The Nature of Theological Authority in Protestantism and Eastern Orthodoxy Searching for Common Ground

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Radostin Marchev


At first glance the understandings of theological authority in Eastern Orthodoxy and Protestantism are quite different. This fact has the potential to hinder effective dialogue between the two traditions. This article examines the possibility of the Protestant understanding of theological authority being read and interpreted through the reformer’s doctrine of the Testimonium Spiritus Sancti Internum (the Inner Witness of the Holy Spirit) such that it meets the Eastern Orthodox objections. Applying the teaching of the Spirit’s witness provides an opportunity to emphasise some important features and highlight nuances in the understanding of authority that otherwise could be easily neglected. While it does not solve all the problems in the dialogue, this approach could possibly lead to important rapprochement of the two positions.

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Author Biography

Radostin Marchev

Radostin Marchev is Coordinator of Theological Education of the Baptist Union of Bulgaria and PhD candidate at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam.