In the Eastern Orthodox Church leadership emerges. Questions for Discussion: Lesson 21A – Chapter 19 “The Eastern Church Becomes Eastern Orthodox” from The Story of Christian Theology by Roger Olson
1. Of the two churches, the Western Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church, which one has been the schismatic church since 1054 AD? Who would you identify as the leading theologian of the Roman Catholic Church by 1054 AD? Who was the leader in the Eastern Orthodox Church?
2. How would you classify the theology of Origen on the monergism-synergism spectrum? How would you summarize his doctrine of salvation?
3. What role did the liturgy play in the Eastern Orthodox Church’s theology? What is the relationship of liturgy to tradition in Eastern Orthodox theology?
4. What is the significance of the Ecumenical Council Nicaea II, held in 787, for Eastern Orthodox believers?
5. John Chrysostom was an admired preacher who developed powerful enemies over time? How and why did this occur? What were the consequences? What do the events reveal to us today about the early Eastern Orthodox Church?
6. What role did Maximus the Confessor play in the monothelitism controversy? What was the outcome of this intense debate for Maximus? How would you define dyothelitism, the doctrine Maximus upheld? How is he viewed by modern Eastern Orthodox leaders?
7. What is Maximus “theandric vision of reality”? Where does man stand in this “vision”? How does Maximus’ concept tie to his opposition to monothelitism?
8. How did John “the Damascene” justify the use of icons in worship? What impact did John have on Nicaea II, held long after he had died?
See Lesson 21B for Correlated Readings:
Selections from The Schism of the Roman Catholic Church from the Eastern Orthodox Church: 1054-1954
Bible Verses for Reflection