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Question: Do you believe that OO and EO together are truly the same church?
Yes - 61 (55%)
After reunification - 35 (31.5%)
No - 15 (13.5%)
Total Voters: 111

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Author Topic: OO and EO difference (hurdles to Reunification)  (Read 31739 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: August 19, 2007, 07:11:23 PM »

I have been doing research on the Oriental Orthodox churches and Eastern Orthoodox church so as to truly understand what seperates us and to see if reunification is possible. Now although I can be VERY wrong the difference in Christology are the only major difference (major enough for split) and that the specific difference are truly only linguistic as they express the same idea with different words! I mean in regards To Duophysitism and Miaphysitism they essentially express the same idea that christ's nature is both  inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably linked but the words expressed seem to make it sound so different to the chalcedonian creed. Then there is Monothelitism and Duothelitism which are talking about the wills of Christ that say he had two will that wanted the same thing (EO) where the Monothelitists say that christ had one will (OO) but I see that they are essentially the same idea because OO say that he had one will but EO say he had two will which strived for the same thing so isn't that the same thing?! My main question after reading this is first of all a minor yes or no question if anyone can answer which is the 7th EO ecumencial council which was about the veneration of icons if the council after Chalcedon is not accepted by the OO do they venerate Icons? Then the other question is is reunification between EO and OO going to be in my lifetime (I am 17 years old)?
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« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2007, 08:38:04 PM »

Then the other question is is reunification between EO and OO going to be in my lifetime (I am 17 years old)?
at what age will you die?

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« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2007, 08:47:22 PM »

"at what age will you die?"
Eleos

LOL  Cheesy

But seriously...
I certainly hope God grants His Orthodox Church to be completely re-unified before the 2,000 year anniversary of Christ's Ascension!
What a blessed "birthday" gift that would be!
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« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2007, 08:49:42 PM »

prodromas...

hang in there for another 26 years and just maybe you WILL see the reunion of OO and EO.

God bless
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« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2007, 09:31:31 PM »

Many years ago, His Holiness Vazken I came to Los Angeles and, among other things, engaged in an ecumenical service at a Greek Orthodox Church.  I was there and I listened intently to the talk His Holiness gave after the service.  He stressed everything our two Churches have in common and I specifically recall him saying the Armenian Church saw nothing objectionable about the veneration of icons established by what the EO's call the Seventh Council.  That being said, I've heard that council also contained in it a condemnation of some OO saints.  That part would of course be objectionable to us, but the veneration of icons is not a problem.
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« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2007, 01:16:38 AM »

"the [Oriental] Church saw nothing objectionable about the veneration of icons established by what the [Eastern Orthodox] call the Seventh Council."

I find it very interesting that the "crisis" of iconoclasm did not even effect western europe (which at the time was VERY Eastern Orthodox).  Until this current discussion, it never occurred to me that there was yet another "body" of Christians that never had to deal with the crisis of iconoclasm: which is the "Oriental" Orthodox.  It would certainly make sense that the Byzantine empire would be the most insistent on "accepting the 7th Ecumenical council" if they were the only ones that had to deal with that crisis in the first place!

This is not to diminish the VAST differences between Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism... however, I hope this "insight" leads all readers of this thread (especially EO) to an awareness that perhaps the "7th Ecumencial Council" was perhaps more local than "ecumenical."

God bless
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« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2007, 01:34:22 AM »

That's extremely dangerous ground there. The infallibility of ALL Seven Ecumenical Councils is one of the bedrocks of our faith. Putting ourselves, as Eastern Orthodox, in the position of denying one of the fundamental tenants of our faith in order to speed the process of reunion is ecumenism of the worst kind.
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« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2007, 02:51:30 AM »

That's probably the biggest issue in the discussions concerning reunification.  Our theologians admit we all believe the same thing, but these other issues are pretty big and need to be resolved.  I think it is fair to say the EO's define themselves as the Church of the Seven Councils.  Setting aside any of those councils, or redesignating them as local, is not going to happen.  The OO's, on the other hand, will not accept any councils beyond Ephesus.  The reasons for this are not only doctrinal, but also historical and psychological, as it's really hard to accept a council in the name of which your ancestors were persecuted, slaughtered, etc.

Then there is the issue of saints.  Both sides have condemned saints venerated by the other.  I don't think that is as formidable a barrier as the councils, but it is still sticky.  This was discussed in this other thread:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,10408.0.html

There are other issues having to do with liturgical practice.  The EO's tend to be more uniform in their liturgical practices, while the OO's allow more diversity.  I don't see this as being as big an issue as the others, but it's still something to deal with.

There are other issues that are more administrative in nature, like the way the EO's rank their patriarchs, etc.  Again, these issues are not as big, but they are there to be dealt with.

So, while I believe that in a spiritual sense we are really one Church, there's a lot to be overcome before that becomes more of a concrete reality.
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« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2007, 02:57:06 AM »

The infallibility of ALL Seven Ecumenical Councils is one of the bedrocks of our faith. Putting ourselves, as Eastern Orthodox, in the position of denying one of the fundamental tenants of our faith in order to speed the process of reunion is ecumenism of the worst kind.
What makes an Ecumenical Council infallible?  Is the infallibility intrinsic to the Council, such that we must accept EVERY decision of the Council as authoritative?  Or do we recognize an Ecumenical Council as authoritative because that which it proclaims is the faith of the Church?  What if a particular decision of a council recognized as Ecumenical does not represent the faith of the Church as manifested in the catholic consciousness of the faithful?  For instance, can we recognize a council as truly ecumenical if one entire half of the church never accepted it as ecumenical?  Is it possible for that half of the Church to reject the council while still holding fast to the faith proclaimed by that council?


A couple of threads that speak on this topic so that we don't hijack this thread:

Ecumencial Councils

Oriental Orthodox Do Not Believe Church is Infallible?
« Last Edit: August 20, 2007, 02:57:25 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2007, 04:12:29 AM »

Quote
The reasons for this are not only doctrinal, but also historical and psychological, as it's really hard to accept a council in the name of which your ancestors were persecuted, slaughtered, etc.

I would definitely put more weight on the historical issues.

In my opinion, I think many people have unwittingly developed a rather innovative conception of an "Ecumenical Council" which insists on dogmatising the formalities and historical incidents associated with it. It's almost as if some would regard every cough and sneeze at a Council believed to be Ecumenical to be something absolutely God-inspired and hence not capable of being questioned.

Each side can insist that every historical movement and decision of their Communion in response to the incidents in question was made with the absolute authority of God, as if each Communion's Fathers were stripped of their human autonomy and possessed by God to say and do everything that was said and done. Or...we can take off those rosy coloured lenses and face the reality that God does not operate through His Church in such a mechanical and simplistic manner (as much as we may wish that He does). PeterTheAleut's signature is pertinent in this regard: "Truth is often in the paradox."

I think this sense of legalism, this claim to a monopoly of God and His Truth, this sense of arrogance which lays claim to knowing, in an almost absolute sense, the workings of God,  was the very problem with the Pharisees, and I cannot help but think that many Orthodox (EO and OO) will be judged side by side with the Pharisees for applying the same mindset in opposition to God's will (simply in different historical stages of God's redemptive plan for mankind.)
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« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2007, 05:28:28 AM »

I don't wanna take this off topic, so I started a new topic.
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« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2007, 10:14:19 AM »

Dear PeterTheAleut,

This is completely off-topic, so I apologize in advance, but I just have to ask:
when you say " ... if one entire half of the church never accepted it as ecumenical" do you mean to imply that the EO churches and the OO churches were "two halves" of the Church, back in the fifth century? (That is to say, do you mean that the Latin Church didn't count as a part of the Church, as early as the fifth century?)

God bless,
Peter.

I'm not sure what Peter meant, but I have to stress that the OO Church did present a huge chunk of Christianity that rejected Chalcedon, not to mention an even more diverse array of cultural traditions.

I also like to make note early that OO's do not believe in "Mono"theletism, but, as cliche as this sounds, "Miatheletism."  We truly believe in all characters of humanity and divinity unconfusedly and inseparably united, included will and operations.  There are also other instances where "will" can be defined differently as well, not as an energy of the nature, but rather an action of the person or hypostasis.

I think Fr. John Romanides makes note that Monotheletism was solely a problem in the Chalcedonian Church, just as Iconoclasm was.  (He also makes note that Nestorians are the ones that suffer from Monotheletism.  I have not found anyone question or challenge this point as of yet, which is a very very interesting point, imo.)

I have to say that I enjoyed this part of EA's post:

Quote
It's almost as if some would regard every cough and sneeze at a Council believed to be Ecumenical to be something absolutely God-inspired and hence not capable of being questioned.

I think the Chalcedonians need another ecumenical council simply for the sake of defining for us dogmatically what "ecumenical" means for the sake of moving on to whatever desire of union exists today.
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« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2007, 08:58:42 PM »

Note:  At this point in the thread there was a tangent about the state of the EO and Catholic Churches during the fifth century.  This was eventually moved to another folder: 

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12562.0.html

The tangent was a little heated.  Hence my comment here and in the next post:


Wait.  Are the Chalcedonians having a bit of a squabble amongst themselves in the OO folder?  That's not right.  You're supposed to be squabbling with the OO's.  We're feeling very neglected right now.   Smiley 
Just kidding.  Actually, let's try to keep this on the topic of how to heal the devision between EO's and OO's.  Thanks.
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« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2007, 10:20:21 PM »

Nope, it isn't. They mean that me and many others are unbaptized heretics, descended from apostates.

Hey, that's supposed to be us OO's whom the EO's are calling the "unbaptized heretics, descended from apostates."  Again, let's keep this on how to heal the division caused by Chalcedon, not that other division caused by the filioque.
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« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2007, 10:21:07 PM »

Wait.  Are the Chalcedonians having a bit of a squabble amongst themselves in the OO folder?  That's not right.  You're supposed to be squabbling with the OO's.  We're feeling very neglected right now.   Smiley 
Just kidding.  Actually, let's try to keep this on the topic of how to heal the devision between EO's and OO's.  Thanks.

Strange, isn't it? And we Chalcedonians don't even have a council that drove us apart to squabble over.

It seems to me, though, that the intra-EO debate about the place of RC in their ecclesiology is similar to the one about OO.

Ooh! Ooh! 1,000 posts!!!
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« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2007, 10:26:48 PM »

Hey, that's supposed to be us OO's whom the EO's are calling the "unbaptized heretics, descended from apostates."  Again, let's keep this on how to heal the division caused by Chalcedon, not that other division caused by the filioque.

Well, much of the difficulty in the reunification is the trouble of how to accomplish it while saving face about the past. It's hard to repudiate past battles over which many of your Church's saints stood to the death (even if, in our eyes today, the battles were really cultural/political/linguistic misunderstandings).
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« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2007, 11:22:52 PM »

Well, much of the difficulty in the reunification is the trouble of how to accomplish it while saving face about the past. It's hard to repudiate past battles over which many of your Church's saints stood to the death (even if, in our eyes today, the battles were really cultural/political/linguistic misunderstandings).
Yes, there is that mentality to deal with.  "How dare we call such great luminaries as St. John of Damascus and St. Maximos the Confessor (from the EO side) ignorant and claim that we know more than these great fathers do!"  And I know the OO have their great anti-EO saints, too.  You read the traditionalist polemics that come from such places as the Holy Mountain (Mt. Athos) and find publication on orthodoxinfo.com and you often see something akin to the following: "In keeping with this spirit, the phrase, 'We now clearly understand...,' has no place among Orthodox.  The classical Patristic dictum, 'Following the Holy Fathers...,' is the only one which expresses how Orthodox understand themselves."1


1 www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/monoph_preface.aspx
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« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2007, 11:46:19 PM »

Truly, I think we just want to be divided.  Both sides, as far as I can recon, believe the very same thing.  We hold on to the same faith in the same God, and much the same practices.  It is the human factor which gets in the way.   No one is willing to sit at the table and say, "You know, we messed up here.  Our pride got in the way.  We want to be the only ones in charge and the only ones with the keys to the kingdom, so we figured you can't be.  We goofed.  But instead of making excuses, were gonna put our heads together, and pray that God make our minds and hearts one in the Holy Spirit, so that we can mend this long festering wound and begin to walk together again, like God intended.  We have the world to contend with, and that's more than enough."  And we can point fingers at eachother for ever and say that either of us are the arrogant ones.  The truth really is that, at least in my view, we are too ready to wave documents and claim correctitude, much as the pharasee in the temple.  We need look to the publican in this case, and until we do, there will be no healing.  There will be no union.  This is not an overly emotional person speaking here, but one who has seen these debates, read these threads, talked to my OO and EO bretheren, and see the same weariness about fighting over minutiae.  If we want to come together, we will find a way with God's help.  If we don't, we stay as we are: divided brothers, wanting to talk but refusing to take the first step.  

And yes, I know of the many dialogues that have take place between our two churches.  And I know the above seems overly simplified.  Maybe that's the point.

Peace, Brothers.
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« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2007, 12:04:34 AM »

Truly, I think we just want to be divided.
I think you speak truth here.  I often think that the division has existed for so long that it is now self-perpetuating.  We on both sides maintain the split only because we have been divided for so long, though we cannot remember why.
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« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2007, 12:09:25 AM »

If you read the dialogues and talk to the people who have been in them then you see that this is the truth. 

Its always been up to the "bishops" and that is the human factor.  If they can get around their own differences, then they will see that the theology has worked around ITS differences. 

As far as I can remember even the question of the Councils and Icons and Saints have been resolved....

Maybe EkhristosAnesti has further to add on this since I know he's followed the dialogues much more thoroughly than I have....
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« Reply #20 on: August 21, 2007, 01:48:33 AM »

It funny was being biased does I was blindly seeing how the miaphysite view can be confused with the monophysite view but I never saw how the EO's view of the diaphysite seems like the Nestorian heresy reworded thanks everyone for the great input. EkhristosAnest you have been quoted as knowing more on the state of negotiations between the EO and the OO I would love to hear your information. Also how do you get on the private chat boards because I would like to look at the threads about OO and EO relations this stuff really intrigues me and hope that reunification becomes "official" as it seems to be spiritually reunified among many brethren's!
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« Reply #21 on: August 21, 2007, 01:52:20 AM »

A topic on how EO's view OO sacraments was split off from this thread and moved here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12563.msg170824.html#msg170824
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« Reply #22 on: August 21, 2007, 01:55:06 AM »

I don't wanna take this off topic, so I started a new topic.

Thank you, Asteriktos.  Hopefully, others will follow your good example.    Smiley
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« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2007, 10:51:08 AM »

Truly, I think we just want to be divided.  Both sides, as far as I can recon, believe the very same thing.  We hold on to the same faith in the same God, and much the same practices.  It is the human factor which gets in the way.   No one is willing to sit at the table and say, "You know, we messed up here.  Our pride got in the way.  We want to be the only ones in charge and the only ones with the keys to the kingdom, so we figured you can't be.  We goofed.  But instead of making excuses, were gonna put our heads together, and pray that God make our minds and hearts one in the Holy Spirit, so that we can mend this long festering wound and begin to walk together again, like God intended.  We have the world to contend with, and that's more than enough."  And we can point fingers at eachother for ever and say that either of us are the arrogant ones.  The truth really is that, at least in my view, we are too ready to wave documents and claim correctitude, much as the pharasee in the temple.  We need look to the publican in this case, and until we do, there will be no healing.  There will be no union.  This is not an overly emotional person speaking here, but one who has seen these debates, read these threads, talked to my OO and EO bretheren, and see the same weariness about fighting over minutiae.  If we want to come together, we will find a way with God's help.  If we don't, we stay as we are: divided brothers, wanting to talk but refusing to take the first step.  

And yes, I know of the many dialogues that have take place between our two churches.  And I know the above seems overly simplified.  Maybe that's the point.

Peace, Brothers.

Peace to you brother Lazarus.

Your words are inspired indeed.

May God help us.

Your Servant
Deacon Amde Tsion
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« Reply #24 on: August 27, 2007, 09:24:01 AM »

You are right.

Walk into any OO Church and you would need to be completely blind to miss the icons which we venerate. (Notably, neither Nestorians nor Anglicans have icons in the places they meet.)

As I do not know how long you are going to live, I can only pray that reunification may take place during your lifetime. (Can anyone confirm whether the Syrian Orthodox and the Antiochian Orthodox Churches are in intercommunion please?)

The only other problem is what to do with Synaxarium texts which condemn the other Church. For example, coming up this week in the Coptic Synaxarium is a story about how 30,000 Coptic Christians were martyred for refusing to accept the Council of Chalcedon. St. Samuel the monk, having heard the soldiers read the Tome of Leo, lept up and cursed the Tome and anyone else who would change the Faith of our Fathers. Words like these very strongly suggest that he zealously defended what the OOs had received. I'm aware of saints in both branches of the Church which 'converted' from the other and are condemned for so doing. What do we do about them? I could go on but you get the idea.
My worthless suggestion, say that all these saints were zealous for the true Orthodox Christian Faith as best they understood it and remove condemnations. If they are needed to explain something or for some other reason then add a sentance to say that the condemnation has been removed (once it has been) with something to the affect of the above statement explaining how and why.

May I please ask when the EOs started refering to themselves as the "Church of the Seven Councils"? Obviously the Apostles never did this nor did St. Athanasius nor St Cyril nor anyone else for many centuries of Christianity? Also, there are also an Eighth and a Ninth Ecumenical Council recognised by the Eastern Orthodox Church (though different from those of the RCs). Why then don't the EOs call themselves the "Church of the Nine Councils"?

I should also note from reading this that whilst the bishops would be the ones to form a council to solve our division, they would probably not pre-empt resolving issues regarding this within their own diocese by doing so. In other words, the lay people need to first have their hearts settled before union can be achieved. I have met somebody who said quite plainly that "only the Oriental Orthodox are Christian". Now until this person can be convinced that EOs are also Christian, it would be dangerous to this person's soul for the bishop to join with EOs. Nonetheless, people who hold these strict views seem to be a dwindling number. Hopefully the EO monks in a certain area may soon understand the OO position that we may unite also.

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« Reply #25 on: August 28, 2007, 03:49:17 AM »

Didymus I think to answer your question about why the Orthodox call themselves the "church of the 7 councils" is because 8 and 9 are not truly considered ecumenical because of the division between east and west. interestingly didymus I was actually going to ask a learned OO whether there were OO saints that were 100% against the EO and vice versa. Also to answer that particular query both of can agree no matter how righteous and holy a saint is that does not mean what they say is doctrine and is definitely not infallible what we should admire is that these people died to protect the apostolic faith at all costs!
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« Reply #26 on: August 28, 2007, 06:09:45 AM »

Didymus I think to answer your question about why the Orthodox call themselves the "church of the 7 councils" is because 8 and 9 are not truly considered ecumenical because of the division between east and west.
Actually, after the Great Schism, many--I would venture to say the majority--in the Orthodox Church don't believe Rome needs to be represented to make a council ecumenical.  "Rome no longer follows the way of truth, so why should we care what she thinks?"  But you are right that many do not recognize the so-called "Eighth and Ninth Councils" as ecumenical.  We recognize the Palamite hesychasm defended in the councils as part of the essence of our faith, but, to a good number of us, the councils themselves don't satisfy many of the criteria needed to make them ecumenical.  (That, however, is the proper subject of another thread on another board.)

May I please ask when the EOs started refering to themselves as the "Church of the Seven Councils"? Obviously the Apostles never did this nor did St. Athanasius nor St Cyril nor anyone else for many centuries of Christianity? Also, there are also an Eighth and a Ninth Ecumenical Council recognised by the Eastern Orthodox Church (though different from those of the RCs). Why then don't the EOs call themselves the "Church of the Nine Councils"?
Well, duh! Wink(I offer this exclamation totally in jest. Cool)  The Apostles and the other saints you name all died centuries before the Iconoclastic Controversy ever required a Seventh Council.  Do you think they would have the foresight to recognize that the EO would need to call a Seventh Ecumenical Council and call the Church the "Church of the Seven Councils" centuries in advance?  We call ourselves the "Church of the Seven Councils" in a way synonymous with calling ourselves the "Eastern Orthodox Church"--it's more of a label that (sadly) shows how we are separate from the "heterodox" churches (one major communion of whom many EO today believe never was heterodox despite our misunderstanding).
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« Reply #27 on: August 28, 2007, 11:25:38 AM »

both of can agree no matter how righteous and holy a saint is that does not mean what they say is doctrine... what we should admire is that these people died to protect the apostolic faith at all costs!

Agreed Cool

PeterTheAleut, it seems somewhat odd to us still as we don't go around calling ourself the "Church of the Three Councils" Huh
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« Reply #28 on: August 28, 2007, 12:23:49 PM »

Well, duh! Wink(I offer this exclamation totally in jest. Cool)  The Apostles and the other saints you name all died centuries before the Iconoclastic Controversy ever required a Seventh Council.  Do you think they would have the foresight to recognize that the EO would need to call a Seventh Ecumenical Council and call the Church the "Church of the Seven Councils" centuries in advance?  We call ourselves the "Church of the Seven Councils" in a way synonymous with calling ourselves the "Eastern Orthodox Church"--it's more of a label that (sadly) shows how we are separate from the "heterodox" churches (one major communion of whom many EO today believe never was heterodox despite our misunderstanding).

I beleive our brother had a very ligitimate point to his question which you failed to see.

It seems to me that his point was that:

The apostles did not call themselves the church of the "first council" which they conviened in Jerusalem where very key decisions were made in the name of Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. They did not seems to need to make a distinction between those who were to follow the orders set at the 1st council and those who would not follow the decisions and remain with business as usual prior to the 1st council.

This would stand to impart that the apostles did not start this sort of 'scoring card' concept the west has now.

This 'scoring card' concept is a "johnny-come-lately" having NO apostolic origin at all.

This terminology (church of the 7 councils) is a pontification whenever used as if to look down on all others on earth while saying to all that "WE - THIS IS THE TRUE CHURCH and YOU ARE NOT". It smacks of the kind a of Roman-Catholicness people have come to disrespect.

The Church established by Christ and His chosen apostles is Holy, Universal and apostolic; orthodox in our Lord Jesus Christ. Any councils we may have are subject to that which is already established. Thus we are "orthodox". WE are not orthodox outside of the Holy Universal Church. So to say church of the 7 councils is moot to serious orthodox doctrine and respect for Holy tradition and order sent down to us from the beginning since all councils and all activity is a product of the church and takes place within the church. THe church can not change. NO man has the power to change the church.

So I re-assert the question: Why the need to say church of the 7 councils?

It is in my view arrogance and upity high mindedness , a we-are-the truely-blessed-and-they-are-not attitude that is behind this insensitive and un-necessary term. Which is to be expected from the western mind. You can see the we-are-better-than-all-others on earth exuding in every facit of life today from the west. This attitude is the epicenter of western culture. You would be at a loss to find a place on earth today that has not been destroyed or obliterated by the exploits of the mighty west. Two world wars pretty much speak the truth of this point.

Such terminology to me is completely objectionable having no spiritual power. The terminology is bitter. It has the visage of a frowning face

Such terminology cannot offer anyone anything but emnity and confusion. A self serving terminology which reaks of the stinch of utter hopelessness

Such are contrary to the teachings that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ established in His church.

The church of the 7 councils is a very unfortunate...pitiful  use of words when speaking about the true Church of Christ since Christ's Church does not need to be defined by councils....the councils however need to be defined by Christ and His church.

Obey God Church!

Love one another Church!

Return good for evil Church!

Withstand each other with patience; perservering all things with love and unity Church.

Divide the faith (not the church) equally among all the church (church here is singular) so that no man falters. And if one falls; pick him up. Let the weak be carried by the stronger Church!

Pray for each other! forgive one another! as you would want God to forgive you Church!

If we all can actually begin to adhere to any of the above "churches" we would begin to see God and His mercy which he has for all of us who are his true followers which is the only real thing that joins us over the significance of councils.

God help us!

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« Reply #29 on: August 28, 2007, 02:21:35 PM »

Didymus I think to answer your question about why the Orthodox call themselves the "church of the 7 councils" is because 8 and 9 are not truly considered ecumenical because of the division between east and west. interestingly didymus I was actually going to ask a learned OO whether there were OO saints that were 100% against the EO and vice versa. Also to answer that particular query both of can agree no matter how righteous and holy a saint is that does not mean what they say is doctrine and is definitely not infallible what we should admire is that these people died to protect the apostolic faith at all costs!

Re: The nine Ecumenical Councils, I don't think what you are saying is valid. Even if the lack of the west would invalidate the Ninth Ecumenical Council (and I don't grant this), this is not true of the Eighth, which was pre-schism. Also, if I am reading you correctly, this would seem to invalidate the ability of the Church to hold an Ecumenical Council in the future, which pretty much concedes Roman Catholic claims.
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« Reply #30 on: August 28, 2007, 03:54:49 PM »

Quote
which pretty much concedes Roman Catholic claims

How so?
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« Reply #31 on: August 28, 2007, 04:03:15 PM »

It smacks of the kind a of Roman-Catholicness people have come to disrespect.

I believe it's actually spelled and pronounced Katlick.
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« Reply #32 on: August 28, 2007, 04:07:06 PM »

How so?

It is a common Roman Catholic claim that our Church is unable (post-schism) to hold an Ecumenical Council because we are not in Communion with the Pope, and they point to the fact that we (supposedly) only accept seven Ecumenical Councils. Now, even accepting that we only hold to seven Ecumenical Councils, the conclusion does not follow. However, podromas, in saying that the Eighth and Ninth Ecumenical Councils are not truly Ecumenical because the west was not involved (and, as I said before, this is not valid for the Eighth), concedes this point. It follows from his reasoning that we are even unable to hold an Ecumenical Council in the future.
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« Reply #33 on: August 28, 2007, 04:13:16 PM »

It is a common Roman Catholic claim that our Church is unable (post-schism) to hold an Ecumenical Council because we are not in Communion with the Pope, and they point to the fact that we (supposedly) only accept seven Ecumenical Councils.

I believe our understanding is that the Supreme Pontiff must be represented at the council and that the Apostolic See has to confirm it afterwards.
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« Reply #34 on: August 28, 2007, 04:47:37 PM »

It is a common Roman Catholic claim that our Church is unable (post-schism) to hold an Ecumenical Council because we are not in Communion with the Pope, and they point to the fact that we (supposedly) only accept seven Ecumenical Councils. Now, even accepting that we only hold to seven Ecumenical Councils, the conclusion does not follow. However, podromas, in saying that the Eighth and Ninth Ecumenical Councils are not truly Ecumenical because the west was not involved (and, as I said before, this is not valid for the Eighth), concedes this point. It follows from his reasoning that we are even unable to hold an Ecumenical Council in the future.

I see. prodomas might wrong, I'm afraid. But we've debated the status of these later 'ecumenically called';i.e., by the emperor here in the past. I believe the consensus (or at least my opinion at the time) was reached that these councils are provisionally ecumenical for us and merely lack the 'official' stamp of approval of yet another ecumenical councils. I know of  no EO church which rejects any of these councils. One must bear in mind that for the council of 879, we were in communion (or restored communion) with the Latins and even in the 1300s the schism was not yet set in stone. Hence, there may indeed have been some reluctance to so name those later three councils for the reasons that prodomas asserts. but I don't believe that situation exists now or applies at this time. Yeah, I know...not very lucid today, am I?
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« Reply #35 on: August 28, 2007, 09:08:25 PM »


So I re-assert the question: Why the need to say church of the 7 councils?

It is in my view arrogance and upity high mindedness , a we-are-the truely-blessed-and-they-are-not attitude that is behind this insensitive and un-necessary term.

Deacon,

I really don't think that most EO's have this attitude.  I know Peter the Aleut doesn't have that sort of outlook.  I think the EO's just think of their Church's beliefs as having been defined by these seven councils, same as we think of our Church's beliefs as having been defined by the three we recognize.  They are just stating a fact about their Church.  Perhaps some are arrogant about it, but not most.  I think you were too quick to come to the conclusion that there was an attitude when there wasn't any.  Let's try to assume the best about those we discuss this with.  Thanks.   Smiley
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« Reply #36 on: August 28, 2007, 11:07:58 PM »

Deacon,

I really don't think that most EO's have this attitude.  I know Peter the Aleut doesn't have that sort of outlook.  I think the EO's just think of their Church's beliefs as having been defined by these seven councils, same as we think of our Church's beliefs as having been defined by the three we recognize.  They are just stating a fact about their Church.  Perhaps some are arrogant about it, but not most.  I think you were too quick to come to the conclusion that there was an attitude when there wasn't any.  Let's try to assume the best about those we discuss this with.  Thanks.   Smiley
I personally don't even refer to my (EO) Church as the "Church of the Seven Councils;" to me, she is just the Church.  This is not borne out of any personal objection to the more restrictive name; I just never saw any reason to use it.
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« Reply #37 on: August 28, 2007, 11:13:36 PM »

In fact I think if we refer to our selves as churches of a particular council we truly ruin the essence of Orthodoxy being defined at particular parts in history as opposed to the way.
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« Reply #38 on: August 29, 2007, 03:14:01 AM »

I personally don't even refer to my (EO) Church as the "Church of the Seven Councils;" to me, she is just the Church.  This is not borne out of any personal objection to the more restrictive name; I just never saw any reason to use it.
Me, too.
This term always struck me as one used when talking with RCs and in the context that we are the "Catholics of the Seven Councils". Outside that, never used otherwise and certainly not in OO/EO relations.
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« Reply #39 on: August 29, 2007, 08:55:49 AM »

The OO Church never regarded itself the Church of the "Three Ecumenical Councils", and i'm not sure that it is even accurate or correct to start using such an appellation. Immediately after Chalcedon, OO Fathers often referred to Ephesus 449 and (I think) Ephesus 475 alongside Ephesus 431 and Nicaea 325 and Constantinople 381 as being the defining instruments of the faith. In the encyclical issued at Ephesus 475, the Bishops declared:

Quote
For we are satisfied with the doctrine and faith of the apostles and of the holy fathers, the three hundred and eighteen bishops; to which also the illustrious Council of the one hundred and fifty in the Royal City, and the two other holy Synods at Ephesus adhered, and which they confirmed.


This suggests that Ephesus 449 was considered on par with Ephesus 431 in some sense.
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« Reply #40 on: August 29, 2007, 01:27:49 PM »

Deacon,

I really don't think that most EO's have this attitude.  I know Peter the Aleut doesn't have that sort of outlook.  I think the EO's just think of their Church's beliefs as having been defined by these seven councils, same as we think of our Church's beliefs as having been defined by the three we recognize.  They are just stating a fact about their Church.  Perhaps some are arrogant about it, but not most.  I think you were too quick to come to the conclusion that there was an attitude when there wasn't any.  Let's try to assume the best about those we discuss this with.  Thanks.   Smiley

I came to this concluison a long long time ago.

I pray over it and re-think it through every day. So my point of view can surely be changed. I am not compelled to change as of this date.

Also; I never said "all".

Nothing is ever "all". That is blatantly obvious and goes without saying.

Salpy; my point as I posted is very clear. I was very open in my various views. You are others of course do not have to agree with me.

I have posted many times on this site on how I have had many wonderful and blessed experiences with various OO communities.

Your Servant
Deacon Amde
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« Reply #41 on: September 04, 2007, 07:19:11 AM »

Amdetsion, thanks for seeing my point.

PeterTheAleut, your "she is just the Church" view could go a long way to advancing unity.
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« Reply #42 on: December 09, 2007, 07:59:34 PM »

"the [Oriental] Church saw nothing objectionable about the veneration of icons established by what the [Eastern Orthodox] call the Seventh Council."

I find it very interesting that the "crisis" of iconoclasm did not even effect western europe (which at the time was VERY Eastern Orthodox).  Until this current discussion, it never occurred to me that there was yet another "body" of Christians that never had to deal with the crisis of iconoclasm: which is the "Oriental" Orthodox.  It would certainly make sense that the Byzantine empire would be the most insistent on "accepting the 7th Ecumenical council" if they were the only ones that had to deal with that crisis in the first place!

This is not to diminish the VAST differences between Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism... however, I hope this "insight" leads all readers of this thread (especially EO) to an awareness that perhaps the "7th Ecumencial Council" was perhaps more local than "ecumenical."

God bless

The filioque loving Franks held the semi-iconoclast council of Frankfurt in 794, which revoked the 7th Ecumenical Council in part.

The iconoclasts the OO were busy with at the time (and now) were the muslims.  Btw, Leo the Isaurian grew up in the Caliphate when Islam was developing its iconoclastic ways.
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« Reply #43 on: December 10, 2007, 03:32:13 AM »

Our theologians admit we all believe the same thing, but these other issues are pretty big and need to be resolved. 
However, I understand that Armenian Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox do not believe the same thing when it comes to the use of leavened or unleavend bread? Is it true that the Armenians use unleavened bread, but the Eastern Orthodox say that it is correct to use leavened bread.
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« Reply #44 on: December 10, 2007, 04:13:53 AM »

However, I understand that Armenian Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox do not believe the same thing when it comes to the use of leavened or unleavend bread? Is it true that the Armenians use unleavened bread, but the Eastern Orthodox say that it is correct to use leavened bread.

This is discussed in this thread:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,10855.0.html


And also in replies number 37 and 38 in this thread:


http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13375.0.html#lastPost

I think this goes to the issue of diversity of practice, which I mentioned in my reply number seven, above.  The OO's allow more diversity in liturgical practice, whereas the EO's tend to be more uniform.  Again, I think for unity to happen, that would have to be addressed.


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« Reply #45 on: October 31, 2010, 01:42:16 PM »

I read that in an EO church council, they decided that one could either have St Cyril's miaphysitism, or the duophysitism(I forget the word) that many EOs had/have.

So either view might be technically acceptable in EO.

Is miaphysitism a mandatory belief in the OO church?
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« Reply #46 on: October 31, 2010, 01:47:29 PM »

St. Cyril's "one nature" is the same as "one hypostasis" as said at Chalcedon, so to say there is a choice between them is to misunderstand them.  "Mia physis", as understood by St. Cyril, is mandatory in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #47 on: October 31, 2010, 02:44:31 PM »

Mia physis, properly understood (and the OO have always properly understood it) is mandatory for all Orthodox Christians.

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« Reply #48 on: October 31, 2010, 03:29:19 PM »

St. Cyril's "one nature" is the same as "one hypostasis" as said at Chalcedon, so to say there is a choice between them is to misunderstand them.  "Mia physis", as understood by St. Cyril, is mandatory in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Iconodule,

So in other words, the position of the ecumenical Orthodox Church is that that when St Cyril spoke of Christ's "one nature", he was referring to Christ's person or "hypostasis", just as we commonly say one person and two natures?

Is there a short article I can read to confirm that when St Cyril spoke of Christ's "one nature" he was referring to the hypostasis?

Thanks.
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« Reply #49 on: October 31, 2010, 03:35:00 PM »

St. Cyril's "one nature" is the same as "one hypostasis" as said at Chalcedon, so to say there is a choice between them is to misunderstand them.  "Mia physis", as understood by St. Cyril, is mandatory in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Iconodule,

So in other words, the position of the ecumenical Orthodox Church is that that when St Cyril spoke of Christ's "one nature", he was referring to Christ's person or "hypostasis", just as we commonly say one person and two natures?

Here is St. John Damascene's explanation of St. Cyril's phrase, "One Nature of God the Word Incarnate":

http://www.orthodox.net/fathers/exactiii.html#BOOK_III_CHAPTER_XI



Note: "subsistence" is the English word for hypostasis.
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« Reply #50 on: October 31, 2010, 04:28:36 PM »

Iconodule,

Your explanation of our Orthodox position matches St John Damascene's understanding of St Cyril's words.

St John Damascene wrote in the passage you gave:
Quote
the blessed Cyril(2) says this: "The nature of the Word, that is, the subsistence, which is the Word itself."


So it appears here that St Cyril says that when he refers to the nature of the word, he means the subsistence, like you said.

St John Damascene comments:

Quote
the blessed Cyril(2) says this: "The nature of the Word, that is, the subsistence, which is the Word itself." So that "the nature of the Word" means neither the subsistence alone, nor "the common nature of the subsistence," but "the common nature viewed as a whole in the subsistence of the Word."


Of course, there is a possibility that St John Damascene mistakenly took Cyril's words out of context or misunderstood them, and after all, the theologians often write confusingly.

Further, there is the possibility that, as on many other questions like the idea of Original Sin, a few Orthodox saints like St Cyril could actually have taken positions opposite to other saints. Maybe if you really got into it, you would discover that a few Orthodox saints really did have the Oriental position.

Personally, I accept the idea that Christ has two natures, and that His one person has two natures. (duo-phys-itism?) His one person has both natures.

I don't know if I can take the extra step of saying that the two natures combine into one new nature.

So while I can take the Chalcedonian Orthodox point of view, I can't dismiss the Oriental point of view as heretical.

Does our Chalcedonian Orthodox Church officially declare that the Orientals are heretics based on their understanding of Miaphysitism?

Do the Oriental Churches say that St John Damascene's understanding of the two natures- our Chalcedonian Orthodox understanding- is a heresy?



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« Reply #51 on: October 31, 2010, 05:44:52 PM »

St. Cyril's "one nature" is the same as "one hypostasis" as said at Chalcedon, so to say there is a choice between them is to misunderstand them.  "Mia physis", as understood by St. Cyril, is mandatory in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Iconodule,

So in other words, the position of the ecumenical Orthodox Church is that that when St Cyril spoke of Christ's "one nature", he was referring to Christ's person or "hypostasis", just as we commonly say one person and two natures?

Here is St. John Damascene's explanation of St. Cyril's phrase, "One Nature of God the Word Incarnate":

http://www.orthodox.net/fathers/exactiii.html#BOOK_III_CHAPTER_XI



Note: "subsistence" is the English word for hypostasis.

How about this?
Quote
<- BOOK III CHAPTER IX ->
In reply to the question whether there is Nature that has no Subsistence.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For although(5) there is no nature without subsistence, nor essence apart from person (since in truth it is in persons and subsistences that essence and nature are to be contemplated), yet it does not necessarily follow that the natures that are united to one another in subsistence should have each its own proper subsistence. For after they have come together into one subsistence, it is possible that neither should they be without subsistence, nor should each have its own peculiar subsistence, but that both should have one and the same subsistence(6). For since one and the same subsistence of the Word has become the subsistence of the natures, neither of them is permitted to be without subsistence, nor are they allowed to have subsistences that differ from each other, or to have sometimes the subsistence of this nature and sometimes of that, but always without division or separation they both have the same subsistence--a subsistence which is not broken up into parts or divided, so that one part should belong to this, and one to that, but which belongs wholly to this and wholly to that in its absolute entirety. For the flesh of God the Word did not subsist as an independent subsistence, nor did there arise another subsistence besides that of God the Word, but as it existed in that it became rather a subsistence which subsisted in another, than one which was an independent subsistence. Wherefore, neither does it lack subsistence altogether, nor yet is there thus introduced into the Trinity another subsistence.

I would like to know what the EO reject of St. Cyril's "On the Unity of Christ." What do the OO reject of it? What do the EO accuse the OO of rejecting of it? What do the OO accuse the EO of rejecting of it?
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« Reply #52 on: October 31, 2010, 07:19:07 PM »

Quote
I don't know if I can take the extra step of saying that the two natures combine into one new nature.

Hi rakovsky.

