Archbhishop Lazar (Puhalo) reminds us that salvation is not merely knowing the truth. Neither salvation nor truth can be reduced to facts. Jesus Christ is the truth. This claim changes our understanding of the entire cosmos. Truth is personal in that Jesus is the 2nd Person of the Holy Trinity. Truth is relational in that our salvation is our relationship to Christ.
“Divine and saving truth for Orthodoxy is not a matter of historical or scientific facts but a matter of discerning the meaning of the human struggle to move from purification through illumination to glorification. Or, to put it another way, it is the story of our struggle as the people of God to restore our deep presence to God’s creation in a life of communion and co-suffering love.”
Archbishop Lazar goes on to say that the primary vocation of the Christian community “is to love God’s creation as God loves it.” The incarnation tells us how important creation is to God. To reduce salvation to a few facts or to knowing information is to deny God’s creation of being of any importance.
“It deprives us of the world itself.[…]Orthodoxy is consistently critical of all forms of reductionism, all efforts by human beings to reduce the mystery of life to some comforting abstraction. The Scholastic and rationalistic philosophical systems of Roman Catholicism and Protestantism are seen as participating in such reductionism because: (1) they deprive us of the proper field in which to appreciate the struggle of human beings for meaning; (2) they deprive us of the gift of Scripture as it unveils this struggle and speaks to us of the God of love, Who woos us to the fullness of life; and (3) they deprive us of an understanding of creation, in which we are not only a part of that creation but, also, through our priestly nature, are called to understand and sanctify it. Mankind has a unifying ministry to the cosmos which can only be fulfilled through that unselfish love which would constitute the proper use of his energies.” (The Evidence of Things Not Seen, pp 41-43)