The above warning was given to me when I first met Orthodoxy in 1986. Today [2009] it is even more perilous, even more difficult to find the Royal Path. For one thing there is a far greater abundance of misinformation. And many materials are missing, and other materials are being rapidly rewritten. For another thing there are fewer than ever guides remaining on the Royal Path, especially who speak English. Hopefully this website will be a place where Newcomers to the Faith can keep at least one foot on solid ground, while they are "exploring."

blog owner: Joanna Higginbotham


jurisdiction: ROCA under Vladyka Agafangel

who did not submit to the RocorMP union in 2007


10 November 2013

Dogma of Redemption

Regarding the controversy

If you have not already, someday you may run into the controversy regarding ROCOR Metropolitan Anthony's Dogma of Redemption.

Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky was the beloved first chief hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad 1920–1936.  His faulty theologizing put forth the idea our salvation comes through Christ's suffering in Gethsemane more than His suffering on the Cross.  Fr. Seraphim always avoided controversy, as it is a distraction from the "one thing needful", but at the same time Fr. Seraphim never failed to defend the truth.  With all Christian charity and honor due to his Church father, Fr. Seraphim condemned the false teaching while at the same time fully defending the man.   St. John S&SF was his guide.  Who knows better than St. John? 

Below are some words I extracted from a private correspondence with a brother older in the Faith.  I have adopted this as my basic policy on the subject of Metr. Anthony's controversial Dogma of Redemption.  These few simple words are a solid ground on which to stand when facing the temptation to enter into the controversy:  

Metropolitan Anthony's views on redemption were the source of some controversy in the first half of the 20th century.  But it must be stressed that these were his personal views, and that they fall under the category of theologoumenon, which is defined as a "theological statement which is of individual opinion and not doctrine".  Metropolitan Anthony's opponents accused him of heresy; but this seems unwarranted.  What is more likely is that he was trying to combat Latin (scholastic) teachings about redemption that were commonly being taught in his day and also to provide some new insights into the whole topic of redemption, especially the moral dimensions which were something of great interest to him.

Much has been said in general over the centuries about redemption and how it should be understood.  But in the final analysis it is a great mystery which cannot be adequately expressed by human reasoning.  That is why there are many ideas about it – including those of Metropolitan Anthony.

Those who are concerned about Metropolitan Anthony's views on redemption generally are interested only in them insofar as they can be used to discredit the Metropolitan's authority and along with that authority the Church Abroad, of which he was one of the founders and early leaders.

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