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April 08, 2007


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Alithos anesti!

A blessed paschaltide to you and your family, Chris. And FYI, I'll be shooting you an email in the near future.

Alice C. Linsley

Alithos Anesti. This is awesome! Fr. Tom read it at the close of Agape Vespers on Sunday, but I didn't know where it came from and I'm glad to have the text to re-read. What a blessing to read this on Tuesday in Bright Week. Thanks for posting it.

Mark Henderson

Greetings Chris, how are you?
Are you still blogging?
Have visited your blog before but just now followed a link from Confessing Evangelical on infant baptism.
Can you direct me to aywhere on your blog where you have discussed coming from EO to Lutheranism?
Guess I should introduce myself: I'm a Lutheran pastor in Australia.
A friendly visitor.

Chris Jones

Pr Henderson,

Thanks for visiting.

I have taken a little hiatus from actively posting to the weblog, but I have a post or two in the works that should go up this week. Generally I am more active commenting on other folks' weblogs than posting on my own.

I do have one post (Why I Am Not Orthodox) that talks about one of the reasons for my move from Orthodoxy to Lutheranism, but I've never published a complete apologia for the move. If you would like, send me an e-mail (ckewinjones (at) yahoo (dot) com) and I would be happy to discuss the details privately.

Mark Henderson

Thanks Chris, I think I see where you are coming from.
I've read that Nassif article before, and it's encouraging to see that self-critical spirit in Orthodoxy - self-critical in the positive sense, that is. The only other time I've encountered it is reading Schmemann. That's not to say it doesn't exist elsewhere, of course, I'm sure it does, but it seems a little thin on the ground. We Lutherans though, seem to go to the opposite extreme and are thoroughly masochistic when it comes to such things.
One thing I personally can't get around when it comes to Orthodoxy is the apparently synergistic tendencies in salvation. I guess you've heard that before? And yet, if I understand correctly, a Lutheran convert is not required to renounce justification by grace through faith alone if he joins the Orthodox Church. That can't be an oversight, surely? And yet elsewhere that doctrine is rejected, at least in private writings. Through misunderstanding, I wonder?
Must go - will send an e--mail.

Chris Jones

Pr Henderson,

One thing I personally can't get around ... is the apparently synergistic tendencies in salvation ... I guess you've heard that before?

Indeed I have. But Orthodoxy is no more "synergistic" than is the Solid Declaration, II.65 and following (as soon as the Holy Ghost ... has begun in us this His work of regeneration and renewal, it is certain that through the power of the Holy Ghost we can and should cooperate, although still in great weakness). Lutheranism is quite strong on distinguishing justification from sanctification, but often (when we stray from the balanced doctrine of the Confessions themselves) we end up separating justification from sanctification. That is something that we must never do. The point of "monergism" is to attribute everything to the power of God's grace; but Orthodox "synergism," rightly understood, never fails to do that. And the point of Orthodox "synergism" is to ensure that we allow God's grace (that is, God Himself in his energies (Ph 2.13)) to be at work within us to conform us to the image of His Son.

a Lutheran convert is not required to renounce justification by grace through faith alone if he joins the Orthodox Church ... ?

That is my understanding, although the Orthodox are more comfortable with grace alone than with faith alone, since the only time the phrase "faith alone" occurs in Scripture is to deny it (Ja 2.24). If you have browsed around my weblog, you probably have seen how the Orthodox Church solemnly and publicly affirms that salvation is only by grace (see here).


Just discovered this while clicking on my profile favorites:

You and I are the only 2 on Blogger who list Southern Pacific as a music favorite. And I am LCMS.

No big deal....just weird. You haven't posted on here for awhile, evidently, so maybe you are somewhere else.

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