the general ambience, plus converts coming in from Protestantism. I sat and talked for quite a while over coffee with an Orthodox missionary, a convert from Protestantism, and there was no sense that he inhabited an alien culture or faith: it felt just like talking with any other Christian brother; and as far as I know, he felt the same.
I'm not sure anyone outside a given country can answer how much influence Protestant individuals have on Orthodox individuals. It's impossible for Protestantism to seep into Orthodoxy, however.

The missionary was behaving as any faithful ought -- seeing Christ in the other and being Christ to them. You could be Buddhist, and he in all likelihood would have behaved the same way.

Consider that something is only alien (or foreign) when either a) you are the point of reference or b) it is unfamiliar. To other nations, you are the foreigner. And once the unfamiliar becomes familiar, it is no longer alien but normal. :)
 

rakovsky

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It would interest me to know whether influences from Protestantism seep into Orthodoxy in countries where the Christian majority is Protestant.
It was a long practice maybe a century ago in EO churches and non-Christian synagogues to use the KJV (the Jews obviously didn't include the NT) when using English. It was a translation made by a Protestant government (King James') and certainly some of the translators had Protestant ideas in mind. But that doesn't mean that EOs accepted their theology, since EOs rely on Commentaries when explaining the Bible. So if an EO picked up a KJV Bible that reworded something in a Protestant way, then we would always have Greek or Slavic Bibles and commentaries to be the main guide on those passages.

You are going to get some minor stylistic influences. Greek EOs' organs and EO pews seem to me to be general Western influences. Protestantism is a subset of Western Christianity in many ways like the Augustinian influence. There has been centuries of cross-influence between Western and Eastern Christianity even post-schism.

If you ever found anything important of Protestantism in Orthodoxy that was counter to it, obviously we would have to pick the EO theology over it.

Generally the differences between Lutheranism and Anglicanism and Orthodoxy are clear and specific enough that it is not a problem for us distinguishing them.
 

rakovsky

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I'm not sure anyone outside a given country can answer how much influence Protestant individuals have on Orthodox individuals. It's impossible for Protestantism to seep into Orthodoxy, however.

The missionary was behaving as any faithful ought -- seeing Christ in the other and being Christ to them. You could be Buddhist, and he in all likelihood would have behaved the same way.

Consider that something is only alien (or foreign) when either a) you are the point of reference or b) it is unfamiliar. To other nations, you are the foreigner. And once the unfamiliar becomes familiar, it is no longer alien but normal. :)
Great point, Ainnir.
The OP seems to be confusing sitting down with someone and having a nice Christian discussion and friendship with both parties having Protestantist elements.
 

Ainnir

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Thank God if I say anything useful. ☺
 

Tzimis

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It would interest me to know whether influences from Protestantism seep into Orthodoxy in countries where the Christian majority is Protestant. They say this is true of Roman Catholicism. You have both the general ambience, plus converts coming in from Protestantism. I sat and talked for quite a while over coffee with an Orthodox missionary, a convert from Protestantism, and there was no sense that he inhabited an alien culture or faith: it felt just like talking with any other Christian brother; and as far as I know, he felt the same.
Yeah, but the minute you talk theology, I bet the gloves would come out.
 
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