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In the Orthodox Church, in Eastern and Latin Catholic churches, : οἰκονομία, oikonomia) has several meanings. The basic meaning of the word is "handling" or "disposition" or "management" or more literally "housekeeping" of a thing, usually assuming or implying good or prudent handling (as opposed to poor handling) of the matter at hand. In short, economia is discretionary deviation from the letter of the law in order to adhere to the spirit of the law and charity. This is in contrast to legalism, or akribia (Greek : ακριβεια)—strict adherence to the letter of the law of the church.and in the teaching of the Church Fathers which undergirds the theology of those communions, economy or oeconomy (Greek
The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with approximately 200–260 million members. As one of the oldest religious institutions in the world, the Eastern Orthodox Church has played a prominent role in the history and culture of Eastern and Southeastern Europe, the Caucasus, and the Near East. It operates as a communion of autocephalous churches, each governed by its bishops in local synods. The church has no central doctrinal or governmental authority analogous to the Pope of Rome, but the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is recognised by all as primus inter pares of the bishops.
The Eastern Catholic Churches or Oriental Catholic Churches, also called the Eastern-rite Catholic Churches, and in some historical cases Uniate Churches, are twenty-three Eastern Christian particular churches sui iuris in full communion with the Pope in Rome, as part of the worldwide Catholic Church. Headed by patriarchs, metropolitans, and major archbishops, the Eastern Catholic Churches are governed in accordance with the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, although each church also has its own canons and laws on top of this, and the preservation of their own traditions is explicitly encouraged. The total membership of the various churches accounts for about 18 million, according to the Annuario Pontificio, thus making up about 1.5 percent of the Catholic Church, with the rest of its more than 1.2 billion members belonging to the Latin Church, also known as the Western Church or the Roman Catholic Church.
The Roman Rite is the most widespread liturgical rite in the Catholic Church, as well as the most popular and widespread Rite in all of Christendom, and is one of the Western/Latin rites used in the Western or Latin Church. The Roman Rite gradually became the predominant rite used by the Western Church. Many local variants, not amounting to distinctive Rites, existed in the medieval manuscripts, but have been progressively reduced since the invention of printing, most notably since the reform of liturgical law in the 16th century at the behest of the Council of Trent (1545–63) and more recently following the Second Vatican Council (1962–65).
As such, the word "economy", and the concept attaching to it, are utilized especially with regard to two types of "handling": (a) divine economy, that is, God's "handling" or "management" of the fallen state of the world and of mankind—the arrangements he made in order to bring about man's salvation after the Fall; and (b) what might be termed pastoral economy (or) ecclesiastical economy, that is, the Church's "handling" or "management" of various pastoral and disciplinary questions, problems, and issues that have arisen through the centuries of Church history.
Salvation is being saved or protected from harm or being saved or delivered from a dire situation. In religion, salvation is the saving of the soul from sin and its consequences.
Pastoral care is an ancient model of emotional and spiritual support that can be found in all cultures and traditions. The term is considered inclusive of distinctly non-religious forms of support as well as those from religious communities.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church,
The Fathers of the Church distinguish between theology (theologia) and economy (oikonomia). "Theology" refers to the mystery of God's inmost life within the Blessed Trinity and "economy" to all the works by which God reveals himself and communicates his life. Through the oikonomia the theologia is revealed to us; but conversely, the theologia illuminates the whole oikonomia. God's works reveal who he is in himself; the mystery of his inmost being enlightens our understanding of all his works. So it is, analogously, among human persons. A person discloses himself in his actions, and the better we know a person, the better we understand his actions.
The divine economy, in the broadest sense, not only refers to God's actions to bring about the world's salvation and redemption, but to all of God's dealings with, and interactions with, the world, including the Creation. In this sense, economy, as used in classical Orthodox doctrinal terminology, constituted the second broad division of all Christian doctrinal teaching. The first division was called theology (literally, "words about God" or "teaching about God") and was concerned with all that pertains to God alone, in himself—the teaching on the Trinity, the divine attributes, and so on, but not with anything pertaining to the creation or the redemption. "...The distinction between οικονομια and θεολογια ... remains common to most of the Greek Fathers and to all of the Byzantine tradition. θεολογια ... means, in the fourth century, everything which can be said of God considered in Himself, outside of His creative and redemptive economy. To reach this 'theology' properly so-called, one therefore must go beyond ... God as Creator of the universe, in order to be able to extricate the notion of the Trinity from the cosmological implications proper to the 'economy.'"
As noted above, economy also refers to the Church's "handling" or "management" or "disposition" of various pastoral and disciplinary questions, problems, and issues. Here again, "economy" is used in several ways.
