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Author Topic: What is Reformed Theology?  (Read 4939 times) Average Rating: 0
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Irenaeus07
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« on: February 22, 2008, 02:12:15 PM »

Greetings,

  Well, I am really new to the Christian World, in terms of theological matters and I was wondering what in the world is Reformed Theology?  I was surfing the net and came across a book entitled, "The Holy Trinity (In scripture, history, theology and worship)" by Robert Letham and purchased it.  Well after I got the book, on the back of the book it has endorsements, in which one comments, "Lethman has given us a tour de force of Reformed Theology."

So does Reform Theology oppose the Orthodox Theological concept of Trinity?  I don't know what Reform Theology is to began with. And had I known before purchasing the book that it was based on Reformed Theology, I would have asked before purchasing the book.

I just assumed that protestant Christian agreed with the Orthodox Christian in regards to Trinity.\\Anyway, thanks,

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« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2008, 02:16:46 PM »

Hello,

I know, I know, it's Wikipedia, but I've read this article before, and it's a very good summary of the Reformed tradition.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calvinism
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Irenaeus07
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« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2008, 02:23:57 PM »

So is there any harm in reading this book on the Holy Trinity by a Reformed Theologian?  I mean, do they disagree with the Orthodox Church in terms of the Trinity???
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« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2008, 05:13:31 PM »

Greetings Irenaeus,

I was baptized in a Presbyterian church and I even served (very shortly) as a Presbyterian elder, so I do have a bit of knowledge about the Reformed theology (even though I am no theologian Smiley ).

I do not think that there will be much *harm* for you if you read the Reformed thologian's book on Trinity. However, there are a few moments where you can see some discrepancy with what you might hear from an Orthodox theologian about Trinity. The Reformed, essentially, agree with the old Roman Catholic view, expressed by St. Anselm, about the "economic" relationships within the Trinity; they traditionally view the propitiatory sacrifice of Christ as a "payment" that He made to His Father for the human sin (or, more specifically, for the sins of the elect, because the Reformed insist on the so-called "limited atonement"). As far as I understand, the Orthodox theology rejects any "economical" relationships within the Trinity.

Just my half-cent, hope it helps some!

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« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2008, 05:25:28 PM »

Greetings,

  Well, I am really new to the Christian World, in terms of theological matters and I was wondering what in the world is Reformed Theology?  I was surfing the net and came across a book entitled, "The Holy Trinity (In scripture, history, theology and worship)" by Robert Letham and purchased it.  Well after I got the book, on the back of the book it has endorsements, in which one comments, "Lethman has given us a tour de force of Reformed Theology."

So does Reform Theology oppose the Orthodox Theological concept of Trinity?  I don't know what Reform Theology is to began with. And had I known before purchasing the book that it was based on Reformed Theology, I would have asked before purchasing the book.

I just assumed that protestant Christian agreed with the Orthodox Christian in regards to Trinity.\\Anyway, thanks,


For the most part Reformed theologians accept the Filioque.
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« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2008, 06:49:13 PM »

So is there any harm in reading this book on the Holy Trinity by a Reformed Theologian?  I mean, do they disagree with the Orthodox Church in terms of the Trinity???

It's probably ok, but sometimes Reformed theology descends into Sabellianism because they don't properly appreciate the monarchy of the Father in the Trinity. Just be cautious.
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« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2008, 08:55:17 PM »

Reformed theology generally falls in line with the theological decisions of the first six Oecumenical Synods...after that it diverges towards frankish theology, including such things as iconoclasm and the filioque. Depending on the author (while I'm fairly well read in traditional sources for Reformed theology, I can't say that I'm familiar with Robert Letham) the theology will probably be pretty good, provided he sticks to trinitarian theology and christology, though if he starts delving into the pet issue of Reformed theology, soteriology, I'd probably take it with a grain of salt.

On the bright side, Reformed and Lutheran scholars have traditionally been academically honest enough to present their arguments for their points with academic rigor and avoid pontificating (though if you read Calvin and Luther you will see them slip into the latter from time to time). So go ahead and read the book, but objectively consider the arguments for their strengths and weaknesses and make up your own mind.
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« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2008, 09:08:50 PM »

Greetings,

  Well, I am really new to the Christian World, in terms of theological matters and I was wondering what in the world is Reformed Theology?  I was surfing the net and came across a book entitled, "The Holy Trinity (In scripture, history, theology and worship)" by Robert Letham and purchased it.  Well after I got the book, on the back of the book it has endorsements, in which one comments, "Lethman has given us a tour de force of Reformed Theology."

