What Beliefs do Eastern Orthodox Christians Hold in Common with the Augustinian/Reformed Tradition?
- The inspiration of Scripture
- The two natures of Christ
- The historical uniqueness of Christ's death on the cross
- Christ's physical resurrection
- Our future hope of eternal life
- And all the early Christian creeds.
- Like Eastern Orthodoxy, we also hold in common the view that the rejection of the Trinity constitutes
What Beliefs do Eastern Orthodox Christians (EOC) Hold in Contrast to the Augustinian/Reformed Tradition?
- EOC reject the Biblical teaching of the natural man's bondage to a corruption of nature, embrace free will
and reject the Doctrines of Grace.
- EOC reject the Biblical doctrine of predestination. But like Arminians believe that when the Bible speaks of
Predestination, it speaks of divine foreknowledge of the sinner's choice.
- With regard to their soteriology, EOC, like Arminians, are synergistic in their view of regeneration. In
other words, they embrace the teaching that man and God cooperate to bring about the new birth.
- EOC reject the doctrine of justification by grace alone through faith alone. Rather, "theosis" (becoming
God) or the progressive transformation of people into full likeness to God, in soul and body, takes
prominence. Regeneration & sanctification is viewed as a part of justification.
- EOC reject the biblical idea (Romans 5) of inherited (imputed) guilt; They believe, rather, that we are
guilty only for our own sins rather as a result of the consequences of Adam's fall.
- EOC unapologeticly hold that they are the one true church of Christ on earth, which alone has guarded
right belief and true worship in absolute identity and unbroken succession with the apostolic church. In
other words, Evangelicals have lapsed from the true faith into error, if not outright heresy, according to
Orthodox believers. The salvation of non-Orthodox is, therefore, in question.
- EOC hold to baptismal regeneration - no one can be saved unless he is baptized with water.
- EOC reject Sola Scriptura. Orthodoxy affirms a single source of revelation, holy tradition, of which
Scripture is the preeminent among several forms. The other forms of tradition include the first seven
ecumenical councils, patristic writings, especially those of the first four centuries; later councils; icons; the
Liturgy; and canon law. The Protestant view which raises Scripture above tradition as final authority in
matters of doctrine is considered by Orthodox as the sin of the Reformation.
- EOC teach that there are seven sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Confession,
Ordination, Marriage, and Holy Unction
- Like Romans Catholics, EOC believe the Eucharist is a true, propitiatory sacrifice.
- Veneration given to icons. For EOC, icons have always been a part of church tradition so this tradition is
considered on par with Scripture. In other words, we can only conclude that Eastern Orthodoxy is an inconsistent, unbiblical substitute for a Christ-centered Biblical Christianity.
Through Western Eyes: Eastern Orthodoxy
by Robert Letham
Three Views on Eastern Orthodoxy and Evangelicalism
ed. by Stanley Gundry