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Moderated Forums => Oriental Orthodox Discussion => Topic started by: prodromas on August 19, 2007, 07:11:23 PM

Title: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: prodromas on August 19, 2007, 07:11:23 PM
I have been doing research on the Oriental Orthodox churches and Eastern Orthoodox church so as to truly understand what seperates us and to see if reunification is possible. Now although I can be VERY wrong the difference in Christology are the only major difference (major enough for split) and that the specific difference are truly only linguistic as they express the same idea with different words! I mean in regards To Duophysitism and Miaphysitism they essentially express the same idea that christ's nature is both  inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably linked but the words expressed seem to make it sound so different to the chalcedonian creed. Then there is Monothelitism and Duothelitism which are talking about the wills of Christ that say he had two will that wanted the same thing (EO) where the Monothelitists say that christ had one will (OO) but I see that they are essentially the same idea because OO say that he had one will but EO say he had two will which strived for the same thing so isn't that the same thing?! My main question after reading this is first of all a minor yes or no question if anyone can answer which is the 7th EO ecumencial council which was about the veneration of icons if the council after Chalcedon is not accepted by the OO do they venerate Icons? Then the other question is is reunification between EO and OO going to be in my lifetime (I am 17 years old)?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Eleos on August 19, 2007, 08:38:04 PM
Then the other question is is reunification between EO and OO going to be in my lifetime (I am 17 years old)?
at what age will you die?

Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: _Seraphim_ on August 19, 2007, 08:47:22 PM
"at what age will you die?"
Eleos

LOL  :D

But seriously...
I certainly hope God grants His Orthodox Church to be completely re-unified before the 2,000 year anniversary of Christ's Ascension!
What a blessed "birthday" gift that would be!
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: _Seraphim_ on August 19, 2007, 08:49:42 PM
prodromas...

hang in there for another 26 years and just maybe you WILL see the reunion of OO and EO.

God bless
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Salpy on August 19, 2007, 09:31:31 PM
Many years ago, His Holiness Vazken I came to Los Angeles and, among other things, engaged in an ecumenical service at a Greek Orthodox Church.  I was there and I listened intently to the talk His Holiness gave after the service.  He stressed everything our two Churches have in common and I specifically recall him saying the Armenian Church saw nothing objectionable about the veneration of icons established by what the EO's call the Seventh Council.  That being said, I've heard that council also contained in it a condemnation of some OO saints.  That part would of course be objectionable to us, but the veneration of icons is not a problem.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: _Seraphim_ on August 20, 2007, 01:16:38 AM
"the [Oriental] Church saw nothing objectionable about the veneration of icons established by what the [Eastern Orthodox] call the Seventh Council."

I find it very interesting that the "crisis" of iconoclasm did not even effect western europe (which at the time was VERY Eastern Orthodox).  Until this current discussion, it never occurred to me that there was yet another "body" of Christians that never had to deal with the crisis of iconoclasm: which is the "Oriental" Orthodox.  It would certainly make sense that the Byzantine empire would be the most insistent on "accepting the 7th Ecumenical council" if they were the only ones that had to deal with that crisis in the first place!

This is not to diminish the VAST differences between Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism... however, I hope this "insight" leads all readers of this thread (especially EO) to an awareness that perhaps the "7th Ecumencial Council" was perhaps more local than "ecumenical."

God bless
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Trevor on August 20, 2007, 01:34:22 AM
That's extremely dangerous ground there. The infallibility of ALL Seven Ecumenical Councils is one of the bedrocks of our faith. Putting ourselves, as Eastern Orthodox, in the position of denying one of the fundamental tenants of our faith in order to speed the process of reunion is ecumenism of the worst kind.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Salpy on August 20, 2007, 02:51:30 AM
That's probably the biggest issue in the discussions concerning reunification.  Our theologians admit we all believe the same thing, but these other issues are pretty big and need to be resolved.  I think it is fair to say the EO's define themselves as the Church of the Seven Councils.  Setting aside any of those councils, or redesignating them as local, is not going to happen.  The OO's, on the other hand, will not accept any councils beyond Ephesus.  The reasons for this are not only doctrinal, but also historical and psychological, as it's really hard to accept a council in the name of which your ancestors were persecuted, slaughtered, etc.

Then there is the issue of saints.  Both sides have condemned saints venerated by the other.  I don't think that is as formidable a barrier as the councils, but it is still sticky.  This was discussed in this other thread:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,10408.0.html

There are other issues having to do with liturgical practice.  The EO's tend to be more uniform in their liturgical practices, while the OO's allow more diversity.  I don't see this as being as big an issue as the others, but it's still something to deal with.

There are other issues that are more administrative in nature, like the way the EO's rank their patriarchs, etc.  Again, these issues are not as big, but they are there to be dealt with.

So, while I believe that in a spiritual sense we are really one Church, there's a lot to be overcome before that becomes more of a concrete reality.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: PeterTheAleut on August 20, 2007, 02:57:06 AM
The infallibility of ALL Seven Ecumenical Councils is one of the bedrocks of our faith. Putting ourselves, as Eastern Orthodox, in the position of denying one of the fundamental tenants of our faith in order to speed the process of reunion is ecumenism of the worst kind.
What makes an Ecumenical Council infallible?  Is the infallibility intrinsic to the Council, such that we must accept EVERY decision of the Council as authoritative?  Or do we recognize an Ecumenical Council as authoritative because that which it proclaims is the faith of the Church?  What if a particular decision of a council recognized as Ecumenical does not represent the faith of the Church as manifested in the catholic consciousness of the faithful?  For instance, can we recognize a council as truly ecumenical if one entire half of the church never accepted it as ecumenical?  Is it possible for that half of the Church to reject the council while still holding fast to the faith proclaimed by that council?


A couple of threads that speak on this topic so that we don't hijack this thread:

Ecumencial Councils (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12280.0.html)

Oriental Orthodox Do Not Believe Church is Infallible? (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,11838.0.html)
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: EkhristosAnesti on August 20, 2007, 04:12:29 AM
Quote
The reasons for this are not only doctrinal, but also historical and psychological, as it's really hard to accept a council in the name of which your ancestors were persecuted, slaughtered, etc.

I would definitely put more weight on the historical issues.

In my opinion, I think many people have unwittingly developed a rather innovative conception of an "Ecumenical Council" which insists on dogmatising the formalities and historical incidents associated with it. It's almost as if some would regard every cough and sneeze at a Council believed to be Ecumenical to be something absolutely God-inspired and hence not capable of being questioned.

Each side can insist that every historical movement and decision of their Communion in response to the incidents in question was made with the absolute authority of God, as if each Communion's Fathers were stripped of their human autonomy and possessed by God to say and do everything that was said and done. Or...we can take off those rosy coloured lenses and face the reality that God does not operate through His Church in such a mechanical and simplistic manner (as much as we may wish that He does). PeterTheAleut's signature is pertinent in this regard: "Truth is often in the paradox."

I think this sense of legalism, this claim to a monopoly of God and His Truth, this sense of arrogance which lays claim to knowing, in an almost absolute sense, the workings of God,  was the very problem with the Pharisees, and I cannot help but think that many Orthodox (EO and OO) will be judged side by side with the Pharisees for applying the same mindset in opposition to God's will (simply in different historical stages of God's redemptive plan for mankind.)
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Asteriktos on August 20, 2007, 05:28:28 AM
I don't wanna take this off topic, so I started a new topic (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12553.new.html#new).
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: minasoliman on August 20, 2007, 10:14:19 AM
Dear PeterTheAleut,

This is completely off-topic, so I apologize in advance, but I just have to ask:
when you say " ... if one entire half of the church never accepted it as ecumenical" do you mean to imply that the EO churches and the OO churches were "two halves" of the Church, back in the fifth century? (That is to say, do you mean that the Latin Church didn't count as a part of the Church, as early as the fifth century?)

God bless,
Peter.

I'm not sure what Peter meant, but I have to stress that the OO Church did present a huge chunk of Christianity that rejected Chalcedon, not to mention an even more diverse array of cultural traditions.

I also like to make note early that OO's do not believe in "Mono"theletism, but, as cliche as this sounds, "Miatheletism."  We truly believe in all characters of humanity and divinity unconfusedly and inseparably united, included will and operations.  There are also other instances where "will" can be defined differently as well, not as an energy of the nature, but rather an action of the person or hypostasis.

I think Fr. John Romanides makes note that Monotheletism was solely a problem in the Chalcedonian Church, just as Iconoclasm was.  (He also makes note that Nestorians are the ones that suffer from Monotheletism.  I have not found anyone question or challenge this point as of yet, which is a very very interesting point, imo.)

I have to say that I enjoyed this part of EA's post:

Quote
It's almost as if some would regard every cough and sneeze at a Council believed to be Ecumenical to be something absolutely God-inspired and hence not capable of being questioned.

I think the Chalcedonians need another ecumenical council simply for the sake of defining for us dogmatically what "ecumenical" means for the sake of moving on to whatever desire of union exists today.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Salpy on August 20, 2007, 08:58:42 PM
Note:  At this point in the thread there was a tangent about the state of the EO and Catholic Churches during the fifth century.  This was eventually moved to another folder: 

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12562.0.html

The tangent was a little heated.  Hence my comment here and in the next post:

Wait.  Are the Chalcedonians having a bit of a squabble amongst themselves in the OO folder?  That's not right.  You're supposed to be squabbling with the OO's.  We're feeling very neglected right now.   :) 
Just kidding.  Actually, let's try to keep this on the topic of how to heal the devision between EO's and OO's.  Thanks.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Salpy on August 20, 2007, 10:20:21 PM
Nope, it isn't. They mean that me and many others are unbaptized heretics, descended from apostates.

Hey, that's supposed to be us OO's whom the EO's are calling the "unbaptized heretics, descended from apostates."  Again, let's keep this on how to heal the division caused by Chalcedon, not that other division caused by the filioque.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: lubeltri on August 20, 2007, 10:21:07 PM
Wait.  Are the Chalcedonians having a bit of a squabble amongst themselves in the OO folder?  That's not right.  You're supposed to be squabbling with the OO's.  We're feeling very neglected right now.   :) 
Just kidding.  Actually, let's try to keep this on the topic of how to heal the devision between EO's and OO's.  Thanks.

Strange, isn't it? And we Chalcedonians don't even have a council that drove us apart to squabble over.

It seems to me, though, that the intra-EO debate about the place of RC in their ecclesiology is similar to the one about OO.

Ooh! Ooh! 1,000 posts!!!
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: lubeltri on August 20, 2007, 10:26:48 PM
Hey, that's supposed to be us OO's whom the EO's are calling the "unbaptized heretics, descended from apostates."  Again, let's keep this on how to heal the division caused by Chalcedon, not that other division caused by the filioque.

Well, much of the difficulty in the reunification is the trouble of how to accomplish it while saving face about the past. It's hard to repudiate past battles over which many of your Church's saints stood to the death (even if, in our eyes today, the battles were really cultural/political/linguistic misunderstandings).
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: PeterTheAleut on August 20, 2007, 11:22:52 PM
Well, much of the difficulty in the reunification is the trouble of how to accomplish it while saving face about the past. It's hard to repudiate past battles over which many of your Church's saints stood to the death (even if, in our eyes today, the battles were really cultural/political/linguistic misunderstandings).
Yes, there is that mentality to deal with.  "How dare we call such great luminaries as St. John of Damascus and St. Maximos the Confessor (from the EO side) ignorant and claim that we know more than these great fathers do!"  And I know the OO have their great anti-EO saints, too.  You read the traditionalist polemics that come from such places as the Holy Mountain (Mt. Athos) and find publication on orthodoxinfo.com and you often see something akin to the following: "In keeping with this spirit, the phrase, 'We now clearly understand...,' has no place among Orthodox.  The classical Patristic dictum, 'Following the Holy Fathers...,' is the only one which expresses how Orthodox understand themselves."1


1 www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/monoph_preface.aspx
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Ian Lazarus on August 20, 2007, 11:46:19 PM
Truly, I think we just want to be divided.  Both sides, as far as I can recon, believe the very same thing.  We hold on to the same faith in the same God, and much the same practices.  It is the human factor which gets in the way.   No one is willing to sit at the table and say, "You know, we messed up here.  Our pride got in the way.  We want to be the only ones in charge and the only ones with the keys to the kingdom, so we figured you can't be.  We goofed.  But instead of making excuses, were gonna put our heads together, and pray that God make our minds and hearts one in the Holy Spirit, so that we can mend this long festering wound and begin to walk together again, like God intended.  We have the world to contend with, and that's more than enough."  And we can point fingers at eachother for ever and say that either of us are the arrogant ones.  The truth really is that, at least in my view, we are too ready to wave documents and claim correctitude, much as the pharasee in the temple.  We need look to the publican in this case, and until we do, there will be no healing.  There will be no union.  This is not an overly emotional person speaking here, but one who has seen these debates, read these threads, talked to my OO and EO bretheren, and see the same weariness about fighting over minutiae.  If we want to come together, we will find a way with God's help.  If we don't, we stay as we are: divided brothers, wanting to talk but refusing to take the first step.  

And yes, I know of the many dialogues that have take place between our two churches.  And I know the above seems overly simplified.  Maybe that's the point.

Peace, Brothers.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: PeterTheAleut on August 21, 2007, 12:04:34 AM
Truly, I think we just want to be divided.
I think you speak truth here.  I often think that the division has existed for so long that it is now self-perpetuating.  We on both sides maintain the split only because we have been divided for so long, though we cannot remember why.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: serb1389 on August 21, 2007, 12:09:25 AM
If you read the dialogues and talk to the people who have been in them then you see that this is the truth. 

Its always been up to the "bishops" and that is the human factor.  If they can get around their own differences, then they will see that the theology has worked around ITS differences. 

As far as I can remember even the question of the Councils and Icons and Saints have been resolved....

Maybe EkhristosAnesti has further to add on this since I know he's followed the dialogues much more thoroughly than I have....
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: prodromas on August 21, 2007, 01:48:33 AM
It funny was being biased does I was blindly seeing how the miaphysite view can be confused with the monophysite view but I never saw how the EO's view of the diaphysite seems like the Nestorian heresy reworded thanks everyone for the great input. EkhristosAnest you have been quoted as knowing more on the state of negotiations between the EO and the OO I would love to hear your information. Also how do you get on the private chat boards because I would like to look at the threads about OO and EO relations this stuff really intrigues me and hope that reunification becomes "official" as it seems to be spiritually reunified among many brethren's!
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Salpy on August 21, 2007, 01:52:20 AM
A topic on how EO's view OO sacraments was split off from this thread and moved here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12563.msg170824.html#msg170824
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Salpy on August 21, 2007, 01:55:06 AM
I don't wanna take this off topic, so I started a new topic (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12553.new.html#new).

Thank you, Asteriktos.  Hopefully, others will follow your good example.    :)
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Amdetsion on August 24, 2007, 10:51:08 AM
Truly, I think we just want to be divided.  Both sides, as far as I can recon, believe the very same thing.  We hold on to the same faith in the same God, and much the same practices.  It is the human factor which gets in the way.   No one is willing to sit at the table and say, "You know, we messed up here.  Our pride got in the way.  We want to be the only ones in charge and the only ones with the keys to the kingdom, so we figured you can't be.  We goofed.  But instead of making excuses, were gonna put our heads together, and pray that God make our minds and hearts one in the Holy Spirit, so that we can mend this long festering wound and begin to walk together again, like God intended.  We have the world to contend with, and that's more than enough."  And we can point fingers at eachother for ever and say that either of us are the arrogant ones.  The truth really is that, at least in my view, we are too ready to wave documents and claim correctitude, much as the pharasee in the temple.  We need look to the publican in this case, and until we do, there will be no healing.  There will be no union.  This is not an overly emotional person speaking here, but one who has seen these debates, read these threads, talked to my OO and EO bretheren, and see the same weariness about fighting over minutiae.  If we want to come together, we will find a way with God's help.  If we don't, we stay as we are: divided brothers, wanting to talk but refusing to take the first step.  

And yes, I know of the many dialogues that have take place between our two churches.  And I know the above seems overly simplified.  Maybe that's the point.

Peace, Brothers.

Peace to you brother Lazarus.

Your words are inspired indeed.

May God help us.

Your Servant
Deacon Amde Tsion
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Didymus on August 27, 2007, 09:24:01 AM
You are right.

Walk into any OO Church and you would need to be completely blind to miss the icons which we venerate. (Notably, neither Nestorians nor Anglicans have icons in the places they meet.)

As I do not know how long you are going to live, I can only pray that reunification may take place during your lifetime. (Can anyone confirm whether the Syrian Orthodox and the Antiochian Orthodox Churches are in intercommunion please?)

The only other problem is what to do with Synaxarium texts which condemn the other Church. For example, coming up this week in the Coptic Synaxarium is a story about how 30,000 Coptic Christians were martyred for refusing to accept the Council of Chalcedon. St. Samuel the monk, having heard the soldiers read the Tome of Leo, lept up and cursed the Tome and anyone else who would change the Faith of our Fathers. Words like these very strongly suggest that he zealously defended what the OOs had received. I'm aware of saints in both branches of the Church which 'converted' from the other and are condemned for so doing. What do we do about them? I could go on but you get the idea.
My worthless suggestion, say that all these saints were zealous for the true Orthodox Christian Faith as best they understood it and remove condemnations. If they are needed to explain something or for some other reason then add a sentance to say that the condemnation has been removed (once it has been) with something to the affect of the above statement explaining how and why.

May I please ask when the EOs started refering to themselves as the "Church of the Seven Councils"? Obviously the Apostles never did this nor did St. Athanasius nor St Cyril nor anyone else for many centuries of Christianity? Also, there are also an Eighth and a Ninth Ecumenical Council recognised by the Eastern Orthodox Church (though different from those of the RCs). Why then don't the EOs call themselves the "Church of the Nine Councils"?

I should also note from reading this that whilst the bishops would be the ones to form a council to solve our division, they would probably not pre-empt resolving issues regarding this within their own diocese by doing so. In other words, the lay people need to first have their hearts settled before union can be achieved. I have met somebody who said quite plainly that "only the Oriental Orthodox are Christian". Now until this person can be convinced that EOs are also Christian, it would be dangerous to this person's soul for the bishop to join with EOs. Nonetheless, people who hold these strict views seem to be a dwindling number. Hopefully the EO monks in a certain area may soon understand the OO position that we may unite also.

Peace be with Christ's Church.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: prodromas on August 28, 2007, 03:49:17 AM
Didymus I think to answer your question about why the Orthodox call themselves the "church of the 7 councils" is because 8 and 9 are not truly considered ecumenical because of the division between east and west. interestingly didymus I was actually going to ask a learned OO whether there were OO saints that were 100% against the EO and vice versa. Also to answer that particular query both of can agree no matter how righteous and holy a saint is that does not mean what they say is doctrine and is definitely not infallible what we should admire is that these people died to protect the apostolic faith at all costs!
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: PeterTheAleut on August 28, 2007, 06:09:45 AM
Didymus I think to answer your question about why the Orthodox call themselves the "church of the 7 councils" is because 8 and 9 are not truly considered ecumenical because of the division between east and west.
Actually, after the Great Schism, many--I would venture to say the majority--in the Orthodox Church don't believe Rome needs to be represented to make a council ecumenical.  "Rome no longer follows the way of truth, so why should we care what she thinks?"  But you are right that many do not recognize the so-called "Eighth and Ninth Councils" as ecumenical.  We recognize the Palamite hesychasm defended in the councils as part of the essence of our faith, but, to a good number of us, the councils themselves don't satisfy many of the criteria needed to make them ecumenical.  (That, however, is the proper subject of another thread on another board.)

May I please ask when the EOs started refering to themselves as the "Church of the Seven Councils"? Obviously the Apostles never did this nor did St. Athanasius nor St Cyril nor anyone else for many centuries of Christianity? Also, there are also an Eighth and a Ninth Ecumenical Council recognised by the Eastern Orthodox Church (though different from those of the RCs). Why then don't the EOs call themselves the "Church of the Nine Councils"?
Well, duh! ;)(I offer this exclamation totally in jest. 8))  The Apostles and the other saints you name all died centuries before the Iconoclastic Controversy ever required a Seventh Council.  Do you think they would have the foresight to recognize that the EO would need to call a Seventh Ecumenical Council and call the Church the "Church of the Seven Councils" centuries in advance?  We call ourselves the "Church of the Seven Councils" in a way synonymous with calling ourselves the "Eastern Orthodox Church"--it's more of a label that (sadly) shows how we are separate from the "heterodox" churches (one major communion of whom many EO today believe never was heterodox despite our misunderstanding).
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Didymus on August 28, 2007, 11:25:38 AM
both of can agree no matter how righteous and holy a saint is that does not mean what they say is doctrine... what we should admire is that these people died to protect the apostolic faith at all costs!

Agreed 8)

PeterTheAleut, it seems somewhat odd to us still as we don't go around calling ourself the "Church of the Three Councils" ???
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Amdetsion on August 28, 2007, 12:23:49 PM
Well, duh! ;)(I offer this exclamation totally in jest. 8))  The Apostles and the other saints you name all died centuries before the Iconoclastic Controversy ever required a Seventh Council.  Do you think they would have the foresight to recognize that the EO would need to call a Seventh Ecumenical Council and call the Church the "Church of the Seven Councils" centuries in advance?  We call ourselves the "Church of the Seven Councils" in a way synonymous with calling ourselves the "Eastern Orthodox Church"--it's more of a label that (sadly) shows how we are separate from the "heterodox" churches (one major communion of whom many EO today believe never was heterodox despite our misunderstanding).

I beleive our brother had a very ligitimate point to his question which you failed to see.

It seems to me that his point was that:

The apostles did not call themselves the church of the "first council" which they conviened in Jerusalem where very key decisions were made in the name of Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. They did not seems to need to make a distinction between those who were to follow the orders set at the 1st council and those who would not follow the decisions and remain with business as usual prior to the 1st council.

This would stand to impart that the apostles did not start this sort of 'scoring card' concept the west has now.

This 'scoring card' concept is a "johnny-come-lately" having NO apostolic origin at all.

This terminology (church of the 7 councils) is a pontification whenever used as if to look down on all others on earth while saying to all that "WE - THIS IS THE TRUE CHURCH and YOU ARE NOT". It smacks of the kind a of Roman-Catholicness people have come to disrespect.

The Church established by Christ and His chosen apostles is Holy, Universal and apostolic; orthodox in our Lord Jesus Christ. Any councils we may have are subject to that which is already established. Thus we are "orthodox". WE are not orthodox outside of the Holy Universal Church. So to say church of the 7 councils is moot to serious orthodox doctrine and respect for Holy tradition and order sent down to us from the beginning since all councils and all activity is a product of the church and takes place within the church. THe church can not change. NO man has the power to change the church.

So I re-assert the question: Why the need to say church of the 7 councils?

It is in my view arrogance and upity high mindedness , a we-are-the truely-blessed-and-they-are-not attitude that is behind this insensitive and un-necessary term. Which is to be expected from the western mind. You can see the we-are-better-than-all-others on earth exuding in every facit of life today from the west. This attitude is the epicenter of western culture. You would be at a loss to find a place on earth today that has not been destroyed or obliterated by the exploits of the mighty west. Two world wars pretty much speak the truth of this point.

Such terminology to me is completely objectionable having no spiritual power. The terminology is bitter. It has the visage of a frowning face

Such terminology cannot offer anyone anything but emnity and confusion. A self serving terminology which reaks of the stinch of utter hopelessness

Such are contrary to the teachings that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ established in His church.

The church of the 7 councils is a very unfortunate...pitiful  use of words when speaking about the true Church of Christ since Christ's Church does not need to be defined by councils....the councils however need to be defined by Christ and His church.

Obey God Church!

Love one another Church!

Return good for evil Church!

Withstand each other with patience; perservering all things with love and unity Church.

Divide the faith (not the church) equally among all the church (church here is singular) so that no man falters. And if one falls; pick him up. Let the weak be carried by the stronger Church!

Pray for each other! forgive one another! as you would want God to forgive you Church!

If we all can actually begin to adhere to any of the above "churches" we would begin to see God and His mercy which he has for all of us who are his true followers which is the only real thing that joins us over the significance of councils.

God help us!

Your Servant
Deacon Amde Tsion
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Symeon on August 28, 2007, 02:21:35 PM
Didymus I think to answer your question about why the Orthodox call themselves the "church of the 7 councils" is because 8 and 9 are not truly considered ecumenical because of the division between east and west. interestingly didymus I was actually going to ask a learned OO whether there were OO saints that were 100% against the EO and vice versa. Also to answer that particular query both of can agree no matter how righteous and holy a saint is that does not mean what they say is doctrine and is definitely not infallible what we should admire is that these people died to protect the apostolic faith at all costs!

Re: The nine Ecumenical Councils, I don't think what you are saying is valid. Even if the lack of the west would invalidate the Ninth Ecumenical Council (and I don't grant this), this is not true of the Eighth, which was pre-schism. Also, if I am reading you correctly, this would seem to invalidate the ability of the Church to hold an Ecumenical Council in the future, which pretty much concedes Roman Catholic claims.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Αριστοκλής on August 28, 2007, 03:54:49 PM
Quote
which pretty much concedes Roman Catholic claims

How so?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: lubeltri on August 28, 2007, 04:03:15 PM
It smacks of the kind a of Roman-Catholicness people have come to disrespect.

I believe it's actually spelled and pronounced Katlick.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Symeon on August 28, 2007, 04:07:06 PM
How so?

It is a common Roman Catholic claim that our Church is unable (post-schism) to hold an Ecumenical Council because we are not in Communion with the Pope, and they point to the fact that we (supposedly) only accept seven Ecumenical Councils. Now, even accepting that we only hold to seven Ecumenical Councils, the conclusion does not follow. However, podromas, in saying that the Eighth and Ninth Ecumenical Councils are not truly Ecumenical because the west was not involved (and, as I said before, this is not valid for the Eighth), concedes this point. It follows from his reasoning that we are even unable to hold an Ecumenical Council in the future.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: lubeltri on August 28, 2007, 04:13:16 PM
It is a common Roman Catholic claim that our Church is unable (post-schism) to hold an Ecumenical Council because we are not in Communion with the Pope, and they point to the fact that we (supposedly) only accept seven Ecumenical Councils.

I believe our understanding is that the Supreme Pontiff must be represented at the council and that the Apostolic See has to confirm it afterwards.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Αριστοκλής on August 28, 2007, 04:47:37 PM
It is a common Roman Catholic claim that our Church is unable (post-schism) to hold an Ecumenical Council because we are not in Communion with the Pope, and they point to the fact that we (supposedly) only accept seven Ecumenical Councils. Now, even accepting that we only hold to seven Ecumenical Councils, the conclusion does not follow. However, podromas, in saying that the Eighth and Ninth Ecumenical Councils are not truly Ecumenical because the west was not involved (and, as I said before, this is not valid for the Eighth), concedes this point. It follows from his reasoning that we are even unable to hold an Ecumenical Council in the future.

I see. prodomas might wrong, I'm afraid. But we've debated the status of these later 'ecumenically called';i.e., by the emperor here in the past. I believe the consensus (or at least my opinion at the time) was reached that these councils are provisionally ecumenical for us and merely lack the 'official' stamp of approval of yet another ecumenical councils. I know of  no EO church which rejects any of these councils. One must bear in mind that for the council of 879, we were in communion (or restored communion) with the Latins and even in the 1300s the schism was not yet set in stone. Hence, there may indeed have been some reluctance to so name those later three councils for the reasons that prodomas asserts. but I don't believe that situation exists now or applies at this time. Yeah, I know...not very lucid today, am I?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Salpy on August 28, 2007, 09:08:25 PM

So I re-assert the question: Why the need to say church of the 7 councils?

It is in my view arrogance and upity high mindedness , a we-are-the truely-blessed-and-they-are-not attitude that is behind this insensitive and un-necessary term.

Deacon,

I really don't think that most EO's have this attitude.  I know Peter the Aleut doesn't have that sort of outlook.  I think the EO's just think of their Church's beliefs as having been defined by these seven councils, same as we think of our Church's beliefs as having been defined by the three we recognize.  They are just stating a fact about their Church.  Perhaps some are arrogant about it, but not most.  I think you were too quick to come to the conclusion that there was an attitude when there wasn't any.  Let's try to assume the best about those we discuss this with.  Thanks.   :)
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: PeterTheAleut on August 28, 2007, 11:07:58 PM
Deacon,

I really don't think that most EO's have this attitude.  I know Peter the Aleut doesn't have that sort of outlook.  I think the EO's just think of their Church's beliefs as having been defined by these seven councils, same as we think of our Church's beliefs as having been defined by the three we recognize.  They are just stating a fact about their Church.  Perhaps some are arrogant about it, but not most.  I think you were too quick to come to the conclusion that there was an attitude when there wasn't any.  Let's try to assume the best about those we discuss this with.  Thanks.   :)
I personally don't even refer to my (EO) Church as the "Church of the Seven Councils;" to me, she is just the Church.  This is not borne out of any personal objection to the more restrictive name; I just never saw any reason to use it.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: prodromas on August 28, 2007, 11:13:36 PM
In fact I think if we refer to our selves as churches of a particular council we truly ruin the essence of Orthodoxy being defined at particular parts in history as opposed to the way.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Αριστοκλής on August 29, 2007, 03:14:01 AM
I personally don't even refer to my (EO) Church as the "Church of the Seven Councils;" to me, she is just the Church.  This is not borne out of any personal objection to the more restrictive name; I just never saw any reason to use it.
Me, too.
This term always struck me as one used when talking with RCs and in the context that we are the "Catholics of the Seven Councils". Outside that, never used otherwise and certainly not in OO/EO relations.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: EkhristosAnesti on August 29, 2007, 08:55:49 AM
The OO Church never regarded itself the Church of the "Three Ecumenical Councils", and i'm not sure that it is even accurate or correct to start using such an appellation. Immediately after Chalcedon, OO Fathers often referred to Ephesus 449 and (I think) Ephesus 475 alongside Ephesus 431 and Nicaea 325 and Constantinople 381 as being the defining instruments of the faith. In the encyclical issued at Ephesus 475, the Bishops declared:

Quote
For we are satisfied with the doctrine and faith of the apostles and of the holy fathers, the three hundred and eighteen bishops; to which also the illustrious Council of the one hundred and fifty in the Royal City, and the two other holy Synods at Ephesus adhered, and which they confirmed.


This suggests that Ephesus 449 was considered on par with Ephesus 431 in some sense.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Amdetsion on August 29, 2007, 01:27:49 PM
Deacon,

I really don't think that most EO's have this attitude.  I know Peter the Aleut doesn't have that sort of outlook.  I think the EO's just think of their Church's beliefs as having been defined by these seven councils, same as we think of our Church's beliefs as having been defined by the three we recognize.  They are just stating a fact about their Church.  Perhaps some are arrogant about it, but not most.  I think you were too quick to come to the conclusion that there was an attitude when there wasn't any.  Let's try to assume the best about those we discuss this with.  Thanks.   :)

I came to this concluison a long long time ago.

I pray over it and re-think it through every day. So my point of view can surely be changed. I am not compelled to change as of this date.

Also; I never said "all".

Nothing is ever "all". That is blatantly obvious and goes without saying.

Salpy; my point as I posted is very clear. I was very open in my various views. You are others of course do not have to agree with me.

I have posted many times on this site on how I have had many wonderful and blessed experiences with various OO communities.

Your Servant
Deacon Amde
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Didymus on September 04, 2007, 07:19:11 AM
Amdetsion, thanks for seeing my point.

PeterTheAleut, your "she is just the Church" view could go a long way to advancing unity.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: ialmisry on December 09, 2007, 07:59:34 PM
"the [Oriental] Church saw nothing objectionable about the veneration of icons established by what the [Eastern Orthodox] call the Seventh Council."

I find it very interesting that the "crisis" of iconoclasm did not even effect western europe (which at the time was VERY Eastern Orthodox).  Until this current discussion, it never occurred to me that there was yet another "body" of Christians that never had to deal with the crisis of iconoclasm: which is the "Oriental" Orthodox.  It would certainly make sense that the Byzantine empire would be the most insistent on "accepting the 7th Ecumenical council" if they were the only ones that had to deal with that crisis in the first place!

This is not to diminish the VAST differences between Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism... however, I hope this "insight" leads all readers of this thread (especially EO) to an awareness that perhaps the "7th Ecumencial Council" was perhaps more local than "ecumenical."

God bless

The filioque loving Franks held the semi-iconoclast council of Frankfurt in 794, which revoked the 7th Ecumenical Council in part.

The iconoclasts the OO were busy with at the time (and now) were the muslims.  Btw, Leo the Isaurian grew up in the Caliphate when Islam was developing its iconoclastic ways.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: stanley123 on December 10, 2007, 03:32:13 AM
Our theologians admit we all believe the same thing, but these other issues are pretty big and need to be resolved. 
However, I understand that Armenian Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox do not believe the same thing when it comes to the use of leavened or unleavend bread? Is it true that the Armenians use unleavened bread, but the Eastern Orthodox say that it is correct to use leavened bread.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Salpy on December 10, 2007, 04:13:53 AM
However, I understand that Armenian Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox do not believe the same thing when it comes to the use of leavened or unleavend bread? Is it true that the Armenians use unleavened bread, but the Eastern Orthodox say that it is correct to use leavened bread.

This is discussed in this thread:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,10855.0.html


And also in replies number 37 and 38 in this thread:


http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13375.0.html#lastPost

I think this goes to the issue of diversity of practice, which I mentioned in my reply number seven, above.  The OO's allow more diversity in liturgical practice, whereas the EO's tend to be more uniform.  Again, I think for unity to happen, that would have to be addressed.


Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: rakovsky on October 31, 2010, 01:42:16 PM
I read that in an EO church council, they decided that one could either have St Cyril's miaphysitism, or the duophysitism(I forget the word) that many EOs had/have.

So either view might be technically acceptable in EO.

Is miaphysitism a mandatory belief in the OO church?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Iconodule on October 31, 2010, 01:47:29 PM
St. Cyril's "one nature" is the same as "one hypostasis" as said at Chalcedon, so to say there is a choice between them is to misunderstand them.  "Mia physis", as understood by St. Cyril, is mandatory in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on October 31, 2010, 02:44:31 PM
Mia physis, properly understood (and the OO have always properly understood it) is mandatory for all Orthodox Christians.

Father Peter
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: rakovsky on October 31, 2010, 03:29:19 PM
St. Cyril's "one nature" is the same as "one hypostasis" as said at Chalcedon, so to say there is a choice between them is to misunderstand them.  "Mia physis", as understood by St. Cyril, is mandatory in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Iconodule,

So in other words, the position of the ecumenical Orthodox Church is that that when St Cyril spoke of Christ's "one nature", he was referring to Christ's person or "hypostasis", just as we commonly say one person and two natures?

Is there a short article I can read to confirm that when St Cyril spoke of Christ's "one nature" he was referring to the hypostasis?

Thanks.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Iconodule on October 31, 2010, 03:35:00 PM
St. Cyril's "one nature" is the same as "one hypostasis" as said at Chalcedon, so to say there is a choice between them is to misunderstand them.  "Mia physis", as understood by St. Cyril, is mandatory in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Iconodule,

So in other words, the position of the ecumenical Orthodox Church is that that when St Cyril spoke of Christ's "one nature", he was referring to Christ's person or "hypostasis", just as we commonly say one person and two natures?

Here is St. John Damascene's explanation of St. Cyril's phrase, "One Nature of God the Word Incarnate":

http://www.orthodox.net/fathers/exactiii.html#BOOK_III_CHAPTER_XI



Note: "subsistence" is the English word for hypostasis.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: rakovsky on October 31, 2010, 04:28:36 PM
Iconodule,

Your explanation of our Orthodox position matches St John Damascene's understanding of St Cyril's words.

St John Damascene wrote in the passage you gave:
Quote
the blessed Cyril(2) says this: "The nature of the Word, that is, the subsistence, which is the Word itself."


So it appears here that St Cyril says that when he refers to the nature of the word, he means the subsistence, like you said.

St John Damascene comments:

Quote
the blessed Cyril(2) says this: "The nature of the Word, that is, the subsistence, which is the Word itself." So that "the nature of the Word" means neither the subsistence alone, nor "the common nature of the subsistence," but "the common nature viewed as a whole in the subsistence of the Word."


Of course, there is a possibility that St John Damascene mistakenly took Cyril's words out of context or misunderstood them, and after all, the theologians often write confusingly.

Further, there is the possibility that, as on many other questions like the idea of Original Sin, a few Orthodox saints like St Cyril could actually have taken positions opposite to other saints. Maybe if you really got into it, you would discover that a few Orthodox saints really did have the Oriental position.

Personally, I accept the idea that Christ has two natures, and that His one person has two natures. (duo-phys-itism?) His one person has both natures.

I don't know if I can take the extra step of saying that the two natures combine into one new nature.

So while I can take the Chalcedonian Orthodox point of view, I can't dismiss the Oriental point of view as heretical.

Does our Chalcedonian Orthodox Church officially declare that the Orientals are heretics based on their understanding of Miaphysitism?

Do the Oriental Churches say that St John Damascene's understanding of the two natures- our Chalcedonian Orthodox understanding- is a heresy?



Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: ialmisry on October 31, 2010, 05:44:52 PM
St. Cyril's "one nature" is the same as "one hypostasis" as said at Chalcedon, so to say there is a choice between them is to misunderstand them.  "Mia physis", as understood by St. Cyril, is mandatory in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Iconodule,

So in other words, the position of the ecumenical Orthodox Church is that that when St Cyril spoke of Christ's "one nature", he was referring to Christ's person or "hypostasis", just as we commonly say one person and two natures?

Here is St. John Damascene's explanation of St. Cyril's phrase, "One Nature of God the Word Incarnate":

http://www.orthodox.net/fathers/exactiii.html#BOOK_III_CHAPTER_XI



Note: "subsistence" is the English word for hypostasis.

How about this?
Quote
<- BOOK III CHAPTER IX ->
In reply to the question whether there is Nature that has no Subsistence.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For although(5) there is no nature without subsistence, nor essence apart from person (since in truth it is in persons and subsistences that essence and nature are to be contemplated), yet it does not necessarily follow that the natures that are united to one another in subsistence should have each its own proper subsistence. For after they have come together into one subsistence, it is possible that neither should they be without subsistence, nor should each have its own peculiar subsistence, but that both should have one and the same subsistence(6). For since one and the same subsistence of the Word has become the subsistence of the natures, neither of them is permitted to be without subsistence, nor are they allowed to have subsistences that differ from each other, or to have sometimes the subsistence of this nature and sometimes of that, but always without division or separation they both have the same subsistence--a subsistence which is not broken up into parts or divided, so that one part should belong to this, and one to that, but which belongs wholly to this and wholly to that in its absolute entirety. For the flesh of God the Word did not subsist as an independent subsistence, nor did there arise another subsistence besides that of God the Word, but as it existed in that it became rather a subsistence which subsisted in another, than one which was an independent subsistence. Wherefore, neither does it lack subsistence altogether, nor yet is there thus introduced into the Trinity another subsistence.

I would like to know what the EO reject of St. Cyril's "On the Unity of Christ." What do the OO reject of it? What do the EO accuse the OO of rejecting of it? What do the OO accuse the EO of rejecting of it?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on October 31, 2010, 07:19:07 PM
Quote
I don't know if I can take the extra step of saying that the two natures combine into one new nature.

Hi rakovsky.

If you think that the OO think that two natures combine into one new nature then you have not yet understood St Cyril or the OO position which follows him.

So there is no need for you to be concerned that you have to take that step. The OO would not ask you to.

The humanity of Christ never ceases to be what it is, even when the Word of God becomes incarnate without ceasing to be what He ever was and is. Yet He is one incarnate nature, not because there is a confusion of humanity and Divinity, or because the humanity is swallowed up in the Divinity. God forbid. But because even after the incarnation there is one nature, one identity, one subject. It was the Word of God who died on the cross. There were those at Chalcedon and those who accepted it who could not say such a thing.

We would not normally say that there was one person with two natures because this is in fact what Theodore of Mopsuestia, Diodore, Ibas, Theodoret and Nestorius all said. We would also sense that such language did not in fact confess the inner union in identity of humanity and Divinity strongly enough.

But after Constantinople 553 it does seem to us that the Chalcedonians excluded many of those ambiguous positions which we believe Chalcedon allowed. After Constantinople 553 a Chalcedonian who rejected the phrase 'one incarnate nature of the Word' would be condemned for instance.

Father Peter
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on October 31, 2010, 07:22:40 PM
ialmisry,

I think we would say that Chalcedonians before Constantinople 553 are not the same as Chalcedonians after 553. We especially reject the position which we believe Chalcedon endorsed. We do not reject the position as revised by the Chalcedonians in 553.

The issue seems to me to be that some Chalcedonians would like to say that there is no difference between Chalcedonians before and after Constantinople 553 and therefore that Chalcedon says the same thing as Constantinople 553. We do not believe it does. I won't go into details as that will detract from the thread. But in general this seems to me to be one of the main issues.

Father Peter

Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Ioannes on October 31, 2010, 08:00:28 PM
I personally do not support any reunion. I will not accept Leo's Tome nor Leo I, who supported Theodoret a heretic thereby making Leo a heretic. I think they should admit that in the 4th council they rejected our definition, which is clearly the definition of St. Cyril in the 3rd council, and that they were wrong in doing so. They should accept St. Dioscorus as a saint and denounce Leo I as a heretic, who also started the papal primacy which is probably why he sought to oust the church in Alexandria.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: rakovsky on October 31, 2010, 08:11:28 PM
After Constantinople 553 a Chalcedonian who rejected the phrase 'one incarnate nature of the Word' would be condemned for instance.
That's odd. How can we explain the phrase in accordance with the "official" Orthodoxs' statement that Christ has two natures in one person?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Iconodule on October 31, 2010, 08:15:33 PM
After Constantinople 553 a Chalcedonian who rejected the phrase 'one incarnate nature of the Word' would be condemned for instance.
That's odd. How can we explain the phrase in accordance with the "official" Orthodoxs' statement that Christ has two natures in one person?

In St. Cyril's usage, "nature" could mean either hypostasis or ousia. In Chalcedon's definition, it just means ousia (essence).
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: rakovsky on October 31, 2010, 08:16:45 PM
I will not accept Leo's Tome nor Leo I, who supported Theodoret a heretic thereby making Leo a heretic.

I heard that there are some actual monophysite saints in the OO church, not just Miaphysite ones. So there are probably many people who were heretics that orthodox bishops in the church supported in some sense.

It's important to remember that the argument between the Byzantines and the Orientals is largely an argument along the lines of fine Greek philosophy, mentally difficult to millions of people.

