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A Generous Orthodoxy
21-07-2007, 09:48 AM
Post: #9
 
I would want to echo all that John says..indeed I have been mulling over this question of the Church and the churches for perhaps 25 years or more. I can remember being in the town library instead of at college and writing the outlines of a paper which I called even then as an Evangelical discovering the Orthodox-Catholic tradition - the Church and the churches.

In my own mind I have rather separated thoughts of other Christians and other communities, so that I could think that various systems of belief and organisation were not THE Church, but that faithful believers in other communities were indeed Christians.

So I have felt comfortable in the past in criticising some Methodist theology and praxis (for instance) while not criticising any Methodists. Likewise by noting real defects in the theology and praxis of my own Plymouth Brethren (that I have to consider real defects) without criticising the devotion and holiness of Plymouth Brethren.

When I read - where two or three are gathered - I cannot deny that where two or three or four or more Baptists or Brethren or Roman Catholics are gathered in His Name, Christ makes Himself present, as He Himself knows and chooses.

And I see from our own British Orthodox practice that we believe this is so, because one of the aims of the British Orthodox Fellowship is to encourage members of other Christian traditions to meet together and pray using our Orthodox Agbeya prayers. How could we encourage this and desire this if we did not believe that when they gathered they would be in the presence of God?

And the historical practice of our Oriental Orthodox communion had always been to receive those from the Byzantine, Roman and Nestorian communities by confession and prayer only, accepting them as already Christians. Indeed our brethren in the Syrian Orthodox Church receive Roman Catholics into the Church as already baptised, even while the Coptic Church (I think under the pressure of Roman Catholic proselytism among the Coptic community) requires baptism of such.

I have wondered whether the Orthodox should at least consider all other Christians as at least catechumens, if members of various communities cannot be received as baptised. I mean so that all Christians are understood as belonging to the Church in various degrees of relationship, because there is only One Church and One Christ.

This also perhaps explains why almost intuitively the British Orthodox Church seems to want to deal with other Christians in terms of education and catechesis rather than in terms of evangelism and conversion. If others are already on the journey of the catechumenate then they have already turned to Christ and to the Church, and our role is to help them bring their catechumenate to fruition rather than to treat them as outsiders and others.

Is this possible or reasonable? Is it what we believe?

I do not sense that we have any thought, as some do, that only Orthodox are in any relationship with Christ, let alone that only Orthodox are 'saved' and have hope of eternal life