So does Reform Theology oppose the Orthodox Theological concept of Trinity?  I don't know what Reform Theology is to began with. And had I known before purchasing the book that it was based on Reformed Theology, I would have asked before purchasing the book.

I just assumed that protestant Christian agreed with the Orthodox Christian in regards to Trinity.\\Anyway, thanks,



Honestly, as you're a catechumen, I wouldn't particularly recommend it.  I don't see a problem with reading Reformed Theology to understand what it is; however, if you're going to do so, you should have a firm grounding and understanding of Orthodox theology against which to compare it.  In and of itself, reading it isn't bad or wrong, but without an Orthodox grounding, you'll have a lot harder time separating what's sound from what's not. 
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« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2008, 04:08:44 AM »

Greetings,

  Well, I am really new to the Christian World, in terms of theological matters and I was wondering what in the world is Reformed Theology?  I was surfing the net and came across a book entitled, "The Holy Trinity (In scripture, history, theology and worship)" by Robert Letham and purchased it.  Well after I got the book, on the back of the book it has endorsements, in which one comments, "Lethman has given us a tour de force of Reformed Theology."

So does Reform Theology oppose the Orthodox Theological concept of Trinity?  I don't know what Reform Theology is to began with. And had I known before purchasing the book that it was based on Reformed Theology, I would have asked before purchasing the book.

I just assumed that protestant Christian agreed with the Orthodox Christian in regards to Trinity.\\Anyway, thanks,




Some segments of Reformed theology oppose the Eastern Orthodox understanding of the Trinity.

There is an argument right now in the Reformed World about "Aseity". One side believes that each person of the Trinity has "Aseity".

This is real close to Tri-Theism or Three gods instead of One God.

I may be wrong but I think the ORthodox view is that the Father Alone has Aseity because the Son is eternaly begotten from the Father and the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father.


Those in the Reformed camp that advocate this view reject the Nicene Creed in favor of the Athanisian Creed. They don't like the idea of the Son being derived from the Father.

The Reformed View in general...in all it's forms is anti-subordinationist.

The formers of the Nicene Council were closer to what I would call "Subordinate Triniterians". The Reformed camp rejects that idea. And this is why in general they tend to be modalistic.....except for that one group.


There are other differences as well. Like the Filique clause and the modalistic tendencies of the West. I know this sounds wierd since I just mentioned a segment of the Reformed that believe that each Person of the Trinity has "Aseity". But in General the west is bent in the direction of modalism.


But to give a brief discription of Reformed theology I would say:


Reformed Theology starts with Zwingly and culminates with John Calvin. It is the second wave of the Protestant Reformation that is mostly based on Calvins institutes of the Christian religion, his commentaries, the "three forms of unity" of the Dutch Reformed Church and the Westminister Confession of Faith of Prespyterian Churches. I may be wrong but I think John Calvin rewrote or edited the Anglican 39 articles of Faith.

The essentual core of Reformed Theology are

Total inability

Unconditional election

Limited Atonement

Irresistible Grace

Perseverence of the Saints

Infant Baptism

The 5 Solas (Grace alone, Faith Alone, Scripture Alone, Christ ALone, to God the Glory Alone)

Communion as symbolic (Zwingly camp)

Communion as spiritual (John Calvin's compromise to the Zwinglians....This is what alot of the Reformed believe)

Most of the Reformed reject Baptismal regeneration. There is a reformed group called "federal vision" and another one called "new perspective on Paul" that may lean toward Baptismal regeneration but in general they are against it.

They believe in two sacraments........and even in that ....how they understand grace in regards to these sacraments are different than how we understand it.

and

Church ruled by elders (priests and deacons only)







The Reformed Faith has been influenced by the hard deterministic teachings of Augustine(in his later years)

The Renaissance, and the Enlightenment................ not to mention other movements since then.




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« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2008, 04:09:39 AM »

Honestly, as you're a catechumen, I wouldn't particularly recommend it.  I don't see a problem with reading Reformed Theology to understand what it is; however, if you're going to do so, you should have a firm grounding and understanding of Orthodox theology against which to compare it.  In and of itself, reading it isn't bad or wrong, but without an Orthodox grounding, you'll have a lot harder time separating what's sound from what's not. 


I agree
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« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2008, 04:39:24 AM »

It's probably ok, but sometimes Reformed theology descends into Sabellianism because they don't properly appreciate the monarchy of the Father in the Trinity. Just be cautious.

