Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I am mindful of comments made by Fr. Gregory about the ways in which western concepts have insinuated themselves into the Coptic and other Orthodox traditions.
In the course of our discussion on Purgatory it has been interesting to see what looks like a difference in teaching about salvation emerge.
One of my Catholic friends has suggested that we seem to believe in Salvation by Grace, suggesting that is effectively Protestant. I'm not sure it is, and wonder how else we are saved if not by Grace?
I have this from a Coptic source:
Quote:Grace is the heart and center of the Alexandrian theology. For God "first loved us" John 4:19; for He knew us (Rom. 8: 29), chose us, predestined us, called us, justified us and glorified us. He wills, decides and acts for our salvation, even while we were sinners and against Him (Rom5:10). Christ's blood is the only method through which salvation can be realized. This evangelic teaching is accepted and explained by the Alexandrian Fathers, without denying the free-will that God grants us, nor rejecting the positive role of the believer in accepting God's saving love and in responding to this divine love by practical love.
and can see how that could be read as 'salvation by Grace', but is that so?
My own response, inadequate, was:
Quote:For us, as you can see, the concept of an intermediate state such as Purgatory is not necessary, for God has accomplished our salvation through the Cross of Christ. We have to confess that cross, be baptised, chrismated and live the Christian life within the Church and her sacraments. We trust that will bring us to salvation, but only the Just Judge can say for sure.
But I wonder how others see this? (As I go off to read Pope Shenouda's book on this topic).
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)