Are You Saved?

This is a possible Orthodox answer: salvation as process, not event; as good works in response to grace, not just works or just grace; as totally a gift of God, not a reason for boasting.

Wherever you are in your spiritual pilgrimage, it is worth considering these matters more seriously.

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

12 thoughts on “Are You Saved?”

  1. as an ecumenical Christian who belongs to the confessional Lutheran tradition, I agree with the general theme of this video. And I have a lot of respect for Orthodox theology (theosis, Theotokos, 7 historical and Ecumenical Councils)

    While I am not an expert in Lutheranism, I have a feeling that these two items/issues will be the GREATEST obsticles to overcome in the Lutheran interconfessional dialogue:

    1) “saved … thru my intentional decisions to follow Jesus” … While Lutherans will also say exactly that we are saved by the work of Jesus on the cross 2000 years ago, they will also say that according to the Scriptures we have no ability to love God (while sinners) or to choose God. We can only respond or reject the God’s call and grace. The quote is similar to what calvinistic Protestants would say (“Have you decided to follow Jesus?”) as if it is in our power to chose God. Faith is a gift of God, not a response to a neoProtestant pastor/evanghelists emotional manipulation techniques or rhetorical skills. We love God because He loved us first.

    2) “co-operated with the Grace bestowed upon me” … between Dr. Martin Luther’s death and the agreement of Concord were 32 or so years, of debate and controversies in the german lutheran camp. One issue was … namely … SYNERGISM. The Formula of Concord and the Apology of Concord clearly show that Salvation is Monorgistic not Synergistic. … this topic is a can of worms nevertheless … for reference I would recommend http://cyberbrethren.com/2011/07/12/what-is-a-lutheran/

    Just my 2 cents,

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      1. Thanks for your charity. I would love to know what the Anglican Communion and Tradition holds on Salvation. Pax

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      2. The Anglicans, somewhat like those in the Church of Scotand, being a broad church, have a variety of approaches, but generally, inclines towards synergism, as I do.

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  2. Thank you for the response Danut.

    Do Anglicans have anything as limiting or encompasing the broadness (of theological thought) as Lutherans do with the “Book of Concord – the Lutheran Confessions” ? … The only central book I am aware of is Book of Common Prayer.

    Thank you for your reflections and info, again.

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    1. To be fair, I do not feel competent enough to respond. I did my theological studies before I became an Anglican and I try to hold lightly my denominational identity (I’ve always done that). I do not believe in apologetics.

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  3. First I want to say that I like the clip, the tone of the voce, there seems to be an attitude of reverence and mistery. I do agree with Gabe when he writes that salvation is not a response to an emotional manipulation of a pastor. I don’t think I am a synergist I rather like to say what Jacques Ellul said “Nous sommes sauvés des oeuvres pour les oeuvres” and I believe it is regretable that in the evangelical mentality works were limited to a few things and those who practice them find prind in it rather then acknowlige the grace of God. Jacques Ellul wrote that the Bible is not a book of morals but of Revelation and radically transformed life. And the transformation is a life process, every day being an opportunity to work out our salvation, or to ‘fructifier’ as some of the French translations of the Bible will have it translate.

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  4. I would like to respond to Maria and Danut’s mention of synergism, at a later but soon time, in order to bring out some differentiation or nuances that may be involved and also argue from the lutheran perspective (which I feel quite feeble able to defend 100%, esp. since I have not finished the Book of Concord).

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  5. some quick extra notes:
    ¤ QUOTE from Dr. Luther, ” Is it not wonderful news to believe that salvation lies outside ourselves ? ”

    ¤ “Are You Saved?” by Bishop Kallistos/Ware … 10 min lecture http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjHGtCHyBrU

    ¤ Bishop Kallistos/Ware short answer at 5 min point in “How to run THE WAY Course – DVD Box set – Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies, Cambridge (IOCS) ” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsm23T1MtlE

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  6. Frumos… asa sa-i ajute Dumnezeu pe fratii ortodocsi.
    Cred ca daca cineva traieste astfel e mintuit, Il cunoaste pe Domnul, e nascut din nou, sau de Sus, botezat cu Duhul Sfint sau alte sintagme folosite de evanghelici si de NT pt cei ce “sunt dintre ai nostri”.
    Mesajul are insa o puternica tenta polemica desi el spune ca nu judeca pe altii… asa finut cum este. Si e puternic defensiv.
    Mesajul are si erori evidente: exista mintuire la sensul trecut dupa cum exista la cel prezent si viitor, in NT. Pt eliminarea ignoranteti autorului clipului, si evanghelicii vorbesc de mintuire ca proces =sfintenie. E-adevarat ca in mediile evengelice se pune accent pe sensul trecut. Dar in acelai timp se contesta nasterea din nou a celor ce stau “idle”.

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    1. Evident, daca un evanghelic ar fi facut acest clip, acesta ar fi avut numai cuvinte de oiubire despre ortodocsi, nu-i asa?
      De ce oare le aplicam altora masuri mult mai aspre decit ne aplicam noua insine?
      Poate ca are de-a face cu povestea cu paiul si birna.
      Nu din vreun Sfint Parinte, ci din Scriptura, pe care evanghelicii zic c-o venereaza, dar o incalca intr-o veselie.

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  7. Eu am facut doar o observatie/doua, analiza ar fi mai mult spus si nu i-am acuzat privind pe linga birna. Constat ca [in sfirsit] ortodocsii au invatat ceva de la evanghelici. Ar mai fi lucruri bune. Asa cum noi am reactionat prost la prvocarile penti/carismatice, si ei au reactionat prost la ale noastre. Dupa o vreme ne-am mai trezit si noi; sper sa se trezeasca si ei.
    Mi-a placut ideea rastignirii firii vechi, tot mai straina de noi evanghelicii. Din pacate, lupta nu era cu ajutorul Duhuli Sfint care parca nici nu apare de loc in clip (de nu ma-nsel). Si asta e-o alta problema a soteriologiei prezentate in clip.

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