Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...

Demetrios G.

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welkodox said:
Red herring.  Nowhere have I said anything even approaching that.  I actually in this thread don't believe I've advocated any sort of change whatsoever.  I certainly haven't used the word penal at all.
When you stated that you didn't understand the eastern theory's regarding the western atonement. You should have stopped there and tried to understand it. There not strawmen as others try and point out. Look into them before criticizing. If the reason for this debate is lack of knowledge regarding the eastern view. Than I suggest you look into it further before continuing.
 

welkodox

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ozgeorge said:
To answer honestly: I'm not sure.
Personally, I'm not entirely happy with the method with which the Western Rite was introduced. I really think it should have taken place on a Pan-Orthodox level rather than the local level.
It has been blessed though for use by our bishops, so it would seem to me it would be hard to discount its validity; and therefore one could not discount its authority to represent Orthodox doctrine if one believes that the liturgy contains the substance of the faith.  Therefore, I can't see how one could say the "Eastern" or the "Western" view of the Atonement is either right or wrong.  Both are represented in the liturgies we use.

No. The Services are changing all the time- just look at the current mess the Greek typicon for Orthros is in, and I've already mentioned the Moghila Absolution prayer, not to mention the fact that new services are constantly being written at the local level. But what I'm talking about is the Services, Hymns and Prayers which have stood the test of time and place. The Absolution Prayer of Arch. Peter Moghila has not stood the test of time and place, since it is not acceptable throughout the Church, and the same goes for the Greek revision of the the Typicon, since it is not acceptable throughout the Church. But there are dogmatic hymns etc, which the whole church accepts, and isn't this the acid test of St. Vincent of Lerins: universality, antiquity and consent?
Here I think again is simply another issue with falling back and saying the services are the source of authoritative teaching.  Many hymns are quite ancient, but the oldest (Phos Hilarion I believe) is probably from the second century.  Pretty much everything else was added over time, especially the hymnology which grew in length and complexity.  It seems to me there must be a deposit of faith that preceded and therefore necessarily underlies its expression in the liturgy.  So the question becomes what is it, and where can we point to?  If not the church fathers, or the catechisms, or the councils or synods, then what?  The Catholics have the Magisterium and the Protestants the Bible.  What is our source of authoritative teaching?

I think the other danger in saying the essential substance of the faith is bound up in the liturgy is all too readily apparent in the split within the Russian church over the Nikonian reforms.
 

Asteriktos

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George

Basically what I meant was, when people ignore the schisms in the early Church, while pointing out divisions among other groups, they are biased in that they ignore the fact that their own church has had break off groups. To hear some Catholic and Orthodox apologists speak (and I heard it a lot in chat rooms), you'd think that--with an exception or two like that whole Photius thing--everyone was together as one happy family until circa 1054. And then everyone was generally fine (as two seperate bodies) until the early 16th century. Why not just be honest, and admit that there were probably major divisions in every century, some of which ended in reconciliation, and some of which are still dividing Christianity today? The bias is in seeing history as people would like it to be, rather than for what it was. I certainly don't claim to be free from bias, I'm just saying.
 

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Ozgeorge:
Whether you like it or not, East and West are in Schism- and not just any schism, but one which has come to be called "The Great Schism".... But the reality is (much as you seem to wish to deny it) is that the Church is no longer One in East and West.
The Great Schism is correctly used in reference to events that happened in Europe surrounding the period of the Avignon Papacy. The use for the schism between Constantinople in Rome is secondary (noting, it wasn't a schism with the Orthodox til later - much later. Antioch did not until much later, Alexandria not until the sack of Constantinople. As for 'the West' - the West is One in the Church, and has been for quite awhile. Us Western Orthodox are in the Church again, like it or not. The problem is not that some are pretending no differences between Rome and Orthodoxy, but in that some are smearing all Westerners with Rome's errors, as well as the fallacy that the schism was over issues that did not develop until much later. Again - the Roman schism was really only two matters: papal jurisdiction and the filioque.

