Short Series Introduction

It occurred to me yesterday that when I wrote my “Crypto-???” post, perhaps I had given somewhat of a short shrift to Orthodoxy. If you recall, I determined that Catholicism had everything that draws me to Orthodoxy plus the fact that it is rather more accessible (not a very important point since I don’t mind a challenge and Truth is not weighed by accessibility) and that Catholicism had authority. The point of authority has been my main bone of contention. As I’ve stated before, I’m reluctantly being brought to the idea that there must be some authority. And this is where I feel I may have sold Orthodoxy somewhat short. In fact, the Orthodox seem to perceive authority in a vastly different way so that even the term “authority” is something of a misnomer. See * below.

I always try to look at the various sides of issues. In fact, at times, this can even be a fault when it borders on indecisiveness. However, I feel that I have not examined Orthodox “authority” as fully as I should and could before I had reluctantly dismissed Orthodoxy altogether. Nevertheless, my dismissal was a definite fallacy. I was, in effect, saying “Because I can’t find or think of an argument for Orthodox ‘authority,’ therefore there is none (or it simply doesn’t fit my standards) and Catholicism has authority.” True, on the surface it’s pretty easy to spot Catholic authority. The Pope. However, when one scratches the surface you find that there are layers of authority. Councils for example. At any rate, I should not dismiss the idea of Orthodox “authority” simply because Catholic authority is easier to spot in the wild.

So I thought I would do a short series on Orthodox “authority.” In doing this, I am opening myself up to something that I try not to show. Namely, I am placing my ignorance out there (which is already clear from my use of the term “authority.”) I am not Orthodox and I am no Orthodox expert. Nevertheless, this blog is about my journey and what theological ideas I find compelling. So, when I engage in this series I ask you to remember one thing: I will be writing this short series about how I, as an outsider, perceive Orthodox “authority.” This does not make any of my statements the final word. It is in fact, purely an explication of what I have attempted to learn on this issue. As such, if anyone has any greater or deeper knowledge, then I leave myself fully open to contradiction and correction. This blog is also for me to learn.

From what I have learned I believe this short series will exist in three parts, each examining one aspect of “authority” I have discovered. Then I suppose there might be a conclusion where I think over how compelling these three aspects of “authority” are. At the very least, this will be an interesting journey!

*Note on Orthodox “authority”: As this blog makes clear on point number six, the Orthodox do not see “authority” as we in the West do. So, perhaps this makes my entire effort something of fitting a round peg into a square hole. Nevertheless, the question of “where the lines are drawn” is a valid enough question, especially doctrinally. Perhaps a better way of understanding this would be to say that I am looking at the Orthodox alternative to what we in the West perceive as authority, especially regarding doctrine.

May Our Lady, the Most Holy Theotokos be with me then.

P.S. It should also be noted that the seeds of these thoughts came to me shortly after I was praying from my Orthodox prayer book, thus giving this whole idea a distinctly Orthodox flavor from the start. As the Orthodox saying goes: “A theologian is one who prays and one who prays is a theologian.”


~ by crossingthebosporus on July 5, 2012.

2 Responses to “Short Series Introduction”

  1. I will follow with interest, and pray for you, my friend. That ‘authority’ question haunts me too, and I am, from quite another angle, trying to say something about it – and thus far failing 🙂

  2. I have subscribed via google reader!

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