This one probably won't interest you if you're not Orthodox. An editor at 
Holman Bible Publishers asked me to draw up something about Orthodox 
that could fit in a chart of world religions and Christian churches (for a 
bible for college and graduate students). My friend Ben Anderson produced the 
first draft and I polished it and added some of the Scriptures. The headings 
those that appear in the chart, and we tried our best to fit them. Then Ben 
suggested we also offer a glossary, and that's included here as well. 

Ben has agreed to field comments and suggestions (this is not yet set in 
stone), so if you have recommendations please write to him at: 
[EMAIL PROTECTED] . I'll be out of town a few days.

on my website it's posted at:

Holman Study Bible, Chart of World Religions
Orthodox Christianity
Supreme Being:
One God, creator of all, existing eternally in 1 essence and 3 Persons 
(Father, Son and Holy Spirit). We are made for union with God ("partakers of 
divine nature" 2 Pet 1:4), accomplished through his grace (Heb. 12:28) or 
"uncreated energies" (Greek, "energeia"), and the work of Jesus Christ. 
Key Figures in History:
Jesus Christ, whose work brings salvation to the world (John 3:16). Many 
humans also played roles in salvation history (Adam and Eve, the Virgin Mary, 
Paul, etc). 
Person of Jesus Christ
The Incarnate Son of God, one Person with two natures (fully God and fully 
man-John1:1,14, Heb. 2:14).  He fulfills the OT Law and Prophets, frees 
from sin and death. 
Work of Jesus Christ
Our salvation is accomplished by the entirety of his work, not Good Friday 
alone: incarnation, life, teachings, passion, death, burial, resurrection, 
ascension, and second coming. Vanquishes the Evil One and frees us from sin and 
death. (2 Tim. 1:10)
Sources of Authority
Scripture sums up the faith. Is interpreted in accord with the apostolic 
faith of the early church. From earliest pre-literate times, this faith is been 
passed on chiefly through worship, where Scripture is lifted up in light of 
early Christian writings, decisions of great Councils, lives of saints, etc. 
cumulative guidance of the Holy Spirit through all ages is called "Holy 
Tradition." (John 16:13, 2 Thes. 2:15).
Doctrine of Humanity
Humanity created in the Image and Likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-27).  The 
"Image" remains intact in all humans, and gives eternal worth and value.  
of the "Likeness" (Greek, the "Assimiliation") was the original human 
vocation. It was lost through Adam and Eve's disobedience, regained in Christ 
(I John 3:2).
The Basic Human Problem
Humanity suffers from illness of soul due to sin and self-love. Self-love 
separates us from God, who is selfless and unbounded love (1 John 4:8). Humans 
search for God but often grasp idols instead, because the eyes of their hearts 
(Greek, "nous") are blinded (Rom 1:21-23). "Be transformed by the renewal of 
your nous" (Rom 12:2). 
Solution to the Basic Human Problem:
Forgiveness of sins by God's grace and mercy enables healing; the "eyes of 
the heart" are "enlightened" (Eph 1:18). Three general stages: purification 
(learning obedience and love) (Matt. 5:8), illumination (healing of the nous) 
12:2), and "theosis" (assimilation, an ever-deepening union, by grace). (John 
Ethics (Value System)
All humans from conception to death bear the image of God and have equal 
worth and value. Love for God and neighbor form the basis of all ethics and 
morality. As we assimilate the presence of God through healing of hearts and 
we are able to show his love to others through acts of charity, self-sacrifice, 
love of enemies, etc. (Luke 6:35, 1 John 4:21)
Life After Death
All will be judged by Jesus Christ at the Last Day (2 Cor. 5:10) and 
eternally experience the presence of God (Ps 139:8). Those who loved God will 
in his warmth and light, those who loved darkness (Jn 3:19) will find the 
light unbearable, burning and torment (Heb 12:29). 
Energy - A Greek term (energeia) used throughout the NT; the living presence 
of God throughout Creation. Often translated as "works" or "working," e.g., 
"God is energizing in you, both to will and to energize for his good pleasure" 
(Phil 2:12).
Essence - The immutable nature of God, in which created beings may not 
Grace - The "uncreated energies" of God, which flow from his unchanging 
essence. Not merely God's favor, and not a created thing, but an encounter with 
himself. Humans cannot experience God in his essence, but are continually 
experiencing his energies--life, love, etc.--bestowed by grace.
Holy Tradition - The expression of the life of the Holy Spirit within the 
Church throughout all generations, of which Scripture is a primary part.
Image and Likeness of God: 
The "Image" is the good "basic equipment" with which humans are endowed by 
God. It gives humans, among other things, eternal value and a moral sense. 
The "Likeness" is the original vocation given at Man's creation: to 
assimilate the presence of God and bear his light. Not a static condition, but 
deepening throughout eternity.
Nous - A Greek term used throughout the NT; a perceptive or receptive 
faculty, designed to enable us to hear the voice of God. Often translated as 
e.g, "Be transformed by the renewal of your nous," (Rom 12:2). Also called 
"the eyes of the heart" (Eph 1:18).  
Salvation - Membership in heaven is given immediately to those who repent and 
believe (e.g., the Good Thief); for those who continue to have faith during 
earthly life after conversion, salvation fosters continual healing of the heart 
and soul, cleansing of the nous, forgiveness of sins, and participation in 
the life of God. 
Stages of the spiritual life: 
1. Purification - the first stage of the spiritual life, in which humility, 
obedience and love are learned.
2. Illumination - the second stage of spiritual progress. At Creation, Adam 
and Eve were at the stage of Illumination, and able to choose whether to 
continue toward theosis. Illumination involves the cure and cleansing of the 
and acquisition of a clear perception of the created order.
3. Theosis - The third stage of spiritual progress, and goal of human life: 
assimilation to God. Continually deepening union with God through grace, 
including "theoria" (vision of God) and participation in the life of the world 
Trinity - God eternally existing in three persons, one essence.  The Father 
is unoriginate, the Son is begotten of the Father from all eternity, the Spirit 
proceeds from the Father alone from all eternity. The Father bestows, from 
all eternity, his entire essece upon the Son and the Spirit.  

Frederica Mathewes-Green
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