If you think that the OO think that two natures combine into one new nature then you have not yet understood St Cyril or the OO position which follows him.

So there is no need for you to be concerned that you have to take that step. The OO would not ask you to.

The humanity of Christ never ceases to be what it is, even when the Word of God becomes incarnate without ceasing to be what He ever was and is. Yet He is one incarnate nature, not because there is a confusion of humanity and Divinity, or because the humanity is swallowed up in the Divinity. God forbid. But because even after the incarnation there is one nature, one identity, one subject. It was the Word of God who died on the cross. There were those at Chalcedon and those who accepted it who could not say such a thing.

We would not normally say that there was one person with two natures because this is in fact what Theodore of Mopsuestia, Diodore, Ibas, Theodoret and Nestorius all said. We would also sense that such language did not in fact confess the inner union in identity of humanity and Divinity strongly enough.

But after Constantinople 553 it does seem to us that the Chalcedonians excluded many of those ambiguous positions which we believe Chalcedon allowed. After Constantinople 553 a Chalcedonian who rejected the phrase 'one incarnate nature of the Word' would be condemned for instance.

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« Reply #53 on: October 31, 2010, 07:22:40 PM »

ialmisry,

I think we would say that Chalcedonians before Constantinople 553 are not the same as Chalcedonians after 553. We especially reject the position which we believe Chalcedon endorsed. We do not reject the position as revised by the Chalcedonians in 553.

The issue seems to me to be that some Chalcedonians would like to say that there is no difference between Chalcedonians before and after Constantinople 553 and therefore that Chalcedon says the same thing as Constantinople 553. We do not believe it does. I won't go into details as that will detract from the thread. But in general this seems to me to be one of the main issues.

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« Reply #54 on: October 31, 2010, 08:00:28 PM »

I personally do not support any reunion. I will not accept Leo's Tome nor Leo I, who supported Theodoret a heretic thereby making Leo a heretic. I think they should admit that in the 4th council they rejected our definition, which is clearly the definition of St. Cyril in the 3rd council, and that they were wrong in doing so. They should accept St. Dioscorus as a saint and denounce Leo I as a heretic, who also started the papal primacy which is probably why he sought to oust the church in Alexandria.
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« Reply #55 on: October 31, 2010, 08:11:28 PM »

After Constantinople 553 a Chalcedonian who rejected the phrase 'one incarnate nature of the Word' would be condemned for instance.
That's odd. How can we explain the phrase in accordance with the "official" Orthodoxs' statement that Christ has two natures in one person?
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« Reply #56 on: October 31, 2010, 08:15:33 PM »

After Constantinople 553 a Chalcedonian who rejected the phrase 'one incarnate nature of the Word' would be condemned for instance.
That's odd. How can we explain the phrase in accordance with the "official" Orthodoxs' statement that Christ has two natures in one person?

In St. Cyril's usage, "nature" could mean either hypostasis or ousia. In Chalcedon's definition, it just means ousia (essence).
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« Reply #57 on: October 31, 2010, 08:16:45 PM »

I will not accept Leo's Tome nor Leo I, who supported Theodoret a heretic thereby making Leo a heretic.

I heard that there are some actual monophysite saints in the OO church, not just Miaphysite ones. So there are probably many people who were heretics that orthodox bishops in the church supported in some sense.

It's important to remember that the argument between the Byzantines and the Orientals is largely an argument along the lines of fine Greek philosophy, mentally difficult to millions of people.

It could possibly be just a semantic argument like whether a glass is half empty or half full.

So it is important to work together to solve a mutual mind-problem.
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« Reply #58 on: October 31, 2010, 08:20:51 PM »

After Constantinople 553 a Chalcedonian who rejected the phrase 'one incarnate nature of the Word' would be condemned for instance.
That's odd. How can we explain the phrase in accordance with the "official" Orthodoxs' statement that Christ has two natures in one person?

In St. Cyril's usage, "nature" could mean either hypostasis or ousia. In Chalcedon's definition, it just means ousia (essence).

OK, thanks, Iconodule.


Better to say:
"After Constantinople 553 a Chalcedonian who rejected the Chalcedonian understanding of St Cyril's phrase 'one incarnate nature of the Word' would be condemned for instance."

I am not sure that is right, either, because I heard that there was a council decision that one could take some sort of miaphysist position or some sort of non-miaphysist position.

edited post:
HERE IT IS:  
Quote

Just as the Second Council of Constantinople (known as the "Fifth Ecumenical Council") condemned a certain understanding of the Dyophysite formula introduced at the Council of Chalcedon, it likewise condemned a certain understanding of the Miaphysite terminology of Cyril of Alexandria introduced at the Council of Ephesus, thus leaving room for other orthodox understandings for both Dyophysitism and Miaphysitism. A certain understanding of Miaphysitism thus was affirmed as acceptable doctrine among the Chalcedonians.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miaphysitism
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« Reply #59 on: October 31, 2010, 08:31:39 PM »


In St. Cyril's usage, "nature" could mean either hypostasis or ousia. In Chalcedon's definition, it just means ousia (essence).

Obviously it wasn't so simple, or Constantinople II wouldn't have been necessary.  As has been pointed out numerous times, there were different interpretations given the language at Chalcedon, and Con. II eliminated the ambiguity.
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« Reply #60 on: October 31, 2010, 08:33:49 PM »

I will not accept Leo's Tome nor Leo I, who supported Theodoret a heretic thereby making Leo a heretic.

I heard that there are some actual monophysite saints in the OO church, not just Miaphysite ones.

I have no doubt you have heard that, but that doesn't make it true.   Smiley  Do you recall specifically which ones were called Monophysite?
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« Reply #61 on: October 31, 2010, 08:37:44 PM »

If you think that the OO think that two natures combine into one new nature then you have not yet understood St Cyril or the OO position which follows him.
OK, maybe I have it wrong, but that is how I understand it best.

Quote
So there is no need for you to be concerned that you have to take that step. The OO would not ask you to.

The humanity of Christ never ceases to be what it is, even when the Word of God becomes incarnate without ceasing to be what He ever was and is. Yet He is one incarnate nature, not because there is a confusion of humanity and Divinity, or because the humanity is swallowed up in the Divinity. God forbid. But because even after the incarnation there is one nature, one identity, one subject.

Now I am even more concerned, because you haven't specified that there ever were two natures involved at all. You suggested that there is only one nature involved in the conversation, which is both his pre-incarnate AND incarnate nature, he has one nature before and "even after" the incarnation.

You will probably say I understand you wrong. Either way, I am concerned about the failure to mention the two natures and their relation to one another.


Quote
We would not normally say that there was one person with two natures because this is in fact what Theodore of Mopsuestia, Diodore, Ibas, Theodoret and Nestorius all said. We would also sense that such language did not in fact confess the inner union in identity of humanity and Divinity strongly enough.
If this is just a big semantic debate, then Chalcedonians would argue back that saying he is "one person with one nature" does not confess the two natures' distinct-ness strongly enough


Quote
Metropolitan Bishoy of the Coptic church had used some of Cyril's quotes about the nature of Christ, as follows:
In his Epistle to Acacias (40) section (15):
"When we analyze the way of incarnation accurately , the human mind sees -without any doubt- the two natures resembled together with untold way and without mixing in the unification. The mind doesn't separate them at all after the unification but he believes and confesses that one from two is God and son and Messiah and Lord"
http://www.monachos.net/forum/archive/index.php/t-6424.html

Some of St Cyril's quotes can be read either way. Maybe he himself did not split the hair.
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« Reply #62 on: October 31, 2010, 08:49:30 PM »

If they were to reunite, what type of tangible differences would we expect to see between EO and OO? Would things really be that much different than they are now?
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« Reply #63 on: October 31, 2010, 08:54:09 PM »

A polemical post was split off and put here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,30930.msg487520.html#new

Iconodule,

Please keep the rhetoric down, and please avoid picking fights you and others have already picked and failed to win several times in the private forum.
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« Reply #64 on: October 31, 2010, 09:05:42 PM »

A polemical post was split off and put here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,30930.msg487520.html#new

Iconodule,

Please keep the rhetoric down, and please avoid picking fights you and others have already picked and failed to win several times in the private forum.



In St. Cyril's usage, "nature" could mean either hypostasis or ousia. In Chalcedon's definition, it just means ousia (essence).

Obviously it wasn't so simple, or Constantinople II wouldn't have been necessary.  As has been pointed out numerous times, there were different interpretations given the language at Chalcedon, and Con. II eliminated the ambiguity.

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« Reply #65 on: October 31, 2010, 09:09:28 PM »

1. This quote of St Cyril (from my last post) speaks of two natures, so it seems that any definition should mention Two natures.

2. It also suggests that the two natures are either combined/unified into one nature, since the phrase "one body from two natures" doesn't seem to fit.

Quote
"When we analyze the way of incarnation accurately , the human mind sees -without any doubt- the two natures resembled together with untold way and without mixing in the unification. The mind doesn't separate them at all after the unification but he believes and confesses that one from two is God and son and Messiah and Lord"

Maybe St Cyril believed the Oriental way, but other Chalcedonian saints believed another way, and they are both saints in our Byzantine Orthodox church, so it's all good.

So expressing some kind of dyophisitism and Oriental miaphysitism is ok in our church.

Sorry, one obstacle I have with the Oriental church is that I can't necessarily rule out one view or the other, but it looks like the Oriental church makes its view mandatory and sharply rejects the Chalcedonians, whereas the Chalcedonians allow for some diophysitism and for St Cyril's view.

But maybe I am also wrong about this and the Chalcedonian church has in fact rejected St Cyril's view, which could turn out to be the Oriental view. Of course, maybe this "real" view of St Cyril could turn out to be wrong and the Byzantine position turn out to be right?

I am confused about the churches' view on "Miaphysitism" and risk getting excommunicated by everyone. (joke) Maybe so does everyone else (joke).

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« Reply #66 on: October 31, 2010, 09:20:43 PM »

So apparently we agree he has one "essence" with the father. But then he also has two "natures". Natures (physia) might be like physical properties? Like how someone can be tired and peppy at the same time?

Essence vs. natures?

The possible unification of the natures?

Greek philosophy = Confusing?
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« Reply #67 on: October 31, 2010, 09:49:37 PM »

You're way over-thinking this.  Just know that both our Churches today believe that Christ is perfectly divine and perfectly human, without confusion or division.  
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« Reply #68 on: October 31, 2010, 10:23:42 PM »

A polemical post was split off and put here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,30930.msg487520.html#new

Iconodule,

Please keep the rhetoric down, and please avoid picking fights you and others have already picked and failed to win several times in the private forum.



In St. Cyril's usage, "nature" could mean either hypostasis or ousia. In Chalcedon's definition, it just means ousia (essence).

Obviously it wasn't so simple, or Constantinople II wouldn't have been necessary.  As has been pointed out numerous times, there were different interpretations given the language at Chalcedon, and Con. II eliminated the ambiguity.


I'm sorry, are you trying to say something here?
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« Reply #69 on: October 31, 2010, 10:31:43 PM »

It speaks for itself.
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« Reply #70 on: October 31, 2010, 10:34:15 PM »

Saying what?
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« Reply #71 on: October 31, 2010, 11:05:12 PM »

It speaks for itself.
Stepping in to back up my colleague here (with her permission):

Iconodule, what you did was in response to a green-text moderatorial directive. I therefore charge you to come right out and tell us clearly what you intended to say by quoting that directive as you did. Stop beating around the bush.
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« Reply #72 on: October 31, 2010, 11:29:25 PM »

I'm not playing, kids. Do what you like.

That kind of insolence in response to the directives of two moderators was totally uncalled for. You are therefore receiving this warning to last for the next three weeks. If you think this action unfair, please feel free to appeal it to Fr. George.

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« Reply #73 on: November 01, 2010, 12:15:45 AM »

Another polemical post, this time by a different poster, was moved to the private forum:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,30930.0.html

Everyone,

I'd like to keep this on topic.  If you read the original post, it asks whether unity will happen in the lifetime of a 17 year old, and whether the OO's venerate icons.  

It is also permissible to address Rakovsky's question at the top of this page ("Is miaphysitism a mandatory belief in the OO church?") since that was what brought this thread up again.  

I'd like to have this thread narrowly address these issues and not go off on tangents about what happened at Chalcedon, etc.

Thanks.
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« Reply #74 on: November 01, 2010, 10:36:24 AM »

I appreciate everyone's input, including yours, Iconodule!!!! Thanks everyone.

It is a mind problem, like the kind of mind games you might have thoughtabout as a teenager.  Let's please work together to figure it out!!!!
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« Reply #75 on: November 01, 2010, 02:15:27 PM »

So expressing some kind of dyophisitism and Oriental miaphysitism is ok in our church.

Sorry, one obstacle I have with the Oriental church is that I can't necessarily rule out one view or the other, but it looks like the Oriental church makes its view mandatory and sharply rejects the Chalcedonians, whereas the Chalcedonians allow for some diophysitism and for St Cyril's view.

You bring up a good point, Rakovsky.

Can our Church officially accept (or has it officially accepted) "in two Natures" and by that I mean accepting the Horos of Chalcedon as an Orthodox statement of Faith not to the exclusion of "one incarnate Nature" but along with it as a paralell to what Justinian did in Constantinople II.
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« Reply #76 on: November 22, 2010, 08:15:20 PM »

So expressing some kind of dyophisitism and Oriental miaphysitism is ok in our church.

Sorry, one obstacle I have with the Oriental church is that I can't necessarily rule out one view or the other, but it looks like the Oriental church makes its view mandatory and sharply rejects the Chalcedonians, whereas the Chalcedonians allow for some diophysitism and for St Cyril's view.

You bring up a good point, Rakovsky.

Can our Church officially accept (or has it officially accepted) "in two Natures" and by that I mean accepting the Horos of Chalcedon as an Orthodox statement of Faith not to the exclusion of "one incarnate Nature" but along with it as a paralell to what Justinian did in Constantinople II.

We might be able to accept "in two natures" as defined at Constantinople II, but that does not mean that we can accept the Creed of Chalcedon as having been purely orthodox. The latter I do not believe can be done without compromising precisely what OOy is about in distinction to EOy.
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« Reply #77 on: January 03, 2011, 10:29:11 PM »

I've not really poked my head in this forum before, but I've thoroughly enjoyed looking around and now, seeing this thread, makes me very happy to look at the results above! I desire greatly the unification of our churches, and hope to see it soon!
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« Reply #78 on: January 03, 2011, 10:33:46 PM »

Feel free to poke your head in any time!   Smiley
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« Reply #79 on: January 04, 2011, 11:13:42 AM »

Feel free to poke your head in any time!   Smiley

Thanks!

I've got some questions for folks, as I've been interested in OO and EO re-unification for some time and have been reading up on the history of the councils which ended at Chalcedon, causing our parting, and the recent history of discussion between the OO (mostly from the Copts by Pope Shenouda) and the EO and RC. So, here we go:

What, in your opinions, remains in the way of full communion between OO and EO?

How should these be dealt with?

When do you think these barriers will finally be removed so that communion is restored?

The questions, of course, pre-suppose the belief of the repondant in the theological unity of the two churches. This brings further questions to light:

If the two are genuninely the Church, then how as the Church divided against itself? If there is only "one Church" how can it exist as two?

If you do not believe they are one Church, then what differences remain? How can they be resolved? Should they be resolved?

I appreciate the responses from everyone. Thanks in advance!
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« Reply #80 on: January 06, 2011, 09:01:29 PM »

To all Chalcedonians :

" One nature of God the Son, the incarnate Word " =

Union Without Mingling, Confusion, Alteration or Transmutation

BY " one Nature ", we mean a real union. This does not involve mingling as of wheat and barely, nor confusion as of wine and water or milk and tea. Moreover, no change occurred as in the case of chemical reaction. For example carbon dioxide consists of carbon and oxygen, and the nature of both changes when they are combined ; each loses its properties which distinguished it before the unity. In contrast, no change occurred in the Divine or Human nature as a result of their unity. Furthermore, unity between the two natures occurred without transmutation. Thus, neither did the Divine nature transmute to the human nature, nor did the human nature, transmute to the Divine nature. The Divine nature did not mix with the human nature nor mingle with it, but it was a unity that led to Oneness of Nature.

The Example of the Union of Iron and Fire

St., Cyril the Great used this analogy and so did St. Dioscorus. In the case of ignited iron, we do not say that there are two natures: iron and fire, but we say iron united with fire. Similarly, we speak about the nature of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Incarnate God, and we do not say " God and man ". In the union of iron with fire, the iron is not changed into fire nor fire into iron. Both are united without mingling, confusion or alteration. Although this situation is not permanent in the case of iron, and here is the point of disagreement, but we only want to say that once iron is ignited with fire, it continues to retain all the properties of iron and all the properties of fire. Likewise, the nature of the Incarnate Logos is One Nature, having all the Divine characteristics and all the human as well.

The Example of the Union between the Soul and the Body

This example was used by St. Cyril, St. Augustine and a large number of ancient and recent theologians. In this simile, the nature of the soul unites with the physical earthly nature of the body to form a union of one nature, which is the human nature. This united nature does not include the body alone nor the soul alone but both together are combined without mixing, confusion, alteration or transmutation. No transmutation occurs of the soul into the body nor of the body into the soul, yet both become one in essence and in nature, so we say that this is one nature and one person. Hence, if we accept the idea of the unity between the soul and the body in one nature, why do we not accept the unity of the Divine and the human into one Nature ?! Here we’d like to raise an important question regarding the One Nature and the Two Natures : Do we not all admit that the nature which we call Human Natures contained before the unity two Natures: the soul and the body ? yet, those who claim that there are two natures in Christ : a divine and a human, do not mention the two natures of manhood i.e. the soul and the body but consider them one. If we go into details we would find ourselves before three natures in Christ !!! the Divinity, the soul and the body, and each of them has its distinct entity and essence ... Of course, this is unacceptable on both sides. When we accept the union of the soul and the body in one nature in Christ, and when we use the expression theologically, it becomes easier for us to use the expression " One Nature of Christ " or " One Nature of God, the Incarnate Logos ". Just as we say that the human nature is one nature consisting of two elements or natures, we can also say about the Incarnate Logos, that He is one entity of two elements or natures. If the Divine nature is claimed to differ from the human nature, how then do they unite ? The reply is that the nature of the soul is fundamentally different from the nature of the body, yet it is united with it in one nature, which is the human nature. Although man is formed of these two natures, we never say that He is two, but one person. All man’s acts are attributed to this one nature and not to the soul alone or to the body alone. Thus when we want to say that a certain individual ate, or became hungry, or slept, or felt pain, we do not say that it is his body which ate, or became hungry, or got tired or slept or felt pain. All man’s acts are attributed to him as a whole and not only to his body. Similarly, all the acts of Christ were attributed to Rim as a whole and not to His Divine nature alone ( independently ) or to His human nature alone. This was explained by Leo in the Council of Chalcedon and we shall give further explanation to this point later on, God willing. The union of the soul and body is an intrinsic real union, a Hypostatic one. So is the union of the Divine nature of Christ with the human nature in the Virgin’s womb. It is a hypostatic union, self-essential and real and not a mere connection, then separation as Nestorus claimed. Though the example of the union of the soul and body in the human nature is inclusive, still it is incomplete as it does not explain how the soul departs the body by death nor how they reunite again in the resurrection. But as for the unity of the Divine and human natures of Christ, it is an inseparable union as the Divine nature never departed the human nature for one single moment nor for a twinkle of an eye.

H.H Pope Shenouda III


Brothers, we are Christians, and we believe that Christ is fully Man and fully God. We must stop to divide us about that. There must be a new council where this formula must be adopted " One Person, Christ, fully Man and fully God, without mix, change, or confusion. " POINT. We must stop to speak about one nature or two nature, for the well-being = unity, of the Church.