In one sense, it refers to the discretionary power given to the Church by Christ himself to manage and govern the Church. Christ referred to this when he gave the apostles the authority to "bind and to loose".This authority was transmitted to the bishops who came after the apostles. In this sense "economy" means, as already noted, "handling", "management", "disposition". In general then, "economy" refers to pastoral handling or discretion or management in a neutral sense.
An example in the New Testament of the application of lenient economy, or "economy according to leniency", is found in Acts chapter 15, where the Apostles decided to limit the number and degree of Jewish observances that would be required of Gentile converts. An example in the New Testament of the application of strict economy, or "economy according to exactness (or, strictness, preciseness) [akribeia]", may be seen in Acts 16:3, when St. Paul set aside the usual rule to circumcise Timothy, whose father was a Gentile, to placate certain Jewish Christians. In both instances, economy was exercised to facilitate the salvation of some of the parties involved.
Gentile (from Latin gentilis, from gēns + adjective suffix -īlis is an ethnonym that commonly means non-Jew according to Judaism. Other groups that claim Israelite heritage sometimes use the term to describe outsiders.
In Orthodox Church history, examples and instances of economy abound. Since ancient times, converts to the Church who were coming from certain heretical groups were not required to be baptized, even though the normal path of entrance to the Church was through baptism. Thus the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, decided that under specific conditions, the application of economy (i.e. according to leniency) would be the norm in this matter. But since the usual rule is baptism, such leniency can easily be, and sometimes has been, suspended (usually in periods when the heretical groups in question were actively opposing the Church). In these cases, the Church returned to her customary usual rule of "exactness," not applying economy (or not applying economy according to lenience). In calling for the reception of converts into Orthodoxy through means other than baptism in certain cases, the Ecumenical Councils made no determination regarding the existence of sacraments outside of Orthodoxy, but only addressed the situation of the convert to Orthodoxy.
Infant baptism is the practice of baptising infants or young children. In theological discussions, the practice is sometimes referred to as paedobaptism, or pedobaptism, from the Greek pais meaning "child". This can be contrasted with what is called "believer's baptism", or credobaptism, from the Latin word credo meaning "I believe", which is the religious practice of baptising only individuals who personally confess faith in Jesus, therefore excluding underage children. Opposition to infant baptism is termed catabaptism. Infant baptism is also called "christening" by some faith traditions.
The Christian doctrine of the Trinity holds that God is one God, but three coeternal consubstantial persons or hypostases—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—as "one God in three Divine Persons". The three Persons are distinct, yet are one "substance, essence or nature" (homoousios). In this context, a "nature" is what one is, whereas a "person" is who one is. Sometimes differing views are referred to as nontrinitarian. Trinitarianism contrasts with positions such as Binitarianism and Monarchianism, of which Modalistic Monarchianism and Unitarianism are subsets.
Chrismation consists of the sacrament or mystery in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches, as well as in the Assyrian Church of the East initiation rites. The sacrament is more commonly known in the West as confirmation, although Italian normally uses cresima ("chrismation") rather than confermazione ("confirmation").
In Western Christian theology, grace has been defined, not as a created substance of any kind, but as "the love and mercy given to us by God because God desires us to have it, not necessarily because of anything we have done to earn it", "Grace is favour, the free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to his call to become children of God, adoptive sons, partakers of the divine nature and of eternal life." It is understood by Christians to be a spontaneous gift from God to people "generous, free and totally unexpected and undeserved" – that takes the form of divine favor, love, clemency, and a share in the divine life of God.
Oneness Pentecostalism is a movement within the Christian family of churches known as Pentecostalism. It derives its distinctive name from its teaching on the Godhead, which is popularly referred to as the "Oneness doctrine," a form of Modalistic Monarchianism. This doctrine states that there is one God, a singular divine Spirit, who manifests himself in many ways, including as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. This stands in sharp contrast to the doctrine of three distinct and eternal persons posited by Trinitarian theology. Oneness believers baptize in the name of Jesus Christ, rather than using the Trinitarian formula.
Salvation in Christianity, or deliverance, redemption is the "saving [of] human beings from death and separation from God" by Christ's atonement for sin, and the justification following this atonement. Christians partake in this redemption by baptism, repentance, and participating in Jesus' death and resurrection.
In the Eastern Orthodox Church, akribeia is strict adherence to the letter of the law of the Church, as distinguished from economy, which is discretionary deviation from the letter of the law in order to adhere to the spirit of the law. Only bishops have such discretion, which may be used on the occasion of a conversion to Orthodoxy, in order to grant recognition to a baptism previously administered in a heterodox or schismatic church. It may also be used to grant recognition to an ordination administered in a Roman Catholic or Anglican church if the convert comes from either of those communions.
