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Moderated Forums => Orthodox-Other Christian Discussion => Orthodox-Protestant Discussion => Topic started by: Volnutt on February 16, 2018, 09:08:49 AM

Title: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Volnutt on February 16, 2018, 09:08:49 AM
By which I mean, the rejection of things like infant baptism, prayer for the dead- the kind of things that Baptists love to get on about.

Of course, there's also more specific ancient antecedents like Helvidius on Perpetual Virginity or Vigilantius on relics. But I'm more looking for the sort of "package deal" that seems to emerge in the immediate centuries prior to the Reformation (though that could be a distorted picture based on all our sources being adversarial accounts by Inquisitors). Catharism and Paulicianism likely have a lot of overlap and maybe some influence on proto-Protestantism as well, but I'm mostly looking for non-gnostic examples.


Near as I can tell, the earliest clear examples of what I have in mind are Peter of Bruys (1117-31) and Henry of Lausanne (d. 1148).

The Arnoldists seemed to have been more about Apostolic poverty like the Spiritual Franciscans (though unlike the later, they were also accused of being Donatists).

Were these doctrines something that the many of the Beguinnes were into?

As far as I can tell, Peter Waldo was a pretty run of the mill Catholic. It was only at about 100 years after him that the Waldensians start being accused of rejecting church buildings, relics, Purgatory, etc.

And then of course John Wycliffe comes on the scene in the 1300s and the ball starts rolling from there.

Any others?
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: juliogb on February 16, 2018, 09:35:33 AM
I remember the bogomils that had some anti-sacramental beliefs, but they were gnostic too.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Nicodemusz138 on February 17, 2018, 09:30:53 AM
It is a recent phemonemon I think, some arguments I often hear from them (that is, not all protestants, virtually speaking I am one myself) is that going to a massive ancient cathedral, full of paintings, gold, decorations, rituals, etc, it is too "religious" looking, not sure what that means, I believe in their vision it makes them look like all of the rest of all religions in the world, and they must look different in some way?

(https://static.relax.ua/images/common/wysiwyg/2017/02/9671978c1cd4e31c6b1d46b7bccb8d96.jpg)

(https://qph.ec.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-60d63099fb9e78450f281d884d7542d5-c)

(https://i.pinimg.com/736x/bc/30/51/bc30510d27d77399d2f12f655ed55482.jpg)

(https://www.arielbravy.com/photoblog/images/20070106033811_little%20cataloochee%20baptist%20church.jpg)

Also, the commands to simplicity and modesty in worship.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Luke on February 17, 2018, 12:25:54 PM
Would John Hus be too late?
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Ainnir on February 17, 2018, 02:50:36 PM
Dualism?
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Volnutt on February 17, 2018, 02:56:18 PM
Would John Hus be too late?

Yeah. I'm kind of looking for the ancestors of the ancestors of the Reformation.

Dualism?

The Paulicians and the Bogomils and the Gnostics all anticipate a part of it (and the iconoclasts as well). But for some reason I can't shake the idea that they only represent one stream going into it and that there was a point at which it kind of "sprang forth fully formed." Maybe I'm chasing phantoms, though.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Volnutt on February 17, 2018, 03:00:17 PM
It is a recent phemonemon I think, some arguments I often hear from them (that is, not all protestants, virtually speaking I am one myself) is that going to a massive ancient cathedral, full of paintings, gold, decorations, rituals, etc, it is too "religious" looking, not sure what that means, I believe in their vision it makes them look like all of the rest of all religions in the world, and they must look different in some way?

Also, the commands to simplicity and modesty in worship.

Well, iconoclasm has its ancient roots but it also appeals to the common modern Christian desire, not necessarily to avoid looking pagan, but imo to avoid looking intimidating to people who have been burned by religion in the past.

And yeah, there's also the tendency to see finery as being inimical to "worship in spirit and in truth," perhaps encouraging an obsession with wealth and power, etc.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: RaphaCam on February 17, 2018, 05:14:25 PM
Two words: Ockham's razor. Luther was a nominalist who took it too far, in the line of Gabriel Biel. There's an exposition about it in La Formation de la pensée juridique moderne, which is a major hit in Brazilian Law Universities, but doesn't seem to have been translated to English.

Quote from: Martin Luther
I demand arguments not authorities. That is why I contradict even my own school of Occamists, which I have absorbed completely.

http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2014/01/post-tenebras-lux/
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Volnutt on February 17, 2018, 05:17:51 PM
Two words: Ockham's razor. Luther was a nominalist who took it too far, in the line of Gabriel Biel. There's an exposition about it in La Formation de la pensée juridique moderne, which is a major hit in Brazilian Law Universities, but doesn't seem to have been translated to English.

Quote from: Martin Luther
I demand arguments not authorities. That is why I contradict even my own school of Occamists, which I have absorbed completely.

http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2014/01/post-tenebras-lux/

Makes sense.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: JTLoganville on February 17, 2018, 09:49:33 PM
Dualism?

Dualism

Docetism

Nestorianism
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: NicholasMyra on February 17, 2018, 10:52:14 PM
Two words: Ockham's razor. Luther was a nominalist who took it too far, in the line of Gabriel Biel. There's an exposition about it in La Formation de la pensée juridique moderne, which is a major hit in Brazilian Law Universities, but doesn't seem to have been translated to English.

Quote from: Martin Luther
I demand arguments not authorities. That is why I contradict even my own school of Occamists, which I have absorbed completely.

http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2014/01/post-tenebras-lux/
IIRC blaming Occam and Scotus is popular among the "radical Orthodox" protestants.

But really I'd say middle and neoplatonic mystery religions.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: RaphaCam on February 17, 2018, 11:13:22 PM
But really I'd say middle and neoplatonic mystery religions.
How so?
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Volnutt on February 17, 2018, 11:28:55 PM
But really I'd say middle and neoplatonic mystery religions.
How so?

Because they deemphasize/denigrate matter in favor of pure spirit?
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: recent convert on February 18, 2018, 12:25:25 AM
Iconoclasm? 
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Volnutt on February 18, 2018, 01:47:02 AM
Iconoclasm?

Kind of? Like I said, I was more looking for the complete package of anti-sacrementalism. NickMyra's answer is probably the best we'll be able to do.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: walterturkey on February 18, 2018, 02:41:13 AM
Among Presbyterians, it stems from sola scriptura, covenant theology and zwingli. the New testament didnt institute icons and liturgy, so those are man made traditions to be avoided. which is why there is only baptism and the lords supper, chrismation is left out because it can be argued that the its not formally instituted by anyone, only that they laid hands
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: NicholasMyra on February 18, 2018, 02:52:44 AM
But really I'd say middle and neoplatonic mystery religions.
How so?

Because they deemphasize/denigrate matter in favor of pure spirit?
I don't think it's any one thing. It seems like every time I hear about one of these "anti-sacramental" positions pre-1200 AD, it's attributed to a group or figure affiliated with (rightly or wrongly) the mystics, sages, gnostics, etc. of middle/neoplatonic religion--that strange, vague milieu ranging across a vast spectrum from middle/neo-platonized Abrahamic religious (The Fathers, Avicenna, Maimonides) on the one hand, all the way down to distinct religions (manicheanism, pre-Christian hellenistic mysticism) on the other.

I'm becoming more familiar with the accounts of such groups in the West, but I'm just starting. What I can say by way of initial observations is that the western sources can be divided into two rough groups:

First, the outsiders, like Catholcis, who focus on how the groups' actions appear to them and the scandalous implications of their supposed practices (they "abhor" liturgy, have women "lead" things as prophets, share things in common). It may be that these commenters don't have the philosophical/theological/historical context to understand these movements the same way that, say, Alexius's Constantinople did, so for all we know they are radically misunderstanding them. It could be that these groups like the cathars are just classic bogomils with a few quirks. It could be that the western commentators (to be very speculative) couldn't recognize, say, archontic cosmology because the Waldensians kept it relatively quiet and it would've seemed rather odd and confusing and nonsensical to the uninitiated.

The second group is the "victors" who wrote history--the zwinglians, anabaptists, baptists, etc. They tell the story as it suits them: Groups like the anabaptists and their supposed spiritual predecessors rejected authority in favor of a return to the perspicuous early church, had biblical doctrines, the authorities came and martyred astronomical numbers of them for it while they were minding their own business (the anabaptists seem to believe that 4 out of every 2 anabaptists were killed--can't pick them out for it, the Russians do the same about the Soviet persecutions). Maybe these accounts fail to convey the "secret" doctrines of their groups because they're scandalous, were lost, were superceded, or they never existed in the first place. Once again, highly speculative.

Will say, though that the bogomils were in Strasbourg, IIRC.

Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: NicholasMyra on February 18, 2018, 03:08:20 AM
edit
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: David Young on February 18, 2018, 01:11:06 PM
Among Presbyterians, it stems from sola scriptura, covenant theology and zwingli. the New testament didnt institute icons and liturgy, so those are man made traditions to be avoided. which is why there is only baptism and the lords supper, ...

Three comments briefly, then it's time to put on my minimalist smart suit and tie and go and preach at the equally minimalist Baptist chapel in Penycae! -

1) I think this post comes near the truth, though not only regarding Presbyterians; and I don't think that covenant theology or a Zwinglian view of the 'ordinances' comes into it, for one could have those with an ornate building.

2) I wonder whether this whole thread has the question back to front, or at least starts in the middle not at the beginning. I would rather ask the question, where all the accretions come from that now æsthetically adorn Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. Not when did we lose them, but when did you gain them.

3) The person who posted the lovely photographs earlier in the thread has a good point; nonetheless, both my wife and I like visiting the simple chapels one often finds in Greece, often in remote places, and many of them we do not find religiously off-putting or offensive. Nonetheless, for me at least - and this may be nothing more than culture and personality - I find a simple and if possible old church (anything from 150 to 1500 years) more conducive to prayer, worship and spiritual meditation than an ornate one.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Vanhyo on February 18, 2018, 01:47:37 PM
Spiritual things always manifest themselves in one form or another, just because protestants hide theirs doesn't make them good or correct.

If you will examine the orthodox iconography you will find out heavenly principles within

If you will examine the pegan religion's arts you will find out demonic principles within

You can't examine protestant arts obviously, but if they ever put their principles into art you will find the following: lawlessness, self-authority, individuality, rock-star guruism, self-promotion, scholasticsm, rebellion, chaos, disorder, disobedience, self-righteousness, the idea that you know better than the ones that came before you therefor you will reinvent the wheel, absence of God and theorizing about Him each according to his passions & darkened heart.

Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Ainnir on February 19, 2018, 11:01:35 PM
2) in a tent in some Middle Eastern desert, then Solomon.

I guess if we want to get uber technical, God on Mount Sinai...
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Volnutt on February 20, 2018, 12:50:32 AM
Among Presbyterians, it stems from sola scriptura, covenant theology and zwingli. the New testament didnt institute icons and liturgy, so those are man made traditions to be avoided. which is why there is only baptism and the lords supper, ...

2) I wonder whether this whole thread has the question back to front, or at least starts in the middle not at the beginning. I would rather ask the question, where all the accretions come from that now æsthetically adorn Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. Not when did we lose them, but when did you gain them.

2) in a tent in some Middle Eastern desert, then Solomon.

I guess if we want to get uber technical, God on Mount Sinai...

Essentially this. The fact that the first Christians worshiped in the Jerusalem Temple and then in the synagogues until they were kicked out (I guess we could also talk about Eusebius's account of James and John dressing like Jewish priests, though it's not of guaranteed provenance) is highly significant to me. So is the fact that Gnosticism and Doceticism were there from the beginning as anti-matter (no pun intended) thought movements. It makes it seem more likely to me that the service of the first century was, if not recognizably Orthodox or Catholic, at least what we would call High Church and that the problematic accretions in history could just as easily have gone in the other direction

Not that I'm necessarily saying that the First Century Church had icons or something, but that such things wouldn't be completely at odds with their attitudes. I really don't think they were Baptists.

I feel like a mistaken reading of Hebrews 8:13 by many Protestants leads them to assume that the Church saw itself as radically reinventing the wheel instead of just adjusting and correcting things from their background Judaism in light of the truth of Christ (which reading, in a way, kind of flies in the face of the "it's not in the Bible" conservatism that a lot of Protestants apply to things like icons).

3) The person who posted the lovely photographs earlier in the thread has a good point; nonetheless, both my wife and I like visiting the simple chapels one often finds in Greece, often in remote places, and many of them we do not find religiously off-putting or offensive. Nonetheless, for me at least - and this may be nothing more than culture and personality - I find a simple and if possible old church (anything from 150 to 1500 years) more conducive to prayer, worship and spiritual meditation than an ornate one.

I'm not talking about ornateness, not essentially. I'm talking about sacrementalism and maximalism. A small chapel in Greece will still have an icon or two to be venerated, and if an Orthodox priest is there he can celebrate a version of the same Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom that you'd find in the grandest cathedral (even if his vestments have been reduced by poverty to tattered rags).
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Volnutt on February 20, 2018, 12:54:49 AM
Spiritual things always manifest themselves in one form or another, just because protestants hide theirs doesn't make them good or correct.

If you will examine the orthodox iconography you will find out heavenly principles within

If you will examine the pegan religion's arts you will find out demonic principles within

You can't examine protestant arts obviously, but if they ever put their principles into art you will find the following: lawlessness, self-authority, individuality, rock-star guruism, self-promotion, scholasticsm, rebellion, chaos, disorder, disobedience, self-righteousness, the idea that you know better than the ones that came before you therefor you will reinvent the wheel, absence of God and theorizing about Him each according to his passions & darkened heart.

Umm, there's plenty of Protestant art in many different mediums.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Vanhyo on February 20, 2018, 07:20:43 AM
Quote
Umm, there's plenty of Protestant art in many different mediums.
can you show me some ?
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: juliogb on February 20, 2018, 07:35:45 AM
Quote
Umm, there's plenty of Protestant art in many different mediums.

Well, due to the ban on visual arts, some protestants specially in the lutheran world, dedicated to music, Bach comes to my mind and several others that composed christmas concerts and hymns.

Nowadays there is a lot of theater, specially in evangelical youth groups, and of course, the jesusy rock/hipsters band, or worse, the denominations made out from overproduced concerts that sheepsteal the youth to mega churches (Hillsong and others come to my mind).

I find quite curious how lots of evangelicals, not all of course, but a lot nowadays, try to avoid completely the appearance of religion, so they made their religious service to look like some sort of TED talk, a motivational lecture or some sort of new iphone presentation.



Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: David Young on February 20, 2018, 02:39:32 PM
...lawlessness, self-authority, individuality, rock-star guruism, self-promotion, scholasticsm, rebellion, chaos, disorder, disobedience,... absence of God and theorizing about Him each according to his passions & darkened heart.

Looks like we've got it wrong then.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Iconodule on February 20, 2018, 02:51:50 PM
Quote
Umm, there's plenty of Protestant art in many different mediums.

Well, due to the ban on visual arts, some protestants specially in the lutheran world, dedicated to music, Bach comes to my mind and several others that composed christmas concerts and hymns.

But Lutherans didn't ban visual arts.

E.g.

(https://lutheranarts.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/weimar1.jpg)
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Vanhyo on February 20, 2018, 03:03:20 PM
(https://lutheranarts.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/weimar1.jpg)
This that stream of blood shooting at martin luther ?
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: juliogb on February 20, 2018, 03:45:01 PM
Quote
Umm, there's plenty of Protestant art in many different mediums.

Well, due to the ban on visual arts, some protestants specially in the lutheran world, dedicated to music, Bach comes to my mind and several others that composed christmas concerts and hymns.