Selam.
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« Reply #81 on: January 06, 2011, 09:04:30 PM »

The Henotikon has come up elsewhere.  I would say that it is fully Orthodox from an EO viewpoint. What would the OO say (I know that both EO and OO have in the past said "no," hence why where we are today).
Since the Formula of Hormisdas was formulated in response to the Henotikon decree, its text might be helpful
Quote
THE emperor Caesar Zeno, pious, victorious, triumphant, supreme, ever worshipful Augustus, to the most reverent bishops and clergy, and to the monks and laity throughout Alexandria, Egypt, Libya, and Pentapolis. Being assured that the origin and constitution, the might and invincible defence of our sovereignty is the only right and true faith, which, through divine inspiration, the three hundred holy fathers assembled at Nicaea set forth, and the hundred and fifty holy fathers, who in like manner met at Constantinople, confirmed; we night and day employ every means of prayer, of zealous pains and of laws, that the holy Catholic and apostolic church in every place may be multiplied, the uncorruptible and immortal mother of our sceptre; and that the pious laity, continuing in peace and unanimity with respect to God, may, together with the bishops, highly beloved of God, the most pious clergy, the archimandrites and monks, offer up acceptably their supplications in behalf of our sovereignty. So long as our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, who was incarnate and born of Mary, the Holy Virgin, and Mother of God, approves and readily accepts our concordant glorification and service, the power of our enemies will be crushed and swept away, and peace with its blessings, kindly temperature, abundant produce, and whatever is beneficial to man, will be liberally bestowed. Since, then, the irreprehensible faith is the preserver both of ourselves and the Roman weal, petitions have been offered to us from pious archimandrites and hermits, and other venerable persons, imploring us with tears that unity should be procured for the churches, and the limbs should be knit together, which the enemy of all good has of old time been eagerly bent upon severing, under a consciousness that defeat will befall him whenever he assails the body while in an entire condition. For since it happens, that of the unnumbered generations which during the lapse of so many years time has withdrawn from life, some have departed, deprived of the laver of regeneration, and others have been borne away on the inevitable journey of man, without having partaken in the divine communion; and innumerable murders have also been perpetrated; and not only the earth, but the very air has been defiled by a multitude of blood-sheddings; that this state of things might be transformed into good, who would not pray? For this reason, we were anxious that you should be informed, that we and the churches in every quarter neither have held, nor do we or shall we hold, nor are we aware of persons who hold, any other symbol or lesson or definition of faith or creed than the before-mentioned holy symbol of the three hundred and eighteen holy fathers, which the aforesaid hundred and fifty holy fathers confirmed; and if any person does hold such, we deem him an alien: for we are confident that this symbol alone is, as we said, the preserver of our sovereignty, and on their reception of this alone are all the people baptised when desirous of the saving illumination: which symbol all the holy fathers assembled at Ephesus also followed; who further passed sentence of deposition on the impious Nestorius and those who subsequently held his sentiments: which Nestorius we also anathematise, together with Eutyches and all who entertain opinions contrary to those above-mentioned, receiving at the same time the twelve chapters of Cyril, of holy memory, formerly archbishop of the holy Catholic church of the Alexandrians. We moreover confess, that the only begotten Son of God, himself God, who truly assumed manhood, namely, our Lord Jesus Christ, who is con-substantial with the Father in respect of the Godhead, and con-substantial with ourselves as respects the manhood; that He, having descended, and become incarnate of the Holy Spirit and Mary, the Virgin and Mother of God, is one and not two; for we affirm that both his miracles, and the sufferings which he voluntarily endured in the flesh, are those of a single person: for we do in no degree admit those who either make a division or a confusion, or introduce a phantom; inasmuch as his truly sinless incarnation from the Mother of God did not produce an addition of a son, because the Trinity continued a Trinity even when one member of the Trinity, the God Word, became incarnate. Knowing, then, that neither the holy orthodox churches of God in all parts, nor the priests, highly beloved of God, who are at their head, nor our own sovereignty, have allowed or do allow any other symbol or definition of faith than the before-mentioned holy lesson, we have united ourselves thereto without hesitation. And these things we write not as setting forth a new form of faith, but for your assurance : and every one who has held or holds any other opinion, either at the present or another time, whether at Chalcedon or in any synod whatever, we anathematise; and specially the before-mentioned Nestorius and Eutyches, and those who maintain their doctrines. Link yourselves, therefore, to the spiritual mother, the church, and in her enjoy the same communion with us, according to the aforesaid one and only definition of the faith, namely, that of the three hundred and eighteen holy fathers. For your all holy mother, the church, waits to embrace you as true children, and longs to hear your loved voice, so long withheld. Speed yourselves, therefore, for by so doing you will both draw towards yourselves the favor of our Master and Saviour and God, Jesus Christ, and be commended by our sovereignty."

When this had been read, all the Alexandrians united themselves to the holy catholic and apostolic church.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/evagrius_3_book3.htm

Quote
Thw Henoticon (“act of union”) was a document issued by the Eastern Roman Emperor Zeno in 482 in an attempt to reconcile the differences between the Chalcedon and non-Chalcedon supporters in the aftermath of the Fourth Ecumenical Council. The document was prepared by Acacius, Patriarch of Constantinople...The items that the Henoticon endorsed included:

  • the faith defined at the First and Second Ecumenical Councils;

  • the condemnations of Eutyches and Nestorius that had been issued at Chalcedon;

  • an explicit approval of the twelve anathemas of Cyril of Alexandria; and

  • avoidance of any statement whether Christ had one or two natures, in an attempt to appease both non-Chalcedonian and Chalcedonian Christians.

The document failed to satisfy either side. All church leaders took offense at the emperor's open dictate of church policy. After two years of prevarication and temporializing by Acacius, the Pope of Rome, Felix III, in 484, condemned the document and excommunicated Acacius. Acacius in turn removed the name of Pope Felix from the diptychs, effectively beginning the Acacian Schism. The excommunication was largely ignored in Constantinople, even after the death of Acacius in 489.

Zeno died in 491. His successor Anastasius I, as emperor, was sympathetic to the non-Chalcedonians, but he accepted the Henoticon. However, Anastasius was unpopular because of his Miaphysite beliefs, and Vitalian, a Chalcedonian general, attempted to overthrow him in 514, but failed. Anastasius attempted to heal the schism with Pope Hormisdas of Rome, but this failed when Anastasius refused to recognize the excommunication of the now deceased Acacius.
http://orthodoxwiki.org/Henoticon

"nor do we or shall we hold, nor are we aware of persons who hold, any other symbol or lesson or definition of faith or creed than the before-mentioned holy symbol of the three hundred and eighteen holy fathers, which the aforesaid hundred and fifty holy fathers confirmed; and if any person does hold such, we deem him an alien: for we are confident that this symbol alone is, as we said, the preserver of our sovereignty, and on their reception of this alone are all the people baptised when desirous of the saving illumination: which symbol all the holy fathers assembled at Ephesus also followed; who further passed sentence of deposition on the impious Nestorius and those who subsequently held his sentiments: which Nestorius we also anathematise, together with Eutyches and all who entertain opinions contrary to those above-mentioned, receiving at the same time the twelve chapters of Cyril, of holy memory, formerly archbishop of the holy Catholic church of the Alexandrians. We moreover confess, that the only begotten Son of God, himself God, who truly assumed manhood, namely, our Lord Jesus Christ, who is con-substantial with the Father in respect of the Godhead, and con-substantial with ourselves as respects the manhood; that He, having descended, and become incarnate of the Holy Spirit and Mary, the Virgin and Mother of God, is one and not two; for we affirm that both his miracles, and the sufferings which he voluntarily endured in the flesh, are those of a single person: for we do in no degree admit those who either make a division or a confusion, or introduce a phantom; inasmuch as his truly sinless incarnation from the Mother of God did not produce an addition of a son, because the Trinity continued a Trinity even when one member of the Trinity, the God Word, became incarnate. Knowing, then, that neither the holy orthodox churches of God in all parts, nor the priests, highly beloved of God, who are at their head, nor our own sovereignty, have allowed or do allow any other symbol or definition of faith than the before-mentioned holy lesson, we have united ourselves thereto without hesitation. And these things we write not as setting forth a new form of faith, but for your assurance : and every one who has held or holds any other opinion, either at the present or another time, whether at Chalcedon or in any synod whatever, we anathematise; and specially the before-mentioned Nestorius and Eutyches, and those who maintain their doctrines."

the boldface being somewhat determinative for both EO and OO, who agree, I believe, on them.
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« Reply #82 on: January 06, 2011, 09:25:46 PM »

The Henotikon has come up elsewhere.  I would say that it is fully Orthodox from an EO viewpoint. What would the OO say (I know that both EO and OO have in the past said "no," hence why where we are today).

The Henotikon is orthodox in doctrinal content but traitorous in spirit, for it sought to suppress or overlook the Church's confession against Chalcedon.
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« Reply #83 on: January 06, 2011, 09:26:43 PM »

Brothers, we are Christians, and we believe that Christ is fully Man and fully God. We must stop to divide us about that. There must be a new council where this formula must be adopted " One Person, Christ, fully Man and fully God, without mix, change, or confusion. " POINT. We must stop to speak about one nature or two nature, for the well-being = unity, of the Church.

The Church is united. You sound like a Branch Theorist.
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« Reply #84 on: January 06, 2011, 10:44:35 PM »

Brothers, we are Christians, and we believe that Christ is fully Man and fully God. We must stop to divide us about that. There must be a new council where this formula must be adopted " One Person, Christ, fully Man and fully God, without mix, change, or confusion. " POINT. We must stop to speak about one nature or two nature, for the well-being = unity, of the Church.

The Church is united. You sound like a Branch Theorist.

The Church is an assembly of people. The assembly which constitutes the members of what we call " the Oriental Orthodox churches " are considered to be united. We are speaking, dear, about EO and OO, not only OO or not only EO. I'm not saying that the formulas which have been enounced by the Holy Oriental Fathers were wrong ( in no way I am saying that ), but I am saying that those who wish unity between EO and OO must stop to speak about one nature or two natures, but they must speak a common language, Christ one Person fully Human and fully Divine, since this simple definition is correct in both sides.
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« Reply #85 on: January 06, 2011, 11:38:53 PM »

Brothers, we are Christians, and we believe that Christ is fully Man and fully God. We must stop to divide us about that. There must be a new council where this formula must be adopted " One Person, Christ, fully Man and fully God, without mix, change, or confusion. " POINT. We must stop to speak about one nature or two nature, for the well-being = unity, of the Church.

The Church is united. You sound like a Branch Theorist.

The Church is an assembly of people. The assembly which constitutes the members of what we call " the Oriental Orthodox churches " are considered to be united. We are speaking, dear, about EO and OO, not only OO or not only EO. I'm not saying that the formulas which have been enounced by the Holy Oriental Fathers were wrong ( in no way I am saying that ), but I am saying that those who wish unity between EO and OO must stop to speak about one nature or two natures, but they must speak a common language, Christ one Person fully Human and fully Divine, since this simple definition is correct in both sides.

If you are saying that the Church needs to be united, and by "the Church" you are speaking of both the EO and OO, then that is Branch Theory, which is heresy.
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« Reply #86 on: January 07, 2011, 11:48:55 AM »

That's rubbish frankly.

Church history even before Chalcedon, and after is full of incidents of the Church being divided due to various controversies and then resolving these and overcoming the disunity. At no time were these divisions resolved by one side insisting the other was not the Church and requiring submission.

What you describe, quite often, is just not based on history, it is based on your own personal perspective as someone trying to find an ultra-True jurisdicition rather than the ones that actually make up the Church.

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« Reply #87 on: January 20, 2011, 05:59:35 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Many years ago, His Holiness Vazken I came to Los Angeles and, among other things, engaged in an ecumenical service at a Greek Orthodox Church. 

There have been many many dialogues and discussions between the various jurisdictions and regions of Orthodox, and we are all coming to a serious consensus that essentially we are all saying the same things in different ways, however this continues to divide us as it has, albeit much less vitriolic and vociferously as in times in the past.  It has already been correctly asserted here that the history, the psychology, and the logistics are what currently keep up divided formally, as it is very hard to reconcile some of these dichtomies compared to the relatively minor theological differences of interpretation.  The Synaxarium, the Divine Liturgy, the Calendar, the Lexicon, the Canons, even the Bible is different and hard to reconcile.  I think the best we could hope for is the kind of regional agreements and mutuality that the Oriental Orthodox share and yet also allow for the inherent diversity of these churches.  The Coptic Church and the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church have many many similarities, and yet many many key differences, and we are in full communion, and respect our mutual differences.  This is the best we can hope for in the future between the Orthodox, the Eastern Orthodox and the Oriental Orthodox, once we sort out the theological matters.

That's extremely dangerous ground there. The infallibility of ALL Seven Ecumenical Councils is one of the bedrocks of our faith. Putting ourselves, as Eastern Orthodox, in the position of denying one of the fundamental tenants of our faith in order to speed the process of reunion is ecumenism of the worst kind.

That is simply not true and is merely splitting hairs.  There are many jurisdictions who reject many so-called Ecumenical Councils, and as such we can largely assume that aside from the First Three, the rest are more local than universal, because the definition of universal is unopposed, and if there is even remote opposition than it can hardly be claimed as universal.  Further, some of the East don't even embrace all Three!  We should not then be divided over these Canons and Councils..

The reasons for this are not only doctrinal, but also historical and psychological, as it's really hard to accept a council in the name of which your ancestors were persecuted, slaughtered, etc.

Then there is the issue of saints.  Both sides have condemned saints venerated by the other.  I don't think that is as formidable a barrier as the councils, but it is still sticky.  This was discussed in this other thread:


There are other issues having to do with liturgical practice.  The EO's tend to be more uniform in their liturgical practices, while the OO's allow more diversity.  I don't see this as being as big an issue as the others, but it's still something to deal with.

There are other issues that are more administrative in nature, like the way the EO's rank their patriarchs, etc.  Again, these issues are not as big, but they are there to be dealt with.

So, while I believe that in a spiritual sense we are really one Church, there's a lot to be overcome before that becomes more of a concrete reality.

Excellent points, especially in the cultural/historical emphasis and difference of Saints/Synaxarium issues. Again though, I think that if the Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox learn to embrace each others differences of articulation of the Faith while retaining full and open communion in the same manner that the Coptic Church, the EOTC, the Syrian Church and other Oriental Orthodox mutually commune and yet retain distinctive differences in regards to structure, logistics, liturgy, calendar, etc etc.  If these differing Oriental sisters can get along, surely we ALL can get along so long as that is our earnest and heartfelt desire in God.  Honestly though, I think some folks like to be divided, it is a status symbol and a validating identifier to say "I am part of THEE Church" in opposition to others.



I think this sense of legalism, this claim to a monopoly of God and His Truth, this sense of arrogance which lays claim to knowing, in an almost absolute sense, the workings of God,  was the very problem with the Pharisees, and I cannot help but think that many Orthodox (EO and OO) will be judged side by side with the Pharisees for applying the same mindset in opposition to God's will (simply in different historical stages of God's redemptive plan for mankind.)

^^ Amen Amen, the true spirit of humility has been lost in a lot of this Orthodox chauvinism which is quite prevalent, especially in the more ethnic oriented jurisdictions in the East and Orient where nationalism and cultural pride have intertwined themselves with Church identity, in the exact same way the Pharisees saw their own Jewishness.  We indeed will have to give an account for this unseemly behavior..

It funny was being biased does I was blindly seeing how the miaphysite view can be confused with the monophysite view but I never saw how the EO's view of the diaphysite seems like the Nestorian heresy reworded thanks everyone for the great input.

Exactly! This is the precise benefit of interjurisdictional dialogue and discussions.  Many of us do not understand each other and have many mutual misconceptions which can only be addressed through transparent and friendly dialogue.  Further, many do not even understand their own theology with out examining the differing arguments.  How can a miaphysite fully understand the concept of the Unity of the Natures without examining those who profess a kind of distinction or the potential there of? This is why we are all mutually building straw man fallacies about each other's respective positions, but the past 40 years in particular of dialogue have been quite productive, maybe the most since the 8th century!

I read that in an EO church council, they decided that one could either have St Cyril's miaphysitism, or the diversities(I forget the word) that many EOs had/have.

So either view might be technically acceptable in EO.

Is miaphysitism a mandatory belief in the OO church?
Yes, it is obligatory that Oriental Orthodox Christians embrace the concept of the One, Unified Incarnate Nature of Christ as professed by Saint Cyril, which teaches in the trueness of the One Nature of Christ, being a divine composite of perfect divinity and perfect humanity without distinction, but we in OO find it bitterly hard to use the words "two" in reference to the Nature(s) of Christ, because after the Union in the Incarnation we simply can not speak of such things as being so. 

St. Cyril's "one nature" is the same as "one hypostasis" as said at Chalcedon, so to say there is a choice between them is to misunderstand them.  "Mia physis", as understood by St. Cyril, is mandatory in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Not necessarily, in the Ethiopia Orthodox Tewahedo Church our indigenous Christology uses the Ge'ez language terms which are quite clear.  Hypostasis is understood in Ge'ez not as being synonymous with Nature, rather exclusively with Person.  In the EOTC translations of Cyrilian literature and texts, this distinction is made quite apparent and simplifies our own Ethiopian perspective, which states that Jesus Christ has only one True Nature from One True Person.  This Nature is twofold but perfectly united, and so we can only speak of it in Ge'ez as being one, because in Ge'ez language for there to be a Nature there MUST be a corresponding Person, there can be no abstract Nature without a manifested form in a Person.  So in Ge'ez theology, for Jesus Christ to be considered to be Two in nature, He would have to also be Two in Persons, and this is Nestorianism which Ethiopians categorically reject for centuries.  We easily believe in One incarnate Nature of Christ because of our specific theological language.  We, for technical reasons translate to others our Faith as being Jesus Christ, Two Natures FROM One Person (as opposed to 'in one person which implies the opportunity for division, if two people are IN a place, they can be separate, whereas if two people are FROM one place, it inherently implies a kind of unity, where they are from is what unites them as one, as say two people are FROM America and so are Americans, where as two people who are IN America may very well not be Americans at all, but just so happen to be together IN the same place) but our own indigenous languages do not in any suggest this, rather without any misconception the EOTC embraces the One Nature of Jesus Christ, a Miaphysite Union of Humanity and Divinity so perfectly indistinguishable that we can simply no longer speak of "two".



The humanity of Christ never ceases to be what it is, even when the Word of God becomes incarnate without ceasing to be what He ever was and is. Yet He is one incarnate nature, not because there is a confusion of humanity and Divinity, or because the humanity is swallowed up in the Divinity. God forbid. But because even after the incarnation there is one nature, one identity, one subject. It was the Word of God who died on the cross. There were those at Chalcedon and those who accepted it who could not say such a thing.


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Which is precisely what the good Father Peter has already so succinctly mentioned Smiley

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« Reply #88 on: January 20, 2011, 08:05:08 PM »

That is simply not true and is merely splitting hairs.  There are many jurisdictions who reject many so-called Ecumenical Councils, and as such we can largely assume that aside from the First Three, the rest are more local than universal, because the definition of universal is unopposed, and if there is even remote opposition than it can hardly be claimed as universal.  Further, some of the East don't even embrace all Three!  We should not then be divided over these Canons and Councils
Not that simple.
You are correct, in that the Nestorians (or Assyrian, ACOE, COE, whatever: all espouse dogma on the side of Nestorius versus Pope St. Cyril) oppose Ephesus, while all Orthodox accept it.  The Fathers "divided" over Ephesus, and rightfully so.  We should then be divided over the Canons and Council of Ephesus, which defined the Orthodox Faith.

Rejecting an Ecumenical Council or pseudo-ecumenical council is not a jurisdictional issue, but a dogmatic one.

Constantinople I was the most local of all Councils of the Church, whereas Chalcedon (the one we are divided on)  was the most universal, in terms of representation, number of bishops, etc..

