19 August 2009

Nice Quote

"Christ, as the representative of all of sinful humanity, lifted up on the cross the weight of the sins of all people. Then, the sinless Son of God, as the Apostle Paul says, became a curse. He collected on Himself all the thunderbolts of divine justice against a sinful humanity, and beneath the weight of sin that seperates man from God, He saw Himself abandoned. He sighed and said: "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"--"Drops From The Living Water" Metropolitan Bishop Augustinos Kantiotes of Florina Greece, page 113.

[Sent to me by a friend who is an Orthodox layman.]


Fearsome Comrade said...

Apparently, no one told him that that's just "Western legal thinking."

orrologion said...

It's actually most interesting as a case in point that an Orthodox bishop speaking as an Orthodox Christian can still be mistaken as agreeing with a Lutheran view of things. It says a lot about how much we bring to a text, and how the same terms can be differently, more narrowly and more broadly defined in different groups thus leading to 'translational' issues. I remember a Lutheran pastor in Canada on the Orthodox Lutheran Dialogue List who would always cite modern Orthodox theologians and Fathers as examples of how Orthodoxy taught something very much like Lutheranism. He was regularly given the authors' contact info to ask whether they were understanding his writings correctly; he never, to the best of my knowledge, ever did so.

That's not to say that lay Orthodox like me are correct, either. It just points to the difficulty of the questions involved, the breadth and depth of the subject (The Fathers, over centuries, in multiple languages and translations), and the difficulty in understanding any text apart from our own preconceived notions about what 'the obvious meaning' is.

Of course, literal Greek to English translation issues may also be at play here.

orrologion said...

One will also find that distinctions that may be required in a given conversation are not required in others. Married couples often speak in shorthand. Only when disagreements arise is it necessary to begin speaking in footnotes, clarifications, and to say what could otherwise be left unsaid. A Greek bishop in Greece is not likely to be dealing with how his terms will be taken in the West or by Protestants. His Wikipedia bio notes that "For many years he was at the forefront of the anti-ecumenism movement" meaning he is probably not well versed in the subtleties of Protestant terminology and theology, and its preoccupations.

Actually, simple education and understanding is one of the best arguments for ecumenical dialogue.