Peter
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Messages In This Thread
A Generous Orthodoxy - Rick Henry - 15-07-2007, 03:52 PM
[] - admin - 15-07-2007, 05:01 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 17-07-2007, 12:42 PM
[] - admin - 19-07-2007, 08:59 PM
On Transcending Divisions - Rick Henry - 20-07-2007, 12:57 AM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 20-07-2007, 01:56 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 20-07-2007, 04:38 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 20-07-2007, 10:05 PM
[] - admin - 21-07-2007 09:48 AM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 21-07-2007, 03:42 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 22-07-2007, 01:24 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 22-07-2007, 03:13 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 23-07-2007, 12:04 AM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 23-07-2007, 11:30 AM
[] - Rick Henry - 23-07-2007, 01:32 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 23-07-2007, 03:52 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 24-07-2007, 01:19 PM
a generous orthodoxy - kirk yacoub - 25-07-2007, 08:27 AM
[] - admin - 25-07-2007, 11:10 AM
Re: a generous orthodoxy - Rick Henry - 25-07-2007, 07:29 PM
Thank You - Rick Henry - 25-07-2007, 08:21 PM
a generous orthodoxy - kirk yacoub - 26-07-2007, 09:35 AM
[] - Rick Henry - 26-07-2007, 02:46 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 26-07-2007, 04:23 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 27-07-2007, 03:59 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 28-07-2007, 11:25 AM
[] - Rick Henry - 01-08-2007, 02:11 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 01-08-2007, 03:24 PM
a generous orthodoxy - kirk yacoub - 02-08-2007, 08:37 AM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 02-08-2007, 11:21 AM
[] - Rick Henry - 02-08-2007, 12:09 PM
a generous orthodoxy - kirk yacoub - 03-08-2007, 08:31 AM
[] - Rick Henry - 03-08-2007, 02:54 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 03-08-2007, 03:46 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 04-08-2007, 10:37 AM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 04-08-2007, 11:26 AM
[] - Rick Henry - 04-08-2007, 12:21 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 07-08-2007, 02:15 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 07-08-2007, 02:57 PM
[] - admin - 07-08-2007, 04:04 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 07-08-2007, 05:06 PM
[] - admin - 07-08-2007, 07:38 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 07-08-2007, 07:44 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 08-08-2007, 12:28 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 08-08-2007, 12:38 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 09-08-2007, 01:55 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 09-08-2007, 02:40 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 10-08-2007, 01:56 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 10-08-2007, 08:43 PM
Re: A Generous Orthodoxy - Rick Henry - 11-08-2007, 02:17 PM
Love - John Charmley - 11-08-2007, 04:38 PM
a generous orthodoxy - kirk yacoub - 13-08-2007, 08:35 AM
God is Love? - John Charmley - 13-08-2007, 12:00 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 13-08-2007, 05:35 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 14-08-2007, 04:30 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 15-08-2007, 02:59 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 15-08-2007, 04:18 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 15-08-2007, 06:41 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 15-08-2007, 09:42 PM
a generous orthodoxy - kirk yacoub - 16-08-2007, 09:02 AM
Judgement - John Charmley - 16-08-2007, 01:35 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 17-08-2007, 04:21 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 18-08-2007, 12:23 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 23-08-2007, 12:44 PM
Love - John Charmley - 23-08-2007, 05:54 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 04-12-2007, 10:15 PM
Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 07-12-2007, 04:42 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 11-12-2007, 02:24 PM
Rubber and road - John Charmley - 12-12-2007, 05:47 PM
a generous orthodoxy - kirk yacoub - 13-12-2007, 10:03 AM
Generosity - John Charmley - 13-12-2007, 11:18 AM
[] - Rick Henry - 13-12-2007, 01:34 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 13-12-2007, 01:46 PM
To believe on Him? - John Charmley - 17-02-2008, 07:18 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 17-02-2008, 09:58 PM
[] - John Charmley - 19-02-2008, 06:31 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 20-02-2008, 12:39 PM
[] - John Charmley - 23-02-2008, 04:50 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 24-02-2008, 01:15 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 08-04-2008, 01:36 PM
Ecclesiastical communities - John Charmley - 08-04-2008, 04:48 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 09-04-2008, 02:58 PM
[] - John Charmley - 10-04-2008, 08:50 PM
Part II - John Charmley - 10-04-2008, 09:15 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 11-04-2008, 01:28 PM
[] - John Charmley - 11-04-2008, 03:32 PM
a generous orthodoxy - kirk yacoub - 12-04-2008, 08:46 AM
[] - John Charmley - 12-04-2008, 12:14 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 13-04-2008, 03:42 PM
[] - John Charmley - 14-04-2008, 01:54 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 15-04-2008, 12:07 PM
[] - John Charmley - 15-04-2008, 09:09 PM
a generous orthodoxy - kirk yacoub - 18-04-2008, 09:48 AM
[] - Rick Henry - 18-04-2008, 12:16 PM
[] - John Charmley - 18-04-2008, 02:16 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 20-04-2008, 01:42 PM
[] - John Charmley - 20-04-2008, 02:40 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 20-04-2008, 06:04 PM
[] - John Charmley - 26-04-2008, 11:05 AM
Lest Foundationalism is Dead: - Rick Henry - 28-04-2008, 02:55 PM
[] - admin - 28-04-2008, 07:19 PM
[] - John Charmley - 30-04-2008, 07:04 PM
Transition/Transformation? - Rick Henry - 01-05-2008, 10:53 AM
[] - Rick Henry - 27-05-2008, 02:23 PM



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