Obviously, Keble, we disagree.
It does not matter what Wheaton puts on the web. I could publish Das Kapital on the web; that does not mean I accept it or even have much respect for Marx.
You could, but from what I see of you here, you wouldn't-- and precisely because you do not respect Marx. So it does matter what Wheaton does; I think their actions speak louder than your words about them.
Marx as a philosopher who influenced the lives of millions of people. I think his influence was negative, but I respect him.
Wheaton's words, the words of an Evangelical
institution that espouses the "Constantinian Apostasy" of the Church, speak louder than their publication of the Fathers on the web.
There are Evangelicals who study patristic writings and yet see the post-Constantinian Church as apostate. They pick and choose what they like from the Fathers and throw out what they regard as "too Catholic."
Orthodoxy picks and chooses too-- otherwise we would still be fighting out issues of Gnosticism and Arianism and dozens of other heresies.
Gnostics and Arians left the Church, not vice versa. They did the "picking and choosing," which is what makes them heretics.
The Church merely codified what she had always believed.
Again, you are still trying to force their actions through your perspective.
Excuse me, but what other perspective do I
If I accepted their
perspective, I would be one of them
, and we would not be having this discussion.
Picking and choosing among the fathers is what they do because that is how one interacts with tradition.
That is not how an Orthodox Christian "interacts with tradition."
The tradition has been established by the Church, which is the God-given authority. It is not for individuals (as the supreme arbiters of what is Christianity) to decide for themselves which Father was right at what particular time and on what particular issues.
Protestantism is the elevation of the individual to the place of authority in Christianity. That is why there are almost as many versions of "Christianity" in Protestantism as there are Protestants.
One has no choice but to distinguish good tradition from bad tradition; that is how one gets the "Ortho-" in Orthodoxy.
One does that by accepting the authority created by Jesus Christ Himself: His Church. That
is what puts the "Ortho" in Orthodoxy.
It is a cheap shot to say that everyone else is just picking and choosing, but that your tradition is descerning through the Holy Spirit. I'm sure some of them would say the same.
You use that term, "cheap shot," frequently. I am not sure I know what you mean by it, except that it applies to the statements of those with whom you disagree.
Protestantism is all about picking and choosing. It is all about the individual
and his authority to decide what Christianity is. The individual reads the Bible and decides what it means. The individual reads the Fathers and separates the good tradition from the bad.
The "Church" is then the voluntary association of those who more or less agree on interpretations that they have arrived at privately. As those interpretations change, so does the human and doctrinal make-up of a particular church.
Protestantism has been a movement away from primitive Christianity, and that is NOT "unhistorical."
But so has Orthodoxy. Primitive Christianity didn't have iconostases or large numbers of litanies in their liturgies. Primitive Christianity didn't have the Chalcedonian formula, never mind the Nicene creed.
Certainly the iconostasis and the litany are far more primitive than the distinctive doctrines of Protestantism.
I note also that you have chosen in the iconostasis and the litany developments that have little impact on the essential tenets of Christianity. You might have also pointed out the fact that Orthodox priests today often drive to Church in automobiles with internal combustion engines - certainly a far cry from primitive Christianity!
Personally, I think the 4th and 5th centuries were pretty primitive, but let's say that the "primitive Church" period ended with the end of the 2nd century.
The first and second century Church may not have had the Nicene Creed and Chalcedonian formula, but she certainly had the faith codified by them. The doctrines of Nicea/Constantinople and Chalcedon were canonized by men who were the direct successors of the Apostles, men who had been appointed to direct Christ's Church, and who, as such, were guided by the Holy Spirit.
There is clearly a problem with a lack of awareness of modern Orthodoxy (again, varying geatly from group to group). But modern Orthodoxy isn't the primitive church either.
I don't think the lack of awareness is mine. And I don't think Orthodoxy varies as much as you seem to think it does.
Obviously modern Orthodoxy isn't the primitive Church, but she stands in the line of direct descent from the primitive Church and is the legitimate successor to and custodian of primitive and Catholic Christianity.
If you think it is, then please find evidence of some primitive Christians who held those beliefs peculiar to modern Evangelical Protestantism: Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide, to name just two. Failing that, find primitive Christians who held the beliefs of modern mainline liberal Protestants.
I'd have to say that the whole notion of "Sola Scriptura" is meaningless in an Ante-Nicene context. Sola Scriptura is really an answer to the question, "what is inarguable?" It makes more sense in the context of Catholicism anyway, because of the way that Catholic dogmatism has developed. Likewise, "Sola Fide" gets its meaning out of the complex of Catholic indulgences and other grace accounting devices. It seems to me that the character of this changes in an Orthodox context, because then the issue becomes the legalism which does seem to me to be a common problem in Orthodoxy.
There is a problem here in that you are insisting that I argue for the positions of people with whom I do not agree. I can only take that so far.
No one knows what positions you hold exactly, Keble, because you refuse to say. But we were talking about a movement among Protestants in general, and not just about you.Sola Scriptura
is meaningless before the Church decided what the canon of Scripture would be, but try telling the Evangelicals that.Sola Scriptura
is not meaningless for Evangelicals (like the ones at Wheaton): it is one of the central tenets of their faith.Sola Fide
may have arisen as a reaction to Roman Catholic teaching, but it has a broader application in that it is the
Evangelical doctrine of salvation and in direct opposition to the Orthodox position.
I think legalism is about as far from the Orthodox teaching as the East is from the West.