Here are three issues in regard to the Eastern Church.
First, here is the quote from Bavinck’s The Doctrine of God, page 317, Banner of Truth edition (1977) under the heading of Inter-Personal Relations.
The Greeks derived the unity of God’s essence and the unity of the persons not from the divine nature as such, but from the person of the Father. He is the only ‘originating cause.’ The three persons are not viewed as three relations within one essence, the self unfoldment of the Godhead, ‘but the father is viewed as the one who imparts his being to the Son and to the Spirit. As a result, the Son and the Spirit are so coordinated that both in the same manner have their ‘originating cause’ in the Father. In both, the Father reveals himself. The Son causes us to know God; the Spirit causes us to delight in him. The Son does not reveal the Father in and through the Spirit; neither does the Spirit lead us to the Father through the Son. The two are more or less independent of each other; each leads to the Father in his own peculiar way. Thus, orthodoxy and mysticism, mind and will are placed in antithetical relation to one another. And this peculiar relation between orthodoxy and mysticism characterizes the religious attitude prevailing in the Eastern Church. Doctrine and life are separated: doctrine is for the mind only; it is the fit object of theological speculation. Next to it and apart from it there is another fountain of life, namely the mysticism of the Spirit. The fountain does not have knowledge as its source but has its own distinct origin and nourishes the heart. Thus a false relation is established between mind and heart; ideas and emotions are separated, and the link that should bind the two in ethical union is lacking.
Secondly, is what Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy maintains in The Christian Future (page 146). He says that canon 28 of the Chalcedonian Council in 451 AD is what is largely responsible the stagnation of Byzantium. Canon 28 stated that Rome had primacy amongst the Bishops because Rome was the capital of the Empire. The Eastern Church upheld the proposition. The Western Church rejected it. The West said that Rome had primacy because Peter was martyred outside of Rome’s walls. I. e., it gave a reason that was not dependent upon the Empire, and was in conflict with it. The East upheld this because by 451, Rome was no longer the capital of the Empire, but Constantinople was. So now, the East would have the new primacy. Hence, primacy in the church continued to be dependent upon the Empire. This meant that Orthodoxy never made an exit from the pagan world, got moored at the exit, and that church was essentially a department of state.
It was for this reason that the prophetic office never developed within the Eastern Church. The tension of the prophet talking back to and opposing the King never happened. The West was characterized by this tension, and it led to the greatest dramas of western political and ecclesiastical theatre (just think of the great movies it led to—Beckett, A Man For All Seasons for example—there are no great Eastern block buster movies along these lines.)
However, Rosenstock-Huessy does not stop there. He says that much of the meaning of Marxism was in the overthrow of the Czar (Caesar) as the still lingering representative of the ancient Empire. And, he says that in the Providence of God, beginning in the 19th century, the Orthodox began producing the greatest of the prophets and thus leaped ahead of all other branches of the Church (Dostoevsky, Berdyaev, and Rosenstock-Huessy did not live to see Solzhenitsyn, who was the greatest of all prophets of the 20th century.)
And thirdly, the flowering of Russian literature, and especially, the great Russian novels in the 19th and 20th centuries, is and was a return from the “childish picture religion” of icons to the primacy of the word. The word made its greatest advance in the world in that time and came back from the icon.
Can the Orthodox Church now continue to find its way out of the backwoods of the rejection of Filioque, the consequent separation of mind and heart, find its way out of a religion of no prophets, and out of a childish religion of pictures back to the Word?
That is the challenge. May God lead them forward. May God continue to make the Orthodox “leap ahead of all others,” as Rosenstock-Huessy noted had been happening in his own time. Again, that is the challenge.