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Orthodox Theology applied
By Protopresbyter John Romanides:
«A Critical Examination of the Applications of Theology»
Now this is where we encounter the most complex and most difficult problem in contemporary Orthodox Theology. Those Orthodox who have been corroded by secular-cultural inferiority complexes are unable to assimilate Patristic theology; the reason this has occurred is because a submission to the Fathers (as though to one’s spiritual father) was necessary, given that the Fathers’ theology constitutes a sum of martial methods designed for eliminating the devil and thereafter attaining perfection through unity amongst one other, in Christ.
Given that a heretic is one who is not acquainted with these methods, it is therefore impossible for someone to learn them from him. And when a so-called Orthodox is also not acquainted with these methods, it is likewise impossible for someone to learn them from him.
Thus, it becomes obvious that only when today’s Orthodox theologians acknowledge that the highest form of Theology is the one provided by a Theologian who is in a state of “theory” (which is the perpetuation of the Pentecost throughout History), that they can be in a position to take a stand when examining this tradition in its historical context, and can properly evaluate the implementing of this Theology in the relations between the Church and society and the world in general.
The most powerful point in this perception of Theology is that its bearer has been released from his subjugation to the environment – not by escaping from it, but by freeing his “nous” from the influence and the domination of logic, of passions and of the body, in such a way that his now “grace-endowed” nous can actually transform logic, passions and the environment.
It is more than obvious that Christ had prayed for the unity of His Apostles and His followers, within the “theory” (sighting) of the Father’s Glory, in His Person, and through the Holy Spirit, “so that the world may believe” that the Father had sent forth His Son.
But the World did not come to believe because of Christians in general, because at times, they are no better (and perhaps are even worse) than the members of any other religion. In fact, it is because of certain Christians that many people have found it difficult to take Christianity seriously – even in cases where they have acknowledged Christ as a major religious leader and teacher of morality.
Therefore, it is only through the Christians who are in a state of enlightenment and theosis that people are enabled to believe that the Father had sent His Son; and one can easily ascertain how the enlightened ones influence their environment, by simply examining the tradition that confirms the veneration of saints, their icons and their relics.
Translation by A.N.
Article published in English on: 7-6-2007
Last update: 7-6-2007