You otherwise see the importance of agreement on Councils, i.e. agreeing with the EO on Ephesus, and disagreeing with the Nestorians.

I read that in an EO church council, they decided that one could either have St Cyril's miaphysitism, or the diversities(I forget the word) that many EOs had/have.

So either view might be technically acceptable in EO.

Is miaphysitism a mandatory belief in the OO church?
Yes, it is obligatory that Oriental Orthodox Christians embrace the concept of the One, Unified Incarnate Nature of Christ as professed by Saint Cyril, which teaches in the trueness of the One Nature of Christ, being a divine composite of perfect divinity and perfect humanity without distinction, but we in OO find it bitterly hard to use the words "two" in reference to the Nature(s) of Christ, because after the Union in the Incarnation we simply can not speak of such things as being so.  

St. Cyril's "one nature" is the same as "one hypostasis" as said at Chalcedon, so to say there is a choice between them is to misunderstand them.  "Mia physis", as understood by St. Cyril, is mandatory in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Not necessarily, in the Ethiopia Orthodox Tewahedo Church our indigenous Christology uses the Ge'ez language terms which are quite clear.  Hypostasis is understood in Ge'ez not as being synonymous with Nature, rather exclusively with Person.  In the EOTC translations of Cyrilian literature and texts, this distinction is made quite apparent and simplifies our own Ethiopian perspective, which states that Jesus Christ has only one True Nature from One True Person.  This Nature is twofold but perfectly united, and so we can only speak of it in Ge'ez as being one, because in Ge'ez language for there to be a Nature there MUST be a corresponding Person, there can be no abstract Nature without a manifested form in a Person.  So in Ge'ez theology, for Jesus Christ to be considered to be Two in nature, He would have to also be Two in Persons, and this is Nestorianism which Ethiopians categorically reject for centuries.  We easily believe in One incarnate Nature of Christ because of our specific theological language.  We, for technical reasons translate to others our Faith as being Jesus Christ, Two Natures FROM One Person (as opposed to 'in one person which implies the opportunity for division, if two people are IN a place, they can be separate, whereas if two people are FROM one place, it inherently implies a kind of unity, where they are from is what unites them as one, as say two people are FROM America and so are Americans, where as two people who are IN America may very well not be Americans at all, but just so happen to be together IN the same place) but our own indigenous languages do not in any suggest this, rather without any misconception the EOTC embraces the One Nature of Jesus Christ, a Miaphysite Union of Humanity and Divinity so perfectly indistinguishable that we can simply no longer speak of "two".
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« Reply #89 on: January 20, 2011, 09:34:21 PM »

whereas Chalcedon (the one we are divided on)  was the most universal, in terms of representation, number of bishops, etc..

I don't know about that. Chalcedon was not ratified by any Bishop from the Patriarchate of Alexandria of that time. It may have had many Bishops, but I don't know that it's true that it had the broadest representation and acceptance.
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« Reply #90 on: January 21, 2011, 01:55:56 AM »

whereas Chalcedon (the one we are divided on)  was the most universal, in terms of representation, number of bishops, etc..

I don't know about that. Chalcedon was not ratified by any Bishop from the Patriarchate of Alexandria of that time.

Pope DIoscorus' successor Pope St. Proterius approved it.  And thus according to the custom of Egypt, as the Egyptian bishops pointed out, so did the Holy Synod of All Egypt.


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It may have had many Bishops, but I don't know that it's true that it had the broadest representation and acceptance.
450+, with bishops from the West, and all over the East, even from the Arabs and Ethiopia.
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« Reply #91 on: January 21, 2011, 02:41:48 AM »

Isa,
You know that the OO's consider St. Timothy Aelurus to be the true successor to St. Dioscoros.  Of course it's perfectly fine for you to uphold what your Church teaches on the matter, but I would hate to think you were inviting a polemical discussion about Chalcedon.  That being said, I would like to proactively warn you, Deusveritasest, and anyone else who may be thinking of polemics to take it to the private forum.

I also want to ask everyone to read again the warning I made a few months ago:




Another polemical post, this time by a different poster, was moved to the private forum:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,30930.0.html

Everyone,

I'd like to keep this on topic.  If you read the original post, it asks whether unity will happen in the lifetime of a 17 year old, and whether the OO's venerate icons.  

It is also permissible to address Rakovsky's question at the top of this page ("Is miaphysitism a mandatory belief in the OO church?") since that was what brought this thread up again.  

I'd like to have this thread narrowly address these issues and not go off on tangents about what happened at Chalcedon, etc.

Thanks.

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« Reply #92 on: July 10, 2011, 01:54:48 AM »

Quote
The reasons for this are not only doctrinal, but also historical and psychological, as it's really hard to accept a council in the name of which your ancestors were persecuted, slaughtered, etc.

I would definitely put more weight on the historical issues.

In my opinion, I think many people have unwittingly developed a rather innovative conception of an "Ecumenical Council" which insists on dogmatising the formalities and historical incidents associated with it. It's almost as if some would regard every cough and sneeze at a Council believed to be Ecumenical to be something absolutely God-inspired and hence not capable of being questioned.

Each side can insist that every historical movement and decision of their Communion in response to the incidents in question was made with the absolute authority of God, as if each Communion's Fathers were stripped of their human autonomy and possessed by God to say and do everything that was said and done. Or...we can take off those rosy coloured lenses and face the reality that God does not operate through His Church in such a mechanical and simplistic manner (as much as we may wish that He does). PeterTheAleut's signature is pertinent in this regard: "Truth is often in the paradox."

I think this sense of legalism, this claim to a monopoly of God and His Truth, this sense of arrogance which lays claim to knowing, in an almost absolute sense, the workings of God,  was the very problem with the Pharisees, and I cannot help but think that many Orthodox (EO and OO) will be judged side by side with the Pharisees for applying the same mindset in opposition to God's will (simply in different historical stages of God's redemptive plan for mankind.)
I agree, especially with the part I highlighted. To say that every aspect of an ecumenical council is incapable of making a mistake is in a sense a "docetic ecclesiology". The Church, like Christ, is a divine-human organism. She is in communion with Christ in his Holy Spirit, yet at the same time, she is led by human men who are capable of error. It seems as if many EOs (not that I'm picking fights) forget this.
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« Reply #93 on: September 27, 2011, 01:07:28 PM »

Is this the root of the difference?

1.A. Apparently, the Eastern Orthodox Church believes Christ has two natures, and that the two natures remain two natures even after they are united in the person of Christ.

1.B. The Eastern Orthodox Church also either allows or accepts Miaphysitism, which says he has one nature after the union of the two natures.

2.A. I read in George Florovsky's "The Reaction in Jerusalem" that the OO leader Dioscorus defended himself at Chalcedon by saying that Dioscorus' "Robber Council" of Ephesus “Flavian was rightly condemned because he stillmaintained two natures after the union. I can prove from Athanasius,Gregory, and Cyril that after the union we ought rather to speak only of oneincarnate nature of the Logos."

2.B. The Oriental Orthodox Church adheres to Miaphysitism, which says he has one nature after the union of the two natures.

Does the Oriental Orthodox Church allow for the idea that Christ still has two natures after they are united in Christ's person?



To illustrate how I picture the EO view:

Coffee mixed with honey has both coffee and honey. Perhaps you can call it "Honey Coffee". It is both sweet and energizing. Perhaps you can call it "sweetly energizing".


In other words, the EOs say it's "Coffee" and "Honey" and it's "Honey Coffee", and Dioscorus (and thus the OOs) respond by saying: "No, you cannot say it is still Coffee and Honey after they are united in the same glass!"
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« Reply #94 on: September 27, 2011, 01:41:40 PM »

I think you are presenting the EO view after Constantinople II, not that which was presented at Chalcedon. I don't think that your view is that of Chalcedon on its own, but of Chalcedon as modified by Constantinople II.

If you mean do OO believe that the humanity remains humanity after the incarnation then absolutely yes. This has always been the case. The humanity and divinity of the Word retain their integrity but are not divided or counted separately.

The mixture of two material substances is not a good analogy for the incarnation. The one which the Fathers more often use is that of fire and iron.

I am not sure that a more detailed discussion of Chalcedon is permitted in this forum? Salpy?
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« Reply #95 on: September 27, 2011, 02:51:59 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



The mixture of two material substances is not a good analogy for the incarnation. The one which the Fathers more often use is that of fire and iron.


Amen.  Even the Indian theologians use this same analogy to explain theosis by proxy.  The Divine Nature is inaccessible to our mortality, as Its Self-Existing, whereas we depend upon It for our existence.  The Indians, like the Cyrillian fathers, use the analogy of the ignited iron to explain how, while the Divine is beyond the physicality of our own material substance, we can be directly affected by the Divine and experience It just as the material Iron is heated by the Flame, which is itself immaterial.  The Heat is not necessarily a substance of its own which unites through subsistence with the Iron, rather the atoms of the Iron are excited by the force of the Heat, and the Iron ignites.  The Heat remains unaffected (in this model, we know in science that heat is a force which dissipates over time, whereas the Divine is unchangeable) by its contact with the Iron, only the Iron is changed to become like the Heat, that is to say, hot.  But the Iron will not or ever can it remain hot by itself, it must be in contact with the heat source, with the Flame, to share its principles of heat.  We are not changed into Divine when we experience God, but we are deified in the same sense that the iron is heated without itself necessarily becoming the Flame.

Is this the root of the difference?

1.A. Apparently, the Eastern Orthodox Church believes Christ has two natures, and that the two natures remain two natures even after they are united in the person of Christ.

1.B. The Eastern Orthodox Church also either allows or accepts Miaphysitism, which says he has one nature after the union of the two natures.

2.A. I read in George Florovsky's "The Reaction in Jerusalem" that the OO leader Dioscorus defended himself at Chalcedon by saying that Dioscorus' "Robber Council" of Ephesus “Flavian was rightly condemned because he stillmaintained two natures after the union. I can prove from Athanasius,Gregory, and Cyril that after the union we ought rather to speak only of oneincarnate nature of the Logos."

2.B. The Oriental Orthodox Church adheres to Miaphysitism, which says he has one nature after the union of the two natures.

Does the Oriental Orthodox Church allow for the idea that Christ still has two natures after they are united in Christ's person?



To illustrate how I picture the EO view:


Well, if it were only as simplistic as your concise synopsis explains, unfortunately there are more complex, sociopolitical, theological, historical, and linguistic factors which muddy up such clear thinking between the jurisdictions.  I would say that it is incorrect however to say that the EO "either allows or accepts Miaphysitism" because if such were the case, then anathemas aside we would be in reunion.

Oriental Miaphysitism in theological practice seems to be different than EO interpretations, especially in the context of post-Palamas EO theology, and these are where misunderstandings continue between us regarding our mutual differences.  Further, we only speak of "two" conceptually, not in practice.  We in OO think of Christ as existing in One (mia) Nature, One (mia) Person, having One (mia) Will and Operation.  We only think about His humanity to try to understand some of the human things He performs as the Son of Man, and yet we fully adhere to the Union, which abolishes "two" and exists as "one" which has been the crux of the debate for all these centuries.
This of course, fully agrees with Chalcedon II
Quote
 but does not consider the difference of those natures, of which he is composed, to be only in the onlooker's mind, a difference which is not compromised by the union (for he is one from both and the two exist through the one) but uses the plurality to suggest that each nature is possessed separately and has a subsistence of its own: let him be anathema.

and yet, this Council contradicts itself in next anathema which was drafter confusingly just to spite the Orientals and in the process conflicts with the above quote which speaks of the difference as "only being in the onlooker's mind"

Quote
If anyone confesses a belief that a union has been made out of the two natures divinity and humanity, or speaks about the one nature of God the Word made flesh, but does not understand these things according to what the fathers have taught, namely that from the divine and human natures a union was made according to subsistence, and that one Christ was formed, and from these expressions tries to introduce one nature or substance made of the deity and human flesh of Christ: let him be anathema.

We disagree with this because the illustrious Christological Father, Saint Cyril, explicitly states in his formula of the "One Incarnate Nature of God the Word."  The crux of the Oriental debate is that we confess "one (mia) nature" and "one person" but we still conceive of the natural Union and the inherent preservation of the faculties of both humanity and Divinity, however in the ontological sense (i.e., concrete reality of the hypostatic Union) there can only be said to be One, whether Person or Nature, because the Subsistence/Hypostasis/Person/Body is mutually interdependent  upon the underlying Nature, be it the complexity of Jesus Christ or the simplicity of an inanimate object like a chair, nature and person must coincide as one, naturally and essentially.  If there is a separate nature, the hypostatic manifestation is subsequently affected.  This is why our OO fathers accuse Chalcedon of Nestorianism, because they explain that there can only actually be one inherent nature  of any given Hypostatic form, and that two natures would subsequently have to necessarily exist in two separate Hypostases.  We do not abolish or absorb or confuse any of the faculties of the humanity and divinity, however can by our theological language only confess Christ as One Nature, One Person, One Will and Operation, after the duality was abolished in the Union of the Incarnation.
 
 However, as even the Chalcedon II canon suggests, we in OO theological thinking, still on our mind's eye think of the two Natures in distinction, just not function.  We believe these function in the synergy of the Union, but still in dialogue we have been less antagonistic in our rhetoric, and even accept the terms "two" in discussion.  Getting OO to even concede to use the term "two" has been a miracle of ecumenism enough on its own, I would argue that the ball has been in the EO's court for some time now, and since the 1950s the OO have continued to lead the way in dialogue towards reunion.  I pray for the full unity of the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church, to be one as our Lord Jesus Christ is One.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #96 on: September 27, 2011, 05:52:07 PM »

I personally do not support any reunion. I will not accept Leo's Tome nor Leo I, who supported Theodoret a heretic thereby making Leo a heretic. I think they should admit that in the 4th council they rejected our definition, which is clearly the definition of St. Cyril in the 3rd council, and that they were wrong in doing so. They should accept St. Dioscorus as a saint and denounce Leo I as a heretic, who also started the papal primacy which is probably why he sought to oust the church in Alexandria.
LOL. laugh It's refreshing to see that such radical prerequisites for reunion are FINALLY coming from the other side. Smiley

I do not think our Hierarchs would not require the Byzantines to canonize the Saint Dioscorus (though I would LOVE to see a Byzantine icon of him Grin).

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« Reply #97 on: September 27, 2011, 05:53:26 PM »

I do not think our Hierarchs would not require the Byzantines to canonize the Saint Dioscorus (though I would LOVE to see a Byzantine icon of him Grin).


Would he be attacking Flavian like the Nicholas/Arius icon?
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« Reply #98 on: September 27, 2011, 05:56:14 PM »

I do not think our Hierarchs would not require the Byzantines to canonize the Saint Dioscorus (though I would LOVE to see a Byzantine icon of him Grin).


Would he be attacking Flavian like the Nicholas/Arius icon?
Didn't you JUST say that you don't believe that he didn't beat Patr. Flavian?  Huh

Or are you referring to this disaster of a thread?
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,37821.msg599276.html#msg599276
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« Reply #99 on: September 27, 2011, 06:18:09 PM »

I do not think our Hierarchs would not require the Byzantines to canonize the Saint Dioscorus (though I would LOVE to see a Byzantine icon of him Grin).


Would he be attacking Flavian like the Nicholas/Arius icon?
Didn't you JUST say that you don't believe that he didn't beat Patr. Flavian?  Huh



And St. Nicholas may have never slapped Arius. It's a later tale.
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« Reply #100 on: September 27, 2011, 06:56:08 PM »

^I see then, thanks. Smiley
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« Reply #101 on: September 27, 2011, 07:10:31 PM »

To illustrate how I picture the EO view:

Coffee mixed with honey has both coffee and honey. Perhaps you can call it "Honey Coffee". It is both sweet and energizing. Perhaps you can call it "sweetly energizing".


In other words, the EOs say it's "Coffee" and "Honey" and it's "Honey Coffee", and Dioscorus (and thus the OOs) respond by saying: "No, you cannot say it is still Coffee and Honey after they are united in the same glass!"
Firstly (and I don't mean to be rude as I say this), the analogy you are using is a very bad way of describing the union of the Divine and human natures in Christ. Honey and coffee lose their distinction when they unite in the same glass. The Divine and human natures did NOT lose their distinctive characteristics when they united in the one hypostasis. Neither I, nor the EOs nor Saint Dioscorus ever believed this.

Secondly, when Saint Dioscorus rejected "two natures after the union" he rejected the notions of two hypostases/centers of action in the Incarnate Christ. He always acknowledged the difference of Christ's natures when it came to composition. In fact, he was the first Bishop at Chalcedon to say that the two natures united "unchangeably, immutably, inseparably, and indivisibly". He also accepted the formula "from two natures after the union". Had he truly been a "mixer" of the two natures of Christ he would not have affirmed the Cyrilline formula "from two natures", it would be superfluous and pointless had he truly been a Synousiast. From the time of Saint Dioscorus up to now the OOs have always believed that one can distinguish between the two natures from which Christ subsists through subtle contemplation. Saint Dioscorus says "Our Lord Jesus Christ is one. He who was invited to the wedding of Cana as man changed the water into wine as God, and his TWO NATURES are not divided in all of his works". He thus affirms the reality, distinction, and completion of the Divinity and humanity in Christ after the hypostatic union. He also says "God the Logos, consubstantial with the Father, at the end of the ages for our redemption became consubstantial with man in the flesh, remaining what he was before".
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« Reply #102 on: September 27, 2011, 07:31:53 PM »

We should have a forum-wide ban on comparing Christ or the Trinity to drinks of any sort.
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« Reply #103 on: September 27, 2011, 07:43:38 PM »

We should have a forum-wide ban on comparing Christ or the Trinity to drinks of any sort.
LOL. Yeah. laugh

But I'm sure Rakovsky only meant well.
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« Reply #104 on: September 27, 2011, 09:27:19 PM »

I think you are presenting the EO view after Constantinople II, not that which was presented at Chalcedon. I don't think that your view is that of Chalcedon on its own, but of Chalcedon as modified by Constantinople II.

If you mean do OO believe that the humanity remains humanity after the incarnation then absolutely yes. This has always been the case. The humanity and divinity of the Word retain their integrity but are not divided or counted separately.

The mixture of two material substances is not a good analogy for the incarnation. The one which the Fathers more often use is that of fire and iron.

I am not sure that a more detailed discussion of Chalcedon is permitted in this forum? Salpy?



Thank you for bringing this up, Father.

I want to remind everyone that I had earlier requested that people keep this thread narrowly on topic:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12549.msg487649.html#msg487649

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« Reply #105 on: September 28, 2011, 02:08:27 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

We should have a forum-wide ban on comparing Christ or the Trinity to drinks of any sort.

ahem..

Wink

Severian, nothing to add or subtract from my Constantinople II Christological criticisms? You're like our OO Christology expert, I would love your input.


stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #106 on: September 28, 2011, 02:18:36 PM »


We should have a forum-wide ban on comparing Christ or the Trinity to drinks of any sort.

ahem..
Cheesy

But that's not a comparison, it's an identification!
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« Reply #107 on: September 28, 2011, 08:03:24 PM »

Severian, nothing to add or subtract from my Constantinople II Christological criticisms? You're like our OO Christology expert, I would love your input.
Thank you very much, you are too kind! Smiley Sure, I suppose I could give you an input, but probably tomorrow as I have a lot of studying to do.

--Severian
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« Reply #108 on: September 28, 2011, 08:44:34 PM »

I'm asking again that people review my request made in reply 73.
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« Reply #109 on: September 28, 2011, 09:05:02 PM »

I'm asking again that people review my request made in reply 73.
I am sorry if I have violated your request here, Salpy. Forgive me, that was not my intention.