Demetrios G.
Nobody is bashing the west. I have just displayed some differences between there theology's. Your taking it to personal. You stated that Anselm isn't the west. But yet your sticking to your guns that it can be Incorporated into the eastern church.
I should take it personal - you just again accused me and mine of something we don't hold to; and that is bearing false witness. We are Westerners, we do not hold to Anselm's views and *never have*. I never stated anything about 'incorporating' Anselm's views into the 'eastern church'. I did note, however, that ideas such as 'ransom', 'atonement' are present in Orthodoxy from the beginning - in the Scriptures, Liturgies, and Church Fathers. Again - the West does not, and never had a single theology (in illustration, read this FAQ by a non-Thomistic Traditional Catholic : http://www.cheetah.net/~ccoulomb/ultra-realism.html .) What I, and others, are objecting to is not correcting Anselm's errors (and he had them), but in the constant attributing of his errors and guilt to 'the West' or 'converts'. Noting, us Westerners wouldn't be converts if we didn't think Anselm was in error. Anselm is not the West, nor does he represent the West or Western theology.

welkodox/ozgeorge:
So the dogmatic voice of the church is found in all the liturgical services used, in both Western and Eastern Rites, correct?
To answer honestly: I'm not sure.
Personally, I'm not entirely happy with the method with which the Western Rite was introduced. I really think it should have taken place on a Pan-Orthodox level rather than the local level.
Our theology says yes. The method that Western rite was introduced by *was* Pan-Orthodox - not only in its Apostolic origins (which it has), but also later. Even Constantinople approved it in 1881 (all other Patriarchates have as well.) The rite hasn't been 'reintroduced into' the Church, but parts of the West brought back into union. Besides, the use of the Western liturgical tradition overlaps - it has continuity in the Orthodox Church (thanks especially to the Russian Old Believers.) There also seems to be an implied charge here (false) that Western liturgy is somehow 'Anselmian' or 'Thomistic' (It isn't. We've got our texts from before the schism through to today, older in fact than the oldest 'Byzantine' texts. With some of our rights, we know that no more than 6 words had changed in the whole rite since the time before the Schism. As for the Byzantine rite - it was entirely introduced on the local level, rather than the Pan-Orthodox level. Never in history was it done the same way, and was locally foisted on the Antiochians by Balsamon (Met. Phillip understands this.) At least some of us were taught in catechism that the Orthodox Church *is* local, as St. Ignatius taught. The whole church exists in the laity and clergy gathered around their bishop. So, the local church is where things should occur. "Pan-Orthodox" was first tried about 1050 - by Rome, see what happened there? ;)
 

ozgeorge

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welkodox said:
It has been blessed though for use by our bishops,
But which of the many heresies which have shaken the Orthodox Church over her history has not originally been blessed by Bishops? And liturgically, the Nikonian reforms in Russia changed the liturgy of an entire local Church in order to bring it more into conformity with the rest of the Church.

welkodox said:
Here I think again is simply another issue with falling back and saying the services are the source of authoritative teaching.  Many hymns are quite ancient, but the oldest (Phos Hilarion I believe) is probably from the second century.  Pretty much everything else was added over time, especially the hymnology which grew in length and complexity.  It seems to me there must be a deposit of faith that preceded and therefore necessarily underlies its expression in the liturgy.  So the question becomes what is it, and where can we point to?  If not the church fathers, or the catechisms, or the councils or synods, then what?  The Catholics have the Magisterium and the Protestants the Bible.  What is our source of authoritative teaching?
And if we look at the earliest "deposit of faith" you mention- (i.e., the Bible) then what is the "deposit of faith" from whence it came?...and we can continue towards what appears to be reductio ad absurdum, but the fact of the matter is that the only way the Church can know the truth about  anything metaphysical is because God has revealed it. So either the Church Universal is being guided by the Holy Spirit, or she is not; either the Living Tradition of the Church Universal is the Apostolic Tradition, or it is not.

welkodox said:
I think the other danger in saying the essential substance of the faith is bound up in the liturgy is all too readily apparent in the split within the Russian church over the Nikonian reforms.
And again, this is why we need to stop simply looking locally, and start thinking globally, and apply St. Vincent of Lerins' "acid test": universality, antiquity, and consent.
 

