A Generous Orthodoxy
Thank you for your kind remarks; sometimes it is difficult to find the exact words one wants, so it is good to know that even the approximations can serve some purpose.
I am struck, in reading what you and Peter have said, and in the light of your opening post, by a seeming paradox. On the surface it might seem odd that someone who believes what I wrote in my last post should have made a pretty big decision about leaving the Church where he had been for thirty odd years to join Orthodoxy; what was that about then? If we can all be saved, why bother going through the turmoil of leaving one Church and joining another? As I talk to my two eldest sons (one of whom is a Baptist pastor) I find much in what they say I consider very Orthodox, and they are both far better read, theologically than I am (Dr. Lloyd Jones being a great favourite with both of them). So was it just a personal fad?
The best answer I can attempt is to refer to the phrase that it is the fullness of the Faith that is to be found in Orthodoxy. For me it is the difference between parts of a meal, which are nourishing enough to keep me alive, but which does no more; and the full meal which nourishes all parts of me and enables me to do something with my life other than barely survive; does that makes sense or have any resonance with anyone here?
As an Anglican I 'knew' a lot about Christianity; as an Orthodox, I 'know' less and experience more; the sense of being on a journey that transforms me is something I did not have before. The ocean upon which I travel seems vaster and deeper, and in theory I ought to be far more frightened of it; but that does not seem to be the case. Even the sense that there is so much I don't know, does not make me despair. At the Eucharist, as I encounter the Risen Lord, I know His love for mankind; I am humbled at His sacrifice and in awe of His compassion. If He could do all that He did for a sinner like me, I should, at the least (and why is it always the least that is what I do?) try to walk in His way by repenting of my sins and trying, as best I can with His help, to amend my life.
This fullness of the Faith is something I would wish for everyone, but His will is what will be done, and the ways in which He works are not to be questioned by me. But His command was to love one another, and He said that others would recognise us as His followers by that love; if we love only those who are like us and love us, what is that - even the pagans do that! His call to us is a harder road; not in itself, but for us.
As you say, Rick, a long conversation - but, I hope, a good beginning.
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)