This page is a link to a series of blogs that reflect what I consider to be basic assumptions needed to understand Orthodoxy. This is not ‘Orthodoxy as Fundamentalism’ where I give a series of doctrinal litmus tests, but rather the ‘mindset’ that I see as needed to make sense of Orthodoxy.
To not have the right mindset can lead to all sorts of problems. Confusing a legal context with a medical context can lead to asking a doctor for an antibiotic to cure a parking ticket, or asking an attorney for an injunction against the flu. It is not ‘wrong’, it is just plain nonsensical. I remember the first time I asked Fr. Steven Kostoff the common evangelical question: “do you know if you are saved?” I was expecting a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer that might clue me into whether he saw Orthodox salvation as an issue of ‘faith’ or ‘works’. The answer I got was: “That is too selfish of a question, I don’t ask myself that.” I knew then that I was wandering into unknown territory, he didn’t have different answers to my questions; he was dealing with different questions.
Many of the discussions that I see between Orthodox and non-Orthodox appear as two people talking past each other with a lot of confusion and little understanding. The attached blog posts are my attempt to help bridge such divides. You will not find doctrinal issues here, but a stage on which doctrines and theology may be presented.
Philosophy and Reason: A short history of philosophy and where Western Christianity (and philosophy) diverges from Eastern Christianity.
Orthodox Distinctives: How Orthodoxy has a different way of ‘doing’ theology, and where we have a different emphasis (why we often start off sounding familiar, but end up sounding strange).