You are misconstruing my statement. Don't make it appear that your assumptions are mine. I never said that Orthodoxy relies on reason, nor did I say that the Protestants discovered the truth based on their emotions.
I didn't misconstrue your assumptions as you haven't stated them. I asked what your assumptions were, and stated that I suspected some question begging may be
(not 'is') occuring. As you still haven't defined 'Protestantism' I have no way of really knowing what your assumptions are.
I believe that carnality is a general characteristic of Western Christianity. Roman Catholicism introduced it, and Protestantism elevated it to another level. One can better understand this by comparing western art with Orthodox iconography.
You can believe whatever you want, but assertions are not arguments. So I ask you to prove it - make a real argument so we can examine your premises and evidences. It would help if you would first define what exactly you mean by 'Protestantism' and 'Western Christianity' before making your argument for general characteristics. Otherwise you are just making blanket assertions that no one can discuss or refute since only you know what you mean or who you are referring to.
Also from Photios Kontoglou: "The works of Western religious art are emotional and dramatic. The dramatic element is carnal, even though it is thought to be spiritual. In the Orthodox icon there exists the liturgical element. Wherever the liturgical element is present, there the dramatic and emotional [or carnal] element is neutralized. In the works of Western religious art there is no spiritual ascent. The saints, Christ, the All-holy Mother of God are simply people painted from life, ordinary people who portray Christ, the All-holy One, or the saints. With us the iconographer is not an ordinary painter as in the West; he has a special service [liturgy] to perform through this art, a spiritual service [liturgy] and for this reason his is called "iconographer".
I think this author is trying to compare apples to oranges to make a predetermined point. He talks about western secular
art on religious themes, such as by Grunwald. Then he compares that to Orthodox art used for liturgical
purposes. I would agree that secular art on religious themes is inherently carnal - that is why it is 'secular'. I even agree that Western art tends towards realism since the Renaissance. However, I totally disagree with his claim that one can properly compare western secular
art with eastern liturgical
art and thereby make some claim as to the inferiority of western liturgical
art or practice. To make the comparison apples to apples one needs to compare the use of aesthetics in the actual organized non-secular worship - the images, rituals, architecture, music, etc. Only then can you decide whether carnality is a general characteristic of either Protestantism or Western Christianity, or both. To do the comparison properly would require that we examine the various styles of liturgical art used in the West, which naturally requires that we have a clear idea of the various categories, such as 'Protestant', Roman Catholic, non-Protestant Christian, etc. Even before you start, however, I state that you are going to have a hard time arguing that the simplicity and abstract character of traditional Protestant liturgy is very carnal. If anything, carnality is a criticism that Protestants level against
Orthodox (though I think this is a mistaken charge), just as they have traditionally leveled it against Catholics with their realistic and emotional statuary, crucifixes, murals, etc.
Talk about elevating carnality to the HIGHEST level.
Yes, I agree many there is a distinct section of American Christendom that is prone emotionalism and drama, maybe even a few modern Protestant denominations qualify as many have drifted from the principles of the reformation. So what? You STILL haven't given a clear definition of what you mean by 'Protestant'.
I am also one of those who defend the Catholic Faith next to Orthodoxy. Ironic isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t it?
And I went to a Catholic university and have enormous respect for the Catholic faith and heritage. I too would defend Catholics against unwarranted criticism. I would also defend Orthodox, Baptists, Muslims, Jews, and Buddhists and any other tradition against false charges. Ironic isn't it? Actually what I said is that I wouldn't expect
an Orthodox (or any non-Catholic for that matter) to defend a Catholic point of faith. If they wished to do so and were able to do so that would of course be just fine. I like truth and precision, which is why I'm insisting on you clearly defining 'Protestantism'.
Do you not detect "sinful pride" in taking potshots at the TBN crowd? I don't. In the first place, criticizing religios groups for being emotional is not bashing.
You are correct, I retract my comment and sincerely apologize to any and all devotees of TBN for making it. I think it would be appropriate for others here to also retract blanket and unwarranted statements about Protestantism, which I note once again that you haven't defined.
But we should know who we are dealing with first--in this case, the Protestants--before we introduce Orthodoxy to them.
I agree, you SHOULD know who you are dealing with before trying to evangelize them, that way you don't make unwarranted blanket statements that immediately discredit your evangelical efforts. It would help if you first defined who you mean when you say 'Protestant' so that WE know who you THINK you are dealing with, as well as knowing who you think you are NOT dealing with.
But don't expect us to knock on your door. You have to go out and seek for yourself. The doors of Orthodoxy are open to those who want to come in.
I have sought for myself, and I agree the doors of Orthodoxy are generally open (if you go to a congregation that is open to converts). I have had no negative experiences in this regard for which I am thankful, but what's your point? Until you define your terms you are just making unwarranted blanket statements about millions of undefined people. Even if I didn't consider myself a Protestant or wasn't moving towards Orthodoxy I would STILL step up and defend Protestants against the kinds of ignorant blanket statements made by many in this thread. There's nothing personal in this for me, except not letting falsehood lie unanswered. There are far too many falsehoods passed around casually these days, particularly in the form of unsupported generalizations, and Internet boards are often the worst.
Here's the deal. If you want to critique Protestantism that's fine by me, there's a lot there worth looking at. But make darn sure you aren't judging Protestants by the characteristics of non-Protestant Christians. And also make darn sure that you aren't taking a few anecdotal or personal experiences and blowing them up into blanket assertions about millions of real Protestants. I'm a statistician so I expect at least an attempt to present solid evidence on claims about large and diverse populations, but first I'd like you to precisely define your terms so we know what groups you are including and excluding.
Well, isn't this fun?
Sincerely in Christ,
Brian the possible Protestant (depending on definition)