Wednesday, 14 October 2009

An Orthodox View of Luther's Catholicity

I read the following this morning by the Orthodox theologian John Meyendorff on Luther's catholicity:
“Luther’s main intention was to go back to the New Testament, to revive the sense of the God of the Bible, the living God, the Creator and the Soveriegn. He recovers the primitive concept of salvation as a drama, a battle between God and the evil powers of sin and death which have usurped God’s sovereignty over the world... Lutheran theology was indeed a re-establishment of the basic Biblical and Patristic elements in this drama. His concern for the catholic tradition of the church was obvious, and the Augsburg Confession itself claims to be nothing else than a reestablishment of the ancient apostolic faith liberated from all human philosophical systems.

Catholicity and the Church by John Meyendorff, pp68-69
SVS Press, NY [italics mine].


Schutz said...

Gosh, Acro, even I agree with that! But it ias one thing to say that some one intends something, and it is another to say that they actually succeed in it

Acroamaticus said...

Indeed, and there we disagree. We will have to leave that verdict to a truly ecumenical church council or to the verdict of God in heaven, which ever comes first.
In the meantime I gratefully acknowldge the pivotal role Joseph Ratzinger has played since 1958 in getting Roman Catholics to take the CA both seriously and sympathetically.

Schütz said...

Mmm. We are celebrating Papa Ratzinger's good will towards Lutherans in the coming week with the 10th Anniversary of the JDDJ - something that would not have been possible without his intervention (there is a famous story about last minute meetings with Lutheran representatives at his brother George's house).

And BTW BTW, are you still having trouble posting comments on my blog?
By the way, exactly who would you want to invite to a "truly ecumenical Council"? I understand that the last time there was any body other than Catholic bishops involved in a Council was the Council of Constance - I could be wrong - at which princes and theologians got a look in.

We, of course - and I expect the Orthodox - could only accept as genuine participants of an ecumenical council, validly ordained bishops. Then there is the question of how one could really have such a council unless "full communion" were to be established between these bishops before the council opened.

So tell me: who would be able to attend and vote at your "truly ecumenical council"?

Acroamaticus said...

I think we could be gracious enough to allow the Pope to call it, since we have no other better candidate for head of Christendom at the moment.
I think its pretty much a no-brainer (great American phrase) that the RCs would permit Orthodox representation.
I think we orthodox Lutherans should have a seat at the table, since our concerns have never really had a valid hearing, or at the least we should be allowed in the room to whisper in the ears of sympathetic bishops.
And the Anglicans, the orthodox ones, that is, as that would finally settle that argument.
And the non-Chalcedonians and Nestorians, because the opportunity is too great not to invite them.
And the Reformed could be let in on the same basis as us, provided they baptise infants and confess the Creeds.
Have I forgotten anyone?

Oh, and I can post on you rblog, I sent you an e-mail about it.

Now, DS, don't you have work to do??

Schütz said...

I'm going to steal this conversation on a "truly ecumenical council" and take it over to my blog.

Acroamaticus said...

Be my guest.
You realise, once the Pope falls into my trap of allowing him to call the council, he will be pressured to give us voice if not vote. Of course, it would all go on for years, but it could be very exciting.

Acroamaticus said...

Oh, and please correct my typos if your going to publish it over there. Thanks.