Author Topic: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas  (Read 35415 times)

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Offline orthodoxlurker

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The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« on: March 16, 2008, 06:05:28 PM »
This topic has been split from the EP & Met. Zizioulas Slam the Russian Orthodox Church as they Meet in Rome thread. 

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In any case, Oecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is not as highly regarded as the throne of Most Holy Oecumenical Patriarch he occupies. Yet, I try to understand his position and ought to give some credit to him.

Statements and theology of Mrt Zlizloulas, though not so widely known and recognized by Orthodox (well, not all of us speak English...) is gaining some attention and I must say cause outrage. Very best he would do to preserve Orthodox Unity is to mute his voice. Since this is unlikely, there is a chance of severing ties.

If that happens, I'll not be with Mrt. Zlizloulas.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2008, 11:38:44 AM by Pravoslavbob »
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Offline Fr. George

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The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2008, 08:53:41 PM »
Statements and theology of Mrt Zlizloulas, though not so widely known and recognized by Orthodox (well, not all of us speak English...) is gaining some attention and I must say cause outrage. Very best he would do to preserve Orthodox Unity is to mute his voice. Since this is unlikely, there is a chance of severing ties. 

I don't know about severing ties over Metropolitan John.  Some of his statements have been questionable, but most of his theology seems ok.  There are, however, some things he says in his writings that I too question.
"O Cross of Christ, all-holy, thrice-blessed, and life-giving, instrument of the mystical rites of Zion, the holy Altar for the service of our Great Archpriest, the blessing - the weapon - the strength of priests, our pride, our consolation, the light in our hearts, our mind, and our steps"
Met. Meletios of Nikopolis & Preveza, from his ordination.

Offline Tzimis

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The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2008, 09:29:32 PM »
I wouldn't worry to much over the EP losing Constantinople. Turkey will soon enter the European union. Let us not forget where most Orthodox get there Chrism from.
Metropolitan John Zizioulas's theology is pure Genius. What exactly do you find questionable Cleveland?
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2008, 09:35:08 PM »
I wouldn't worry to much over the EP losing Constantinople. Turkey will soon enter the European union. Let us not forget where most Orthodox get there Chrism from.
Metropolitan John Zizioulas's theology is pure Genius. What exactly do you find questionable Cleveland?

I think he goes overboard on some of the relativistic language.  Overall I find it good, though.
"O Cross of Christ, all-holy, thrice-blessed, and life-giving, instrument of the mystical rites of Zion, the holy Altar for the service of our Great Archpriest, the blessing - the weapon - the strength of priests, our pride, our consolation, the light in our hearts, our mind, and our steps"
Met. Meletios of Nikopolis & Preveza, from his ordination.

Offline Tzimis

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The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2008, 09:54:35 PM »
I think he goes overboard on some of the relativistic language.  Overall I find it good, though.
I think he does an excellent job of uniting two Ecclesiological concepts. When the Church trend was focusing too highly on the Alexandrian theology. He was just what was needed. It was heading towards Protestantism.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2008, 10:00:16 PM »
I think he goes overboard on some of the relativistic language.  Overall I find it good, though.

Some seven years ago I read an article of him translated into Serbian and published in newspapers of a Serbian diocese. It was the time of my blissed ignorance, when I was unaware about ecumenism/antiecumenism, existence of Old-Calendar schism in most Patriarchates and actions been taken by Constantinopolis for 80 years.

The article made me feeling physical pain.

Unlike Orthodox writers, whose writings flow like a powerful river, sound like a beautiful song, that article was quite different.

The conclusions, although seemed Orthodox, were based on arguments that were not related and proper for respective conclusion. Basically it's flawed way of thinking. The entire course of thought were not a flow, it was zig-zag line.

I was shocked and more Orthodox writers I read later, I felt better. So I basically don read him anymore. I forgot what was the article about - it was so destructive to me.

Yet another argument of his supporters is that we, his opponents, don't understand him, because we aren't educated enough. Fine.

Any carpenter can understand St. John of Damascus, St. Gregory the Theologian, St. Athanasios the Great and it doesn't take much education for it.

The same goes for most contemporary Orthodox theologians, but not for Metr. Zlizloulas. Though there is some similarity with Roman Catholics in the sense they too cannot take a grasp of their theology without much education, so they need and infallible Pope to tell them what to believe.

My final judgment is that his teaching is aimed at rephrasing Orthodox Faith to base it on false and flawed arguments, unlike the arguments used by the Holy Fathers to reach the same conclusions. Consequently, once we base our Faith on writings of Metr. Zlizloulas and forget the Holy Fathers, although there would be no difference in conclusions, we would be building on foundation of sand.