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If you apply universality, you aren't going to get Byzantine rite - which is why St. Vincent's statement refers to dogma, not to liturgy. (St. Vincent of Lerins, of course, being a Westerner.)
 

ozgeorge

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Aristibule said:
If you apply universality, you aren't going to get Byzantine rite
That depends where you think the Church was after the great Schism. And "Byzantine Rite" is not the only rite in the Church apart from "Western Rite".

Aristibule said:
which is why St. Vincent's statement refers to dogma, not to liturgy.
And if you follow the train of thought, the point is that Liturgy refers to dogma.

Aristibule said:
(St. Vincent of Lerins, of course, being a Westerner.)
And the point being? Perhaps you missed this post:
ozgeorge said:
Please feel free to accuse me of something openly rather than make "general" comments.
Now let me say something openly to you:
Whether you like it or not, East and West are in Schism- and not just any schism, but one which has come to be called "The Great Schism". Nowhere have I suggested that the Church prior to the Great Schism was not one. Nowhere have I suggested that when the Church was one that Orthodoxy was not maintained in the West. But the reality is (much as you seem to wish to deny it) is that the Church is no longer One in East and West.
So despite your snide comments, and despite your's and aristibule's attempts to rest your arguments on the fact that the Western part of the Church was once Orthodox (which no one is arguing, so I fail to see your point in setting up a straw man about it- unless of course, you don't have a better point, which I suspect may be the case), and despite the futile attempts to suggest that the East did not maintain Orthodoxy as "evidenced" by the Nestorians and other heresies which were anathemised and have schismed from the Orthodox Church (which if you think about it about it, makes about as much sense as stating that the existence of Lutheranism "proves" the unorthodoxy of the Roman Catholic Church).......Despite all this, and despite the attempts to suggest that my belief that the Orthodox Church is the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church is phyletism simply because, post schism, this Church existed only in the "East" (which includes more countries than any of us will probably ever visit in our lifetime, so to suggest that it is "phyletism" which literally means "tribalism" is laughable)....despite all this rudeness, false accusation, misrepresentation, these moot points...not once have I ever said anything "anti-convert" or even "anti-west", I simply pointed out the differences, and stated my belief that the Orthodox Church is the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church- and I've said before, that if you disagree with me, that's fine, I respect that. But don't you ever dare to suggest that my belief is based solely on a form of "phyletism".
 

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welkodox said:
The one thing that does approach a catechism covering all churches are the Acts and Decrees 1672 Synod of Jerusalem.  http://catholicity.elcore.net/ConfessionOfDositheus.html  It was described IIRC by Metropolitan Kallistos in his book "The Orthodox Church" as the most important post schism Pan Orthodox synod.  It's acts and decrees very much resemble what a catechism is intended to do, although not in the simplified Q&A format of a true catechism.  The real point is it is an authoritative statement on the faith.
Bishop Kallistos Ware
Orthodox Church

"The doctrinal decisions of an Ecumenical Council cannot be revised or corrected, but must be accepted in toto; but the Church has often been selective in its treatment of the acts of Local Councils: in the case of the seventeenth century Councils, for example, their statements of faith have in part been received by the whole Orthodox Church, but in part set aside or corrected."[the Confession of Dositheus was one of these]



"In the seventeenth century a number of Orthodox writers
 

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ozgeorge said:
That depends where you think the Church was after the great Schism. And "Byzantine Rite" is not the only rite in the Church apart from "Western Rite".
Quite. The East Syrian rite is and has been in use again in the Eastern Orthodox Church for nearly 120 years. After the Roman schism, West Syrian rite continued as well as the majority rite of the Antiochian church (and existed as well after Balsamon tried to stamp it out, up until possibly as late as the 17th c.) There are enough differences as well between the modern Greek rite, modern Slavic rite, and the Old Rite of the Russians. It is sectarian to single one out as normative and the others as deficient.