But Lutherans didn't ban visual arts.

E.g.

(https://lutheranarts.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/weimar1.jpg)

Well, I exagerated a little, sorry for that, but usually, in the wider protestant world, most of visual arts (except movies) are quite a taboo.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Luke on February 20, 2018, 05:39:34 PM
The Fantastic Voyage scientists originated minimalism. :P
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Volnutt on February 20, 2018, 07:29:52 PM
Quote
Umm, there's plenty of Protestant art in many different mediums.
can you show me some ?

Aside from what you've already been shown or told about,

https://www.livinglutheran.org/2017/04/reformation-500-50-reformation-artworks/ (https://www.livinglutheran.org/2017/04/reformation-500-50-reformation-artworks/) Here's a good start. I can't tell whether Hans Holbein the Younger was actually Protestant himself, he did work for Protestant clients who certainly weren't opposed to commissioning visual art. The same could be said for Rembrandt.

John Hutton (https://fotofacade.photoshelter.com/image/I00001KhqtsVnMBc)

John Granville Gregory (https://mattseyeshaveseen.wordpress.com/tag/john-granville-gregory/)

Also see the paintings of John Holman Hunt, Warner Sallman, Anglican and Lutheran stained glass in general, the engravings in various editions of Pilgrim's Progress.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Volnutt on February 20, 2018, 07:32:10 PM
...lawlessness, self-authority, individuality, rock-star guruism, self-promotion, scholasticsm, rebellion, chaos, disorder, disobedience,... absence of God and theorizing about Him each according to his passions & darkened heart.

Looks like we've got it wrong then.

Vanhyo sure loves his sweeping statements.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: walterturkey on February 20, 2018, 09:28:45 PM
 Protestants didnt ban art, they banned art intended for religious use. You can paint the passion and emotionally relate to it but you cant pray to christ in front of the painting because the Christ in the painting becomes an idol. 

I know a bunch of calvinists who are painters and illustrators whove painted christ, they would never venerate it for the reasons above.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Volnutt on February 20, 2018, 09:39:44 PM
Protestants didnt ban art, they banned art intended for religious use. You can paint the passion and emotionally relate to it but you cant pray to christ in front of the painting because the Christ in the painting becomes an idol. 

I know a bunch of calvinists who are painters and illustrators whove painted christ, they would never venerate it for the reasons above.

Technically true, although were also plenty of Protestant iconoclasts (especially in England and the Netherlands) in the early days of the Reformation who would say that having the paintings and such at all lends itself too easily to idolatry. My point is just that all Protestants historically haven't been iconoclasts and I wanted this thread to primarily focus on opposition to veneration of images, but not the images themselves.

But oh well, all threads go off topic sooner or later lol.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Ainnir on February 20, 2018, 09:47:01 PM
I say it's not pragmatic.  Why can't someone pray in front of a visual representation of anything regarding Christianity without being accused of idolatry, but one can pray in front of a blank wall, a door, a kitchen table, or their Bible and it's fine?  It sounds like the argument is that one is inherently idolatry because it depicts Christian things, and therefore one must avoid it at all costs.  As in, you can pray anywhere in your house, except near the picture of Jesus hanging in the dining room.  God doesn't exist right there, apparently.   :-\
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: biro on February 20, 2018, 09:52:20 PM
I say it's not pragmatic.  Why can't someone pray in front of a visual representation of anything regarding Christianity without being accused of idolatry, but one can pray in front of a blank wall, a door, a kitchen table, or their Bible and it's fine?  It sounds like the argument is that one is inherently idolatry because it depicts Christian things, and therefore one must avoid it at all costs.  As in, you can pray anywhere in your house, except near the picture of Jesus hanging in the dining room.  God doesn't exist right there, apparently.   :-\

Zing! :)
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: NicholasMyra on February 20, 2018, 09:52:32 PM
I would rather ask the question, where all the accretions come from
We never got to the bottom of where the idea that God communicates with his children by tagging some of their random thoughts and feelings as "from God" comes from.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Volnutt on February 20, 2018, 09:55:49 PM
I say it's not pragmatic.  Why can't someone pray in front of a visual representation of anything regarding Christianity without being accused of idolatry, but one can pray in front of a blank wall, a door, a kitchen table, or their Bible and it's fine?  It sounds like the argument is that one is inherently idolatry because it depicts Christian things, and therefore one must avoid it at all costs.  As in, you can pray anywhere in your house, except near the picture of Jesus hanging in the dining room.  God doesn't exist right there, apparently.   :-\

That's a good point, though it's also probably why I've gone through periods of my life where I was afraid to pray with my eyes open.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: biro on February 20, 2018, 09:56:28 PM
Quote from: David Young

2) I wonder whether this whole thread has the question back to front, or at least starts in the middle not at the beginning. I would rather ask the question, where all the accretions come from that now æsthetically adorn Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. Not when did we lose them, but when did you gain them.


You lost them in the Reformation.

I still don't know why they let you continue to be on this board, when you say things like this.

It's not polite to go to someone else's house and say that it's ugly.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Volnutt on February 20, 2018, 09:58:57 PM
Quote from: David Young

2) I wonder whether this whole thread has the question back to front, or at least starts in the middle not at the beginning. I would rather ask the question, where all the accretions come from that now æsthetically adorn Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. Not when did we lose them, but when did you gain them.


You lost them in the Reformation.

I still don't know why they let you continue to be on this board, when you say things like this.

It's not polite to go to someone else's house and say that it's ugly.

That's not fair. This is the Orthodox-Protestant debate section and we're having a debate. I welcome Pastor David's honest opinions in this thread.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: biro on February 20, 2018, 10:03:07 PM
Quote from: David Young

2) I wonder whether this whole thread has the question back to front, or at least starts in the middle not at the beginning. I would rather ask the question, where all the accretions come from that now æsthetically adorn Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. Not when did we lose them, but when did you gain them.


You lost them in the Reformation.

I still don't know why they let you continue to be on this board, when you say things like this.

It's not polite to go to someone else's house and say that it's ugly.

That's not fair. This is the Orthodox-Protestant debate section and we're having a debate. I welcome Pastor David's honest opinions in this thread.

I think he goes beyond the pale when he says we pretty much made stuff up.

I don't welcome him, and I don't have to. Just because this is the Orthodox-Protestant section doesn't mean you can say any old thing you like. How much garbage did Alfred Persson and Yeshuaisiam flood us with, and they got warned lots of times?

I don't go to a Baptist church and say they made stuff up.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Volnutt on February 20, 2018, 10:10:29 PM
Quote from: David Young

2) I wonder whether this whole thread has the question back to front, or at least starts in the middle not at the beginning. I would rather ask the question, where all the accretions come from that now æsthetically adorn Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. Not when did we lose them, but when did you gain them.


You lost them in the Reformation.

I still don't know why they let you continue to be on this board, when you say things like this.

It's not polite to go to someone else's house and say that it's ugly.

That's not fair. This is the Orthodox-Protestant debate section and we're having a debate. I welcome Pastor David's honest opinions in this thread.

I think he goes beyond the pale when he says we pretty much made stuff up.

I don't welcome him, and I don't have to. Just because this is the Orthodox-Protestant section doesn't mean you can say any old thing you like. How much garbage did Alfred Persson and Yeshuaisiam flood us with, and they got warned lots of times?

I don't go to a Baptist church and say they made stuff up.

1. oc.net is not a Church (at least I hope to God it isn't).

2. As I recall, Persson and yesh were warned for crossing the line into outright proselytism or for being rude (I haven't seen Pastor David do either of those things), not for making Protestant arguments.

Saying that Orthodox stuff is "made up" is about the only claim one can honestly make if they want to continue to be Baptist and not Orthodox. He's just responding to the thread with what he believes. If he can't be allowed to do that, then what's this section even for?
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: biro on February 20, 2018, 10:11:58 PM
I guess because you're Protestant, you see it that way. I've never been, so I don't.

Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Volnutt on February 20, 2018, 10:15:49 PM
I guess because you're Protestant, you see it that way. I've never been, so I don't.

I don't see how the same reasoning can't be used in the RCC section where both Xavier and Wandile have been admonished recently. And while YMMV as to where the line between argument and proselytism is, I just don't see Pastor David as being anywhere near a reasonable one.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: biro on February 20, 2018, 10:17:25 PM
I guess because you're Protestant, you see it that way. I've never been, so I don't.

I don't see how the same reasoning can't be used in the RCC section where both Xavier and Wandile have been admonished recently. And while YMMV as to where the line between argument and proselytism is, I just don't see Pastor David as being anywhere near a reasonable one.

I still think he's wrong, and I think you are. But I'm done wasting my time.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Volnutt on February 20, 2018, 10:18:22 PM
I guess because you're Protestant, you see it that way. I've never been, so I don't.

I don't see how the same reasoning can't be used in the RCC section where both Xavier and Wandile have been admonished recently. And while YMMV as to where the line between argument and proselytism is, I just don't see Pastor David as being anywhere near a reasonable one.

I still think he's wrong, and I think you are. But I'm done wasting my time.

I disagree with his views too, but there's no rule against being wrong on the Internet.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Agabus on February 20, 2018, 10:36:54 PM
Be cool, everybody.

I guess because you're Protestant, you see it that way. I've never been, so I don't.

I don't see how the same reasoning can't be used in the RCC section where both Xavier and Wandile have been admonished recently. And while YMMV as to where the line between argument and proselytism is, I just don't see Pastor David as being anywhere near a reasonable one.

I'll allow it. He's not proselytizing or telling people to leave the faith. The forum allows light polemics, and all he's really said is, "I think you're wrong on this issue."
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: pasadi97 on February 21, 2018, 12:42:06 AM
Protestants didnt ban art, they banned art intended for religious use. You can paint the passion and emotionally relate to it but you cant pray to christ in front of the painting because the Christ in the painting becomes an idol. 

I know a bunch of calvinists who are painters and illustrators whove painted christ, they would never venerate it for the reasons above.

The problem is this.'
To be an idol means to worship it. To worship means to believe it is God.
In front of a important person you can kneel, you can stay in 2 feets, one feet, in your hands. You can recite poetry prayers and so on . As long as the person in front of you you dont consider God you are not worshiping it and it is not an idol.
Same for icons.In front of icons you can do anyting you want including prayer. If you dont consider icons as being God they are not idols and you are not worshipping them.
So orthodox don't believe icons to be God. So orthodox don't worship icons. So orthodox icons are not idols.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: pasadi97 on February 21, 2018, 12:45:44 AM
This is my opinion as always.
Protestants I believe threw to the garbage the Church history and church history shows us Jesus made an icon and sent it to King Abgar that become cured by receiving icon. He venerated icon and icon was in front of russian troops for hundreds of years.
Search google for  "Abgar icon Jesus". So Jesus not wrong ALWAYS so icon not wrong and veneration not wrong.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: pasadi97 on February 21, 2018, 01:22:41 AM
Te problem I am having is not using icons. Th e problem I am having is relying on the icons to transmit truth and orthodox Christianity message in the 20th century when EVERYBODY is on facebook, smart phones, instagram social media, TV, cinema. EVERYBODY but cristianity and Eastern orthodox Christianity is on facebook, smart phones, instagram social media, TV, cinema that is why christianity is becoming less and less relevant.
The Bible that I am having tells me that Aeropagus was a pagan place a place where everybody was. Being a pagan place did not stop Apostle Paul to go there and say the Christian message and save people.

I am almost sure Apostle Paul would have no issue in going to Facebook, smart phone, instagram. whats app, make a star wars movie in which the characters would pray before the meal, get baptised an d say something on this line in the 20 th century false religion and denomination were in existence but in 21th century we asked God which religion is true and to teach us religion and God showed us the Eastern orthodox Christianity is the true religion and this is why in 30th century we are all Eastern orthodox Christians.

I can see a movie in which there are 3 people, one budhism , one muslim and one Eastern orthodox Christian and their ;life and afterlife when budhist becomes a cow or a worm, muslim goes to Hell not being baptised and Eastern orthodox Christian to Heaven to 365000 years party with God.

I can not imagine monastery or theological seminary in 21 century without facebook presence, instagram, cinema, tv , movie. I can not imagine monastery or theological seminary in the 21 century without doing social marketing, advertising at superbowl.

Wherever people are , church and monasteries and theological seminaries should be to save them and to transmit christian message. Yes there is temptation on these media but temptation was in the books.

If social marketing has the potential to put 10% of population run like horses and improve their health for 60+ years why it has not potential to send 20% of people to church to be saved for eternity.

If one movie Star Wars has the potential to convert 5% of people to budhism that gives you the chance to become subhuman like a cow or a worm why not an eastern orthodox STAR WARS movie that give you possibility to be immortal and go to Heaven to 20% of people.

This is my opinion.

Ya there is EasterN orthodox TV but so boring unbelievable. No animation for children. Not movies with saints. Nothing exciting. Ratings tell the story.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: pasadi97 on February 21, 2018, 01:41:42 AM
Facebook, smart phones, instagram social media, TV, cinema, Star Wars, social marketing IS THE PRINTING PRESS FOR 21th CENTURY.

I can not imagine monastery or theological seminary in 21 century without facebook presence, instagram, cinema, tv , movie. I can not imagine monastery or theological seminary in the 21 century without doing social marketing, advertising at superbowl or wherever people are the same way I cannot imagine them NOT using painting that was relevant 300 years ago or NOT using printing press that was relevant 100 years ago.

I can not imagine EasterN Orthodox Christianity NOT going after people and technology and remaining in papyrus age. We should modify nothing from the time of entering to church to the time of exiting the church but the message can be transmited on every media possible.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Volnutt on February 21, 2018, 01:47:12 AM
There's a little like this from the Greeks, https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLbyQMR-_r8bJTrcWpWxSUPdJHdZJsq_zG

And a lot of Concilliar Press's output from the Antiochians. The Copts also have a lot of movies (of varying quality)  of lives of the Saints. Then there's other movies like Ostrov or the Jesus Prayer documentary.


My concern with such things (especially dramatized) is that the rush to "relevance" or being appealing to as many as possible does not dilute or dumb down the message. But really, this is a topic better suited for a new thread.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: pasadi97 on February 21, 2018, 01:47:26 PM
So to clarify with idols.
You can stay 10 miles away from something or somebody, do not do prayer near it or him , no kneeling and be upset at it but as long as you consider it to be a God , it or he is an idol in case he is not God.
Anything you believe to be God and it is not God it is an idol. Believing to be God means worship.Request or prayer is not worship if it is not addressed to God and if you don't believe the one the prayer is addressed to to be God.
So idol is about what you believe NOT about what you do.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Alveus Lacuna on February 21, 2018, 02:44:54 PM
2) I wonder whether this whole thread has the question back to front, or at least starts in the middle not at the beginning. I would rather ask the question, where all the accretions come from that now æsthetically adorn Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. Not when did we lose them, but when did you gain them.


Pastor David, I think this perspective might presume a minimalism that's not necessarily a given. For example, what archaeologists have found in the Dura-Europos synagogue, in the Roman catacombs from the first several centuries, etc. indicate that at least plenty of Jews and Christians were accustomed to holy personages and biblical stories being on frescoes adorning the walls of their worship spaces. These paintings themselves don't necessarily have to be "ornate" in the sense of opulent gold or something. They would stand out in comparison with a Baptist church because of all of the color.