I won't read him anymore, it's destructive for my soul.
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Offline Symeon

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The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2008, 11:15:31 PM »
IMO, some of Zizioulas's Trinitarian stuff comes uncomfortably close to Arianism, at least verbally.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2008, 12:11:45 AM by Symeon »

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The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2008, 12:16:59 AM »
My final judgment is that his teaching is aimed at rephrasing Orthodox Faith to base it on false and flawed arguments, unlike the arguments used by the Holy Fathers to reach the same conclusions. Consequently, once we base our Faith on writings of Metr. Zlizloulas and forget the Holy Fathers, although there would be no difference in conclusions, we would be building on foundation of sand.
Can you give specific examples of this difference in approach?
« Last Edit: March 17, 2008, 12:17:21 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline buzuxi

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The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2008, 02:09:32 AM »
Metropolitan Zizioulas is quite the ecumenists, and basically I too have read things from him that basically make no Orthodox sense. This wasnt always the case though. In his book "Eucharist Bishop Church"  first published in the early 1960's, it is quite Orthodox and a classic. In fact this excellent historical study is contrary to what Rome claims for itself today and even contradicts the modern day Metr Zizioulas himself!.

Unfortunately things have changed and this is even admitted to in the Preface of that same book. The Preface; added on just a decade or two ago, in its opening chapter, says that  since now church unity occupies an important place in "theological study" the book should be revised to accomodate ecumenism! Page 5 of the preface even laments that Metr Zizioulas doesnt have the time to republish the book and add additional chapters to the book with a new bibliography (even though he wants to since nowadays he doesnt feel its complete).  The Preface is almost in a subtle way encouraging the intentional distortion of church history in order to now accomodate unity with the RC!

If anyone wants to know first hand how over time the Orthodox bishops capitulated in the pseudo council of Florence and how history can repeat itself needs to read Zizioulas excellent and historically accurant book "Eucharist, Bishop, Church" and compare to what he teaches today.     
« Last Edit: March 17, 2008, 02:12:06 AM by buzuxi »

Offline Symeon

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The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2008, 06:04:28 AM »
There are serious problems when one stubbornly refuses to call the Son and Holy Spirit "God," and only gives this title to the Father. I'm not a huge fan of David Bentley Hart, but he is quite right to criticize the "small, deeply misguided set of theologians [who have] even begun using the name ‘God’ (ho Theos) of the Father alone, imagining this to be proper obedience to ancient liturgical usage and to the doctrine of the paternal monarchia."

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The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2008, 08:03:50 AM »
Can you give specific examples of this difference in approach?

I'm affraid I'm not able to speak authoritatively about it, I'm not a theologian, but I am able to speak about my impression about it, though it takes time and effort to me, and every such an effort is destructive to my feelings.

Here is an interesting article

http://kyledavidbennett.blogspot.com/2008/01/is-zizioulas-docetist.html
Kyle David Bennett
Quote
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Is Zizioulas a Docetist?

I completed Being and Communion yesterday evening and we deliberated about it in class today. It was exciting. Before this reading I was acquainted with Zizioulas’ work but I couldn’t have delineated the nuances of his ecclesiology and the foci of his predications like I can now. I enjoyed investigating the differences between his “communion ecclesiology” and that of Dumitru Staniloae, Vladimir Lossky, Nicholas Afanasiev and other Orthodox theologians. I discovered that while all these Orthodox theologians seek a "communion ecclesiology" they all do not concur as to what exactly a “communion ecclesiology” is and should be. The reason this is so is because each of them has different conceptions of the Trinity (especially the relations and economies of the Son and Spirit). Being that they predicate their ecclesiologies on their notions of the Trinity, and they have diverse notions of the Trinity, their notions of a “communion ecclesiology” are varied.

With that said, upon a careful reading I discovered a few fallacious conclusions that Zizioulas arrives at. The main one being and the only one I’ll share in this post is: Christ's hypostasis.

Unlike Lossky, who divided the economies of the Son and Spirit,[1]  Zizioulas attempts to synthesize them. He posits that the Son institutes the Church, i.e., Christ states the reality of the Church’s identity and what her mission is, and the Spirit constitutes her, i.e., She shapes and forms the Church according to this identity and mission.[2] Zizioulas then explicates his Christology and concentrates on Christ’s hypostases.[3] He contends that Christ has a biological hypostasis (human) and an eschatological one (divine).[4] Here he is correct and follows traditional Orthodox doctrine albeit employing novel terms that are occasionally confusing. However, he continues and states that Christ’s biological hypostasis, after his death and resurrection, was rendered unreal and the eschatological one was the only hypostasis deemed real.

