Thursday, November 28, 2013

Dogmatic Theology is Polemic

Depending on what book or source one reads on theology or religion, we find the use of a different language, words etc. Reading many books on Orthodoxy and academic work I have found that academic theology is very polemic, not proclaiming the ‘love’ factor of Christianity. Dogmatic theology is part of this. Metropolitan of Nafpaktos, Hierotheos, in his book The mind of the Orthodox Church, explains how there is a reason for this:

“Dogmatic theology is polemic, which means that it has been created mostly to oppose the heretics who have appeared and distorted the theology of the Church, with direct consequences for man’s salvation. The terms ‘essence’, ‘hypostasis’, ‘nature’, etc., have been created to oppose the heretics. So the dogmas express the revelation and the life which the Church has and they also cure man and lead him towards deification. They are spiritual road signs. In this sense we can say that the dogmas save man and sanctify him. This happens because they cure him and give him the right orientation on his way towards God”. (p. 123)

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