It could possibly be just a semantic argument like whether a glass is half empty or half full.

So it is important to work together to solve a mutual mind-problem.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: rakovsky on October 31, 2010, 08:20:51 PM
After Constantinople 553 a Chalcedonian who rejected the phrase 'one incarnate nature of the Word' would be condemned for instance.
That's odd. How can we explain the phrase in accordance with the "official" Orthodoxs' statement that Christ has two natures in one person?

In St. Cyril's usage, "nature" could mean either hypostasis or ousia. In Chalcedon's definition, it just means ousia (essence).

OK, thanks, Iconodule.


Better to say:
"After Constantinople 553 a Chalcedonian who rejected the Chalcedonian understanding of St Cyril's phrase 'one incarnate nature of the Word' would be condemned for instance."

I am not sure that is right, either, because I heard that there was a council decision that one could take some sort of miaphysist position or some sort of non-miaphysist position.

edited post:
HERE IT IS:  
Quote

Just as the Second Council of Constantinople (known as the "Fifth Ecumenical Council") condemned a certain understanding of the Dyophysite formula introduced at the Council of Chalcedon, it likewise condemned a certain understanding of the Miaphysite terminology of Cyril of Alexandria introduced at the Council of Ephesus, thus leaving room for other orthodox understandings for both Dyophysitism and Miaphysitism. A certain understanding of Miaphysitism thus was affirmed as acceptable doctrine among the Chalcedonians.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miaphysitism
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Salpy on October 31, 2010, 08:31:39 PM

In St. Cyril's usage, "nature" could mean either hypostasis or ousia. In Chalcedon's definition, it just means ousia (essence).

Obviously it wasn't so simple, or Constantinople II wouldn't have been necessary.  As has been pointed out numerous times, there were different interpretations given the language at Chalcedon, and Con. II eliminated the ambiguity.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Salpy on October 31, 2010, 08:33:49 PM
I will not accept Leo's Tome nor Leo I, who supported Theodoret a heretic thereby making Leo a heretic.

I heard that there are some actual monophysite saints in the OO church, not just Miaphysite ones.

I have no doubt you have heard that, but that doesn't make it true.   :)  Do you recall specifically which ones were called Monophysite?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: rakovsky on October 31, 2010, 08:37:44 PM
If you think that the OO think that two natures combine into one new nature then you have not yet understood St Cyril or the OO position which follows him.
OK, maybe I have it wrong, but that is how I understand it best.

Quote
So there is no need for you to be concerned that you have to take that step. The OO would not ask you to.

The humanity of Christ never ceases to be what it is, even when the Word of God becomes incarnate without ceasing to be what He ever was and is. Yet He is one incarnate nature, not because there is a confusion of humanity and Divinity, or because the humanity is swallowed up in the Divinity. God forbid. But because even after the incarnation there is one nature, one identity, one subject.

Now I am even more concerned, because you haven't specified that there ever were two natures involved at all. You suggested that there is only one nature involved in the conversation, which is both his pre-incarnate AND incarnate nature, he has one nature before and "even after" the incarnation.

You will probably say I understand you wrong. Either way, I am concerned about the failure to mention the two natures and their relation to one another.


Quote
We would not normally say that there was one person with two natures because this is in fact what Theodore of Mopsuestia, Diodore, Ibas, Theodoret and Nestorius all said. We would also sense that such language did not in fact confess the inner union in identity of humanity and Divinity strongly enough.
If this is just a big semantic debate, then Chalcedonians would argue back that saying he is "one person with one nature" does not confess the two natures' distinct-ness strongly enough


Quote
Metropolitan Bishoy of the Coptic church had used some of Cyril's quotes about the nature of Christ, as follows:
In his Epistle to Acacias (40) section (15):
"When we analyze the way of incarnation accurately , the human mind sees -without any doubt- the two natures resembled together with untold way and without mixing in the unification. The mind doesn't separate them at all after the unification but he believes and confesses that one from two is God and son and Messiah and Lord"
http://www.monachos.net/forum/archive/index.php/t-6424.html

Some of St Cyril's quotes can be read either way. Maybe he himself did not split the hair.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 31, 2010, 08:49:30 PM
If they were to reunite, what type of tangible differences would we expect to see between EO and OO? Would things really be that much different than they are now?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Salpy on October 31, 2010, 08:54:09 PM
A polemical post was split off and put here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,30930.msg487520.html#new

Iconodule,

Please keep the rhetoric down, and please avoid picking fights you and others have already picked and failed to win several times in the private forum.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Iconodule on October 31, 2010, 09:05:42 PM
A polemical post was split off and put here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,30930.msg487520.html#new

Iconodule,

Please keep the rhetoric down, and please avoid picking fights you and others have already picked and failed to win several times in the private forum.



In St. Cyril's usage, "nature" could mean either hypostasis or ousia. In Chalcedon's definition, it just means ousia (essence).

Obviously it wasn't so simple, or Constantinople II wouldn't have been necessary.  As has been pointed out numerous times, there were different interpretations given the language at Chalcedon, and Con. II eliminated the ambiguity.

Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: rakovsky on October 31, 2010, 09:09:28 PM
1. This quote of St Cyril (from my last post) speaks of two natures, so it seems that any definition should mention Two natures.

2. It also suggests that the two natures are either combined/unified into one nature, since the phrase "one body from two natures" doesn't seem to fit.

Quote
"When we analyze the way of incarnation accurately , the human mind sees -without any doubt- the two natures resembled together with untold way and without mixing in the unification. The mind doesn't separate them at all after the unification but he believes and confesses that one from two is God and son and Messiah and Lord"

Maybe St Cyril believed the Oriental way, but other Chalcedonian saints believed another way, and they are both saints in our Byzantine Orthodox church, so it's all good.

So expressing some kind of dyophisitism and Oriental miaphysitism is ok in our church.

Sorry, one obstacle I have with the Oriental church is that I can't necessarily rule out one view or the other, but it looks like the Oriental church makes its view mandatory and sharply rejects the Chalcedonians, whereas the Chalcedonians allow for some diophysitism and for St Cyril's view.

But maybe I am also wrong about this and the Chalcedonian church has in fact rejected St Cyril's view, which could turn out to be the Oriental view. Of course, maybe this "real" view of St Cyril could turn out to be wrong and the Byzantine position turn out to be right?

I am confused about the churches' view on "Miaphysitism" and risk getting excommunicated by everyone. (joke) Maybe so does everyone else (joke).

Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: rakovsky on October 31, 2010, 09:20:43 PM
So apparently we agree he has one "essence" with the father. But then he also has two "natures". Natures (physia) might be like physical properties? Like how someone can be tired and peppy at the same time?

Essence vs. natures?

The possible unification of the natures?

Greek philosophy = Confusing?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Salpy on October 31, 2010, 09:49:37 PM
You're way over-thinking this.  Just know that both our Churches today believe that Christ is perfectly divine and perfectly human, without confusion or division.  
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Salpy on October 31, 2010, 10:23:42 PM
A polemical post was split off and put here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,30930.msg487520.html#new

Iconodule,

Please keep the rhetoric down, and please avoid picking fights you and others have already picked and failed to win several times in the private forum.



In St. Cyril's usage, "nature" could mean either hypostasis or ousia. In Chalcedon's definition, it just means ousia (essence).

Obviously it wasn't so simple, or Constantinople II wouldn't have been necessary.  As has been pointed out numerous times, there were different interpretations given the language at Chalcedon, and Con. II eliminated the ambiguity.


I'm sorry, are you trying to say something here?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Iconodule on October 31, 2010, 10:31:43 PM
It speaks for itself.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Salpy on October 31, 2010, 10:34:15 PM
Saying what?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: PeterTheAleut on October 31, 2010, 11:05:12 PM
It speaks for itself.
Stepping in to back up my colleague here (with her permission):

Iconodule, what you did was in response to a green-text moderatorial directive. I therefore charge you to come right out and tell us clearly what you intended to say by quoting that directive as you did. Stop beating around the bush.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Iconodule on October 31, 2010, 11:29:25 PM
I'm not playing, kids. Do what you like.
(http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/Themes/Pascha2010/images/warnwarn.gif)
That kind of insolence in response to the directives of two moderators was totally uncalled for. You are therefore receiving this warning to last for the next three weeks. If you think this action unfair, please feel free to appeal it to Fr. George (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=755).

-PeterTheAleut
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Salpy on November 01, 2010, 12:15:45 AM
Another polemical post, this time by a different poster, was moved to the private forum:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,30930.0.html

Everyone,

I'd like to keep this on topic.  If you read the original post, it asks whether unity will happen in the lifetime of a 17 year old, and whether the OO's venerate icons.  

It is also permissible to address Rakovsky's question at the top of this page ("Is miaphysitism a mandatory belief in the OO church?") since that was what brought this thread up again.  

I'd like to have this thread narrowly address these issues and not go off on tangents about what happened at Chalcedon, etc.

Thanks.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: rakovsky on November 01, 2010, 10:36:24 AM
I appreciate everyone's input, including yours, Iconodule!!!! Thanks everyone.

It is a mind problem, like the kind of mind games you might have thoughtabout as a teenager.  Let's please work together to figure it out!!!!
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: CoptoGeek on November 01, 2010, 02:15:27 PM
So expressing some kind of dyophisitism and Oriental miaphysitism is ok in our church.

Sorry, one obstacle I have with the Oriental church is that I can't necessarily rule out one view or the other, but it looks like the Oriental church makes its view mandatory and sharply rejects the Chalcedonians, whereas the Chalcedonians allow for some diophysitism and for St Cyril's view.

You bring up a good point, Rakovsky.

Can our Church officially accept (or has it officially accepted) "in two Natures" and by that I mean accepting the Horos of Chalcedon as an Orthodox statement of Faith not to the exclusion of "one incarnate Nature" but along with it as a paralell to what Justinian did in Constantinople II.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: deusveritasest on November 22, 2010, 08:15:20 PM
So expressing some kind of dyophisitism and Oriental miaphysitism is ok in our church.

Sorry, one obstacle I have with the Oriental church is that I can't necessarily rule out one view or the other, but it looks like the Oriental church makes its view mandatory and sharply rejects the Chalcedonians, whereas the Chalcedonians allow for some diophysitism and for St Cyril's view.

You bring up a good point, Rakovsky.

Can our Church officially accept (or has it officially accepted) "in two Natures" and by that I mean accepting the Horos of Chalcedon as an Orthodox statement of Faith not to the exclusion of "one incarnate Nature" but along with it as a paralell to what Justinian did in Constantinople II.

We might be able to accept "in two natures" as defined at Constantinople II, but that does not mean that we can accept the Creed of Chalcedon as having been purely orthodox. The latter I do not believe can be done without compromising precisely what OOy is about in distinction to EOy.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Benjamin the Red on January 03, 2011, 10:29:11 PM
I've not really poked my head in this forum before, but I've thoroughly enjoyed looking around and now, seeing this thread, makes me very happy to look at the results above! I desire greatly the unification of our churches, and hope to see it soon!
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Salpy on January 03, 2011, 10:33:46 PM
Feel free to poke your head in any time!   :)
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Benjamin the Red on January 04, 2011, 11:13:42 AM
Feel free to poke your head in any time!   :)

Thanks!

I've got some questions for folks, as I've been interested in OO and EO re-unification for some time and have been reading up on the history of the councils which ended at Chalcedon, causing our parting, and the recent history of discussion between the OO (mostly from the Copts by Pope Shenouda) and the EO and RC. So, here we go:

What, in your opinions, remains in the way of full communion between OO and EO?

How should these be dealt with?

When do you think these barriers will finally be removed so that communion is restored?

The questions, of course, pre-suppose the belief of the repondant in the theological unity of the two churches. This brings further questions to light:

If the two are genuninely the Church, then how as the Church divided against itself? If there is only "one Church" how can it exist as two?

If you do not believe they are one Church, then what differences remain? How can they be resolved? Should they be resolved?

I appreciate the responses from everyone. Thanks in advance!
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Arnaud on January 06, 2011, 09:01:29 PM
To all Chalcedonians :

" One nature of God the Son, the incarnate Word " =

Union Without Mingling, Confusion, Alteration or Transmutation

BY " one Nature ", we mean a real union. This does not involve mingling as of wheat and barely, nor confusion as of wine and water or milk and tea. Moreover, no change occurred as in the case of chemical reaction. For example carbon dioxide consists of carbon and oxygen, and the nature of both changes when they are combined ; each loses its properties which distinguished it before the unity. In contrast, no change occurred in the Divine or Human nature as a result of their unity. Furthermore, unity between the two natures occurred without transmutation. Thus, neither did the Divine nature transmute to the human nature, nor did the human nature, transmute to the Divine nature. The Divine nature did not mix with the human nature nor mingle with it, but it was a unity that led to Oneness of Nature.

The Example of the Union of Iron and Fire

St., Cyril the Great used this analogy and so did St. Dioscorus. In the case of ignited iron, we do not say that there are two natures: iron and fire, but we say iron united with fire. Similarly, we speak about the nature of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Incarnate God, and we do not say " God and man ". In the union of iron with fire, the iron is not changed into fire nor fire into iron. Both are united without mingling, confusion or alteration. Although this situation is not permanent in the case of iron, and here is the point of disagreement, but we only want to say that once iron is ignited with fire, it continues to retain all the properties of iron and all the properties of fire. Likewise, the nature of the Incarnate Logos is One Nature, having all the Divine characteristics and all the human as well.

The Example of the Union between the Soul and the Body

This example was used by St. Cyril, St. Augustine and a large number of ancient and recent theologians. In this simile, the nature of the soul unites with the physical earthly nature of the body to form a union of one nature, which is the human nature. This united nature does not include the body alone nor the soul alone but both together are combined without mixing, confusion, alteration or transmutation. No transmutation occurs of the soul into the body nor of the body into the soul, yet both become one in essence and in nature, so we say that this is one nature and one person. Hence, if we accept the idea of the unity between the soul and the body in one nature, why do we not accept the unity of the Divine and the human into one Nature ?! Here we’d like to raise an important question regarding the One Nature and the Two Natures : Do we not all admit that the nature which we call Human Natures contained before the unity two Natures: the soul and the body ? yet, those who claim that there are two natures in Christ : a divine and a human, do not mention the two natures of manhood i.e. the soul and the body but consider them one. If we go into details we would find ourselves before three natures in Christ !!! the Divinity, the soul and the body, and each of them has its distinct entity and essence ... Of course, this is unacceptable on both sides. When we accept the union of the soul and the body in one nature in Christ, and when we use the expression theologically, it becomes easier for us to use the expression " One Nature of Christ " or " One Nature of God, the Incarnate Logos ". Just as we say that the human nature is one nature consisting of two elements or natures, we can also say about the Incarnate Logos, that He is one entity of two elements or natures. If the Divine nature is claimed to differ from the human nature, how then do they unite ? The reply is that the nature of the soul is fundamentally different from the nature of the body, yet it is united with it in one nature, which is the human nature. Although man is formed of these two natures, we never say that He is two, but one person. All man’s acts are attributed to this one nature and not to the soul alone or to the body alone. Thus when we want to say that a certain individual ate, or became hungry, or slept, or felt pain, we do not say that it is his body which ate, or became hungry, or got tired or slept or felt pain. All man’s acts are attributed to him as a whole and not only to his body. Similarly, all the acts of Christ were attributed to Rim as a whole and not to His Divine nature alone ( independently ) or to His human nature alone. This was explained by Leo in the Council of Chalcedon and we shall give further explanation to this point later on, God willing. The union of the soul and body is an intrinsic real union, a Hypostatic one. So is the union of the Divine nature of Christ with the human nature in the Virgin’s womb. It is a hypostatic union, self-essential and real and not a mere connection, then separation as Nestorus claimed. Though the example of the union of the soul and body in the human nature is inclusive, still it is incomplete as it does not explain how the soul departs the body by death nor how they reunite again in the resurrection. But as for the unity of the Divine and human natures of Christ, it is an inseparable union as the Divine nature never departed the human nature for one single moment nor for a twinkle of an eye.

H.H Pope Shenouda III


Brothers, we are Christians, and we believe that Christ is fully Man and fully God. We must stop to divide us about that. There must be a new council where this formula must be adopted " One Person, Christ, fully Man and fully God, without mix, change, or confusion. " POINT. We must stop to speak about one nature or two nature, for the well-being = unity, of the Church.

Selam.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: ialmisry on January 06, 2011, 09:04:30 PM
The Henotikon has come up elsewhere.  I would say that it is fully Orthodox from an EO viewpoint. What would the OO say (I know that both EO and OO have in the past said "no," hence why where we are today).
Since the Formula of Hormisdas was formulated in response to the Henotikon decree, its text might be helpful
Quote
THE emperor Caesar Zeno, pious, victorious, triumphant, supreme, ever worshipful Augustus, to the most reverent bishops and clergy, and to the monks and laity throughout Alexandria, Egypt, Libya, and Pentapolis. Being assured that the origin and constitution, the might and invincible defence of our sovereignty is the only right and true faith, which, through divine inspiration, the three hundred holy fathers assembled at Nicaea set forth, and the hundred and fifty holy fathers, who in like manner met at Constantinople, confirmed; we night and day employ every means of prayer, of zealous pains and of laws, that the holy Catholic and apostolic church in every place may be multiplied, the uncorruptible and immortal mother of our sceptre; and that the pious laity, continuing in peace and unanimity with respect to God, may, together with the bishops, highly beloved of God, the most pious clergy, the archimandrites and monks, offer up acceptably their supplications in behalf of our sovereignty. So long as our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, who was incarnate and born of Mary, the Holy Virgin, and Mother of God, approves and readily accepts our concordant glorification and service, the power of our enemies will be crushed and swept away, and peace with its blessings, kindly temperature, abundant produce, and whatever is beneficial to man, will be liberally bestowed. Since, then, the irreprehensible faith is the preserver both of ourselves and the Roman weal, petitions have been offered to us from pious archimandrites and hermits, and other venerable persons, imploring us with tears that unity should be procured for the churches, and the limbs should be knit together, which the enemy of all good has of old time been eagerly bent upon severing, under a consciousness that defeat will befall him whenever he assails the body while in an entire condition. For since it happens, that of the unnumbered generations which during the lapse of so many years time has withdrawn from life, some have departed, deprived of the laver of regeneration, and others have been borne away on the inevitable journey of man, without having partaken in the divine communion; and innumerable murders have also been perpetrated; and not only the earth, but the very air has been defiled by a multitude of blood-sheddings; that this state of things might be transformed into good, who would not pray? For this reason, we were anxious that you should be informed, that we and the churches in every quarter neither have held, nor do we or shall we hold, nor are we aware of persons who hold, any other symbol or lesson or definition of faith or creed than the before-mentioned holy symbol of the three hundred and eighteen holy fathers, which the aforesaid hundred and fifty holy fathers confirmed; and if any person does hold such, we deem him an alien: for we are confident that this symbol alone is, as we said, the preserver of our sovereignty, and on their reception of this alone are all the people baptised when desirous of the saving illumination: which symbol all the holy fathers assembled at Ephesus also followed; who further passed sentence of deposition on the impious Nestorius and those who subsequently held his sentiments: which Nestorius we also anathematise, together with Eutyches and all who entertain opinions contrary to those above-mentioned, receiving at the same time the twelve chapters of Cyril, of holy memory, formerly archbishop of the holy Catholic church of the Alexandrians. We moreover confess, that the only begotten Son of God, himself God, who truly assumed manhood, namely, our Lord Jesus Christ, who is con-substantial with the Father in respect of the Godhead, and con-substantial with ourselves as respects the manhood; that He, having descended, and become incarnate of the Holy Spirit and Mary, the Virgin and Mother of God, is one and not two; for we affirm that both his miracles, and the sufferings which he voluntarily endured in the flesh, are those of a single person: for we do in no degree admit those who either make a division or a confusion, or introduce a phantom; inasmuch as his truly sinless incarnation from the Mother of God did not produce an addition of a son, because the Trinity continued a Trinity even when one member of the Trinity, the God Word, became incarnate. Knowing, then, that neither the holy orthodox churches of God in all parts, nor the priests, highly beloved of God, who are at their head, nor our own sovereignty, have allowed or do allow any other symbol or definition of faith than the before-mentioned holy lesson, we have united ourselves thereto without hesitation. And these things we write not as setting forth a new form of faith, but for your assurance : and every one who has held or holds any other opinion, either at the present or another time, whether at Chalcedon or in any synod whatever, we anathematise; and specially the before-mentioned Nestorius and Eutyches, and those who maintain their doctrines. Link yourselves, therefore, to the spiritual mother, the church, and in her enjoy the same communion with us, according to the aforesaid one and only definition of the faith, namely, that of the three hundred and eighteen holy fathers. For your all holy mother, the church, waits to embrace you as true children, and longs to hear your loved voice, so long withheld. Speed yourselves, therefore, for by so doing you will both draw towards yourselves the favor of our Master and Saviour and God, Jesus Christ, and be commended by our sovereignty."

When this had been read, all the Alexandrians united themselves to the holy catholic and apostolic church.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/evagrius_3_book3.htm

Quote
Thw Henoticon (“act of union”) was a document issued by the Eastern Roman Emperor Zeno in 482 in an attempt to reconcile the differences between the Chalcedon and non-Chalcedon supporters in the aftermath of the Fourth Ecumenical Council. The document was prepared by Acacius, Patriarch of Constantinople...The items that the Henoticon endorsed included:

  • the faith defined at the First and Second Ecumenical Councils;

  • the condemnations of Eutyches and Nestorius that had been issued at Chalcedon;

  • an explicit approval of the twelve anathemas of Cyril of Alexandria; and

  • avoidance of any statement whether Christ had one or two natures, in an attempt to appease both non-Chalcedonian and Chalcedonian Christians.

The document failed to satisfy either side. All church leaders took offense at the emperor's open dictate of church policy. After two years of prevarication and temporializing by Acacius, the Pope of Rome, Felix III, in 484, condemned the document and excommunicated Acacius. Acacius in turn removed the name of Pope Felix from the diptychs, effectively beginning the Acacian Schism. The excommunication was largely ignored in Constantinople, even after the death of Acacius in 489.

Zeno died in 491. His successor Anastasius I, as emperor, was sympathetic to the non-Chalcedonians, but he accepted the Henoticon. However, Anastasius was unpopular because of his Miaphysite beliefs, and Vitalian, a Chalcedonian general, attempted to overthrow him in 514, but failed. Anastasius attempted to heal the schism with Pope Hormisdas of Rome, but this failed when Anastasius refused to recognize the excommunication of the now deceased Acacius.
http://orthodoxwiki.org/Henoticon

"nor do we or shall we hold, nor are we aware of persons who hold, any other symbol or lesson or definition of faith or creed than the before-mentioned holy symbol of the three hundred and eighteen holy fathers, which the aforesaid hundred and fifty holy fathers confirmed; and if any person does hold such, we deem him an alien: for we are confident that this symbol alone is, as we said, the preserver of our sovereignty, and on their reception of this alone are all the people baptised when desirous of the saving illumination: which symbol all the holy fathers assembled at Ephesus also followed; who further passed sentence of deposition on the impious Nestorius and those who subsequently held his sentiments: which Nestorius we also anathematise, together with Eutyches and all who entertain opinions contrary to those above-mentioned, receiving at the same time the twelve chapters of Cyril, of holy memory, formerly archbishop of the holy Catholic church of the Alexandrians. We moreover confess, that the only begotten Son of God, himself God, who truly assumed manhood, namely, our Lord Jesus Christ, who is con-substantial with the Father in respect of the Godhead, and con-substantial with ourselves as respects the manhood; that He, having descended, and become incarnate of the Holy Spirit and Mary, the Virgin and Mother of God, is one and not two; for we affirm that both his miracles, and the sufferings which he voluntarily endured in the flesh, are those of a single person: for we do in no degree admit those who either make a division or a confusion, or introduce a phantom; inasmuch as his truly sinless incarnation from the Mother of God did not produce an addition of a son, because the Trinity continued a Trinity even when one member of the Trinity, the God Word, became incarnate. Knowing, then, that neither the holy orthodox churches of God in all parts, nor the priests, highly beloved of God, who are at their head, nor our own sovereignty, have allowed or do allow any other symbol or definition of faith than the before-mentioned holy lesson, we have united ourselves thereto without hesitation. And these things we write not as setting forth a new form of faith, but for your assurance : and every one who has held or holds any other opinion, either at the present or another time, whether at Chalcedon or in any synod whatever, we anathematise; and specially the before-mentioned Nestorius and Eutyches, and those who maintain their doctrines."

the boldface being somewhat determinative for both EO and OO, who agree, I believe, on them.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: deusveritasest on January 06, 2011, 09:25:46 PM
The Henotikon has come up elsewhere.  I would say that it is fully Orthodox from an EO viewpoint. What would the OO say (I know that both EO and OO have in the past said "no," hence why where we are today).

The Henotikon is orthodox in doctrinal content but traitorous in spirit, for it sought to suppress or overlook the Church's confession against Chalcedon.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: deusveritasest on January 06, 2011, 09:26:43 PM
Brothers, we are Christians, and we believe that Christ is fully Man and fully God. We must stop to divide us about that. There must be a new council where this formula must be adopted " One Person, Christ, fully Man and fully God, without mix, change, or confusion. " POINT. We must stop to speak about one nature or two nature, for the well-being = unity, of the Church.

The Church is united. You sound like a Branch Theorist.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Arnaud on January 06, 2011, 10:44:35 PM
Brothers, we are Christians, and we believe that Christ is fully Man and fully God. We must stop to divide us about that. There must be a new council where this formula must be adopted " One Person, Christ, fully Man and fully God, without mix, change, or confusion. " POINT. We must stop to speak about one nature or two nature, for the well-being = unity, of the Church.

The Church is united. You sound like a Branch Theorist.

The Church is an assembly of people. The assembly which constitutes the members of what we call " the Oriental Orthodox churches " are considered to be united. We are speaking, dear, about EO and OO, not only OO or not only EO. I'm not saying that the formulas which have been enounced by the Holy Oriental Fathers were wrong ( in no way I am saying that ), but I am saying that those who wish unity between EO and OO must stop to speak about one nature or two natures, but they must speak a common language, Christ one Person fully Human and fully Divine, since this simple definition is correct in both sides.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: deusveritasest on January 06, 2011, 11:38:53 PM
Brothers, we are Christians, and we believe that Christ is fully Man and fully God. We must stop to divide us about that. There must be a new council where this formula must be adopted " One Person, Christ, fully Man and fully God, without mix, change, or confusion. " POINT. We must stop to speak about one nature or two nature, for the well-being = unity, of the Church.

The Church is united. You sound like a Branch Theorist.

The Church is an assembly of people. The assembly which constitutes the members of what we call " the Oriental Orthodox churches " are considered to be united. We are speaking, dear, about EO and OO, not only OO or not only EO. I'm not saying that the formulas which have been enounced by the Holy Oriental Fathers were wrong ( in no way I am saying that ), but I am saying that those who wish unity between EO and OO must stop to speak about one nature or two natures, but they must speak a common language, Christ one Person fully Human and fully Divine, since this simple definition is correct in both sides.

If you are saying that the Church needs to be united, and by "the Church" you are speaking of both the EO and OO, then that is Branch Theory, which is heresy.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on January 07, 2011, 11:48:55 AM
That's rubbish frankly.

Church history even before Chalcedon, and after is full of incidents of the Church being divided due to various controversies and then resolving these and overcoming the disunity. At no time were these divisions resolved by one side insisting the other was not the Church and requiring submission.

What you describe, quite often, is just not based on history, it is based on your own personal perspective as someone trying to find an ultra-True jurisdicition rather than the ones that actually make up the Church.

Father Peter
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: HabteSelassie on January 20, 2011, 05:59:35 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Many years ago, His Holiness Vazken I came to Los Angeles and, among other things, engaged in an ecumenical service at a Greek Orthodox Church. 

There have been many many dialogues and discussions between the various jurisdictions and regions of Orthodox, and we are all coming to a serious consensus that essentially we are all saying the same things in different ways, however this continues to divide us as it has, albeit much less vitriolic and vociferously as in times in the past.  It has already been correctly asserted here that the history, the psychology, and the logistics are what currently keep up divided formally, as it is very hard to reconcile some of these dichtomies compared to the relatively minor theological differences of interpretation.  The Synaxarium, the Divine Liturgy, the Calendar, the Lexicon, the Canons, even the Bible is different and hard to reconcile.  I think the best we could hope for is the kind of regional agreements and mutuality that the Oriental Orthodox share and yet also allow for the inherent diversity of these churches.  The Coptic Church and the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church have many many similarities, and yet many many key differences, and we are in full communion, and respect our mutual differences.  This is the best we can hope for in the future between the Orthodox, the Eastern Orthodox and the Oriental Orthodox, once we sort out the theological matters.

That's extremely dangerous ground there. The infallibility of ALL Seven Ecumenical Councils is one of the bedrocks of our faith. Putting ourselves, as Eastern Orthodox, in the position of denying one of the fundamental tenants of our faith in order to speed the process of reunion is ecumenism of the worst kind.

That is simply not true and is merely splitting hairs.  There are many jurisdictions who reject many so-called Ecumenical Councils, and as such we can largely assume that aside from the First Three, the rest are more local than universal, because the definition of universal is unopposed, and if there is even remote opposition than it can hardly be claimed as universal.  Further, some of the East don't even embrace all Three!  We should not then be divided over these Canons and Councils..

The reasons for this are not only doctrinal, but also historical and psychological, as it's really hard to accept a council in the name of which your ancestors were persecuted, slaughtered, etc.

Then there is the issue of saints.  Both sides have condemned saints venerated by the other.  I don't think that is as formidable a barrier as the councils, but it is still sticky.  This was discussed in this other thread:


There are other issues having to do with liturgical practice.  The EO's tend to be more uniform in their liturgical practices, while the OO's allow more diversity.  I don't see this as being as big an issue as the others, but it's still something to deal with.

There are other issues that are more administrative in nature, like the way the EO's rank their patriarchs, etc.  Again, these issues are not as big, but they are there to be dealt with.

So, while I believe that in a spiritual sense we are really one Church, there's a lot to be overcome before that becomes more of a concrete reality.

Excellent points, especially in the cultural/historical emphasis and difference of Saints/Synaxarium issues. Again though, I think that if the Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox learn to embrace each others differences of articulation of the Faith while retaining full and open communion in the same manner that the Coptic Church, the EOTC, the Syrian Church and other Oriental Orthodox mutually commune and yet retain distinctive differences in regards to structure, logistics, liturgy, calendar, etc etc.  If these differing Oriental sisters can get along, surely we ALL can get along so long as that is our earnest and heartfelt desire in God.  Honestly though, I think some folks like to be divided, it is a status symbol and a validating identifier to say "I am part of THEE Church" in opposition to others.



I think this sense of legalism, this claim to a monopoly of God and His Truth, this sense of arrogance which lays claim to knowing, in an almost absolute sense, the workings of God,  was the very problem with the Pharisees, and I cannot help but think that many Orthodox (EO and OO) will be judged side by side with the Pharisees for applying the same mindset in opposition to God's will (simply in different historical stages of God's redemptive plan for mankind.)

^^ Amen Amen, the true spirit of humility has been lost in a lot of this Orthodox chauvinism which is quite prevalent, especially in the more ethnic oriented jurisdictions in the East and Orient where nationalism and cultural pride have intertwined themselves with Church identity, in the exact same way the Pharisees saw their own Jewishness.  We indeed will have to give an account for this unseemly behavior..

It funny was being biased does I was blindly seeing how the miaphysite view can be confused with the monophysite view but I never saw how the EO's view of the diaphysite seems like the Nestorian heresy reworded thanks everyone for the great input.

Exactly! This is the precise benefit of interjurisdictional dialogue and discussions.  Many of us do not understand each other and have many mutual misconceptions which can only be addressed through transparent and friendly dialogue.  Further, many do not even understand their own theology with out examining the differing arguments.  How can a miaphysite fully understand the concept of the Unity of the Natures without examining those who profess a kind of distinction or the potential there of? This is why we are all mutually building straw man fallacies about each other's respective positions, but the past 40 years in particular of dialogue have been quite productive, maybe the most since the 8th century!

I read that in an EO church council, they decided that one could either have St Cyril's miaphysitism, or the diversities(I forget the word) that many EOs had/have.

So either view might be technically acceptable in EO.

Is miaphysitism a mandatory belief in the OO church?
Yes, it is obligatory that Oriental Orthodox Christians embrace the concept of the One, Unified Incarnate Nature of Christ as professed by Saint Cyril, which teaches in the trueness of the One Nature of Christ, being a divine composite of perfect divinity and perfect humanity without distinction, but we in OO find it bitterly hard to use the words "two" in reference to the Nature(s) of Christ, because after the Union in the Incarnation we simply can not speak of such things as being so. 

St. Cyril's "one nature" is the same as "one hypostasis" as said at Chalcedon, so to say there is a choice between them is to misunderstand them.  "Mia physis", as understood by St. Cyril, is mandatory in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Not necessarily, in the Ethiopia Orthodox Tewahedo Church our indigenous Christology uses the Ge'ez language terms which are quite clear.  Hypostasis is understood in Ge'ez not as being synonymous with Nature, rather exclusively with Person.  In the EOTC translations of Cyrilian literature and texts, this distinction is made quite apparent and simplifies our own Ethiopian perspective, which states that Jesus Christ has only one True Nature from One True Person.  This Nature is twofold but perfectly united, and so we can only speak of it in Ge'ez as being one, because in Ge'ez language for there to be a Nature there MUST be a corresponding Person, there can be no abstract Nature without a manifested form in a Person.  So in Ge'ez theology, for Jesus Christ to be considered to be Two in nature, He would have to also be Two in Persons, and this is Nestorianism which Ethiopians categorically reject for centuries.  We easily believe in One incarnate Nature of Christ because of our specific theological language.  We, for technical reasons translate to others our Faith as being Jesus Christ, Two Natures FROM One Person (as opposed to 'in one person which implies the opportunity for division, if two people are IN a place, they can be separate, whereas if two people are FROM one place, it inherently implies a kind of unity, where they are from is what unites them as one, as say two people are FROM America and so are Americans, where as two people who are IN America may very well not be Americans at all, but just so happen to be together IN the same place) but our own indigenous languages do not in any suggest this, rather without any misconception the EOTC embraces the One Nature of Jesus Christ, a Miaphysite Union of Humanity and Divinity so perfectly indistinguishable that we can simply no longer speak of "two".



The humanity of Christ never ceases to be what it is, even when the Word of God becomes incarnate without ceasing to be what He ever was and is. Yet He is one incarnate nature, not because there is a confusion of humanity and Divinity, or because the humanity is swallowed up in the Divinity. God forbid. But because even after the incarnation there is one nature, one identity, one subject. It was the Word of God who died on the cross. There were those at Chalcedon and those who accepted it who could not say such a thing.


Father Peter
Which is precisely what the good Father Peter has already so succinctly mentioned :)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: ialmisry on January 20, 2011, 08:05:08 PM
That is simply not true and is merely splitting hairs.  There are many jurisdictions who reject many so-called Ecumenical Councils, and as such we can largely assume that aside from the First Three, the rest are more local than universal, because the definition of universal is unopposed, and if there is even remote opposition than it can hardly be claimed as universal.  Further, some of the East don't even embrace all Three!  We should not then be divided over these Canons and Councils
Not that simple.
You are correct, in that the Nestorians (or Assyrian, ACOE, COE, whatever: all espouse dogma on the side of Nestorius versus Pope St. Cyril) oppose Ephesus, while all Orthodox accept it.  The Fathers "divided" over Ephesus, and rightfully so.  We should then be divided over the Canons and Council of Ephesus, which defined the Orthodox Faith.

Rejecting an Ecumenical Council or pseudo-ecumenical council is not a jurisdictional issue, but a dogmatic one.

Constantinople I was the most local of all Councils of the Church, whereas Chalcedon (the one we are divided on)  was the most universal, in terms of representation, number of bishops, etc..

You otherwise see the importance of agreement on Councils, i.e. agreeing with the EO on Ephesus, and disagreeing with the Nestorians.

I read that in an EO church council, they decided that one could either have St Cyril's miaphysitism, or the diversities(I forget the word) that many EOs had/have.

So either view might be technically acceptable in EO.

Is miaphysitism a mandatory belief in the OO church?
Yes, it is obligatory that Oriental Orthodox Christians embrace the concept of the One, Unified Incarnate Nature of Christ as professed by Saint Cyril, which teaches in the trueness of the One Nature of Christ, being a divine composite of perfect divinity and perfect humanity without distinction, but we in OO find it bitterly hard to use the words "two" in reference to the Nature(s) of Christ, because after the Union in the Incarnation we simply can not speak of such things as being so.  

St. Cyril's "one nature" is the same as "one hypostasis" as said at Chalcedon, so to say there is a choice between them is to misunderstand them.  "Mia physis", as understood by St. Cyril, is mandatory in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Not necessarily, in the Ethiopia Orthodox Tewahedo Church our indigenous Christology uses the Ge'ez language terms which are quite clear.  Hypostasis is understood in Ge'ez not as being synonymous with Nature, rather exclusively with Person.  In the EOTC translations of Cyrilian literature and texts, this distinction is made quite apparent and simplifies our own Ethiopian perspective, which states that Jesus Christ has only one True Nature from One True Person.  This Nature is twofold but perfectly united, and so we can only speak of it in Ge'ez as being one, because in Ge'ez language for there to be a Nature there MUST be a corresponding Person, there can be no abstract Nature without a manifested form in a Person.  So in Ge'ez theology, for Jesus Christ to be considered to be Two in nature, He would have to also be Two in Persons, and this is Nestorianism which Ethiopians categorically reject for centuries.  We easily believe in One incarnate Nature of Christ because of our specific theological language.  We, for technical reasons translate to others our Faith as being Jesus Christ, Two Natures FROM One Person (as opposed to 'in one person which implies the opportunity for division, if two people are IN a place, they can be separate, whereas if two people are FROM one place, it inherently implies a kind of unity, where they are from is what unites them as one, as say two people are FROM America and so are Americans, where as two people who are IN America may very well not be Americans at all, but just so happen to be together IN the same place) but our own indigenous languages do not in any suggest this, rather without any misconception the EOTC embraces the One Nature of Jesus Christ, a Miaphysite Union of Humanity and Divinity so perfectly indistinguishable that we can simply no longer speak of "two".
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: deusveritasest on January 20, 2011, 09:34:21 PM
whereas Chalcedon (the one we are divided on)  was the most universal, in terms of representation, number of bishops, etc..

I don't know about that. Chalcedon was not ratified by any Bishop from the Patriarchate of Alexandria of that time. It may have had many Bishops, but I don't know that it's true that it had the broadest representation and acceptance.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: ialmisry on January 21, 2011, 01:55:56 AM
whereas Chalcedon (the one we are divided on)  was the most universal, in terms of representation, number of bishops, etc..

I don't know about that. Chalcedon was not ratified by any Bishop from the Patriarchate of Alexandria of that time.

Pope DIoscorus' successor Pope St. Proterius approved it.  And thus according to the custom of Egypt, as the Egyptian bishops pointed out, so did the Holy Synod of All Egypt.


Quote
It may have had many Bishops, but I don't know that it's true that it had the broadest representation and acceptance.
450+, with bishops from the West, and all over the East, even from the Arabs and Ethiopia.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Salpy on January 21, 2011, 02:41:48 AM
Isa,
You know that the OO's consider St. Timothy Aelurus to be the true successor to St. Dioscoros.  Of course it's perfectly fine for you to uphold what your Church teaches on the matter, but I would hate to think you were inviting a polemical discussion about Chalcedon.  That being said, I would like to proactively warn you, Deusveritasest, and anyone else who may be thinking of polemics to take it to the private forum.

I also want to ask everyone to read again the warning I made a few months ago:




Another polemical post, this time by a different poster, was moved to the private forum:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,30930.0.html

Everyone,

I'd like to keep this on topic.  If you read the original post, it asks whether unity will happen in the lifetime of a 17 year old, and whether the OO's venerate icons.  

It is also permissible to address Rakovsky's question at the top of this page ("Is miaphysitism a mandatory belief in the OO church?") since that was what brought this thread up again.  

I'd like to have this thread narrowly address these issues and not go off on tangents about what happened at Chalcedon, etc.

Thanks.

Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Severian on July 10, 2011, 01:54:48 AM
Quote
The reasons for this are not only doctrinal, but also historical and psychological, as it's really hard to accept a council in the name of which your ancestors were persecuted, slaughtered, etc.

I would definitely put more weight on the historical issues.

In my opinion, I think many people have unwittingly developed a rather innovative conception of an "Ecumenical Council" which insists on dogmatising the formalities and historical incidents associated with it. It's almost as if some would regard every cough and sneeze at a Council believed to be Ecumenical to be something absolutely God-inspired and hence not capable of being questioned.

Each side can insist that every historical movement and decision of their Communion in response to the incidents in question was made with the absolute authority of God, as if each Communion's Fathers were stripped of their human autonomy and possessed by God to say and do everything that was said and done. Or...we can take off those rosy coloured lenses and face the reality that God does not operate through His Church in such a mechanical and simplistic manner (as much as we may wish that He does). PeterTheAleut's signature is pertinent in this regard: "Truth is often in the paradox."

I think this sense of legalism, this claim to a monopoly of God and His Truth, this sense of arrogance which lays claim to knowing, in an almost absolute sense, the workings of God,  was the very problem with the Pharisees, and I cannot help but think that many Orthodox (EO and OO) will be judged side by side with the Pharisees for applying the same mindset in opposition to God's will (simply in different historical stages of God's redemptive plan for mankind.)
I agree, especially with the part I highlighted. To say that every aspect of an ecumenical council is incapable of making a mistake is in a sense a "docetic ecclesiology". The Church, like Christ, is a divine-human organism. She is in communion with Christ in his Holy Spirit, yet at the same time, she is led by human men who are capable of error. It seems as if many EOs (not that I'm picking fights) forget this.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: rakovsky on September 27, 2011, 01:07:28 PM
Is this the root of the difference?

1.A. Apparently, the Eastern Orthodox Church believes Christ has two natures, and that the two natures remain two natures even after they are united in the person of Christ.

1.B. The Eastern Orthodox Church also either allows or accepts Miaphysitism, which says he has one nature after the union of the two natures.

2.A. I read in George Florovsky's "The Reaction in Jerusalem" that the OO leader Dioscorus defended himself at Chalcedon by saying that Dioscorus' "Robber Council" of Ephesus “Flavian was rightly condemned because he stillmaintained two natures after the union. I can prove from Athanasius,Gregory, and Cyril that after the union we ought rather to speak only of oneincarnate nature of the Logos."

