According to Osipov, understanding of the nature of God is a core difference between Western and Orthodox Christianity. At the heart of the question is an apparent inconsistency that many notice when reading the Bible. From the Old Testament, God most often often appears as a judge, punishing sinners and upholding the righteous. Yet, from the New Testament we see God as a God of love, willing to sacrifice his own son for us. Jesus, himself, willingly dies for people who don’t deserve it. Does not look like the God of Old Testament.
This tension many find difficult to resolve. In human wisdom, absolutely righteous God cannot be loving, God who is absolutely loving cannot be righteous. Today’s Christians offer several ways to resolve this paradox.
Orthodox view, according to Osipov, is that the Jews simply misunderstood God in the Old Testament. They thought of him as a God of justice, but God shows his true nature only in the New Testament, and it is love. On the other hand, Western Christianity (again in Osipov’s interpretation) still sees God as more of a judge, maybe a loving judge, but still a judge.
I will post my response in a few days.