Greetings, I am a Catholic who is interested in investigating Orthodoxy. For several years now, I have found the Coptic Orthodox Church to be intriguing. I love reading the writings of H.H. Pope Shenouda and have deeply enjoyed my experiences at Coptic liturgies. I am considering meeting with a priest at my local Orthodox church but before I did that I have a question.
Although I love my Catholic faith, one thing that I have always struggled with is the Western Augustinian and Thomistic views on God and salvation. As much as I have tried, I have not been able to separate Augustine from Calvinism. I also have struggled with the Western conception of original sin.
So my question is as follows: How does Orthodoxy view the question of free will and salvation? Does the Coptic Church seek to systematically define the terms of predestination? This is where I have been struggling with my spiritual life in my Church. I know Catholicism teaches free will, but it strikes me as not truly free. How does the Coptic Church view predestination? I know all the Apostolic communions believe that God knows all and he knows where we will end up, but what is his and our own roles attaining salvation?