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41
Okay. Where I'm coming from is the fact that hymns and fathers talk about the "seal" remaining intact or unbroken. Maybe you're right, it's a little weird and besides-the-point for us to get caught up in these details of anatomy. But in that case, what exactly is the "seal" referring to, in relation to the womb? What else could it be? Or are our hymnographers themselves engaging in needless speculation? 

I don't think they're engaging in needless speculation.  I guess I see as a parallel the following: How was Jesus conceived?  We believe rightly that the Holy Spirit came upon the Virgin Mary - but how was her egg (which always have X chromosomes) transformed into a male child?  How did the Spirit do that?  I think we can affirm that He was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary without getting too caught up in the details.  In the same way, I think we can affirm Mary's ever-virginity (as we do, and frequently) without working out the details.  It's not a question of squeamishness at the discussion of parts of a woman's anatomy, but a question of theological necessity - we get into trouble when we try to hammer out details beyond what we really need to affirm our faith.

Okay, but how are the hymnographers not hammering out details unduly when they talk about the unbroken seal?
I'm not really up on all the hymns, but could "unbroken seal" be referring to her virginity as opposed to a anatomical feature? 
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Reviews / Re: What is everyone reading?
« Last post by Iconodule on Yesterday at 08:39:28 PM »
I like the content but the translation itself is terribly wooden IMO. It serves in my mind as a prime example of how neo-Elizabethan prose is not necessarily more musical or poetic than contemporary English.

And you would translate it better?  How many languages do you know and/or conversant in?

Since when is translation an excuse for poor English style? Or are you saying Saint Ephraim's originals are badly written too?

I don't think Reader Isaac knows Syriac, so whatever language he translated from, it's already at least step removed.

Three steps actually... from the Russian translation of the Greek translation of the Syriac.
43
Reviews / Re: What is everyone reading?
« Last post by Mor Ephrem on Yesterday at 08:33:19 PM »
I like the content but the translation itself is terribly wooden IMO. It serves in my mind as a prime example of how neo-Elizabethan prose is not necessarily more musical or poetic than contemporary English.

And you would translate it better?  How many languages do you know and/or conversant in?

Since when is translation an excuse for poor English style? Or are you saying Saint Ephraim's originals are badly written too?

I don't think Reader Isaac knows Syriac, so whatever language he translated from, it's already at least step removed.
44
Why does there have to be some sort of theological/political algorithm to solve these schisms? Why not just let them back in?

And by them I mean: Ukraine, Macedonian, Armenian ...

45
Reviews / Re: What is everyone reading?
« Last post by Antonious Nikolas on Yesterday at 07:05:37 PM »


This book has helped me so much.

Ditto.

I've read through it several times and it's is always new and always wonderful.  I almost prefer it to the regular Psalter.   :o

Agreed.  I pray with it every day.

I like the content but the translation itself is terribly wooden IMO. It serves in my mind as a prime example of how neo-Elizabethan prose is not necessarily more musical or poetic than contemporary English.

Well, it works for me.

46
A covenantal understanding lies behind infant baptism practiced by many Calvinists - it is also related to the federal vision which has led some Presbyterians to also begin communing children.

Yes, I am familiar with this understanding of it and it makes sense to me. I heard Catholics explain infant baptism in the same way. Is it accurate to say that Orthodox are in agreement with this kind of covenant?

I probably wouldn't phrase it that way. There may be some aspects of a Reformed understanding of covenant that can be seen as reminiscent of the Orthodox Church but are ultimately compromised by heterodoxy. For example, Reformed folks embrace the idea of an "invisible church" and reject the idea that there could be a visible Church in continuity with the apostles. In my mind, God's promises are fulfilled in the life of the Orthodox Church and cannot be abstracted into the idea of the invisible church.
47
Reviews / Re: What is everyone reading?
« Last post by Iconodule on Yesterday at 06:55:31 PM »
I like the content but the translation itself is terribly wooden IMO. It serves in my mind as a prime example of how neo-Elizabethan prose is not necessarily more musical or poetic than contemporary English.

And you would translate it better?  How many languages do you know and/or conversant in?

Since when is translation an excuse for poor English style? Or are you saying Saint Ephraim's originals are badly written too?
48
Oriental Orthodox Discussion / Re: Is this statement accurate?
« Last post by minasoliman on Yesterday at 06:47:31 PM »
So because partaking implies something you already lack, therefore it's not seen in any controversial light when partaking the divine nature is used and not clarified as in the Essence-Energies Distinction?

There's no need for clarification.  God does not partake of His own nature.  He is His own nature.
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Oriental Orthodox Discussion / Re: Is this statement accurate?
« Last post by RaphaCam on Yesterday at 06:46:19 PM »
We don't have an explicit theology of uncreated energies.  That's more of a Palamite development.  Nevertheless, the theology is generally the same.  Renowned Coptic theologian Fr. Tadros Malaty defines grace as such:

"This is the divine grace which in its essence is the enjoyment of sharing the nature of God Himself."

Source:

http://www.orthodoxebooks.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/THE%20DIVINE%20GRACE%20-%20Father%20Tadros%20Yacoub%20Malaty.pdf
Fr. Tadros should be translated more to English! Since I uncovered his Biblical commentaries I've even put some Roman Catholics to enjoy them.
50
Why does there have to be some sort of theological/political algorithm to solve these schisms? Why not just let them back in?

And by them I mean: Ukraine, Macedonian, Armenian ...
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