So in that regard I would consider the images of Christ, the Virgin Mary, and the saints in and around Orthodox and Catholic churches to be a natural extension of this. I realize the question becomes more complex when dealing with statuary, gold-gilding of various items, precious metals for the vessels for communion, and other such things. But on a basic level we see something that full-blown iconoclasm can't reconcile with their own views; that many forms of early Christianity and Judaism didn't take issue with the frescoes that are so common in the apostolic churches.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dura-Europos_synagogue

(http://www.pravoslavie.ru/sas/image/101543/154368.p.jpg?mtime=1389806163)

(https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-IC496obu-40/Vtco-GZwCeI/AAAAAAABkyM/xQGicGk4E8w/s1600/Rome_Catacombs_07.jpg)
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: pasadi97 on February 21, 2018, 04:40:07 PM
This is my opinion.So the pictures above clearly show PROTESTANT RENOUNCED to icons not orthodox added icons and pictures. orthodox christians kept the true faith. Since early christians prayed in these Churches  with pictures on walls shows clearly prayer in front of icons and pictures OK so Protestants wrong again in my opinion.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: pasadi97 on February 22, 2018, 10:59:34 AM
It is very simple for people that have faith in GOd.
When people ask which denomination is true God shows Eastern orthodox Christianity to be true.
If you have faith you accept what God shows.
If you dont have faith you have to try to prove God wrong. I think is  a waste of time to try to prove God wrong.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Nicodemusz138 on February 22, 2018, 02:51:20 PM
Among Presbyterians, it stems from sola scriptura, covenant theology and zwingli. the New testament didnt institute icons and liturgy, so those are man made traditions to be avoided. which is why there is only baptism and the lords supper, ...

Three comments briefly, then it's time to put on my minimalist smart suit and tie and go and preach at the equally minimalist Baptist chapel in Penycae! -

1) I think this post comes near the truth, though not only regarding Presbyterians; and I don't think that covenant theology or a Zwinglian view of the 'ordinances' comes into it, for one could have those with an ornate building.

2) I wonder whether this whole thread has the question back to front, or at least starts in the middle not at the beginning. I would rather ask the question, where all the accretions come from that now æsthetically adorn Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. Not when did we lose them, but when did you gain them.

3) The person who posted the lovely photographs earlier in the thread has a good point; nonetheless, both my wife and I like visiting the simple chapels one often finds in Greece, often in remote places, and many of them we do not find religiously off-putting or offensive. Nonetheless, for me at least - and this may be nothing more than culture and personality - I find a simple and if possible old church (anything from 150 to 1500 years) more conducive to prayer, worship and spiritual meditation than an ornate one.

I believe it was I, Pastor Young!, heh.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: David Young on February 22, 2018, 05:28:46 PM
It's not polite to go to someone else's house and say that it's ugly.

Nor have I done so. I have said that certain types of church building are more pleasing to me æsthetically, and are more likely to move me to pray. I have felt some Orthodox churches in Greece conducive to prayer in that way, and have prayed in them, not least St Peter's at Kenipolis which is probably the oldest among them, but very ornate Orthodox, Catholic or Anglican churches leave me untouched at the religious level. On the other hand, a small, simple Baptist or Methodist chapel from maybe 160 years ago or more, where men and women have earnestly sought God's forgiveness and holiness, often does have that effect on me.

I have not said the highly ornate churches are "ugly": I have said they fail to inspire me at the spiritual level. As my wife enjoys visiting them, we have visited enough for me to know that this is a constant in my response to my surroundings.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Agabus on February 22, 2018, 06:33:04 PM
It's not polite to go to someone else's house and say that it's ugly.

Nor have I done so. I have said that certain types of church building are more pleasing to me æsthetically, and are more likely to move me to pray. I have felt some Orthodox churches in Greece conducive to prayer in that way, and have prayed in them, not least St Peter's at Kenipolis which is probably the oldest among them, but very ornate Orthodox, Catholic or Anglican churches leave me untouched at the religious level. On the other hand, a small, simple Baptist or Methodist chapel from maybe 160 years ago or more, where men and women have earnestly sought God's forgiveness and holiness, often does have that effect on me.

I have not said the highly ornate churches are "ugly": I have said they fail to inspire me at the spiritual level. As my wife enjoys visiting them, we have visited enough for me to know that this is a constant in my response to my surroundings.

I understand this impulse. I love to find old churches in the mountains and go in to pray.

My own preference is for the sort of simple Orthodox chapel in which I was introduced the faith — lots of wood tones with a smooth, six-panel iconostasis and a number of mounted icons around the walls, though there is more wall than icon so it's not visually distracting. I also prefer lots of natural light.

But I can pray in ornate churches, too, and spent a lot of time meditating in the gothic Catholic basilica in my former city of residence.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: walterturkey on February 22, 2018, 08:54:14 PM
I think the word worship is used broadly, encompassongly, one of the  issues examined at last years general assembly was over the use of a picture of Jesus on the church bulletin, or service bulletin
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Volnutt on February 22, 2018, 09:34:12 PM
I think the word worship is used broadly, encompassongly, one of the  issues examined at last years general assembly was over the use of a picture of Jesus on the church bulletin, or service bulletin

Were the objections to a picture of Jesus per se, or that it was a picture of Jesus on a disposable piece of paper?

The latter sometimes comes up even in Orthodoxy.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: David Young on February 23, 2018, 05:20:06 AM
My own preference is for the sort of simple Orthodox chapel

Quite! Last year, for me, it was Agios Ioannis, at the top entrance to the Rouvas Gorge (walked to from above Zaros). (Ever since the forum was upgraded I no longer seem able to attach photographs, or I'd add one here.)
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: juliogb on February 23, 2018, 10:01:49 AM
I went to a presbyterian church once that was quite ornated for protestant brazilian standards, a big wooden cross and stained glass with christian symbols like the Paschal Lamb, the Chi Ro, Alpha and Omega, the Ark of Noah, Bread and Wine...lovely chappel and conducive to prayer, it really looks like a place in wich something special and transcendent is happening, but it is an exception in Brazil, most of protestant churches in Brazil are quite boring aesthetically.

The orthodox churches in Brazil are quite simple as well, not too ornated, the oldest orthodox building in Brazil is quite curious tho, it is located in a commercial street in a quite decandent part of downtown São Paulo, it is literaly shoved inside a commercial building.

Inside:
(https://menteplural.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/igreja.jpg)

Outside:
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-nSylKLMRlb8/WcAhCD9aUgI/AAAAAAAAi0c/JWtIpR1bLXAOcESHMW4xRtXz3FK8wsgGQCLcBGAs/s1600/IMG_20170825_105806165_HDR.jpg

Some years ago an abandoned methodist chappel was bought and transformed into a greek orthodox parish.
(https://imagesapt.apontador-assets.com/fit-in/640x480/f106e2a12c674ce4923cdd8c696874ed/paroquia-ortodoxa-dormicao-d-3644596378222299.jpg)

Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Volnutt on February 26, 2018, 08:59:29 PM
I found this article (https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/orthodoxbridge/an-eastern-orthodox-critique-of-mercersburg-theology/) via an old thread. It's an interesting Orthodox Critique of Philip Schaff and John Nevin's 19th Century "Mercersberg Theology." It was an attempt to make American Calvinism (I could post in the "ITT: Calvinism" thread to the same effect) as High Church and Sacramental as possible.

Obviously from an Orthodox standpoint, their work was very incomplete (as the author of the article points out). But for my purposes, he also points out the development of Puritanism:

Quote
While Nevin and Schaff’s catholic evangelicalism has caught the attention of scholars, their dispute with “Puritanism” is just as significant.  “Puritanism” was a low church movement that emphasized salvation as an emotional experience, the sacrament as purely symbolic, and the individual interpretation of the Bible.  “Puritanism” (#10) was part of a broad movement — the subjective turn — that altered American religious life radically. (#11)  As Americans crossed the Appalachians they left behind the constraints and institutions of urban life.  In this new environment novel forms of belief and religious life emerged; an understanding emerged that saw the spiritual as inward and subjective — “heart felt.”

The subjective turn was a consequential religious paradigm shift.  It led to the view that faith in Christ must be a conscious personal experience.  It caused people to question the adequacy of faithful church attendance and the catechetical process without a salvation experience.  Similarly, it led to the rejection of infant baptism in favor of adult baptism.  This subjective emphasis spread through the revivalist movement popularized by Charles Finney.  Revivalism was the view that to be saved one needed an emotional experience of salvation.  To facilitate this the “anxious bench” was created in which people with a troubled conscience would go up, sit down, and request prayer for their salvation.  This would later evolve into the modern altar call popularized by Billy Graham.  This outlook swept through the Presbyterian churches in eastern Pennsylvania and the Ohio valley.  Nevin wrote The Anxious Bench (1843) in which he criticized the importance placed on emotionalism and defended churchly Christianity in the form of creeds and catechetical instruction, and the efficacy of the sacraments, e.g., infant baptism.

The subjective turn impacted church life as well.  Men were ordained on the basis of their oratorical skills or their charismatic personalities without any approval by church authorities.  Preachers were free to promulgate new doctrines unchecked by creeds or church authorities, and people were free to join whatever church body they found to their liking.  New interpretations of the Bible surfaced resulting in a profusion of denominations, and ironically even to anti-denominational groups as well.  Out of this confusion emerged the slogan: “No creed but the Bible.”  The subjective turn transformed America’s religious landscape.  In addition to giving rise to new forms of Protestantism, it gave rise to new religious groups that went beyond the boundaries of Christianity: the Jehovah Witnesses, the Seventh Day Adventists, and the Latter Day Saints (Mormons).  Nevin and Schaff’s attempts to counter the influence of “Puritanism” in the Reformed churches must be viewed against this broader social context.

Now NicholasMyra's posts above are making me wonder to what extent Puritanism might actually be related to Bogomilism.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: rakovsky on February 27, 2018, 12:11:13 AM
thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Volnutt on February 27, 2018, 12:12:01 AM
No prob.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: juliogb on February 27, 2018, 08:56:39 AM
Quote
I found this article via an old thread. It's an interesting Orthodox Critique of Philip Schaff and John Nevin's 19th Century "Mercersberg Theology." It was an attempt to make American Calvinism (I could post in the "ITT: Calvinism" thread to the same effect) as High Church and Sacramental as possible.

Obviously from an Orthodox standpoint, their work was very incomplete (as the author of the article points out). But for my purposes, he also points out the development of Puritanism:

I'd like to see this debate reaching the theological circles in my country.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Volnutt on February 27, 2018, 03:37:40 PM
Quote
I found this article via an old thread. It's an interesting Orthodox Critique of Philip Schaff and John Nevin's 19th Century "Mercersberg Theology." It was an attempt to make American Calvinism (I could post in the "ITT: Calvinism" thread to the same effect) as High Church and Sacramental as possible.

Obviously from an Orthodox standpoint, their work was very incomplete (as the author of the article points out). But for my purposes, he also points out the development of Puritanism:

I'd like to see this debate reaching the theological circles in my country.

Well, I don't know how much a "debate" it is anymore. Mercersberg was in the mid-1800s and I think American Calvinists pretty much rejected all of its tendencies when they condemned the Federal Vision (or at least swept it under the rug, see up-thread).

Maybe it could do more good in Brazil since it's not as much of knee-jerk Romophobic society?
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Tzimis on February 27, 2018, 03:56:45 PM
Its pretty simple. Protestantism is a practice of taking the the power away from the church and instilling it to the individual.  Nothing more. If individuals feel they have the power to transform under there own pride. Than let them be.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: pasadi97 on March 02, 2018, 12:57:18 PM
Its pretty simple. Protestantism is a practice of taking the the power away from the church and instilling it to the individual.  Nothing more. If individuals feel they have the power to transform under there own pride. Than let them be.

In the process it takes away from individual probably immortality and other gifts God put in his perfect Church made by perfect God Eastern Orthodox Church.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Volnutt on March 02, 2018, 04:43:07 PM
Its pretty simple. Protestantism is a practice of taking the the power away from the church and instilling it to the individual.  Nothing more. If individuals feel they have the power to transform under there own pride. Than let them be.

Well, sure. But I was just interested in tracing the genealogy of the specific forms such individualism took. Even very individualistic beliefs are still ideas passed down from person to person, whether directly or indirectly.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Tzimis on March 02, 2018, 09:24:48 PM
Its pretty simple. Protestantism is a practice of taking the the power away from the church and instilling it to the individual.  Nothing more. If individuals feel they have the power to transform under there own pride. Than let them be.

Well, sure. But I was just interested in tracing the genealogy of the specific forms such individualism took. Even very individualistic beliefs are still ideas passed down from person to person, whether directly or indirectly.


   Most, if not all genealogy leads to the source of a schism of sorts.
 Certain people that have the power to steer the future into a direction of there visions. Fully know what they are trying to achieve. Weakness or vulnerability in there opponents is when they strike.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Volnutt on March 02, 2018, 09:40:14 PM
Its pretty simple. Protestantism is a practice of taking the the power away from the church and instilling it to the individual.  Nothing more. If individuals feel they have the power to transform under there own pride. Than let them be.

Well, sure. But I was just interested in tracing the genealogy of the specific forms such individualism took. Even very individualistic beliefs are still ideas passed down from person to person, whether directly or indirectly.



   Most, if not all genealogy leads to the source of a schism of sorts.
 Certain people that have the power to steer the future into a direction of there visions. Fully know what they are trying to achieve. Weakness or vulnerability in there opponents is when they strike.

Seems a tad uncharitable to me. I'd rather chalk it up to just simple human error.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Volnutt on April 02, 2018, 04:08:07 AM
I actually just ordered a copy of Gabriel Audisio's The Waldensian Dissent: Persecution and Survival, c.1170-c.1570 for only 16 dollars! Thank God for Barnes and Noble secondary sellers. ;D


Now watch every source in the bibliography be in untranslated French lol...
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: maneki_neko on April 02, 2018, 06:06:51 AM
The fact that the first Christians worshiped in the Jerusalem Temple and then in the synagogues until they were kicked out (I guess we could also talk about Eusebius's account of James and John dressing like Jewish priests, though it's not of guaranteed provenance) is highly significant to me. So is the fact that Gnosticism and Doceticism were there from the beginning as anti-matter (no pun intended) thought movements. It makes it seem more likely to me that the service of the first century was, if not recognizably Orthodox or Catholic, at least what we would call High Church and that the problematic accretions in history could just as easily have gone in the other direction

Not that I'm necessarily saying that the First Century Church had icons or something, but that such things wouldn't be completely at odds with their attitudes. I really don't think they were Baptists.
+1

I say it's not pragmatic.  Why can't someone pray in front of a visual representation of anything regarding Christianity without being accused of idolatry, but one can pray in front of a blank wall, a door, a kitchen table, or their Bible and it's fine?  It sounds like the argument is that one is inherently idolatry because it depicts Christian things, and therefore one must avoid it at all costs.  As in, you can pray anywhere in your house, except near the picture of Jesus hanging in the dining room.  God doesn't exist right there, apparently.   :-\
+2

2. As I recall, Persson and yesh were warned for crossing the line into outright proselytism or for being rude (I haven't seen Pastor David do either of those things), not for making Protestant arguments.

Saying that Orthodox stuff is "made up" is about the only claim one can honestly make if they want to continue to be Baptist and not Orthodox. He's just responding to the thread with what he believes. If he can't be allowed to do that, then what's this section even for?
+1

I found this article (https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/orthodoxbridge/an-eastern-orthodox-critique-of-mercersburg-theology/) via an old thread. It's an interesting Orthodox Critique of Philip Schaff and John Nevin's 19th Century "Mercersberg Theology." It was an attempt to make American Calvinism (I could post in the "ITT: Calvinism" thread to the same effect) as High Church and Sacramental as possible.
I'm in the middle of reading this book right now. Very interesting. It's the closest I've read to a reasonable argument for remaining as some form of Protestant (in my view it still falls quite short of Orthodoxy, but B+ for actual effort). What I've read so far leaves me really feeling empathetic for John Nevin.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: sestir on June 30, 2018, 09:08:41 AM
If an organization with some sort of power wants to blackmail a congregation into changing doctrine by saying: teach this and not that, or we'll seize your church building, if said church building is cheap and disposable, a protestant congregation can say "have it", whereas that would be very difficult to say if it is a very beautiful church full of gold and sinuous gingerbread-work.

