On St. Augustine and Orthodoxy

Hieromonk Seraphim Rose 1934-1982

…Augustine is a “scapegoat”—hit him hard enough and it proves how Orthodox you yourself really are!

…Let us assume that one’s exegesis of Romans 5:12 is incorrect; that one believes like Augustine on the transmission of Original Sin; that one knows little of the difference between the “transcendent” and the “economic” Trinity and sometimes confuses them. Can’t one still be Orthodox? Does one have to shout so loudly one’s “correctness” on such matters, and one’s disdain (and this disdain is strongly felt!) for those who believe thus? In the history of the Church, opinions such as these which disagree with the consensus of the Church have not been a cause for heresy hunts. Recognizing our fallible human nature, the Fathers of the past have kept the best Orthodox views and left in silence such private views which have not tried to proclaim themselves the only Orthodox views.

I myself fear the cold hearts of the “intellectually correct” much more than any errors you might find in Augustine. I sense in these cold hearts a preparation for the work of Antichrist (whose imitation of Christ must also extend to “correct theology”!); I feel in Augustine the love of Christ. (Letter to Fr. Michael Azkoul 1981)

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