I suppose that if anyone wishes to speak with me regarding this feel free to PM me or join me at the private fora. I will be happy to discuss these issues with you in detail.
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« Reply #110 on: September 28, 2011, 09:18:03 PM »

Thanks.   Smiley
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« Reply #111 on: September 29, 2011, 01:59:25 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I'm asking again that people review my request made in reply 73.

Amen.  If I am violating this request please forgive me, I thought that we could discuss the different interpretations of Chalcedon and Constantinople II Christology to put both the OO and EO perspectives in context.  For example, in my response I mentioned both the aspects of Constantinople II which the OO could agree with and which we disagree with the EO, which I would argue are rightfully on topic with the OP of "OO and EO differences" and the differing interpretations and acceptance of the post-Ephesus Councils is very much a hurdle for the OO to reunify, so I feel that clarifying the OO perspective regarding both Chalcedon and Constantinople II helps the EO understand more exactly what these hurdles are, and surely can have this discussion without inherently getting polemic about it Smiley

stay blessed,
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« Reply #112 on: September 29, 2011, 06:10:31 PM »

Severian,

Thank you for your response.

My main question was whether the key difference is that: although EOs and OOs accept or allow for Miaphysitism (one nature after the union), and EOs believe in two natures after the union (Chalcedon's decision), do OOs dogmatically reject the continuance of two natures after the unity?

Dioscorus said:
Quote
after the union we ought rather to speak only of one incarnate nature of the Logos.

You responded:
when Saint Dioscorus rejected "two natures after the union" he rejected the notions of two hypostases/centers of action in the Incarnate Christ.
So it sounds like you mean Dioscorus wasn't rejected two natures in the sense that the EOs used it- two "physia", I think?

But this is confusing it seems like the EOs were saying two natures, and then Dioscorus said "No, not two natures", as if contradicting them. I assume the conversation would have been in Greek because they were physically present at the meeting, so the contradiction must have been decisive.

Plus, EOs also reject two hypostases of Christ, which they interpret as "persons", and instead say He has only one person.

I assume that Dioscorus and the EOs' face-to-face disagreement over "natures" wasn't over the number of hypostases, on which they agreed.


Saint Dioscorus says "Our Lord Jesus Christ is one. He who was invited to the wedding of Cana as man changed the water into wine as God, and his TWO NATURES are not divided in all of his works". He thus affirms the reality, distinction, and completion of the Divinity and humanity in Christ after the hypostatic union. He also says "God the Logos, consubstantial with the Father, at the end of the ages for our redemption became consubstantial with man in the flesh, remaining what he was before".

Yes, now I am more confused, because Dioscorus says "his TWO NATURES are not divided in all of his works", as if they still are two natures after the union occurred at Christ's birth. Maybe he means the natures, which became united into one nature at Christ's birth, are not divided in Christs's works?


So here it seems like your focus is on what Dioscorus meant when he announced in disagreement: "after the union we ought rather to speak only of one incarnate nature of the Logos."

Your explanation is that Dioscorus was talking about hypostases when he said "natures" (meanwhile EOs translate hypostasis as "person"). But if that was the case, it wouldn't have been such a big bone of contention, because the EOs agreed there was only one hypostasis, and they were talking in the same Greek language.
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« Reply #113 on: September 29, 2011, 06:14:00 PM »

^Rakovsky, I will respond to you via PMs because Salpy wants to keep this thread on a focused track. She would prefer if we didn't discuss Chalcedon and related issues in detail.
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« Reply #114 on: September 29, 2011, 06:18:28 PM »

^Rakovsky, I will respond to you via PMs because Salpy wants to keep this thread on a focused track. She would prefer if we didn't discuss Chalcedon and related issues in detail.

Yes, I understand. Can you please post it on a private thread, though? It's so confusing, and I understand the discussion best when several people try to explain it simply and in different ways.


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« Reply #115 on: September 29, 2011, 06:21:25 PM »

^Rakovsky, I will respond to you via PMs because Salpy wants to keep this thread on a focused track. She would prefer if we didn't discuss Chalcedon and related issues in detail.

Yes, I understand. Can you please post it on a private thread, though? It's so confusing, and I understand the discussion best when several people try to explain it simply and in different ways.
We are having a thread in the free-for-all section called "Latins accept Chalcedon for the same reasons OO's reject it?" It is a free-for-all thread so we can (AFAIK) get polemical and detailed if we want and at the same time we can enjoy the valuable contributions of Fr. Peter and others who do not have access to the private fora, let me check.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,39929.0.html
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« Reply #116 on: September 29, 2011, 06:22:46 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

We should have a forum-wide ban on comparing Christ or the Trinity to drinks of any sort.

ahem..

Wink
stay blessed,
habte selassie

Nice save!
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« Reply #117 on: September 29, 2011, 09:59:35 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I'm asking again that people review my request made in reply 73.

Amen.  If I am violating this request please forgive me, I thought that we could discuss the different interpretations of Chalcedon and Constantinople II Christology to put both the OO and EO perspectives in context.  For example, in my response I mentioned both the aspects of Constantinople II which the OO could agree with and which we disagree with the EO, which I would argue are rightfully on topic with the OP of "OO and EO differences" and the differing interpretations and acceptance of the post-Ephesus Councils is very much a hurdle for the OO to reunify, so I feel that clarifying the OO perspective regarding both Chalcedon and Constantinople II helps the EO understand more exactly what these hurdles are, and surely can have this discussion without inherently getting polemic about it Smiley

stay blessed,
habte selassie

If you can keep it within the parameters I set, that would be fine.   Smiley
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« Reply #118 on: September 30, 2011, 03:26:44 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



My main question was whether the key difference is that: although EOs and OOs accept or allow for Miaphysitism (one nature after the union), and EOs believe in two natures after the union (Chalcedon's decision), do OOs dogmatically reject the continuance of two natures after the unity?

Dioscorus said:
Quote
after the union we ought rather to speak only of one incarnate nature of the Logos.


So it sounds like you mean Dioscorus wasn't rejected two natures in the sense that the EOs used it- two "physia", I think?

But this is confusing it seems like the EOs were saying two natures, and then Dioscorus said "No, not two natures", as if contradicting them.

Yes, now I am more confused, because Dioscorus says "his TWO NATURES are not divided in all of his works", as if they still are two natures after the union occurred at Christ's birth. Maybe he means the natures, which became united into one nature at Christ's birth, are not divided in Christs's works?


So here it seems like your focus is on what Dioscorus meant when he announced in disagreement: "after the union we ought rather to speak only of one incarnate nature of the Logos."

Your explanation is that Dioscorus was talking about hypostases when he said "natures" (meanwhile EOs translate hypostasis as "person"). But if that was the case, it wouldn't have been such a big bone of contention, because the EOs agreed there was only one hypostasis, and they were talking in the same Greek language.

You are on the right track, the bone of contention is how the differing fathers, Byzantine and Oriental, interpreted the Greek terms.  When St Dioscoros reiterates the Cyrillian formula, he is speaking of One Incarnate Nature (i.e., Miaphysis) after the Union.  This is our OO dogma and doctrine, that after the Incarnation there is only One nature (mia), composite of Human and Divine, without confusion or separation.  It is a unique Nature of Christ alone, being both Human and Divine at the same time and therefore naturally and essentially maintaining faculties of both.  Both the EO and the OO agree with this, but the EO insist in their languages "In Two Natures" rather than the Cyrillian and OO "From Two Natures" and the "In" leaves open the suggestion for the potential of a plurality where as the "from" implies the fullness of the Union.  The explanation as to how the OO interprets the Unity of the One Nature, both human and divine, actually agrees with Constantinople II as I quoted above and again here.
 
Quote
but does not consider the difference of those natures, of which he is composed, to be only in the onlooker's mind, a difference which is not compromised by the union (for he is one from both and the two exist through the one) but uses the plurality to suggest that each nature is possessed separately and has a subsistence of its own: let him be anathema

In the OO, we only conceive of "two" in our minds, we rarely concede to use such in our language, rather we speak of One composite Nature, both human and divine, and the  distinctions only exist "in the onlooker's mind" as "the two exist through the one."  We in the OO honestly do not understand sometimes why the EO insists on the language of two, even when seemingly we agree face to face, but in writing we find these discrepancies.  As I quoted above, even the Constantinople II Council decided to specifically target the OO, Cyrillian and Dioscorosan language of "One Nature after the Union" and we in the OO have always been baffled by this, and unfortunately many of our fathers couldn't help but take it personally, which I think fuels the divisions more so than the theology.

The EO use "physis" on its own, to describe a nature by itself, almost in the abstract, where as the Orientals have generally interpreted this term as being integrally related to hypostasis, and so we only speak of One (mia) Nature to be extremely careful never to suggest in our language and interpretations the potential for plurality.  Both of us, EO and OO, realistically seem to agree in most regards, however the devil has always been in the details.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #119 on: September 30, 2011, 04:03:01 PM »

HabteSelassie wrote:
Quote
the "In" leaves open the suggestion for the potential of a plurality where as the "from" implies the fullness of the Union.

But on the other hand, does not "from" leave open the suggestion that the human nature existed apart/before the Incarnation and that there is a mixing of the natures?
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« Reply #120 on: September 30, 2011, 04:08:39 PM »

A union has to be 'of' at least two constituents. But after the union there must also be a unity.

The non-Chalcedonians have never had a problem with considering the humanity and Divinity to be mixed. But quite clearly there are continuing issues with the constant presence of semi-Nestorianism throughout Church history.

As an evangelical I was taught Christological error because a Cyrilline Christology was not adopted. I have corresponded with EO, even clergy, who have insisted that the humanity of Christ is a personal subject.

As the great modern scholar of the councils, Father Richard Price, a Chalcedonian, says,

If we start with the distinction between the two natures, it is to be doubted whether we shall ever succeed in truly uniting them.
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« Reply #121 on: September 30, 2011, 04:23:50 PM »

The non-Chalcedonians have never had a problem with considering the humanity and Divinity to be mixed.
Didn't Severus of Antioch have a problem with this?

And what do you mean by "humanity and divinity"? Surely you do not mean in a Eutychian (regardless of what the man himself believed) or Julian sense.
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« Reply #122 on: September 30, 2011, 04:28:47 PM »

Did Christ hunger to demonstrate his humanity, or because he was truly circumscribed? Did Christ die because he chose to open his incorruptible body to wounds, or because he was truly  circumscribed? Did Christ weep because he wanted to demonstrate his human emotional faculties were genuine, or because he was truly compelled to weep in human grief like you or I?

If God was not truly circumscribed, how can there be any true incarnation?
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« Reply #123 on: September 30, 2011, 04:37:05 PM »

St Severus absolutely never considered the humanity and divinity to be mixed.

Nor actually did Eutyches, but there were a few who did mix the humanity and divinity and they were excommunicated.

I am not sure what you mean by what do I mean by 'humanity and divinity'?

I do not mean that the non-Chalcedonians mix the humanity and divinity of the incarnate Word, but that there has never been a movement to do so. Even the Julianists did not mix the divine and human, they believed that the humanity was glorified from the moment of the incarnation.

Have I been sloppy in my language?

I mean that 'eutychianism' has never been embraced by the non-Chalcedonians, not that we embraced it without concern.

In regard to your second post, we know that the Fathers teach that the Word allowed His own humanity to express those characteristics natural to it as He chose, and that He is not bound by His humanity as we are.

When He hungered He truly hungered. But He was not a mere man who was unable to do anything other than hunger. He is the Word of God incarnate. His humanity is not bound as ours is, even though it is true humanity.

Father Peter


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« Reply #124 on: September 30, 2011, 04:43:19 PM »

In regard to your second post, we know that the Fathers teach that the Word allowed His own humanity to express those characteristics natural to it as He chose, and that He is not bound by His humanity as we are.

When He hungered He truly hungered. But He was not a mere man who was unable to do anything other than hunger. He is the Word of God incarnate. His humanity is not bound as ours is, even though it is true humanity.

Nicholas doesn't agree.
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« Reply #125 on: September 30, 2011, 04:44:22 PM »

I do not mean that the non-Chalcedonians mix the humanity and divinity of the incarnate Word, but that there has never been a movement to do so.
Oh. I thought you meant they never had a problem with it, in the sense that it was perfectly acceptable.  Wink

the Word allowed His own humanity to express those characteristics natural to it as He chose, and that He is not bound by His humanity as we are.
What Fathers besides St. Athanasius? What does it mean to not be "bound by a humanity"? Are you saying that as the Incarnate Word, Christ had to press some sort of cosmological "manual override" to engage his humanity to weep against His Divinity's... nature? Were there times before his Death that he chose not to express his humanity?

When He hungered He truly hungered. But He was not a mere man who was unable to do anything other than hunger. He is the Word of God incarnate. His humanity is not bound as ours is, even though it is true humanity.
What "other thing" would interfere with the Incarnate God's hunger?
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« Reply #126 on: September 30, 2011, 04:48:03 PM »

Here are some patristic quotes (from Sts. Severus, Cyril, and Gregory Nazianzen) which relate to what Fr. Peter is saying:

as the holy Cyril said: «For, though it is said that he hungered and thirsted, and slept and grew weary after a journey, and wept and feared, these things did not happen to him just as they do to us in accordance with compulsory ordinances of nature; but he |13 himself voluntarily permitted his flesh to walk according to the laws of nature, for he sometimes allowed it even to undergo its own passions»25. For from Cyril's words, as from a sacred anchor, I do not depart. And the same statement is made by Gregory the Theologian26 of Nazianzus also in the sermon on baptism: «For he is purity itself, and did not need purification; but he is purified for you; just as for you he put on a garb of flesh, while he is fleshless: and he would have run no danger at all from putting off baptism; for he himself was a warden of passion to himself» 27. Accordingly then28 he was a warden to himself of hungering as well as of being tired after a journey, and of accepting the other human passions, such as do not fall under sin, in order to display the Humanization truly and without phantasy 29

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/fathers/severus_coll_2_letters.html
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« Reply #127 on: September 30, 2011, 04:55:48 PM »

God the Word is only circumscribed in His humanity to the extent He chooses.

The Word has become incarnate for a purpose, not to see what it is like to be a human. Therefore it is necessary that he be truly human, but not that he be circumscribed by his humanity.

He is more than human, though he is truly human.

What 'thing' would cause him not to experience hunger? I wouldn't put it like that. I would say that the will and purpose of God always directs the activity of the Word incarnate. He walks on water when he chooses. He sees Nathanael under a tree when he chooses. He knows what people are thinking when he chooses. All of these are not merely human activities, but they are also truly human. But he also hungers as he chooses, thirsts as he chooses, sleeps as he chooses. *HE* is the Word of God who is both human and divine. *He* is not a man called Jesus.

Nestorius and Theodore understood the man Jesus to be in some sort of union with the Word. But we don't. Jesus Christ is the Word of God. That makes a difference. It doesn't detract from the reality and integrity of the humanity of the Word, but it means that the humanity is not bare humanity, or humanity apart from God.
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« Reply #128 on: September 30, 2011, 04:57:55 PM »

I guess I would be okay with this teaching if it could be stated this way: That the voluntary Incarnation of Christ remained voluntary throughout His life until His Death, but at no point did Christ make that choice to surrender assuming our humanity in truth, despite his trials. In other words, even if these  "natural passion expressions" were voluntary, he never DID NOT choose them. And one could compare Christ's pre-resurrection humanity to the pre-resurrection humanity of the greatest saints.

As the Scriptures proclaim:

"but [He] emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance [literally: in the schema of] a man"

Am I correct?

God the Word is only circumscribed in His humanity to the extent He chooses.

The Word has become incarnate for a purpose, not to see what it is like to be a human. Therefore it is necessary that he be truly human, but not that he be circumscribed by his humanity.
What is not assumed is not healed.
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« Reply #129 on: September 30, 2011, 04:58:45 PM »

The Word has become incarnate for a purpose, not to see what it is like to be a human.

 Smiley
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« Reply #130 on: September 30, 2011, 05:01:23 PM »

St Cyril teaches about this issue...

It was not however till He had fasted sufficiently, and by His Godlike power had kept His flesh unwasted, though abstaining from meat and drink, that scarcely at length He permitted it to feel its natural sensations: for it says, that He hungered.

He says that he preserved his humanity from being naturally wasted by His Godlike power, and then at the end of his fasting allowed it to feel its natural sensation of hunger.

I think that what St Cyril, and St Severus teach is different from what you are saying? Do you have any comments? I go along with St Cyril and St Severus which is why I have said that he is circumscribed only to the extent he chooses.

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« Reply #131 on: September 30, 2011, 05:04:30 PM »

He says that he preserved his humanity from being naturally wasted by His Godlike power, and then at the end of his fasting allowed it to feel its natural sensation of hunger.
Have not the saints gone ages without food by the power of God, but not by virtue of a hypostatic or physis union with God?
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« Reply #132 on: September 30, 2011, 05:07:37 PM »

St Cyril teaches about this issue...

It was not however till He had fasted sufficiently, and by His Godlike power had kept His flesh unwasted, though abstaining from meat and drink, that scarcely at length He permitted it to feel its natural sensations: for it says, that He hungered.
I do not mean to disagree with St. Cyril out of some contempt or pride. I love St. Cyril's defense of Christ.

But I do not think this is the only interpretation of Christ's fasting. Just as I disagree with St. John Chrysostom about the nature of the Council of Jerusalem, I must slightly disagree with Cyril here.

he is circumscribed only to the extent he chooses.
I think that in some sense, losing certain choices (like whether or not you want your side to open up when it is stabbed) is part of becoming circumscribed in the first place.
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« Reply #133 on: September 30, 2011, 05:10:41 PM »

I guess I would be okay with this teaching if it could be stated this way: That the voluntary Incarnation of Christ remained voluntary throughout His life until His Death, but at no point did Christ make that choice to surrender assuming our humanity in truth, despite his trials. In other words, even if these  "natural passion expressions" were voluntary, he never DID NOT choose them.

Am I correct?

No. You're not. Christ is truly man, not merely man. A mere man, by nature, cannot walk on water.

God the Word is only circumscribed in His humanity to the extent He chooses.

The Word has become incarnate for a purpose, not to see what it is like to be a human. Therefore it is necessary that he be truly human, but not that he be circumscribed by his humanity.
What is not assumed is not healed.

You seem to think the Word had to cease to be Divine in order to assume humanity truly.

He says that he preserved his humanity from being naturally wasted by His Godlike power, and then at the end of his fasting allowed it to feel its natural sensation of hunger.
Have not the saints gone ages without food by the power of God, but not by virtue of a hypostatic or physis union with God?

Without food, yes. Without hunger, no.
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« Reply #134 on: September 30, 2011, 05:12:38 PM »

I think that in some sense, losing certain choices (like whether or not you want your side to open up when it is stabbed) is part of becoming circumscribed in the first place.

In that case, Christ would have drowned in the Sea of Galilee.
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« Reply #135 on: September 30, 2011, 05:17:37 PM »

There are other Fathers who say the same thing.

St Basil says..

The Lord remained for forty days untempted, for the devil knew that he fasted and yet did not hunger, and therefore did not dare to approach him.

St Gregory Naz. says..

He fasted in truth forty days eating nothing for He was God.

St Basil again..

..not as forced to that necessity which overpowers nature, but as if provoking the devil to the conflict.

I don't have time to find more references just now as it is getting late here. But I am happy to always be found agreeing with St Cyril and St Severus, and St Basil seems to say exactly the same thing. His incarnation was never a matter of necessity, it was entirely for the purpose of our salvation, and this is served by a true humanity, not by a mere or bare humanity. It is always necessary that a man restore what Adam lost, but it is only possible for God to have the power to do so. Therefore Christ is both God and man in union not in mere agreement of a man and the Word.

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« Reply #136 on: September 30, 2011, 05:18:43 PM »

You seem to think the Word had to cease to be Divine in order to assume humanity truly.
No. I just don't think that his Divinity nullified his "natural passions" like hunger, thirst, physiological emotion, etc.

