It is easier for Western Christians to articulate how people are saved because their purpose for salvation is narrower and their audience is broader. From the eleventh century on Western salvation became preoccupied with justice and the wrongs our sins did against God. Salvation was suddenly a transaction Christ took care of on the cross when he purchased our debt owed to God and covered our filthiness with His righteousness. Beneficiaries of this transaction became individuals who pray the “sinner’s prayers”.
For the first thousand years, these ideas played no role in shaping the united Church’s understanding of Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf. Fr. Pat traces 1500 years of ideas found in the Bible, the Church fathers, Scholastic theologians and the Reformers that shaped the differences between what Western and Orthodox Churches believe about the atonement.
Two stimulating talks and Q&A were presented at St. Elias Russian Orthodox Church in Diamond Springs, CA on April 29, 2017. Fr. Pat’s content is based on his book titled Reclaiming the Atonement.
A biography about Fr. Pat Reardon here.