Forced Choices: Eastern Orthodoxy vs. Catholicism.

Last week’s Forced Choice was our first blowout, without Greek trouncing Hebrew 63% to 37%. Since that is significantly higher than what we saw in our OT vs. NT poll, I have to think that people really do just like the Greek language better for some reason.

Today, we’re going to look in a different direction: Christian traditions. And, I’m going to eliminate all of the Protestant traditions, since I think that’s where the majority of you are probably coming from already. So, which do you prefer: Eastern Orthodoxy or Catholicism? And, as usual, feel free to leave a comment if you’d like. But, you don’t need to.

About Marc Cortez

Theology Prof and Dean at Western Seminary, husband, father, & blogger, who loves theology, church history, ministry, pop culture, books, and life in general.

Posted on October 8, 2011, in Misc and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. This is a tough one! My mother’s side comes from a Catholic background so there is some family history there, along with the comfort of familiarity since Catholicism has been influenced by and has influenced the “western” world. At times it seems like Catholicism allows for more flexibility in theological expression.

    But Orthodoxy doesn’t have the papacy! So I voted for Orthodoxy.

  2. Orthodoxy is a beautiful thing (but I can’t do it, they still have Apostolic Succession, etc.). But theologically one of the main reasons I would go EO is because of their rejection (in the main) of the filioque. If there is an Apostolic linked church (and I mean genetically); I would think it to be represented better by Orthodoxy (with their “multiple” Cosmopolitans V. the Roman Catholic Pope).

  3. Plus I think Theosis has a lot going for it.

  4. I believe the Jesus Victor view of the atonement(stressed in Othodoxy)has not only historical presidence, but stresses the overwhelming love of God in a way the penal substitutionary view (stressed more often in the West) can not. Penal substitution sets the Father and Son at odds whereas the Jesus Victor view presents the Trinity as united in love for humankind in the Incarnation. Emotionally the penal view speaks of an angry God who demands first of all justice, rather than a God whose very essence is love. My other reasons would include theosis, the rejection of the filioque, lack of a pope, rejection of purgatory and a more balanced view of Mary.

  5. As I learned at the Katholieke Universitieit Leuven, it is perilous to speak of Roman Catholicism in terms of one monolithic tradition. In fact, when I (a once wet behind the ears 5 point double predestination Calvinist) queried about Original Sin in my first R.C. fundamental moral theology class saying: “I thought that the Roman Catholics believed” … after the laughter and uproar passed…the prof did an impromptu survey of about 100 Roman Catholic priests in the class over the Original Sin query. It revealed four main views. He made it clear that R.C. is not monolithic. You may say “what about the univocity of magisterial teaching?” The answer given in Leuven would be…whose interpretation of that teaching…So to my good friend Marc I say: “Whose Catholicism, Which Rationality?” By that I mean I am not sure of which R.C. tradition you are setting over against which Eastern Orthodox expression 😉

    • Hey now, no cheating. The rules of the game are simple. I offer a choice, you pick. The basis on which you make your choice is entirely up to you. So, if you want to pit Catholic tradition as a whole against EO tradition as a whole (in all of their myriad expressions), I’m fine with that. That’s more or less what I had in mind (which is, as I mentioned, irrelevant). But, if you’d rather select one strand of each as the exemplar and make youre choice on that basis, so be it. I’m intentionally not being overly directive with these Forced Choices. It’s more fun that way.

      • Oh my…cheating…that’s why I guess I am sort of a ‘protest’-ant’ and am a confused one at that 😉 I would return to the ‘Mother’ church except for the co-redemptrix thing. Just couldn’t get past that and the decrees that make it magisterial. Certainly, R.C. moral theology has refinements that only Protestant expressions of faith could hope for. But as I said…St. Mary, I like her just can’t venerate her. So should I choose a Volt or a Focus … OK Theosis without ICONS/venerations plus Berdyaev … EO-s got me.

  6. Protestants are so lame 😉

  1. Pingback: Marc Cortez is Lame | Unsettled Christianity

  2. Pingback: Elsewhere (09.15.2011) | Near Emmaus

  3. Pingback: Forced Choices: Who Is Your Favorite Church Mother? « scientia et sapientia

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