Yep. The Catholics got themselves into a conundrum when they went all in on Augustine’s theology, which was very juridical in nature, rooted as it was in his own guilt. God’s a judge, and depending on how you act, he can either toss you in jail or let you go free.

This logically leads to viewing confession as a pardon, and the selling of indulgences, etc. Thomas Aquinas doubled down on it. And although Luther hit the Catholics because the indulgences issue was (again logically) leading to actual corruption, he did *not* change the basic Augustinian framework, which the Protestants still embrace (although some have figured out the problem and modified it in practice.)

The Eastern Orthodox avoided this mess by not speaking Latin very well. Thus, they missed Augustine (who they still today view with suspicion) and embraced John Cassian, who viewed the Church not as a courtroom, but a hospital; and God not as a judge, but a doctor. Sin was an illness you needed to be cured of, etc.

People like doctors because they make them better; judges, they tend to be afraid of, for obvious reasons.

Fun fact: After Luther passed away, his disciples, knowing the inherent risks in “going it alone” as a new denomination, tried to hook up with the Orthodox Patriarch in Constantinople. I don’t know if they ever traveled there, but letters went back and for several times discussing bringing the Lutherans into the Orthodox Church. The Patriarch was lukewarm as long as the Lutherans rigidly insisted on faith salvation (which the Orthodox agree with) but disparaged the contribution of good works (with which they did not agree.)

So, now, there are a dozen or so kinds of Lutherans, I’m led to understand.

Data Driven Econophile. Muslim, USA born. Been “woke” 2x: 1st, when I realized the world isn’t fair; 2nd, when I realized the “woke” people are full of shit.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store