2.B. The Oriental Orthodox Church adheres to Miaphysitism, which says he has one nature after the union of the two natures.

Does the Oriental Orthodox Church allow for the idea that Christ still has two natures after they are united in Christ's person?



To illustrate how I picture the EO view:

Coffee mixed with honey has both coffee and honey. Perhaps you can call it "Honey Coffee". It is both sweet and energizing. Perhaps you can call it "sweetly energizing".


In other words, the EOs say it's "Coffee" and "Honey" and it's "Honey Coffee", and Dioscorus (and thus the OOs) respond by saying: "No, you cannot say it is still Coffee and Honey after they are united in the same glass!"
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on September 27, 2011, 01:41:40 PM
I think you are presenting the EO view after Constantinople II, not that which was presented at Chalcedon. I don't think that your view is that of Chalcedon on its own, but of Chalcedon as modified by Constantinople II.

If you mean do OO believe that the humanity remains humanity after the incarnation then absolutely yes. This has always been the case. The humanity and divinity of the Word retain their integrity but are not divided or counted separately.

The mixture of two material substances is not a good analogy for the incarnation. The one which the Fathers more often use is that of fire and iron.

I am not sure that a more detailed discussion of Chalcedon is permitted in this forum? Salpy?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: HabteSelassie on September 27, 2011, 02:51:59 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



The mixture of two material substances is not a good analogy for the incarnation. The one which the Fathers more often use is that of fire and iron.


Amen.  Even the Indian theologians use this same analogy to explain theosis by proxy.  The Divine Nature is inaccessible to our mortality, as Its Self-Existing, whereas we depend upon It for our existence.  The Indians, like the Cyrillian fathers, use the analogy of the ignited iron to explain how, while the Divine is beyond the physicality of our own material substance, we can be directly affected by the Divine and experience It just as the material Iron is heated by the Flame, which is itself immaterial.  The Heat is not necessarily a substance of its own which unites through subsistence with the Iron, rather the atoms of the Iron are excited by the force of the Heat, and the Iron ignites.  The Heat remains unaffected (in this model, we know in science that heat is a force which dissipates over time, whereas the Divine is unchangeable) by its contact with the Iron, only the Iron is changed to become like the Heat, that is to say, hot.  But the Iron will not or ever can it remain hot by itself, it must be in contact with the heat source, with the Flame, to share its principles of heat.  We are not changed into Divine when we experience God, but we are deified in the same sense that the iron is heated without itself necessarily becoming the Flame.

Is this the root of the difference?

1.A. Apparently, the Eastern Orthodox Church believes Christ has two natures, and that the two natures remain two natures even after they are united in the person of Christ.

1.B. The Eastern Orthodox Church also either allows or accepts Miaphysitism, which says he has one nature after the union of the two natures.

2.A. I read in George Florovsky's "The Reaction in Jerusalem" that the OO leader Dioscorus defended himself at Chalcedon by saying that Dioscorus' "Robber Council" of Ephesus “Flavian was rightly condemned because he stillmaintained two natures after the union. I can prove from Athanasius,Gregory, and Cyril that after the union we ought rather to speak only of oneincarnate nature of the Logos."

2.B. The Oriental Orthodox Church adheres to Miaphysitism, which says he has one nature after the union of the two natures.

Does the Oriental Orthodox Church allow for the idea that Christ still has two natures after they are united in Christ's person?



To illustrate how I picture the EO view:


Well, if it were only as simplistic as your concise synopsis explains, unfortunately there are more complex, sociopolitical, theological, historical, and linguistic factors which muddy up such clear thinking between the jurisdictions.  I would say that it is incorrect however to say that the EO "either allows or accepts Miaphysitism" because if such were the case, then anathemas aside we would be in reunion.

Oriental Miaphysitism in theological practice seems to be different than EO interpretations, especially in the context of post-Palamas EO theology, and these are where misunderstandings continue between us regarding our mutual differences.  Further, we only speak of "two" conceptually, not in practice.  We in OO think of Christ as existing in One (mia) Nature, One (mia) Person, having One (mia) Will and Operation.  We only think about His humanity to try to understand some of the human things He performs as the Son of Man, and yet we fully adhere to the Union, which abolishes "two" and exists as "one" which has been the crux of the debate for all these centuries.
This of course, fully agrees with Chalcedon II
Quote
 but does not consider the difference of those natures, of which he is composed, to be only in the onlooker's mind, a difference which is not compromised by the union (for he is one from both and the two exist through the one) but uses the plurality to suggest that each nature is possessed separately and has a subsistence of its own: let him be anathema.

and yet, this Council contradicts itself in next anathema which was drafter confusingly just to spite the Orientals and in the process conflicts with the above quote which speaks of the difference as "only being in the onlooker's mind"

Quote
If anyone confesses a belief that a union has been made out of the two natures divinity and humanity, or speaks about the one nature of God the Word made flesh, but does not understand these things according to what the fathers have taught, namely that from the divine and human natures a union was made according to subsistence, and that one Christ was formed, and from these expressions tries to introduce one nature or substance made of the deity and human flesh of Christ: let him be anathema.

We disagree with this because the illustrious Christological Father, Saint Cyril, explicitly states in his formula of the "One Incarnate Nature of God the Word."  The crux of the Oriental debate is that we confess "one (mia) nature" and "one person" but we still conceive of the natural Union and the inherent preservation of the faculties of both humanity and Divinity, however in the ontological sense (i.e., concrete reality of the hypostatic Union) there can only be said to be One, whether Person or Nature, because the Subsistence/Hypostasis/Person/Body is mutually interdependent  upon the underlying Nature, be it the complexity of Jesus Christ or the simplicity of an inanimate object like a chair, nature and person must coincide as one, naturally and essentially.  If there is a separate nature, the hypostatic manifestation is subsequently affected.  This is why our OO fathers accuse Chalcedon of Nestorianism, because they explain that there can only actually be one inherent nature  of any given Hypostatic form, and that two natures would subsequently have to necessarily exist in two separate Hypostases.  We do not abolish or absorb or confuse any of the faculties of the humanity and divinity, however can by our theological language only confess Christ as One Nature, One Person, One Will and Operation, after the duality was abolished in the Union of the Incarnation.
 
 However, as even the Chalcedon II canon suggests, we in OO theological thinking, still on our mind's eye think of the two Natures in distinction, just not function.  We believe these function in the synergy of the Union, but still in dialogue we have been less antagonistic in our rhetoric, and even accept the terms "two" in discussion.  Getting OO to even concede to use the term "two" has been a miracle of ecumenism enough on its own, I would argue that the ball has been in the EO's court for some time now, and since the 1950s the OO have continued to lead the way in dialogue towards reunion.  I pray for the full unity of the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church, to be one as our Lord Jesus Christ is One.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Severian on September 27, 2011, 05:52:07 PM
I personally do not support any reunion. I will not accept Leo's Tome nor Leo I, who supported Theodoret a heretic thereby making Leo a heretic. I think they should admit that in the 4th council they rejected our definition, which is clearly the definition of St. Cyril in the 3rd council, and that they were wrong in doing so. They should accept St. Dioscorus as a saint and denounce Leo I as a heretic, who also started the papal primacy which is probably why he sought to oust the church in Alexandria.
LOL. :laugh: It's refreshing to see that such radical prerequisites for reunion are FINALLY coming from the other side. :)

I do not think our Hierarchs would not require the Byzantines to canonize the Saint Dioscorus (though I would LOVE to see a Byzantine icon of him ;D).

Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on September 27, 2011, 05:53:26 PM
I do not think our Hierarchs would not require the Byzantines to canonize the Saint Dioscorus (though I would LOVE to see a Byzantine icon of him ;D).


Would he be attacking Flavian like the Nicholas/Arius icon?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Severian on September 27, 2011, 05:56:14 PM
I do not think our Hierarchs would not require the Byzantines to canonize the Saint Dioscorus (though I would LOVE to see a Byzantine icon of him ;D).


Would he be attacking Flavian like the Nicholas/Arius icon?
Didn't you JUST say that you don't believe that he didn't beat Patr. Flavian?  ???

Or are you referring to this disaster of a thread?
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,37821.msg599276.html#msg599276
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on September 27, 2011, 06:18:09 PM
I do not think our Hierarchs would not require the Byzantines to canonize the Saint Dioscorus (though I would LOVE to see a Byzantine icon of him ;D).


Would he be attacking Flavian like the Nicholas/Arius icon?
Didn't you JUST say that you don't believe that he didn't beat Patr. Flavian?  ???

(http://frjody.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/nicholas_arius.jpeg)

And St. Nicholas may have never slapped Arius. It's a later tale.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Severian on September 27, 2011, 06:56:08 PM
^I see then, thanks. :)
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Severian on September 27, 2011, 07:10:31 PM
To illustrate how I picture the EO view:

Coffee mixed with honey has both coffee and honey. Perhaps you can call it "Honey Coffee". It is both sweet and energizing. Perhaps you can call it "sweetly energizing".


In other words, the EOs say it's "Coffee" and "Honey" and it's "Honey Coffee", and Dioscorus (and thus the OOs) respond by saying: "No, you cannot say it is still Coffee and Honey after they are united in the same glass!"
Firstly (and I don't mean to be rude as I say this), the analogy you are using is a very bad way of describing the union of the Divine and human natures in Christ. Honey and coffee lose their distinction when they unite in the same glass. The Divine and human natures did NOT lose their distinctive characteristics when they united in the one hypostasis. Neither I, nor the EOs nor Saint Dioscorus ever believed this.

Secondly, when Saint Dioscorus rejected "two natures after the union" he rejected the notions of two hypostases/centers of action in the Incarnate Christ. He always acknowledged the difference of Christ's natures when it came to composition. In fact, he was the first Bishop at Chalcedon to say that the two natures united "unchangeably, immutably, inseparably, and indivisibly". He also accepted the formula "from two natures after the union". Had he truly been a "mixer" of the two natures of Christ he would not have affirmed the Cyrilline formula "from two natures", it would be superfluous and pointless had he truly been a Synousiast. From the time of Saint Dioscorus up to now the OOs have always believed that one can distinguish between the two natures from which Christ subsists through subtle contemplation. Saint Dioscorus says "Our Lord Jesus Christ is one. He who was invited to the wedding of Cana as man changed the water into wine as God, and his TWO NATURES are not divided in all of his works". He thus affirms the reality, distinction, and completion of the Divinity and humanity in Christ after the hypostatic union. He also says "God the Logos, consubstantial with the Father, at the end of the ages for our redemption became consubstantial with man in the flesh, remaining what he was before".
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on September 27, 2011, 07:31:53 PM
We should have a forum-wide ban on comparing Christ or the Trinity to drinks of any sort.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Severian on September 27, 2011, 07:43:38 PM
We should have a forum-wide ban on comparing Christ or the Trinity to drinks of any sort.
LOL. Yeah. :laugh:

But I'm sure Rakovsky only meant well.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Salpy on September 27, 2011, 09:27:19 PM
I think you are presenting the EO view after Constantinople II, not that which was presented at Chalcedon. I don't think that your view is that of Chalcedon on its own, but of Chalcedon as modified by Constantinople II.

If you mean do OO believe that the humanity remains humanity after the incarnation then absolutely yes. This has always been the case. The humanity and divinity of the Word retain their integrity but are not divided or counted separately.

The mixture of two material substances is not a good analogy for the incarnation. The one which the Fathers more often use is that of fire and iron.

I am not sure that a more detailed discussion of Chalcedon is permitted in this forum? Salpy?



Thank you for bringing this up, Father.

I want to remind everyone that I had earlier requested that people keep this thread narrowly on topic:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12549.msg487649.html#msg487649

Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: HabteSelassie on September 28, 2011, 02:08:27 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

We should have a forum-wide ban on comparing Christ or the Trinity to drinks of any sort.

ahem..

(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_x0dO-6L_62Q/TQa6GchAZxI/AAAAAAAAC60/6mXpClRqfAI/s1600/communion%25282%2529.jpg) ;)

Severian, nothing to add or subtract from my Constantinople II Christological criticisms? You're like our OO Christology expert, I would love your input.


stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on September 28, 2011, 02:18:36 PM

We should have a forum-wide ban on comparing Christ or the Trinity to drinks of any sort.

ahem..
:D

But that's not a comparison, it's an identification!
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Severian on September 28, 2011, 08:03:24 PM
Severian, nothing to add or subtract from my Constantinople II Christological criticisms? You're like our OO Christology expert, I would love your input.
Thank you very much, you are too kind! :) Sure, I suppose I could give you an input, but probably tomorrow as I have a lot of studying to do.

--Severian
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Salpy on September 28, 2011, 08:44:34 PM
I'm asking again that people review my request made in reply 73.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Severian on September 28, 2011, 09:05:02 PM
I'm asking again that people review my request made in reply 73.
I am sorry if I have violated your request here (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12549.msg487649.html#msg487649), Salpy. Forgive me, that was not my intention.

I suppose that if anyone wishes to speak with me regarding this feel free to PM me or join me at the private fora. I will be happy to discuss these issues with you in detail.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Salpy on September 28, 2011, 09:18:03 PM
Thanks.   :)
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: HabteSelassie on September 29, 2011, 01:59:25 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I'm asking again that people review my request made in reply 73.

Amen.  If I am violating this request please forgive me, I thought that we could discuss the different interpretations of Chalcedon and Constantinople II Christology to put both the OO and EO perspectives in context.  For example, in my response I mentioned both the aspects of Constantinople II which the OO could agree with and which we disagree with the EO, which I would argue are rightfully on topic with the OP of "OO and EO differences" and the differing interpretations and acceptance of the post-Ephesus Councils is very much a hurdle for the OO to reunify, so I feel that clarifying the OO perspective regarding both Chalcedon and Constantinople II helps the EO understand more exactly what these hurdles are, and surely can have this discussion without inherently getting polemic about it :)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: rakovsky on September 29, 2011, 06:10:31 PM
Severian,

Thank you for your response.

My main question was whether the key difference is that: although EOs and OOs accept or allow for Miaphysitism (one nature after the union), and EOs believe in two natures after the union (Chalcedon's decision), do OOs dogmatically reject the continuance of two natures after the unity?

Dioscorus said:
Quote
after the union we ought rather to speak only of one incarnate nature of the Logos.

You responded:
when Saint Dioscorus rejected "two natures after the union" he rejected the notions of two hypostases/centers of action in the Incarnate Christ.
So it sounds like you mean Dioscorus wasn't rejected two natures in the sense that the EOs used it- two "physia", I think?

But this is confusing it seems like the EOs were saying two natures, and then Dioscorus said "No, not two natures", as if contradicting them. I assume the conversation would have been in Greek because they were physically present at the meeting, so the contradiction must have been decisive.

Plus, EOs also reject two hypostases of Christ, which they interpret as "persons", and instead say He has only one person.

I assume that Dioscorus and the EOs' face-to-face disagreement over "natures" wasn't over the number of hypostases, on which they agreed.


Saint Dioscorus says "Our Lord Jesus Christ is one. He who was invited to the wedding of Cana as man changed the water into wine as God, and his TWO NATURES are not divided in all of his works". He thus affirms the reality, distinction, and completion of the Divinity and humanity in Christ after the hypostatic union. He also says "God the Logos, consubstantial with the Father, at the end of the ages for our redemption became consubstantial with man in the flesh, remaining what he was before".

Yes, now I am more confused, because Dioscorus says "his TWO NATURES are not divided in all of his works", as if they still are two natures after the union occurred at Christ's birth. Maybe he means the natures, which became united into one nature at Christ's birth, are not divided in Christs's works?


So here it seems like your focus is on what Dioscorus meant when he announced in disagreement: "after the union we ought rather to speak only of one incarnate nature of the Logos."

Your explanation is that Dioscorus was talking about hypostases when he said "natures" (meanwhile EOs translate hypostasis as "person"). But if that was the case, it wouldn't have been such a big bone of contention, because the EOs agreed there was only one hypostasis, and they were talking in the same Greek language.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Severian on September 29, 2011, 06:14:00 PM
^Rakovsky, I will respond to you via PMs because Salpy wants to keep this thread on a focused track. She would prefer if we didn't discuss Chalcedon and related issues in detail.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: rakovsky on September 29, 2011, 06:18:28 PM
^Rakovsky, I will respond to you via PMs because Salpy wants to keep this thread on a focused track. She would prefer if we didn't discuss Chalcedon and related issues in detail.

Yes, I understand. Can you please post it on a private thread, though? It's so confusing, and I understand the discussion best when several people try to explain it simply and in different ways.


Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Severian on September 29, 2011, 06:21:25 PM
^Rakovsky, I will respond to you via PMs because Salpy wants to keep this thread on a focused track. She would prefer if we didn't discuss Chalcedon and related issues in detail.

Yes, I understand. Can you please post it on a private thread, though? It's so confusing, and I understand the discussion best when several people try to explain it simply and in different ways.
We are having a thread in the free-for-all section called "Latins accept Chalcedon for the same reasons OO's reject it?" It is a free-for-all thread so we can (AFAIK) get polemical and detailed if we want and at the same time we can enjoy the valuable contributions of Fr. Peter and others who do not have access to the private fora, let me check.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,39929.0.html
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: rakovsky on September 29, 2011, 06:22:46 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

We should have a forum-wide ban on comparing Christ or the Trinity to drinks of any sort.

ahem..

(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_x0dO-6L_62Q/TQa6GchAZxI/AAAAAAAAC60/6mXpClRqfAI/s1600/communion%25282%2529.jpg) ;)
stay blessed,
habte selassie

Nice save!
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Salpy on September 29, 2011, 09:59:35 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I'm asking again that people review my request made in reply 73.

Amen.  If I am violating this request please forgive me, I thought that we could discuss the different interpretations of Chalcedon and Constantinople II Christology to put both the OO and EO perspectives in context.  For example, in my response I mentioned both the aspects of Constantinople II which the OO could agree with and which we disagree with the EO, which I would argue are rightfully on topic with the OP of "OO and EO differences" and the differing interpretations and acceptance of the post-Ephesus Councils is very much a hurdle for the OO to reunify, so I feel that clarifying the OO perspective regarding both Chalcedon and Constantinople II helps the EO understand more exactly what these hurdles are, and surely can have this discussion without inherently getting polemic about it :)

stay blessed,
habte selassie

If you can keep it within the parameters I set, that would be fine.   :)
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: HabteSelassie on September 30, 2011, 03:26:44 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



My main question was whether the key difference is that: although EOs and OOs accept or allow for Miaphysitism (one nature after the union), and EOs believe in two natures after the union (Chalcedon's decision), do OOs dogmatically reject the continuance of two natures after the unity?

Dioscorus said:
Quote
after the union we ought rather to speak only of one incarnate nature of the Logos.


So it sounds like you mean Dioscorus wasn't rejected two natures in the sense that the EOs used it- two "physia", I think?

But this is confusing it seems like the EOs were saying two natures, and then Dioscorus said "No, not two natures", as if contradicting them.

Yes, now I am more confused, because Dioscorus says "his TWO NATURES are not divided in all of his works", as if they still are two natures after the union occurred at Christ's birth. Maybe he means the natures, which became united into one nature at Christ's birth, are not divided in Christs's works?


So here it seems like your focus is on what Dioscorus meant when he announced in disagreement: "after the union we ought rather to speak only of one incarnate nature of the Logos."

Your explanation is that Dioscorus was talking about hypostases when he said "natures" (meanwhile EOs translate hypostasis as "person"). But if that was the case, it wouldn't have been such a big bone of contention, because the EOs agreed there was only one hypostasis, and they were talking in the same Greek language.

You are on the right track, the bone of contention is how the differing fathers, Byzantine and Oriental, interpreted the Greek terms.  When St Dioscoros reiterates the Cyrillian formula, he is speaking of One Incarnate Nature (i.e., Miaphysis) after the Union.  This is our OO dogma and doctrine, that after the Incarnation there is only One nature (mia), composite of Human and Divine, without confusion or separation.  It is a unique Nature of Christ alone, being both Human and Divine at the same time and therefore naturally and essentially maintaining faculties of both.  Both the EO and the OO agree with this, but the EO insist in their languages "In Two Natures" rather than the Cyrillian and OO "From Two Natures" and the "In" leaves open the suggestion for the potential of a plurality where as the "from" implies the fullness of the Union.  The explanation as to how the OO interprets the Unity of the One Nature, both human and divine, actually agrees with Constantinople II as I quoted above and again here.
 
Quote
but does not consider the difference of those natures, of which he is composed, to be only in the onlooker's mind, a difference which is not compromised by the union (for he is one from both and the two exist through the one) but uses the plurality to suggest that each nature is possessed separately and has a subsistence of its own: let him be anathema

In the OO, we only conceive of "two" in our minds, we rarely concede to use such in our language, rather we speak of One composite Nature, both human and divine, and the  distinctions only exist "in the onlooker's mind" as "the two exist through the one."  We in the OO honestly do not understand sometimes why the EO insists on the language of two, even when seemingly we agree face to face, but in writing we find these discrepancies.  As I quoted above, even the Constantinople II Council decided to specifically target the OO, Cyrillian and Dioscorosan language of "One Nature after the Union" and we in the OO have always been baffled by this, and unfortunately many of our fathers couldn't help but take it personally, which I think fuels the divisions more so than the theology.

The EO use "physis" on its own, to describe a nature by itself, almost in the abstract, where as the Orientals have generally interpreted this term as being integrally related to hypostasis, and so we only speak of One (mia) Nature to be extremely careful never to suggest in our language and interpretations the potential for plurality.  Both of us, EO and OO, realistically seem to agree in most regards, however the devil has always been in the details.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Twenty Nine on September 30, 2011, 04:03:01 PM
HabteSelassie wrote:
Quote
the "In" leaves open the suggestion for the potential of a plurality where as the "from" implies the fullness of the Union.

But on the other hand, does not "from" leave open the suggestion that the human nature existed apart/before the Incarnation and that there is a mixing of the natures?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on September 30, 2011, 04:08:39 PM
A union has to be 'of' at least two constituents. But after the union there must also be a unity.

The non-Chalcedonians have never had a problem with considering the humanity and Divinity to be mixed. But quite clearly there are continuing issues with the constant presence of semi-Nestorianism throughout Church history.

As an evangelical I was taught Christological error because a Cyrilline Christology was not adopted. I have corresponded with EO, even clergy, who have insisted that the humanity of Christ is a personal subject.

As the great modern scholar of the councils, Father Richard Price, a Chalcedonian, says,

If we start with the distinction between the two natures, it is to be doubted whether we shall ever succeed in truly uniting them.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on September 30, 2011, 04:23:50 PM
The non-Chalcedonians have never had a problem with considering the humanity and Divinity to be mixed.
Didn't Severus of Antioch have a problem with this?

And what do you mean by "humanity and divinity"? Surely you do not mean in a Eutychian (regardless of what the man himself believed) or Julian sense.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on September 30, 2011, 04:28:47 PM
Did Christ hunger to demonstrate his humanity, or because he was truly circumscribed? Did Christ die because he chose to open his incorruptible body to wounds, or because he was truly  circumscribed? Did Christ weep because he wanted to demonstrate his human emotional faculties were genuine, or because he was truly compelled to weep in human grief like you or I?

If God was not truly circumscribed, how can there be any true incarnation?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on September 30, 2011, 04:37:05 PM
St Severus absolutely never considered the humanity and divinity to be mixed.

Nor actually did Eutyches, but there were a few who did mix the humanity and divinity and they were excommunicated.

I am not sure what you mean by what do I mean by 'humanity and divinity'?

I do not mean that the non-Chalcedonians mix the humanity and divinity of the incarnate Word, but that there has never been a movement to do so. Even the Julianists did not mix the divine and human, they believed that the humanity was glorified from the moment of the incarnation.

Have I been sloppy in my language?

I mean that 'eutychianism' has never been embraced by the non-Chalcedonians, not that we embraced it without concern.

In regard to your second post, we know that the Fathers teach that the Word allowed His own humanity to express those characteristics natural to it as He chose, and that He is not bound by His humanity as we are.

When He hungered He truly hungered. But He was not a mere man who was unable to do anything other than hunger. He is the Word of God incarnate. His humanity is not bound as ours is, even though it is true humanity.

Father Peter


Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: JLatimer on September 30, 2011, 04:43:19 PM
In regard to your second post, we know that the Fathers teach that the Word allowed His own humanity to express those characteristics natural to it as He chose, and that He is not bound by His humanity as we are.

When He hungered He truly hungered. But He was not a mere man who was unable to do anything other than hunger. He is the Word of God incarnate. His humanity is not bound as ours is, even though it is true humanity.

Nicholas doesn't agree.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on September 30, 2011, 04:44:22 PM
I do not mean that the non-Chalcedonians mix the humanity and divinity of the incarnate Word, but that there has never been a movement to do so.
Oh. I thought you meant they never had a problem with it, in the sense that it was perfectly acceptable.  ;)

the Word allowed His own humanity to express those characteristics natural to it as He chose, and that He is not bound by His humanity as we are.
What Fathers besides St. Athanasius? What does it mean to not be "bound by a humanity"? Are you saying that as the Incarnate Word, Christ had to press some sort of cosmological "manual override" to engage his humanity to weep against His Divinity's... nature? Were there times before his Death that he chose not to express his humanity?

When He hungered He truly hungered. But He was not a mere man who was unable to do anything other than hunger. He is the Word of God incarnate. His humanity is not bound as ours is, even though it is true humanity.
What "other thing" would interfere with the Incarnate God's hunger?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Severian on September 30, 2011, 04:48:03 PM
Here are some patristic quotes (from Sts. Severus, Cyril, and Gregory Nazianzen) which relate to what Fr. Peter is saying:

as the holy Cyril said: «For, though it is said that he hungered and thirsted, and slept and grew weary after a journey, and wept and feared, these things did not happen to him just as they do to us in accordance with compulsory ordinances of nature; but he |13 himself voluntarily permitted his flesh to walk according to the laws of nature, for he sometimes allowed it even to undergo its own passions»25. For from Cyril's words, as from a sacred anchor, I do not depart. And the same statement is made by Gregory the Theologian26 of Nazianzus also in the sermon on baptism: «For he is purity itself, and did not need purification; but he is purified for you; just as for you he put on a garb of flesh, while he is fleshless: and he would have run no danger at all from putting off baptism; for he himself was a warden of passion to himself» 27. Accordingly then28 he was a warden to himself of hungering as well as of being tired after a journey, and of accepting the other human passions, such as do not fall under sin, in order to display the Humanization truly and without phantasy 29

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/fathers/severus_coll_2_letters.html
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on September 30, 2011, 04:55:48 PM
God the Word is only circumscribed in His humanity to the extent He chooses.

The Word has become incarnate for a purpose, not to see what it is like to be a human. Therefore it is necessary that he be truly human, but not that he be circumscribed by his humanity.

He is more than human, though he is truly human.

What 'thing' would cause him not to experience hunger? I wouldn't put it like that. I would say that the will and purpose of God always directs the activity of the Word incarnate. He walks on water when he chooses. He sees Nathanael under a tree when he chooses. He knows what people are thinking when he chooses. All of these are not merely human activities, but they are also truly human. But he also hungers as he chooses, thirsts as he chooses, sleeps as he chooses. *HE* is the Word of God who is both human and divine. *He* is not a man called Jesus.

Nestorius and Theodore understood the man Jesus to be in some sort of union with the Word. But we don't. Jesus Christ is the Word of God. That makes a difference. It doesn't detract from the reality and integrity of the humanity of the Word, but it means that the humanity is not bare humanity, or humanity apart from God.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on September 30, 2011, 04:57:55 PM
I guess I would be okay with this teaching if it could be stated this way: That the voluntary Incarnation of Christ remained voluntary throughout His life until His Death, but at no point did Christ make that choice to surrender assuming our humanity in truth, despite his trials. In other words, even if these  "natural passion expressions" were voluntary, he never DID NOT choose them. And one could compare Christ's pre-resurrection humanity to the pre-resurrection humanity of the greatest saints.

As the Scriptures proclaim:

"but [He] emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance [literally: in the schema of] a man"

Am I correct?

God the Word is only circumscribed in His humanity to the extent He chooses.

The Word has become incarnate for a purpose, not to see what it is like to be a human. Therefore it is necessary that he be truly human, but not that he be circumscribed by his humanity.
What is not assumed is not healed.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: JLatimer on September 30, 2011, 04:58:45 PM
The Word has become incarnate for a purpose, not to see what it is like to be a human.

 :)
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on September 30, 2011, 05:01:23 PM
St Cyril teaches about this issue...

It was not however till He had fasted sufficiently, and by His Godlike power had kept His flesh unwasted, though abstaining from meat and drink, that scarcely at length He permitted it to feel its natural sensations: for it says, that He hungered.

He says that he preserved his humanity from being naturally wasted by His Godlike power, and then at the end of his fasting allowed it to feel its natural sensation of hunger.

I think that what St Cyril, and St Severus teach is different from what you are saying? Do you have any comments? I go along with St Cyril and St Severus which is why I have said that he is circumscribed only to the extent he chooses.

Father Peter
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on September 30, 2011, 05:04:30 PM
He says that he preserved his humanity from being naturally wasted by His Godlike power, and then at the end of his fasting allowed it to feel its natural sensation of hunger.
Have not the saints gone ages without food by the power of God, but not by virtue of a hypostatic or physis union with God?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on September 30, 2011, 05:07:37 PM
St Cyril teaches about this issue...

It was not however till He had fasted sufficiently, and by His Godlike power had kept His flesh unwasted, though abstaining from meat and drink, that scarcely at length He permitted it to feel its natural sensations: for it says, that He hungered.
I do not mean to disagree with St. Cyril out of some contempt or pride. I love St. Cyril's defense of Christ.

But I do not think this is the only interpretation of Christ's fasting. Just as I disagree with St. John Chrysostom about the nature of the Council of Jerusalem, I must slightly disagree with Cyril here.

he is circumscribed only to the extent he chooses.
I think that in some sense, losing certain choices (like whether or not you want your side to open up when it is stabbed) is part of becoming circumscribed in the first place.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: JLatimer on September 30, 2011, 05:10:41 PM
I guess I would be okay with this teaching if it could be stated this way: That the voluntary Incarnation of Christ remained voluntary throughout His life until His Death, but at no point did Christ make that choice to surrender assuming our humanity in truth, despite his trials. In other words, even if these  "natural passion expressions" were voluntary, he never DID NOT choose them.

Am I correct?

No. You're not. Christ is truly man, not merely man. A mere man, by nature, cannot walk on water.

God the Word is only circumscribed in His humanity to the extent He chooses.

The Word has become incarnate for a purpose, not to see what it is like to be a human. Therefore it is necessary that he be truly human, but not that he be circumscribed by his humanity.
What is not assumed is not healed.

You seem to think the Word had to cease to be Divine in order to assume humanity truly.

He says that he preserved his humanity from being naturally wasted by His Godlike power, and then at the end of his fasting allowed it to feel its natural sensation of hunger.
Have not the saints gone ages without food by the power of God, but not by virtue of a hypostatic or physis union with God?

Without food, yes. Without hunger, no.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: JLatimer on September 30, 2011, 05:12:38 PM
I think that in some sense, losing certain choices (like whether or not you want your side to open up when it is stabbed) is part of becoming circumscribed in the first place.

In that case, Christ would have drowned in the Sea of Galilee.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on September 30, 2011, 05:17:37 PM
There are other Fathers who say the same thing.

St Basil says..

The Lord remained for forty days untempted, for the devil knew that he fasted and yet did not hunger, and therefore did not dare to approach him.

St Gregory Naz. says..

He fasted in truth forty days eating nothing for He was God.

St Basil again..

..not as forced to that necessity which overpowers nature, but as if provoking the devil to the conflict.

I don't have time to find more references just now as it is getting late here. But I am happy to always be found agreeing with St Cyril and St Severus, and St Basil seems to say exactly the same thing. His incarnation was never a matter of necessity, it was entirely for the purpose of our salvation, and this is served by a true humanity, not by a mere or bare humanity. It is always necessary that a man restore what Adam lost, but it is only possible for God to have the power to do so. Therefore Christ is both God and man in union not in mere agreement of a man and the Word.

Father Peter
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on September 30, 2011, 05:18:43 PM
You seem to think the Word had to cease to be Divine in order to assume humanity truly.
No. I just don't think that his Divinity nullified his "natural passions" like hunger, thirst, physiological emotion, etc.

No. You're not. Christ is truly man, not merely man. A mere man, by nature, cannot walk on water.
Christ disagrees.

"Amen, Amen, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do."

Humanity in proper union with God can work mighty works.

"The glory of God is man fully alive, and the life of man is the vision of God." -St. Irenaeus of Lyons
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on September 30, 2011, 05:20:14 PM
Nicholas and JLatimer, thanks for all your comments. They are all very thought-provoking and make this an enjoyable and fruitful discussion.

I must leave now as I am taking my eldest daughter back to University early tomorrow morning.

Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Severian on September 30, 2011, 05:21:08 PM
Nicholas and JLatimer, thanks for all your comments. They are all very thought-provoking and make this an enjoyable and fruitful discussion.

I must leave now as I am taking my eldest daughter back to University early tomorrow morning.

I wish her the best of luck, may the Lord be with her! :)
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on September 30, 2011, 05:21:19 PM
Nicholas and JLatimer, thanks for all your comments. They are all very thought-provoking and make this an enjoyable and fruitful discussion.

I must leave now as I am taking my eldest daughter back to University early tomorrow morning.


Have a safe trip, Father.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: JLatimer on September 30, 2011, 05:26:08 PM
St Cyril teaches about this issue...

It was not however till He had fasted sufficiently, and by His Godlike power had kept His flesh unwasted, though abstaining from meat and drink, that scarcely at length He permitted it to feel its natural sensations: for it says, that He hungered.
I do not mean to disagree with St. Cyril

St. Cyril is not your only problem. In addition to the Fathers cited by Fr. Peter, you have St. Athanasius himself to contend with:

Quote
The Word was not hedged in by His body.... A man cannot transport things from one place to another, for instance, merely by thinking about them; nor can you or I move the sun and the stars just by sitting at home and looking at them. With the Word of God in His human nature, however, it was otherwise. His body was for Him not a limitation, but an instrument, so that He was both in it and in all things, and outside all things, resting in the Father alone. At one and the same time-this is the wonder-as Man He was living a human life, and as Word He was sustaining the life of the universe, and as Son He was in constant union with the Father. Not even His birth from a virgin, therefore, changed Him in any way, nor was He defiled by being in the body. Rather, He sanctified the body by being in it.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on September 30, 2011, 05:30:05 PM
There are other Fathers who say the same thing.

St Basil says..

The Lord remained for forty days untempted, for the devil knew that he fasted and yet did not hunger, and therefore did not dare to approach him.

St Gregory Naz. says..

He fasted in truth forty days eating nothing for He was God.

St Basil again..

..not as forced to that necessity which overpowers nature, but as if provoking the devil to the conflict.
So basically everyone who learned from Origen?

Hmmm...
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on September 30, 2011, 05:31:33 PM
St Cyril teaches about this issue...

It was not however till He had fasted sufficiently, and by His Godlike power had kept His flesh unwasted, though abstaining from meat and drink, that scarcely at length He permitted it to feel its natural sensations: for it says, that He hungered.
I do not mean to disagree with St. Cyril

St. Cyril is not your only problem. In addition to the Fathers cited by Fr. Peter, you have St. Athanasius himself to contend with:

Quote
The Word was not hedged in by His body.... A man cannot transport things from one place to another, for instance, merely by thinking about them; nor can you or I move the sun and the stars just by sitting at home and looking at them. With the Word of God in His human nature, however, it was otherwise. His body was for Him not a limitation, but an instrument, so that He was both in it and in all things, and outside all things, resting in the Father alone. At one and the same time-this is the wonder-as Man He was living a human life, and as Word He was sustaining the life of the universe, and as Son He was in constant union with the Father. Not even His birth from a virgin, therefore, changed Him in any way, nor was He defiled by being in the body. Rather, He sanctified the body by being in it.
I agree with St. Athanasius that the he did not cease to be the Logos which sustains all things.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on September 30, 2011, 05:34:33 PM
Are you saying that Christ's divinity "fed" his humanity, making up for what is "lacking" in humanity when it comes to the natural passions?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: minasoliman on September 30, 2011, 05:35:51 PM
There are other Fathers who say the same thing.

St Basil says..

The Lord remained for forty days untempted, for the devil knew that he fasted and yet did not hunger, and therefore did not dare to approach him.

St Gregory Naz. says..

He fasted in truth forty days eating nothing for He was God.

St Basil again..

..not as forced to that necessity which overpowers nature, but as if provoking the devil to the conflict.
So basically everyone who learned from Origen?

Hmmm...

At the risk of moving away from the subject, but Origen was a very influential theologian, and many of his students admired and defended him.  I personally believe that if St. Augustine can be given sainthood despite his faults, I would wish Origen for the same courtesy, especially since his life is also quite exemplary.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on September 30, 2011, 05:36:52 PM
At the risk of moving away from the subject, but Origen was a very influential theologian, and many of his students admired and defended him.  I personally believe that if St. Augustine can be given sainthood despite his faults, I would wish Origen for the same courtesy, especially since his life is also quite exemplary.
I agree, especially since the Origenites are gone now.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: JLatimer on September 30, 2011, 05:43:06 PM
You seem to think the Word had to cease to be Divine in order to assume humanity truly.
No. I just don't think that his Divinity nullified his "natural passions" like hunger, thirst, physiological emotion, etc.

Neither I nor Fr. Peter, AFAIK, are arguing that His Divinity nullified His natural human passions. What we are saying is not that the Divine nature or essence nullified anything, but that the Divine person, the Word, experienced human nature as the Word, not as a mere man.

No. You're not. Christ is truly man, not merely man. A mere man, by nature, cannot walk on water.
Christ disagrees.

"Amen, Amen, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do."

Humanity in proper union with God can work mighty works.

"The glory of God is man fully alive, and the life of man is the vision of God." -St. Irenaeus of Lyons

By Grace, not by nature, as I said.

St Cyril teaches about this issue...

It was not however till He had fasted sufficiently, and by His Godlike power had kept His flesh unwasted, though abstaining from meat and drink, that scarcely at length He permitted it to feel its natural sensations: for it says, that He hungered.
I do not mean to disagree with St. Cyril

St. Cyril is not your only problem. In addition to the Fathers cited by Fr. Peter, you have St. Athanasius himself to contend with:

Quote
The Word was not hedged in by His body.... A man cannot transport things from one place to another, for instance, merely by thinking about them; nor can you or I move the sun and the stars just by sitting at home and looking at them. With the Word of God in His human nature, however, it was otherwise. His body was for Him not a limitation, but an instrument, so that He was both in it and in all things, and outside all things, resting in the Father alone. At one and the same time-this is the wonder-as Man He was living a human life, and as Word He was sustaining the life of the universe, and as Son He was in constant union with the Father. Not even His birth from a virgin, therefore, changed Him in any way, nor was He defiled by being in the body. Rather, He sanctified the body by being in it.
I agree with St. Athanasius that the he did not cease to be the Logos which sustains all things.

Do you agree with him that His body was for Him not a limitation, as a body indeed is for a mere man?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Severian on September 30, 2011, 06:29:28 PM
Perhaps later Fr. Peter can provide us with quotes from St. Severus of Antioch's arguments with Julian of Halicarnassus regarding the corruptibility Vs. incorruptibility issue as it seems to relate to what we are discussing.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: JLatimer on September 30, 2011, 06:38:33 PM
More from St. Athanasius here: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,39958.msg646852.html#msg646852
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 01, 2011, 12:45:48 AM
No. You're not. Christ is truly man, not merely man. A mere man, by nature, cannot walk on water.
Christ disagrees.

"Amen, Amen, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do."

Humanity in proper union with God can work mighty works.

"The glory of God is man fully alive, and the life of man is the vision of God." -St. Irenaeus of Lyons

By Grace, not by nature, as I said.

Oh?

"And they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, 'Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven.' And some of the scribes said to themselves, 'This fellow blasphemes.' And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, 'Why are you thinking evil in your hearts? 'Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, and walk’? 'But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins'—then He said to the paralytic, 'Get up, pick up your bed and go home.' And he got up and went home. But when the crowds saw this, they were awestruck, and glorified God, who had given such authority to men."

Seems the human Jesus is working the mighty works of God without mention of "by one nature versus another" or "by his divinity". Man in union with God can stop tidal waves, walk on water, command the cosmos, heal the sick.

Do you agree with him that His body was for Him not a limitation, as a body indeed is for a mere man?
We must first mention that the saints can bi-locate and appear by proxy.

Now, our God did not cease to be the Logos when he became incarnate, in that his divinity was not moved or impaired. He remained the Logos who sustains all things. However, as the Incarnate Logos, he was ignorant of many things, could be acted upon, and experienced the natural passions (hunger, thirst, sexual temptation [not the sin of lust], exhaustion, mortality). They're all over the Gospels.

When Jesus saw Lazarus's tomb, did he think, "the earth-born require that I deliberately manifest my humanity's capacity for physiological grief, despite the fact that my incarnate nature does not 'require' it.", and then he wept?

When he arrived at Jacob's well, did he think "Well, this woman certainly won't speak with me if I do not deliberately induce my hypostatically-united humanity to thirst against necessity."

When he was on the Cross, did he have to will his body to sink and his lungs to collapse, and the blood to run from his wounds, and the flesh open to accept the nails and the spear? Did he have to clot the blood in his face when struck so that a bruise would appear?

Neither I nor Fr. Peter, AFAIK, are arguing that His Divinity nullified His natural human passions. What we are saying is not that the Divine nature or essence nullified anything, but that the Divine person, the Word, experienced human nature as the Word, not as a mere man.
The OO also affirm that Christ does not "do a human nature thing here" and then "do a divine nature thing over here" because he is the Divine Word. If a Divino-human Christ does not hunger, it better be because he's teleporting mana into his stomach and not because his pre-resurrection body doesn't need to eat.

I'm open to correction. I could be wrong. I just don't understand why you hold the position you do.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on October 01, 2011, 01:10:14 AM
Hi Nicholas,

I am about to head out, but I couldn't resist catching up with this interesting thread.

What do you mean by 'Divino-human Christ'? Do you mean that in a critical sense, in that you do not believe that Christ is fully human and fully divine in union? If so, can you provide some idea of how you see the divine and human aspects of Christ interacting?

You do seem to be proposing a Christ who is simply a man who is energised by the Holy Spirit to a much greater degree than the prophets, but in just the same way. Is this a true reflection of what you are trying to say?

