Transcripts

Pilgrims from Paradise

Pilgrims from Paradise

No Salvation Outside the Church

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So what does it mean "There is no salvation outside of the Church?" Matthew explores that in this week's episode.

Last week, I responded to a listener’s question as to how oneness in doctrine and practice relates to oneness in Christ. This week, I want to take up his second question: What does the patristic slogan, “No salvation outside the Church,” mean? From the perspective of the original faith, does one have to be a member of the Orthodox Church to be saved?

Well, first let’s consider what the Church is. The Church is that single, undivided…

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Pilgrims from Paradise

Old Testament Sacrifices - Part 2

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Matthew concludes his series by examining the nature of man's conscience.

We’re continuing our discussion today about the purpose of the Old Testament sacrificial system. Last time we got to the point where we were recognizing that St. Paul sees the sacrificial system on sort of a two-level dynamic. He teaches that, while animal sacrifices accomplish something for the Israelites on a certain level, they failed to meet a deeper and more important need in the lives of the Israelite people. The blood of bulls and goats, he says,…

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Pilgrims from Paradise

Old Testament Sacrifices - Part 1

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Matthew answers the question, "What was God's purpose with the Old Testament sacrificial system?"

A friend of mine asked me the other day, “In God’s grand scheme of things, what was the purpose of the Old Testament sacrificial system?” It’s a good question. So, just as I do with any spiritual topic these days, I decided to examine it in the context of God’s ultimate desire for humanity, that we should experience, with him and with each other, the Holy Trinity’s life of perfect union, as we are taught in John 17:20-23, or Ephesians…

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Pilgrims from Paradise

Virtual Righteousness - Part 2

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Matthew brings part two of a two-part series on the differences between Eastern and Western views of imputed righteousness.

Last time we were together, we were looking at how the relationship of perfect oneness with Christ and incomprehensible intimacy of being comes about, in contrast with the Western Christian view of imputed righteousness. We saw that the model for our relationship with Christ is the union that exists between God the Father and God the Son.

We had asked: How does their relationship of perfect oneness come to be? Does it happen like the Western version of salvation,…

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Pilgrims from Paradise

Virtual Righteousness - Part 1

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Matthew brings part one of a two-part series on the differences between Eastern and Western views of imputed righteousness.

When I was a kid, I used to have a set of Bible storybooks. Appearing throughout those volumes were artistic depictions of heaven. I’ve seen pictures like them all my life, in all sorts of Christian books. I’m sure that most of us have. See if this doesn’t sound familiar. In the foreground of this painting is an idyllic park setting. Beautiful flowers and trees dot the landscape. The footpaths weave between lush, grassy meadows and crystal ponds.…

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Pilgrims from Paradise

Oneness And The Fall - Part 1

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Matthew contrasts the Western and Orthodox views on the disobedience of Adam and Eve in Eden. He begins by revisiting the fall itself.

In recent podcasts we’ve been taking a look at foundational teachings of the Christian Faith through the eyes of what we have identified as God’s ultimate desire for humankind, which is expressed by the Lord Jesus Christ very clearly in the 17th chapter of St. John’s Gospel, where he teaches in his prayer that God longs for us to become one with God and one with each other in the way that the Father and the Son are one. Looking…

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Pilgrims from Paradise

Oneness And The Fall - Part 2

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Continuing his series, Matthew shows how the Western interpretation of Genesis is colored by their concept of God Himself.

When we ended the last podcast, we had just looked at the story of the fall of Adam and Eve as it’s recorded in the book of Genesis. I concluded by pointing out that the story can be understood in different ways, can be interpreted from different viewpoints. I said that the Christian West puts a particular spin on this tale, applies a particular theological interpretive scheme to this tale, which is very different than that of the Christian East. I want to begin…

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Pilgrims from Paradise

John 6:63 And The Eucharist - Part 2

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Matthew concludes his discussion by reminding us of Christ's own words that He is "the Living Bread of Everlasting Life."

Last time we were trying to put the verse in St. John’s Gospel, chapter 6 verse 63, which is commonly used by many anti—sacramental believers to dispute the notion that the bread and wine of the cup of the Eucharist are indeed the real body and blood of Christ.  We were looking at the chapter in its context which is really in the context of the feeding of the five-thousand.  It involves a lengthy discussion between Jesus and the people who have…

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Pilgrims from Paradise

John 6:63 And The Eucharist

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Does St. John-- as Protestants teach-- disprove the belief that the bread and wine in the Eucharist is actually the Body and Blood of Christ? Matthew answers with an emphatic, "No."

John chapter 6 verse 63 is a verse commonly cited by many Protestants to contradict the view of Eastern Orthodox Christians that the bread and wine of the Eucharist are literally, albeit mystically, the body and blood of Christ. Jesus says to his disciples, “It is the Spirit who gives life. The flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are Spirit, and they are life.”

Those who deny the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist contend…

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Pilgrims from Paradise

Oneness And The Fall - Part 4

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Matthew examines the deception of Satan in Eden.

At the end of the last podcast, I was talking about Satan’s great lie to Adam and Eve that they could become gods by taking matters into their own hands, by disobeying God and then eating of the fruit that he had commanded them not to eat. But I said then that it occurs to me that Satan founds this lie upon some deeper and more essential falsehoods that Adam and Eve at some level must embrace to follow through with the actions that he suggests.

Let’s…

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