Semipelagianism is a Christian theological and soteriological school of thought on salvation; that is, the means by which humanity and God are restored to a right relationship. Semipelagian thought stands in contrast to the earlier Pelagian teaching about salvation, which had been dismissed as heresy. Semipelagianism in its original form was developed as a compromise between Pelagianism and the teaching of Church Fathers such as Saint Augustine, who taught that people cannot come to God without the grace of God. In semipelagian thought, therefore, a distinction is made between the beginning of faith and the increase of faith. Semipelagian thought teaches that the latter half – growing in faith – is the work of God, while the beginning of faith is an act of free will, with grace supervening only later. It too was labeled heresy by the Western Church at the Second Council of Orange in 529.
Early Christianity covers the period from its origins until the First Council of Nicaea (325). This period is typically divided into the Apostolic Age and the Ante-Nicene Period. After the death of John the Apostle, early Christianity was guided by the Ante-Nicene Fathers until the Council of Nicaea (c.325). Early Christianity is also known as the Early Church by the proponents of apostolic succession, notably the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, Assyrian Church of the East, and Ancient Church of the East, in addition to some Protestant denominations.
In Christianity, the gospel, or the Good News, is the news of the coming of the Kingdom of God. The message of good news is described as a narrative in the four canonical gospels.
Sacerdotalism is the belief that propitiatory sacrifices for sin require the intervention of a priest. This system of priesthood is exemplified by the Aaronic priests in the Old Testament.
The Economy of Salvation, also called the Divine Economy, is that part of divine revelation in the Christian tradition that deals with God’s creation and management of the world, particularly his plan of salvation accomplished through the Church. From the Greek oikonomia (economy), literally, "management of a household" or "stewardship".
Baptism of desire is a teaching of the Anglican Communion, Lutheran Church and Roman Catholic Church explaining that those who desire baptism, but are not baptized with water through the Christian Sacrament because of death, nevertheless receive the fruits of Baptism at the moment of death if their grace of conversion included "divine and catholic faith", an internal act of perfect charity, and perfect contrition by which their soul was cleansed of all sin. Hence, the Catechism of the Catholic Church observes, "For catechumens [those instructed in the Catholic faith who are preparing to be baptized into the Catholic Church] who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament".
Eastern Orthodox theology is the theology particular to the Eastern Orthodox Church. It is characterized by monotheistic Trinitarianism, belief in the Incarnation of the essentially divine Logos or only-begotten Son of God, a balancing of cataphatic theology with apophatic theology, a hermeneutic defined by a polyvalent Sacred Tradition, a concretely catholic ecclesiology, a robust theology of the person, and a principally recapitulative and therapeutic soteriology.
When heresy is used today with reference to Christianity, it denotes the formal denial or doubt of a core doctrine of the Christian faith as defined by one or more of the Christian churches. It should be distinguished from both apostasy and schism, apostasy being nearly always total abandonment of the Christian faith after it has been freely accepted, and schism being a formal and deliberate breach of Christian unity and an offence against charity without being based essentially on doctrine.
Catholictheology is the understanding of Catholic doctrine or teachings, and results from the studies of theologians. It is based on canonical scripture, and sacred tradition, as interpreted authoritatively by the magisterium of the Catholic Church. This article serves as an introduction to various topics in Catholic theology, with links to where fuller coverage is found.
The Economy of God, first published in 1968, is one of Witness Lee's principal works and is a compilation of messages he gave in the summer of 1964 in Los Angeles. These messages build on one of Watchman Nee's classics, The Spiritual Man, which reveals that man is composed of three parts-spirit, soul, and body. The Economy of God shows how this understanding of the parts of man tie into the central revelation of the Bible, which is God's economy, God's plan to carry out His heart's desire of imparting Himself into man for His full expression. A mass-distribution edition of this book was published in 2004.
In its widest sense, the phrase union with Christ refers to the relationship between the believer and Jesus Christ. In this sense, John Murray says, union with Christ is "the central truth of the whole doctrine of salvation." The expression "in Christ" occurs 216 times in the Pauline letters and 26 times in the Johannine literature. Hence, according to Albert Schweitzer, "This 'being-in-Christ' is the prime enigma of the Pauline teaching: once grasped it gives the clue to the whole." Given the large number of occurrences and the wide range of contexts, the phrase embodies a breadth of meaning.
Divine grace is a theological term present in many religions. It has been defined as the divine influence which operates in humans to regenerate and sanctify, to inspire virtuous impulses, and to impart strength to endure trial and resist temptation; and as an individual virtue or excellence of divine origin.
A sacrament is a Christian rite recognized as of particular importance and significance. There are various views on the existence and meaning of such rites. Many Christians consider the sacraments to be a visible symbol of the reality of God, as well as a means by which God enacts his grace. Many denominations, including the Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist, and Reformed, hold to the definition of sacrament formulated by Augustine of Hippo: an outward sign of an inward grace that has been instituted by Jesus Christ. Sacraments signify God's grace in a way that is outwardly observable to the participant.