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22 Posts

Posted - 26 Sep 2004 :  11:31:07  

I read Peter Damascene's "What is true faith" (at www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/fathers/damascenus-faith.asp). I don't know the Greek fathers very well and I am surprised by this text, because it seems to me like 'Protestant', not paying attention to works, but only to grace. Is this an Orthodox attitude, or just a 'peculiarity'?



615 Posts

Posted - 27 Sep 2004 :  14:46:01  


Protestantism, Catholicism, Orthodoxy are not absolutely different - it was all One sometime, as you know. Peter's text, in my opinion, is not about the distinction of works and grace (a foundational distinction in Protestant thinking), but on the contrary, it is about their unity: "faith dares anything without any doubt". This means that there is not a single thing I 'have to' do in order to be saved, laws and methods to follow, etc, yet knowing who sends everything in order to help me, I can work, even (and properly) by myself, without trusting my works as mine, but as His, who makes the works possible and meaningful. This way the faithful co-operate with Him. To believe in grace and not in works, doesn't mean what Heidegger said, that "we have nothing to do, there is nothing that must be done" - it means that whatever one does, (thinking, helping other people, glorifying God, participating to the mysteries, etc) all depend to the power of Him who makes them possible and all have their value not in the external action, but in the faith of those who do these things.

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