How can I deal with my sinful condition?

by Metropolitan Anthony Bloom †

In the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.

So often we ask ourselves and one another a very tormenting question: How can I deal with my sinful condition? What can I do? I cannot avoid committing sins, Christ alone is sinless. I cannot, for lack of determination, or courage, or ability truly repent when I do commit a sin, or in general, of my sinful condition. What is left to me? I am tormented, I fight like one drowning, and I see no solution. Continue reading “How can I deal with my sinful condition?”

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Ancestral Versus Original Sin: An Overview with Implications for Psychotherapy

An essay by Fr. Anthony Hughes of St. Mary’s Church, Boston

The differences between the doctrine of Ancestral Sin—as understood in the church of the first two centuries and the present-day Orthodox Church—and the doctrine of Original Sin—developed by Augustine and his heirs in the Western Christian traditions—is explored. The impact of these two formulations on pastoral practice is investigated. It is suggested that the doctrine of ancestral sin naturally leads to a focus on human death and Divine compassion as the inheritance from Adam, while the doctrine of original sin shifts the center of attention to human guilt and Divine wrath. It is further posited that the approach of the ancient church points to a more therapeutic than juridical approach to pastoral care and counseling. (Abstract [1]) Continue reading “Ancestral Versus Original Sin: An Overview with Implications for Psychotherapy”

Original sin: Orthodox doctrine or heresy?

How easily we Orthodox indiscriminately adopt the language of Western theology! It is always a great temptation for those who have converted to Orthodoxy from Western Christian denominations to bring the baggage of their former allegiances with them rather than embrace Orthodoxy as something which is entirely different from the Christianity they left behind. While they may see the Western Christendom of today as alien to the Church of the Fathers, they are sometimes reluctant to accept that not everything from the pre-schism West is part and parcel of Orthodoxy. And yet, the influence of Western theology is to be found not only amongst Orthodox converts in the West, but also among those who have been brought up in the Orthodox Faith in traditionally Orthodox countries such as Greece and Russia. Continue reading “Original sin: Orthodox doctrine or heresy?”

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