Friday, October 12, 2012

Orthodoxy, Orthopraxy, and Sanctification

If one comes to a conclusion and finds that it is in no way pleasing, either one is viewing it wrong or it is false. All truths are in God, who is the standard of beauty and goodness, and his word is Truth, which changes us. So there is no such thing as good ivory tower intellectualism. If it is good intellectualism, then it will change lives for the better.

Orthodoxy is what is right to believe. Orthopraxy is what is the right way to live. Orthodoxy leads necessarily to orthopraxy, in the same way, orthopraxy only comes from orthodoxy. Thus, Orthopraxy if and only if orthodoxy. If one is told to live a certain way, then one may ask "why?" the only way to consistently be able to answer all why's to all points of orthopraxy is to answer with orthodoxy. The aim, then, of philosophers and theologians, is to find as much as they may of the reasons behind why a thing is right, in order to have a deeper knowledge of how we ought to live and in order meditate on the rightness of it.

God, or the divine, has often been conceived as similar to a magnet, which, as we meditate upon, we are drawn in to be more like. Finding what is true, which is in God, is meditating on God in a sense, and ought to be more than "in a sense" for those of us who believe in a personal God who we are in relationship with. When a Christian believes that a thing is true, they are therefore believing that it in some way reflects or is a part of the character of God. For instance, if I claim that a certain view of ethics is fully true, then my claim must be not only that humans ought to abide by it, but also that in some way it is the way God views ethics. Thus, in meditating on a true ethical theory one ought to consider oneself at one and the same time meditating on God's righteousness, and by so doing we are transformed by the Spirit of God at work in us to be more like God--righteous as he is righteousness.

At the same time, as we are transformed by the Spirit, we will see more accurately what is true, since the transformation into the likeness of God and our being in Christ--the Word, in whom we see God in whom is all truth--are, while temporally differentiated, atemporally identical and therefore both done by the same power, that is, the power of the Holy Spirit.

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