As an individual who sympathize with both orthodoxy and protestantism, I pray that both the protestant simplicity and the Orthodox ornateness may remain and flourish. However, as the thread focuses on explaining minimalism, Matthew 6:19-21 may be worth looking at ...

Quote
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. — KJB
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Alpha60 on June 30, 2018, 09:48:12 AM
Quote
Umm, there's plenty of Protestant art in many different mediums.

Well, due to the ban on visual arts, some protestants specially in the lutheran world, dedicated to music, Bach comes to my mind and several others that composed christmas concerts and hymns.

But Lutherans didn't ban visual arts.

E.g.

(https://lutheranarts.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/weimar1.jpg)

Indeed.  The Lutherans are not iconoclastic.  Also, the Anglicans found Iconoclasm to be a bore after a while, and by the early 20th century, the fruits of 19th century Gothic-revival Romanticism had restored iconography to a great many Anglican churches.

In Protestantism one of the primary forms of iconography is in the stained glass windows.  The Methodist church in which I grew up has beautiful stained glass windows depicting the ministry of our Lord.  The best of these are on the East wall, and so are brilliantly illuminated during Sunday Mornin& (although there is some neck-cranking because, for reasons of site layout, the altar and pulpit, are, or rather I should say were, because the contemporary Praise and Worship set removed them and replaced them with drums and electric guitars, on the South end).

Actually, it amuses me how many churches of all denominations in Southern California have the liturgical Orient on the South wall.  For architectural reasons, so the original small church could be recycled into a Narthex, St. Ephrem’s Syriac Orthodox Church in Burbank has its altar in the West end.

~

I love stained glass windows by the way, and I wish, in Orthodox church construction in the West, we could have more of the iconographic budget dedicated to them; to a large extent many of our standard icons would translate over directly.  Some Roman Catholic churches have both rich iconographic frescoes and iconographic stained glass windows, and the result is exqusite.   I would especially like to see the images of the Theotokos and our Lord that we tend to paint into the apse and dome rendered as stained glass. 

There is always room to make our churches more visually beautiful, and the more beautiful we make them, the stronger the sense of a meeting of Heaven and Earth, which the envoys of St. Vladimir experienced at the Hagia Sophia.

But one does not even require a large, splendid external structure to have a beautiful church.  One of the most beautiful churches in Britain is also one of the smallest, an Antiochian chapel a very pious Englishman constructed in a tiny building on his property, about the size of a shed.  It’s completely covered with exquisite icons and it has sufficient facilities for the divine liturgy to be celebrated with a small congregation.

I am glad he decorated to the max a tiny little church, perfectly scaled for the size of his community, vs. purchasing a large oversized building and being forced to leave it largely baren and bereft, inadvertantly invoking Protestant minimalism.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Alpha60 on June 30, 2018, 10:13:14 AM
It's not polite to go to someone else's house and say that it's ugly.

Nor have I done so. I have said that certain types of church building are more pleasing to me æsthetically, and are more likely to move me to pray. I have felt some Orthodox churches in Greece conducive to prayer in that way, and have prayed in them, not least St Peter's at Kenipolis which is probably the oldest among them, but very ornate Orthodox, Catholic or Anglican churches leave me untouched at the religious level. On the other hand, a small, simple Baptist or Methodist chapel from maybe 160 years ago or more, where men and women have earnestly sought God's forgiveness and holiness, often does have that effect on me.

I have not said the highly ornate churches are "ugly": I have said they fail to inspire me at the spiritual level. As my wife enjoys visiting them, we have visited enough for me to know that this is a constant in my response to my surroundings.

With all due respect Reverend, you’re missing the point in a cloud of Pietism.   Yes, there is a sort of moral earnestness observable in some very plain churches; the US has some of the plainest, due to the Puritans settling in New England; the Old Ship Church being the exemplar of that, par excellence.

Now, let us consider this 17th century church, devoid of iconography and constructed from the timbers of a ship, in part: it is no longer Christian, and indeed, the congregation housed therein rejected Christ as the Incarnation of God and embraced the damnable heresy of Unitarianism, which I have no doubt you are as fiercely opposed to as I am, in the 18th century.  This church, which is simplicty at a maximal level, became apostate within a mere century of its foundation.  Indeed most parishes in the Boston area as well as Harvard University, founded by the Mathers, Trinitarian, Calvinist Puritans, all became Unitarian.

There is precisely one historic Congregational church and one historic Baptist church in Boston which are relatively plain and still practice an unadulterated Christianity, the former being affiliated to the conservative CCCC group, which broke off from the United Church of Christ I believe in the 1950s, when theological liberalism began to take over.

Now, it is true that some Unitarian churches are quite ornate; one in Boston has Art Nouveau stained glass windows produced by Louis Comfort Tiffany depicting the life of our Lord, albeit in a manner which does not particularly express his divinity.

However, I propose that icons which depict the true doctrines of the faith are absolutely vital, because they convey the Gospel visually.  They are absolutely essential: our Lord became incarnate, and thus we can and must depict him visibly.  When we have icons, whether they are of the stained glass window variety popular in Protestantism, or the paintings of Holy Orthodoxy, we are commemorating and celebrating the incarnation of our Lord.

What is more, the more beautifully and elaborately furnished our churches are, the more they iconographically relate us to Heaven above and also to the Temple and before it, the Tabernacle, of ancient Israel.  The Temple in turn is a typographic prophecy of many things to come, so many in fact that to list them all would be a herculean task, but we have very obviously a prophecy of the Incarnation, of the Mother of God, of the Church as the Bride of Christ, and so on, and we see in the shewbread and drink offerings a prototype of the Eucharist.

Our Lord deserves our absolute best.  It infuriates me that Prosperity Gospel preachers waste the money of their congregations on private jets, designer apparel and sportscars, while not even bothering to properly and reverently decorate the megachurches in which the adherents of their grave heresy are misled.

The rejection of icons, or indeed, I would argue, even an iconographic minimalism, are indicative of a crypto-Gnostic, crypto-Docetic influence, which I would beg you to try and identify.  In fact, I very much wish that you would read, Reverend, the Panarion of St. Epiphanius of Salamis, which catalogues all the ancient heresies.  I have a spare copy I acquired to gift to someone, so if you are interested in reading that volume, feel free to send me a private message.   Also, I have a spare copy of the heresiological passages of St. John of Damascus, which quote the Panarion in the case of older heresies, but which feature original treatments on Iconoclasm, Islam, Nestorianism, Monothelitism and other unpleasant heresies of that era (as well as an embarassing chapter in which the illustrious Sabaite monk misidentified the Egyptian Tritheist sect with the Oriental Orthodox, when in fact we had anathematized those persons, as well as Eutyches).

Orthodox theology is iconographic theology, and it is iconographic because it is Incarnational.  In contrast, the theology of much of low church Protestantism is fundamentalist and verbal, driven by the idea of the “written Word of God”, while in my view ignoring the Incarnation of the Word we find in John 1:1-17.  The Word of God is a person, not the Bible, and our theology should focus on the Incarnation of the Word, and what that means, and that in turn requires an Iconographic theology which celebrates the Incarnation of God.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Orthodox_Slav on June 30, 2018, 10:17:46 AM
let's have a test can you say which one is Catholic and witch one is Anglican! they are very similar because they have STATUARY AND CROSSES

1
(https://bccatholic.ca/system/images/W1siZiIsIjIwMTcvMTAvMTEvOHVhZ3hzZ3VoaV9EU0NGMzg1OV8yLmpwZyJdLFsicCIsImNvYWxlc2NlIl0sWyJwIiwidGh1bWIiLCIxMjAweCJdLFsicCIsIm9wdGltaXplIl1d/image.jpg)

2
(http://www.anglicannews.org/ImageGen.ashx?image=/media/1522363/eurobish_morocco_confirmation_2015_oct_460.jpg&width=460)
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Alpha60 on June 30, 2018, 10:24:40 AM
By the way, speaking of Nestorians, a true Nestorian would disagree with everything I just posted.  I suppose we can measure and assess the extent to which the Assyrian Churches of the East are not bona fide Nestorian on the basis of the extent to which they agree with what I just wrote.

Certainly, however, the author of the website nestorian.org is of a persuasion in that direction, and I find it quite uncanny how much the theology of Nestorius as described by him and others, perhaps the entire Antiochene school, seems to prefigure certain forms of Calvinism and iconoclastic low-church Protestantism.

Conversely, Lutheranism is a bit of an odd duck due to Luther’s lack of a sense of systematic theology and hermeneutical continuity; he simply discarded the bits of Catholicism he felt were in error, inadvertantly bringing Lutheranism closer to Orthodoxy on some points, and much further away from it on others (to the surprise of the Lutheran theologians who attempted a dialogue with His All Holiness Jeremias II of Constantinople); when sacred scripture contradicted or appeared to contradict Luther’s exegesis, his solution was basically to edit it (see the insertion of the word “alone” into Romans, a direct interpolation, as well as his attempts to suppress the books of Hebrews, Jude, the Apocalypse, and most especially the Epistle of St. James, which discredits his entire soteriological model).

Thus, Lutheranism lacks the extreme austerity we have been commenting on here, but it still is “lower church” than it should be, since it is basically the Roman Rite of Roman Catholicism with various bits that offended Martin Luther for whatever reason violently ripped out.  He was like a selective iconoclast; he smashed some things, but left others up and enlarged still others, based on what we might call his theological aesthetic, which alas, he made no effort to reconcile to any meaningful degree with Patristic or Orthodox theology; Lutheranism is basically a gigantic conjecture about what was wrong with the Roman Catholic church, a conjecture which is easily shown to be in error on several key points from the very Sacred Scriptures Luther thought he was giving primacy to.

Such an anomaly was the inevitable consequence of the derangement of the post-schism Roman church with the various false doctrines which Xavier likes to promote to us.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Alpha60 on June 30, 2018, 10:30:58 AM
let's have a test can you say which one is Catholic and witch one is Anglican! they are very similar because they have STATUARY AND CROSSES

1
(https://bccatholic.ca/system/images/W1siZiIsIjIwMTcvMTAvMTEvOHVhZ3hzZ3VoaV9EU0NGMzg1OV8yLmpwZyJdLFsicCIsImNvYWxlc2NlIl0sWyJwIiwidGh1bWIiLCIxMjAweCJdLFsicCIsIm9wdGltaXplIl1d/image.jpg)

2
(http://www.anglicannews.org/ImageGen.ashx?image=/media/1522363/eurobish_morocco_confirmation_2015_oct_460.jpg&width=460)

I believe no. 1 is Catholic and no. 2 is Anglican, due to the presence of a tabernacle and other acoutrements on the Catholic altar, and also by virtue of the fact that the URL for no. 1 is “bccatholic.ca” and the URL for no. 2 is “www.anglicannews.org.”

I did however come to the conclusion that 1 was Catholic and 2 was Anglican before your un-obfuscated URLs gave it away, because you almost never see an altar setup like that (high altar in the back for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and a table in front for celebration of the Mass versus populum), or for that matter any kind of tabernacle or monstrance, in a typical Anglican church, with the exception of some extreme Anglo-Catholic parishes.

If you want to rerun that thought experiment, perhaps use bit.ly or a similiar URL shortener so we can’t use the URLs to solve the puzzle?
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Orthodox_Slav on June 30, 2018, 11:51:19 AM
let's have a test can you say which one is Catholic and witch one is Anglican! they are very similar because they have STATUARY AND CROSSES

1
(https://bccatholic.ca/system/images/W1siZiIsIjIwMTcvMTAvMTEvOHVhZ3hzZ3VoaV9EU0NGMzg1OV8yLmpwZyJdLFsicCIsImNvYWxlc2NlIl0sWyJwIiwidGh1bWIiLCIxMjAweCJdLFsicCIsIm9wdGltaXplIl1d/image.jpg)

2
(http://www.anglicannews.org/ImageGen.ashx?image=/media/1522363/eurobish_morocco_confirmation_2015_oct_460.jpg&width=460)



I believe no. 1 is Catholic and no. 2 is Anglican, due to the presence of a tabernacle and other acoutrements on the Catholic altar, and also by virtue of the fact that the URL for no. 1 is “bccatholic.ca” and the URL for no. 2 is “www.anglicannews.org.”

I did however come to the conclusion that 1 was Catholic and 2 was Anglican before your un-obfuscated URLs gave it away, because you almost never see an altar setup like that (high altar in the back for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and a table in front for celebration of the Mass versus populum), or for that matter any kind of tabernacle or monstrance, in a typical Anglican church, with the exception of some extreme Anglo-Catholic parishes.

If you want to rerun that thought experiment, perhaps use bit.ly or a similiar URL shortener so we can’t use the URLs to solve the puzzle?

OH FRICK I forgot to check the URLs! :'( :'( :'(
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Alpha60 on June 30, 2018, 01:56:38 PM
Among Presbyterians, it stems from sola scriptura, covenant theology and zwingli. the New testament didnt institute icons and liturgy, so those are man made traditions to be avoided. which is why there is only baptism and the lords supper, ...

Three comments briefly, then it's time to put on my minimalist smart suit and tie and go and preach at the equally minimalist Baptist chapel in Penycae! -

1) I think this post comes near the truth, though not only regarding Presbyterians; and I don't think that covenant theology or a Zwinglian view of the 'ordinances' comes into it, for one could have those with an ornate building.

2) I wonder whether this whole thread has the question back to front, or at least starts in the middle not at the beginning. I would rather ask the question, where all the accretions come from that now æsthetically adorn Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. Not when did we lose them, but when did you gain them.

3) The person who posted the lovely photographs earlier in the thread has a good point; nonetheless, both my wife and I like visiting the simple chapels one often finds in Greece, often in remote places, and many of them we do not find religiously off-putting or offensive. Nonetheless, for me at least - and this may be nothing more than culture and personality - I find a simple and if possible old church (anything from 150 to 1500 years) more conducive to prayer, worship and spiritual meditation than an ornate one.

On your second point by the way, its worth noting that there is some evidence that seems to completely contradict the “accretion hypothesis.”

I myself do not believe the liturgy has grown more ornate through accretion; on the contrary, I believe we have lost a great deal permanently, and much more material is disused.

Let us consider this issue, rite by rite:

- The simple Roman Rite merged with the more complex Gallican Rite, which is now lost in its original form.  Its closest relative, the Mozarabic Rite, is basically used in one chapel of the Cathedral in Toledo, and on very rare occasions, it makes an appearance elsewhere.   The Mozarabic Rite is one of the most ornate liturgical rites in existence; almost the entire Eucharist service consists of variable propers.  200 years ago there were still 5 parishes and probably a thousand people in Toledo who used the Mozarabic liturgy.
- Variant forms of the Roman Rite have become extinct (the York Rite, for instance, not to be confused with York Rite freemasonry), and others seem critically endangered or are just now being revived after a hiatus of several decades (the Rites of Braga, Lyons, the Carmelites and the Norbertines, among others).
- Other Western rites have been radically simplified, like the ornate Ambrosian Rite, which is celebrated in its original form at one parish only, jn Milan.

