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Convert Issues / Re: I'm back...
« Last post by Mor Ephrem on Today at 03:33:30 PM »
Porter and mike,

Your posts in this thread are not helpful.  Perhaps taking a step back would be better for you and for xOrthodox4Christx.
Convert Issues / Re: Commonly Used Bible Translation In Eastern Orthodox
« Last post by Agabus on Today at 03:31:52 PM »
I find "The Message" useful at times.

'Today's language' versions: for when you want to make absolutely certain you have a wrong understanding of Scripture.

"Canst thou dig it?" - Matthew 11:15

Cool. Sounds like the Phat News of Mark is getting expanded into other Gospels.
Just a thought, but animals work more or less only by instinct. People, on the other hand, can make moral choices but need to be free in order to do so -- so were probably created to have this freedom. What was gained by disobeying God and eating the fruit was the knowledge of good and evil. Presumably before that people didn't know the difference.

I don't know how this squares with solid theology, but it might satisfy your uncle.
The celebration of the Liturgy of St. James within the EO tradition should be first blessed by the diocesan hierarch.  It's not just the text that needs to be approved; there are questions of rubrics involved, too.  It is a Liturgy best celebrated with more than 1 priest, and certainly with advance notice.  We celebrated it each year at HC/HC when I was there.

I would not recommend attempting to celebrate it when the feast falls on a Sunday (as it did this year on the RJC).

Thank you for this information. I was expecting the Liturgy of St. James last Sunday, but we had the regular Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom (which seems shorter to me). The officiating priest remarked afterwards that practical considerations led to the decision not to follow St. James' Liturgy. As a layman, I found that puzzling.

But looking back, it was a Sunday and one of the two parish priests was celebrating Liturgy in another temple, so two of the reasons mentioned by Fr. George must have been in play. The bishop (dressed only in black) was at the altar but not serving, though, so I doubt he would have withheld permission.
Faith Issues / Why did God create humans to be predisposed to evil?
« Last post by Dan the Man on Today at 03:00:33 PM »
This question doesn't come from me, but from my uncle. He has been a Catholic all of his life, like the rest of my family, but fell on hard times a few years ago and began to have doubts. He asked me essentially this question, to try and see what the Orthodox might say to it, but I wasn't able to give a satisfactory answer.

The question relies on a few assumptions:

- God is perfect and all of His creation is perfect.
- God did not create evil.
- God has perfect free will.
- God, however, does not use that free will to do evil.
- Yet, for some reason, God did plant a "landmine" in the Garden of Eden, which is the tree of knowledge of good and evil, knowing that Adam and Eve would eventually take from it.

The question, essentially, is why did God allow for such a thing in the first place? If God is perfect and does no evil, why did He allow evil to be so easily accessible?

The answer I gave initially was that God gave us free will so that we could choose to do good and choose to love God, even in the presence of evil. But he asked further: Why not create creatures which, by their own free will, always choose good? So they are still free to do as they please but, like God, the things that please them will never be something evil.

I tried to explain that for free will to truly be free, it has to allow the possibility of evil. My uncle countered with the point that, if that is the case, then God Himself does not have free will.

I also tried to explain that all suffering in the world has been sanctified by the death and resurrection of Christ. His counterpoint to that was, if man could have been given perfect free will from the start, Christ would not have needed to die anyway.

Following my uncle's logic, the end result is either a God who is not all-powerful, or a God who is all-powerful but capricious and accepts evil as just being "part of the system."

Any thoughts? I told him I'd try to hunt down an answer for him - either in the Church Fathers or elsewhere - so if anybody can point me in a good direction, it would be much appreciated. Again, this isn't a problem that I am personally struggling with, I'm just trying to help out a family member here.
What can I do to make this thread die? The headline is killing what's left of my sanity.
Hey, I had to look at the title of the once-popular thread on "Spanking" for a long time. Just seeing that pop up every day in my "threads" list drove me nuts.
I find "The Message" useful at times.

'Today's language' versions: for when you want to make absolutely certain you have a wrong understanding of Scripture.

"Canst thou dig it?" - Matthew 11:15
I find "The Message" useful at times.

'Today's language' versions: for when you want to make absolutely certain you have a wrong understanding of Scripture.
It falls on a Saturday this for the Old Calendar and our parish will be serving it. Interestingly, since this is the Saturday before St Demetrius Day, it is typically Demetrius Saturday, one of the "Soul Saturdays," so according to the rubrics from Jordanville Demetrius Saturday is moved to 2 weeks before, this coming Saturday, but according to the rubrics from the Moscow Patriarchal site they are doing Demetrius Saturday on St James day.
Do you have any source (link or pdf) for this transition? I find it pretty interesting.

I got my information from the 2016 St Innocent Liturgical Calendar, here is a link to the 2017 one:
I'll pm you an image of the relevant page
Orthodox-Other Christian Discussion / Re: Church Of The East?
« Last post by rakovsky on Today at 02:51:20 PM »

What is heretical about the (Assyrian/Ancient) Church Of the East?
It's kind of like with the OO-EO split, the same kinds of terms were involved.
EOs, OOs, and the ACE/"Nestorians" agree that Christ has two essences, and is one person.
Chalcedon said that Christ is in and has two natures - human and divine ones - and only one hypostasis, which is human and divine.
The OOs historically rejected Christ as being in or having two natures, a denial that seen by EOs and Nestorians as implying a denial of his human nature, if not human essence.
The Nestorians taught that Christ has two "hypostases", a teaching that was seen by EOs and OOs as entailing Christ is two separate persons.

Currently the churches involved are in dialogue on the issue. Whether these churches are seen as heretical looks perhaps dependant on whether one focuses on the aspect of the debate that unites us (Christ being fully man and fully god in one person) or over which we have disagreed (the number of natures and hypostases). If one focuses on the fact that we all agree that Christ has one person, then one is less likely to see Nestorians as teaching Christ has two persons - the heretical implication of their teaching on hypostases when taken alone.

It's like someone promising to pick you up from the train station on Thursday the 2nd of the month, when Thursday is the 1st of the month. Your train will arrive on Thursday the 1st, so you like to expect that they will be there. At least that's what I found when talking with one of the more hardcore non-Chalcedonians on this question on another forum.
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