And if you follow the train of thought, the point is that Liturgy refers to dogma.
But still, St. Vincent was not referring to liturgy - it isn't in his 'train of thought', though it might be in the minds of some here. I don't follow that train of thought either, but I do follow St. Vincent's.

And the point being? Perhaps you missed this post:
The point being in my reply to that post, so - not missed, but replied to.
 

ozgeorge

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Aristibule said:
it isn't in his 'train of thought',
"All of our liturgical hymns are instructive, profound and sublime. They contain the whole of our theology and moral teaching, give us Christian consolation and instill in us a fear of the Judgment. He who listens to them attentively has no need of other books on the Faith."
St Theophan the Recluse

"In my view, liturgical texts are for Orthodox Christians an incontestable doctrinal authority, whose theological irreproachability is second only to Scripture. Liturgical texts are not simply the works of outstanding theologians and poets, but also the fruits of the prayerful experience of those who have attained sanctity and theosis. The theological authority of liturgical texts is, in my opinion, even higher than that of the works of the Fathers of the Church, for not everything in the works of the latter is of equal theological value and not everything has been accepted by the fullness of the Church. Liturgical texts, on the other hand, have been accepted by the whole Church as a 'rule of faith' (kanon pisteos), for they have been read and sung everywhere in Orthodox churches over many centuries. Throughout this time, any erroneous ideas foreign to Orthodoxy that might have crept in either through misunderstanding or oversight were eliminated by Church Tradition itself, leaving only pure and authoritative doctrine clothed by the poetic forms of the Church’s hymns.'
Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev

Source: http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/12/1.aspx
 

lubeltri

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Well, I put a query to the experts on the EWTN Q&A website about "infinite sin."

welkodox said:
I've seen people write on the Internet "Orthodoxy hasn't changed".  Yet we have changed, and are changing.  It's happening before our eyes.
From the aforementioned brochure:

Orthodoxy is undivided and unchanged. If one could "drop" into an Orthodox worship service in any century or culture, they would be able to recognize and enter into the worship. If one asked an doctrinal question, they would have exactly the same answer in any century, any place. Truth does not change."

(on the timeline) "Today: Orthodox Church unchanged"

"The structure, teachings and worship of the New Testament Church remains unchanged in the Orthodox Church."

"Worldwide Orthodoxy is divided only adminstratively by region and culture. Doctrinally and in practice each church is identical and in full communion with each other."

 

lubeltri

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welkodox said:
Therefore, I can't see how one could say the "Eastern" or the "Western" view of the Atonement is either right or wrong.  Both are represented in the liturgies we use.
As they are in the Catholic liturgy and theology too. Neither is right or wrong (though dividing them into two neat halves is! I still have yet to see someone address the wide diversity of atonement views in the "West").
 

ozgeorge

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lubeltri said:
I still have yet to see someone address the wide diversity of atonement views in the "West".
And I still have to see a better argument from you against the Orthodox Church other than a pamphlet produced by some group I've never come across and probably aren't in Communion with, but hey......who's counting? ;)
 

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Tamara said:
Bishop Kallistos Ware
Orthodox Church

"The doctrinal decisions of an Ecumenical Council cannot be revised or corrected, but must be accepted in toto; but the Church has often been selective in its treatment of the acts of Local Councils: in the case of the seventeenth century Councils, for example, their statements of faith have in part been received by the whole Orthodox Church, but in part set aside or corrected."[the Confession of Dositheus was one of these]



"In the seventeenth century a number of Orthodox writers
He does say parts were accepted by the whole church, and parts were not.  He doesn't specify which council of the two however or which part, but based on this quote earlier in the book

On the whole, however, the Confession of Dositheus is less Latin than that of Moghila, and must certainly be regarded as a document of primary importance in the history of modern Orthodox theology.
I would guess it is more likely the Confession of St. Petro Mohyla is the one with parts set aside.  In any case, I only quoted one thing from the Confession of Dositheus.