Yupp. you're right!
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« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2008, 12:01:44 PM »

Honestly, as you're a catechumen, I wouldn't particularly recommend it.  I don't see a problem with reading Reformed Theology to understand what it is; however, if you're going to do so, you should have a firm grounding and understanding of Orthodox theology against which to compare it.  In and of itself, reading it isn't bad or wrong, but without an Orthodox grounding, you'll have a lot harder time separating what's sound from what's not. 
I wholeheartedly agree with Veniamin.  At this point in your life, you're way better off sticking to Orthodox reading as you could do some real harm without realizing it.
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« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2008, 02:59:49 PM »

I wholeheartedly agree with Veniamin.  At this point in your life, you're way better off sticking to Orthodox reading as you could do some real harm without realizing it.

I think we need to give people more credit. I am sure that Irenaeus07 is perfectly capable of reading the most probably academic arguments presented in the book and objectively considering them, judging strengths and weaknesses. I would never recommend someone avoid reading something or, especially, avoid reading something until they have been properly indoctrinated. If we believe that what the Church teaches is true then we should also have faith that the veracity of Her teachings will manifest itself. Even I believe that the superiority of Orthodox theology to other Christian theologies will become obvious with an objective study of the subject. There is no need for a protectionist approach and a protectionist mindset could potentially be far more spiritually damaging than objectively reading the arguments of some who may disagree with us.
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« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2008, 06:08:26 PM »

GiC, I'm surprised at such a great post, but I think we need to take it a little further.

I think we need to give people more credit. I am sure that third-graders are perfectly capable of using a tablesaw and figuring out how it works. I would never recommend that a third grader avoid using any sort of tool, or especially, avoid using a tool until they have been properly instructed on how to use it. If we believe that the tablesaw is to be used to build wonderful furnishings, then we should have faith that a third-grader can make a nice sofa without help. Even I believe that the superiority of the tablesaw to all hand saws will become obvious with an objective study of the saw. There is no need for a protectionist approach; receiving proper training and adult supervision could be much more damaging than just letting kids figure it out for themselves.
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« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2008, 09:52:02 PM »

Over all it would be best to read Orthodox sources about the Trinity first, so that you will be well grounded in the original understanding of the Doctrine. After that it would be easier to discern the differences and similarities in the later western mutations.




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« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2008, 01:02:16 AM »

 Irenaeus07 certainly seems to be intelligent enough to discern the wheat from the chaff.  Yet never-the-less, he did ask what Reformed Theology is and any answer given by an Orthodox Christian should come with a caveat. 
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« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2008, 02:27:08 PM »

GiC, I'm surprised at such a great post, but I think we need to take it a little further.

I think we need to give people more credit. I am sure that third-graders are perfectly capable of using a tablesaw and figuring out how it works.

So you wish to compare our friend's intelligence and judgement to that of a third grader? Perhaps you could have tried to make your point without such a blatant ad hominem. A better analogy would be an adult who's never really worked with wood (like myself) learning how to use a tablesaw. Despite my complete lack of experience with such things, if I want to learn how to use a tablesaw the best thing for me to do is to actually start using it. People can tell me about a tablesaw, they can lecture me on their favourite techniques, they can let me watch them use it...but I'll never really understand how to use a tablesaw until I start playing around with it. Sure, there may be a chance of my injuring myself, probably a greater chance than a master carpenter would have, but I have to take that chance if I want to become proficient in using a tablesaw.
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« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2008, 05:58:39 PM »

Let me put it to you this way. In addition to Spanish, I also teach drama at the high school. During this class, I have to teach my students to walk, to talk, to sit, to breathe. These are all things they are perfectly capable of doing on their own--but they must re-learn these things if they are to present a realistic drama. In the same way, when one is converting to Orthodoxy, everything must be re-learned; all the old terminologies and concepts are meaningless, only a vestige of what was previously thought. We must re-learn how to breathe, as it were.

So converts (and I know, having been one recently myself) are really children all over again. There is so little we know, so much we don't understand, and so much we cannot understand--and yet we are eager to know all of it. There is an educational theory called the Zone of Proximal Development; the idea is that any concept which is too far beyond a person's current understanding will be lost, while any concept too close will be ignored. Teachers strive to keep their lessons just beyond current understanding, so that the students are continuously challenged.

This idea is one of the main reasons why we say to anyone, "You should read this book before that one." The first illumines the second. It is not indoctrination to teach 1+1 before 10+6. It is good education.