This is where I demur and think Zizioulas sets up a false dichotomy that ends up limiting the scope of his “communion ecclesiology” (I’ll save this for another post). Furthermore, he negates the Chalcedonian formulation, which he employs to aggrandize his argument. Suffice it to say, I am not certain that Zizioulas ruminated the hypostatic union adequately enough before he applied it to his logic and rhetoric. Instead of stating that the eschatological hypostasis is the only real hypostasis Zizioulas should have stated that the biological hypostasis could be real only when it participates in the eschatological one. That way he wouldn’t have set up a false dichotomy between the reality of the biological and eschatological. Moreover, he wouldn’t have inadvertently disparaged the biological hypostasis, or humanity, of Jesus Christ and intimated a Docetic view of his existence.

In my opinion, on this point Zizioulas leaves the believer wondering how “real” their bodily existence is. Moreover, he leaves them, in typical Platonic fashion, in a polarized state bemused over which person is more significant: who they are now or who they will be at the eschaton.
--------------------------
[1] Keep in mind, Lossky is appropriating Afanasiev and Zizioulas is appropriating Lossky. Lossky deliberately devoted separate chapters to the economies of the Son and Spirit in The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church: chapters seven and eight.

[2] This is equivalent to Protestant institution and sanctification.

[3] Simply put, but terribly risking oversimplication, traditionally, “hypostasis” has referred to the essence or nature of an individual. For Zizioulas it refers to a person, who is an individual in relationship with God and others, as they were created to be, and is so in freedom.

[4] Zizioulas, Being and Communion, 55 n. 49.

The questions I ask are:

1) If there is the difference in understanding of the Holy Trinity between Metr. Zlizloulas on one side and Afanasiev and Lossky on the other side, whom of them is with the Holy Fathers?

2) Wouldn't proclamation of two hypostasis justify the accusation of monofisites that the teaching of Chalcedon leads to schisofrenic understanding of Christ?

3) If all we know is that our bodies will be changed upon General Resurrection, and nobody and no one dared to explain what kind of difference would that be before Metr. Zlizloulas, I'm curious to know proofs for his stance that "the eschatological hypostasis is the only real hypostasis"? Did he have a revelation of it? Or it is just his wisdom? Have any of the Holy Fathers before him been so wise?

4) If Christ after Resurrection does have only "unreal" human hipostasis, what are we to expect? And how does that differ from what "Bishop" Spong proclaimed as his teaching?

5) Is there the unseparable union of divine and human in Christ as an example for all of us to strive for, or is it yet to be achieved once upon His Second Arrival? In case of the later, why had Christ suffered and died for? Did he really gained victory over death by his humanity, too? Is there really Hades/Hell and Paradise? Do we really eat His flesh and drink His blood in eucharist?

I can't see how I can answer yes to these questions under 5 if I believe that "the eschatological hypostasis is the only real hypostasis" of Christ?

There is also stuff at Italia Ortodossa http://digilander.libero.it/ortodossia/Zizioulas.htm

That much from me, an ignorant lay sinner. I hope I did not hurt anyone's feelings, it wasn't my intention. I just expressed my opposition to theology and actions, and not to the person of said Metronpolitan. And if I don't understand it, someone should explain it to me in the same fashion that he would explain it to my late grandmother that had only a high school, but was able to plant basics of Orthodox Christianity into her grandchildren.
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Offline Tzimis

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The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2008, 10:17:10 AM »


That much from me, an ignorant lay sinner. I hope I did not hurt anyone's feelings, it wasn't my intention. I just expressed my opposition to theology and actions, and not to the person of said Metronpolitan. And if I don't understand it, someone should explain it to me in the same fashion that he would explain it to my late grandmother that had only a high school, but was able to plant basics of Orthodox Christianity into her grandchildren.

There are two trains of thought in Orthodoxy. The Alexandrian and the Cappadocian  . The Alexandrian is based on salvation through the Holy Spirit (Ascetic life), basically leaving out the Eucharistic approach to salvation. Making the Eucharist just a spiritual experience. The cappadocian  witch unites the church within the Eucharist was always more dominant. When one chooses one over the other they tend to leave the other behind. The Alexandrian approach alone leads to Protestantism. Because it believes that the church is what the Holy Spirit has united. Ring a bell. Belief in the Eucharist alone leads to Catholicism leaving out the Holy Spirit. What Met.Zizioulas does is unite both thoughts, because salvation is both Metaphysical and physical.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2008, 10:32:48 AM »

There are two trains of thought in Orthodoxy. The Alexandrian and the Cappadocian  . The Alexandrian is based on salvation through the Holy Spirit (Ascetic life), basically leaving out the Eucharistic approach to salvation. Making the Eucharist just a spiritual experience. The cappadocian  witch unites the church within the Eucharist was always more dominant. When one chooses one over the other they tend to leave the other behind. The Alexandrian approach alone leads to Protestantism. Because it believes that the church is what the Holy Spirit has united. Ring a bell. Belief in the Eucharist alone leads to Catholicism leaving out the Holy Spirit. What Met.Zizioulas does is unite both thoughts, because salvation is both Metaphysical and physical.