I'm glad at least that we've arrived at the point where we can drop the western/eastern distinction and look to the Western and Eastern liturgical expressions of Orthodoxy as normative for the faith.
 

Demetrios G.

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Aristibule said:
Demetrios G.
I should take it personal - you just again accused me and mine of something we don't hold to; and that is bearing false witness. We are Westerners, we do not hold to Anselm's views and *never have*. I never stated anything about 'incorporating' Anselm's views into the 'eastern church'. I did note, however, that ideas such as 'ransom', 'atonement' are present in Orthodoxy from the beginning - in the Scriptures, Liturgies, and Church Fathers. Again - the West does not, and never had a single theology (in illustration, read this FAQ by a non-Thomistic Traditional Catholic : http://www.cheetah.net/~ccoulomb/ultra-realism.html .) What I, and others, are objecting to is not correcting Anselm's errors (and he had them), but in the constant attributing of his errors and guilt to 'the West' or 'converts'. Noting, us Westerners wouldn't be converts if we didn't think Anselm was in error. Anselm is not the West, nor does he represent the West or Western theology.
The penal satisfaction theory isn't 'Western', though it is an error of focus and emphasis based upon language and understandings that *do* exist in the Orthodox Tradition (Scriptures and Patristics.) I'd like to be able to stop repeating it - but the West *never* has been entirely Thomistic, nor entirely Anselmian.
You can call me a sinner. Don't worry I have thick skin. Just don't call me a heretic. Well here is your post. Your post clearly states that it exists in the orthodox tradition. May I ask you where?
 

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ozgeorge said:
And I still have to see a better argument from you against the Orthodox Church other than a pamphlet produced by some group I've never come across and probably aren't in Communion with, but hey......who's counting? ;)
The brochure was only providing an example of common Anti-dox thinking. It was not directly related to the subject of this thread. (It's from an OCA church---the EP is not in Communion with the OCA?)

And my debate here is not about what represents "true" Orthodoxy (I'll leave that to you and Welkodox; for me, it is already represented by the Catholic Church, where no Atonement theory is dogmatized unlike in Orthodoxy---or, as Welkodox would insist, in your characterization of it), but only about correcting the common and plainly silly stereotypes so many Orthodox construct of "Western" Atonement theology. I think I have already done that.

The discussion/debate regarding the OCA's Autocephaly and recognition by other churches has been given its own thread: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,11433.0.html - Questions and whatnot regarding the OCA's Autocephaly - Cleveland, GM
 

Demetrios G.

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lubeltri said:
The brochure was only providing an example of common Anti-dox thinking. It was not directly related to the subject of this thread. (It's from an OCA church---the EP is not in Communion with the OCA?)

And my debate here is not about what represents "true" Orthodoxy (I'll leave that to you and Welkodox; for me, it is already represented by the Catholic Church, where no Atonement theory is dogmatized unlike in Orthodoxy---or, as Welkodox would insist, in your characterization of it), but only about correcting the common and plainly silly stereotypes so many Orthodox construct of "Western" Atonement theology. I think I have already done that.
Ya, I think my 5 year old daughter can come up with a better drawing of a straw man!
 

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ozgeorge said:
St Theophan the Recluse

Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev
Lets see - St. Vincent is 5th c. France, St. Theophan in 19th c. Russia. Bp. Hilarion (Alfeyev) 21st. c. Russian. You gotta take a huge leap across time and space to see a "train of thought" there. Again, St. Vincent's universality isn't speaking of liturgics (he sure isn't speaking of Byzantine rite, something St. Vincent never would have seen or even been aware of, especially not what we know of as Byzantine rite. IIRC, our oldest Byzantine liturgical texts are 10th c.) What St. Theophan says is true, of course - its just the 'Vincentian Canon' isn't referring to the same thing.

Also, as Lubeltri said - " I still have yet to see someone address the wide diversity of atonement views in the "West")." Except I'm asking it as a faithful and catechized Orthodox Christian. (Or for that matter, what is dogma in Orthodoxy - and what else is allowed as theological opinion, eh?)