In the incarnation it seems to me a mistake to think of the Word willing only once to become human. Rather I think that He continues always to will and choose to be incarnate, so that there is a sense that divinely he does choose each moment to experience the reality of his humanity. It is not a necessity placed upon him, as it is for us. It is always a choice. He chooses everything. And sometimes he chooses not to allow his humanity to express itself in accordance with mere mortality, but to raise it above itself. This does not make him less truly human, but his humanity, as has been quoted, is an instrument not a limitation.

Best wishes

Father Peter
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 01, 2011, 01:34:42 AM
In the incarnation it seems to me a mistake to think of the Word willing only once to become human... there is a sense that divinely he does choose each moment to experience the reality of his humanity.
I like this, Fr. Peter. I do not think it is problematic.

You do seem to be proposing a Christ who is simply a man who is energised by the Holy Spirit to a much greater degree than the prophets, but in just the same way. Is this a true reflection of what you are trying to say?
I am criticizing what appears to be a very low view of humanity. Christ is the ultimate saint. Our pre-resurrection saints can do amazing things through their union with the Uncreated Energies of God. Yes, Christ walked on water because he was God, but he was also man. He did these things as a man, too. He healed, and his disciples could also heal. He drove out demons, his disciples also had something of this power. Christ is the judge; and the saints will judge angels, the Apostles the tribes of Israel. Who is to say that Christ did not do some of these things wholly or partially as man, through the TRULY natural state of humanity, by the Grace of God?

In addition:

Only God could raise himself from the Dead, and only God could trample down the death of all by his own Death.

Only God could be sinless. (Well, ontologically. We also have the Theotokos)

Only God could heal our nature in taking it upon Himself.

These things I do not dispute.

We can work wonders by the grace of God BECAUSE God lived a life AS MAN, and also did so.

Rather I think that He continues always to will and choose to be incarnate
If Christ is truly incarnate, how could he un-incarnate Himself? Isn't that an absurdity?

Yes, Christ could somehow "fill up" the limitations in his humanity with his divinity, thus pulling himself "out of the human equation." But become un-incarnate?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 01, 2011, 01:50:23 AM
Do you agree with him that His body was for Him not a limitation
Do you mean his human body, mind, will and soul?

What do you mean by 'Divino-human Christ'?
Rather, I meant a "Divino-Humanity". As Fr. Thomas Hopko would say (paraphrasing): "There is God-hood. There is man-hood. Jesus has both. But there is no God-man-hood."
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 01, 2011, 03:03:23 AM
Fr. Hopko also says that Christ will judge humanity AS A MAN, insofar as he is one.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on October 01, 2011, 03:16:56 AM
But Christ isn't a man though he is truly human. He is the Word of God incarnate.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: JamesRottnek on October 01, 2011, 03:52:20 AM
Nevermind
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 01, 2011, 03:54:29 AM
But Christ isn't a man though he is truly human.
Lord, have mercy.

The Logos became a man. He didn't cease to be God, but he really became a man. Not just a category or genus.

He is monogenes after all!
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on October 01, 2011, 04:22:18 AM
But he isn't a human person which is what A man means. He is truly man and truly human but he is not A man. That is Nestorianism.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 01, 2011, 04:40:36 AM
But he isn't a human person which is what A man means.
Christ is a Divine Person who became man. Ergo he is truly a man and truly God.

but he is not A man. That is Nestorianism.
No, to have a man united to or assumed by the Logos is Nestorianism.

To have the Logos BECOME A MAN is different.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on October 01, 2011, 05:33:54 AM
Just for clarity. Do you think Christ is a human person?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 01, 2011, 05:46:39 AM
Just for clarity. Do you think Christ is a human person?
I think he's a Divine Person who became human, and is thus a man. In one sense it is alright to call him a "human person" because any person who is a human is a human person. On the other hand, because that Person (Hypostasis) is the same pre-existent Logos, he is not a human Hypostasis which somehow began at his incarnation.

Goodnight for now, Father. Thank you for the discussion.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: JLatimer on October 01, 2011, 08:32:23 AM

In one sense it is alright to call him a "human person" because any person who is a human is a human person.

This is exactly the problem. The question is: to be fully human, do you have to be a (created) human person. The answer is no. In the Incarnation, the Uncreated person of the Word assumed a created nature, making it truly His, yet he never ceased, in His personal reality, to be Uncreated.

No one is saying He became the category or genus, humanity. What is being said is that He became of-one-essence with us, just as He is of-one-essence with the Father.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: JLatimer on October 01, 2011, 09:06:10 AM
You do seem to be proposing a Christ who is simply a man who is energised by the Holy Spirit to a much greater degree than the prophets, but in just the same way. Is this a true reflection of what you are trying to say?
I am criticizing what appears to be a very low view of humanity. Christ is the ultimate saint. Our pre-resurrection saints can do amazing things through their union with the Uncreated Energies of God. Yes, Christ walked on water because he was God, but he was also man. He did these things as a man, too. He healed, and his disciples could also heal. He drove out demons, his disciples also had something of this power. Christ is the judge; and the saints will judge angels, the Apostles the tribes of Israel. Who is to say that Christ did not do some of these things wholly or partially as man, through the TRULY natural state of humanity, by the Grace of God?

Where did you get this idea that in order for Christ to be fully human, He had to be limited by His humanity, in such a way as if one and the same Christ were not also God?

I think you are missing the point about walking on water: A mere human being cannot, by nature, walk on water. A mere human being is subject, again, by his very nature, to the laws of physics, etc. Yet Jesus, Who was fully and truly human, walked on water. Therefore, your hypothesis that Jesus always chose to be limited by His humanity, as if He was a mere man, is false. Now what is important to remember is that Jesus did in fact walk on the water in His humanity. The point is not that the Divinity does one thing proper to it, the humanity another proper to it; to the contrary, the one subject, the Word, Who performs all these actions, is at one and the same time Divine and Human.

Quote
Who is to say that Christ did not do some of these things wholly or partially as man, through the TRULY natural state of humanity, by the Grace of God?

He did everything He did wholly, never partially, as man, because He is human, but also at the same as God, because He is Divine.

Quote
Christ is the ultimate saint. Our pre-resurrection saints can do amazing things through their union with the Uncreated Energies of God.

First off, the saints don't have a hypostatic union with God. They are created persons. Jesus Christ, the Theanthropic hypostasis, is an Uncreated Person. The union of God and man in Jesus Christ is hypostatic, not merely energetic. It is different from the union of God with the saints. You do seem to be flirting with Nestorius here.


I suggest you read or reread On the Incarnation. You will find it clarifies a lot of this.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Mivac on October 01, 2011, 09:11:10 AM
Just for clarity. Do you think Christ is a human person?

I wonder if one of the issues going on is that of nature verses person?   For example, cats all share the same nature as cats, humans have in come the same human nature, but each human person is different in person, so is each cat.  I see Christ as having a human nature and divine nature, but as one person.  The natures and the person are never separated.  His Human nature was, like ours, made in the Image of God but it was also in union with which that Image was created, the Divine nature.  God created each of our individual persons, but unlike us, the person of Christ already existed as the Logos prior to the incarnation, but with the incarnation He now has a human nature also.  I see His natural human nature submitting to the divine nature, but also the divine nature submitting to the limitations in many ways to His human nature.  For example, He grew in wisdom, He hungered, He Thirsted, etc., but also His human nature, body and soul, submitted to His divine nature.  So, He fasted, his human nature being in complete obedience to his divine nature, and sustained by the power of the divine, while his divine nature experienced the fast, being tempted in His person in all things.   In every action, it seems to me, it was both natures working together in the person of Christ.  
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Mivac on October 01, 2011, 09:21:39 AM
Quote
I think you are missing the point about walking on water: A mere human being cannot, by nature, walk on water. A mere human being is subject, again, by his very nature, to the laws of physics, etc. Yet Jesus, Who was fully and truly human, walked on water.

Not sure about this, I am thinking of St. Peter here.  Christ called Him and he walked on water.  Christ was truly human in his nature.  St. Peter, though being human in nature, was fallen nature and a fallen person.  In our fallen nature, we cannot but what happens when our person becomes faith, which also means our nature becomes faith?  I say we can walk on water in our nature when it is faith, but if we doubt even a little we get all wet.  :P  

Maybe this well help in  how I am seeing the situation and how most likely I am in error.   I am coming from the idea from essence/energy view.   If correct, which I am most sure I am not, this view would mean that God is Love as scripture says, but He would also be things such as Faith, Mercy, Compassion, etc.  These things we partake of, and it transforms us that we become these things as long as we remain in Him.  After all it was Christ who said that we would do even greater things.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: JLatimer on October 01, 2011, 09:28:56 AM
Quote
I think you are missing the point about walking on water: A mere human being cannot, by nature, walk on water. A mere human being is subject, again, by his very nature, to the laws of physics, etc. Yet Jesus, Who was fully and truly human, walked on water.

Not sure about this, I am thinking of St. Peter here.  Christ called Him and he walked on water.  Christ was truly human in his nature.  St. Peter, though being human in nature, was fallen nature and a fallen person.  In our fallen nature, we cannot but what happens when our person becomes faith, which also means our nature becomes faith?  I say we can walk on water in our nature when it is faith, but if we doubt even a little we get all wet.  :P 


St. Peter could not have chosen to do so without God's assent. Jesus could choose at will to walk on water, because He is God.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Mivac on October 01, 2011, 09:48:17 AM
Quote
I think you are missing the point about walking on water: A mere human being cannot, by nature, walk on water. A mere human being is subject, again, by his very nature, to the laws of physics, etc. Yet Jesus, Who was fully and truly human, walked on water.

Not sure about this, I am thinking of St. Peter here.  Christ called Him and he walked on water.  Christ was truly human in his nature.  St. Peter, though being human in nature, was fallen nature and a fallen person.  In our fallen nature, we cannot but what happens when our person becomes faith, which also means our nature becomes faith?  I say we can walk on water in our nature when it is faith, but if we doubt even a little we get all wet.  :P  


St. Peter could not have chosen to do so without God's assent. Jesus could choose at will to walk on water, because He is God.

St. Peter sank because he suddenly lacked faith.  I believe those who truly become faith can and will walk on water, move about from location to location, etc.   I am thinking of the monk who came to his master saying he had mastered his passions what more is there?  His master responded by lifting his hand saying, you can become fire, and fire enveloped his hand.  How about how, St. Mary of Egypt was seen in prayer actually levitating in the air?  I am sure there are many more examples, of Saints, who had become and were able to do things, beyond what we see as natural, because of their union with God.

So, the question on my mind is how does this relate to Christ Human nature?  I think, His human nature was fully energized by his divine nature in hypostatic union.  That is, He being born of the seed of David, at His incarnation, from the moment of conception, His human nature was fully Love, Faith, etc., but also which he grew in stature and wisdom, which is why the workings of His human nature could go against the laws of nature as man see's them.  We can become like He is in His human nature because we are brought into union with His human nature.  I think, it is amazing, that we can be, as it were, plugged into Christ Jesus, a part of Christ, and become like Christ in His human nature, us being mere created beings, becoming little Christ.  I think part of the danger of mixing the human and divine nature is that we would become truly divine in nature/essence, hence the necessity of the distinction.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 01, 2011, 12:52:24 PM
This is exactly the problem. The question is: to be fully human, do you have to be a (created) human person. The answer is no. In the Incarnation, the Uncreated person of the Word assumed a created nature, making it truly His, yet he never ceased, in His personal reality, to be Uncreated.
I agree, JLatimer. But in terms of mental contemplation it is alright to call Jesus a human "person" in the sense that he is a Person who became human, but that Person itself is and was Divine. I am not speaking about ontological personhood or some such thing.

Jesus is God who became Man. Therefore he is both 100% man and 100% God.

If Jesus is not really a man then the Scriptures lie.

You do seem to be flirting with Nestorius here.
Quite the opposite. If anything I'm being a form of monophysite.  ;) Perhaps you turn to calling me Nestorian because you cannot comprehend a God who remains truly un-circumscribed while being truly circumscribed at the same time.

Neither can I, but that doesn't mean it's not true.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 01, 2011, 12:57:21 PM
Where did you get this idea that in order for Christ to be fully human, He had to be limited by His humanity, in such a way as if one and the same Christ were not also God?
He's not being limited by his humanity. He uses his humanity in concert with his Divinity. And he uses his humanity the same way he wants us to use ours, in a manner that enables us to use ours to do the mighty works of God by grace.

First off, the saints don't have a hypostatic union with God. They are created persons. Jesus Christ, the Theanthropic hypostasis, is an Uncreated Person. The union of God and man in Jesus Christ is hypostatic, not merely energetic. It is different from the union of God with the saints.
It is not different. It is both/and.

He is both God and the perfect human saint.

I suggest to you this podcast by Fr. Thomas Hopko:

http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/hopko/the_incarnation_do_we_really_believe_it
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 01, 2011, 01:05:37 PM
He did everything He did wholly, never partially, as man, because He is human, but also at the same as God, because He is Divine.
Good. I'll hold you to that.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 01, 2011, 01:38:59 PM
I'd really like Fr. Peter and JLatimer and anyone else who has time to listen to the Fr. Hopko podcast. I think you'll both find it edifying:

http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/hopko/the_incarnation_do_we_really_believe_it

(and yes, JLatimer, I have read On the Incarnation)
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on October 01, 2011, 02:46:48 PM
I've been trying to think of a Father who speaks of the Word becoming A man, rather than becoming flesh, or becoming man, and I am struggling.

i. The Definitio of Chalcedon doesn't say he became A man.

ii. Constantinople II says..being made flesh...made man...union made with flesh...one of the Holy Trinity has been made man...

iii. Constantinople II condemns those who say that the Theotokos is the mother of A man.

iv. St Cyril says..One Lord Jesus Christ was made flesh and made man...was both made flesh and made man...He assumed flesh and blood...knowing One Only Christ, the word of God the Father with His own Flesh...He was made Flesh, not as He is said to dwell in the Saints...He made Indwelling of such a kind as the soul of man too may be said to have in regard to its own body...the Word of God united (as we already before said) to Flesh Personally...He became also Man...He became One with His own Flesh, He rendered it Life-giving...both the human and besides the Divine expressions have been said by One...He united human nature to Himself Personally and underwent fleshly birth from the very womb, not as though by any necessity or for the sake of His own Nature needing the Birth in time.

v. The 12 Anathemas of St Cyril forbid us saying that Christ receives or uses the power of the Holy Spirit like the saints. We must confess that he works all miracles using his own power. 

If any one say that the One Lord Jesus Christ hath been glorified by the Spirit, using His Power as though it were Another's, and from Him receiving the power of working against unclean spirits and of accomplishing Divine signs upon men; and does not rather say that His own is the Spirit, through Whom He hath wrought the Divine signs, be he anathema.

vi. The Scriptures don't seem to say that he became A man, but that he became flesh.

I have stuck to just EO accepted sources, but I can't find it said that the Word became A man, and this seems significant. Certainly he became properly human but I can't even find the EO councils saying that he became A man.

Do you have sources or references that do use this terminology?

It is important to me that especially in Christology we follow the Fathers, and just as St Severus was a strict disciple of St Cyril, so I try to be a careful disciple of St Severus, but I have not referenced his writings here and have stuck to universal and EO ones. None of them seem to say that Christ became A man.

What do you think is the difference between saying that the Word became flesh, and your position that he became A man, which seems to me to extend his human experience into saying that he was and is a human person. Why can I not find Fathers who agree that he became a human person?

Also, why do you think it an absurdity to say that the Word could cease to be incarnate if he chose? His taking flesh does not affect his own divine nature at all. He remains who he is when he becomes incarnate and would remain who he is if he laid down his humanity. Why do you consider this absurd?

Thanks

Father Peter
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Severian on October 01, 2011, 03:04:22 PM
NVM
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on October 01, 2011, 03:08:01 PM
The Spirit is His own Spirit. When a saint prays he has no power of his own. He receives a grace that is external to himself.

When Christ says 'Be healed', the sick man will be healed.

When a saint or any Christian says, 'Be healed', whether or not the sick man will be healed depends entirely on the will and action of God.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Severian on October 01, 2011, 03:08:44 PM
The Spirit is His own Spirit. When a saint prays he has no power of his own. He receives a grace that is external to himself.

When Christ says 'Be healed', the sick man will be healed.

When a saint or any Christian says, 'Be healed', whether or not the sick man will be healed depends entirely on the will and action of God.
I see, thank you. That clarifies it then. :)
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 01, 2011, 03:11:54 PM
v. The 12 Anathemas of St Cyril forbid us saying that Christ receives or uses the power of the Holy Spirit like the saints. We must confess that he works all miracles using his own power. 
Can you post the quote here?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Severian on October 01, 2011, 03:15:01 PM
v. The 12 Anathemas of St Cyril forbid us saying that Christ receives or uses the power of the Holy Spirit like the saints. We must confess that he works all miracles using his own power. 
Can you post the quote here?
"If any one say that the One Lord Jesus Christ hath been glorified by the Spirit, using His Power as though it were Another's, and from Him receiving the power of working against unclean spirits and of accomplishing Divine signs upon men; and does not rather say that His own is the Spirit, through Whom He hath wrought the Divine signs, be he anathema."
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 01, 2011, 03:22:21 PM
v. The 12 Anathemas of St Cyril forbid us saying that Christ receives or uses the power of the Holy Spirit like the saints. We must confess that he works all miracles using his own power.  
Can you post the quote here?
"If any one say that the One Lord Jesus Christ hath been glorified by the Spirit, using His Power as though it were Another's, and from Him receiving the power of working against unclean spirits and of accomplishing Divine signs upon men; and does not rather say that His own is the Spirit, through Whom He hath wrought the Divine signs, be he anathema."
Well I don't disagree with that at all. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God. Christ is God.

But I am sure that there is nothing wrong with believing that Christ's humanity was energized by the Holy Spirit of God, as well as the fact that it is hypostatically united to the Logos!

Both/and. Christ is both God and the perfect saint.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on October 01, 2011, 03:26:25 PM
But where do you find the Fathers saying what you are saying?

Where do you find the Fathers saying that the Word became A man?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 01, 2011, 03:34:25 PM
Where do you find the Fathers saying that the Word became A man?
The Fathers all testify that the Word became man. Therefore the incarnate God can be referred to as a man (who is also God), and one is not compelled to believe that the Scriptures lie or are speaking in riddles. The word "a" is a big deal when fighting Nestorians, but not here.

If I were saying that God united himself to, assumed, shared a title with, or inhabited a man, sure. But I'm not. I'm saying that God became a real human being.

The Scriptures testify:

Authority to MEN.
The MAN Christ Jesus.
The Son of MAN.
The Second MAN is from heaven.
Come, see a MAN who told me all the things that I have done.

Ecce Homo.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: orthonorm on October 01, 2011, 03:38:01 PM
But where do you find the Fathers saying what you are saying?

Where do you find the Fathers saying that the Word became A man?

Father,

I am not sure why you keep bringing up this syntactic hang up.

It seems to assigning something to Nicklas' argument he hasn't made.

There seems to more than implication here. Why not expand your problem? I think Nicklas has already addressed your concerns.

He certainly is not saying Jesus was just merely or simply a man. But to say calling Him a man is inaccurate is wrong.

Jesus of Nazareth was a man. That is accurate. Not as precise as people would like to get, nevertheless accurate.

While there is a relationship between accuracy and precision, I think hanging onto this point without amplification is not moving forward one the better and profitable discussions on this board in a long time, for me.

Father, the discussion you and Nick are having and in which others are also participating has been very helpful to me. I would hate to see it start stalling over the many reasons nearly every discussion on the internet does.

EDIT: Posted while Nick was . . . not trying to pile on.





Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on October 01, 2011, 03:51:14 PM
But none of that proposes that Christ is a human person, which is what your use of the term does seem to do. And you have said that you think Christ is a human person.

None of the Fathers say this. None of them say he is a man.

In Christology words matter. So where are the Fathers who support what you are saying?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 01, 2011, 03:53:00 PM
None of the Fathers say this. None of them say he is a man.

"Therefore Abraham also, knowing the Father through the Word, who made heaven and earth, confessed Him to be God; and having learned, by an announcement, that the Son of God would be a man among men, by whose advent his seed should be as the stars of heaven, he desired to see that day, so that he might himself also embrace Christ; and, seeing it through the spirit of prophecy, he rejoiced."

-St. Irenaeus of Lyons, Against Heresies Book XI Chapter VII
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 01, 2011, 03:54:54 PM
But none of that proposes that Christ is a human person, which is what your use of the term does seem to do. And you have said that you think Christ is a human person.
Not in the sense you mean when you say human person. The Person of Christ did not originate in the Theotokos's womb. The Divine Person of the Logos BECAME man.

So you could meet Christ in the flesh, point to him and say, "there stands a man, the Divine Person of God."
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 02, 2011, 12:43:14 AM
"This foolish man [Julian], who confesses the passions with his lips only, hiding his impiety, wrote thus: 'Incorruptibility was always attached to the body of our Lord, which was passible of His own will for the sake of others.'

And in brotherly love I wrote and asked him: 'What do you mean by 'incorruptible,' and 'suffered of His own will for the sake of others,' and 'was attached to the body of our Lord,' if without any falsehood you confess it to be by nature passible? For, if by the incorruptibility possessed by it you mean holiness without sin, we all confess this with you, that the holy body from the womb which He united to Himself originally by the Holy Spirit of the pure Virgin, the Theotokos, was conceived and born in the flesh without sin and conversed with us men, because "He did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth," according to the testimony of the Scriptures.

But, if you call impassibility and immortality incorruptibility, and say that the body which suffered in the flesh on our behalf was not one that was [naturally] capable of suffering with voluntary passions and dying in the flesh, you reduce the saving passions on our behalf to a phantasy; for a thing which does not suffer also does not die, and it is a thing incapable of suffering.' And upon receiving such remarks as these from me he openly refused to call the holy body of Emmanuel passible in respect of voluntary passions; and therefore he did not hesitate to write thus, without shame and openly: 'We do not call Him of our nature in respect of passions, but in respect of essence. Therefore, even if He is impassible, and even if He is incorruptible, yet He is of our nature ' in respect of nature'.

[Compiler's note:] And the rest of the erring fatuity of Julian, which is contained at great length in the epistle, I forbear to record now, matters which are to be found in the many books which this holy Severus composed against Julian."

-OO Saint Severus of Antioch, Epistle to the King (Emperor?) Syriac Chronicle of Zachariah, Book IX Chapter 16
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: minasoliman on October 03, 2011, 12:09:35 PM
To understand the Julian/Severus controversy was a difficult thing for me, but there is a thread somewhere where EA helped me out with this, albeit with a bit of arguing in the middle.

When we talk about the time of St. Athanasius, he talks about how the flesh is incorrupt due to the union with His divinity.  When we talk about the time of St. Severus, he talks about how the flesh is corruptible due to the flesh being truly flesh.  Would St. Athanasius agree?

Quote from: On the Incarnation
The body of the Word, then, being a real human body, in spite of its having been uniquely formed from a virgin, was of itself mortal and, like other bodies, liable to death. But the indwelling of the Word loosed it from this natural liability, so that corruption could not touch it. Thus it happened that two opposite marvels took place at once: the death of all was consummated in the Lord's body; yet, because the Word was in it, death and corruption were in the same act utterly abolished. Death there had to be, and death for all, so that the due of all might be paid. Wherefore, the Word, as I said, being Himself incapable of death, assumed a mortal body, that He might offer it as His own in place of all, and suffering for the sake of all through His union with it, " might bring to nought Him that had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might deliver them who all their lifetime were enslaved by the fear of death."

This is what St. Severus was saying.  If Julian is confessing that Christ assumed an IMMORTAL body, then how can death occur?  How is that body liable to death?  He just feigned death then if it wasn't liable to it.  So here, St. Severus agrees with St. Athanasius, but Julian's starting point doesn't agree with St. Athanasius on this one.  In fact, St. Severus wouldn't disagree with the special unity the divinity had with humanity, transforming Christ's human nature in an incorrupt fashion, as he demonstrated confirming and admiring St. Cyril's analogy of the fired coal.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 03, 2011, 01:21:36 PM
But Mina, Severus clearly identifies Orthodox incorruptibility as meaning having no sin and thus not falling under death. No mention of it being a result of a substantial property of divinity at all. Don't you find that strange?

"For, if by the incorruptibility possessed by it you mean holiness without sin, we all confess this with you, that the holy body from the womb which He united to Himself originally by the Holy Spirit of the pure Virgin, the Theotokos, was conceived and born in the flesh without sin and conversed with us men, because "He did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth," according to the testimony of the Scriptures."

It seems that Severus's idea of incorruptibility is closer to St. Paul's than St. Athanasius'.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: minasoliman on October 03, 2011, 02:17:55 PM
But did you miss the part when St. Severus said, "But, if you call impassibility and immortality incorruptibility" where St. Athanasius also mentions that Christ's body is "mortal," therefore agreeing with each other?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 03, 2011, 02:29:17 PM
But did you miss the part when St. Severus said, "But, if you call impassibility and immortality incorruptibility" where St. Athanasius also mentions that Christ's body is "mortal," therefore agreeing with each other?
Yes, they agree on that point.

But would St. Athanasius define Christ's incorruptibility as holiness and having no sin?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on October 03, 2011, 02:45:33 PM
Hi Nicholas

I don't think you have fully understood the nature of Julianism.

He insisted conflated the issue of moral and natural incorruptibility and therefore insisted that the humanity which the Word took to Himself was both morally incorruptible (it was sinless), and was also naturally incorruptible (it was immortal). Against him, following St Athanasius, St Cyril and the Cappadoian Fathers, St Severus insists that the humanity of Christ is naturally mortal, while He is morally incorruptible.

St Severus, following the Fathers, teaches that the humanity of Christ is consubstantial with us, but he follows the Fathers in saying that the humanity does not absolutely limit the incarnate Word and that He chooses to allow his humanity to experience those things natural to it, while also raising it above its natural limitations as He chooses.

I believe this is what JLatimer and I have been in agreement on, contrary to your view. Would you say that was fair?

The Julianist view is defective because it means that the Word is not incarnate in our mortal condition, and that all those things which He suffers and experiences are not natural to His immortal and naturally incorruptible humanity. So, according to Julian, he may choose to feel pain, but this is not a pain which belongs to naturally to his humanity.

While for St Severus, following the Fathers, he experiences pain when He chooses, and is not bound by His humanity, but when He chooses to allow His humanity to be moved by natural and blameless passions these are real experiences which are natural to the mortal condition of his humanity. St Severus is entirely in agreement with St Athanasius. Believe me. I have been a student and disciple of St Severus for 17 years. More than any other he is my patron and I know that he is entirely a disciple of St Cyril, and with him, a disciple of St Athanasius.

I can bark like a dog, but if barking is not natural to my condition then I am acting out being a dog. This is the problem with Julianism.

I think we are all agreed that the humanity of Christ is a true humanity, which is able to experience all those natural and blameless passions which characterise our humanity. But we seem to differ in that JLatimer and I seem to be agreed, based on the teachings of the Fathers, that the Word is able to choose when His humanity will experience those things proper to it, and when it will be lifted above them for the sake of the economy of our salvation.

Do you not think that if a member of ROCOR and the Coptic Church agree on something like this then it has a good chance of reflecting the universal Orthodox pov? Do you not think that if you are able to criticise the teachings of St Cyril, St Athanasius and other Fathers and suggest that they are different or even contrary to St Paul, then you might not understand the issues entirely?

I say that with the best will in the world.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 03, 2011, 02:55:27 PM
when He chooses to allow His humanity to be moved by natural and blameless passions these are real experiences which are natural to the mortal condition of his humanity...

...the Word is able to choose when His humanity will experience those things proper to it, and when it will be lifted above them for the sake of the economy of our salvation.
Before Christ's Death and Resurrection, did he ever "lift himself above" (override) his natural and blameless passions? If so, when?

Do you not think that if a member of ROCOR and the Coptic Church agree on something like this then it has a good chance of reflecting the universal Orthodox pov?
That's what terrifies me.

you might not understand the issues entirely?
I sure hope so.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on October 03, 2011, 03:11:37 PM
It has already been referenced in the writings of the Fathers.

St Cyril says this, and St Severus says it, and St Gregory says it.

As an example, He did not feel hunger until the end of forty days, the the Word allowed His own humanity to feel the natural and blameless passion of hunger.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 03, 2011, 03:14:35 PM
As an example, He did not feel hunger until the end of forty days, the the Word allowed His own humanity to feel the natural and blameless passion of hunger.
Father, I don't know if I can believe that.

Also, can you clarify: Is Christ allowing his humanity to feel something in the sense that he is altering a default state of hungerless-ness, or are you saying that he *halted his divine intervention* that was suppressing his human passions?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: HabteSelassie on October 03, 2011, 03:21:05 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
HabteSelassie wrote:
Quote
the "In" leaves open the suggestion for the potential of a plurality where as the "from" implies the fullness of the Union.

But on the other hand, does not "from" leave open the suggestion that the human nature existed apart/before the Incarnation and that there is a mixing of the natures?

Actually it can, and folks from this forum are the ones who helped me sort that out.  Initially, I had an almost Origenian conception of pre-existing humanity based on my own ignorant misinterpretation of the formula, but when you connect the "from" with the doctrine that the humanity of Jesus Christ specifically was not pre-existing before the Incarnation, then the confusion it properly mitigated.  

Are you saying that Christ's divinity "fed" his humanity, making up for what is "lacking" in humanity when it comes to the natural passions?

Sort of.. Jesus Christ's humanity was 100% naturally human with all the typical human needs, food, shelter, clothing, physical contact, medicine, defecation, etc etc.. Jesus Christ the Word, Eternally Self-Existing, was not subject to these naturally human traits until the Incarnation when by Kenosis He became a human being by Hypostatic Union.  That means in a scientific sense that the Hypostatic body of Jesus Christ, which was fully human including being naturally subject to hunger, to pain, and ultimately to death, and so while the Divine Word existed in Union, He experienced this inherent mortality "in His Flesh"

That is to say, the fully human flesh of Jesus Christ endured these fully human weaknesses, but His lifeforce, His existence, was perpetually maintained and sustained by His Divinity, just as we mortals are perpetually existing in God's Grace and Power of His Divinity to be the Life-Giver and Sustain all of Creation.  The Incarnation then is the perfect example of Synergy, where the fully mortal humanity cooperates with the fullness of Divinity.

Jesus Christ was really hungry, really thirsty, really pained, really angered, really tempted, and ultimately really died, by His humanity.  However, He endured these because of His  OWN Divinity, whereas we all endure these not of ourselves, but of His Divinity, as a gift.  His Divinity was not a gift to His Humanity, rather it was simply a natural and essential part of the Union.  He is as much Human as Divine, and so as a human body Jesus Christ is subject to human weakness, and by His Divinity He eternally overcomes these weakness, unlike ourselves, who inevitably fail and die because we are not self-existing like God, rather we rely upon Him for our entire existence, mind, body, and soul.

Quote
Seems the human Jesus is working the mighty works of God without mention of "by one nature versus another" or "by his divinity". Man in union with God can stop tidal waves, walk on water, command the cosmos, heal the sick.

True, but that is man cooperating in synergy with God, where as in the Incarnation, Jesus Christ IS God, and so acts by His own natural faculties, will, and power of God.  The Saints never acted on their own for miracles, these always came from God, Jesus Christ on the other hand, brought about His miracles by His own Divinity which was united in the Hypostatic manifestation of His Person.  As I said before, the natures are not separate, they work together, by nature the body of Jesus Christ is subject naturally to weakness, however by nature His Divinity sustains Himself, just as He sustains all things.  We humans can never do such, without God we would simply stop existing altogether, and technically, so to would the humanity of Jesus Christ, however by virtue of the Union His humanity was fully Himself, and therefore became part of His self-existence.  Remember, that all things exist through their Hypostasis, even God the Father, exists through and by His own unique Divine Hypostasis.  When the Word became Incarnate, the human-divine Hypostasis of Jesus Christ's body became the way in which the Divine Word manifests Himself in Creation.

Quote from: peterfarrington
. The Definition of Chalcedon doesn't say he became A man.
True, but the Nicene-Constantinople Creed specifically does say,"who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man" (at least in the Tewahedo translation)
I think Nicolas is talking logistics and mechanics and we're talking spirituality and theology.  If I am interpreting him correctly, he isn't all wrong, just clumsy in his explanation.  He has been asking all the right questions.  Jesus Christ is fully human, and subject all of humanity by nature, and so is rightfully a "human person" and yet He is also mutually God, however this does not negate His being human (that is the Absorption/Adoption heresies) in the very physical sense.  Ontologically, being God, He almost trumps His Humanity, however in thought and rhetoric, we can say His human body is normal like our own.  As I explained above, what separates His Incarnation from our own human existence, is that our human bodies are not self-existing, and neither was the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ, strictly speaking.  However, ontologically, since we know He is God, we also know that He sustains Himself.  His own flesh is subject to the weakness of natural laws, but unlike human beings, He at the same time He sustains the weakness of His own human body the way He sustains all the billions of our own bodies.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 03, 2011, 03:27:00 PM
Thanks for the response, Habte. I'll have to contemplate it.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: minasoliman on October 03, 2011, 04:01:00 PM
But did you miss the part when St. Severus said, "But, if you call impassibility and immortality incorruptibility" where St. Athanasius also mentions that Christ's body is "mortal," therefore agreeing with each other?
Yes, they agree on that point.

But would St. Athanasius define Christ's incorruptibility as holiness and having no sin?

Probably not, I don't know.  But the essence of the teaching is the same.  If St. Athanasius were to read the arguments St. Severus is putting forth, considering that St. Athanasius said "Disputes merely about words must not be suffered to divide those who think alike," he probably would agree Christ's humanity is holy and without sin, and that if this is called "incorruptible," then that shouldn't really be an issue.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 04, 2011, 04:08:43 PM
*bump*

As an example, He did not feel hunger until the end of forty days, the the Word allowed His own humanity to feel the natural and blameless passion of hunger.
Father, I don't know if I can believe that.

Also, can you clarify: Is Christ allowing his humanity to feel something in the sense that he is altering a default state of hungerless-ness, or are you saying that he *halted his divine intervention* that was suppressing his human passions?

As an example, He did not feel hunger until the end of forty days, the the Word allowed His own humanity to feel the natural and blameless passion of hunger.
Is this what you mean: Christ resisted hunger, as a man, until the end of forty days, because he is God by nature, an act which was worked through the operation of the Holy Spirit; and a saint could resist hunger, as a man, until the end of forty days, in the same manner as Christ, only replacing the words "by nature" with "by grace"?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on October 04, 2011, 04:42:23 PM
I mean what several of us have already quoted from the Fathers.

Christ did not feel hunger for forty days because as God he raised his own humanity above such a passion for a season. Then at the end of forty days he allowed His own humanity to experience the passion of hunger which was proper to it.

I understand you do not accept this, but it is what the Fathers teach us. And I believe that JLatimer as a ROCOR member and I as a Coptic Orthodox member are in agreement that this is what the Fathers teach.

Where do we go from here? How do you weigh the authority of the Fathers in your consideration of these things?

For me, I pretty much accept whatever St Cyril and St Severus teach, and then reflect on their teachings from a position of acceptance.

Father Peter
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 04, 2011, 06:03:23 PM
I mean what several of us have already quoted from the Fathers.
Christ did not feel hunger for forty days because as God he raised his own humanity above such a passion for a season. Then at the end of forty days he allowed His own humanity to experience the passion of hunger which was proper to it.
And I am trying to understand just what you mean by such a statement. Does the rephrasing I've said above match up with what you believe?


Is Christ allowing his humanity to feel something in the sense that he is altering a default state of hungerless-ness, or are you saying that he *halted his divine intervention* that was suppressing his human passions?

and

Is this what you mean: Christ resisted hunger, as a man, until the end of forty days, because he is God by nature, an act which was worked through the operation of the Holy Spirit; and a saint could resist hunger, as a man, until the end of forty days, in the same manner as Christ, only replacing the words "by nature" with "by grace"?

For me, I pretty much accept whatever St Cyril and St Severus teach, and then reflect on their teachings from a position of acceptance.
Is that what they would want?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: minasoliman on October 04, 2011, 08:36:57 PM
Quote
Also, can you clarify: Is Christ allowing his humanity to feel something in the sense that he is altering a default state of hungerless-ness, or are you saying that he *halted his divine intervention* that was suppressing his human passions?

I think this question shows you're thinking deeper than you should concerning this.  There's a sense of mystery of the union of the flesh and divinity of Christ.  What is only required of you is that you should know that the human nature Christ took is a real and mortal body with all the natural properties in it, including hunger.  The divinity of Christ is "interwoven" in the humanity (Athanasius) or lightens and transforms the humanity into the glory of the divinity (Cyril), so that what is natural to it can be superseded and transcended, so that any natural property in it the Logos allows, He wills to allow it.  He wills to allow many other things, such as His sadness when meeting at Lazarus' grave, His ignorance of the end of times, His pain and suffering, and laying His own life at the Cross.  It is neither because His humanity is at a "default state of hungerlessness" nor did He "halt His divine intervention," for even in pain, ignorance, sadness, and hunger, the divinity still is there, interwoven in the human nature, transforming and glorifying it.  It is a matter of His will, not of a Julianist version of humanity nor of a lack of divine nature, as in a semi-Nestorian sense.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on October 05, 2011, 03:12:20 AM
I agree entirely with Mina.

His humanity is consubstantial with us. It's default state (on its own) is to be subject to all the blameless passions and weaknesses of our human nature. It is mortal. It can suffer and die. But it need not always suffer because it is not humanity on its own, but it is the humanity which belongs to and is in union with God the Word. There is the difference between nature and grace. But I think it a mistake to consider Christ as a super-saint. He is not. He is God. God made flesh. He is what God looks like when he becomes incarnate. He remains the one who sustains the universe even while he is held in his mother's arms. He feeds the world even while he cooks fish for his disciples. He is both God and man. Not in two different places. But altogether the same one. 

It is not humanity on its own, it is the humanity of the Word who unites his own humanity with his own divinity. As I have said, his he did not become flesh just to experience our condition for himself, but for a purpose, and his humanity serves that purpose. It is never independent of union with his divinity and with his divine person.

Was it St Cyril (paraphrasing) who said that on this occasion he chose to raise his humanity above hunger but on all other occasions allowed it to feel the hunger natural to it. The hunger is natural to his humanity, his humanity is consubstantial with us. But his is never a bare humanity as ours is, because his humanity is the humanity of God.

His humanity is impenetrated with his divinity, it cannot be mixed as they are of two entirely different qualities, indeed the divine nature is beyond quality and existence. But all the fulness of the Godhead dwells in him bodily. A perfect and complete union and unity without confusion or mixture.

I am very concerned that I do not misread what you are saying, as orthonorm warns.

As for following the Fathers. Absolutely we should submit to them and begin our own theological reflections from that position. St Severus, one of the greatest of Fathers, insisted that he followed not only the teaching but even the language of St Cyril, and held fast to it as if to an anchor. I do not consider myself better placed than St Severus to choose which teachings I will adopt. Some require a greater degree of reflection, study and discretion so that we understand what the Fathers are really saying. But as an Orthodox of 17 years, and a student of Christology for all that time, I am much less convinced by my own independent opinions.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 05, 2011, 08:12:26 PM
I don't get the Crypto-Nestorianism tag. If anything I'm being crypto-reverse Eutychian.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: biro on October 05, 2011, 08:21:28 PM
Is that some kind of triple twist you get a medal for in the Olympics?  ???
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 05, 2011, 09:05:14 PM
Is that some kind of triple twist you get a medal for in the Olympics?  ???
I mean that if anything, Father Peter seems to think that I am con-fusing Christ's humanity and divinity in the incarnation to such a degree that his Divinity is impaired. Eutyches was accused of the reverse position, that is, of destroying Christ's humanity.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: HabteSelassie on October 06, 2011, 03:49:45 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Is that some kind of triple twist you get a medal for in the Olympics?  ???
I mean that if anything, Father Peter seems to think that I am con-fusing Christ's humanity and divinity in the incarnation to such a degree that his Divinity is impaired. Eutyches was accused of the reverse position, that is, of destroying Christ's humanity.

His Divinity is not impaired.  Think scientifically again, what force keeps living cells animated? What force keep material reality in seemingly perpetual existence rather than simply for everything to stop existing? This is God, who creates and sustains everything.  So, we human beings, who exist as human beings, exist only in God's Grace.  Without God, we would simply cease to exist right? What the Fathers and folks here are trying to explain is that in the Incarnation, the humanity of Jesus Christ is perfectly mortal in the same exact sense which our own bodies are perfectly mortal, in that His Humanity fully depended upon His Divinity to even just exist.  Without God, nothing exists.  Why are we hungry? It is because we need to ingest calories to sustain our physical bodies through chemistry, what is the underlying force behind this metabolism,  indeed behind all the chemistry and physics in the Universe? God Almighty! So when Jesus hungers, it is His body that is hungry, because it is a perfectly mortal body, and like our own It needed to ingest calories to metabolize them at a cellular level into ATP to keep the cells alive.  What was the source of the existence of His human body? His own inherent Divinity, which creates and sustains all things, including Himself.

In this way, the human body of Jesus Christ can naturally hunger for food, or be wounded with pain even unto death, however it is His own Divinity which creates and sustains this human body.  We can say in our minds that He is voluntarily lowering Himself for this human body to be hungry, but then again that is not necessarily true because even in that instant where Jesus Christ in His body felt hunger or thirst for material sustenance, we know that by the natural power of His Divinity that He is at the same instant God Almighty who creates and sustains all things, including His own body. 

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: orthonorm on October 06, 2011, 03:58:27 PM
His Divinity is not impaired.  Think scientifically again

I challenge you to try to be more condescending while inaccurate at the same time.

Scientifically?


Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 06, 2011, 04:28:41 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Is that some kind of triple twist you get a medal for in the Olympics?  ???
I mean that if anything, Father Peter seems to think that I am con-fusing Christ's humanity and divinity in the incarnation to such a degree that his Divinity is impaired. Eutyches was accused of the reverse position, that is, of destroying Christ's humanity.

His Divinity is not impaired.  

I know, Habte. My point was that if I'm going to be accused of something, it would be impairing the Divinity, not separating Divinity and Humanity.

Think scientifically again, what force keeps living cells animated?
Metabolism?

Actually, Habte, I think your view is the closest to mine and Orthonorm's of anyone who's posted in this thread. But Fr. Peter's citation of the Fathers and JLatimer seem to be taking a different route. They are speaking of Christ actually overriding his human passions in specific instances, and that to allow himself to experience those passions is something he has to "check off on" moment by moment.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: orthonorm on October 06, 2011, 04:38:23 PM
Without God, nothing exists.

Because I am feeling squirrelly and all, I decided to read past your more triumphal than normal beginning.

This ties into another thread.

You believe this? Seems wrong to me.

Don't try to think scientifically about this one. It will go nowhere.

What would exist without God?



Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: JLatimer on October 06, 2011, 04:58:00 PM
Do you not think that if a member of ROCOR and the Coptic Church agree on something like this then it has a good chance of reflecting the universal Orthodox pov?
:laugh:
Lol
Post of the month nomination
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: orthonorm on October 06, 2011, 05:23:36 PM
Think scientifically again, what force keeps living cells animated?
Metabolism?

Actually, Habte, I think your view is the closest to mine and Orthonorm's of anyone who's posted in this thread. But Fr. Peter's citation of the Fathers and JLatimer seem to be taking a different route. They are speaking of Christ actually overriding his human passions in specific instances, and that to allow himself to experience those passions is something he has to "check off on" moment by moment.

Don't bring my ruminations from the place that shall be named into this! But I do feel more sympathetic to what Habte is saying (if not his method) and I think from our conversations in that place we are close as well.

Perhaps I was just generalizing from Habte's posts when I said at times I felt more close to the OOs in their expression of Christology than the EOs.

Maybe I was missing mark, as it seems the rest of his team ain't playing exactly on the same page.

But I dunno. Habte's overly refined analogy probably obscured more than it enlightened.

This is why sometimes actual talking is better. Stuff gets too refined, bloodless, and off track once people start getting into threads.

But those times of musing on Christology are past. So here we are.

Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: orthonorm on October 06, 2011, 05:24:37 PM
Do you not think that if a member of ROCOR and the Coptic Church agree on something like this then it has a good chance of reflecting the universal Orthodox pov?
:laugh:
Lol
Post of the month nomination


PtA pointing out the fallacy would have been the cherry.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: JLatimer on October 06, 2011, 05:35:45 PM
I decided to stop talking and just listen in for a while. As could be expected, my absence has yielded a much better conversation lol. So at the risk of ruining it again, I'll chime in.

Is Christ allowing his humanity to feel something in the sense that he is altering a default state of hungerless-ness, or are you saying that he *halted his divine intervention* that was suppressing his human passions?

I would endorse the latter view. A default state of hungerlessness would imply a different sort of nature. But as we all seem to agree, Christ was fully consubstantial with us, having assumed our nature: mortal by nature, capable of being wounded, subject to the blameless passions, etc.

Is this what you mean: Christ resisted hunger, as a man, until the end of forty days, because he is God by nature, an act which was worked through the operation of the Holy Spirit; and a saint could resist hunger, as a man, until the end of forty days, in the same manner as Christ, only replacing the words "by nature" with "by grace"?

This, I believe, is not however correct. What Fr. Peter is saying, based on his reading of the Fathers, with which I am in agreement, is that Christ suspended, not merely resisted hunger. I can only speculate, but I always assumed that saints such as Seraphim of Sarov on the rock experienced hunger, but resisted it. In any case, they could not suspend hunger of their own will (nor frankly could they resist it but by Grace). The Scriptures suggest and the majority of Fathers seem to teach Christ experienced hunger only after the 40 days had elapsed, at which point He resisted it successfully as He did the Devil.

It seems to me we are making progress. The only other thing I'd like to add that I think may be helpful, is that is important to remember that it is according to human nature to be divinized. I mean in terms of the image and likeness of God, in terms of the plan God had for us from the beginning. It is human nature's ultimate telos or end to be transfigured. So when we speak of Christ's Divine and human natures interpenetrating, I do not think this should be taken to mean that human nature is in any way destroyed. It is, rather, fulfilled. Does that make sense?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: JLatimer on October 06, 2011, 05:37:37 PM
Do you not think that if a member of ROCOR and the Coptic Church agree on something like this then it has a good chance of reflecting the universal Orthodox pov?
:laugh:
Lol
Post of the month nomination


PtA pointing out the fallacy would have been the cherry.

Logically bogus, but rhetorically effective. And somewhat funny.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 06, 2011, 05:44:12 PM
The only other thing I'd like to add that I think may be helpful, is that is important to remember that it is according to human nature to be divinized. I mean in terms of the image and likeness of God, in terms of the plan God had for us from the beginning. It is human nature's ultimate telos or end to be transfigured. So when we speak of Christ's Divine and human natures interpenetrating, I do not think this should be taken to mean that human nature is in any way destroyed. It is, rather, fulfilled. Does that make sense?
This is the teaching that, to me, appears to be undermined through some of the things taught in this thread.

I can only speculate, but I always assumed that saints such as Seraphim of Sarov on the rock experienced hunger, but resisted it... the Scriptures suggest and the majority of Fathers seem to teach Christ experienced hunger only after the 40 days had elapsed, at which point He resisted it successfully as He did the Devil.
Do all humans feel hunger after the same interval has passed after eating? Does one man who fasts begin hungering at the same time that another man does during his fast?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on October 06, 2011, 06:07:01 PM
I think you are missing, or failing to properly respond to, the fact that the Fathers say that Christ deliberately chose not to allow his humanity to feel hunger for 40 days.

Your position is not consistent with the Fathers as far as I can see.

I guess we need to consider what that means. Are we allowed to take up a different position? In terms of Christology I don't think we are. I certainly don't think I am able to.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 06, 2011, 06:12:54 PM
I think you are missing, or failing to properly respond to, the fact that the Fathers say that Christ deliberately chose not to allow his humanity to feel hunger for 40 days.

Your position is not consistent with the Fathers as far as I can see.
Father, I cannot properly respond to this particular teaching until it has been fully unpacked. To do so would be disingenuous of me.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: akimori makoto on October 07, 2011, 02:40:07 AM
I don't understand how not feeling hunger for forty days even qualifies as a "fast". Do the fathers universally teach that this was the Lord's experience of the desert?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 07, 2011, 02:53:33 AM
edit
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Shiny on October 07, 2011, 03:21:29 AM
What would exist without God?

It wouldn't be love.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on October 07, 2011, 05:27:28 AM
Hi Nicholas

I don't think that you diminish the divinity, but I am struggling to see where and how there is a hypostatic union of divinity and humanity in Christ according to the criticisms you have presented.

I mean that in a friendly manner and not polemically or aggressively.

How is Christ not just or simply or merely a man with a connection somehow to the divine in your thinking?

When I was an Evangelical I used to think that God the Word was 'up there' somewhere, and that Jesus Christ was 'down here' and that they were somehow united in a personal sense. I was more or less taught such a view at Bible College, but I rather resisted it there as I had come to understand that Jesus Christ IS THE SAME Word of God IN AND THROUGH a true humanity.

I think it is important to insist on the IN AND THROUGH. He is not God the Word stuck in a human existence. He is God the Word taking up and owning his own humanity THROUGH WHICH he exercises his divine will and purposes in hypostatic union of divinity and humanity.

Where do you see the divine in Jesus Christ? How do you see your description as different from that which might say that Jesus Christ, a man, was an iconic representation of God the Word in flesh, but was a human individual who was not the same in inner identity as God the Word? How do you prevent your description so isolating Jesus Christ from union with the divine nature that he is only a simple man, only a bare man, and essentially a teacher rather than the means of God acting in power in the world?

These are not accusations, just an opportunity for you to unpack what you mean a bit more clearly.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: JLatimer on October 07, 2011, 09:04:21 AM
I think it is important to insist on the IN AND THROUGH. He is not God the Word stuck in a human existence. He is God the Word taking up and owning his own humanity THROUGH WHICH he exercises his divine will and purposes in hypostatic union of divinity and humanity.

Well said.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on October 07, 2011, 04:26:11 PM
Nicholas,

What do you make of this passage?

For it was right that the flesh should be moved but subject to the divine will, according to the most wise Athanasius.  For as his flesh is called and is the flesh of God the Word, so also the natural will of his flesh is called and is the proper will of God the Word, as he himself says:  “I came down from heaven, not that I might do mine own will but the will of the Father which sent me!” where he calls his own will the will of his flesh, inasmuch as his flesh was also his own.


I have always read this as stating that the flesh of our Lord is indeed subject to the divine will, the action of which in his own humanity, does not destory the humanity but deifies it. The natural human will of the Word is the own will of God the Word. It is the same will but humanised. It is not a bare human will, but it is the human will subject to the will of the Word.

Do you read this differently? Do you agree with my reading of it?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 07, 2011, 05:17:51 PM
Nicholas,

What do you make of this passage?

For it was right that the flesh should be moved but subject to the divine will, according to the most wise Athanasius.  For as his flesh is called and is the flesh of God the Word, so also the natural will of his flesh is called and is the proper will of God the Word, as he himself says:  “I came down from heaven, not that I might do mine own will but the will of the Father which sent me!” where he calls his own will the will of his flesh, inasmuch as his flesh was also his own.


I have always read this as stating that the flesh of our Lord is indeed subject to the divine will, the action of which in his own humanity, does not destory the humanity but deifies it. The natural human will of the Word is the own will of God the Word. It is the same will but humanised. It is not a bare human will, but it is the human will subject to the will of the Word.

Do you read this differently? Do you agree with my reading of it?
First off, I think it is important not to con-fuse "Christ/The Logos [The Person]" and "The Divine Will". God the Son has a Divine Will but is not "Divine Will" in some divine simplicity sense.

I affirm that the Son of God made man humbled himself, taking the form of a servant, and, as man, subjected Himself to the Divine Will of the Father, which that self-same Word does and shares from all eternity. And I also affirm that there is no interval during which God the Word made man did not subject himself to the Will of the Father.

I think that Christ's incarnation, life, death and resurrection involved the deification of his humanity, but not in a manner alien to the deification of our humanity as well.

Father Peter, what do you make of Akimori's comment above?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: JLatimer on October 07, 2011, 06:00:29 PM
I think that Christ's incarnation, life, death and resurrection involved the deification of his humanity, but not in a manner alien to the deification of our humanity as well.

Can it be different without being alien? The Hypostatic Union is unique; it is different from the energetic union we experience with God. At the same time, the Hypostatic Union is, so to speak, analogous to our union with God, and indeed provides the very basis for our union with God.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: JLatimer on October 07, 2011, 06:35:55 PM
I think it is important to insist on the IN AND THROUGH. He is not God the Word stuck in a human existence. He is God the Word taking up and owning his own humanity THROUGH WHICH he exercises his divine will and purposes in hypostatic union of divinity and humanity.

Father Peter,

I want to see if I'm understanding this statement of yours properly. Would you agree with the following?

We know the essence (ousia) of a thing by its energies, operations, or actions. In the case of Christ, we have one personal subject performing actions that pertain to humanity and actions that pertain to Divinity*. Therefore, we conclude that this one personal subject is both human in essence and Divine in essence**: He is the Theanthropos, or Godman. In the Incarnate Word of God, humanity and Divinity are indissolubly united in one Hypostasis. The meaning of this is that when Jesus does 'something Divine', such as walking on water, He is humanly being Divine, so to speak; and when He does 'something human', such as weeping, He is Divinely being human.

*By 'actions that pertain to Divinity' I mean something very specific. When Christ heals, for example, He does so by a word, on His own authority, and not, for example, by praying to God that the sick might be healed. We have saints that work wonders, and in a sense we might say that in so doing, they perform 'actions that pertain to Divinity'; however, none of them works wonders on their own authority, by their own will, but rather by the will of God and by His Grace. The saints participate in the Energies of God, but not in His Essence. Now, if there was nothing exceptional about the Divine actions of Jesus, if they could always have been attributed to Grace, we would never, so to speak, have recognized that He is both human and Divine in essence. He would simply be the greatest saint, rather than the Godman. So by 'actions that pertain to Divinity', I mean actions that unmistakably show Jesus to be God.

**I stress in essence, because although through the saving work of Christ all men are called into participation in the Divine life, becoming by Grace what Christ is by nature (theosis), they do so by participation in the Energies of God, not His Essence.

Am I on the right track here?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: JLatimer on October 07, 2011, 07:19:47 PM
BTW, when I say 'humanly being Divine', I do not mean it in the sense of 'a man' acting Divinely, but rather, as you say, in the sense of the Word acting Divinely in and through His own humanity. That is to say that Jesus' conspicuously Divine acts are the acts of the Godman. I hope I am making sense.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on October 08, 2011, 04:35:50 AM
Dear JLatimer,

I understand and agree with all your last posts. I think that these sort of terms are necessary to preserve both the integrity of those natures of which Christ is, and the hypostatic unity.

I don't sense that you and I have any disagreement at all. Which is interesting.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on October 08, 2011, 04:45:36 AM
I guess I still want to know where Nicholas sees the divinity of Christ operating in union with his own humanity?

Where is the theanthropos? or the theanthropic energy?

What do you make of those terms?

Father Peter
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 08, 2011, 05:21:56 AM
I guess I still want to know where Nicholas sees the divinity of Christ operating in union with his own humanity?
Everywhere.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on October 08, 2011, 05:33:53 AM
Do you have some examples
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 08, 2011, 05:36:29 AM
Do you have some examples

Everything Christ did was done theandrically. Everything reported in the Gospels.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Aidan on October 08, 2011, 06:43:18 AM
Sorry, I shouldn't be joining in with these discussions. I can feel my brain having difficulty coping. One minute I think I understand what we are talking about and then...

However, I have always clung desperately to Archimandrite Justin Popovitch's writings. I lit up when mention was made of Godman.
So how does this short link rest with our OO brethren?
http://www.sv-luka.org/library/perfectgod_jp.htm
 
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on October 08, 2011, 07:42:28 AM
Dear Aidan

Yes, I hear this short homily with agreement.

Nicholas,

I am still not at all sure how you see the Divinity of Christ operating in and through the humanity of Christ. The Fathers are agreed that it is a divine act for Christ to walk on water, while it is human to walk. In the instance of Christ walking on water how was this achieved? Was it by his own divine power operating in and through his humanity as he himself willed, or was it by the act of divine grace acting upon his humanity?

Father Peter
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 08, 2011, 02:52:53 PM
Was it by his own divine power operating in and through his humanity as he himself willed, or was it by the act of divine grace acting upon his humanity?
I think it was His own divine power operating in and through his humanity by nature, in the same manner that His divine power operates in and through a saint's humanity by grace. I also believe that everything God the Son does he does by, in and through the operation of the Holy Spirit in and to the glory of God the Father.

Fr. Peter, what exactly do you think it is that humans are called to do? Are we not ultimately called to name the beasts of the cosmos, to command the elements? As Eusebius of Caesarea said, "...man and God shall live together to do marvellous deeds."

Also, what do you make of Akimori's comment?

I don't understand how not feeling hunger for forty days even qualifies as a "fast". Do the fathers universally teach that this was the Lord's experience of the desert?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on October 08, 2011, 03:52:18 PM
If you are happy saying that Christ worked wonders by his own divine power in his own humanity then why do you have a problem accepting that by his divine power he caused his humanity not to feel hunger for forty days, as the Fathers teach?

Certainly St Cyril, St Basil and St Severus all agree on the interpretation of his choosing not to allow his humanity to feel hunger for forty days.

Let me quote Leontius of Jerusalem, a quite important Chalcedonian writer..

But it is confessed that, in assuming our nature (fusika), the Lord was not deprived of what is above our nature (fusin). Much shows this: his conception without seed which is different from the way that we come into being, and his virginal birth, as well as his fasting for forty days wihout feeling hunger, and such like. Therefore in Christ we believe that this was arranged in a way that transcends our nature, so that even as his flesh existed, it was also ensouled, and the flesh of the divine Logos was ensouled with a rational and thinking soul.

So it seems to me that there is a continuous patristic tradition of teaching that divinely Christ did not feel any hunger during his forty days of fasting which reaches at the least from the Cappadocians, through St Cyril, and then through St Severus and Leontius of Jerusalem into both the OO and EO traditions.

I don't see that Leontius says anything here that St Severus would not also accept.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 08, 2011, 03:53:39 PM
If you are happy saying that Christ worked wonders by his own divine power in his own humanity then why do you have a problem accepting that by his divine power he caused his humanity not to feel hunger for forty days, as the Fathers teach?
Do you think that no other human could fast forty days without experiencing hunger and/or that it is a supernatural feat?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on October 08, 2011, 03:57:13 PM
No other human could fast forty days without feeling hunger by his own will and his own divine action.

Only Christ can choose to do something which is beyond human nature and it is done immediately by his own divine power acting in and through his own humanity.

For every other one who is human it is necessary for the external will of God to choose to act for us in some way and then act upon our humanity.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: JLatimer on October 08, 2011, 07:22:34 PM
If you are happy saying that Christ worked wonders by his own divine power in his own humanity then why do you have a problem accepting that by his divine power he caused his humanity not to feel hunger for forty days, as the Fathers teach?
Do you think that no other human could fast forty days without experiencing hunger and/or that it is a supernatural feat?

I would like to hear your answer to Father's question.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Severian on October 08, 2011, 07:43:47 PM
Yes, as has been mentioned, some Ascetics do not feel hunger by virtue of God's grace and outward unity with them. Whereas in the case of Christ, He refrained from hunger by virtue of the hypostatic union between the Divine and human energies. That is, He refrained from hunger by virtue of His own Divine power.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: JLatimer on October 08, 2011, 08:13:07 PM
I think it was His own divine power operating in and through his humanity by nature, in the same manner that His divine power operates in and through a saint's humanity by grace.

Nicholas,

Could you unpack this statement a bit? I'm confused as to how you are meaning 'by nature' and 'by grace'.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Severian on October 08, 2011, 08:16:35 PM
I think it was His own divine power operating in and through his humanity by nature, in the same manner that His divine power operates in and through a saint's humanity by grace.

Nicholas,

Could you unpack this statement a bit? I'm confused as to how you are meaning 'by nature' and 'by grace'.
I do not wish to speak on his behalf, but I think Nicholas is saying that Christ, through his Divine energy, uses his human energy to perform all his own acts "by nature", that is, by virtue of the natural and hypostatic union. Whereas, in the case of a Saint, God's Divine energy operates through them "by grace", that is by virtue of an external unity.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: HabteSelassie on October 10, 2011, 01:16:21 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


I think it was His own divine power operating in and through his humanity by nature, in the same manner that His divine power operates in and through a saint's humanity by grace. I also believe that everything God the Son does he does by, in and through the operation of the Holy Spirit in and to the glory of God the Father.


Slow your roll there, two things.  The deification and Grace experienced by the Saints is different from the Divine-Human hypostatic Union in the Person of Jesus Christ. They are similar in mechanics, that is in the context of the iron and heat analogy, however there is a difference, because in this analogy of Deification the heat source is the Divine which is separate from the iron substantially and physically, however Christ is Divine and so in His Incarnation is His own heat source to ignite the iron of His inherent Humanity.  Whereas we humans and the Saints, must gain His Grace as an outside heat source to deify and excite our humanity towards His Divinity.

You said it correctly the first way, that by His own Divine power operating in and through his humanity by nature, but you must be clear.  By humanity you must be specifying "human body/flesh" to be on conformity to the Fathers.  His Human Nature and Divine Nature cooperate in synergy because they exist in Union.  Therefore Christ the Son does not need to operate in and through the Holy Spirit, rather Christ is the Word, the Second Person of the Trinity and acts on His own, or more specifically, all Three cooperate as One Divine operation.  It sounds that you were insinuating that Christ acts by the Grace of the Holy Spirit, as do the Saints, and that is inaccurate, that is the Adoptionist heresy which teaches that Christ is a human who inhereted by adoption or by unction of the Spirit Divine Grace to become Divine.  Jesus Christ is the Word, who has always existed in One Essence with the Father and the Holy Spirit, but He does not strictly need either of These, because He is God outright by His own Nature as well.

In regards to Father Peter's points about the Great Fast, remember that the Fathers are saying that in time Jesus Christ in His Flesh chose to perform a Divine act and sustain His own Humanity (which was inherently weak and needed sustenance) just as He did in other instances in the Gospel like in John 4

Quote
Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?” “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.


They are speaking of Christ actually overriding his human passions in specific instances, and that to allow himself to experience those passions is something he has to "check off on" moment by moment.

See, if you liked my metabolism analogy, then you should start to see how they both conform equally.

Yes, Jesus Christ has a perfect Humanity which must be sustained perpetually by the power of His Divinity, just as our own mortal human bodies require the Grace of God to sustain our own existence, otherwise we would simply dematerialize into nonexistence.  However, Jesus Christ did not forgo His Divinity in the Incarnation, He is always Divine.  He sustains Himself.  Yes, He subjects Himself to feel the passions of our hunger or pain, however He is Divine can ALWAYS negate these in any instant.  Yes then, He precisely has to "check off/on" the momentary weaknesses of His Humanity in regards to the passions.  When I was explaining how His Humanity is real, it is because like our own Humanity it requires the Divine power of God to sustain Its own existence.  Again, Jesus Christ, IS GOD, and therefore He sustains Himself by His own power.  This is how His humanity is always real, always perfect, always human, in that it is always and perpetually mortal and is ever dependent upon the Divine power to be sustained into existence.  
However, in being incorporated into the Divine Union in the Incarnation, Jesus Christ has a peculiar Humanity, in that it is perfectly mortal in the same mechanical sense as our own, and yet in being inherently interconnected with the source of the Divine, even His humanity becomes part of a self-existing cohesion.  He then does not strictly need food, or further strictly feels pain, however in being perfectly Human He is and remains capable of these by His Will, if He chooses to subject Himself to them.  He is mortal, but not forced into our passions, these are voluntary aspects of His Will.  When He hungers, it is a chose to feel this hunger, otherwise He can forgo the passion as the Fathers suggest regarding the 40 days.  He is still mortally human and yet Divine, regardless if He does not need physical food or ATP chemical energy to keep the metabolism of His bodily cells animate, He still needs His own Divinity to simply exist.  See, in our fully human state, we need BOTH the chemical energy as food and also the Grace of His Divinity to sustain our very existence.


stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: JLatimer on October 10, 2011, 02:16:37 PM
In addition to the iron and fire analogy, St. Cyril uses the example of the Burning Bush to illustrate how, in the Hypostatic Union, the Divine and human natures remain intact and unconfused; but with the human nature being transfigured by its union with the Divine:

Quote from: On the Unity of Christ
He [did not] regard the economy as unacceptable by disdaining the limitations involved in the self-emptying.... Godhead is one thing, and manhood is another thing, considered in the perspective of their respective and intrinsic beings, but in the case of Christ they came together in a mysterious and incomprehensible union without confusion or change.... If they think that because the nature of man is as nothing before the divine pre-eminence, then this means that it must be "hidden away" and overwhelmed,... we reply: "You are mistaken".... It was not impossible to God, in his loving-kindness, to make himself capable of bearing the limitations of the manhood.... He came down in the form of fire onto the bush in the desert, and the fire played upon the shrub but did not consume it.... How did this inflammable substance endure the assaults of the flame? ...this event was a type of a mystery, of how the divine nature of the Word supported the limitations of the manhood; because he chose to.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 21, 2011, 03:39:29 PM
I do not wish to speak on his behalf, but I think Nicholas is saying that Christ, through his Divine energy, uses his human energy to perform all his own acts "by nature", that is, by virtue of the natural and hypostatic union. Whereas, in the case of a Saint, God's Divine energy operates through them "by grace", that is by virtue of an external unity.
Why can't Christ do both?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Shanghaiski on October 21, 2011, 04:15:50 PM
I do not wish to speak on his behalf, but I think Nicholas is saying that Christ, through his Divine energy, uses his human energy to perform all his own acts "by nature", that is, by virtue of the natural and hypostatic union. Whereas, in the case of a Saint, God's Divine energy operates through them "by grace", that is by virtue of an external unity.
Why can't Christ do both?

The hypostatic union is of a different character than the union of God with a saint by Grace. So, while He, I suppose, could do something through His humanity by Grace, it would sort of be superfluous (for lack of a more accurate term).
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 21, 2011, 04:18:46 PM
I do not wish to speak on his behalf, but I think Nicholas is saying that Christ, through his Divine energy, uses his human energy to perform all his own acts "by nature", that is, by virtue of the natural and hypostatic union. Whereas, in the case of a Saint, God's Divine energy operates through them "by grace", that is by virtue of an external unity.
Why can't Christ do both?

The hypostatic union is of a different character than the union of God with a saint by Grace. So, while He, I suppose, could do something through His humanity by Grace, it would sort of be superfluous (for lack of a more accurate term).
Did the Holy Spirit descend upon Christ as a demo, or truly?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Shanghaiski on October 21, 2011, 04:23:33 PM
I do not wish to speak on his behalf, but I think Nicholas is saying that Christ, through his Divine energy, uses his human energy to perform all his own acts "by nature", that is, by virtue of the natural and hypostatic union. Whereas, in the case of a Saint, God's Divine energy operates through them "by grace", that is by virtue of an external unity.
Why can't Christ do both?

The hypostatic union is of a different character than the union of God with a saint by Grace. So, while He, I suppose, could do something through His humanity by Grace, it would sort of be superfluous (for lack of a more accurate term).
Did the Holy Spirit descend upon Christ as a demo, or truly?

But what does the descent of the Holy Spirit mean? (I ask this sincerely from you and anyone else. I would be interested to know.)

From the Incarnation, He was fully God.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 21, 2011, 04:28:32 PM
I do not wish to speak on his behalf, but I think Nicholas is saying that Christ, through his Divine energy, uses his human energy to perform all his own acts "by nature", that is, by virtue of the natural and hypostatic union. Whereas, in the case of a Saint, God's Divine energy operates through them "by grace", that is by virtue of an external unity.
Why can't Christ do both?

The hypostatic union is of a different character than the union of God with a saint by Grace. So, while He, I suppose, could do something through His humanity by Grace, it would sort of be superfluous (for lack of a more accurate term).
Did the Holy Spirit descend upon Christ as a demo, or truly?

But what does the descent of the Holy Spirit mean? (I ask this sincerely from you and anyone else. I would be interested to know.)

From the Incarnation, He was fully God.
God knows all things.

The Incarnate God grew in Wisdom and Stature and probably thought that mustard seeds were the smallest seeds in the world.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 21, 2011, 04:31:32 PM
But what does the descent of the Holy Spirit mean? (I ask this sincerely from you and anyone else. I would be interested to know.)
I believe there is a sense, and we must be careful here, because the adoptionists fed off of this back in the day;

But there is a sense that Christ's Divine Sonship was made manifest at his baptism. It was the mystical beginning of his ministry. Something actually happened, it was not a demo. Of course from eternity he had the Holy Spirit indwelling him in Perichoresis.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on October 21, 2011, 04:34:34 PM
What do you mean that the Holy Spirit indwelt the Word from eternity?

What do you find the Fathers saying about the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Christ in the waters of the Jordan?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 21, 2011, 04:51:06 PM
What do you mean that the Holy Spirit indwelt the Word from eternity?

"The Hypostases [of the Trinity] dwell and are established firmly in one another. For they are inseparable and cannot part from one another, but keep to their separate courses within one another, without coalescing or mingling, but cleaving to each other. For the Son is in the Father and the Spirit; and the Spirit in the Father and the Son; and the Father in the Son and the Spirit, but there is no coalescence or commingling or confusion."

 -St. John of Damascus
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on October 21, 2011, 04:58:01 PM
I think you are confusing the relations of the Divine Trinity in their Divinity with the relation of the Holy Spirit to Christ in the economy. They are not the same things.

John of Damascus is not talking about the descent of the Holy Spirit in the Jordan. I sense that you are wanting to say that somehow the man Jesus Christ received some new relation with God at this point?

I am asking what you find the Fathers saying about THIS relation.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 21, 2011, 05:01:02 PM
I think you are confusing the relations of the Divine Trinity in their Divinity with the relation of the Holy Spirit to Christ in the economy. They are not the same things.
I didn't say they were. I was saying that the Logos in eternity was indwelt by the Holy Spirit. I said this to avoid implying that Christ was not God but rather a man only who first encountered the Holy Spirit at baptism.

I sense that you are wanting to say that somehow the man Jesus Christ received some new relation with God at this point?
No. I'm saying that the Incarnate Logos manifested his Sonship at baptism and something actually occurred, it wasn't just a demo for humans and the gospel writers.

I am asking what you find the Fathers saying about THIS relation.
Father, I don't know, and I don't think it's fair to turn every discussion into a patristics fest.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: minasoliman on October 21, 2011, 05:02:11 PM
Here's what St. Cyril says about the Holy Spirit's role in the Jordan River:

Quote from: Sermon 12 of the Gospel of Luke (http://tertullian.org/fathers/cyril_on_luke_02_sermons_12_25.htm)
But He Who is the Firstborn among us, when He became so among many brethren, and yielded Himself to emptiness, was the first to receive the Spirit, although Himself the Giver of the Spirit, that this dignity, and the grace of fellowship with the Holy Ghost might reach us by His means. Something like this Paul also teaches us, where speaking both of Him and us, he says, "For both He that sanctifieth, and they that are sanctified, are all of One: for which reason He is not ashamed to call them His brethren, saying, I will declare Thy name to My brethren." For as being in no degree ashamed to call us brethren, whose likeness He took, therefore, having transferred to Himself our poverty, He is sanctified with us, although Himself the Sanctifier of all creation; that thou mightest not see Him refusing the measure of human nature, Who consented for the salvation and life of all to become man.

When therefore the wise Evangelist says of Him, "But Jesus being full of the Spirit returned from the Jordan," be not offended, nor err from the mark in thy inward thoughts, and wander from the doctrine of the truth, as to the way and manner in which the Word, Who is God, was sanctified: but rather understand the wisdom of the economy, by reason of which also He is the object of our admiration. For He was made flesh and became man, not to avoid whatever belongs to man's estate, and despise our poverty, but that we might be enriched with what is His, by His having been made like unto us in every particular, sin only excepted. He is sanctified therefore as man, but sanctifies as God: for being by nature God, He was made man.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 21, 2011, 05:04:19 PM
I would agree with St. Cyril there.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: minasoliman on October 21, 2011, 05:12:07 PM
I would agree with St. Cyril there.

Don't forget He is doing this not for Himself.  When He is baptized or when the Holy Spirit descends in Him, it is we who are baptized in Him, and who receives the Holy Spirit in Him.  I read this from the Cappadocians somewhere.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 21, 2011, 05:50:03 PM
I would agree with St. Cyril there.

Don't forget He is doing this not for Himself.
Everything Christ did was for us. Even when he ate to sustain himself, or when he slept.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on October 21, 2011, 06:14:20 PM
Nicholas. it is not possible to be Orthodox without always turning first and last to the Fathers, otherwise we are just rather exotic Protestants.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: JLatimer on October 22, 2011, 10:08:25 AM
I do not wish to speak on his behalf, but I think Nicholas is saying that Christ, through his Divine energy, uses his human energy to perform all his own acts "by nature", that is, by virtue of the natural and hypostatic union. Whereas, in the case of a Saint, God's Divine energy operates through them "by grace", that is by virtue of an external unity.
Why can't Christ do both?

The hypostatic union is of a different character than the union of God with a saint by Grace. So, while He, I suppose, could do something through His humanity by Grace, it would sort of be superfluous (for lack of a more accurate term).
Did the Holy Spirit descend upon Christ as a demo, or truly?

But what does the descent of the Holy Spirit mean? (I ask this sincerely from you and anyone else. I would be interested to know.)

From the Incarnation, He was fully God.
God knows all things.

The Incarnate God grew in Wisdom and Stature and probably thought that mustard seeds were the smallest seeds in the world.

He was likely familiar with smaller seeds. Mustard seeds are quite big.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: JLatimer on October 22, 2011, 10:13:53 AM
No. I'm saying that the Incarnate Logos manifested his Sonship at baptism and something actually occurred, it wasn't just a demo for humans and the gospel writers.

What is the difference between a manifestation and a demonstration as you see it?

When you say something "really occurred", can you describe or explain what you think that something is?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: JLatimer on October 22, 2011, 10:32:59 AM
Here's what St. Cyril says about the Holy Spirit's role in the Jordan River:

Quote from: Sermon 12 of the Gospel of Luke (http://tertullian.org/fathers/cyril_on_luke_02_sermons_12_25.htm)
But He Who is the Firstborn among us, when He became so among many brethren, and yielded Himself to emptiness, was the first to receive the Spirit, although Himself the Giver of the Spirit, that this dignity, and the grace of fellowship with the Holy Ghost might reach us by His means. Something like this Paul also teaches us, where speaking both of Him and us, he says, "For both He that sanctifieth, and they that are sanctified, are all of One: for which reason He is not ashamed to call them His brethren, saying, I will declare Thy name to My brethren." For as being in no degree ashamed to call us brethren, whose likeness He took, therefore, having transferred to Himself our poverty, He is sanctified with us, although Himself the Sanctifier of all creation; that thou mightest not see Him refusing the measure of human nature, Who consented for the salvation and life of all to become man.

When therefore the wise Evangelist says of Him, "But Jesus being full of the Spirit returned from the Jordan," be not offended, nor err from the mark in thy inward thoughts, and wander from the doctrine of the truth, as to the way and manner in which the Word, Who is God, was sanctified: but rather understand the wisdom of the economy, by reason of which also He is the object of our admiration. For He was made flesh and became man, not to avoid whatever belongs to man's estate, and despise our poverty, but that we might be enriched with what is His, by His having been made like unto us in every particular, sin only excepted. He is sanctified therefore as man, but sanctifies as God: for being by nature God, He was made man.

In Homily 17 on John, Chrysostom says,

Quote
How then did you know Him? By the descent of the Spirit, he says. But again, lest any one should suppose that he was in need of the Spirit as we are, hear how he removes the suspicion, by showing that the descent of the Spirit was only to declare Christ. For having said, And I knew Him not, he adds, But He that sent me to baptize with water the Same said unto me, Upon whom you shall see the Spirit descending and remaining on Him, the same is He which baptizes with the Holy Ghost. John 1:33

Do you see that this was the work of the Spirit, to point out Christ? The testimony of John was indeed not to be suspected, but wishing to make it yet more credible, he leads it up to God and the Holy Spirit. For when John had testified to a thing so great and wonderful, so fit to astonish all his hearers, that He alone took on Him the sins of all the world, and that the greatness of the gift sufficed for so great a ransom, afterwards he proves this assertion. And the proof is that He is the Son of God, and that He needed not baptism, and that the object of the descent of the Spirit was only to make Him known. For it was not in the power of John to give the Spirit, as those who were baptized by him show when they say, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. Acts 19:2 In truth, Christ needed not baptism, neither his nor any other; but rather baptism needed the power of Christ. For that which was wanting was the crowning blessing of all, that he who was baptized should be deemed worthy of the Spirit; this free gift then of the Spirit He added when He came.

Mina,

Can you (or anyone else) help me put these two Patristic statements together?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on October 22, 2011, 11:50:16 AM
I thought I'd look at the Hymns of St Severus and see what he writes about the baptism of our Lord. He wrote quite a few hymns on the Epiphany and they contain various reflections which are relevant to a consideration of 'what was taking place?'.

#15. "..by going down and being baptized in the river Jordan he hallowed the nature of water: and though he is the Son by nature, he receives testimony by the voice of the Father which came from above; and though he is himself the giver of the Spirit, he received the descent of the Holy Spirit. For he that lacketh not, who appeared as one that lacketh and was named the second Adam, became in all things a beginning to us.."
 
It seems to me that this hymn is stressing that in baptism Christ, the incarnate Word who is the giver of the Spirit, receives his own Spirit so that we might also receive the Spirit. Just as he is baptised, not for any sin, but to prepare the baptismal waters for our baptism.

#16. "..he.. went down into the river Jordan to John, inasmuch as he wished by his baptism to open before us an ascent leading up to heaven, and to lay in advance a sure foundation for the gift of adoption, and to bring the Holy Spirit upon flesh, and to crush the head of the evil one, the supraensual serpent, upon the waters.."

This hymn also uses the idea of the Word experiencing these things for OUR benefit, not his own. He pours the Spirit upon himself so that being united with his humanity we might also receive that same Spirit. He gpes down into the water that he may lead US up to heaven. Everything is for the sake of our salvation and for the will of God. It is not a necessity placed upon him because of his humanity. He is not baptised because he himself is sinful. He does not receive the Holy Spirit because he lacks it. In all cases it is for our sake and our own deficiency not his own.

#17. "..For our sake again, who are guilty persons subject to sin, he is baptized like the rest in the river Jordan like one guilty of sin, not because he needed cleansing, but that he might himself cleanse and hallow the water by his baptism, and illuminate the divine laver, which shone with the rays of the triple and single light of the Trinity through the goodwill of the Father, through the condescension of himself the Son, and through the descent of the Holy Spirit, which he received for our sake, when it flew like adove and came upon hm, though it is in him in essence.."

This again shows that St Severus believe it is for our sake, and not his own, that he is baptised and recieves the Holy Spirit, which he does not lack. This is all by way of a preparation for our own baptisms in which we will share in the life of the Word Incarnate.

#18. "..In proof that it is for our cleansing only and not from need that Jesus, who is God and the Word, our Saviour, is baptized, let us listen to the voice of John... how could he who is able to cleanse the Baptist himself be reckoned among the rest of those that are cleansed?"

Again we see that St Severus does not see that the baptism of Christ is based on any need in himself or in his humanity, but that it is for our sake. Several other of his hymns echo this same point of the baptism of Christ being a hallowing of the waters for our sake, and the beginning of our cleansing.
 
#22. "..he did not come to receive any addition.."

This reminds us the the Word lacks nothing in Himself or in his humanity.

#24. "..the Son and Word of God who became incarnate and became mam truly without variation from a mother standing in the water to be baptized, and making the water itself a sourec of life, inasmuch as he is himself by nature a fountain of life, and showing the Father, as he crise from above, by saying 'Thou art my beloved Son', bestowing the beginning of adoption on us ourselves and not on Christ for he who is himself alone a Son by nature needed not to become a son; and showing the Holy Spirit flying like a dove and coming from on high, and perfecting for us by his grace the gift of the laver of regeneration. For all things which he has in his essence as God, Christ received himself for us by dispensation, out of his great mercy"

Just as he did not need to become a son, so he did not need to recieve the Holy Spirit, but he was washed in the waters of baptism, given the title of sonship, and received the Holy Spirit entirely for us. In your the terms of Nicholas, it was a demonstration of the Trinitarian economy of our salvation. It was not for any need which Christ experienced as man. It was 'in all things...for us' and not for himself.

Let me also quote from #25 just because it says so much about the true and perfect humanity of Christ in which we believe.

#25. "..The Son and the Word of God, after he had of his own will lived with men as man since he indeed became incarnate and became man without variation, was standing on the bank of the river Jordan as an ordinary man among many; and John also saw him with the eye of the spirit and revealed and pointed him out as with the finger to the multitude...Therefore he that is complete by nature and came for our sake to fulfil all things, he of his own store gave and imparted divine baptism, while he himself received nothing from it, except our salvation, as the only good and merciful one".

We see here that far from receiving anything in baptism, rather Christ, the Word Incarnate, is giving of 'his own store', that is, from his own divine resources and authority. By participating in the Triune act of the Epiphany the Trinity act together to work out our salvation and prepare a means of reconciliation. Christ is revealed, but there has been no change in who he is. He has received nothing new at all.

How can he who is the giver of the Spirit receive it from another? Rather he himself sends his own Spirit upon his own flesh, not that he lacked the Spirit in any sense, but so that it might also be poured out on all those who would be united to his own flesh in their own baptism.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: minasoliman on October 22, 2011, 01:52:24 PM
Here's what St. Cyril says about the Holy Spirit's role in the Jordan River:

Quote from: Sermon 12 of the Gospel of Luke (http://tertullian.org/fathers/cyril_on_luke_02_sermons_12_25.htm)
But He Who is the Firstborn among us, when He became so among many brethren, and yielded Himself to emptiness, was the first to receive the Spirit, although Himself the Giver of the Spirit, that this dignity, and the grace of fellowship with the Holy Ghost might reach us by His means. Something like this Paul also teaches us, where speaking both of Him and us, he says, "For both He that sanctifieth, and they that are sanctified, are all of One: for which reason He is not ashamed to call them His brethren, saying, I will declare Thy name to My brethren." For as being in no degree ashamed to call us brethren, whose likeness He took, therefore, having transferred to Himself our poverty, He is sanctified with us, although Himself the Sanctifier of all creation; that thou mightest not see Him refusing the measure of human nature, Who consented for the salvation and life of all to become man.

When therefore the wise Evangelist says of Him, "But Jesus being full of the Spirit returned from the Jordan," be not offended, nor err from the mark in thy inward thoughts, and wander from the doctrine of the truth, as to the way and manner in which the Word, Who is God, was sanctified: but rather understand the wisdom of the economy, by reason of which also He is the object of our admiration. For He was made flesh and became man, not to avoid whatever belongs to man's estate, and despise our poverty, but that we might be enriched with what is His, by His having been made like unto us in every particular, sin only excepted. He is sanctified therefore as man, but sanctifies as God: for being by nature God, He was made man.

In Homily 17 on John, Chrysostom says,

Quote
How then did you know Him? By the descent of the Spirit, he says. But again, lest any one should suppose that he was in need of the Spirit as we are, hear how he removes the suspicion, by showing that the descent of the Spirit was only to declare Christ. For having said, And I knew Him not, he adds, But He that sent me to baptize with water the Same said unto me, Upon whom you shall see the Spirit descending and remaining on Him, the same is He which baptizes with the Holy Ghost. John 1:33

Do you see that this was the work of the Spirit, to point out Christ? The testimony of John was indeed not to be suspected, but wishing to make it yet more credible, he leads it up to God and the Holy Spirit. For when John had testified to a thing so great and wonderful, so fit to astonish all his hearers, that He alone took on Him the sins of all the world, and that the greatness of the gift sufficed for so great a ransom, afterwards he proves this assertion. And the proof is that He is the Son of God, and that He needed not baptism, and that the object of the descent of the Spirit was only to make Him known. For it was not in the power of John to give the Spirit, as those who were baptized by him show when they say, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. Acts 19:2 In truth, Christ needed not baptism, neither his nor any other; but rather baptism needed the power of Christ. For that which was wanting was the crowning blessing of all, that he who was baptized should be deemed worthy of the Spirit; this free gift then of the Spirit He added when He came.

Mina,

Can you (or anyone else) help me put these two Patristic statements together?


I think they're quite complementary.  St. Cyril elsewhere does not deny that Christ is not in need of baptism.  But that it's done so that WE are receiving the Holy Spirit IN HIM.  If anything, yes, baptism did become efficacious only when He entered the waters to bless it.  It is why "the free gift then of the Spirit He added" is no different than saying, "we are sanctified in Him when His very own Holy Spirit sanctifies His flesh."