Now, moving Eastward:

- The Byzantine Rite used to have a Cathedral Use, used at the Hagia Sophia and other manor churches.  This was a magnificent rite which had less hymnody and devotional material than the monastic Studite and Sabaite typikons, and relied more on Biblical Psalms and canticles (e.g. the Nine Odes were sung, all the time, rather than just in Lent, and they were not substitued for by alternate Canons).   This Rite at one time had elaborate processions between churches, which were the origen if the splendid litanies of the Byzantine Rite, and elaborate processions within the Hagia Sophia, during the Great Entrance and at other times, and the Emperor himself participated in the rite by offering incense during the Christmas liturgy.  There were vast numbers of priests, deacons and singers at every liturgy.

- The Byzantine Rite used to make extensive use of the Divine Liturgies of St. James, St. Mark and St. Peter, and there is a Presanctified Liturgy of St. James which Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY, recently celebrated for the first time I think in centuries.  In Georgia, several parishes preferred to use the liturgies of St. Mark and St. Peter to those of St. Basil and St. John Chrysostom, and this apparently continued until the forced Russification after Georgia was forced to join the Russian Empire due to Islamic aggression.  The Russians also painted over the Georgian frescoes.  It is miraculous in my opinion that the three part chant of the Georgian liturgy survived.  Likewise, at least one community of Russian Old Believers in communion with Constantinople used the liturgies of St. James, St. Mark and St. Peter, until in the 1950s, fearing for their safety, they fled Turkey, but the Turks copied their liturgical manuscripts.  This also brings up the issue of the Russian Old Rite liturgy, which survived, and which is incontrovertibly more complex and ornate than the Nikonian liturgy, with longer services and fewer abbreviations.

- One ancient writer claimed that St. Basil composed his liturgy (actually there are two separate families of liturgies attributed to St. Basil, and there is some reason to suppose he wrote both of them) as a form of oikonomia due to the four hour length of the old St. James liturgy, and that St. John Chrysostom set out to reduce the two and a quarter hour liturgy of St. Basil down to a 90 minute liturgy, as a further accomodation (in this respect he was aided by the ancient Antiochene liturgy, the Anaphora of the Twelve Apostles, which largely matches St. John’s liturgy word for word.

This story may or may not be true, but it is interesting.

- The Coptic Rite, like the Byzantine Rite, apparently lost its Cathedral/non-monastic usages.  Also, the music, preserved through oral tradition, for the Coptic Divine Liturgy of St. Cyril, which is a recension of the aforementioned Divine Liturgy of St. Mark, was tragically lost in the past two centuries, although the liturgy is still occasionally served using melodies from the St. Basil liturgy, particularly in Lent.

- The Armenian Rite had 13 anaphoras and a presanctified liturgy at one time; all of these except the heavily Byzantinized and Latinized Divine Liturgy of St. Athanasius (which is really just a concise form of the liturgy of St. James, and is different from the Ethiopian liturgy of the same name), are disused, including the Presanctified Liturgy.   The loss of the presanctified liturgy in most of the OO churches is particularly tragic, given that the scholarly consensus attributes the first presanctified liturgy to St. Severus.  The Eastern Orthodox at present, and until the innovations of Pope Pius XII, the Roman Catholics, used, albeit at different times, a presanctified liturgy attributed to Pope St. Gregory the Great, who also is credited along with St. Ambrose, with greatly improving the music in the Roman Rite.

- The Syriac Orthodox Church has more than 80 anaphorae, but I have never found a parish or monastery that uses more than four of them.  The Western US diocese kind of cheats by using the shortest anaphora, that composed by St. Dionysius bar Salibi, but, to get around rubrics that require the use of the longest anaphora, that of St. James, on certain occasions, the Institution Narrative and Epiclesis from the St. James liturgy are copied over.

- Liturgical languages are falling increasingly out of use; I am not opposed to the use of a vernacular liturgy, but I think the way to do it is with a mix of the liturgical and vernacular tongues, with a translation provided in real time; the Copts and Syriacs do this, using LCD monitors to display the liturgy in English, Arabic and Syriac or Coptic, but no one else has implemented this as far as I am aware.

- A very large number of Orthodox parishes do not even bother to serve Vespers on Saturday evening; some also rush their way through Orthros (Matins), the most ornate and variable part of the Byzantine liturgy, which contains most of the hymondy and much other material for each specific liturgical occasion.

- Whereas the Byzantine and Coptic rites lost their Cathedral uses, the Assyrian Church of the East, following the genocide of Tamerlane, in which all Assyrian Christians in Tibet, China, Mongolia, and Central Asia were progressively exterminated, leaving the church a small area in modern day Iraq and Iran, the Assyrian church lost its wonderful monasteries and its monastic use, the prayers said by their greatest saint, St. Isaac the Syrian, whose holiness was such that he is venerated in all four of the ancient apostolic churches (this scandalizes some traditionalists, who have attempted to discredit the scholarship of Sebastian Brock on this point, but their work reads a bit like wishful thinking).  Happily, the Assyrian Church of the East recently reopened its first monastery in about 800 years or so, in Modesto, California, but they are having to adapt a Cathedral use for monastic purposes; I beliece that, like Anglicanism, the East Syriac Rite has only two or three daily prayers (Matins, Vespers and maybe Compline).  It lacks the Hours that feature prominently in all of the other rites I have mentioned.

So when we consider all of this, I think it is quite plain that liturgical accretion is a myth; the only accretion I can think of has been the bloating out of the Novus Ordo Missae in the RCC with an excessive variety of options, with too many priests ignoring this and always using the shortest service, Eucharistic Prayer no. 2; then, in the Anglican communion, the simultaneous existence of the old Book of Common Prayer in the UK along with Common Worship, which features some traditional language services, and the 1979 American BCP, which has a traditional “Rite One” and a modernistic “Rite Two” basically copied almost wholesale from the initial English text of the Novus Ordo Missae, right down to the skin-crawling substitution of “And also with you” for “et cum spiritu tuo / and with thy spirit”, which, by the way, is one of a handful of phrases common to every liturgical rite I just mentioned.

Thus, the reforms which sought to do away with this mythical accretion had the effect of creating it, whereas conversely, due largely to political issues and persecutions, the beautiful, ornate liturgies that the Church couod boast of in 1054 have been rendered much less beautiful, with a great deal of excessive simplification and a huge loss of liturgical-cultural heritage.  One of the few people doing anything about this is Alexander Lingas, who with his superb choir Capella Romana, has managed to reconstruct portions of the Cathedral Rite and also other lost services, like the Service of the Furnace celebrated in honor of the three youths saved by our Lord from the murderous Nebuchadnezzar.

Given all of this, I just don’t think you can make a case for liturgical accretion.  If it happened, if the liturgy was “fleshed out,” so to speak, it had largely happened by the early third century, where we find the Anaphora of Hippolytus (still in active use by the Ethiopian Orthodox, among several other anaphoras), with all the standard features one would expect in an anaphora (indeed, that anaphora is the basis for Eucharistic Prayer #2 in Catholicism, and the copies of it, like Eucharistic Prayer B in Rite Two of the Episcopal Church, and the communion service in the 1992 United Methodist Book of Worship, among other places.

My great desire is to see as many parts of the disused liturgy as possible brought back into use, but in a carefully planned manner where they would not replace, as a rule, any existing services in parishes, but rather, as an example, in parishes which lack weekday liturgies, the Liturgy of St. Peter or of St. Mark could be used in the Byzantine Rite, and if we ever, God willing, get the Hagia Sophia back, or build more impressive cathedrals like St. Savvas in Serbia or the new cathedral in Kronstadt in Russia, it might be possible to implement surviving parts of the Cathedral use, ideally alongside the traditional Sabaite use.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Alpha60 on June 30, 2018, 02:33:18 PM
I made one minor ommission in my denial of liturgical accretion, one slight error, which I shall remedy:

There was, in the Roman Rite, or should I say the Tridentine Gallicanized Roman Rite (the old Roman Rite was simpler), accretion, particularly in terms of confusing rules for feast days, a situation where alll Ferial Sundays were basically blocked by special feasts for this and that, making the default green vestments quite a rarity in the Roman church, and the Divine Office had become bloated and unmanageable.  Partly, from what I have read, this was due to the unwise introduction into the Divine Office parts of the Franciscan Rite, which had its own form for the Divine Office but not its own Missal.

Pope St. Pius X, at the turn of the 20th century, did engage in a massive cleanup and repair of the Divine Office of the Roman Rite, and also stopped minor feasts from overriding Ferial Sundays, so as a result one has the chance of seeing clergy in green vestments in the Tridentine liturgy (yay).   Seriously, thoufh, it was a huge improvement, making the Breviary much more brief and easy to use.

It should also be noted that the accretion problem in question was partially due to the addition of feasts that the Orthodox church would never have approved of, for example, those concerning the Sacred Heart of Jesus or the Immaculate Conception, or the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and these new feasts being prioritized in order to promote the innovative dogma.

Finally, the most important thing to consider when we think about this problem of accretion, is that it only happened in the Divine Office of the Roman Rite, used in parishes, mainly by clergy, mainly in private.  Then as now, most public services in the Roman church tend not to be Vespers or Matins, but are services of the mass, at different times.  The problem did not extend to parishes run by the Dominicans, of which there were a great number, because the Dominicans had, and still have, their own rite, including their own missal, which is similiar to the Roman Rite, but simpler and more straightforward.

Nor did these problems impact most monasteries, only a minority of religious orders which only used the Roman Rite were affected.  The reason for this is of course that the Carmelites, Dominicans and Norbertines had their own missals and breviaries, their own distinct rite, as it were, and the Benedictines had their own Monastic Breviary and Diurnal, which I believe was shared with the Cistercians and the Trappists, which were monastic orders organized as reforms of the Benedictine order, which had drifted a bit off course by the time of the Great Schism, with the decadence of the Cluniac monasteries, et cetera.

For that matter, the regional rites like the Lyonaise, the Rite of Braga in Portugal, and of course the Ambrosian and Mozarabic Rites had their own breviaries which did not suffer from the problems that had plagued the Roman Rite.  The Carthusian semi-hermetic monks also had their own rite, with a missal that resembles the Dominican, only more somber in tone, and a Breviary all their own, with some recourse to the “Missa Sicca” or dry mass, said independently by each monk in his two story hermitage in addition to the daily concelenrated conventual mass.

So the problem of accretion was essentially confined to the Roman Rite; I suspect it involved the reckless addition of new holidays for various political purposes and a poor integration at some point of the Gallican Rite.   The Dominican and Carthusian Rites also have Gallican attributes (and also those od Lyons, and the Carmelites), but these were more smoothly integrated, whereas the Divine Office of the Benedictines was distinctive, and can be traced to their rule and their own culture.

It is also amusing to note that aforesaid problems with the Roman Rite were painfully obvious and a subject of debate at the Council of Trent; attempts to fix the problem began under Pope St. Pius V and were not completed until Pope St. Pius X, nearly 500 years later.  And then for a few brief decades the Roman Catholic Church had perhaps the most splendid and well organized liturgy in the world, thanks to additional efforts by St. Pius X to mandate the use or Gregorian chant and traditional music, before Pope Pius XII decided to start meddling with it; his revisions to the Paschal Triduum were a disaster, as previously that rite was very similiar in the Eastern Orthodox church and in the Roman Rite of the Roman Catholic church, but Pius XII broke it.  Then you had Vatican II, the suppression of Prime, and the Novus Ordo Missae, and lastly, because it was Pope St. John XXIII who personally deleted from the Litany on Good Friday a mention of “perfidious Jews”, which merely meant unbelieving, but which was being misinterpreted and exploited for anti-Semitic purposes, the re-authorization of the Old Rites starting with Ecclesia Dei in the late 1980s invariably required the use of the 1962 recension of the Roman Rite, which in turn features the lamentably disfigured Paschal Triduum of Pope Pius XII.

So there you, Reverend Young, the sole example I can find of actual liturgical accretion in any of the four major non-Protestant traditions, that was the result of an historical process, and not the product of mid 20th century moral relativism encroaching on the sacred liturgy.

Btw it should be noted that I am not a Roman Catholic, and the prefix of St is presented as a courtesy (I can’t recall if Pius XII was canonized or not), although I will say that if Orthodox-Catholic reunion did happen, I would desire St. Pius X to be universally venerated in the manner of St. Isaac the Syrian; like St. Isaac some things he said were erroneous, but I can’t think of very many patriarchs of autocephalous churches who cared as much about the liturgy.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: ComingofAge on July 09, 2018, 09:47:59 PM
At the heart of it all, the influenza of Protestantism stems from an implicit denial of the Incarnation.

(*Post edit: as I read my comment again I realized the "I" in the Incarnation must definitely be capitalized, especially given the point I am making lol)
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Agabus on July 09, 2018, 10:31:12 PM
At the heart of it all, the influenza of Protestantism stems from an implicit denial of the Incarnation.

Pray tell more.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: ComingofAge on July 10, 2018, 01:02:16 AM
At the heart of it all, the influenza of Protestantism stems from an implicit denial of the Incarnation.

Pray tell more.

Well much of this has already been said in earlier posts here, but you've got iconoclasm, the rejection of the holiness of the Theotokos and all the Saints, rejection of a PHYSICAL Church which exists as the pillar and foundation of truth, rejection of holiness in Sacraments (sacraments are reduced to two and are mere symbols at best), rejection of the Eucharist being Christ's actual, PHYSICAL Body & Blood, rejection of relics, what else am I missing? This in turn leads to an absence of theosis. Man absolutely CANNOT become a partaker of Divine nature because he is still part material and it is not possible for any material thing to become holy as we've seen by my examples above. Therefore, all one must do is say a one-time sinner's prayer and then you are saved. There is no sense of man becoming divine and so, in turn, there is no sense of the Divine actually becoming man. In the Protestant viewpoint these two things are opposed to each other (dualism).

So the Protestant implicitly affirms that Christ wasn't actually fully man and fully God. The Protestant implicitly denies the Incarnation. Or maybe they'll say: but He was the only person who could be holy because He was also God...for the rest of us, we'll never make it...hence no Theotokos and no Saints and no theosis because the created can never become like the uncreated. But this then begs the question, if we can't become like Christ, if we can't become partakers of the Divine nature, then how are we to truly be Christians? How, in the end, will we be raised from the dead like Christ? They may say that it is by grace alone, and that all one must do is say a prayer and believe in their heart that Christ is Lord and they will then be saved no matter what they do...but don't the demons believe and tremble? It's not enough to just "believe". Plus, what does believe REALLY mean? If we really believed then we would actually make some sort of effort (i.e., asceticism), we would actually try to carry our cross and practice humility, we would actually pray without ceasing. This can ACTUALLY happen for us, and it is not just reserved for the monastics (and we do have a plethora of examples among the monastic community, another aspect of Orthodoxy which Protestantism firmly rejects). But one can become a Saint even as a householder too.

So for the Orthodox, everything that's said in Scripture become a LITERAL truth, not only for the past, not only for the heavenly kingdom to come, but also right here, right now. TRUTH transcends time. This brings up another issue, if there is no actual Body & Blood of Christ in Holy Communion then how will you become divinized? If you do not truly, truly take of His flesh and blood, then how can you actually become a Christian, a "little Christ"? The Protestant may say, that is not necessary as God will just save us by grace...well then the Incarnation, the death, the burial, the Resurrection, the Ascension...all that was unnecessary then. You see they deny action of any sort. And they deny synergy. They deny theosis. They deny materiality as having any significance whatsoever. Therefore, they deny the Incarnation.