Demetrios G:
Your post clearly states that it exists in the orthodox tradition. May I ask you where?
The Gospel according to St. Matthew (20:28), The Gospel according to St. Mark (10:45), the Apocalypse of St. John (5:9), The First Epistle to St. Timothy (2:6) - ie "ransom", there is one example of the language existing in Orthodoxy. You can find a full discussion of some of these same topics in "Orthodox Dogmatic Theology" by Fr. Michael Pomazansky (he describes the real fault with the 'Anselmian theory' as the "The figurative expressions of the Apostles were accepted ... in their literal and overly narrow sense, and ... interpreted as a "satisfaction". This one-sided interpretation of Redemption became the reigning one in Latin theology.... The term "satisfaction" has been used in Russian Orthodox theology, but in a changed form: "the satisfaction of God's righteousness." That is true for most other terms and ideas comprising that particular view in Roman Catholic theology. That is the balance in our Orthodox theology - no reason to deny the language, or that we use the language in our theology: we do. However, it isn't the same as the viewpoint expressed by the Anselmian school. Fr. Michael also notes (correctly) that many Protestants believe quite differently (even to the point of error) against the same theory being criticized in the OP.

What I don't know, and would like to know - where did this movement start that attempts to purge Orthodoxy of any sense of 'blood', 'ransom', 'atonement', 'sacrifice', 'substitution'?
 

Demetrios G.

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Aristibule said:
Lets see - St. Vincent is 5th c. France, St. Theophan in 19th c. Russia. Bp. Hilarion (Alfeyev) 21st. c. Russian. You gotta take a huge leap across time and space to see a "train of thought" there. Again, St. Vincent's universality isn't speaking of liturgics (he sure isn't speaking of Byzantine rite, something St. Vincent never would have seen or even been aware of, especially not what we know of as Byzantine rite. IIRC, our oldest Byzantine liturgical texts are 10th c.) What St. Theophan says is true, of course - its just the 'Vincentian Canon' isn't referring to the same thing.

Also, as Lubeltri said - " I still have yet to see someone address the wide diversity of atonement views in the "West")." Except I'm asking it as a faithful and catechized Orthodox Christian. (Or for that matter, what is dogma in Orthodoxy - and what else is allowed as theological opinion, eh?)

Demetrios G:
The Gospel according to St. Matthew (20:28), The Gospel according to St. Mark (10:45), the Apocalypse of St. John (5:9), The First Epistle to St. Timothy (2:6) - ie "ransom", there is one example of the language existing in Orthodoxy. You can find a full discussion of some of these same topics in "Orthodox Dogmatic Theology" by Fr. Michael Pomazansky (he describes the real fault with the 'Anselmian theory' as the "The figurative expressions of the Apostles were accepted ... in their literal and overly narrow sense, and ... interpreted as a "satisfaction". This one-sided interpretation of Redemption became the reigning one in Latin theology.... The term "satisfaction" has been used in Russian Orthodox theology, but in a changed form: "the satisfaction of God's righteousness." That is true for most other terms and ideas comprising that particular view in Roman Catholic theology. That is the balance in our Orthodox theology - no reason to deny the language, or that we use the language in our theology: we do. However, it isn't the same as the viewpoint expressed by the Anselmian school. Fr. Michael also notes (correctly) that many Protestants believe quite differently (even to the point of error) against the same theory being criticized in the OP.

What I don't know, and would like to know - where did this movement start that attempts to purge Orthodoxy of any sense of 'blood', 'ransom', 'atonement', 'sacrifice', 'substitution'?
I have tried to explain it earlier in the thread. Go back and reread my posts. It's an ontological issue. We have dogma regarding our creation. I don't believe it's up to me to do your homework for you. Those terms you posted have to be put into context.
 

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Yes, I read what you posted - but still the fact remains that those terms exist to be placed in context. They do exist, and are part of Orthodox theology (especially Russian Orthodox theology.) I don't believe its up to me to do your homework either - and it is a bit tiring to have to explain my position repeatedly while you accuse us of holding to the Anselmian view.
 
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