I think the quotes from St. Severus Fr. Peter provided have a nice way to see how both St. Cyril and St. John can be complimentary.  He both hallowed the waters for baptism and hallowed all humanity in His flesh.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: JLatimer on October 22, 2011, 02:17:28 PM
He does not receive the Holy Spirit because he lacks it.

This idea reminds me if the Liturgy, where Christ offers, is offered to, and is Himself the Offering.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on October 22, 2011, 03:36:50 PM
JLatimer,

Yes, I agree with you. I do think that it is necessary to describe the Word Incarnate in these terms. He is not a 'bare' man with need of grace. Neither is he 'bare' divinity merely appearing as human. Rather he is himself God and man and himself sustains and fills his own humanity with his own divine presence and his own Spirit.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: JLatimer on October 31, 2011, 06:23:08 PM
Bumping this because I am still confused about how to describe 'what happened' at the Baptism.

Did Christ receive the Holy Spirit in His human nature?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: ialmisry on October 31, 2011, 06:30:33 PM
Bumping this because I am still confused about how to describe 'what happened' at the Baptism.

Did Christ receive the Holy Spirit in His human nature?
Yes, I can't find the exact quote at the time, but it is in here "On the Unity of Christ"
http://books.google.com/books?id=x0Lnu_cm-GAC&printsec=frontcover&dq=On+the+Unity+of+christ+baptism&hl=en#v=snippet&q=Spirit&f=false
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: JLatimer on October 31, 2011, 06:32:55 PM
Bumping this because I am still confused about how to describe 'what happened' at the Baptism.

Did Christ receive the Holy Spirit in His human nature?
Yes, I can't find the exact quote at the time, but it is in here "On the Unity of Christ"
http://books.google.com/books?id=x0Lnu_cm-GAC&printsec=frontcover&dq=On+the+Unity+of+christ+baptism&hl=en#v=snippet&q=Spirit&f=false

Okay. That's what I thought, and what the Patristic texts posted here seem to say. But I'd like to have a better grasp of what that means. Was His flesh lacking the Holy Spirit beforehand?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: ialmisry on October 31, 2011, 07:23:37 PM
Bumping this because I am still confused about how to describe 'what happened' at the Baptism.

Did Christ receive the Holy Spirit in His human nature?
Yes, I can't find the exact quote at the time, but it is in here "On the Unity of Christ"
http://books.google.com/books?id=x0Lnu_cm-GAC&printsec=frontcover&dq=On+the+Unity+of+christ+baptism&hl=en#v=snippet&q=Spirit&f=false

Okay. That's what I thought, and what the Patristic texts posted here seem to say. But I'd like to have a better grasp of what that means. Was His flesh lacking the Holy Spirit beforehand?
No (I want to find where Pope St. Cyril deals with this exactly, because he is of course going to say it better than I would).
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: JLatimer on October 31, 2011, 08:06:24 PM
Bumping this because I am still confused about how to describe 'what happened' at the Baptism.

Did Christ receive the Holy Spirit in His human nature?
Yes, I can't find the exact quote at the time, but it is in here "On the Unity of Christ"
http://books.google.com/books?id=x0Lnu_cm-GAC&printsec=frontcover&dq=On+the+Unity+of+christ+baptism&hl=en#v=snippet&q=Spirit&f=false

Okay. That's what I thought, and what the Patristic texts posted here seem to say. But I'd like to have a better grasp of what that means. Was His flesh lacking the Holy Spirit beforehand?
No (I want to find where Pope St. Cyril deals with this exactly, because he is of course going to say it better than I would).

St. Cyril speaks of His "emptiness" and "poverty" and says that "He is sanctified with us". What does all that mean if not that His flesh was somehow lacking sanctification prior to the Baptism?

Then on the other hand you have Chrysostom seeming to say that the descent of the Spirit was merely to make Christ known.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: minasoliman on November 01, 2011, 12:54:05 AM
Bumping this because I am still confused about how to describe 'what happened' at the Baptism.

Did Christ receive the Holy Spirit in His human nature?
Yes, I can't find the exact quote at the time, but it is in here "On the Unity of Christ"
http://books.google.com/books?id=x0Lnu_cm-GAC&printsec=frontcover&dq=On+the+Unity+of+christ+baptism&hl=en#v=snippet&q=Spirit&f=false

Okay. That's what I thought, and what the Patristic texts posted here seem to say. But I'd like to have a better grasp of what that means. Was His flesh lacking the Holy Spirit beforehand?
No (I want to find where Pope St. Cyril deals with this exactly, because he is of course going to say it better than I would).

St. Cyril speaks of His "emptiness" and "poverty" and says that "He is sanctified with us". What does all that mean if not that His flesh was somehow lacking sanctification prior to the Baptism?

Then on the other hand you have Chrysostom seeming to say that the descent of the Spirit was merely to make Christ known.

Not necessarily.  He established Chrismation in the Flesh, but His Flesh never lacked the Spirit.  The Holy Spirit works in Holy Orders on a priest or bishop, but that doesn't mean they never had the Spirit before.  I think that's the best way of looking at it.  It's just a different way in which the Holy Spirit is working for the sake of all humanity.  One can also look at it as a betrothal to the Church through the important sacraments of baptism and chrismation, with the Forerunner, being the "friend of the Bridegroom" as the Holy Priest who officiates the betrothal of the New Covenant.  But it is not a baptism and chrismation of Christ like we do.  For in Christ, He establishes it through His flesh, and for us, we receive it in our flesh, even though the act is the same.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on November 01, 2011, 05:17:55 AM
St Severus says in his hymns...

'By going down and being baptised in the river Jordan he hallowed the nature of water, and though he is the Son by nature he receives testimony by the voice of the Father which came from above, and though he is himself the giver of the Spirit, he received the descent of the Holy Spirit. For he that lacketh not, who appeared as one that lacketh and was named the Second Adam, became in all things a beginning to us'.

'..inasmuch he wished by his baptism to open before us an ascent leading up to heaven, and to lay in advance a sure foundation for the gift of adoption, and to bring the Holy Spirit upon flesh, and to crush the head of the evil one..'

'..he is baptised with the rest in the river Jordan like one guilty of sin, not because he needed cleansing, but that he might himself cleanse and hallow the water by his baptism, and illuminate the divine laver which shone with the rays of the triple and single light of the Trinity, through the goodwill of the Father, through the condescension of himself the Son, and through the descent of the Holy Sprit, which he received for our sake, when it flew like a dove and came upon him, though it is in him in essence'.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: zekarja on November 01, 2011, 07:22:23 AM
St Severus says in his hymns...

'By going down and being baptised in the river Jordan he hallowed the nature of water, and though he is the Son by nature he receives testimony by the voice of the Father which came from above, and though he is himself the giver of the Spirit, he received the descent of the Holy Spirit. For he that lacketh not, who appeared as one that lacketh and was named the Second Adam, became in all things a beginning to us'.

'..inasmuch he wished by his baptism to open before us an ascent leading up to heaven, and to lay in advance a sure foundation for the gift of adoption, and to bring the Holy Spirit upon flesh, and to crush the head of the evil one..'

'..he is baptised with the rest in the river Jordan like one guilty of sin, not because he needed cleansing, but that he might himself cleanse and hallow the water by his baptism, and illuminate the divine laver which shone with the rays of the triple and single light of the Trinity, through the goodwill of the Father, through the condescension of himself the Son, and through the descent of the Holy Sprit, which he received for our sake, when it flew like a dove and came upon him, though it is in him in essence'.

Where can I find St Severus' hymns? I've only been able to find his letters. :)
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: JLatimer on November 01, 2011, 09:01:37 AM
For in Christ, He establishes it through His flesh, and for us, we receive it in our flesh, even though the act is the same.

I like that. Thanks.

So, in Chrysostom's commentary, when he says,

Quote
For that which was wanting was the crowning blessing of all, that he who was baptized should be deemed worthy of the Spirit; this free gift then of the Spirit He added when He came.

Is part of what he's saying is that we needed a new Adam who was intrinsically worthy of the Spirit?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: ialmisry on November 01, 2011, 09:30:29 AM
Bumping this because I am still confused about how to describe 'what happened' at the Baptism.

Did Christ receive the Holy Spirit in His human nature?
Yes, I can't find the exact quote at the time, but it is in here "On the Unity of Christ"
http://books.google.com/books?id=x0Lnu_cm-GAC&printsec=frontcover&dq=On+the+Unity+of+christ+baptism&hl=en#v=snippet&q=Spirit&f=false

Okay. That's what I thought, and what the Patristic texts posted here seem to say. But I'd like to have a better grasp of what that means. Was His flesh lacking the Holy Spirit beforehand?
No (I want to find where Pope St. Cyril deals with this exactly, because he is of course going to say it better than I would).

St. Cyril speaks of His "emptiness" and "poverty" and says that "He is sanctified with us". What does all that mean if not that His flesh was somehow lacking sanctification prior to the Baptism?

Then on the other hand you have Chrysostom seeming to say that the descent of the Spirit was merely to make Christ known.

Not necessarily.  He established Chrismation in the Flesh, but His Flesh never lacked the Spirit.  The Holy Spirit works in Holy Orders on a priest or bishop, but that doesn't mean they never had the Spirit before.  I think that's the best way of looking at it.  It's just a different way in which the Holy Spirit is working for the sake of all humanity.  One can also look at it as a betrothal to the Church through the important sacraments of baptism and chrismation, with the Forerunner, being the "friend of the Bridegroom" as the Holy Priest who officiates the betrothal of the New Covenant.  But it is not a baptism and chrismation of Christ like we do.  For in Christ, He establishes it through His flesh, and for us, we receive it in our flesh, even though the act is the same.
The difference I think comes from the Spirit descended on the Flesh, rather than the Spirit being united to the Flesh via the Hypostatic Union.  Since the Holy Spirit was not incarnated, so it was not His Flesh. But Christ was "incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary," so the consubstantial Flesh did not lack the Spirit as the Theotokos did not fail to bear God.  As the Word was able to become sin for us and die and descend to Hell, so too was He able to receive the Spirit at the Jordan, as the Flesh did not cease to be finite, and the Spirit did not cease to be an infinite treasury of blessings.  Were it not for the danger of miscontruction as Adoptionism, I would say that at the Jordan Christ became by adoption what He was by nature.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on November 01, 2011, 09:36:43 AM
That's not what the Fathers seem to say though, I think.

They seem rather to say that he receives the Holy Spirit (who descends upon him who already gives the Spirit) for US, and for our sakes, and not for his own ministry. The humanity receives the Spirit so that we can receive the Spirit in union with his humanity. Just as he is baptised for US and not for himself, so that the waters are lifegiving when we are united with him in his humanity.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: JLatimer on November 01, 2011, 10:12:53 AM
Could we say something like, He became obedient unto death, and God raised Him from the dead; He identified with sinners in the Jordan, and God sent down the Holy Spirit? The idea of 'vindication'.

What are some ways to understand "πληρωσαι πασαν δικαιοσυνην"?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: ialmisry on November 01, 2011, 10:52:06 AM
That's not what the Fathers seem to say though, I think.

They seem rather to say that he receives the Holy Spirit (who descends upon him who already gives the Spirit) for US, and for our sakes, and not for his own ministry. The humanity receives the Spirit so that we can receive the Spirit in union with his humanity. Just as he is baptised for US and not for himself, so that the waters are lifegiving when we are united with him in his humanity.
Isn't His ministry nothing but "for our sakes," Father?  He, after all, was in no need of the Incarnation. After all, St. John was correct when he refused at first to baptize Christ, as he was in need of baptism from Him, but Christ was more correct in insisting on it so "all may be fulfilled in righteousness."
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on November 01, 2011, 10:57:54 AM
Of course, but you raised the question of adoption.

I don't see that in the Fathers. Indeed St Cyril seems to reject that and insist, as I was trying to, that he received the Holy Spirit for our sakes so that we could receive the Holy Spirit.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: minasoliman on November 01, 2011, 11:21:53 AM
For in Christ, He establishes it through His flesh, and for us, we receive it in our flesh, even though the act is the same.

I like that. Thanks.

So, in Chrysostom's commentary, when he says,

Quote
For that which was wanting was the crowning blessing of all, that he who was baptized should be deemed worthy of the Spirit; this free gift then of the Spirit He added when He came.

Is part of what he's saying is that we needed a new Adam who was intrinsically worthy of the Spirit?

Yes, I think so.  That's one way of looking at things.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: minasoliman on November 01, 2011, 12:49:40 PM
Bumping this because I am still confused about how to describe 'what happened' at the Baptism.

Did Christ receive the Holy Spirit in His human nature?
Yes, I can't find the exact quote at the time, but it is in here "On the Unity of Christ"
http://books.google.com/books?id=x0Lnu_cm-GAC&printsec=frontcover&dq=On+the+Unity+of+christ+baptism&hl=en#v=snippet&q=Spirit&f=false

Okay. That's what I thought, and what the Patristic texts posted here seem to say. But I'd like to have a better grasp of what that means. Was His flesh lacking the Holy Spirit beforehand?
No (I want to find where Pope St. Cyril deals with this exactly, because he is of course going to say it better than I would).

St. Cyril speaks of His "emptiness" and "poverty" and says that "He is sanctified with us". What does all that mean if not that His flesh was somehow lacking sanctification prior to the Baptism?

Then on the other hand you have Chrysostom seeming to say that the descent of the Spirit was merely to make Christ known.

Not necessarily.  He established Chrismation in the Flesh, but His Flesh never lacked the Spirit.  The Holy Spirit works in Holy Orders on a priest or bishop, but that doesn't mean they never had the Spirit before.  I think that's the best way of looking at it.  It's just a different way in which the Holy Spirit is working for the sake of all humanity.  One can also look at it as a betrothal to the Church through the important sacraments of baptism and chrismation, with the Forerunner, being the "friend of the Bridegroom" as the Holy Priest who officiates the betrothal of the New Covenant.  But it is not a baptism and chrismation of Christ like we do.  For in Christ, He establishes it through His flesh, and for us, we receive it in our flesh, even though the act is the same.
The difference I think comes from the Spirit descended on the Flesh, rather than the Spirit being united to the Flesh via the Hypostatic Union.  Since the Holy Spirit was not incarnated, so it was not His Flesh. But Christ was "incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary," so the consubstantial Flesh did not lack the Spirit as the Theotokos did not fail to bear God.  As the Word was able to become sin for us and die and descend to Hell, so too was He able to receive the Spirit at the Jordan, as the Flesh did not cease to be finite, and the Spirit did not cease to be an infinite treasury of blessings.

I don't see disagreement here, but I understand and agree with Fr. Peter's point here:


Quote
Were it not for the danger of miscontruction as Adoptionism, I would say that at the Jordan Christ became by adoption what He was by nature.
  I'd say it's better to just say Christ, the Eternal Anointer, became anointed in His humanity so that we may be anointed in Him.  But adoption implies being made "Son of God" at the Jordan.  Only the human race is adopted.  In fact, St. Cyril explains in the book "That Christ is One" that the reason of His incarnation of a Virgin is so that we may call the Father "Father," especially when the Holy Spirit is involved in the Incarnation, so is the Holy Spirit involved in our adoption.  In other words, Christ's incarnation itself elevates us from a state of being sons of Adam in earthly decay, to sons of the Father in heavenly life.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: JLatimer on November 01, 2011, 02:05:05 PM
Of course, but you raised the question of adoption.

I don't see that in the Fathers. Indeed St Cyril seems to reject that and insist, as I was trying to, that he received the Holy Spirit for our sakes so that we could receive the Holy Spirit.

Maybe this is the wrong kind of question, but I'm still curious about the 'mechanism' here, so to speak. What is it about Christ's receiving that makes possible our receiving? How would you describe the 'effect' that Jesus Christ receiving the Spirit has on us men?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: minasoliman on November 01, 2011, 02:19:04 PM
Of course, but you raised the question of adoption.

I don't see that in the Fathers. Indeed St Cyril seems to reject that and insist, as I was trying to, that he received the Holy Spirit for our sakes so that we could receive the Holy Spirit.

Maybe this is the wrong kind of question, but I'm still curious about the 'mechanism' here, so to speak. What is it about Christ's receiving that makes possible our receiving? How would you describe the 'effect' that Jesus Christ receiving the Spirit has on us men?

In the Incarnation, we become Sons of the Father.  In the Jordan, we become stamped as Christians, as Christs.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on November 01, 2011, 04:00:20 PM
I would want to stress that Christ lacks nothing of the Holy Spirit BY NATURE, yet he submits to RECEIVING the Holy Spirit, as if he lacked, for our sake who do lack entirely the gift and grace of the Holy Spirit.

Because we are united with the renewed humanity of Christ is baptism we have also received the descent of the Holy Spirit , which is necessary for us because we do not possess the fulness of the Holy Spirit BY NATURE.

It is surely THE SAME descent which we participate in by union with Christ. This union is by grace and not by nature, but it is a real and effectual union by grace. It has meaning and substance beyond the symbolic. We go down into the waters with Christ, and recieve the testimony of the Father - this is my beloved son - and the descent of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is not given to us because of Christ, or even by Christ, (as if it were something separate to our union with Christ) but the Spirit is given IN Christ, as we find ourselves in Christ by a union with his humanity. And so Christ receives the Holy Spirit which he never lacked so that we might also receive the same Spirit in coming up from the same waters.

I guess?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: HabteSelassie on November 04, 2011, 03:42:36 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

That's not what the Fathers seem to say though, I think.

They seem rather to say that he receives the Holy Spirit (who descends upon him who already gives the Spirit) for US, and for our sakes, and not for his own ministry. The humanity receives the Spirit so that we can receive the Spirit in union with his humanity. Just as he is baptised for US and not for himself, so that the waters are lifegiving when we are united with him in his humanity.

Just a thought..

Couldn't also interpret Christ's receiving of the Holy Spirit as fellowship of the Word with the Holy Spirit?  After all, if through the Incarnation the Word is united with flesh and exists through the Divine-Human hypostasis, then couldn't Jesus Christ receiving the Holy Spirit, as to His humanity, be a mechanism of fellowship with the Holy Spirit?  The Word always exists in fellowship, in a Divine relationship, with the Father and Holy Spirit, expressing the power of God's love even among Himself.  However, if after the Incarnation, the Word exists through the Union and the Human-Divine hypostasis of the Person of Jesus Christ, then because of the Union with Human nature, does not the Word have to now fellowship with the Holy Spirit in both a Divine and Human way? So when Christ receives the Holy Spirit, could He not simply be in fellowship with Himself as God, as the Trinity always has been for eternity, and yet because the Incarnation includes a Human nature and form to God, does not God now have to adapt the mechanism of this fellowship to include Jesus Christ's humanity? That is to say, after the Incarnation, doesn't God have to adjust how He communicates with the Word because the Word is no longer purely Divine, but also Human, and therefore as to His Humanity must communicate in a Human way, just as we all humanly receive the Holy Spirit?
He, after all, was in no need of the Incarnation. After all, St. John was correct when he refused at first to baptize Christ, as he was in need of baptism from Him, but Christ was more correct in insisting on it so "all may be fulfilled in righteousness."

We should be careful about these kind of implications.  We know that God's Will is His Own, beyond our comprehension.  Further we know that God does nothing aside from His own Will, He is not forced into the wills of others.  So if God chose to become Incarnate, we must assume that he needed or wanted such, because God only acts according to His own needs, and is not therefore limited by the needs of others.  We can't say God became Man just for ourselves, because we would be subjugating God under our human needs, fears, and desires.  God must have become Man out of His own desire to do such, or it simply would not have happened.  Futher, if God ever acts in any way, we can only assume that He is acting on His own Divine needs which we can't understand, otherwise why would He act in the first place if not to fulfill some kind of need of His own?  Just because God is perfect, does not mean He does not have His own uniquely perfect needs, which by His perfection He can easily fulfill, however He still must have them, otherwise why would He have done all this to begin with? If God needed nothing, then nothing is all there would be like before Genesis 1:1



stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Hiwot on November 05, 2011, 02:59:24 AM
Selam all
I thought I might add a bit on this one, please correct me where I get it wrong. I think I am in agreement with Father peter, but if I am not please let me know I like to know the right information on this as well.my recolection of this teaching is very vague.

Genesis 6:3 “My Spirit shall not remain with these people forever, for they are flesh. So their days shall be one hundred and twenty years”

In our fall from grace we lost the grace of the Holy Spirit, although it remained available from outside of us, because of our lack of his grace we continued to succumb to the will of the flesh the world and the devil. Our will power to resist temptation was weakened thus we kept rejecting God’s grace. One might call it a vicious cycle of failure.
 Galatians4:6-7 “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Romans 8:9- 17 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you. But if any man hath not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwelleth in you, he that raised up Christ Jesus from the dead shall quicken also your mortal bodies through his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
12 So then, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh: 13 for if ye live after the flesh, ye must die; but if by the spirit ye mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For ye received not the spirit of bondage again unto fear; but ye received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are children of God: 17 and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified with him.

The Logos Incarnate received the Holy Spirit in the flesh for our sakes, to make us receive the Holy Spirit in union with his humanity. The Holy Spirit did not come upon his divinity as if one is empty of the other or inferior than the other, it is not that the divine Logos by nature needed the help of the spirit, rather because of his incarnation it is fit that his humanity receive the Spirit for our sakes. However it is not in separation but in the hypostatic union that all this is done it is the Son that receives the Spirit in his humanity for us. For this reason both St. Cyril and St. Severus teach: we hear the testimony of the Father as scriptures say “the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”Luke 3:21-22, He did not say here is my Son dwelling upon this man.” For the Father to say My Son, he was referring not in flesh but in referring to his Sonship by nature of his divinity that from all eternity was begotten from Him (the Father). Thus we are not talking about the Son by nature being lacking somehow thus needing the Spirit to assist him for his work God forbid we would say such a thing! But rather the Son of God while one with the Spirit Himself, received the Spirit in his humanity for our sakes, that we also may be able to receive the spirit in our union with him. We get baptized with sanctified life giving water, so we might be revivified and transfigured in union with him in death and in life. The First Adam became a living soul; the Last Adam became a life giving spirit.
As the spirit descended on the son in baptism the Spirit also descends on us and makes us by adoption sons of the Father in our union with the Son.

Why water was used for his baptism?

As St. Cyril and St. Severus teach it is to make the waters of this world holy. And To fulfill the words of scriptures that say” I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols” Ezekiel 36:25, as water is needed by all and given for all, be it the king that sits on his throne or the poor man on the street in the same manner baptism is established for all.  As water purifies baptism also purifies. As that which is taken away by water does not leave track/ trace in the same manner the sin that is forgiven and washed away by baptism will not be used for judgment as it is washed without a trace. As water acts like mirror and also revitalizes the flesh, baptism also shows the condition of the soul and revitalizes her. A cloth that is washed with water is heavy and strong in the same manner in baptism the faithful find the grace to increase in glory and be strong in virtue. As the potter whose pot gets cracked while working at it will break and remake it by mixing it the clay with water. In the same manner baptism is the giver of regeneration. Water was used by God to execute his judgment upon those who rebelled against him for this reason many have called water as an instrument of destruction; however our Lord being baptized in water showed us that water manifests God’s Mercy.

The Scripture says then the havens opened unto him (John).  We know that there is no opening or closing for the skies by their nature. However it is to say that the mystery is now revealed as a gate is opened to show what is inside it, now a mystery that was unrevealed before is now revealed. The mystery of the Holy Trinity! Thus we call it Epiphany.

16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway from the water: and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon him; 17 and lo, a voice out of the heavens, saying, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Matthew 3:16-17

Here we see the Holy Spirit as a dove, because dove is meek and forgiving, The Holy Spirit is forgiving. As in the time of Noah the dove brought the good news of the passing of the destruction the beginning of new life by brining the olive branch, the Holy Spirit proclaims the hope of the Cross. As a dove other than as a result of the destruction of her nest will not abandon her nest even if they crash her eggs, hit her wings, the Holy Spirit too will not abandon a person for sinning unless completely rejected and denied.


I guess I should stop here .

In christ,
Hiwot.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: zekarja on November 05, 2011, 06:44:01 PM
I do not wish to speak on his behalf, but I think Nicholas is saying that Christ, through his Divine energy, uses his human energy to perform all his own acts "by nature", that is, by virtue of the natural and hypostatic union. Whereas, in the case of a Saint, God's Divine energy operates through them "by grace", that is by virtue of an external unity.
Why can't Christ do both?

The hypostatic union is of a different character than the union of God with a saint by Grace. So, while He, I suppose, could do something through His humanity by Grace, it would sort of be superfluous (for lack of a more accurate term).
Did the Holy Spirit descend upon Christ as a demo, or truly?

But what does the descent of the Holy Spirit mean? (I ask this sincerely from you and anyone else. I would be interested to know.)

From the Incarnation, He was fully God.
God knows all things.

The Incarnate God grew in Wisdom and Stature and probably thought that mustard seeds were the smallest seeds in the world.

But thou sayest that the growth was unto wisdom, albeit how is not this without learning? for we believe that out of the very belly and womb of the Virgin, Emmanuel being God proceeded forth Man, full surely of the wisdom and grace that are inherent of Nature. What sort of growth then will He admit of, in Whom are all the treasures of wisdom, Who is with God the Father Co-giver of the grace from above? how then is He said to advance? it is, I deem, by God the Word co-measuring with the increase and stature of His own Body, the manifestation of the most God-befitting goods that are in Him. - St Cyril of Alexandria, Against Nestorius, Tome Three

Source: http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/cyril_against_nestorius_03_book3.htm
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Severian on November 05, 2011, 06:48:07 PM
^Thank you for providing this quote, Zekarja. So the God-Logos imparts His own wisdom into His human nous by virtue of the (en-)Hypostatic union. The humanity is not the source of His omiscience, but rather the Divinity is. He is said only to be omniscient in His humanity only by the humanity's unity to the Divinity.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: zekarja on November 05, 2011, 06:53:32 PM
You are welcome! :) Also...

And He was somewhere rebuking the holy Apostles themselves that they should not make Him, known. Hence a thing unwonted and strange and worthy of looking into, would have been shewn, if being yet a babe, He had made a God-befitting demonstration of wisdom: but He little and little and proportionably to bodily stature, extending it and making it manifest to all, will be said to advance and that with reason. - St Cyril of Alexandria, Against Nestorius, Tome Three

Source: http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/cyril_against_nestorius_03_book3.htm
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Alkis on May 31, 2016, 12:40:40 PM
I don't know where to put this article so I put it here. If it is in a wrong thread please correct me. I want the opinion of our OO brothers on this article that is written by an EO and there are comments on Coptic christology expressed by Pope Shenuda III.
http://oodegr.co/english/dogma/commentary_coptic_christology.htm
Does this article express the true beliefs of Coptic Church? How do you criticize it?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: minasoliman on May 31, 2016, 05:03:43 PM
Dear Alkis,

I will slowly read this paper piece by piece and give you my impression within the next couple of days.  I will begin with the first two sections, "Introduction" and "The Orthodox Concept regarding the nature of Christ"

Introduction:
I appreciate the respectful tone of the first paragraph.  Understandably, he is taking a "Byzantine" perspective, and I think that should admit some bias in his research.  One needs to take into account the different theological approach and definitions.  In addition, HH Pope Shenouda is not a good representative of Oriental Orthodox Christology.  He is very simplistic in his approach.  As the seminarian Nicholas Vester even admits, he does not even quote any Patristic sources, but his quotes are strictly Biblical.  HH Pope Shenouda was the type of man who memorized the Bible, but he was also a product of his time, when the Coptic Church was still (and is still today) rediscovering her theological heritage that we lost through the Islamic persecutions.  This is why I don't think using HH Pope Shenouda, of blessed memory, is a good approach to judging OO Christology and dogmas in general.  HH Pope Shenouda (I will continue to referring him as "HH") had his mistakes.

The Orthodox Concept regarding the nature of Christ
The seminarian is correct in his observation on the soteriological teaching of HH.  HH did teach Anselmian theology in no unambiguous terms.  He taught that any sin that is done is against the unlimited God, and thus carries an "unlimited penalty", which required an unlimited being incarnate (Jesus) to take upon Himself this unlimited penalty.  This has been criticized within the Coptic Church, and many hierarchs have already been moving away from this teaching while he was alive on its lack of basis in the Church fathers.  Remember when I said HH is a product of his time?  The Coptic Church, as it is slowly going through a "reawakening" from the survival mode it was going through in the 13th to 17th centuries, have gotten a lot of its theology from Arabic scholastic sources, a lot of which were translations from Chalcedonian Arabs.  It is not far-fetched to see the same Anselmian theology prevalent in Chalcedonian Orthodox sources just a century ago, even in the Russian Church.  Therefore, I tend to find this an unfair criticism of Coptic theology when the Chalcedonians went through a similar phase.  We just happened to start later than the Chalcedonians in rediscovering our theological richness.

In this same section, perhaps someone can correct me if I am wrong, but I had the impression Pope Leo had some influence from St. Augustine.  Did Pope Leo really teach against Original Sin?  I am not sure this is very clear in history.  St. Cyril on the other hand, perhaps, and I say perhaps because there are still debates concerning some translations that Roman Catholics use in support of their theology.  I do tend to agree that St. Cyril did not teach any form of "immaculate conception", that the Virgin Birth represented a transfer of human nature from biological birth to birth from on high, not a purification of human nature.  So in that respect, I find St. Cyril NOT pro-Augustinian.  Our later anti-Chalcedonian father St. Severus even condemned this idea of the Virgin birth as purification of human nature in the form of a heresy called Julianism.

We do agree with the seminarian that as soon as the Theotokos accepted to bear the Word of God, she was purified and sanctified.  And I think it is fair to say this was the intent of HH as well.  So while HH may be wrong in his views concerning soteriology, he also believed that as soon as she accepted her calling, "her womb" was purified.  Our anti-Chalcedonian father St. Jacob of Serug also agrees with the seminarian fully, and taught she was purified, receiving the same grace we receive at baptism once the Holy Spirit overshadowed her.  To bear Christ was what "saved her", and is what also saves all of humanity as well with her.

The next part is an unfortunate misrepresentation of the use of "one nature" based on an argument of John of Damascus.  The unfortunate part is that it was St. Cyril himself who used the same analogy of human body and soul united in one nature to describe the incarnation of divinity and humanity in one nature.  And as all Church fathers recognize, analogies fall short of the mystery of God and the incarnation.  Therefore, what we do NOT mean by "one nature" is some hybrid nature or new Christ species.  What we do mean is Christ is one unit of existence, and through Him all human nature are made one with God in Christ.  So while John of Damascus uses "one" in a way of counting the elements or essences of the incarnation, we use one in a sense of unity.  If we and Christ are "one", how much more Christ alone should be described!  We recognize that humanity and divinity do not lose their integrities.  At the same time, we also vehemently defending the "oneness" based on soteriology, that we may be deified.  Many scholars have even agreed that the way St. Cyril uses "one nature" contradicts the argument used by John of Damascus, and therefore not only misrepresents our Church, but St. Cyril himself, as he says in his first letter to Succensus (https://orthodoxjointcommission.wordpress.com/2013/12/15/first-letter-of-cyril-to-succensus/):

 As to the manner of the incarnation of the Only Begotten, then theoretically speaking (but only in so far as it appears to the eyes of the soul) we would admit that there are two united natures but only One Christ and Son and Lord, the Word of God made man and made flesh. If you like we can take as our example that very composition which makes us men. For we are composed of body and soul and we perceive two natures; there is one nature of the body, and a different nature of the soul, and yet one man from both of them in terms of the union. This composition from two natures does not turn the one man into two, but as I have said there is one man by the composition of body and soul. If we deny that there is one single Christ from two different natures, being indivisible after the union, then the enemies of orthodoxy will ask: ‘If the entirety amounts to one nature then how was he incarnated or what kind of flesh did he make his own?’

And again in the second letter to the same (https://orthodoxjointcommission.wordpress.com/2013/12/15/second-letter-of-cyril-to-succensus/):

They also said the following: ‘If there is one incarnate nature of the Word then it absolutely follows that there must have been a mixture and confusion, with the human nature in him being diminished or ‘stolen away’ as it were.5 Once again those who twist the truth are unaware that in fact there is but one incarnate nature of the Word. The Word was ineffably bom from God the Father and then came forth as man from a woman after having assumed flesh, not soulless but rationally animated flesh; and if it is the case that he is in nature and in truth one single Son, then he cannot be divided into two personas or two sons, but has remained one, though he is no longer fleshless or outside the body but now possesses his very own body in an indissoluble union. How could saying this possibly imply that there was any consequent necessity of mixture or confusion or anything else like this? For if we say that the Only Begotten Son of God, who was incarnate and became man, is One, then this does not mean as they would suppose that he has been ‘mixed’ or that the nature of the Word has been transformed into the nature of flesh, or that of the flesh into the Word’s. No, each nature is understood to remain in all its natural characteristics for the reasons we have just given, though they are ineffably and inexpressibly united, and this is how he demonstrated to us the one nature of the Son; though of course, as I have said, it is the ‘incarnate nature’ I mean. The term ‘one’ can be properly applied not just to those things which are naturally simple, but also to things which are compounded in a synthesis. Such is the case with a human being who comprises soul and body. These are quite different things and they are not consubstantial with each other, yet when they are united they constitute the single nature of man, even though the difference in nature of the things that are brought into unity is still present within the system of the composition. So, those who say that if there is one incarnate nature of God the Word, then it necessarily follows that there must have been a mixture or confusion with the human nature being diminished or ‘stolen away’, are talking rubbish. It has neither been reduced nor stolen away, as they say. To say that he is incarnate is sufficient for a perfectly clear indication of the fact that he became man. And if we had kept silent on this point there might have been some ground for their calumny, but since we add of necessity the fact that he has been incarnated then how can there be any form of ‘diminution’ or ‘stealing away’?

Unmistakeably therefore, St. Cyril used the same analogy HH Pope Shenouda has, with the same purpose in mind.  So while the seminarian may be right about the soteriological error of HH, I find that in this case, HH is the one who is more patristically in line with St. Cyril in his use of the analogy of the natures of soul and flesh in humanity than even John of Damascus, and that is not to say we don't like John of Damascus.  In fact, we owe a lot of our Coptic hymnology and some of the understandings of the Orthodox faith to him.  But truth be told, John of Damascus seems to have misunderstood St. Cyril's theology, and probably did not have all his writings handy to see the fullness of St. Cyril's theological thought.

That's all for now.  To be continued...
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Alkis on May 31, 2016, 05:38:08 PM
Oh thank you very much Minasoliman! What a great explaining passage. Thanks for your time and work to respond me. I really like OODEGR as an orthodox theological site and when I saw this article in english (OODEGR has mainly articles in greek) I wanted to share it here just to see how OO view these statements. This because I was confused. I read here in the forum and in other sites that Oriental Churches are orthodox like us and the schism was by misunderstandings. So when I read these statements in the article I felt that something goes wrong. That is why I wanted your opinion to be sure of what is the REAL christology of Oriental Orthodox Churches. Thanks again for making things more clear to me. :)
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: minasoliman on May 31, 2016, 11:49:13 PM
No problem...

I'm going to continue a bit before I'm off to bed.

Next section

Appolinarius:
To avoid a polemical response, I would rather say that since the analogy is also used by St. Cyril, it is an unfair "low blow" jab at HH.  Eutyches famously compared the human nature of Christ to a drop of vinegar dissolving in a sea of divinity.  Interestingly enough, St. Gregory of Nyssa also used the same analogy, but we not accuse him of Eutychianism.  As was mentioned before, analogies are not perfect, and they may at times be poorly used.  As is evident, whether with pre-Chalcedonian, anti-Chalcedonian, or pro-Chalcedonian fathers, terminologies evolved and used differently, and so may analogies as well.  In my opinion, Appolinarius, being a product of Alexandrian tradition, took Alexandrian theology and terminology and misused them.  I don't know why no one ever thought that rather than accuse St. Cyril of taking from Appolinarius that instead, both St. Cyril and Appolinarius have a common ancestor, with the former using a more Orthodox understanding and the latter a heterodox.  The only reason why scholars say St. Cyril used Appolinarian sources is because these are the only written proof of such before St. Cyril.  But one has to admit there's an ancient school in Alexandria that evolved.

The Council of Chalcedon:
If you have access to the private forum, particularly the OO/EO section, this has been hashed out ad nauseum.  Of course, when I read the seminarian say, "It is true that St. Leo’s Tome could be accused of occasionally being somewhat unclear in the language used to describe these concepts... Obviosly Pope Shenouda’s fear that St. Leo is speaking of ”two persons”, is unfounded," I find an interesting double standard.  If you're willing to see why Pope Leo could have been "misunderstood", why even mention the accusation of Appolinarianism to HH Pope Shenouda when you know his intentions were Orthodox?

The subtle jab against HH on theosis can also be explained by scholastic influence and ignorance as I explained before in the section on soteriology.  The same can be seen in Chalcedonian Church one to two centuries ago.

As for the intentions of Pope Leo, that has also be hashed out ad nauseum as well, and this is a controversial issue.  I think the best thing to understand is that we as OOs despite our interpretation of the historical figures of Chalcedon and Pope Leo are still quite willing to remove anathemas based on how we see EOs interpretation of them in an Orthodox way.

Recently, His Grace Bishop Sourial of Melbourne has been giving a Lenten spiritual series of contemplations to St. Vladimir's on repentance based on a re-published book by HH Pope Shenouda on the subject.  While one can say HH was not too fond of theosis, HG Bishop Sourial connected the writings and contemplations of HH with a patristic quote from Pseudo-Dionysius on theosis.  So while one may not have been favorable on with HH on some issues, yet ALREADY, we are seeing the results of "clothing the nakedness of the father" by teaching theosis as if HH had no problems with it. 

One can see history is also reminiscent of this same "respect" for a Church father after the passing of St. Augustine, where he was so respected despite his overemphasis on grace to the neglect of free will, that many of those who loved him would try to teach away from this overemphasis without associating error with St. Augustine.  Whether it was successful or not remains debatable, and this is the debate today on the legacy of HH.  We tend to "infallibilize" those whom we had immense respect, and it becomes a long and tough road to undo some of the wrongs made by them.  I find this to be true with other local churches as well, not just the Coptic, although at times I feel the Coptic Church is more so.

In any sense, we recognize that we need to be sensitive to these issues, as the ancient fathers tend to be even more "infallibilized" than today's.  HH Pope Shenouda is simply taking his history and his theology from what he already knew in Arabic based on the tradition he received.  If his theology is simplistic, so can be his reading of history, as we know the issues around Chalcedon are more complicated than just a black and white blanket accusation of heresy.  And I think the same sensitive treatment should be given to our anti-Chalcedonian fathers and tradition, so that one can be open-minded enough to see they too are no less Orthodox in their doctrines despite the different linguistic emphasis.

to be continued...

Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Tonedawg on June 01, 2016, 03:49:21 AM
I don't know where to put this article so I put it here. If it is in a wrong thread please correct me. I want the opinion of our OO brothers on this article that is written by an EO and there are comments on Coptic christology expressed by Pope Shenuda III.
http://oodegr.co/english/dogma/commentary_coptic_christology.htm
Does this article express the true beliefs of Coptic Church? How do you criticize it?

This "research" article, if that's what we want to call it, is weak and full of biases. Like Mina has already pointed out, the author is having an overreaction to the term "one nature", as he seems unable to grasp the thought and the depth of St. Cyril's christology. Unfortunately the quotes by John of Damascus also falls short. The Damscene proudly asks: "if there is only one nature then which nature suffered and died?", this is verbatim what the Antiochians asked Cyril centuries earlier, in which he replied "we do not say that he suffered in his divinity, but that he suffered in his humanity." (I'm paraphrasing, it's late and I need to go to sleep, but I'll post the actual quote tomorrow.)

Nothing about this article represents the theology or christology of the Coptic church.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: rakovsky on June 01, 2016, 10:35:01 AM
This "research" article, if that's what we want to call it, is weak and full of biases. Like Mina has already pointed out, the author is having an overreaction to the term "one nature", as he seems unable to grasp the thought and the depth of St. Cyril's christology. Unfortunately the quotes by John of Damascus also falls short. The Damscene proudly asks: "if there is only one nature then which nature suffered and died?", this is verbatim what the Antiochians asked Cyril centuries earlier, in which he replied "we do not say that he suffered in his divinity, but that he suffered in his humanity." (I'm paraphrasing, it's late and I need to go to sleep, but I'll post the actual quote tomorrow.)

Nothing about this article represents the theology or christology of the Coptic church.
Tonedawg,
One theory that tries to explain why EOS and OOS may look at this differently is that the word nature meant different things in their communities and had different connotations. I think Fr Peter has proposed something like this.

Would you be able to tell me what the Coptic word for nature/physia is?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on June 01, 2016, 11:47:42 AM
Don't forget that throughout the controversial period the Church used Greek in Alexandria for theological discourse.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: rakovsky on June 01, 2016, 12:29:31 PM
Don't forget that throughout the controversial period the Church used Greek in Alexandria for theological discourse.
I understand, but it could help to provide a deeper layer of understanding of the concept.
Sometimes we come across ancient Hebrew words in the Bible and scholars want a deeper understanding, so they look to Arabic and Aramaic to help clear things up.

Would you happen to be able to find the Coptic equivalent?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on June 01, 2016, 12:31:37 PM
I don't think that the Coptic will add much. We already know from the writings of the Fathers how they understood the term in a variety of ways based on context and preferred lexicon.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: rakovsky on June 01, 2016, 01:06:40 PM
I don't think that the Coptic will add much. We already know from the writings of the Fathers how they understood the term in a variety of ways based on context and preferred lexicon.
I agree with you, however is this something you could please find out, Fr Peter?

For example, in Russian there are two words for physia. One is priroda and the other is estestvo. When the 19th century Russian hierarch wrote in his book that Copts were wrong to say Christmas had one nature, he used estestvo. But I think that estestvo has more of a connotation of essence, whereas I find using priroda easier. I think the existence of these two words in Russian may have colored his thinking, even though he had to also use Greek writings that said physia.

I have heard that the Coptic word for nature is the same word for God. Would you be able to tell me if that is correct?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: minasoliman on June 01, 2016, 01:35:28 PM
Where did you hear that?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Samn! on June 01, 2016, 01:38:28 PM
On nature, this is useful: https://www.academia.edu/25704705/Personhood_in_Miaphysitism_Severus_of_Antioch_and_John_Philoponus

as well as several of the other papers on Johannes Zachhuber's Academia page...
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: rakovsky on June 01, 2016, 02:13:12 PM
Where did you hear that?
I did a Google search and it came up in the results.

