Salvation from an Orthodox perspective

Anselm of Canterbury was the first to attempt ...
Anselm of Canterbury was the first to attempt an ontological argument for God’s existence. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Combatting St. Anselm, since the 4th century….

Salvation is not merely a juridical change in our status from guilty under the law to justified in God’s sight (though it includes that). It is not accomplished just by the substitution or sacrifice of the wholly innocent God-man for sinful humanity. More important, a ruined, mortally wounded humanity needs to “be sanctified by the Humanity of God” in order to be restored to wholeness and perfected in God’s true likeness. First and foremost, salvation is an ontological event in our human nature that re-establishes the “original” possibility; the inherent, ingraced capacity of the human person for unobstructed communion with God.

The bit about the “ontological event” sounds a lot like Wesley’s view that we are called to Grace in order to have free choice — that “‘original’ possibility.”

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