No. You're not. Christ is truly man, not merely man. A mere man, by nature, cannot walk on water.
Christ disagrees.

"Amen, Amen, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do."

Humanity in proper union with God can work mighty works.

"The glory of God is man fully alive, and the life of man is the vision of God." -St. Irenaeus of Lyons
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« Reply #137 on: September 30, 2011, 05:20:14 PM »

Nicholas and JLatimer, thanks for all your comments. They are all very thought-provoking and make this an enjoyable and fruitful discussion.

I must leave now as I am taking my eldest daughter back to University early tomorrow morning.

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« Reply #138 on: September 30, 2011, 05:21:08 PM »

Nicholas and JLatimer, thanks for all your comments. They are all very thought-provoking and make this an enjoyable and fruitful discussion.

I must leave now as I am taking my eldest daughter back to University early tomorrow morning.

I wish her the best of luck, may the Lord be with her! Smiley
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« Reply #139 on: September 30, 2011, 05:21:19 PM »

Nicholas and JLatimer, thanks for all your comments. They are all very thought-provoking and make this an enjoyable and fruitful discussion.

I must leave now as I am taking my eldest daughter back to University early tomorrow morning.


Have a safe trip, Father.
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« Reply #140 on: September 30, 2011, 05:26:08 PM »

St Cyril teaches about this issue...

It was not however till He had fasted sufficiently, and by His Godlike power had kept His flesh unwasted, though abstaining from meat and drink, that scarcely at length He permitted it to feel its natural sensations: for it says, that He hungered.
I do not mean to disagree with St. Cyril

St. Cyril is not your only problem. In addition to the Fathers cited by Fr. Peter, you have St. Athanasius himself to contend with:

Quote
The Word was not hedged in by His body.... A man cannot transport things from one place to another, for instance, merely by thinking about them; nor can you or I move the sun and the stars just by sitting at home and looking at them. With the Word of God in His human nature, however, it was otherwise. His body was for Him not a limitation, but an instrument, so that He was both in it and in all things, and outside all things, resting in the Father alone. At one and the same time-this is the wonder-as Man He was living a human life, and as Word He was sustaining the life of the universe, and as Son He was in constant union with the Father. Not even His birth from a virgin, therefore, changed Him in any way, nor was He defiled by being in the body. Rather, He sanctified the body by being in it.
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« Reply #141 on: September 30, 2011, 05:30:05 PM »

There are other Fathers who say the same thing.

St Basil says..

The Lord remained for forty days untempted, for the devil knew that he fasted and yet did not hunger, and therefore did not dare to approach him.

St Gregory Naz. says..

He fasted in truth forty days eating nothing for He was God.

St Basil again..

..not as forced to that necessity which overpowers nature, but as if provoking the devil to the conflict.
So basically everyone who learned from Origen?

Hmmm...
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« Reply #142 on: September 30, 2011, 05:31:33 PM »

St Cyril teaches about this issue...

It was not however till He had fasted sufficiently, and by His Godlike power had kept His flesh unwasted, though abstaining from meat and drink, that scarcely at length He permitted it to feel its natural sensations: for it says, that He hungered.
I do not mean to disagree with St. Cyril

St. Cyril is not your only problem. In addition to the Fathers cited by Fr. Peter, you have St. Athanasius himself to contend with:

Quote
The Word was not hedged in by His body.... A man cannot transport things from one place to another, for instance, merely by thinking about them; nor can you or I move the sun and the stars just by sitting at home and looking at them. With the Word of God in His human nature, however, it was otherwise. His body was for Him not a limitation, but an instrument, so that He was both in it and in all things, and outside all things, resting in the Father alone. At one and the same time-this is the wonder-as Man He was living a human life, and as Word He was sustaining the life of the universe, and as Son He was in constant union with the Father. Not even His birth from a virgin, therefore, changed Him in any way, nor was He defiled by being in the body. Rather, He sanctified the body by being in it.
I agree with St. Athanasius that the he did not cease to be the Logos which sustains all things.
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« Reply #143 on: September 30, 2011, 05:34:33 PM »

Are you saying that Christ's divinity "fed" his humanity, making up for what is "lacking" in humanity when it comes to the natural passions?
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« Reply #144 on: September 30, 2011, 05:35:51 PM »

There are other Fathers who say the same thing.

St Basil says..

The Lord remained for forty days untempted, for the devil knew that he fasted and yet did not hunger, and therefore did not dare to approach him.

St Gregory Naz. says..

He fasted in truth forty days eating nothing for He was God.

St Basil again..

..not as forced to that necessity which overpowers nature, but as if provoking the devil to the conflict.
So basically everyone who learned from Origen?

Hmmm...

At the risk of moving away from the subject, but Origen was a very influential theologian, and many of his students admired and defended him.  I personally believe that if St. Augustine can be given sainthood despite his faults, I would wish Origen for the same courtesy, especially since his life is also quite exemplary.
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« Reply #145 on: September 30, 2011, 05:36:52 PM »

At the risk of moving away from the subject, but Origen was a very influential theologian, and many of his students admired and defended him.  I personally believe that if St. Augustine can be given sainthood despite his faults, I would wish Origen for the same courtesy, especially since his life is also quite exemplary.
I agree, especially since the Origenites are gone now.
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« Reply #146 on: September 30, 2011, 05:43:06 PM »

You seem to think the Word had to cease to be Divine in order to assume humanity truly.
No. I just don't think that his Divinity nullified his "natural passions" like hunger, thirst, physiological emotion, etc.

Neither I nor Fr. Peter, AFAIK, are arguing that His Divinity nullified His natural human passions. What we are saying is not that the Divine nature or essence nullified anything, but that the Divine person, the Word, experienced human nature as the Word, not as a mere man.

No. You're not. Christ is truly man, not merely man. A mere man, by nature, cannot walk on water.
Christ disagrees.

"Amen, Amen, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do."

Humanity in proper union with God can work mighty works.

"The glory of God is man fully alive, and the life of man is the vision of God." -St. Irenaeus of Lyons

By Grace, not by nature, as I said.

St Cyril teaches about this issue...

It was not however till He had fasted sufficiently, and by His Godlike power had kept His flesh unwasted, though abstaining from meat and drink, that scarcely at length He permitted it to feel its natural sensations: for it says, that He hungered.
I do not mean to disagree with St. Cyril

St. Cyril is not your only problem. In addition to the Fathers cited by Fr. Peter, you have St. Athanasius himself to contend with:

Quote
The Word was not hedged in by His body.... A man cannot transport things from one place to another, for instance, merely by thinking about them; nor can you or I move the sun and the stars just by sitting at home and looking at them. With the Word of God in His human nature, however, it was otherwise. His body was for Him not a limitation, but an instrument, so that He was both in it and in all things, and outside all things, resting in the Father alone. At one and the same time-this is the wonder-as Man He was living a human life, and as Word He was sustaining the life of the universe, and as Son He was in constant union with the Father. Not even His birth from a virgin, therefore, changed Him in any way, nor was He defiled by being in the body. Rather, He sanctified the body by being in it.
I agree with St. Athanasius that the he did not cease to be the Logos which sustains all things.

Do you agree with him that His body was for Him not a limitation, as a body indeed is for a mere man?
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« Reply #147 on: September 30, 2011, 06:29:28 PM »

Perhaps later Fr. Peter can provide us with quotes from St. Severus of Antioch's arguments with Julian of Halicarnassus regarding the corruptibility Vs. incorruptibility issue as it seems to relate to what we are discussing.
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« Reply #148 on: September 30, 2011, 06:38:33 PM »

More from St. Athanasius here: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,39958.msg646852.html#msg646852
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« Reply #149 on: October 01, 2011, 12:45:48 AM »

No. You're not. Christ is truly man, not merely man. A mere man, by nature, cannot walk on water.
Christ disagrees.

"Amen, Amen, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do."

Humanity in proper union with God can work mighty works.

"The glory of God is man fully alive, and the life of man is the vision of God." -St. Irenaeus of Lyons

By Grace, not by nature, as I said.

Oh?

"And they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, 'Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven.' And some of the scribes said to themselves, 'This fellow blasphemes.' And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, 'Why are you thinking evil in your hearts? 'Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, and walk’? 'But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins'—then He said to the paralytic, 'Get up, pick up your bed and go home.' And he got up and went home. But when the crowds saw this, they were awestruck, and glorified God, who had given such authority to men."

Seems the human Jesus is working the mighty works of God without mention of "by one nature versus another" or "by his divinity". Man in union with God can stop tidal waves, walk on water, command the cosmos, heal the sick.

Do you agree with him that His body was for Him not a limitation, as a body indeed is for a mere man?
We must first mention that the saints can bi-locate and appear by proxy.

Now, our God did not cease to be the Logos when he became incarnate, in that his divinity was not moved or impaired. He remained the Logos who sustains all things. However, as the Incarnate Logos, he was ignorant of many things, could be acted upon, and experienced the natural passions (hunger, thirst, sexual temptation [not the sin of lust], exhaustion, mortality). They're all over the Gospels.

When Jesus saw Lazarus's tomb, did he think, "the earth-born require that I deliberately manifest my humanity's capacity for physiological grief, despite the fact that my incarnate nature does not 'require' it.", and then he wept?

When he arrived at Jacob's well, did he think "Well, this woman certainly won't speak with me if I do not deliberately induce my hypostatically-united humanity to thirst against necessity."

When he was on the Cross, did he have to will his body to sink and his lungs to collapse, and the blood to run from his wounds, and the flesh open to accept the nails and the spear? Did he have to clot the blood in his face when struck so that a bruise would appear?

Neither I nor Fr. Peter, AFAIK, are arguing that His Divinity nullified His natural human passions. What we are saying is not that the Divine nature or essence nullified anything, but that the Divine person, the Word, experienced human nature as the Word, not as a mere man.
The OO also affirm that Christ does not "do a human nature thing here" and then "do a divine nature thing over here" because he is the Divine Word. If a Divino-human Christ does not hunger, it better be because he's teleporting mana into his stomach and not because his pre-resurrection body doesn't need to eat.

I'm open to correction. I could be wrong. I just don't understand why you hold the position you do.
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« Reply #150 on: October 01, 2011, 01:10:14 AM »

Hi Nicholas,

I am about to head out, but I couldn't resist catching up with this interesting thread.

What do you mean by 'Divino-human Christ'? Do you mean that in a critical sense, in that you do not believe that Christ is fully human and fully divine in union? If so, can you provide some idea of how you see the divine and human aspects of Christ interacting?

You do seem to be proposing a Christ who is simply a man who is energised by the Holy Spirit to a much greater degree than the prophets, but in just the same way. Is this a true reflection of what you are trying to say?

In the incarnation it seems to me a mistake to think of the Word willing only once to become human. Rather I think that He continues always to will and choose to be incarnate, so that there is a sense that divinely he does choose each moment to experience the reality of his humanity. It is not a necessity placed upon him, as it is for us. It is always a choice. He chooses everything. And sometimes he chooses not to allow his humanity to express itself in accordance with mere mortality, but to raise it above itself. This does not make him less truly human, but his humanity, as has been quoted, is an instrument not a limitation.

Best wishes

Father Peter
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« Reply #151 on: October 01, 2011, 01:34:42 AM »

In the incarnation it seems to me a mistake to think of the Word willing only once to become human... there is a sense that divinely he does choose each moment to experience the reality of his humanity.
I like this, Fr. Peter. I do not think it is problematic.

You do seem to be proposing a Christ who is simply a man who is energised by the Holy Spirit to a much greater degree than the prophets, but in just the same way. Is this a true reflection of what you are trying to say?
I am criticizing what appears to be a very low view of humanity. Christ is the ultimate saint. Our pre-resurrection saints can do amazing things through their union with the Uncreated Energies of God. Yes, Christ walked on water because he was God, but he was also man. He did these things as a man, too. He healed, and his disciples could also heal. He drove out demons, his disciples also had something of this power. Christ is the judge; and the saints will judge angels, the Apostles the tribes of Israel. Who is to say that Christ did not do some of these things wholly or partially as man, through the TRULY natural state of humanity, by the Grace of God?

In addition:

Only God could raise himself from the Dead, and only God could trample down the death of all by his own Death.

Only God could be sinless. (Well, ontologically. We also have the Theotokos)

Only God could heal our nature in taking it upon Himself.

These things I do not dispute.

We can work wonders by the grace of God BECAUSE God lived a life AS MAN, and also did so.

Rather I think that He continues always to will and choose to be incarnate
If Christ is truly incarnate, how could he un-incarnate Himself? Isn't that an absurdity?

Yes, Christ could somehow "fill up" the limitations in his humanity with his divinity, thus pulling himself "out of the human equation." But become un-incarnate?
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« Reply #152 on: October 01, 2011, 01:50:23 AM »

Do you agree with him that His body was for Him not a limitation
Do you mean his human body, mind, will and soul?

What do you mean by 'Divino-human Christ'?
Rather, I meant a "Divino-Humanity". As Fr. Thomas Hopko would say (paraphrasing): "There is God-hood. There is man-hood. Jesus has both. But there is no God-man-hood."
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« Reply #153 on: October 01, 2011, 03:03:23 AM »

Fr. Hopko also says that Christ will judge humanity AS A MAN, insofar as he is one.
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« Reply #154 on: October 01, 2011, 03:16:56 AM »

But Christ isn't a man though he is truly human. He is the Word of God incarnate.
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« Reply #155 on: October 01, 2011, 03:52:20 AM »

Nevermind
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« Reply #156 on: October 01, 2011, 03:54:29 AM »

But Christ isn't a man though he is truly human.
Lord, have mercy.

The Logos became a man. He didn't cease to be God, but he really became a man. Not just a category or genus.

He is monogenes after all!
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« Reply #157 on: October 01, 2011, 04:22:18 AM »

But he isn't a human person which is what A man means. He is truly man and truly human but he is not A man. That is Nestorianism.
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« Reply #158 on: October 01, 2011, 04:40:36 AM »

But he isn't a human person which is what A man means.
Christ is a Divine Person who became man. Ergo he is truly a man and truly God.

but he is not A man. That is Nestorianism.
No, to have a man united to or assumed by the Logos is Nestorianism.

To have the Logos BECOME A MAN is different.
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« Reply #159 on: October 01, 2011, 05:33:54 AM »

Just for clarity. Do you think Christ is a human person?
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« Reply #160 on: October 01, 2011, 05:46:39 AM »

Just for clarity. Do you think Christ is a human person?
I think he's a Divine Person who became human, and is thus a man. In one sense it is alright to call him a "human person" because any person who is a human is a human person. On the other hand, because that Person (Hypostasis) is the same pre-existent Logos, he is not a human Hypostasis which somehow began at his incarnation.

Goodnight for now, Father. Thank you for the discussion.
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« Reply #161 on: October 01, 2011, 08:32:23 AM »


In one sense it is alright to call him a "human person" because any person who is a human is a human person.

This is exactly the problem. The question is: to be fully human, do you have to be a (created) human person. The answer is no. In the Incarnation, the Uncreated person of the Word assumed a created nature, making it truly His, yet he never ceased, in His personal reality, to be Uncreated.

No one is saying He became the category or genus, humanity. What is being said is that He became of-one-essence with us, just as He is of-one-essence with the Father.
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« Reply #162 on: October 01, 2011, 09:06:10 AM »

You do seem to be proposing a Christ who is simply a man who is energised by the Holy Spirit to a much greater degree than the prophets, but in just the same way. Is this a true reflection of what you are trying to say?
I am criticizing what appears to be a very low view of humanity. Christ is the ultimate saint. Our pre-resurrection saints can do amazing things through their union with the Uncreated Energies of God. Yes, Christ walked on water because he was God, but he was also man. He did these things as a man, too. He healed, and his disciples could also heal. He drove out demons, his disciples also had something of this power. Christ is the judge; and the saints will judge angels, the Apostles the tribes of Israel. Who is to say that Christ did not do some of these things wholly or partially as man, through the TRULY natural state of humanity, by the Grace of God?

Where did you get this idea that in order for Christ to be fully human, He had to be limited by His humanity, in such a way as if one and the same Christ were not also God?

I think you are missing the point about walking on water: A mere human being cannot, by nature, walk on water. A mere human being is subject, again, by his very nature, to the laws of physics, etc. Yet Jesus, Who was fully and truly human, walked on water. Therefore, your hypothesis that Jesus always chose to be limited by His humanity, as if He was a mere man, is false. Now what is important to remember is that Jesus did in fact walk on the water in His humanity. The point is not that the Divinity does one thing proper to it, the humanity another proper to it; to the contrary, the one subject, the Word, Who performs all these actions, is at one and the same time Divine and Human.

Quote
Who is to say that Christ did not do some of these things wholly or partially as man, through the TRULY natural state of humanity, by the Grace of God?

He did everything He did wholly, never partially, as man, because He is human, but also at the same as God, because He is Divine.

Quote
Christ is the ultimate saint. Our pre-resurrection saints can do amazing things through their union with the Uncreated Energies of God.

First off, the saints don't have a hypostatic union with God. They are created persons. Jesus Christ, the Theanthropic hypostasis, is an Uncreated Person. The union of God and man in Jesus Christ is hypostatic, not merely energetic. It is different from the union of God with the saints. You do seem to be flirting with Nestorius here.


I suggest you read or reread On the Incarnation. You will find it clarifies a lot of this.
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« Reply #163 on: October 01, 2011, 09:11:10 AM »

Just for clarity. Do you think Christ is a human person?

I wonder if one of the issues going on is that of nature verses person?   For example, cats all share the same nature as cats, humans have in come the same human nature, but each human person is different in person, so is each cat.  I see Christ as having a human nature and divine nature, but as one person.  The natures and the person are never separated.  His Human nature was, like ours, made in the Image of God but it was also in union with which that Image was created, the Divine nature.  God created each of our individual persons, but unlike us, the person of Christ already existed as the Logos prior to the incarnation, but with the incarnation He now has a human nature also.  I see His natural human nature submitting to the divine nature, but also the divine nature submitting to the limitations in many ways to His human nature.  For example, He grew in wisdom, He hungered, He Thirsted, etc., but also His human nature, body and soul, submitted to His divine nature.  So, He fasted, his human nature being in complete obedience to his divine nature, and sustained by the power of the divine, while his divine nature experienced the fast, being tempted in His person in all things.   In every action, it seems to me, it was both natures working together in the person of Christ.  
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« Reply #164 on: October 01, 2011, 09:21:39 AM »

Quote
I think you are missing the point about walking on water: A mere human being cannot, by nature, walk on water. A mere human being is subject, again, by his very nature, to the laws of physics, etc. Yet Jesus, Who was fully and truly human, walked on water.

Not sure about this, I am thinking of St. Peter here.  Christ called Him and he walked on water.  Christ was truly human in his nature.  St. Peter, though being human in nature, was fallen nature and a fallen person.  In our fallen nature, we cannot but what happens when our person becomes faith, which also means our nature becomes faith?  I say we can walk on water in our nature when it is faith, but if we doubt even a little we get all wet.  Tongue  

Maybe this well help in  how I am seeing the situation and how most likely I am in error.   I am coming from the idea from essence/energy view.   If correct, which I am most sure I am not, this view would mean that God is Love as scripture says, but He would also be things such as Faith, Mercy, Compassion, etc.  These things we partake of, and it transforms us that we become these things as long as we remain in Him.  After all it was Christ who said that we would do even greater things.
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« Reply #165 on: October 01, 2011, 09:28:56 AM »

Quote
I think you are missing the point about walking on water: A mere human being cannot, by nature, walk on water. A mere human being is subject, again, by his very nature, to the laws of physics, etc. Yet Jesus, Who was fully and truly human, walked on water.