But this site says no word for nature existed in preCoptic Egyptian
https://ancientneareast.org/2012/02/10/an-excursus-on-the-egyptian-word-ntr/

So I am skeptical.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: minasoliman on June 01, 2016, 02:27:56 PM
I wish I could answer your question, but I don't know the answer.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Alkis on June 01, 2016, 02:48:30 PM
I have found a greek site of Coptic Church. It is really interesting. It has articles in greek about the Cpotic Church and has some liturgical books (Agpeya, Liturgies, Holy Week, Prayer book,....) in greek. I will read them all to see our similarities. I really like your church. I watch videos on youtube with liturgies or documentaries. There is also one Coptic church in Greece and I didn't know that and our EO Archbishop gave a cross as a present to them. I have a question. In an article it says that Copts give communion to babies but only the blood of Christ and not the body. Is it true and why this?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: minasoliman on June 01, 2016, 04:16:58 PM
To continue:

The Nature of This Union:
As explained before, the analogy is apt and patristic, whether the seminarian likes it or not.  The union of fire and iron is also apt so as to express the communicato idiomatum.  I recommend reading St. Cyril's Scholia on the Incarnation (http://), especially parts 7-11, where he again uses the analogy of the body and soul in man, uses the unity of coal and fire, and wood overlaid with gold in the ark of the covenant.

The Seminarian says, "The Hypostatic union of the natures in Christ, which took place in the womb of the Virgin was not between soul and body."  HH Pope Shenouda never took the analogy literally to mean that what took place in the Virgin was merely soul and body.  The Seminarian further uses the Damascene quote to chide at HH's question of "how" the resurrection will take place, when in fact, he develops nothing but a red herring.  I would say this quote confirms HH's point of the mystery of the resurrection, not contradicts it.  I think it is silly and insulting to imply that HH did not believe in the resurrection.

The Unity of nature and the birth of Christ:
I'm starting to believe this Seminarian was trying to do some sort of homework and did not fill his quota for a 10 page essay in his class.  So he is fishing for an excuse to write some more.  I think this section is a waste and shows poor theology on the part of the seminarian.  The word "begotten" means "born".  There is no way around this.  We call Christ "Omonogenes", "Only Begotten".  The word "born" is also the same word in Greek "genes".  There is practically no difference.  We only add a qualifier afterwards.  In His divinity, He is "eternally" born from the Father.  In His humanity, He is born within time from the Virgin Theotokos.

In fact, this "born" vs. "begotten" problem ONLY exists in English.  In Arabic, as it is in Greek, there is no such distinction.  Perhaps, the translator should have used "begotten" for both divinity and humanity, but would it have made a difference for this seminarian?  He probably would still criticize HH for not making a clear distinction between both "begottens" just to add the mandatory extra 100 words to his essay.  And just so that my authority is not question, here is an online discussion from a Chalcedonian source (http://www.monachos.net/conversation/topic/4788-the-use-of-born-vs-begotten-in-the-nicene-creed/) who seem quite knowledgeable on this most vexing theological issue we are suffering from apparently.

The One Nature of the Incarnate Logos:
No controversy here.  Just more word fillers.  I wonder if the seminarian realized HH asked a rhetorical question concerning the risen Christ going through closed doors.

The Importance of the ”One Nature” for propitiation and redemption:
This section is a good example of HH speaking one language and the seminarian another language, and two talking past one another.  Perhaps, it's the fault of the translator for not being clear on the intentions of HH.  Being a son of the Coptic Church, I happen understand the language of my Pope with the confused nuances of his accents.  Let's examine the verses HH used:

"crucified the Lord of glory" (1 Corinthians 2:8 )
"denied the Holy One...killed the Prince of Life" (Acts 3:14-15)
"through Whom are all things...through sufferings" (Hebrews 2:10)
"redemption through His blood...by whom all things are created" (Colossians 1:14-16)
"the First and the Last...was dead..."(Revelation 1:17-18)

I purposely took these verses out of context to show you the point of HH in quoting them.  In every single point, the verses emphasize a human quality of a DIVINE PERSON.  Human quality "crucified, denied, killed, through sufferings, through His blood, was dead" of a Divine Person "Lord of glory, Holy One, Prince of Life, through whom are all things, by whom all things are created, First and the Last".  Therefore, in none of these verses is the humanity separate from the divinity, but it is emphasized that the humanity belongs not to some random man, but to the Word of God Himself!  We do not say the human nature was crucified, but GOD was crucified in His humanity.  We stress the person, not the nature, or rather, the nature of the union is the incarnate hypostasis, "Theo Logo Sesarkomene".

Therefore, if one says "the human nature does something and the divine nature does something else", it is perceived in the mind of a Miaphysite that this separates the natures, and that the one on the Cross is not "Lord of glory, Holy One, Prince of Life, through whom are all things, by whom all things are created, First and the Last", but a mere human nature devoid of the fullness of the Godhead which dwells in Him bodily (Col. 2:9).  That is where the criticism of the Tome comes from.  Understandably, this is interpreted differently by our Chalcedonian brothers, so I do not object to the seminarians defense of Pope Leo.  But as I mentioned before, this is simple theology with simple history written for simpletons.  If the seminarian takes this as some sort of statement of faith representing all sophisticated OO theologians, then the seminarian learned nothing of OO theology.

The One nature and the suffering:
Once again, the intention of HH was that the One who suffered was the Word of God.  He took flesh after all so that He can experience all human actions and suffer, but doing so to a deified flesh that we may be deified in Him (here is where I add ancient OO theological intentions, not necessarily HH's thoughts).  The "One nature and the suffering" therefore recognizes that the second person of the Trinity did in fact die, and we, who are fully consubstantial with His humanity, who are baptized in Christ die with Him that we may be raised in Him and be filled with His divinity, which is fully consubstantial with His Father.  It is this principle that St. Cyril thought the Antiochians were too simple-minded (https://books.google.com/books?id=XKrRGhf274YC&pg=PA162&lpg=PA162&dq=cyril+brethren+at+Antioch,+understanding+in+simple+thoughts&source=bl&ots=b02DPGik0t&sig=Ae_1MuFea806bwVkMNmpmLJAR-0&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiutded0YfNAhVLaD4KHUu7Co4Q6AEIKDAC#v=onepage&q=cyril%20brethren%20at%20Antioch%2C%20understanding%20in%20simple%20thoughts&f=false) (Letter 40 to Acacius of Melitene) to truly understand, and so he condescended to their weaknesses for not realizing the beauty of the salvific expression of "one nature".  I suppose in the same spirit, I should forgive the seminarian for his inability to understand Alexandrian theology.

to be continued...
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Alkis on June 01, 2016, 04:24:45 PM
You are so great. Thanks again for your answer! I know greek because I am Greek so I know that the seminarian emphasised too much to the wrods begotten or born. It is ok for me. I know that Pope didn't mean that Jesus was created. I am persuaded that we have the same faith. I read your liturgies, your statements, your prayers... I like so much your tradition. I only have a question about the wills of Christ. As I know we EOs say that Jesus had 2 wills one human and one divine will to which the human one is submitted. What does Copts say about this?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: minasoliman on June 01, 2016, 04:32:12 PM
You are so great. Thanks again for your answer! I know greek because I am Greek so I know that the seminarian emphasised too much to the wrods begotten or born. It is ok for me. I know that Pope didn't mean that Jesus was created. I am persuaded that we have the same faith. I read your liturgies, your statements, your prayers... I like so much your tradition. I only have a question about the wills of Christ. As I know we EOs say that Jesus had 2 wills one human and one divine will to which the human one is submitted. What does Copts say about this?

I'll get to that one eventually  ;)

In summary, we believe Christ had one theandric will, which does not take away the full integrity of the wills of divinity and humanity.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on June 01, 2016, 04:34:51 PM
St Severus is clear that Christ has both a human and a divine will, and Pope Shenouda says the same. But these act as a unity because Christ is one. The human will is present and active but is moved by the divine will, and is his own human will.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Alkis on June 01, 2016, 04:45:35 PM
St Severus is clear that Christ has both a human and a divine will, and Pope Shenouda says the same. But these act as a unity because Christ is one. The human will is present and active but is moved by the divine will, and is his own human will.

So it is the same as us. Human will is submitted to the divine. Ok. It is impressive. I mean that our faith is absolutely the same. Maybe traditions differ but his is logic due to cultural differences. I didn't know in the past that Copts, Armenians etc... are the same like us and I realised it some months ago when I read in the news about Copts. I said "ah yes I remember that church" and I started to search about you. I pray for unity. Your theology is the same with Armenians, Ethiopians, Syrians...? Assyrian Church is different?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: minasoliman on June 01, 2016, 10:01:57 PM
Son of Man:
For this section, I had to do what I did not do until now, read the original document by HH Pope Shenouda (http://copticchurch.net/topics/theology/nature_of_christ.pdf).  The seminarian quoted something that I thought to myself, "did he really say that?"  This is what HH wrote in full context:

No doubt, the term "Son of Man" denotes the human nature of Christ just as the phrase
"Son of God" denotes His Divinity.
However, our Lord Jesus Christ used the term "Son of Man" on several occasions
where He meant "Son of God" of which I mention a few:

If one has a parent who is "fresh off the boat" as they say, with a heavy accent, one can understand what their parents say even if it may not make sense in English.  For instance, my folks say "close the TV" or "close the lights".  It makes no sense, and yet I know they really mean "turn off the tv/lights".  A funny expression in Arabic was translated literally in English to highlight some translational humor.  One of my uncles in Egypt used to tell me "Your night is egg", which in Arabic would mean "Your night is filled with luck."  To make an analogy to the above section, a confused man who does not understand all the colloquialisms of English may say "when I mean go to bed, I mean stay awake and go get bed."

These seemingly two contradictory sentences is a result of a "fresh off the boat" style of translation.  What the second sentence should be intended to say is that when our Lord Jesus Christ used the term "Son of Man", He would raise its dignity to the level of "Son of God".  This is a good example of the communicato idiomatum.  Now what HH did not say, I say it now based on OO soteriology.  These verses where the Son of Man does things the Son of God does are indications of all human nature being deified in Christ.  For inasmuch as He calls Himself "Son of Man", He who is already Son of God by nature, He brings all sons of men into the dignity of His divinity.

1.  "even the Son of Man which is in heaven" (John 3:13), is His own title of His deified humanity, and all humanity deified in Him, granting us the promise to ascend to the right hand of the Father and be co-heirs with Him.

2.  The interpretation of HH and Archbishop Theophylact of Ohrid is essentially the same thing.  To add to this contemplation on Matthew 12:8, we too become co-lords of the Sabbath, being freed from its misuse by the reformation of the Lord, that we can do work on the Sabbath, that is good work.  For man was not created for the Sabbath, but Sabbath for the man.

3.  "the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins" (Matthew 9:6).  Once again, I find no difference between the contemplation of HH and the Damascene.  The same principle applies.  To add, the power of the keys of heaven, forgiving and remitting sins, was handed down to the Apostles.  He gave them a power that can only be described as uncreated.  Once again, a verse of deification.

4.  "the Son of man will come in the Glory of His Father with His angels" (Matthew 16:27).  I like the Palamite contemplation.  But I have a bone to pick.  When HH wrote "with His angels" meant divine nature, the seminarian seems to accuse HH of teaching some idea that angels are uncreated.  My patience seems to be wearing thin at this point with such a stupid red herring.  So I am going to let more intelligent minds read the original document and see for themselves in context the point of HH. 

Now for my added contemplation, St. Paul did teach, "Do you not know that we will judge angels?" (1 Corinthians 6:3)  By deification, when the Christ says the "Son of Man", even we become "co-judges", and we have angels under our authority.  As St. Athanasius writes, For because of our relationship to His Body we too have become God's temple, and in consequence are made God's sons, so that even in us the Lord is now worshipped. (Discourses against the Arians 1.47)

5.  Matt 25:31-34...nothing new to add.  The Seminarian is just magically and mysteriously being a contrarian without actually being contrary.

6.  Matt 26:63-65 and Acts 7:57.  The Son of Man sits at the right hand of the Father that we sons of men may also have that uncreated dignity by grace that THE Son of Man has by nature.  As for the quote of Archbishop Theophylact, if I was be a nuisance like the argument concerning "with the angels" earlier, I could take this quote out of context and accuse the good Archbishop of making the human nature consubstantial with the divine nature when he writes, "the Son of Man will be coming not from earth but from heaven."  But I am intelligent enough to know that's not what the Archbishop meant.  I wish more people would have the same intelligence when analyzing HH's words earlier.

7.  Please see numbers 4 and 5

8.  Please see number 6

Evidence from the Bible:

1.  "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17) is the voice of the Father on all those who are baptized in Christ.  As St. Athanasius writes, Therefore 'Father' is proper to the Son; and not 'creature,' but 'Son' is proper to the Father. Accordingly this passage also proves, that we are not sons by nature, but the Son who is in us ; and again, that God is not our Father by nature, but of that Word in us, in whom and because of whom we 'cry, Abba, Father' (Galatians 4:6). And so in like manner, the Father calls them sons in whomsoever He sees His own Son, and says, 'I begot.' since begetting is significant of a Son, and making is indicative of the works. And thus it is that we are not begotten first, but made; for it is written, 'Let Us make man Genesis 1:26;' but afterwards, on receiving the grace of the Spirit, we are said thenceforth to be begotten also (Discourse Against the Arians 2.59)  Therefore, when God Father speaks to His INCARNATE Son and proclaims "this is my beloved Son", we also receive the same proclamation.

The Seminarian continues to write "Interestingly enough Pope Shenouda nowhere quotes any of the passages where Christ clearly manifests His human nature, as for example in Matt 4:1-3, where Jesus hungers and is tempted by the devil. Did this happen in ”one nature” as well? Did the Lord’s fasting inflict hunger and temptation on the Divine Logos? Did the tempter lift up the Divine Logos and carry Him around?"  No where did HH deny the humanity of Christ.  When He uses these passages and says "One Nature", he is emphasizing both humanity and divinity in unison without any loss of integrity of either humanity or divinity.

But to answer the question to the seminarian, I would say, "Yes, the incarnate Logos did experience fasting, hunger, temptation."  Is it not written in the hymn "Omonogenes" that the Second Person of the Trinity was crucified on the Cross?  Why is this necessary?  Was Christ just LARPing in humanity?  No, but these actions are not merely a man, but the deified flesh of God the Word.  In partaking of hunger and temptation, He deifies them, and grants us the "fullness and uncreated weapon" of His divinity.  As St. Cyril says in his first letter to Succensus, We maintain, therefore, that Christ’s body is divine in so far as it is the body of God, adorned with unspeakable glory, incorruptible, holy, and life-giving; but none of the holy Fathers has ever thought or said that it was transformed into the nature of Godhead, and we have no intention of doing so either.  Likewise, in every human action and experience Christ undergoes, we too become "adorned with unspeakable glory, incorruptible, holy, and life-giving".

2.  Jn 1:15, 30:  Again, HH did not use this verse to deny the humanity of Christ.  As I said before, the Seminarian is just magically and mysteriously being a contrarian without actually being contrary.

3.  Jn. 1:18: Nothing really controversial here.  Neither HH nor the Seminarian contradict each other.

4.  and 5.  The few moments where the Seminarian seems to actually understand the English of the translator of HH's works.  I feel so overjoyed.  ::)

6. 7. and 8.  Nothing really controversial here.  Neither HH nor the Seminarian contradict each other.  Through His humanity, Christ communicates to us His divinity.

We are winding down and getting close to the conclusion of this paper.  In my next post, I will discuss the "one will and act" of Christ.  I invite you to read another paper I wrote (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1oba7NbrASK3BFqnPYHEhnPS4pmpXsGmWkuemuYgckLM/pub) in response to another more highly qualified contrarian (http://blogs.ancientfaith.com/orthodoxyandheterodoxy/2016/04/12/chalcedonian-orthodoxy-non-chalcedonian-heterodoxy/), a response which Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick had the kindness to publish on his blog (http://blogs.ancientfaith.com/orthodoxyandheterodoxy/2016/04/14/response-nicholas-marinides-non-chalcedonian-christology/).  As is explained, I find nothing different dogmatically between the diotheletism of Maximus the Confessor the miatheletism of our OO Christological tradition.  One can say HH is in similar hands, but I will discuss that more in depth another time.  Let's just say, once again, this is a good example of simpleton theology in HH's case.

to be continued...
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: rakovsky on June 01, 2016, 11:14:07 PM
I wish I could answer your question, but I don't know the answer.

This Coptic dictionary on page 98 sas that nature is associated with a fashion or something laid down. I can't read coptic, but it looks like they are saying it is the word ko or sipko. But I may easily be totally off.
http://www.tyndalearchive.com/TABS/crum/
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: minasoliman on June 02, 2016, 12:57:45 AM
chipkoo, jinkoo

I think that's what it says (it's similar to cyrillic, so you should be able to pick it up when you zoom in as much as you can)
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Tonedawg on June 02, 2016, 02:41:21 AM
Dear Mina, I've always wanted to sit down and write a reply refuting this seminarians baseless accusations, but you not only beat me to it, but you are doing an excellent job, a job that I could never frankly do. God bless you for your efforts. If you don't mind I will take what you said and make a PDF out of it.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Tonedawg on June 02, 2016, 02:50:21 AM
St Severus is clear that Christ has both a human and a divine will, and Pope Shenouda says the same. But these act as a unity because Christ is one. The human will is present and active but is moved by the divine will, and is his own human will.

So it is the same as us. Human will is submitted to the divine. Ok. It is impressive. I mean that our faith is absolutely the same. Maybe traditions differ but his is logic due to cultural differences. I didn't know in the past that Copts, Armenians etc... are the same like us and I realised it some months ago when I read in the news about Copts. I said "ah yes I remember that church" and I started to search about you. I pray for unity. Your theology is the same with Armenians, Ethiopians, Syrians...? Assyrian Church is different?

Here is a quote by St. Severus on the wills of Christ that Mina shared a couple of weeks ago:


"Even less is Christ divided into two natures. He is indeed one from two, from divinity and humanity, one person and hypostasis, the one nature of the Logos, become flesh and perfect human being. For this reason he also displays two wills in salvific suffering, the one which requests, the other which is prepared, the one human, the other divine. As he voluntarily took upon himself death in the flesh, which was able to take over suffering and dissolved the domination of death by killing it through immortality—which the resurrection had shown clearly to all—so in the flesh, whose fruit he could take over—it was indeed rationally animated—he voluntarily took upon himself the passio of fear and weakness and uttered words of request, in order through the divine courage to destroy the power of that fear and to give courage to the whole of humanity, for he became after the first Adam the second beginning of our race." (Contra Grammarian III.33, Hovorun 26)

As far as the Assyrians are concerned, I'm not an expert on them and I have a soft spot for them, but some of them are almost pretty much Chalcedonians in their christology and others seem to be a bit Nestorianizing. There was an Assyrian Deacon on this board not too long ago and his arguments were frank Nestorianism. Nevertheless, I don't think most of them are what this Deacon presented. I've also heard that some of the Assyrians were coming closer to us when we had dialogue with them. Mina knows better than me regarding this subject, he also is of the opinion that their doctrine of Theosis in their tradition is deficient because of the influence from Theodore of Mopsuestia's theology. Their original problem was that in refuting Arianism, back in the 4th century, some of them developed a tradition that went overboard with the seperation of the two natures that they seemed like two people, or at best, a schizophrenic Christ, God forbid! If it was hard for God to trul participate in humanity and do human things, then it is also hard, even impossible, for us humans to become one with God. But that's my own weak 2 cents on them.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on June 02, 2016, 05:50:21 AM
Really excellent series of responses Mina.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Alkis on June 02, 2016, 06:10:08 AM
Hm Mina I read your post and your response of the link you have posted. I agree with you. Me I am persuaded now that there is no difference in faith between OO and us EO. Just different terms to describe the same. One of my friends studies theology at school, in which one can be a priest after studies, and his teachers taught him that there is no difference in faith between us and Copts, Armenians etc... They say that we need a council again for reunification and lift anathemas.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: minasoliman on June 02, 2016, 05:57:37 PM
Thank you all.  For completeness' sake though, I will finish with one more post as we wind down to the end of the seminarian's paper.

The One Will and the One Act:
There is only one area in this section where once again leads me to question the seminarian's intelligence, where the seminarian writes, "the mind does not become consubstantial with the mind of Christ".  This paper was written more than ten years ago.  The Lord knows where this man is right now or what he is doing.  One can only hope he matured, and would be able to look back at this paper and criticize himself.  Anything else however I am inclined to be sympathetic with.

As I mentioned in my previous post, from the other article I've written, I provided quotes elucidating what St. Severus of Antioch, the pillar of OO Christology, meant by "one will".  In this same article, I also provided a quote from St. Cyril of Alexandria who also confesses "one will".  It goes without saying also that the Pseudo-Dionysian quote of a "new theandric energy" has been accepted even by Maximus the Confessor, who interpreted it as "two energies", even though the word "energy" is singular.

Recently, His Eminence Metropolitan Bishoy of Damietta gave his own Coptic explanation of the "one will".  He saw no difference between the expression of "one will" in the Coptic Church and "two wills" in the Byzantines, as he interpreted the former to be pertaining to the prosopon of Christ whereas the latter pertains to the nature.  The seminarian may have a point in his criticism of HH's attribution of the will to the prosopon, since even St. Severus of Antioch did not teach this.  I do not have enough knowledge of how the subject of the "wills/energies" of Christ was handled by later OO fathers, but based on St. Severus of Antioch, it is safe to say that Maximus the Confessor agrees with St. Severus more than anything, even if he is under the illusion that there is disagreement.  However, we also need to acknowledge other scholarly voices, such as Fr. Richard Price's recent thoughts on the possible historical red herring of Monotheletism (i.e. that it might not have been dogmatically different from diotheletism).  One can also see in HH's (and Metropolitan Bishoy) explanation as nothing but very simplistic, and lacking the more sophisticated and complete answers provided by St. Severus of Antioch.  However, I found nothing "wrong" in what they say.  The only "wrong" thing they may have said is not represent St. Severus' theology correctly, but otherwise, they are free from heterodoxy in their explanations of "one will".

Let's first look at HH's Scriptural references:

"My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work." (John 4:34)
"Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner." (John 5:19)
"For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me." (John 6:38)
"I and My Father are one." (John 10:30)
"Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me?" (John 8:46)

Christ, who by nature is one in will with the Father becomes incarnate, and reveals to us the divine will through His incarnate form.  Everything Christ does or desires in humanity is a manifestation of the divine will, just as everything incarnate about Christ is a communication of His divine nature.  Now, before we get to understanding HH's theology, there is something that nags at my heart in this discussion.  We should not look at the gospel of John through the lens of Chalcedon or anti-Chalcedon, but through the lens of first century understanding of the will of the Father.  What is the will of the Father?  Is it some sort of ontological uncreated "thing" or "part" of divinity?  Or is a plan or desire or action of God through Christ?  I do not want to be splitting hairs, since I know there is no real contradiction, but the nuance here is that there is a possibility the word "will" was understood differently century after century, and culminated into a seventh century war of words that, in my opinion, should not have occurred.  St. John the Divine teaches us and tells us exactly what this "will" of the Father is:

"And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:40)

If we use this definition, then we can go back and understand that everything that Christ did and everything that the disciples of Christ did manifested this SAME EXACT WILL.  If my job is to do the will of the Father, I too have one and the same will according to St. John, "that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life, and He will raise him up at the last day."  The will of the Father has always been to believe in His Son and to partake of eternal life, leading to the resurrection of the dead.  Therefore, we all must have THAT WILL.  There's nothing "created" or "uncreated" about this will.  No pre-Chalcedonian father wasted their time in Aristotelian or Platonic logic to try to figure out what "will" is.

Does the Father have the same will as the Son and the Holy Spirit?  Yes!  Does the Son, even in incarnate form have the same will as the Father and the Holy Spirit?  Yes!  Does the Church, which is the Body of Christ, have the same will AND MIND as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?  YES!

We need more research into the word "will" and "energy" and find out how these terms evolved over time.  Frankly speaking, neither HH Pope Shenouda nor the seminarian Nicholas Vester have a bigger picture that truly encompasses the whole patristic tradition from the first century on.  What we have is both simplistic theologians who interpret these verses through a very restrictive lens.  Overtime, we do start to see these terms take on a more ontological character that is connected to "ousia".  However, before that, I am willing to bet no one really cared about what the manner of "existence" of "will/energy" was, whether it be prosopon or physis, but rather whether I am doing the will of the Father, which is to do my very best to believe in His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, that through Him, I may have eternal life in the bosom of His Father.  By the participation of the Spirit we are knit into the Godhead. (St. Athanasius, Discourse Against the Arians, 3.24) That's it!  That's all that we should concentrate on.  Everything else that causes controversy is fluff and an obfuscation of the bigger picture, or at best an elaborate clarification of this purpose that although Orthodox, may confuse minds.

If the anti-Chalcedonian tradition professes "one will", it simply says that the Church follows the divine will in incarnate form.  If the Chalcedonian tradition professes "two wills", it simply says that the Church protects the integrity of humanity and divinity, that we do not lose our own essence when we are adorned with divine uncreated glory.  Both these traditions complement each other.  And When we read both HH and the seminarian's explanations, they do not contradict at all.

So back to the verses HH used.  HH teaches that sin makes a contradiction of wills.  But Christ not only committed no sin, He is God Himself incarnate, which is to say the incarnate form of "without sin".  Therefore, Christ uses human nature in order to manifest the oneness of wills, which we can then accomplish as we are engrafted in Christ's body.  In this sense, every single Johannine verse quoted above is not merely the testimony of Christ, but the testimony of every single Christian doing the will of Christ, which is essentially, the will of the Father.  Here Christ speaks as the Church speaks, since both Christ and the Church are one.  We all represent Christ in our daily lives now.  It behooves therefore to understand that these are not messages of hope, but commandments of personal spiritual growth and evangelism.  Eventually, we also in the day of Judgment will become "one with the Father" if we have perfected our wills in conformity to Christ, so that the Father may see His Only Begotten Son in us

Therefore, HH's argument is that if you split the wills, there can never be unity between us and Christ, and eventually, between us and the Father.  Therefore, the term "one will", like "one nature" is a salvific term.  It pertains to our spiritual lives and goals.  The terms of oneness was not meant to be a metaphysical system of consistency as the Chalcedonian tradition is.  For a Chalcedonian, like this seminarian, he searches for metaphysical consistency between Trinitarian and Christological terms.  That's a good complimentary approach that does not contradict the soteriological approach of OO theology.  And to quickly summarize, HH did not ignore the distinction of human and divine wills, but by analogy, even alluded to the saints conforming to the will of the Father.  Therefore, it can be implied that what the saints have is fully consubstantial with Christ's humanity, which includes nature, will, and energy.  Because He is fully consubstantial with us, we could then say that we can have "the same mind of Christ", not by nature, but of course, by grace.  It is also silly to assume HH believed our minds are co-essential with the uncreated mind of Christ, just as the term "theosis" does not mean we become co-essential with God.  Provocative terminology should be embraced with open and spiritual minds, and not the cold-heartedness of heresy-fishing.

And before I get to the conclusion, I invite you again to read my other paper (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1oba7NbrASK3BFqnPYHEhnPS4pmpXsGmWkuemuYgckLM/pub), which proves St. Severus believed that Christ assumed our human fear, our human struggles, our human sufferings, so long as they are presented blamelessly and for a divine purpose.  He took our human fear that we may partake of the divine courage.  He took our human grief that we may partake of the divine cheerfulness.  In every blameless human will Christ partook of, Christ manifests in this human will the paradoxical divine will.  Therefore, in this section of the seminarian, none of the quotes or the arguments he makes contradicts anything theologically from St. Severus, and if I may add, HH himself, who would probably imply the protecting of the integrity of "divine and human wills" in Christ.

Earlier I alluded to "metaphysical consistency".  What do I mean by metaphysical consistency?  The seminarian attacked HH by saying that if you believe in "one will" as personal, then you inevitably have to believe that the Trinity has "three wills".  In another debate I once had with another Chalcedonian, he also attacked St. Severus by saying that if you believe Christ is "one nature", then you inevitably have to believe that the Trinity is 3 natures.  OO theology was never concerned with making consistent the terms of nature between Christology and Trinitarian theology.  Just because we believe Christ is one nature or one will DOES NOT MEAN we believe the Trinity is 3 natures or 3 wills.  OO theology, like St. Cyril himself, is very flexible with terminologies. 

Chalcedonians on the other hand developed a tradition of rigidity with terminology to keep some sort of metaphysical consistency.  If you notice the seminarian's whole paper, he completely fails to mention one glaringly important point of St. Cyril's theology.  The seminarian never seems to admit that the term "one nature" is a valid part of Orthodox theology.  That is completely different from the other paper I replied to, where Dr. Nicholas Marinides admits to the orthodoxy of the expression "one nature", but tried to argue that OOs defined the term differently from St. Cyril (which I have shown was ridiculous and was simply a means of fishing for heresy and contradiction where there is none).  Unfortunately, the seminarian cannot be taken seriously at all in his research because in the whole paper, he took a position where he attacks the terminology "one nature" completely and pretends that St. Cyril himself would have agreed with him the whole way through.  Based on the few letters I have referenced, it is clear to me that St. Cyril would have been quite annoyed at him, and would have asked his newfound friend John of Antioch to explain to him that he never changed his mind about "one nature", but simply was pastoral enough to recognize the theological equivalence of "two natures".  That is also not to mention that the Council of Constantinople in 553 also acknowledges the same as well.  So I find it troubling that the seminarian seems to not only be biased, but at best ignorantly misleading, if not at worst deceptively.

I have one criticism of the terminological rigidity of Chalcedonians, and that is not a theological criticism, but a criticism of anachronism.  I find it unfortunate that there is this assumption that whatever terminology they use, this was meant the same way by more ancient Church fathers.  This is why the debates become so confusing when we discuss terms like "ousia", "physis" and "hypostasis".  These three terms have been used differently in different times and different places and traditions.  For instance, Chalcedonians have developed a tradition that we do not partake of the divine "ousia" but rather the divine "energia".  The intentional meaning of this, I accept, but this formula was not always consistently held in history.  Symeon the New Theologian as well as other more ancient fathers did not shy away from saying "partake of the divine essence" (https://www.academia.edu/19771795/On_the_Topic_of_Participation_in_the_Divine_Essence_According_to_St_Symeon_the_New_Theologian_in_the_Patristic_Context).  So either Symeon is a heretic or he meant something different with the word "ousia".  Given the great veneration of this man, I do not think any Chalcedonian would dare accuse him of heresy. 

A while ago, when I was explaining the terminology of St. Severus, I explained how he saw, in Christology, that "ousia" was abstract, that is only actualized in "hypostasis".  Once again, St. Severus was attacked by presuming he believed the divine ousia of the Holy Trinity is "abstract".  It becomes rather frustrating at this point to try to put some sense into the heads of people who think in a particular way, but I hope by now we understand that we need to think differently with humility.  Just like analogies, terminology is weak in describing the holy mysteries of our theological traditions.  We can do the best we can with what we have, but we should not ignore the differences in how these analogies and terms were used.  We all speak different languages.  Rather than say that Coptic or Greek are the only holy languages we have, let us in the grace of the Holy Pentecost, break down the curse of Babel and embrace all the theological languages in history that we have, so that when we hear the voice of St. Peter on that glorious day of the tongues of fire, we hear the same faith expressed in Chalcedonian and non-Chalcedonian languages, in Coptic, Aramaic, Armenian, Ethiopian, Greek, Slavic, and Latin traditions.

Post Scriptum instead of a conclusion:

The seminarian accuses the Coptic church in emphasizing the Divine nature and person.  So that when we say God suffered, he thinks HH (and Copts in general) teach that somehow we believe that the bleeding come from and the nails went through His divinity.  I think I wrote more than I required when it comes to understanding the different languages and intentions of both Chalcedonians and non-Chalcedonians.  What was emphasized was not the divinity, but the unity of divinity and humanity, which is called by us "one nature".  The Word Himself indeed suffered and died on the Cross, not in His divinity, but in His humanity.  The emphasis however on the "one nature" is that this is no mere man who died.  But His deified humanity died so much so that this human death becomes paradoxically life-giving.  That is the point of the most important hymn, "Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death!"  Therefore, if paradox and terminological flexibility exists in our hymnology, rather than being rigid in terminology and making illusions and assumptions about those who use different terminologies, why cannot our brother the seminarian open up his mind to this in non-Chalcedonian language?

And why does he pretend St. Cyril never confessed "one nature"?  What patristic consensus does he have in "two natures"?  Most of his quotes already come from post-Chalcedonian fathers, and the pre-Chalcedonian fathers rarely, if ever, made any numerations on the natures of Christ.

I have already explained HH's weaknesses in theology regarding the Scholastic influence he received.  I think the Coptic Church is beginning to turn the tide on this, learning from the mistakes of Chalcedonians who also had Scholastic infiltrations in their theological traditions not too long ago.

May the Lord have mercy on us all and lead His Church in all truth and divine uncreated grace.

Appendix:  Joint Commissions Statements (http://www.coptic.net/articles/orthodoxunitydialog.txt)

Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Alkis on June 02, 2016, 06:37:02 PM
I must say that yes some EO theologians are too selfish to say that "ok a mistake happened in Chalcedon let's correct it" and still believe that Oriental Churches are heresies. At least there are from both sides many well educated and apen minded people that I hope one day as soon as possible will reunite the Church. We all need it. There are many enemies of Christ in our days and we must be ONE. Thank you Mina for your time and your responses. You solved my questions. :p I was trying for months to inform about Oriental Orthodoxy and why we have schism with you. The first sties I visited were EO and said that OO is a heresy but we make dialogues etc... And then I read the site you posted now as appendix and I was curious to learn the truth and the christology of both EO and OO. I realised now after your posts and my own research that we are family with the same faith and many similarities but also some differences in tradition and this is beautiful for me because each rich culture is still alive and in harmony with Christianity.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: minasoliman on June 02, 2016, 09:20:13 PM
St Severus is clear that Christ has both a human and a divine will, and Pope Shenouda says the same. But these act as a unity because Christ is one. The human will is present and active but is moved by the divine will, and is his own human will.

So it is the same as us. Human will is submitted to the divine. Ok. It is impressive. I mean that our faith is absolutely the same. Maybe traditions differ but his is logic due to cultural differences. I didn't know in the past that Copts, Armenians etc... are the same like us and I realised it some months ago when I read in the news about Copts. I said "ah yes I remember that church" and I started to search about you. I pray for unity. Your theology is the same with Armenians, Ethiopians, Syrians...? Assyrian Church is different?

Here is a quote by St. Severus on the wills of Christ that Mina shared a couple of weeks ago:


"Even less is Christ divided into two natures. He is indeed one from two, from divinity and humanity, one person and hypostasis, the one nature of the Logos, become flesh and perfect human being. For this reason he also displays two wills in salvific suffering, the one which requests, the other which is prepared, the one human, the other divine. As he voluntarily took upon himself death in the flesh, which was able to take over suffering and dissolved the domination of death by killing it through immortality—which the resurrection had shown clearly to all—so in the flesh, whose fruit he could take over—it was indeed rationally animated—he voluntarily took upon himself the passio of fear and weakness and uttered words of request, in order through the divine courage to destroy the power of that fear and to give courage to the whole of humanity, for he became after the first Adam the second beginning of our race." (Contra Grammarian III.33, Hovorun 26)

As far as the Assyrians are concerned, I'm not an expert on them and I have a soft spot for them, but some of them are almost pretty much Chalcedonians in their christology and others seem to be a bit Nestorianizing. There was an Assyrian Deacon on this board not too long ago and his arguments were frank Nestorianism. Nevertheless, I don't think most of them are what this Deacon presented. I've also heard that some of the Assyrians were coming closer to us when we had dialogue with them. Mina knows better than me regarding this subject, he also is of the opinion that their doctrine of Theosis in their tradition is deficient because of the influence from Theodore of Mopsuestia's theology. Their original problem was that in refuting Arianism, back in the 4th century, some of them developed a tradition that went overboard with the seperation of the two natures that they seemed like two people, or at best, a schizophrenic Christ, God forbid! If it was hard for God to trul participate in humanity and do human things, then it is also hard, even impossible, for us humans to become one with God. But that's my own weak 2 cents on them.

Yes, I am more than willing to be very open-minded to Assyrian Christians, and there's some cautious optimism in this.  However, the Assyrian Church seems to have a stronger history in condemning deification and keeping separately far apart any idea of communion between divinity and humanity.  As far as I am aware, the Coptic Church reveres two saints who were part of the Nestorian Church, St. Isaac the Syrian and St. John (Saba) of Dalyatha.  It seems to me the Assyrian Church condemned St. John (https://www.academia.edu/2344286/Could_Christ_s_Humanity_See_His_Divinity_An_Eighth-Century_Controversy_between_John_of_Dalyatha_and_Timothy_I_Catholicos_of_the_Church_of_the_East) for ideas of seeing the uncreated light and deification.  A good question would be what do Assyrian theologians and bishops today think of events like this and of theology surrounding deification in general?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Tonedawg on June 03, 2016, 01:47:45 AM
As promised, here is the quote from St. Cyril himself, from "On the unity of Christ":

“B. But they say, how can the same one both suffer and not suffer? [They is referring to the Antiochians theologians]

Cyril: He suffers in his own flesh, and not in the nature of the Godhead. The method of these things is altogether ineffable, and there is no mind that can attain to such subtle and transcendent ideas. Yet, following these most correct deductions, and carefully considering the most reasonable explanations, we do not deny that he can be said to suffer (in case we thereby imply that the birth in the flesh was not his but someone else’s), but this does not mean that we say that the things pertaining to the flesh transpired in his divine and transcendent nature. No, as I have said, he ought to be conceived of as suffering in his own flesh, although not suffering in any way like this in the God-head. The force of any comparison falters here and falls short of the truth, although I can bring to mind a feeble image of this reality which might lead us from something tangible, as it were, to the very heights and to what is beyond all speech. It is like iron, or other such material, when it is put in contact with a raging fire. It receives the fire into itself, and when it is in the very heart of the fire, if someone should beat it, then the material itself takes the battering but the nature of the fire is in no way injured by the one who strikes. This is how you should understand the way in which the Son is said both to suffer in the flesh and not to suffer in the Godhead. Although, as I said, the force of any comparison is feeble, this brings us somewhere near the truth if we have not deliberately chosen to disbelieve the holy scriptures.”


I find it extremly ironic that John of Damascus would ask the Mia-Physites the same questions centuries later, which in a sense, comes to show you that Chalcedon was more Antiochian in language and terminology.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: minasoliman on June 03, 2016, 01:52:59 AM
Let's try not to label any controversial comments about the council to avoid sending this to the private forum.

Mina
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Tonedawg on June 03, 2016, 02:17:55 AM
Let's try not to label any controversial comments about the council to avoid sending this to the private forum.

Mina


My bad, I wasn't trying to say anything controversial, but rather historical and factual. "In two natures" was Antiochian, and Roman, terminology that eventually won the day at that council.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: rakovsky on June 04, 2016, 11:04:58 AM
I must say that yes some EO theologians are too selfish to say that "ok a mistake happened in Chalcedon let's correct it"
I am glad and sympathize with your ecumenical attitude about EOS and OOs, Alkis.
On the other hand, I think that it is not an issue of being selfish. I try to look at Chalcedon as objectively as possible and think that at Chalcedon the EOS were faced with a tough situation. They sincerely believed Christ had two natures and the EO Patriarch Flavian had been condemned for teaching this at Ephesus II, which was intended to be  and was sometimes called by its organizers an ecumenical council. So the EOs' solution to Ephesus ii was to call a council of at least equal authority in order to say that " in two natures" was correct.

The result of these two councils was the schism that you, I, and many others do not want. So I am open to considering the decision to call a council in response to ephesus ii to teach in two natures a mistake, but at this point I also have to say that the EOS were in a tough situation about what to do and that it isn't a question of selfishness for me.

If you do feel this way, I would invite you to discuss this on the EO OO private section further.
Kindly,
Rakovsky.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Alkis on June 04, 2016, 11:20:58 AM
I must say that yes some EO theologians are too selfish to say that "ok a mistake happened in Chalcedon let's correct it"
I am glad and sympathize with your ecumenical attitude about EOS and OOs, Alkis.
On the other hand, I think that it is not an issue of being selfish. I try to look at Chalcedon as objectively as possible and think that at Chalcedon the EOS were faced with a tough situation. They sincerely believed Christ had two natures and the EO Patriarch Flavian had been condemned for teaching this at Ephesus II, which was intended to be  and was sometimes called by its organizers an ecumenical council. So the EOs' solution to Ephesus ii was to call a council of at least equal authority in order to say that " in two natures" was correct.

The result of these two councils was the schism that you, I, and many others do not want. So I am open to considering the decision to call a council in response to ephesus ii to teach in two natures a mistake, but at this point I also have to say that the EOS were in a tough situation about what to do and that it isn't a question of selfishness for me.

If you do feel this way, I would invite you to discuss this on the EO OO private section further.
Kindly,
Rakovsky.

Oh I didn't say it correctly. I mean that in OUR days there are selfish theologians that say OOs are monophysites and hereticals just because in the past some Fathers claimed that. I meant that we realise now that it is not true. Where is this section? I would like to read posts.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: minasoliman on June 04, 2016, 11:55:37 AM
You have to pm Fr. George (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=755) to gain access.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: rakovsky on June 04, 2016, 09:23:35 PM

Oh I didn't say it correctly. I mean that in OUR days there are selfish theologians that say OOs are monophysites and hereticals just because in the past some Fathers claimed that. I meant that we realise now that it is not true. Where is this section? I would like to read posts.
[/quote]
This gets into the question of whether if someone misunderstands an orthodox conciliar formula and then rejects it, does such rejection make him a "heretic"?

My preference is to say like Mina has been saying, that it is really the substance of issues that matters. But still I think it is a good question.

Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: IBelongtoChrist on July 15, 2016, 04:12:31 AM
I am Coptic Orthodox but have always believed the EO Church is equally Orthodox and have learnt a lot from it via Ancient Faith Radio and a few Russian Orthodox books. I also believe that Chalcedon can be interpreted in a way that's compatible with the OO faith, however I'll never accept its anathemas against the OO fathers.

Unfortunately, I still struggle with being attentive in and enjoying the liturgy, mainly because I didn't attend many liturgies when I was young, and so I've been looking for an Orthodox church (whether Eastern or Oriental) that gives you liturgy booklets as you enter the church so that you can participate and understand what's going on, just like Catholic & Protestant churches do. I heard OCA churches are like that but I live in Sydney, Australia not in the US.

