After my last post on Fr Stephen’s post, “An Orthodox Hermeneutic,” I had another thought regarding my pride and biblical interpretation. When I examine Orthodox interpretation of Scripture, not only must I hold my personal biblical interpretations in light of 2000 years of Living Tradition, but I must also hold it in light of Orthodoxy’s 2000-year ability to maintain the true Gospel.
As an evangelical Protestant and then in the last several years of association with the Emerging Church, we talked non-stop about recovering and redefining the Gospel. For various reasons offered by really smart people, it is clear that the Gospel in western Christianity has become overly-simplified, distorted or completely replaced with something else.
This isn’t true of Orthodoxy. I’ve noticed it in my reading of Orthodox theology and have now experienced it firsthand, especially during Lent and Holy Week. And these services, with their liturgy and prayers, are centuries old. They have been faithfully and unwaveringly helping Jesus’ followers enter and live in the Gospel for hundreds and hundreds of years. As much as I enjoy my theological musing and study, I cannot make that claim about my biblical interpretations. So when my doctrines rub up against Orthodox doctrines, I must learn to comply humbly.