Being compared to children is not an insult. The kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
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« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2008, 07:40:55 PM »

Let me put it to you this way. In addition to Spanish, I also teach drama at the high school. During this class, I have to teach my students to walk, to talk, to sit, to breathe. These are all things they are perfectly capable of doing on their own--but they must re-learn these things if they are to present a realistic drama. In the same way, when one is converting to Orthodoxy, everything must be re-learned; all the old terminologies and concepts are meaningless, only a vestige of what was previously thought. We must re-learn how to breathe, as it were.

So converts (and I know, having been one recently myself) are really children all over again. There is so little we know, so much we don't understand, and so much we cannot understand--and yet we are eager to know all of it. There is an educational theory called the Zone of Proximal Development; the idea is that any concept which is too far beyond a person's current understanding will be lost, while any concept too close will be ignored. Teachers strive to keep their lessons just beyond current understanding, so that the students are continuously challenged.

Your Zone and Proximal Development theory sounds like the kind of nonsense that those who would rail against the 'evils' of Direct Instruction would put out. I'm a Mathematician by training, I'm one of those people who believe that Quantum Mechanics should be the first physics course you take and Newtonian Mechanics can be derived from it later. If I want to learn something new I don't try to figure out what the next step in my knowledge should be, I'll find a Journal Article or Doctoral Dissertation that sounds interesting and start reading, when I come to a phrase or concept I don't understand I look it up and do what I need to understand it. This gets you right to the heart of things, places you at the fronteirs of the field, and gives you the modern context you need to understand everything else in the field. I basically taught myself biology using this method and now I can happily read through Nature and actually understand what's going on, had I just bought a couple Biology textbooks there is no way I would have accomplished this as quickly as I did.

I give the same advice here, grap the most advanced and difficult text you're interested in and start reading, if you come to something that you have questions about, research it. I am also a convert to Orthodoxy and this is the approach I took, it seems to have worked just fine as I now have a pretty good grasp of Orthodox theology as well as Catholic and Protestant theology.

So, I don't place much stock in your educational theories, after being a student for several years I have learned that one and only one thing is essential to know if you want to learning: how to properly and effectively research. If you learn how to do research you can answer any question you have in any field, even if it's a difficult and complex question in a field you have little or no experience with, it will just take you a bit longer because you'll have to do more research inorder to understand the answers you got to your questions.

Quote
This idea is one of the main reasons why we say to anyone, "You should read this book before that one." The first illumines the second. It is not indoctrination to teach 1+1 before 10+6. It is good education.

You don't need to teach them either, teaching students to memorize each of the infinite potential combinations of integers is probably a poor use of time, you just need them how to count and how the rules of addition from Number Theory interact with counting. If you do that 1+1 is no more difficult, in principle, than 10+6 or 2859462+7938257. So instead of giving someone a list of books to be read in a certain order, let them choose the book that looks most interesting and start there, it will probably keep their interest longer and they'll learn more. If they have questions, they can always make use of the most important educational tool: research.

Quote
Being compared to children is not an insult. The kingdom of God belongs to such as these.

While comparing someone's enthusiasm and heart to that of a child may or may not be an insult, depending on the context, comparing someone's intellectual capacity and judgement to a child's is an insult, no matter how you put it.
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« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2008, 07:51:16 PM »

So, I don't place much stock in your educational theories, after being a student for several years I have learned that one and only one thing is essential to know if you want to learning: how to properly and effectively research. If you learn how to do research you can answer any question you have in any field, even if it's a difficult and complex question in a field you have little or no experience with, it will just take you a bit longer because you'll have to do more research inorder to understand the answers you got to your questions.
Good for you. I'm glad our educational theories got you to the place where you could realize that.
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« Reply #20 on: February 24, 2008, 08:26:21 PM »

Good for you. I'm glad our educational theories got you to the place where you could realize that.

Actually, I spent a good deal of time in a private school where they didn't buy into that nonsense. And even throughout high school, nearly all my classes were direct lectures, no educational theory needed. In college, most my professors never took a single education class in their life, but most were excellent professors in any case.

Education theory is pretty straight forward, the students sit down, shut up, and listen...taking notes if it strikes their fancy...and the teacher lectures them for an hour or so on the day's lesson. There's a reason our schooling at the primary and secondary level was better 100 years ago than it is today, they actually knew how to teach.
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« Reply #21 on: February 24, 2008, 08:38:04 PM »

I'm glad our educational theories made the students sit down, shut up, and listen, so you could have your wonderful education...all without realizing what we do.
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« Reply #22 on: February 24, 2008, 08:59:28 PM »

I'm glad our educational theories made the students sit down, shut up, and listen, so you could have your wonderful education...all without realizing what we do.