I realise this last paragraph is a bit irrelevant to the topic and so I completely understand if the admin wants to move it to another section. This is actually my first post on the forum.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: wgw on July 15, 2016, 04:18:56 AM
I must say that yes some EO theologians are too selfish to say that "ok a mistake happened in Chalcedon let's correct it"
I am glad and sympathize with your ecumenical attitude about EOS and OOs, Alkis.
On the other hand, I think that it is not an issue of being selfish. I try to look at Chalcedon as objectively as possible and think that at Chalcedon the EOS were faced with a tough situation. They sincerely believed Christ had two natures and the EO Patriarch Flavian had been condemned for teaching this at Ephesus II, which was intended to be  and was sometimes called by its organizers an ecumenical council. So the EOs' solution to Ephesus ii was to call a council of at least equal authority in order to say that " in two natures" was correct.

The result of these two councils was the schism that you, I, and many others do not want. So I am open to considering the decision to call a council in response to ephesus ii to teach in two natures a mistake, but at this point I also have to say that the EOS were in a tough situation about what to do and that it isn't a question of selfishness for me.

If you do feel this way, I would invite you to discuss this on the EO OO private section further.
Kindly,
Rakovsky.

Oh I didn't say it correctly. I mean that in OUR days there are selfish theologians that say OOs are monophysites and hereticals just because in the past some Fathers claimed that. I meant that we realise now that it is not true. Where is this section? I would like to read posts.

Selfish isnt the word I would use; misguided might be more apt.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: wgw on July 15, 2016, 04:27:27 AM
I am Coptic Orthodox but have always believed the EO Church is equally Orthodox and have learnt a lot from it via Ancient Faith Radio and a few Russian Orthodox books. I also believe that Chalcedon can be interpreted in a way that's compatible with the OO faith, however I'll never accept its anathemas against the OO fathers.

Unfortunately, I still struggle with being attentive in and enjoying the liturgy, mainly because I didn't attend many liturgies when I was young, and so I've been looking for an Orthodox church (whether Eastern or Oriental) that gives you liturgy booklets as you enter the church so that you can participate and understand what's going on, just like Catholic & Protestant churches do. I heard OCA churches are like that but I live in Sydney, Australia not in the US.

I realise this last paragraph is a bit irrelevant to the topic and so I completely understand if the admin wants to move it to another section. This is actually my first post on the forum.

The Coptic Diocese of Los Angeles puts Euchologions containing the liturgies of Ss. Basil, Cyril amd Gregory, the Filling of the Chalice, the Morming and Evening Raising of Imcense, and the Fractions and Seasonal Praises in the pews, along with an Agpeya.  You should ask Abouna for a copy of both.

Failimg that, kf you have an iPad, the CopticReader app is a freely downloadable Agpeya that you can extend through add on modules so that it includes the entire liturgy.  It also updates automatically and gives you the proper hymns and praises for each day in tje Coptic calendar, both the movable chcle of feasts around Pascha and the fixed feasts   So it is the best solution...it provides the text in English Arabic and Coptic.  To fully load it costs like US $30 whereas buying a Euchollgion, Psalmody, Khiak Paalmody, Paschal Service Book and Agpeya costs $200; I know, because before CopticReader came oit I bought most of those items, except for the Euchologion, which was given to me by a deacon as a gift.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Remnkemi on July 19, 2016, 03:03:51 PM
I wish I could answer your question, but I don't know the answer.

This Coptic dictionary on page 98 sas that nature is associated with a fashion or something laid down. I can't read coptic, but it looks like they are saying it is the word ko or sipko. But I may easily be totally off.
http://www.tyndalearchive.com/TABS/crum/
sinko ehrei is Sahidic Coptic. Jinko ekhrei is Bohairic Coptic. Crum 98b, as you quoted, states Bohairic Amos 66 (I assume that means Amos 6:6) says "in the day of thy jinko ekhrei soma" meaning "the day of your laying down body". Unfortunately, Bohairic Amos does not have this phrase anywhere. I am not sure what the dictionary is referencing. I will say that jinko ekhrei is not "nature" as you are thinking. You should understand it as in, the laying down design plans for a house. This could be understood as "the nature of a house" but not nature as in physis.

I also checked the rest of the Bible. 14 times the word nature is used in the English Bible translations. Almost always the Coptic bible uses "divinity" or "humanity" every time the English versions translate nature. On 2 or 3 occasions, the Coptic uses the Greek loan word physis. The best example is 2 Peter 1:4 "partakers of the divine nature" is literally "partakers of the divinity's physis". Hebrews 1:3 Greek, Sahidic and Bohairic Coptic have "hypostasis" but the English translations are all over the place (nature, substance, person, being, essence), etc.

I also check some writings of St Shenoute the Archimandrite who is the most prolific Coptic writer of late antiquity. His corpus is very large, all Coptic. He always uses physis for nature when discussing christology.  If I consider St Shenoute as an exemplar of Coptic christological works, then he expresses the "nature" of things with context, not terminology. So when one wants to say the divine nature is timeless, one would use "God who is timeless" or "eternal divinity". If one wants to describe the nature of Christ's humanity, one would use "Christ the Victorious" or "Christ the powerful on the Cross", etc. Another way Coptic describes christology is with "negative" adjectives. So we would describe God's essence as "the immeasurable" or "the uncircumscript" or the "timeless", etc.

Finally, looking at current Coptic liturgical rites, nature, essence, hypostasis and prosopon are always Greek.

Conclusion: Jinko ekhrei is really an aberration, not the norm. There are no Coptic words for specific christological terminology. If terminology is used, it is always the Greek loan word. I'm gong to the International Association of Coptic Studies meeting this week and I'll ask around.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: rakovsky on July 19, 2016, 06:35:53 PM
Dear Remnkemi,

Thank you for your eply. I will be excited to hear what you find out.

I put my reply to you on another section of the forum:

Connections between pre-Christian Egyptian religion and Coptic Christianity

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,68492.msg1410186.html#msg1410186
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Justin Kolodziej on July 19, 2016, 06:50:44 PM
I must say that yes some EO theologians are too selfish to say that "ok a mistake happened in Chalcedon let's correct it"
I am glad and sympathize with your ecumenical attitude about EOS and OOs, Alkis.
On the other hand, I think that it is not an issue of being selfish. I try to look at Chalcedon as objectively as possible and think that at Chalcedon the EOS were faced with a tough situation. They sincerely believed Christ had two natures and the EO Patriarch Flavian had been condemned for teaching this at Ephesus II, which was intended to be  and was sometimes called by its organizers an ecumenical council. So the EOs' solution to Ephesus ii was to call a council of at least equal authority in order to say that " in two natures" was correct.

The result of these two councils was the schism that you, I, and many others do not want. So I am open to considering the decision to call a council in response to ephesus ii to teach in two natures a mistake, but at this point I also have to say that the EOS were in a tough situation about what to do and that it isn't a question of selfishness for me.

If you do feel this way, I would invite you to discuss this on the EO OO private section further.
Kindly,
Rakovsky.

Oh I didn't say it correctly. I mean that in OUR days there are selfish theologians that say OOs are monophysites and hereticals just because in the past some Fathers claimed that. I meant that we realise now that it is not true. Where is this section? I would like to read posts.

Selfish isnt the word I would use; misguided might be more apt.
And I would say that said Fathers and those theologians, far from being misguided or (oh the calumny!) selfish, are the ones who are correct; the anathemas still apply in 2016 as they did when they were written; Non-Chalcedonians need to accept seven Ecumenical councils to be Orthodox; those who say otherwise mock the very Church Fathers they claim to honor.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Mor Ephrem on July 19, 2016, 06:52:56 PM
I must say that yes some EO theologians are too selfish to say that "ok a mistake happened in Chalcedon let's correct it"
I am glad and sympathize with your ecumenical attitude about EOS and OOs, Alkis.
On the other hand, I think that it is not an issue of being selfish. I try to look at Chalcedon as objectively as possible and think that at Chalcedon the EOS were faced with a tough situation. They sincerely believed Christ had two natures and the EO Patriarch Flavian had been condemned for teaching this at Ephesus II, which was intended to be  and was sometimes called by its organizers an ecumenical council. So the EOs' solution to Ephesus ii was to call a council of at least equal authority in order to say that " in two natures" was correct.

The result of these two councils was the schism that you, I, and many others do not want. So I am open to considering the decision to call a council in response to ephesus ii to teach in two natures a mistake, but at this point I also have to say that the EOS were in a tough situation about what to do and that it isn't a question of selfishness for me.

If you do feel this way, I would invite you to discuss this on the EO OO private section further.
Kindly,
Rakovsky.

Oh I didn't say it correctly. I mean that in OUR days there are selfish theologians that say OOs are monophysites and hereticals just because in the past some Fathers claimed that. I meant that we realise now that it is not true. Where is this section? I would like to read posts.

Selfish isnt the word I would use; misguided might be more apt.
And I would say that said Fathers and those theologians, far from being misguided or (oh the calumny!) selfish, are the ones who are correct; the anathemas still apply in 2016 as they did when they were written; Non-Chalcedonians need to accept seven or eight or nine or ten or eleven or twelve or thirteen or fourteen or fifteen or sixteen or sixteen or seventeen or eighteen Ecumenical councils to be Orthodox; those who say otherwise mock the very Church Fathers they claim to honor.

Fixed.   ::)

EDIT: Now fixed. 
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: wgw on July 19, 2016, 07:31:32 PM
I must say that yes some EO theologians are too selfish to say that "ok a mistake happened in Chalcedon let's correct it"
I am glad and sympathize with your ecumenical attitude about EOS and OOs, Alkis.
On the other hand, I think that it is not an issue of being selfish. I try to look at Chalcedon as objectively as possible and think that at Chalcedon the EOS were faced with a tough situation. They sincerely believed Christ had two natures and the EO Patriarch Flavian had been condemned for teaching this at Ephesus II, which was intended to be  and was sometimes called by its organizers an ecumenical council. So the EOs' solution to Ephesus ii was to call a council of at least equal authority in order to say that " in two natures" was correct.

The result of these two councils was the schism that you, I, and many others do not want. So I am open to considering the decision to call a council in response to ephesus ii to teach in two natures a mistake, but at this point I also have to say that the EOS were in a tough situation about what to do and that it isn't a question of selfishness for me.

If you do feel this way, I would invite you to discuss this on the EO OO private section further.
Kindly,
Rakovsky.

Oh I didn't say it correctly. I mean that in OUR days there are selfish theologians that say OOs are monophysites and hereticals just because in the past some Fathers claimed that. I meant that we realise now that it is not true. Where is this section? I would like to read posts.

Selfish isnt the word I would use; misguided might be more apt.
And I would say that said Fathers and those theologians, far from being misguided or (oh the calumny!) selfish, are the ones who are correct; the anathemas still apply in 2016 as they did when they were written; Non-Chalcedonians need to accept seven Ecumenical councils to be Orthodox; those who say otherwise mock the very Church Fathers they claim to honor.

Please, I beseech you, do not accuse us of mocking the Church Fathers; I have a devotion to all pre-Chalcedonian saints and to almost all post-Chalcedonian saints, and I greatly admire many Roman Catholic saints.  We actively desire unity and many of us have a very high opinion of some parts of subsequent ecumenical councils.  I consider myself fully Orthodox and will receive the Eucharist from any EO who will give it to me as well as from the OO, and indeed, will receive it from a Catholic priest under the terms of the Code of Canon Laws of the Eastern Churches which allow Oriental Orthodox to receive the sacraments from the RC where no Orthodox church is available and if they are properly disposed to do so...a Syriac Orthodox priest at are convention in 2013 in Anaheim told me I should do this if Inwas ever in that situation and my confessor later verified it.  I have also heard reports that the Syriac Orthodox priest in Constantinople has provided communion to local Catholics; if this is true it might make us the only Orthodox church which has reciprocated the Vatican's Eucharistic hospitality.  Other OOs and probably most EOs would never do that and I dont think my local priest would do that, but it is interesting if true, especially if his Metropolitan approved.

Also, your own Church has examined our Christology and found it to be correct and free from error.

Food for thought as you continue to practice Catholicism while looking ad orientem.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Justin Kolodziej on July 19, 2016, 07:33:39 PM
heh. For the record that is part of why I am leaving the Roman Catholic Church, if they ever were the true Church they blew it since they don't even care that Trent happened anymore. Now the Pope's going to celebrate 500 years of Protestant heresy?

Just like it appears most of you don't seem to care that Chalcedon happened anymore. I will stick with Pope St. Leo over you or an army of not-so-Orthodox non-theologians saying it's all a big misunderstanding. ::) ::) ::)
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: TheTrisagion on July 19, 2016, 08:53:51 PM
I believe that Chalcedon provided an accurate statement regarding Christology. I don't presume to condemn people who have the same belief, but view it from a different angle. Both EO and OO proclaim that Christ was fully God and fully human. Unless you can show me how they differ, I will refrain from any condemnation.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Mor Ephrem on July 19, 2016, 10:13:46 PM
heh. For the record that is part of why I am leaving the Roman Catholic Church, if they ever were the true Church they blew it since they don't even care that Trent happened anymore. Now the Pope's going to celebrate 500 years of Protestant heresy?

Just like it appears most of you don't seem to care that Chalcedon happened anymore. I will stick with Pope St. Leo over you or an army of not-so-Orthodox non-theologians saying it's all a big misunderstanding. ::) ::) ::)

i·ro·ny
ˈīrənē/
noun

a not-at-all Orthodox, disgruntled Roman Catholic judging Orthodox theologians as inferior to himself 
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: wgw on July 20, 2016, 02:03:27 AM
heh. For the record that is part of why I am leaving the Roman Catholic Church, if they ever were the true Church they blew it since they don't even care that Trent happened anymore. Now the Pope's going to celebrate 500 years of Protestant heresy?

Just like it appears most of you don't seem to care that Chalcedon happened anymore. I will stick with Pope St. Leo over you or an army of not-so-Orthodox non-theologians saying it's all a big misunderstanding. ::) ::) ::)

I have no problems using either Chalcedonian or Miaphysitenexpressions of faith, which is why I believe that this schism should end.  Indeed, it has nearly or partially ended many times before, for example, the attempted reunification of the two Patriarchates of Alexandria, rejected by the Albanian Khedive, in the 19th century (divide et impera and all that).  There is also the matter of the joint agreement between the Antiochian and Syriac churches...in Syria, a state of limited intercommunion has existed between the EOs ans OOs since 1992, the two churches agreed not to convert each others members and to communicate intermarried spouses, and to work towards a long term goal of reunification wherein the Syriac and Greco-Arab heritage of the two churches would be preserved.  Any remaining antipathy was crushed by the abduction of both of the Metropolitans of Aleppo as theynwere travelling back into Syria together, and the two churches have added prayers for their safe refurn to each others services, ongoing since 2013 now.

No other autocephalous canonical Eastern Orthodox church has condemned or severed communion with Antioch over this issue.  The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and the Ecumenical Patriarchate appear to be supporters; the Alexandrian churches have a similiar understanding, and I have heard reports that in Egypt, if not in the diaspora, of Copts receiving communion in EO parishes and vice versa, and of both sides being welcomed and communed at the Monasteries of St. Anthony and St. Catharine of Sinai.  I cant verify this, but more food for thought.  The Mscow Patriarchate is also developing exceedingly warm relations with the Armenian Apostolic Church.

So it seems to me there are three groups that may be of interest to you, all of which reject ecumenical reconciliation: the Greek Old Calendarists, the SSPX, or if you really want the Byzantine Rite, the SSPX Society of St. Josaphat, which is a traditionalist group that broke away from the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church over the removal of Latinizations from the Byzantine Rite liturgy, like the Stations of the Cross, the Sacring Bells, and so on.  The latter group would give you Trent, if that council is particularly important to you.

In any case, God bless gou, and I hope you find what you are looking for.  You will find many EOs whomagree with your views but the EO concept of "You are what you are in communion with" which I suspect you agree with means you would be in communion with many Eastern Orthodox who are either unaware of the schism or want it to end, and with the leadership of several EO churches which have actively pursued ever closer union with their Oriental counterparts.  It remains probable that OO-EO reunion will predate EO-RC reunion (although I think the latter is slightly more urgent because of increasing instability in the Roman Church; we nearly reunited with the Anglicans, but the process took too long and in 1979 it became apparent there was nothing much left with which we could actually reunify, tragically).   The OO, EO and Assyrian churches are the only churches dogmatically stable enough to be able to last long enough in their current form for reunion to be, if not a certainty, very likely.

By the way, a question I like to pose to those who object to EO-OO reunification: are you familiar with, and do you agree with, the theology of the hymn Ho Monoges, written by St. Severus based on the writings of St. Athanasius and inserted into the Byzantine Rite liturgy by St. Justinian?   This hymn opens the Syriac Orthodox liturgy,  and in the Byzantine Rite liturgy is on most or all occasions part of the Second Antiphon, following the Typical Psalm or alternative Psalms or Antiphons on certain occasions.  It represents the EO concession to a correct form of Theopaschitism which avoids Monophysitism or Patripassianism, by saying, as I read it, that God died for us in the flesh put on by the person of the Son, the incarnate Word, albeit expressed in more eloquent terminology.

The confusion resulted from actual monophysites like the Eutychians, who became Tritheists, eventually teaching that God has three natures, one dor each person, and this cult I think became extinct in the Dark Ages; there were also related heretical groups and individuals who everyone disowns to varying degrees; the writings of John Philoponus for instance start out on a high note before descending into some unpleasant ideas the OOs and EOs reject.  You had some Copts who embraced Monothelitism, an attempted reconciliation, and others who stayed clear of it, and the Maronite Schism.  There was much confusion, and in the midst of this I think St. John of Damascus just did not have enough reliable information on the actual faith of the OOs. 

The Coptic parish I attended for many months had a pre (or post, I forget which) communion prayer by St. John of Damascus printed in laminated paper in English and Arabic in all the pews, for the congregation to say I think after they received the holy mysteries, and this is fairly typical.  I have never met an OO who doesnt want reconciliation with the EOs or else is unaware of the details of the schism, I believe since it was established that the EOs are not Nestorian rather clearly all OOs support reunion.

On the other hand, I have never met an Assyrian with kind words for the Copts and only one Copt (minasoliman) with anything nice to say about the Assyrians.   I met a chap at the Greek St. Anthonys at once who was an Assyrian taxi driver from the Bay Area who attended an Antiochian parish..lhis accent suggested he was largely a speaker of Arabic but he knew East Syriac liturgical phrases, and discussed with me at length about how Copts are not trustworthy, how  one cannot believe what they say in their theological declarations,et cetera, and on the other hand the Coptic Church blocked the Assyrian Church of the East from joining the Middle Eastern Council of Churches, which was perhaps a bit harsh especially in light of the cordial relationship between the Syriac Orthodox and Assyrian churches; I think it would have been better to keep the Pentecostals out myself.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: CoptoGeek on July 20, 2016, 09:11:04 AM

On the other hand, I have never met an Assyrian with kind words for the Copts and only one Copt (minasoliman) with anything nice to say about the Assyrians.   I met a chap at the Greek St. Anthonys at once who was an Assyrian taxi driver from the Bay Area who attended an Antiochian parish..lhis accent suggested he was largely a speaker of Arabic but he knew East Syriac liturgical phrases, and discussed with me at length about how Copts are not trustworthy, how  one cannot believe what they say in their theological declarations,et cetera, and on the other hand the Coptic Church blocked the Assyrian Church of the East from joining the Middle Eastern Council of Churches, which was perhaps a bit harsh especially in light of the cordial relationship between the Syriac Orthodox and Assyrian churches; I think it would have been better to keep the Pentecostals out myself.

There are a lot of things changing that distrust between the 2 communities. It will take time, of course, but things are now headed in a positive direction.

some small examples:

SECRETARY OF THE HOLY SYNOD MEETS WITH SYNOD SECRETARY OF THE COPTIC ORTHODOX CHURCH
http://news.assyrianchurch.org/secretary-of-the-holy-synod-meets-with-synod-secretary-of-the-coptic-orthodox-church/ (http://news.assyrianchurch.org/secretary-of-the-holy-synod-meets-with-synod-secretary-of-the-coptic-orthodox-church/)

Assyrian Bishop and ACERO send letter thanking ACM for raising funds for refugees.
http://www.auscma.com/2014/09/assyrian-bishop-and-acero-send-letter-thanking-acm-for-raising-funds-for-refugees/ (http://www.auscma.com/2014/09/assyrian-bishop-and-acero-send-letter-thanking-acm-for-raising-funds-for-refugees/)

Assyrian community stands with Egypt’s Copts
http://www.auscma.com/2015/03/assyrian-community-stands-with-egypts-copts/ (http://www.auscma.com/2015/03/assyrian-community-stands-with-egypts-copts/)
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: RaphaCam on July 20, 2016, 10:06:50 AM
I consider myself fully Orthodox and will receive the Eucharist from any EO who will give it to me as well as from the OO, and indeed, will receive it from a Catholic priest under the terms of the Code of Canon Laws of the Eastern Churches which allow Oriental Orthodox to receive the sacraments from the RC where no Orthodox church is available and if they are properly disposed to do so...a Syriac Orthodox priest at are convention in 2013 in Anaheim told me I should do this if Inwas ever in that situation and my confessor later verified it.  I have also heard reports that the Syriac Orthodox priest in Constantinople has provided communion to local Catholics; if this is true it might make us the only Orthodox church which has reciprocated the Vatican's Eucharistic hospitality.  Other OOs and probably most EOs would never do that and I dont think my local priest would do that but it is interesting if true, especially if his Metropolitan approved.
Both Antiochian patriarchates are tragically very open eucharistically in Brazil and, God forgive me if I'm wrong, I believe both Dom Damaskinos and Mor José are part of it.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: seekeroftruth777 on July 20, 2016, 10:57:17 AM
heh. For the record that is part of why I am leaving the Roman Catholic Church, if they ever were the true Church they blew it since they don't even care that Trent happened anymore. Now the Pope's going to celebrate 500 years of Protestant heresy?

Just like it appears most of you don't seem to care that Chalcedon happened anymore. I will stick with Pope St. Leo over you or an army of not-so-Orthodox non-theologians saying it's all a big misunderstanding. ::) ::) ::)

I have no problems using either Chalcedonian or Miaphysitenexpressions of faith, which is why I believe that this schism should end.  Indeed, it has nearly or partially ended many times before, for example, the attempted reunification of the two Patriarchates of Alexandria, rejected by the Albanian Khedive, in the 19th century (divide et impera and all that).  There is also the matter of the joint agreement between the Antiochian and Syriac churches...in Syria, a state of limited intercommunion has existed between the EOs ans OOs since 1992, the two churches agreed not to convert each others members and to communicate intermarried spouses, and to work towards a long term goal of reunification wherein the Syriac and Greco-Arab heritage of the two churches would be preserved.  Any remaining antipathy was crushed by the abduction of both of the Metropolitans of Aleppo as theynwere travelling back into Syria together, and the two churches have added prayers for their safe refurn to each others services, ongoing since 2013 now.

No other autocephalous canonical Eastern Orthodox church has condemned or severed communion with Antioch over this issue.  The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and the Ecumenical Patriarchate appear to be supporters; the Alexandrian churches have a similiar understanding, and I have heard reports that in Egypt, if not in the diaspora, of Copts receiving communion in EO parishes and vice versa, and of both sides being welcomed and communed at the Monasteries of St. Anthony and St. Catharine of Sinai.  I cant verify this, but more food for thought.  The Mscow Patriarchate is also developing exceedingly warm relations with the Armenian Apostolic Church.

So it seems to me there are three groups that may be of interest to you, all of which reject ecumenical reconciliation: the Greek Old Calendarists, the SSPX, or if you really want the Byzantine Rite, the SSPX Society of St. Josaphat, which is a traditionalist group that broke away from the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church over the removal of Latinizations from the Byzantine Rite liturgy, like the Stations of the Cross, the Sacring Bells, and so on.  The latter group would give you Trent, if that council is particularly important to you.

In any case, God bless gou, and I hope you find what you are looking for.  You will find many EOs whomagree with your views but the EO concept of "You are what you are in communion with" which I suspect you agree with means you would be in communion with many Eastern Orthodox who are either unaware of the schism or want it to end, and with the leadership of several EO churches which have actively pursued ever closer union with their Oriental counterparts.  It remains probable that OO-EO reunion will predate EO-RC reunion (although I think the latter is slightly more urgent because of increasing instability in the Roman Church; we nearly reunited with the Anglicans, but the process took too long and in 1979 it became apparent there was nothing much left with which we could actually reunify, tragically).   The OO, EO and Assyrian churches are the only churches dogmatically stable enough to be able to last long enough in their current form for reunion to be, if not a certainty, very likely.

By the way, a question I like to pose to those who object to EO-OO reunification: are you familiar with, and do you agree with, the theology of the hymn Ho Monoges, written by St. Severus based on the writings of St. Athanasius and inserted into the Byzantine Rite liturgy by St. Justinian?   This hymn opens the Syriac Orthodox liturgy,  and in the Byzantine Rite liturgy is on most or all occasions part of the Second Antiphon, following the Typical Psalm or alternative Psalms or Antiphons on certain occasions.  It represents the EO concession to a correct form of Theopaschitism which avoids Monophysitism or Patripassianism, by saying, as I read it, that God died for us in the flesh put on by the person of the Son, the incarnate Word, albeit expressed in more eloquent terminology.

The confusion resulted from actual monophysites like the Eutychians, who became Tritheists, eventually teaching that God has three natures, one dor each person, and this cult I think became extinct in the Dark Ages; there were also related heretical groups and individuals who everyone disowns to varying degrees; the writings of John Philoponus for instance start out on a high note before descending into some unpleasant ideas the OOs and EOs reject.  You had some Copts who embraced Monothelitism, an attempted reconciliation, and others who stayed clear of it, and the Maronite Schism.  There was much confusion, and in the midst of this I think St. John of Damascus just did not have enough reliable information on the actual faith of the OOs. 

The Coptic parish I attended for many months had a pre (or post, I forget which) communion prayer by St. John of Damascus printed in laminated paper in English and Arabic in all the pews, for the congregation to say I think after they received the holy mysteries, and this is fairly typical.  I have never met an OO who doesnt want reconciliation with the EOs or else is unaware of the details of the schism, I believe since it was established that the EOs are not Nestorian rather clearly all OOs support reunion.

On the other hand, I have never met an Assyrian with kind words for the Copts and only one Copt (minasoliman) with anything nice to say about the Assyrians.   I met a chap at the Greek St. Anthonys at once who was an Assyrian taxi driver from the Bay Area who attended an Antiochian parish..lhis accent suggested he was largely a speaker of Arabic but he knew East Syriac liturgical phrases, and discussed with me at length about how Copts are not trustworthy, how  one cannot believe what they say in their theological declarations,et cetera, and on the other hand the Coptic Church blocked the Assyrian Church of the East from joining the Middle Eastern Council of Churches, which was perhaps a bit harsh especially in light of the cordial relationship between the Syriac Orthodox and Assyrian churches; I think it would have been better to keep the Pentecostals out myself.

Wait isn't the Assyrian Church of the East Nestorian?  the Copts probably did a good thing by not letting the ACOE join the Middle Eastern council of Churches.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Mor Ephrem on July 20, 2016, 11:19:29 AM
Wait isn't the Assyrian Church of the East Nestorian?  the Cops probably did a good thing by not letting the ACOE join the Middle Eastern council of Churches.

I didn't read wgw's post, so I'm not sure what he said, but considering the current membership of the MECC (http://mecc.org/content/member-churches), I'm not sure letting the Assyrians join would've been a bad thing.   
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: seekeroftruth777 on July 20, 2016, 11:46:20 AM
Wait isn't the Assyrian Church of the East Nestorian?  the Cops probably did a good thing by not letting the ACOE join the Middle Eastern council of Churches.

I didn't read wgw's post, so I'm not sure what he said, but considering the current membership of the MECC (http://mecc.org/content/member-churches), I'm not sure letting the Assyrians join would've been a bad thing.

I see what you mean, there a lot of Evangelical Churches apart of MECC, so the ACOE should fit right in.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Mor Ephrem on July 20, 2016, 11:56:31 AM
Wait isn't the Assyrian Church of the East Nestorian?  the Cops probably did a good thing by not letting the ACOE join the Middle Eastern council of Churches.

I didn't read wgw's post, so I'm not sure what he said, but considering the current membership of the MECC (http://mecc.org/content/member-churches), I'm not sure letting the Assyrians join would've been a bad thing.

I see what you mean, there a lot of Evangelical Churches apart of MECC, so the ACOE should fit right in.

Not exactly, but yeah, if we can tolerate Evangelicals, we can tolerate Assyrians. 
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Remnkemi on July 20, 2016, 12:16:33 PM
By the way, a question I like to pose to those who object to EO-OO reunification: are you familiar with, and do you agree with, the theology of the hymn Ho Monoges, written by St. Severus based on the writings of St. Athanasius and inserted into the Byzantine Rite liturgy by St. Justinian?   This hymn opens the Syriac Orthodox liturgy,  and in the Byzantine Rite liturgy is on most or all occasions part of the Second Antiphon, following the Typical Psalm or alternative Psalms or Antiphons on certain occasions.  It represents the EO concession to a correct form of Theopaschitism which avoids Monophysitism or Patripassianism, by saying, as I read it, that God died for us in the flesh put on by the person of the Son, the incarnate Word, albeit expressed in more eloquent terminology.
The EO position is that Ho Monogenes was written by St Justinian, not St Severus or St Athanasius. Additionally, the EO version of Ho Monogenes does not have the Trisagion additions that the Coptic version has (and I'm not sure if the Syrian and Armenian versions have it either). Thus, Ho Monogenes does not represent any concession from the EO. How could it since Canon 81 of Trullo forbids any form of Theopaschitism or additions to the Trisagion?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Mor Ephrem on July 20, 2016, 12:28:39 PM
The EO position is that Ho Monogenes was written by St Justinian, not St Severus or St Athanasius. Additionally, the EO version of Ho Monogenes does not have the Trisagion additions that the Coptic version has (and I'm not sure if the Syrian and Armenian versions have it either).

Neither the Syrians nor the Armenians have "the Trisagion additions that the Coptic version has".  The hymn is more or less identical among the Byzantine, Syriac, and Armenian traditions. 

That is not to say there's no connection at all.  "Only Begotten Son" is sung in close proximity to the Trisagion.  While there is a little space between the two in the Byzantine and Armenian Liturgies, the Trisagion follows "Only Begotten Son" in the Syriac Liturgy, though it is not considered part of the hymn.   
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on July 20, 2016, 12:40:49 PM
I am a little confused. I open an online Badarak and find that the Trisagion is sung as a Christological hymn with additions. And the additions ORIGINATED in the Syrian church in Antioch and were used by Chalcedonians as well as non-Chalcedonians..
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Mor Ephrem on July 20, 2016, 12:50:39 PM
I am a little confused. I open an online Badarak and find that the Trisagion is sung as a Christological hymn with additions.

Yes.  I'm sorry for the confusion, I didn't mean that the Trisagion itself lacks the concluding phrases which demonstrate their Christological nature. 

Quote
O only-begotten Son, the eternal and immortal Word of God; who for our salvation did will to be incarnate of the holy Theotokos (and ever Virgin Mary)

Who without change became man and was crucified, the Christ God. Trampled down death by death. One of the Holy Trinity, who is glorified with the Father and the Holy Spirit, save us.

Holy God, who being God, for our sake, became man without change.

Holy Mighty, who by weakness showed forth what is greater than power.

Holy Immortal, who was crucified for our sake, and endured death in His flesh, the Eternal and Immortal.

O Holy Trinity, have mercy on us.


http://tasbeha.org/hymn_library/view/149

What I meant was that the bolded portions are not part of the hymn in the Byzantine, Syriac, and Armenian traditions. 
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Remnkemi on July 20, 2016, 06:05:39 PM
That is not to say there's no connection at all.  "Only Begotten Son" is sung in close proximity to the Trisagion.  While there is a little space between the two in the Byzantine and Armenian Liturgies, the Trisagion follows "Only Begotten Son" in the Syriac Liturgy, though it is not considered part of the hymn.   
I should correct something. The Coptic version actually has two Trisagion hymns after "Only Begotten Son". One was attached to "Only Begotten Son" and the second (the common) Trisagion follows immediately after the first Trisagion (at least on Great Friday).

This leaves us with four (possibly independent?) developments of the hymn "Only Begotten Son". (1) Following Only Begotten Son, in the Byzantine tradition, there is some space before the Trisagion and there are no additions to the Trisagion. (2) Following Only Begotten Son, in the Armenian tradition, there is some space before the Trisagion with the common additions to the Trisagion. (3) Following Only Begotten Son, in the Coptic tradition only, a separate Trisagion with uncommon additions was combined into Only Begotten Son. (4) Following Only Begotten Son, in the Syriac and Coptic traditions, the Trisagion with the common additions is said immediately after.

It seems that the Coptic tradition may be a combination of the Syriac and Armenian traditions, i.e., Following Only Begotten Son, in the Coptic tradition, there is a space (of one additional Trisagion) before the common Trisagion is said. The difference between (2) and (3) is that the Coptic tradition merged the space/uncommon Trisagion into Only Begotten Son, while the Armenians did not merge anything into the Only Begotten Son hymn, and the Syrians did not leave any space.

Is this correct?

My original point remains. The EO never conceded to anything regarding theopaschitism in the Only Begotten Son hymn. 
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Mor Ephrem on July 20, 2016, 06:40:04 PM
It seems that the Coptic tradition may be a combination of the Syriac and Armenian traditions, i.e., Following Only Begotten Son, in the Coptic tradition, there is a space (of one additional Trisagion) before the common Trisagion is said. The difference between (2) and (3) is that the Coptic tradition merged the space/uncommon Trisagion into Only Begotten Son, while the Armenians did not merge anything into the Only Begotten Son hymn, and the Syrians did not leave any space.

Is this correct?

It sounds like a generally correct summary of what we have today, yes. 

Did the Coptic tradition ever have a tradition of Communion on Good Friday, be it with the standard Liturgy or a Presanctified Liturgy? 

Quote
My original point remains. The EO never conceded to anything regarding theopaschitism in the Only Begotten Son hymn.

As you've pointed out, they condemn the Christological Trisagion, but "...who were crucified, O Christ our God, trampling down death by death, (who are) one of the Holy Trinity..." certainly sounds like an attempt at theopaschite language.   
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: wgw on July 21, 2016, 02:15:56 AM
Now chaps do you believe the Chalcedonian statement that our St. Peter Fullo added the Theopaschite clause?

For me, by the way, Theopaschitism is essential to Orthodox.  I can't accept anyone who does not believe God suffered in the flesh and died in his humanity in order to facilitate our salvation after the year 600 or so, by which time this implication of the Nicene Creed had ample time to propagate, as fully Orthodox.  The anti-Theopaschites simply did not realize this and as I see it some tried desperately to avoid it while avoiding Arianism, via Nestorianism.

I can tell you, when debating neo-Arians online, like JWs, the temptation to resort to Nestorian arguments is strong, but I won't do it, because I believe the Only Begotten Son of God is coequal and coessential with God the Father, and that the Word became flesh and died and was resurrected so that we may also be resurrected.  I think the desire to avoid this theopaschitism came from Greek classical theism.

In modern day Protestantism, I think its a crypto-Arian thing, wherein many evangelicals are not strong on dogma and would not say that Jesus == God.

I do accept the EO use of the hymn as Trinitarian, because of its three clauses, but they have to understand our Christological use of the Trisagion.  Its exactly like the Russian Old Believers and the Sign of the Cross: when they make it, its Christological, whereas to other EOs and I think, to us, it is Trinitarian.  Either way, it seems this sort of thing is what the Lutherans would call "Adiaphora" and these hymns and gestures can be Trinitarian or Christological without threatening Orthodoxy.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Father Peter on July 21, 2016, 06:35:50 AM
In Antioch the Chalcedonians were happy to use the Trisagion as the Christological hymn it was and made additions themselves.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: wgw on July 21, 2016, 09:43:48 AM
In Antioch the Chalcedonians were happy to use the Trisagion as the Christological hymn it was and made additions themselves.

Indeed, before the suppression of the West Syriac Rite and the Greek eauivalents of it by Constantinople around the time of the Fourth Crusade.

One blessing that I get the sense our beloved Antiochian brethren want from the forthcoming reunion is the West Syriac Rite, which we have preserved in its fullest form.  This I envisage would replace the Byzantine Rite in certain Syriac speaking villages in Syria in a phased process, or be hybridized with it.

Since right now, all aspects of why reunification should occur have been presented by various theologians including yourself, I myself am most interested in proposing how it should occur, in a manner that will not make any members of either side in the reunited churches of Antioch and Alexandria unhappy.  In the case of Armenian and Ethiopia this is not an issue; these are separate communities and the only possible diffuclty Imcould see is that the Armenians call their lower ranking autocephalous bishops Patriarchs, and the higher ranking ones Catholicoi, whereas the Byzantine and Syriac tradition was the reverse; I am sure however that it would be understood that the Armenian Patriarchs of Jerusalem and Constantinople were Patriarchs of the Armenians only.  Espeicially given that His Beatitude the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem has been photographed in a long, boring meeting sleeping on the shoulder of his graciously obliging Armenian counterpart (they were seated next to each other and I believe His Beatitude Theophilus simply fell asleep, it was nothing untoward).

Our clergy have become brethren, are people are being reunited through the shared horror of persecution.  I believe if we are lucky, we might get some Catholics to join us as well.   It would be very nice if the Melkite Patriarchate in Syria merged with the Antiochian Patriarchate; in the case of the Syriacs I believe the Syriac Catholics are similiar to the Chaldeans in that that was a schism along ethnic lines, but my dream is for that Patriarch of Antioch, and for the Maronite Patriarch, to be reconciled as well.   

What would be even better then would be if we could actually locate the chancery and cathedral of the patriarchate in Antioch rather than Damascus.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: RaphaCam on July 21, 2016, 10:50:01 AM
In modern day Protestantism, I think its a crypto-Arian thing, wherein many evangelicals are not strong on dogma and would not say that Jesus == God.
I think Arianism can come to be an archetype rather than only a doctrine, like Gnosticism.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Aram on July 21, 2016, 01:34:11 PM
these are separate communities and the only possible diffuclty Imcould see is that the Armenians call their lower ranking autocephalous bishops Patriarchs, and the higher ranking ones Catholicoi, whereas the Byzantine and Syriac tradition was the reverse; I am sure however that it would be understood that the Armenian Patriarchs of Jerusalem and Constantinople were Patriarchs of the Armenians only. 
The Armenian Patriarchates of Jerusalem and Istanbul are not autocephalous. They are autonomous and recognize the primacy and jurisdiction of the Catholicosate of Etchmiadzin.

The patriarchs do not hold the rank of patriarch; only the title. They are archbishops by rank.

I can honestly say, and I mean this in all charity, wgw... I've spent a lifetime in the Armenian Church. Most of the time, I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: wgw on July 23, 2016, 06:49:26 PM
these are separate communities and the only possible diffuclty Imcould see is that the Armenians call their lower ranking autocephalous bishops Patriarchs, and the higher ranking ones Catholicoi, whereas the Byzantine and Syriac tradition was the reverse; I am sure however that it would be understood that the Armenian Patriarchs of Jerusalem and Constantinople were Patriarchs of the Armenians only. 
The Armenian Patriarchates of Jerusalem and Istanbul are not autocephalous. They are autonomous and recognize the primacy and jurisdiction of the Catholicosate of Etchmiadzin.

The patriarchs do not hold the rank of patriarch; only the title. They are archbishops by rank.

I can honestly say, and I mean this in all charity, wgw... I've spent a lifetime in the Armenian Church. Most of the time, I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.

I respect that...the Armenian church is the OO church I am least familiar with and with Salpy posting less frequently I have very little access to information about it. 

So who appoints the Patriarchs of Istanbul and Jerusalem?  I was under the impression they had their own Holy Synods?  Are they in fact appointed by Etchmiadzin?   And when there was the Soviet-induced schism between Etchmiadzin and Cilicia, did that cause any problems with, for example, pilgrims from the diaspora who were affiliated with Cilicia?
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: wgw on July 23, 2016, 06:49:56 PM
In modern day Protestantism, I think its a crypto-Arian thing, wherein many evangelicals are not strong on dogma and would not say that Jesus == God.
I think Arianism can come to be an archetype rather than only a doctrine, like Gnosticism.

Agreed.
Title: Re: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)
Post by: Aram on July 24, 2016, 12:36:41 AM
these are separate communities and the only possible diffuclty Imcould see is that the Armenians call their lower ranking autocephalous bishops Patriarchs, and the higher ranking ones Catholicoi, whereas the Byzantine and Syriac tradition was the reverse; I am sure however that it would be understood that the Armenian Patriarchs of Jerusalem and Constantinople were Patriarchs of the Armenians only. 
The Armenian Patriarchates of Jerusalem and Istanbul are not autocephalous. They are autonomous and recognize the primacy and jurisdiction of the Catholicosate of Etchmiadzin.

The patriarchs do not hold the rank of patriarch; only the title. They are archbishops by rank.

I can honestly say, and I mean this in all charity, wgw... I've spent a lifetime in the Armenian Church. Most of the time, I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.

I respect that...the Armenian church is the OO church I am least familiar with and with Salpy posting less frequently I have very little access to information about it. 

So who appoints the Patriarchs of Istanbul and Jerusalem?  I was under the impression they had their own Holy Synods?  Are they in fact appointed by Etchmiadzin?   And when there was the Soviet-induced schism between Etchmiadzin and Cilicia, did that cause any problems with, for example, pilgrims from the diaspora who were affiliated with Cilicia?
The Patriarchs of Istanbul and Jerusalem are selected by the members of their respective monastic brotherhoods. They are not synods. The voting body consists of every monastic from around the world (essentially exclusively priests and bishops) who are members of those particular brotherhoods. For instance, the two bishops in the Eastern Diocese of the United States are both voting members of the Brotherhood of St. James, and travel to Jerusalem whenever there is an election.

It's a bit of a loaded statement to say the "schism" between Cilicia and Etchmiadzin was "Soviet-induced," as if there was no history before the 1950s, but OK. No. It's not a schism as much as it is a disagreement over primacy--and that disagreement is really only relevant in the Americas. There has never been a break in communion. The relationships between the two parties in the places where it's an issue can vary from tolerance and relatively collegiality to outright hostility and vindictiveness, but it does not constitute a formal canonical schism. If I wanted to, I could go to a Prelacy church and receive communion, serve on the altar, etc. I don't as a matter of principle, but I could. Ergo, no problems for pilgrims and all of that.