If Jesus didn't come to divinize matter then what did He come to do? If matter is evil, then why did God create it? O if it only became evil after the Fall, then how could God become man therefore becoming something evil which is against His nature? The point is matter IS NOT evil. I never knew that until I became Orthodox. It took me years to get that. Protestantism never taught me that, at least not in the tradition I was raised in. Matter is good, body is good, the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Remember, we were made in God's image! Therefore, we don't shun material things in Orthodoxy. Material things most definitely carry holiness without question of a doubt. Anyway, I digress. It may seem like having icons and Saints and real Body & Blood is optional, but unfortunately IT'S NOT!
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Alpha60 on July 10, 2018, 09:03:38 AM
Dualism?

Dualism

Docetism

Nestorianism

If by “Nestorianism” you mean the theology of Theodore of Mopsuestia, he was only vaguely and inadvertantly dualist, in my opinion.   The Assyrian Christological model outlined by Mar Babai the Great is no more dualist than Chalcedonian or Miaphysite Christology, if the Roman Catholic Church and Fr. Ephrem are to be believed.  As far as what Nestorius thought, we can’t trust him, because he praised the Council of Chalcedon and claimed it was what he was trying to teach all along, when said council preserved the anathema against the designation Christotokos and commended the designation Theotokos in accord with Ephesus, which Nestorius had attempted with force to suppress (which led St. Cyril and St. Celestine to work with great fervor to procure successfully his removal as the archbishop of Constantinople).

I think an extreme caution should be used regarding the word “dualism” in the context of our Lord, because our Lord is fully human and fully divine, but without comingling or confusion.   If we are not careful or extrapolate the Platonic/Zoroastrian/Gnostic type of dualism, where you have a world of ideals and an inferior actual world, which may or may not be the work of a demiurge, and where you have a battle between created good and created evil, to the context of Christology, we might inadvertantly fall into the trap of Eutychianism, which is to say, actual, full-on, legitimate Monophysitism, not the Oriental Orthodox Miaphysite religion of Sts. Dioscorus or Severus (as practiced by the Copts, Syriacs, Indians, Ethiopians, Eritreans, Armenians, and in the past, the Caucasian Iberians, Nubians and some Hellenic persons throughout the Levant) but the Tritheism of Eutyches, John Philoponus and other assorted heresiarchs.

That said, there is a definite dualistic quality in Iconoclasm, in Calvinism (which is Iconoclastic and crypto-Nestorian), and in the “four bare walls and a sermon” variety of Protestantism.  Also, the promotion of cremation in the Protestant churches in the interests of economy and so on, and the pure unmitigated horror of Protestant churches with Columbaria (a Columbarium is a sort of repository for the urns containing the bone fragments of cremated people, crushed into a fine powder after the cremation by a machine called a cremulator, which most people call, and believe to be, “the ashes,” incorrectly), is profoundly dualist.  So too is the Zoroastrian Tower of Silence, although from my perspective, exposing the body as a charitable gift to vultures and buzzards is far less horrific than the modern day practice of cremation. 

But since we believe God became man, every man is an image of God, even those of evil, monstrous people; thus burial is the only proper course of action because God Incarnate was buried and rose on the third day.

For the same reason, it is critical that our Lord be depicted iconographically.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: HardHead on July 19, 2018, 11:27:13 PM
Quote

2) I wonder whether this whole thread has the question back to front, or at least starts in the middle not at the beginning. I would rather ask the question, where all the accretions come from that now æsthetically adorn Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. Not when did we lose them, but when did you gain them.

This is a very interesting point. The idea of tradition is fluid to whatever degree and what becomes tradition and when is a matter of practice by the local majority, I suppose.

Regarding the comparison, my understanding is that Protestantism did not exist in any way at all from the beginning of Christianity onward but was started in the middle of it all (or perhaps closer to today than the begging) as a derivative of the Western Church. This is where Protestantism inherited its traditions (as well as the Bible), which it used as a basis for making their own innovations and new traditions over time. This is of course very simplistic but it does imply that tradition is not fixed and that tradition changes over time for all churches.

I suppose that during the separation process and the development of their church over time, Protestants became more and more self-aware and started to define what they are not and perhaps even what they are. This is a natural process that is similar to nation-building but it does not always lead to a clear picture. To that point, I find it interesting that almost every Evangelical I have met begins a friendly discourse on church and religious matters by telling me what their brand of Protestantism is not rather than what it is. I don't get that tone from Catholics or Orthodox even in Canada and the USA where there is no shortage of competing religions. Perhaps this is the source of Protestant minimalism in that its not Catholic so to speak.

It occurred to me some time ago that the many Protestant denominations that exist now and that seem to foster new ones from time to time, are all in some way searching for something they don't have. They must be searching for something that is lacking since there are so many denominations, each with their own teaching and doctrine that can lead to interesting and perhaps controversial interpretations of scripture that may even be incorrect depending on who you ask (e.g. rapture, prosperity theology, etc.). In my opinion, what is lacking must be spiritual and is not simply a matter of style (i.e. where the simple is preferred over the ornate etc.).

It is noteworthy here that Orthodoxy is not denominational as such and that it is, at least on the surface, largely pre-denominational if that is a word. This may imply unity but it also may imply a different kind of fragmentation that may not be doctrinal. To what degree someone is willing to accept the idea of a single corporate church is personal and is a spiritual matter to say the least and may even be political given that many churches are split along national, if not territorial boundaries in the governance and practice of Orthodoxy. This alone is a source of tradition.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Ainnir on July 20, 2018, 12:52:07 AM
It occurred to me some time ago that the many Protestant denominations that exist now and that seem to foster new ones from time to time, are all in some way searching for something they don't have. They must be searching for something that is lacking since there are so many denominations, each with their own teaching and doctrine that can lead to interesting and perhaps controversial interpretations of scripture that may even be incorrect depending on who you ask (e.g. rapture, prosperity theology, etc.). In my opinion, what is lacking must be spiritual and is not simply a matter of style (i.e. where the simple is preferred over the ornate etc.).

This rings very true of my experience.  I came most recently from an evangelical Baptist background and did all the things good Baptists do.  I should have felt filled to overflowing.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Cognomen on July 20, 2018, 07:32:56 AM
Not our best collective work in this thread, as some of our most frequent posters have a tendency to misunderstand, misconstrue, and become wrongfully upset by about 80% of what they read. But I think walterturkey is on to something in the quote below:

Among Presbyterians, it stems from sola scriptura, covenant theology and zwingli. the New testament didnt institute icons and liturgy, so those are man made traditions to be avoided.

A hyper focus on the New Testament, combined with the narrative of earlier, simpler worship found amongst Apostolic Christians, prior to Imperial endorsement, can be pretty persuasive.

This, supported by actual corruption found in traditional forms of Christianity, including over-the-top opulence amongst clergy and worship, along with emphases on practices tenuously supported, at best, by New Testament writings.

I'm not suggesting that "Protestant minimalism" got it right, but one has to view the Scriptures through a particular "traditional Christian" lens, in order to reconcile them with Church (or Churches) practice. Viewed outside of that lens--as most Protestants do--the contrasts are too stark.

But really I'd say middle and neoplatonic mystery religions.

Nicholas, I think this is a really interesting point, and likely the origins of the oldest forms of minimalism, if not specifically Protestant minimalism. But perhaps I'm missing a connection between the two forms of minimalism.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: HardHead on July 23, 2018, 08:06:18 AM

I'm not suggesting that "Protestant minimalism" got it right, but one has to view the Scriptures through a particular "traditional Christian" lens, in order to reconcile them with Church (or Churches) practice. Viewed outside of that lens--as most Protestants do--the contrasts are too stark.

Minimalism is not necessarily a new thing nor is it strictly Protestant. Note that some/most Orthodox monks have a pretty minimalist approach to things. Fasting and dietary restrictions are also minimalist in general.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: juliogb on August 01, 2018, 08:57:15 AM
Quote
To that point, I find it interesting that almost every Evangelical I have met begins a friendly discourse on church and religious matters by telling me what their brand of Protestantism is not rather than what it is.

Yeah, it is quite common to hear something like ''I am evangelical, but not from that Joel Osteen-ish church down the street'' or ''I am an evangelical but not from a tongue-speaking loud-laughing snake-handling church...''

Quote
It occurred to me some time ago that the many Protestant denominations that exist now and that seem to foster new ones from time to time, are all in some way searching for something they don't have. They must be searching for something that is lacking since there are so many denominations, each with their own teaching and doctrine that can lead to interesting and perhaps controversial interpretations of scripture that may even be incorrect depending on who you ask (e.g. rapture, prosperity theology, etc.). In my opinion, what is lacking must be spiritual and is not simply a matter of style (i.e. where the simple is preferred over the ornate etc.).


I have the idea that evangelical churches, specially after the Jesus Freak phenomenom and the liturgy wars, became more and more bussiness-minded and consumer-oriented, so, the divisions that happen are a way to keep up the churches in tune with the aesthetic, social and cultural trends of the world.

So we can see in the 60s, the hippie style church with folk-ish praise bands, Lonnie Frisbee and the long haired bearded singers; in the 80s, the Reagan era evangelicalism, with more conservative looking praise bands and lots and lots of altar calls, TV shows and so on, till the actual big arena megaconcert with professional praise bands, LED screens, dimmed lights and rock music heavily influenced by indie, vaporwave, EDM and post rock styles, that perfected the art of the ''feeling God'' stuff that so many people look for.

I believe that the lack of a reverent and sound approach to the Sacraments is something that lots and lots of evangelical churches lack today, and in my opinion, that is something that has the potential of basically emptying the pews of evangelical churches in the future.

Today, we can hear and ssee the best preachers and the best musicians in our cellphone, we can talk with our friends online and meet with them in thousands of places, so, if we can hear biblical expositions online and socializing in a restaurant or a bowling lane, why go to church? The orthodox, catholics and magisterial protestants have a good reason, ''you must partake in the Sacraments, you can't partake in the Eucharist online or in a Starbucks Cafe'', the low church evangelical in the other hand, downplayed the Sacraments so much, that in a few years people will realize that everything they do in church (socializing, hearing a preacher, hearing good music and ''feeling God''), can be done elsewhere. 


Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: ComingofAge on August 01, 2018, 09:20:07 PM

I have the idea that evangelical churches, specially after the Jesus Freak phenomenom and the liturgy wars, became more and more bussiness-minded and consumer-oriented, so, the divisions that happen are a way to keep up the churches in tune with the aesthetic, social and cultural trends of the world.

So we can see in the 60s, the hippie style church with folk-ish praise bands, Lonnie Frisbee and the long haired bearded singers; in the 80s, the Reagan era evangelicalism, with more conservative looking praise bands and lots and lots of altar calls, TV shows and so on, till the actual big arena megaconcert with professional praise bands, LED screens, dimmed lights and rock music heavily influenced by indie, vaporwave, EDM and post rock styles, that perfected the art of the ''feeling God'' stuff that so many people look for.

I believe that the lack of a reverent and sound approach to the Sacraments is something that lots and lots of evangelical churches lack today, and in my opinion, that is something that has the potential of basically emptying the pews of evangelical churches in the future.

Today, we can hear and ssee the best preachers and the best musicians in our cellphone, we can talk with our friends online and meet with them in thousands of places, so, if we can hear biblical expositions online and socializing in a restaurant or a bowling lane, why go to church? The orthodox, catholics and magisterial protestants have a good reason, ''you must partake in the Sacraments, you can't partake in the Eucharist online or in a Starbucks Cafe'', the low church evangelical in the other hand, downplayed the Sacraments so much, that in a few years people will realize that everything they do in church (socializing, hearing a preacher, hearing good music and ''feeling God''), can be done elsewhere.

+1000. Wow, great analysis, I fully agree. A lot of modern Protestantism has the tendency to lead to secularism. I have seen it with my own relatives. They stopped going to church because 1) they feel they know it all now, so the preaching is useless and 2) since they are only there for the music and social hour, they realize this can be done outside of church walls anyway so why even bother. Thus, Christianity for them is deduced to a personal and private relationship with God in which they are their own "bishop".
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Justin Kolodziej on August 01, 2018, 10:34:03 PM
Christian vaporwave has got to be better than Christian death metal, at least  ;)
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: juliogb on August 06, 2018, 03:56:21 PM
Quote
+1000. Wow, great analysis, I fully agree. A lot of modern Protestantism has the tendency to lead to secularism. I have seen it with my own relatives. They stopped going to church because 1) they feel they know it all now, so the preaching is useless and 2) since they are only there for the music and social hour, they realize this can be done outside of church walls anyway so why even bother. Thus, Christianity for them is deduced to a personal and private relationship with God in which they are their own "bishop".

Here in my country, there are groups of self-professed christians that preach that denominations and temples are wrong, so they dogmatized the idea of house church and anathematyzed the idea of temple or place exclusive for religious service. Most of them come from pentecostal and neo-pentecostal backgrounds, and are completely tired of their previous denominations, usually due to excesses commonly found in those religious organizations.

So they supposedly gather in their own houses with their own circle of friends with similar views, lately they are organizing ''non religious biblical courses'', spreading the kind of ideas one can found in books like ''pagan christianity'' by Frank Viola and George Barna.

For those who arent familiarized with Frank Viola and Barna's work, they wrote some books defending the idea that the early church didnt have liturgy, hierarchy, expositive preaching, sacraments or homilies, that the Eucharist was just a regular meal and temples, liturgy, organization are all inventions of Constantine and the evil roman catholic church (why those guys are allways completely unaware of the christian east?).

So, those groups try to mimic what they imagine what would be the early church, with a service that is basically a session of storytelling and sharing life experiences and some prayer at someone's house.

I'd say that, this movement can be one of the greatest tools for secularization and massive depart of people from any kind of christian denomination.

Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: RaphaCam on August 06, 2018, 03:59:53 PM
Quote
+1000. Wow, great analysis, I fully agree. A lot of modern Protestantism has the tendency to lead to secularism. I have seen it with my own relatives. They stopped going to church because 1) they feel they know it all now, so the preaching is useless and 2) since they are only there for the music and social hour, they realize this can be done outside of church walls anyway so why even bother. Thus, Christianity for them is deduced to a personal and private relationship with God in which they are their own "bishop".

Here in my country, there are groups of self-professed christians that preach that denominations and temples are wrong, so they dogmatized the idea of house church and anathematyzed the idea of temple or place exclusive for religious service. Most of them come from pentecostal and neo-pentecostal backgrounds, and are completely tired of their previous denominations, usually due to excesses commonly found in those religious organizations.

So they supposedly gather in their own houses with their own circle of friends with similar views, lately they are organizing ''non religious biblical courses'', spreading the kind of ideas one can found in books like ''pagan christianity'' by Frank Viola and George Barna.

For those who arent familiarized with Frank Viola and Barna's work, they wrote some books defending the idea that the early church didnt have liturgy, hierarchy, expositive preaching, sacraments or homilies, that the Eucharist was just a regular meal and temples, liturgy, organization are all inventions of Constantine and the evil roman catholic church (why those guys are allways completely unaware of the christian east?).

So, those groups try to mimic what they imagine what would be the early church, with a service that is basically a session of storytelling and sharing life experiences and some prayer at someone's house.

I'd say that, this movement can be one of the greatest tools for secularization and massive depart of people from any kind of christian denomination.
This seems to be a pretty American phaenomenon, maybe beginning to take place here. "Bible study group".
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: juliogb on August 07, 2018, 08:09:10 AM
Quote
This seems to be a pretty American phaenomenon, maybe beginning to take place here. "Bible study group".

Well, it has roots in the US, Frank Viola, the author I mentioned, he is north-american from New Jersey, and he is the main source of those anti-''institution'' christians, called ''unchurched'' usually in a derogatory way. If you are interested in his literature, you can find it in PDF in portuguese easily, type ''cristianismo pagão pdf'' in google and you'll find it. Notice the footnotes in the history of the church and liturgy parts, not a single first or second century christian source, most of his sources are protestant scholarship, protestant popular literature and his own books.