Not sure about this, I am thinking of St. Peter here.  Christ called Him and he walked on water.  Christ was truly human in his nature.  St. Peter, though being human in nature, was fallen nature and a fallen person.  In our fallen nature, we cannot but what happens when our person becomes faith, which also means our nature becomes faith?  I say we can walk on water in our nature when it is faith, but if we doubt even a little we get all wet.  Tongue 


St. Peter could not have chosen to do so without God's assent. Jesus could choose at will to walk on water, because He is God.
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« Reply #166 on: October 01, 2011, 09:48:17 AM »

Quote
I think you are missing the point about walking on water: A mere human being cannot, by nature, walk on water. A mere human being is subject, again, by his very nature, to the laws of physics, etc. Yet Jesus, Who was fully and truly human, walked on water.

Not sure about this, I am thinking of St. Peter here.  Christ called Him and he walked on water.  Christ was truly human in his nature.  St. Peter, though being human in nature, was fallen nature and a fallen person.  In our fallen nature, we cannot but what happens when our person becomes faith, which also means our nature becomes faith?  I say we can walk on water in our nature when it is faith, but if we doubt even a little we get all wet.  Tongue  


St. Peter could not have chosen to do so without God's assent. Jesus could choose at will to walk on water, because He is God.

St. Peter sank because he suddenly lacked faith.  I believe those who truly become faith can and will walk on water, move about from location to location, etc.   I am thinking of the monk who came to his master saying he had mastered his passions what more is there?  His master responded by lifting his hand saying, you can become fire, and fire enveloped his hand.  How about how, St. Mary of Egypt was seen in prayer actually levitating in the air?  I am sure there are many more examples, of Saints, who had become and were able to do things, beyond what we see as natural, because of their union with God.

So, the question on my mind is how does this relate to Christ Human nature?  I think, His human nature was fully energized by his divine nature in hypostatic union.  That is, He being born of the seed of David, at His incarnation, from the moment of conception, His human nature was fully Love, Faith, etc., but also which he grew in stature and wisdom, which is why the workings of His human nature could go against the laws of nature as man see's them.  We can become like He is in His human nature because we are brought into union with His human nature.  I think, it is amazing, that we can be, as it were, plugged into Christ Jesus, a part of Christ, and become like Christ in His human nature, us being mere created beings, becoming little Christ.  I think part of the danger of mixing the human and divine nature is that we would become truly divine in nature/essence, hence the necessity of the distinction.
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« Reply #167 on: October 01, 2011, 12:52:24 PM »

This is exactly the problem. The question is: to be fully human, do you have to be a (created) human person. The answer is no. In the Incarnation, the Uncreated person of the Word assumed a created nature, making it truly His, yet he never ceased, in His personal reality, to be Uncreated.
I agree, JLatimer. But in terms of mental contemplation it is alright to call Jesus a human "person" in the sense that he is a Person who became human, but that Person itself is and was Divine. I am not speaking about ontological personhood or some such thing.

Jesus is God who became Man. Therefore he is both 100% man and 100% God.

If Jesus is not really a man then the Scriptures lie.

You do seem to be flirting with Nestorius here.
Quite the opposite. If anything I'm being a form of monophysite.  Wink Perhaps you turn to calling me Nestorian because you cannot comprehend a God who remains truly un-circumscribed while being truly circumscribed at the same time.

Neither can I, but that doesn't mean it's not true.
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« Reply #168 on: October 01, 2011, 12:57:21 PM »

Where did you get this idea that in order for Christ to be fully human, He had to be limited by His humanity, in such a way as if one and the same Christ were not also God?
He's not being limited by his humanity. He uses his humanity in concert with his Divinity. And he uses his humanity the same way he wants us to use ours, in a manner that enables us to use ours to do the mighty works of God by grace.

First off, the saints don't have a hypostatic union with God. They are created persons. Jesus Christ, the Theanthropic hypostasis, is an Uncreated Person. The union of God and man in Jesus Christ is hypostatic, not merely energetic. It is different from the union of God with the saints.
It is not different. It is both/and.

He is both God and the perfect human saint.

I suggest to you this podcast by Fr. Thomas Hopko:

http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/hopko/the_incarnation_do_we_really_believe_it
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« Reply #169 on: October 01, 2011, 01:05:37 PM »

He did everything He did wholly, never partially, as man, because He is human, but also at the same as God, because He is Divine.
Good. I'll hold you to that.
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« Reply #170 on: October 01, 2011, 01:38:59 PM »

I'd really like Fr. Peter and JLatimer and anyone else who has time to listen to the Fr. Hopko podcast. I think you'll both find it edifying:

http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/hopko/the_incarnation_do_we_really_believe_it

(and yes, JLatimer, I have read On the Incarnation)
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« Reply #171 on: October 01, 2011, 02:46:48 PM »

I've been trying to think of a Father who speaks of the Word becoming A man, rather than becoming flesh, or becoming man, and I am struggling.

i. The Definitio of Chalcedon doesn't say he became A man.

ii. Constantinople II says..being made flesh...made man...union made with flesh...one of the Holy Trinity has been made man...

iii. Constantinople II condemns those who say that the Theotokos is the mother of A man.

iv. St Cyril says..One Lord Jesus Christ was made flesh and made man...was both made flesh and made man...He assumed flesh and blood...knowing One Only Christ, the word of God the Father with His own Flesh...He was made Flesh, not as He is said to dwell in the Saints...He made Indwelling of such a kind as the soul of man too may be said to have in regard to its own body...the Word of God united (as we already before said) to Flesh Personally...He became also Man...He became One with His own Flesh, He rendered it Life-giving...both the human and besides the Divine expressions have been said by One...He united human nature to Himself Personally and underwent fleshly birth from the very womb, not as though by any necessity or for the sake of His own Nature needing the Birth in time.

v. The 12 Anathemas of St Cyril forbid us saying that Christ receives or uses the power of the Holy Spirit like the saints. We must confess that he works all miracles using his own power. 

If any one say that the One Lord Jesus Christ hath been glorified by the Spirit, using His Power as though it were Another's, and from Him receiving the power of working against unclean spirits and of accomplishing Divine signs upon men; and does not rather say that His own is the Spirit, through Whom He hath wrought the Divine signs, be he anathema.

vi. The Scriptures don't seem to say that he became A man, but that he became flesh.

I have stuck to just EO accepted sources, but I can't find it said that the Word became A man, and this seems significant. Certainly he became properly human but I can't even find the EO councils saying that he became A man.

Do you have sources or references that do use this terminology?

It is important to me that especially in Christology we follow the Fathers, and just as St Severus was a strict disciple of St Cyril, so I try to be a careful disciple of St Severus, but I have not referenced his writings here and have stuck to universal and EO ones. None of them seem to say that Christ became A man.

What do you think is the difference between saying that the Word became flesh, and your position that he became A man, which seems to me to extend his human experience into saying that he was and is a human person. Why can I not find Fathers who agree that he became a human person?

Also, why do you think it an absurdity to say that the Word could cease to be incarnate if he chose? His taking flesh does not affect his own divine nature at all. He remains who he is when he becomes incarnate and would remain who he is if he laid down his humanity. Why do you consider this absurd?

Thanks

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« Reply #172 on: October 01, 2011, 03:04:22 PM »

NVM
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« Reply #173 on: October 01, 2011, 03:08:01 PM »

The Spirit is His own Spirit. When a saint prays he has no power of his own. He receives a grace that is external to himself.

When Christ says 'Be healed', the sick man will be healed.

When a saint or any Christian says, 'Be healed', whether or not the sick man will be healed depends entirely on the will and action of God.
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« Reply #174 on: October 01, 2011, 03:08:44 PM »

The Spirit is His own Spirit. When a saint prays he has no power of his own. He receives a grace that is external to himself.

When Christ says 'Be healed', the sick man will be healed.

When a saint or any Christian says, 'Be healed', whether or not the sick man will be healed depends entirely on the will and action of God.
I see, thank you. That clarifies it then. Smiley
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« Reply #175 on: October 01, 2011, 03:11:54 PM »

v. The 12 Anathemas of St Cyril forbid us saying that Christ receives or uses the power of the Holy Spirit like the saints. We must confess that he works all miracles using his own power. 
Can you post the quote here?
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« Reply #176 on: October 01, 2011, 03:15:01 PM »

v. The 12 Anathemas of St Cyril forbid us saying that Christ receives or uses the power of the Holy Spirit like the saints. We must confess that he works all miracles using his own power. 
Can you post the quote here?
"If any one say that the One Lord Jesus Christ hath been glorified by the Spirit, using His Power as though it were Another's, and from Him receiving the power of working against unclean spirits and of accomplishing Divine signs upon men; and does not rather say that His own is the Spirit, through Whom He hath wrought the Divine signs, be he anathema."
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« Reply #177 on: October 01, 2011, 03:22:21 PM »

v. The 12 Anathemas of St Cyril forbid us saying that Christ receives or uses the power of the Holy Spirit like the saints. We must confess that he works all miracles using his own power.  
Can you post the quote here?
"If any one say that the One Lord Jesus Christ hath been glorified by the Spirit, using His Power as though it were Another's, and from Him receiving the power of working against unclean spirits and of accomplishing Divine signs upon men; and does not rather say that His own is the Spirit, through Whom He hath wrought the Divine signs, be he anathema."
Well I don't disagree with that at all. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God. Christ is God.

But I am sure that there is nothing wrong with believing that Christ's humanity was energized by the Holy Spirit of God, as well as the fact that it is hypostatically united to the Logos!

Both/and. Christ is both God and the perfect saint.
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« Reply #178 on: October 01, 2011, 03:26:25 PM »

But where do you find the Fathers saying what you are saying?

Where do you find the Fathers saying that the Word became A man?
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« Reply #179 on: October 01, 2011, 03:34:25 PM »

Where do you find the Fathers saying that the Word became A man?
The Fathers all testify that the Word became man. Therefore the incarnate God can be referred to as a man (who is also God), and one is not compelled to believe that the Scriptures lie or are speaking in riddles. The word "a" is a big deal when fighting Nestorians, but not here.

If I were saying that God united himself to, assumed, shared a title with, or inhabited a man, sure. But I'm not. I'm saying that God became a real human being.

The Scriptures testify:

Authority to MEN.
The MAN Christ Jesus.
The Son of MAN.
The Second MAN is from heaven.
Come, see a MAN who told me all the things that I have done.

Ecce Homo.
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« Reply #180 on: October 01, 2011, 03:38:01 PM »

But where do you find the Fathers saying what you are saying?

Where do you find the Fathers saying that the Word became A man?

Father,

I am not sure why you keep bringing up this syntactic hang up.

It seems to assigning something to Nicklas' argument he hasn't made.

There seems to more than implication here. Why not expand your problem? I think Nicklas has already addressed your concerns.

He certainly is not saying Jesus was just merely or simply a man. But to say calling Him a man is inaccurate is wrong.

Jesus of Nazareth was a man. That is accurate. Not as precise as people would like to get, nevertheless accurate.

While there is a relationship between accuracy and precision, I think hanging onto this point without amplification is not moving forward one the better and profitable discussions on this board in a long time, for me.

Father, the discussion you and Nick are having and in which others are also participating has been very helpful to me. I would hate to see it start stalling over the many reasons nearly every discussion on the internet does.

EDIT: Posted while Nick was . . . not trying to pile on.





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« Reply #181 on: October 01, 2011, 03:51:14 PM »

But none of that proposes that Christ is a human person, which is what your use of the term does seem to do. And you have said that you think Christ is a human person.

None of the Fathers say this. None of them say he is a man.

In Christology words matter. So where are the Fathers who support what you are saying?
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« Reply #182 on: October 01, 2011, 03:53:00 PM »

None of the Fathers say this. None of them say he is a man.

"Therefore Abraham also, knowing the Father through the Word, who made heaven and earth, confessed Him to be God; and having learned, by an announcement, that the Son of God would be a man among men, by whose advent his seed should be as the stars of heaven, he desired to see that day, so that he might himself also embrace Christ; and, seeing it through the spirit of prophecy, he rejoiced."

-St. Irenaeus of Lyons, Against Heresies Book XI Chapter VII
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« Reply #183 on: October 01, 2011, 03:54:54 PM »

But none of that proposes that Christ is a human person, which is what your use of the term does seem to do. And you have said that you think Christ is a human person.
Not in the sense you mean when you say human person. The Person of Christ did not originate in the Theotokos's womb. The Divine Person of the Logos BECAME man.

So you could meet Christ in the flesh, point to him and say, "there stands a man, the Divine Person of God."
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« Reply #184 on: October 02, 2011, 12:43:14 AM »

"This foolish man [Julian], who confesses the passions with his lips only, hiding his impiety, wrote thus: 'Incorruptibility was always attached to the body of our Lord, which was passible of His own will for the sake of others.'

And in brotherly love I wrote and asked him: 'What do you mean by 'incorruptible,' and 'suffered of His own will for the sake of others,' and 'was attached to the body of our Lord,' if without any falsehood you confess it to be by nature passible? For, if by the incorruptibility possessed by it you mean holiness without sin, we all confess this with you, that the holy body from the womb which He united to Himself originally by the Holy Spirit of the pure Virgin, the Theotokos, was conceived and born in the flesh without sin and conversed with us men, because "He did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth," according to the testimony of the Scriptures.

But, if you call impassibility and immortality incorruptibility, and say that the body which suffered in the flesh on our behalf was not one that was [naturally] capable of suffering with voluntary passions and dying in the flesh, you reduce the saving passions on our behalf to a phantasy; for a thing which does not suffer also does not die, and it is a thing incapable of suffering.' And upon receiving such remarks as these from me he openly refused to call the holy body of Emmanuel passible in respect of voluntary passions; and therefore he did not hesitate to write thus, without shame and openly: 'We do not call Him of our nature in respect of passions, but in respect of essence. Therefore, even if He is impassible, and even if He is incorruptible, yet He is of our nature ' in respect of nature'.

[Compiler's note:] And the rest of the erring fatuity of Julian, which is contained at great length in the epistle, I forbear to record now, matters which are to be found in the many books which this holy Severus composed against Julian."

-OO Saint Severus of Antioch, Epistle to the King (Emperor?) Syriac Chronicle of Zachariah, Book IX Chapter 16
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« Reply #185 on: October 03, 2011, 12:09:35 PM »

To understand the Julian/Severus controversy was a difficult thing for me, but there is a thread somewhere where EA helped me out with this, albeit with a bit of arguing in the middle.

When we talk about the time of St. Athanasius, he talks about how the flesh is incorrupt due to the union with His divinity.  When we talk about the time of St. Severus, he talks about how the flesh is corruptible due to the flesh being truly flesh.  Would St. Athanasius agree?

Quote from: On the Incarnation
The body of the Word, then, being a real human body, in spite of its having been uniquely formed from a virgin, was of itself mortal and, like other bodies, liable to death. But the indwelling of the Word loosed it from this natural liability, so that corruption could not touch it. Thus it happened that two opposite marvels took place at once: the death of all was consummated in the Lord's body; yet, because the Word was in it, death and corruption were in the same act utterly abolished. Death there had to be, and death for all, so that the due of all might be paid. Wherefore, the Word, as I said, being Himself incapable of death, assumed a mortal body, that He might offer it as His own in place of all, and suffering for the sake of all through His union with it, " might bring to nought Him that had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might deliver them who all their lifetime were enslaved by the fear of death."

This is what St. Severus was saying.  If Julian is confessing that Christ assumed an IMMORTAL body, then how can death occur?  How is that body liable to death?  He just feigned death then if it wasn't liable to it.  So here, St. Severus agrees with St. Athanasius, but Julian's starting point doesn't agree with St. Athanasius on this one.  In fact, St. Severus wouldn't disagree with the special unity the divinity had with humanity, transforming Christ's human nature in an incorrupt fashion, as he demonstrated confirming and admiring St. Cyril's analogy of the fired coal.
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« Reply #186 on: October 03, 2011, 01:21:36 PM »

But Mina, Severus clearly identifies Orthodox incorruptibility as meaning having no sin and thus not falling under death. No mention of it being a result of a substantial property of divinity at all. Don't you find that strange?

"For, if by the incorruptibility possessed by it you mean holiness without sin, we all confess this with you, that the holy body from the womb which He united to Himself originally by the Holy Spirit of the pure Virgin, the Theotokos, was conceived and born in the flesh without sin and conversed with us men, because "He did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth," according to the testimony of the Scriptures."

It seems that Severus's idea of incorruptibility is closer to St. Paul's than St. Athanasius'.
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« Reply #187 on: October 03, 2011, 02:17:55 PM »

But did you miss the part when St. Severus said, "But, if you call impassibility and immortality incorruptibility" where St. Athanasius also mentions that Christ's body is "mortal," therefore agreeing with each other?
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« Reply #188 on: October 03, 2011, 02:29:17 PM »

But did you miss the part when St. Severus said, "But, if you call impassibility and immortality incorruptibility" where St. Athanasius also mentions that Christ's body is "mortal," therefore agreeing with each other?
Yes, they agree on that point.

But would St. Athanasius define Christ's incorruptibility as holiness and having no sin?
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« Reply #189 on: October 03, 2011, 02:45:33 PM »

Hi Nicholas

I don't think you have fully understood the nature of Julianism.

He insisted conflated the issue of moral and natural incorruptibility and therefore insisted that the humanity which the Word took to Himself was both morally incorruptible (it was sinless), and was also naturally incorruptible (it was immortal). Against him, following St Athanasius, St Cyril and the Cappadoian Fathers, St Severus insists that the humanity of Christ is naturally mortal, while He is morally incorruptible.

St Severus, following the Fathers, teaches that the humanity of Christ is consubstantial with us, but he follows the Fathers in saying that the humanity does not absolutely limit the incarnate Word and that He chooses to allow his humanity to experience those things natural to it, while also raising it above its natural limitations as He chooses.

I believe this is what JLatimer and I have been in agreement on, contrary to your view. Would you say that was fair?

The Julianist view is defective because it means that the Word is not incarnate in our mortal condition, and that all those things which He suffers and experiences are not natural to His immortal and naturally incorruptible humanity. So, according to Julian, he may choose to feel pain, but this is not a pain which belongs to naturally to his humanity.

While for St Severus, following the Fathers, he experiences pain when He chooses, and is not bound by His humanity, but when He chooses to allow His humanity to be moved by natural and blameless passions these are real experiences which are natural to the mortal condition of his humanity. St Severus is entirely in agreement with St Athanasius. Believe me. I have been a student and disciple of St Severus for 17 years. More than any other he is my patron and I know that he is entirely a disciple of St Cyril, and with him, a disciple of St Athanasius.

I can bark like a dog, but if barking is not natural to my condition then I am acting out being a dog. This is the problem with Julianism.

I think we are all agreed that the humanity of Christ is a true humanity, which is able to experience all those natural and blameless passions which characterise our humanity. But we seem to differ in that JLatimer and I seem to be agreed, based on the teachings of the Fathers, that the Word is able to choose when His humanity will experience those things proper to it, and when it will be lifted above them for the sake of the economy of our salvation.

Do you not think that if a member of ROCOR and the Coptic Church agree on something like this then it has a good chance of reflecting the universal Orthodox pov? Do you not think that if you are able to criticise the teachings of St Cyril, St Athanasius and other Fathers and suggest that they are different or even contrary to St Paul, then you might not understand the issues entirely?

I say that with the best will in the world.
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« Reply #190 on: October 03, 2011, 02:55:27 PM »

when He chooses to allow His humanity to be moved by natural and blameless passions these are real experiences which are natural to the mortal condition of his humanity...

...the Word is able to choose when His humanity will experience those things proper to it, and when it will be lifted above them for the sake of the economy of our salvation.
Before Christ's Death and Resurrection, did he ever "lift himself above" (override) his natural and blameless passions? If so, when?

Do you not think that if a member of ROCOR and the Coptic Church agree on something like this then it has a good chance of reflecting the universal Orthodox pov?
That's what terrifies me.

you might not understand the issues entirely?
I sure hope so.
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