Ummm...I think that was managed long before we wasted billions of dollars a year on overpaid bureaucrats to come up with these theories and drive our primary and secondary education system down the drain.
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« Reply #23 on: February 24, 2008, 09:45:08 PM »

Bureaucrats don't come up with these theories. Psychologists do. Though I do agree that they're overpaid. To quote a line from You Can't Take It with You, "I'd pay about $75 for the federal government. No more."
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« Reply #24 on: February 25, 2008, 12:42:53 AM »

Bureaucrats don't come up with these theories. Psychologists do. Though I do agree that they're overpaid. To quote a line from You Can't Take It with You, "I'd pay about $75 for the federal government. No more."

LOL...well, at least we found SOMETHING we can agree on. Grin
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« Reply #25 on: February 25, 2008, 12:06:38 PM »

Interesting discussion to say the least.  And I greatly appreciate everyone’s input.

1.   The Filioque:

I reject this notion.  I’ve a few of the proofs for it in a book entitled by The Creed, written by a Catholic professor.  And I consider it a weak position.

2.   Sabellianism:

Not really sure what this is???

3.   Iconoclasm:

Not really sure what this is???

4.   Modalistic:

Not really sure what this is???

5.   Should I read it or not read it?

If someone has the fear of leaving Orthodox Christianity for another version of Christianity, I truly find that doubtful. Because I have rejected all the other Christian groups on the basis that they do not have an unbroken chain of transmitters back to Jesus Christ.  And my attraction to Orthodox was most in part due to its spirituality and as far as I see, I found this rich spiritual tradition of the Orthodox Faith within the other Christian sects. 
I am a strong believer that God must be experienced.  But this does not negate the need to learn the physical knowledge as well.  I am surrounded by Christians who oppose the Orthodox Tradition and I feel I need to know what I am upon in order to defend myself and my beliefs.  And I use to be Muslim, which is very close to the Jewish tradition in terms of monotheistic view of God, and would like to know the relationship between the concept of God in the Old Testament and the concept of God in the New Testament.  It is necessary for me to see a link.
I’ve read the Orthodox Way, I’ve read the Orthodox Faith Doctrine the chapter on the Holy Trinity.
I am not a blind follower, I need to understand what I believe in order for me to believe it.  And I want to know its historical context as well.
However, I believe Veniamin, is correct to a certain extend.  For most people it would be a waste of their time.
greekischristian is also correct to a certain extend.  If it is indeed the truth and I truly want the truth, then would God lead me astray.
Onto another book. 

Reformed theology generally falls in line with the theological decisions of the first six Oecumenical Synods...after that it diverges towards frankish theology, including such things as iconoclasm and the filioque. Depending on the author (while I'm fairly well read in traditional sources for Reformed theology, I can't say that I'm familiar with Robert Letham) the theology will probably be pretty good, provided he sticks to trinitarian theology and christology, though if he starts delving into the pet issue of Reformed theology, soteriology, I'd probably take it with a grain of salt.

On the bright side, Reformed and Lutheran scholars have traditionally been academically honest enough to present their arguments for their points with academic rigor and avoid pontificating (though if you read Calvin and Luther you will see them slip into the latter from time to time). So go ahead and read the book, but objectively consider the arguments for their strengths and weaknesses and make up your own mind.

There is another book entitled, Credo: Historical and Theological Guide to Creeds and Confessions of Faith in the Christian Tradition - Jaroslav Pelikan.  The Author was Lutheran in the beginning and then became Orthodox toward the end of his life, and became Dean of Theology at St. Vladimir's Seminary.  I was wondering if anyone knew is this book was written when he was a Lutheran or an Orthodox?Huh
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« Reply #26 on: February 26, 2008, 11:08:40 AM »

Some of the seminarians here could tell you a lot more about those three philosophies, but here's a layman's understanding:

Sabellianism: rejection of God as Trinity in favor of a unity. God is one; the "three" are merely human perceptions based on how we see God working. So when God is acting as Creator, we perceive this as the Father. When God is acting as Mediator, we perceive this as the Son. When God is acting as Comforter, we perceive this as the Spirit. But according to this theory, all are actually the same person.

Iconoclasm: rejection of icons. Often accompanied by a belief that all images are necessarily idols and a lack of distinction between veneration and worship.