Despite their longing for finding the ''early church'', they are so brainwashed to absolutely despise liturgy, hierarchy, creeds and so on, that would be quite difficult to get them interested to learn about orthodoxy.

Bible Study Groups are ok, if they are serious and have a pastoral supervision, or purely academic. Independent bible study groups, are easily transformed into cults, the Jehova's Witnessess started like that, sheepstealing from mainline protestant denominations via ''Bible Study''.





 
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: ComingofAge on August 07, 2018, 09:50:23 PM
Yeah I still don't get the anti-institution stuff. I am going to check out that Frank Viola guy, thanks for citing that.

Also, I noticed modern, anti-institution Protestants also hate monasticism. I've run into Protestants who are literally frustrated at the idea of celibacy and some (not all) almost have this tendency to think that if you're not getting married you're pretty much not doing God's will. And they truly despise the monastic life. I don't get this...

I don't want to hijack the thread here but can anyone explain to me the Protestant disdain for monasticism?
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: juliogb on August 08, 2018, 12:34:20 PM
Yeah I still don't get the anti-institution stuff. I am going to check out that Frank Viola guy, thanks for citing that.

Also, I noticed modern, anti-institution Protestants also hate monasticism. I've run into Protestants who are literally frustrated at the idea of celibacy and some (not all) almost have this tendency to think that if you're not getting married you're pretty much not doing God's will. And they truly despise the monastic life. I don't get this...

I don't want to hijack the thread here but can anyone explain to me the Protestant disdain for monasticism?



Well, monasticism for lots of protestants is useless and counter-productive. It is not necessarily because of the celibacy, but in the protestant mindset, the isolation of a monastery is a violation of Matthew 5:13-16, so for lots of protestants, a monk is not being salt of the earth and light of the world inside the monastery.

Regarding the anti-institution stuff, it is part of the zeitgeist, it is trendy saying stuff like ''Jesus hated religion, he only preached love'' or ''Jesus is not about religion, but relationship'' and all those catchphrases we hear a lot.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: ComingofAge on August 08, 2018, 06:01:59 PM
Yeah I still don't get the anti-institution stuff. I am going to check out that Frank Viola guy, thanks for citing that.

Also, I noticed modern, anti-institution Protestants also hate monasticism. I've run into Protestants who are literally frustrated at the idea of celibacy and some (not all) almost have this tendency to think that if you're not getting married you're pretty much not doing God's will. And they truly despise the monastic life. I don't get this...

I don't want to hijack the thread here but can anyone explain to me the Protestant disdain for monasticism?



Well, monasticism for lots of protestants is useless and counter-productive. It is not necessarily because of the celibacy, but in the protestant mindset, the isolation of a monastery is a violation of Matthew 5:13-16, so for lots of protestants, a monk is not being salt of the earth and light of the world inside the monastery.


I guess that 1) they don't truly believe in the power of prayer and 2) they don't realize that monasteries are often filled with many pilgrims as well gain much from visiting monasteries and hearing monastic wisdom and such. So it's not like most monks are entirely isolated (except for maybe a very select few), they are in fact "preaching" to others.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: ComingofAge on August 08, 2018, 11:11:26 PM
Also, I never thought about how many books are written by and about monastics too. It's not like they aren't doing anything for the benefit of the whole.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: juliogb on August 09, 2018, 07:36:43 AM
Also, I never thought about how many books are written by and about monastics too. It's not like they aren't doing anything for the benefit of the whole.

Well, I think the average protestant doesnt think too much about monasticism, but the ones who do, probably think that is an unnecessary, fancy and sanctimonious appendix or, in the positive side, there are others that realize the importance of monasticism in the process of preserving and compiling the biblical text. A friend of mine that is a reformed pastor once visited Saint Catherine of Sinai monastery in Egypt and really liked the experience.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Iconodule on August 09, 2018, 09:19:47 AM
The classic Protestant objection to monasticism is that it gives an impression that one attains righteousness by works. One makes such-and-such a vow to God, fulfills it, and thereby earns such-and-such merit. Some of the reformers (e.g. Calvin) conceded that this was not inherent to monasticism, and that monasticism might even have a good purpose, but said that the institution had been so corrupted, and the temptation to abuse so strong, that it was better abolishing it.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: hecma925 on August 09, 2018, 07:08:52 PM
The classic Protestant objection to monasticism is that it gives an impression that one attains righteousness by works. One makes such-and-such a vow to God, fulfills it, and thereby earns such-and-such merit. Some of the reformers (e.g. Calvin) conceded that this was not inherent to monasticism, and that monasticism might even have a good purpose, but said that the institution had been so corrupted, and the temptation to abuse so strong, that it was better abolishing it.

My parents said monks didn't do anything.  And nuns only taught children in school.

So, there you go.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Mor Ephrem on August 09, 2018, 09:30:10 PM
The classic Protestant objection to monasticism is that it gives an impression that one attains righteousness by works. One makes such-and-such a vow to God, fulfills it, and thereby earns such-and-such merit. Some of the reformers (e.g. Calvin) conceded that this was not inherent to monasticism, and that monasticism might even have a good purpose, but said that the institution had been so corrupted, and the temptation to abuse so strong, that it was better abolishing it.

My parents said monks didn't do anything.  And nuns only taught children in school.

So, there you go.

How would they or their tradition interpret the whole “Mary has chosen the better part, which shall not be taken from her” passage in the Gospel?
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: hecma925 on August 09, 2018, 09:34:56 PM
The classic Protestant objection to monasticism is that it gives an impression that one attains righteousness by works. One makes such-and-such a vow to God, fulfills it, and thereby earns such-and-such merit. Some of the reformers (e.g. Calvin) conceded that this was not inherent to monasticism, and that monasticism might even have a good purpose, but said that the institution had been so corrupted, and the temptation to abuse so strong, that it was better abolishing it.

My parents said monks didn't do anything.  And nuns only taught children in school.

So, there you go.

How would they or their tradition interpret the whole “Mary has chosen the better part, which shall not be taken from her” passage in the Gospel?

Don't be distracted by other things when you have your god, the Bible, in front of you (or whatever the preacher is saying).
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Mor Ephrem on August 09, 2018, 09:43:49 PM
The classic Protestant objection to monasticism is that it gives an impression that one attains righteousness by works. One makes such-and-such a vow to God, fulfills it, and thereby earns such-and-such merit. Some of the reformers (e.g. Calvin) conceded that this was not inherent to monasticism, and that monasticism might even have a good purpose, but said that the institution had been so corrupted, and the temptation to abuse so strong, that it was better abolishing it.

My parents said monks didn't do anything.  And nuns only taught children in school.

So, there you go.

How would they or their tradition interpret the whole “Mary has chosen the better part, which shall not be taken from her” passage in the Gospel?

Don't be distracted by other things when you have your god, the Bible, in front of you (or whatever the preacher is saying).

Most holy Thompson Chain with the Big Red Letters, save us.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: hecma925 on August 09, 2018, 09:46:29 PM
The classic Protestant objection to monasticism is that it gives an impression that one attains righteousness by works. One makes such-and-such a vow to God, fulfills it, and thereby earns such-and-such merit. Some of the reformers (e.g. Calvin) conceded that this was not inherent to monasticism, and that monasticism might even have a good purpose, but said that the institution had been so corrupted, and the temptation to abuse so strong, that it was better abolishing it.

My parents said monks didn't do anything.  And nuns only taught children in school.

So, there you go.

How would they or their tradition interpret the whole “Mary has chosen the better part, which shall not be taken from her” passage in the Gospel?

Don't be distracted by other things when you have your god, the Bible, in front of you (or whatever the preacher is saying).

Most holy Thompson Chain with the Big Red Letters, save us.

KJV.  NKJV for the teens, 'til they grow out of it.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: juliogb on August 09, 2018, 11:25:18 PM
Quote
Don't be distracted by other things when you have your god, the Bible, in front of you (or whatever the preacher is saying).

Did you see that Pastor Steven Anderson video saying exactly that? that the Bible was God.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: hecma925 on August 09, 2018, 11:52:10 PM
Quote
Don't be distracted by other things when you have your god, the Bible, in front of you (or whatever the preacher is saying).

Did you see that Pastor Steven Anderson video saying exactly that? that the Bible was God.

No.  Link?  I don't even know who that is.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: juliogb on August 10, 2018, 07:08:59 AM
Quote
Don't be distracted by other things when you have your god, the Bible, in front of you (or whatever the preacher is saying).

Did you see that Pastor Steven Anderson video saying exactly that? that the Bible was God.

No.  Link?  I don't even know who that is.

Here is the link
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xKvdU0qgrs

Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Iconodule on August 10, 2018, 09:07:13 AM
The classic Protestant objection to monasticism is that it gives an impression that one attains righteousness by works. One makes such-and-such a vow to God, fulfills it, and thereby earns such-and-such merit. Some of the reformers (e.g. Calvin) conceded that this was not inherent to monasticism, and that monasticism might even have a good purpose, but said that the institution had been so corrupted, and the temptation to abuse so strong, that it was better abolishing it.

My parents said monks didn't do anything.  And nuns only taught children in school.

So, there you go.

I love the implicit contempt for the teaching profession.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: hecma925 on August 10, 2018, 09:44:02 AM
The classic Protestant objection to monasticism is that it gives an impression that one attains righteousness by works. One makes such-and-such a vow to God, fulfills it, and thereby earns such-and-such merit. Some of the reformers (e.g. Calvin) conceded that this was not inherent to monasticism, and that monasticism might even have a good purpose, but said that the institution had been so corrupted, and the temptation to abuse so strong, that it was better abolishing it.

My parents said monks didn't do anything.  And nuns only taught children in school.

So, there you go.

I love the implicit contempt for the teaching profession.

Which is funny, because my mom is a teacher.  But nuns don't have kids, so they don't count.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: hecma925 on August 10, 2018, 09:46:06 AM
Quote
Don't be distracted by other things when you have your god, the Bible, in front of you (or whatever the preacher is saying).

Did you see that Pastor Steven Anderson video saying exactly that? that the Bible was God.

No.  Link?  I don't even know who that is.

Here is the link
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xKvdU0qgrs

Oh, the name didn't make a connection with me, but I have seen a few videos on that guy.  Fringe of the 1611-ers.  Thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: ComingofAge on August 13, 2018, 12:19:37 AM
The classic Protestant objection to monasticism is that it gives an impression that one attains righteousness by works. One makes such-and-such a vow to God, fulfills it, and thereby earns such-and-such merit. Some of the reformers (e.g. Calvin) conceded that this was not inherent to monasticism, and that monasticism might even have a good purpose, but said that the institution had been so corrupted, and the temptation to abuse so strong, that it was better abolishing it.

In keeping with this theme, I would also like to mention that I am constantly attacked by Protestant friends and family for frequently fasting. They often say the Orthodox Church has "too much fasting" and that it is unnecessary. It's like they are offended when I don't eat a hamburger. Most of the time I will just fast in secret and just eat what is set before me, even if it is meat. But if I am at a restaurant and order a vegan dish they will suspect something and say, "Oh no, are you fasting again?" I don't understand the hate. I mean I get the idea of them being against salvation by works, but I am not fasting to attain merits. Even after I explain this they are still turned off to the whole thing. I guess our Lord and Savior was right, "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, nay; but rather division. For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law." - Luke 12:51-53

(https://i.pinimg.com/originals/03/1b/05/031b05eaf1b282164cd829b8b912c555.jpg)
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: biro on August 13, 2018, 12:29:15 AM
Christian vaporwave has got to be better than Christian death metal, at least  ;)

Vapor wha?

(Blinks)

Edit: Never mind, I just looked it up. I like synthwave, but vaporwave sounds weird.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Volnutt on August 13, 2018, 04:25:15 AM
Christian vaporwave has got to be better than Christian death metal, at least  ;)

Vapor wha?

(Blinks)

Edit: Never mind, I just looked it up. I like synthwave, but vaporwave sounds weird.

It's kind of supposed to.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Volnutt on August 13, 2018, 04:26:16 AM
The other day, I actually had something that I might have wanted to add to this thread.

Gone like tears in rain lol.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: juliogb on August 13, 2018, 08:29:17 AM
Quote
In keeping with this theme, I would also like to mention that I am constantly attacked by Protestant friends and family for frequently fasting. They often say the Orthodox Church has "too much fasting" and that it is unnecessary. It's like they are offended when I don't eat a hamburger. Most of the time I will just fast in secret and just eat what is set before me, even if it is meat. But if I am at a restaurant and order a vegan dish they will suspect something and say, "Oh no, are you fasting again?" I don't understand the hate. I mean I get the idea of them being against salvation by works, but I am not fasting to attain merits. Even after I explain this they are still turned off to the whole thing. I guess our Lord and Savior was right, "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, nay; but rather division. For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law." - Luke 12:51-53

Hate is a strong word, Idk if they hate, maybe they are not familiar with it and dismiss it as unnecessary. Protestants often fast, but it is kind of a individualist fasting when someone skips dinner to pray. Sometimes it has a objective like, ''fasting and prayer for a sick brother'', often churches try to promote fasting using some sort of campaign like ''40 days of fasting and prayer for something''.

The best seller author and pastor Rick Warren also wrote a book named ''the purpose driven life'' in wich he offers a 40 days based praying guide. Some churches adopted this book and made similar campaigns of 40 days of fasting and praying using his book as a devotional book, wich is quite funny actually, the same evangelicals that criticize orthodox and catholics for Lent, sometimes engage in a similar practice using a best selling book.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Agabus on August 13, 2018, 09:43:04 AM
Quote
In keeping with this theme, I would also like to mention that I am constantly attacked by Protestant friends and family for frequently fasting. They often say the Orthodox Church has "too much fasting" and that it is unnecessary. It's like they are offended when I don't eat a hamburger. Most of the time I will just fast in secret and just eat what is set before me, even if it is meat. But if I am at a restaurant and order a vegan dish they will suspect something and say, "Oh no, are you fasting again?" I don't understand the hate. I mean I get the idea of them being against salvation by works, but I am not fasting to attain merits. Even after I explain this they are still turned off to the whole thing. I guess our Lord and Savior was right, "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, nay; but rather division. For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law." - Luke 12:51-53

Hate is a strong word, Idk if they hate, maybe they are not familiar with it and dismiss it as unnecessary. Protestants often fast, but it is kind of a individualist fasting when someone skips dinner to pray. Sometimes it has a objective like, ''fasting and prayer for a sick brother'', often churches try to promote fasting using some sort of campaign like ''40 days of fasting and prayer for something''.

The best seller author and pastor Rick Warren also wrote a book named ''the purpose driven life'' in wich he offers a 40 days based praying guide. Some churches adopted this book and made similar campaigns of 40 days of fasting and praying using his book as a devotional book, wich is quite funny actually, the same evangelicals that criticize orthodox and catholics for Lent, sometimes engage in a similar practice using a best selling book.

Since I left them, my former local church took up fasting as an annual discipline. They seem to do it better than most, with actual pastoral guidelines and allowances for human weakness.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: ComingofAge on August 13, 2018, 01:53:48 PM
Quote
In keeping with this theme, I would also like to mention that I am constantly attacked by Protestant friends and family for frequently fasting. They often say the Orthodox Church has "too much fasting" and that it is unnecessary. It's like they are offended when I don't eat a hamburger. Most of the time I will just fast in secret and just eat what is set before me, even if it is meat. But if I am at a restaurant and order a vegan dish they will suspect something and say, "Oh no, are you fasting again?" I don't understand the hate. I mean I get the idea of them being against salvation by works, but I am not fasting to attain merits. Even after I explain this they are still turned off to the whole thing. I guess our Lord and Savior was right, "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, nay; but rather division. For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law." - Luke 12:51-53

Hate is a strong word, Idk if they hate, maybe they are not familiar with it and dismiss it as unnecessary. Protestants often fast, but it is kind of a individualist fasting when someone skips dinner to pray. Sometimes it has a objective like, ''fasting and prayer for a sick brother'', often churches try to promote fasting using some sort of campaign like ''40 days of fasting and prayer for something''.

The best seller author and pastor Rick Warren also wrote a book named ''the purpose driven life'' in wich he offers a 40 days based praying guide. Some churches adopted this book and made similar campaigns of 40 days of fasting and praying using his book as a devotional book, wich is quite funny actually, the same evangelicals that criticize orthodox and catholics for Lent, sometimes engage in a similar practice using a best selling book.

Yeah I knew that many Protestants fasted so I didn't understand the disdain for it coming from the people I know. I guess it is the frequency that might bother them? Maybe it is just my family and friends that are bothered by it and not others? I don't know. And as far as the argument about it being unnecessary, that doesn't seem like a very strong position to take, in my opinion. One could argue that giving to the poor is unnecessary too, that doesn't mean we shouldn't do it. We're made for good works, even if they may seem unnecessary to some people, it doesn't mean that it should just be ruled out entirely.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Iconodule on August 13, 2018, 02:00:21 PM
It sounds to me like they're just busting stones. Just do your thing and shrug it off.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: ComingofAge on August 13, 2018, 06:42:50 PM
It sounds to me like they're just busting stones. Just do your thing and shrug it off.

Yes, that is a good idea, will do.

I feel that asceticism naturally leads to humility and watchfulness over one's self. Unchecked excessiveness and partaking in pleasure, even if it is not "forbidden" pleasure, tends to make one lazy in spiritual life. And when slothfulness occurs then pride and other passions naturally follow. Restraint creates a good space conducive to cultivating virtues. Who wouldn't want to take part in this beautiful struggle? I feel that maybe some Protestants see the struggle as a bad thing, unnecessary at best, because it is counter-intuitive, especially to our "Western" mindset (not saying all in the West think this way but couldn't think of a better term for it right now). But I don't know, I just personally see so much goodness in it.

St. John Climacos says in Step 5 of The Ladder,

"Now I know well, my friends, that these labors I have described will seem unbelievable to some, unattainable to others, and be a source of despair to others still. Yet they will actually be an incentive to a brave soul, a fiery blast, so that he will go away with zeal in his heart, whereas the man who feels a great incapacity in himself will understand his own weakness, be humbled easily by the reproach he levels against himself, and will at least try to follow the soul who is brave. And I am not at all sure but that he may even overtake him. But the careless man had better stay away from my stories, for otherwise he may fall into despair, throw away the little he has achieved, and prove to be like that man of whom it was said: "From the man who has no eagerness, even that which he seems to have will be taken away" (cf. Matt. 25:29). It is impossible for those of us who have fallen into the sink of iniquity ever to be drawn out of it unless we also plumb the depths of the humility shown by the penitent."

The man serious about the Christian life will not scoff at this struggle but will see the great necessity of it and the glory of this art.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: juliogb on August 14, 2018, 07:23:06 AM
It sounds to me like they're just busting stones. Just do your thing and shrug it off.

Yes, that is a good idea, will do.

I feel that asceticism naturally leads to humility and watchfulness over one's self. Unchecked excessiveness and partaking in pleasure, even if it is not "forbidden" pleasure, tends to make one lazy in spiritual life. And when slothfulness occurs then pride and other passions naturally follow. Restraint creates a good space conducive to cultivating virtues. Who wouldn't want to take part in this beautiful struggle? I feel that maybe some Protestants see the struggle as a bad thing, unnecessary at best, because it is counter-intuitive, especially to our "Western" mindset (not saying all in the West think this way but couldn't think of a better term for it right now). But I don't know, I just personally see so much goodness in it.

St. John Climacos says in Step 5 of The Ladder,

"Now I know well, my friends, that these labors I have described will seem unbelievable to some, unattainable to others, and be a source of despair to others still. Yet they will actually be an incentive to a brave soul, a fiery blast, so that he will go away with zeal in his heart, whereas the man who feels a great incapacity in himself will understand his own weakness, be humbled easily by the reproach he levels against himself, and will at least try to follow the soul who is brave. And I am not at all sure but that he may even overtake him. But the careless man had better stay away from my stories, for otherwise he may fall into despair, throw away the little he has achieved, and prove to be like that man of whom it was said: "From the man who has no eagerness, even that which he seems to have will be taken away" (cf. Matt. 25:29). It is impossible for those of us who have fallen into the sink of iniquity ever to be drawn out of it unless we also plumb the depths of the humility shown by the penitent."

The man serious about the Christian life will not scoff at this struggle but will see the great necessity of it and the glory of this art.


Well, there are lots of protestants that have some sort of ascetic culture, some of wesleyan tradition, holiness or something like that. Maybe this arrogant stance on ascetism is more from calvinists that see it as some sort of ''works based faith'' or ''earn salvation'' practice.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: ComingofAge on August 14, 2018, 07:59:27 PM
Well, there are lots of protestants that have some sort of ascetic culture, some of wesleyan tradition, holiness or something like that. Maybe this arrogant stance on ascetism is more from calvinists that see it as some sort of ''works based faith'' or ''earn salvation'' practice.

I think so. It kind of falls into the whole "irresistible grace" thing, which is just an extreme distortion of "prevenient grace". However, I don't think asceticism within Orthodoxy denies "prevenient grace", it's just that Orthodoxy has a more balanced way of seeing it. Obviously we believe in synergy, cooperation between grace and free will, but I think when it comes to Orthodox asceticism we're not saying that our "works" have gained us grace, but rather that they help us hold onto the grace that has already been received. We don't throw away the gift that we have been given. If someone gives you a piece of gold, do you neglect it and throw it in the trash or do you keep it clean and shining and store it in a silk bag?

One may ask, how do you go about not throwing away this treasure you've been given? By living out the faith. And we know that living out the faith requires action, and I think that even then one could still say that we are only spurred to action after having first received the gift. Still, without action, faith becomes lifeless. Without action, one may even be inclined to ask whether faith is real or not.

"...show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works." (James 2:18)

"...faith without works is dead..." (James 2:20)

"...by works faith was made perfect." (James 2:22)

Cooperating with God's grace by living out the faith through action is done in many different ways: prayer, fasting, almsgiving, evangelization, attending Divine services, partaking of the Holy Mysteries, etc....and these things and more help us to become a true Christian (which means a "little Christ"). These are ways that we personally commune with Christ. So we become "little Christs", we become like Christ even now, the redemption is here even today. And by doing all the above mentioned things and more, we cultivate humility, we create a space for dispassion, we renounce the things of this life that matter not. To the uninitiated this may seem like madness, like bondage...but to the illumined soul this is the only thing in the world that makes sense and it leads to total liberation.

So, the Calvinist and modern Protestant idea of "minimalism", which takes its form not only in how a church building is laid out, but also in a general disdain for action, is total baloney. This leads to something I have seen firsthand: an individualistic relationship with Christ which is divorced from a church, in which you are your own bishop and call all your own shots, in which all of your faith is based off of a one-time profession, which is devoid of asceticism and which carries this mentality of, "I got my ticket to heaven so I'm good, nothing else needs to be done." This is truly a sickness, I pray that people would come out of it.

Lord, have mercy on all of us.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Volnutt on August 14, 2018, 08:36:17 PM
Prevenient grace (the term is actually newer than Calvin AFAIK, going back only to Wesley) is just the idea that God must free up the will before people can chose to accept or reject Him. Since it's nothing but the logical corollary of rejecting Pelagianism while maintaining some from of libertarian free will, technically Orthodoxy believes in prevenient grace too.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: ComingofAge on August 14, 2018, 09:38:22 PM
Prevenient grace (the term is actually newer than Calvin AFAIK, going back only to Wesley) is just the idea that God must free up the will before people can chose to accept or reject Him. Since it's nothing but the logical corollary of rejecting Pelagianism while maintaining some from of libertarian free will, technically Orthodoxy believes in prevenient grace too.

Are you responding to me or just reiterating what I already said? I said Orthodoxy believes in it too.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Volnutt on August 14, 2018, 11:12:10 PM
Prevenient grace (the term is actually newer than Calvin AFAIK, going back only to Wesley) is just the idea that God must free up the will before people can chose to accept or reject Him. Since it's nothing but the logical corollary of rejecting Pelagianism while maintaining some from of libertarian free will, technically Orthodoxy believes in prevenient grace too.

Are you responding to me or just reiterating what I already said? I said Orthodoxy believes in it too.

Sorry. I misread your post.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: juliogb on August 15, 2018, 12:55:43 AM
For one moment I was thinking about the ''evanescent grace'', that I read in this forum once, but AFAIK it is sort of a myth about Calvin, but I am not sure now.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Volnutt on August 15, 2018, 03:26:55 AM
For one moment I was thinking about the ''evanescent grace'', that I read in this forum once, but AFAIK it is sort of a myth about Calvin, but I am not sure now.

Assuming the quote here (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,61126.0.htmll) is not somehow mangled out of context (I see lots of ellipses), seems like it is something that Calvin believed in.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: juliogb on August 16, 2018, 07:37:20 AM
Regarding the minimalism stuff, I would say that only some kinds of protestant are minimalist indeed, like the regular baptists and small church calvinist, some Plymouth Brethren style of church...

The evangelical world seems quite ''maximalist'' in my view, megachurches that look like malls, lots and lots of literature being sold, an entire industry of music creation, celebrity pastors, theological trends....that's quite far from ''lets stick to the minimal''.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Agabus on August 16, 2018, 11:22:59 AM
Regarding the minimalism stuff, I would say that only some kinds of protestant are minimalist indeed, like the regular baptists and small church calvinist, some Plymouth Brethren style of church...
The rural Baptist churches I knew as a boy were certainly minimalist, though I think it was as a received tradition rather than intentional. Some of the country churches were quite beautiful in their simplicity. The Orthodox Presbyterian Church (Dutch Reformed-aligned) I was a member of during a season of youthful indiscretion was definitely the most minimalist — the walls were absolutely bare; it had an elevated pulpit, a piano on one side and a ficus in one corner. It wasn't ugly. It just wasn't adorned. These were people who absolutely believed in the strictest interpretation of the second commandment.

Quote
The evangelical world seems quite ''maximalist'' in my view, megachurches that look like malls, lots and lots of literature being sold, an entire industry of music creation, celebrity pastors, theological trends....that's quite far from ''lets stick to the minimal''.
That's not maximalism, though. It's kitsch.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: hecma925 on August 16, 2018, 03:34:40 PM
^It's a fantastic business model, but it's not Church.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Volnutt on August 16, 2018, 04:59:19 PM

Quote
The evangelical world seems quite ''maximalist'' in my view, megachurches that look like malls, lots and lots of literature being sold, an entire industry of music creation, celebrity pastors, theological trends....that's quite far from ''lets stick to the minimal''.
That's not maximalism, though. It's kitsch.

Yeah, it's still minimal with respect to the trappings of traditional Christianity. It's just that American business and celebrity culture has flooded in to fill up the gaps.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Volnutt on August 19, 2018, 10:06:28 AM
So, apparently my dad is really getting into Lester Hutson (https://www.lesterhutson.org/category/sermons/) lately. Hey, did you know the King of Wales became Baptist in the Second Century and that the Bogomils would fit right in at a Baptist Convention? *stress twitch*

Pray for my ability to study and argue charitably, please.
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Volnutt on August 19, 2018, 11:17:38 AM
Quote
I found this article via an old thread. It's an interesting Orthodox Critique of Philip Schaff and John Nevin's 19th Century "Mercersberg Theology." It was an attempt to make American Calvinism (I could post in the "ITT: Calvinism" thread to the same effect) as High Church and Sacramental as possible.

Obviously from an Orthodox standpoint, their work was very incomplete (as the author of the article points out). But for my purposes, he also points out the development of Puritanism:

I'd like to see this debate reaching the theological circles in my country.

Well, I don't know how much a "debate" it is anymore. Mercersberg was in the mid-1800s and I think American Calvinists pretty much rejected all of its tendencies when they condemned the Federal Vision (or at least swept it under the rug, see up-thread).

Just for the record, this was me mistaking one thread for another. I should have said, "see the extended discussion beginning here. (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,72143.msg1493002.html#msg1493002)"
Title: Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
Post by: Volnutt on August 19, 2018, 11:38:25 AM
Quote
To that point, I find it interesting that almost every Evangelical I have met begins a friendly discourse on church and religious matters by telling me what their brand of Protestantism is not rather than what it is.

Yeah, it is quite common to hear something like ''I am evangelical, but not from that Joel Osteen-ish church down the street'' or ''I am an evangelical but not from a tongue-speaking loud-laughing snake-handling church...''

Quote
It occurred to me some time ago that the many Protestant denominations that exist now and that seem to foster new ones from time to time, are all in some way searching for something they don't have. They must be searching for something that is lacking since there are so many denominations, each with their own teaching and doctrine that can lead to interesting and perhaps controversial interpretations of scripture that may even be incorrect depending on who you ask (e.g. rapture, prosperity theology, etc.). In my opinion, what is lacking must be spiritual and is not simply a matter of style (i.e. where the simple is preferred over the ornate etc.).


I have the idea that evangelical churches, specially after the Jesus Freak phenomenom and the liturgy wars, became more and more bussiness-minded and consumer-oriented, so, the divisions that happen are a way to keep up the churches in tune with the aesthetic, social and cultural trends of the world.

So we can see in the 60s, the hippie style church with folk-ish praise bands, Lonnie Frisbee and the long haired bearded singers; in the 80s, the Reagan era evangelicalism, with more conservative looking praise bands and lots and lots of altar calls, TV shows and so on, till the actual big arena megaconcert with professional praise bands, LED screens, dimmed lights and rock music heavily influenced by indie, vaporwave, EDM and post rock styles, that perfected the art of the ''feeling God'' stuff that so many people look for.

I believe that the lack of a reverent and sound approach to the Sacraments is something that lots and lots of evangelical churches lack today, and in my opinion, that is something that has the potential of basically emptying the pews of evangelical churches in the future.

Today, we can hear and ssee the best preachers and the best musicians in our cellphone, we can talk with our friends online and meet with them in thousands of places, so, if we can hear biblical expositions online and socializing in a restaurant or a bowling lane, why go to church? The orthodox, catholics and magisterial protestants have a good reason, ''you must partake in the Sacraments, you can't partake in the Eucharist online or in a Starbucks Cafe'', the low church evangelical in the other hand, downplayed the Sacraments so much, that in a few years people will realize that everything they do in church (socializing, hearing a preacher, hearing good music and ''feeling God''), can be done elsewhere.

Rereading this reminded me of when I was a confused teenager who watched a lot of TBN in the early 2000s (not a complete loss, since I watched similar amounts of EWTN out of curiosity--for some reason, around here TBN and EWTN shared the same channel a decade+ ago. I don't think they still do--and I think it helped plant the seeds of my drift Eastward).

I remember Paul Crouch or Rod Parsley or one of those guys telling people to break out some juice and crackers wherever they are (telling people to get it from a vending machine if they're in a hotel) and have communion yourself with them in front of the TV, using their prayers on stage as the "consecration."

Of course, that's Word-Faith craziness, but I think it still indicates a general ethos.