Modalistic: I'm sorry, I don't know either.
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« Reply #27 on: February 26, 2008, 12:47:04 PM »

Greetings,

  Well, I am really new to the Christian World, in terms of theological matters and I was wondering what in the world is Reformed Theology?  I was surfing the net and came across a book entitled, "The Holy Trinity (In scripture, history, theology and worship)" by Robert Letham and purchased it.  Well after I got the book, on the back of the book it has endorsements, in which one comments, "Lethman has given us a tour de force of Reformed Theology."

So does Reform Theology oppose the Orthodox Theological concept of Trinity?  I don't know what Reform Theology is to began with. And had I known before purchasing the book that it was based on Reformed Theology, I would have asked before purchasing the book.

I just assumed that protestant Christian agreed with the Orthodox Christian in regards to Trinity.\\Anyway, thanks,



It's very difficult to understand all of the things people have promoted in the world under the guise of "christian" which has created this 'huge' road filled with all kinds of doctrines and phrases and so on.

I suggest that you take the 'narrow' road until you are firmly situated as a Orthodox Christian. The orthodox church is the 'early church' and as such you are at the best position among so many other possible places you could have ended up even if WE are not 'perfect' either in certain ways.

I suggest to my catechumen as well as the 'uncommitted' who are searching; to avoid the vaccum of 'theology'. The faith in Christ can be fully availed to you with only the Holy Bible and a good orthodox clergyman to direct you.

All the other myriad items of study will come at the proper time ...'as you grow'. If you let yourself grow naturally and resist the urge to enquire about the things you may see or hear you will be more grounded and well healed when you one day step into these areas.

You have to see yourself as a small child who has yet to learn her ABC's. So how can you read Shakespear or even understand what he is writting?

Of course all these things you seek effect you and the Life in Christ you elect to live one day. But these issues can wait for now.

Seek and obtain salvation and become a true believer with the Holy Baptism. The Holy Orthodox Church is available to furnish you with this wonderful gift of Gods eternal grace.

Basic questions can be addressed by most orthodox Christians and on forums like this one. But beyond that the most important issues for you get clouded in the various points of view as you can see from the posts already. All good points though!

Surfing the net or going back and forth with us on this thread is helpful but is not the way to your salvation. Most if not all of the people here are of good intention and really want to help you and may be helping you in certain ways; but however are not qualified to instruct in the mysteries of the Holy Church. In the orthodox church this is done by the clergy. Not forums like this one.

The question of Theology then is a huge area and good question for the curious. Forums like this are helpful to see what others are aware of. But you seem to be asking this question from a very innocent stage. That is what concerns me so much. I would rather you'travel lite' for a while until you become more prepared.

Take the path to your salvation that is narrow. It requires that you only come as you are. You do not need to know anything about 'theology' or doctrines etc. That will come to you later.

I hope I was helpful to you.

God bless you
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« Reply #28 on: February 26, 2008, 01:49:31 PM »

Some of the seminarians here could tell you a lot more about those three philosophies, but here's a layman's understanding:

Sabellianism: rejection of God as Trinity in favor of a unity. God is one; the "three" are merely human perceptions based on how we see God working. So when God is acting as Creator, we perceive this as the Father. When God is acting as Mediator, we perceive this as the Son. When God is acting as Comforter, we perceive this as the Spirit. But according to this theory, all are actually the same person.

Iconoclasm: rejection of icons. Often accompanied by a belief that all images are necessarily idols and a lack of distinction between veneration and worship.

Modalistic: I'm sorry, I don't know either.

Modalism is the same as Sabellianism. It is the term mostly used in the west.



JNORM888
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« Reply #29 on: March 07, 2008, 12:21:23 AM »

Greetings,

  Well, I am really new to the Christian World, in terms of theological matters and I was wondering what in the world is Reformed Theology?  I was surfing the net and came across a book entitled, "The Holy Trinity (In scripture, history, theology and worship)" by Robert Letham and purchased it. 


Well an update on this book.  To be honest can't even finish the book.  It is not what I was looking for, so I have no desire to finish the book.  It is like a summary of all these different theologians opinion on the trinity, and brushes very little on scripture and history.

Well I don't recommend this book, for one wanting to understand it within the context of scripture (both old and new testament) and history etc etc.

Well I just got Credo (Historical And Theological Guide to Creeds and Confessions of Faith in the Christian Tradition) by Jaroslav Pelikan.  The book just from flipping the pages, it is seems like it is an scholarly work. 600 pages.  But it looks like I won't be able to get into until after Lent.
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