Thank you very much, but:

1) I thought there used to be Alexandrian and Atniochian schools, but both were "united" by Capadoccians, and each "train" is Orthodox to the bones.

2) You haven't addressed any question I posted above.
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Offline lubeltri

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The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2008, 10:47:24 AM »
Belief in the Eucharist alone leads to Catholicism leaving out the Holy Spirit. What Met.Zizioulas does is unite both thoughts, because salvation is both Metaphysical and physical.

Hmm, I was not aware that we don't believe in the Holy Spirit...

Offline ialmisry

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The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2008, 11:08:41 AM »
I wouldn't worry to much over the EP losing Constantinople. Turkey will soon enter the European union. Let us not forget where most Orthodox get there Chrism from.

Moscow.
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The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2008, 11:09:58 AM »
Hmm, I was not aware that we don't believe in the Holy Spirit...

Your liturgy is short on references to the Holy Spirit (explicit or implicit) and is at least one reason, IMHO, why liturgical scholars such as Keith F. Pecklers, S.J. and James F.
White, among others, bemoan that an eschatological element is tragically missing from the Roman liturgy (and I would extrapolate from this the Western Christian experience in general), and why I think the transformative nature of the liturgy and the Church has not been successfully appropriated or understood by the West.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2008, 11:46:04 AM by Pravoslavbob »
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2008, 11:29:15 AM »
Fr John Behr from SVS used to criticize Zizioulas's Trinitarian doctrine as presented in "Being as Communion", especially Zizoulas's take on perichoreisis. I don't recall the exact argument though as that was ages ago...well 4 years...seems like ages. :)

I think he wrote an article about the topic but I'd have to find it. What I like about Fr John though is he tries not to mention his opponents by name, critiquing the idea and not the person.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2008, 11:29:29 AM by Anastasios »
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2008, 11:38:58 AM »
Maybe I should have read Being as Communion more closely when I was supposed to.  I only skimmed the book.  I've only read significant portions of "Eucharist Bishop Church."
"O Cross of Christ, all-holy, thrice-blessed, and life-giving, instrument of the mystical rites of Zion, the holy Altar for the service of our Great Archpriest, the blessing - the weapon - the strength of priests, our pride, our consolation, the light in our hearts, our mind, and our steps"
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2008, 11:41:15 AM »
Thank you very much, but:

1) I thought there used to be Alexandrian and Atniochian schools, but both were "united" by Capadoccians, and each "train" is Orthodox to the bones.

Yes, but Whoever is not acquainted with the Cappadocians, is not acquainted with the dogma of the Holy Trinity.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2008, 11:54:15 AM »
Fr John Behr from SVS used to criticize Zizioulas's Trinitarian doctrine as presented in "Being as Communion", especially Zizoulas's take on perichoreisis. I don't recall the exact argument though as that was ages ago...well 4 years...seems like ages. :)

I think he wrote an article about the topic but I'd have to find it. What I like about Fr John though is he tries not to mention his opponents by name, critiquing the idea and not the person.
Might this be it?
http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/liturgics/john_zizioulas_communion_otherness.htm
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2008, 11:56:19 AM »
Yes, but Whoever is not acquainted with the Cappadocians, is not acquainted with the dogma of the Holy Trinity.

I'd never say so.

Everyone who is attending services and is reciting Creed for a while is actually perfectly acquainted with the dogma of the Holy Trinity, to the extent it's possible to us, humans, to comprehend it.

But, why are you giving me lectures while avoiding to address the questions I posted above?
« Last Edit: March 17, 2008, 11:56:56 AM by orthodoxlurker »
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Offline buzuxi

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2008, 01:01:56 PM »
If Metr Zizioulas made a distinction between a human hypostasis and a divine hypostasis, then he is promoting Nestorianism, plain and simple. 
 It is the one and same Jesus Christ who was born of Mary and walked the earth and later ressurected. Christ is the one and same person whether before or after His ressurection, thanks to the Hypostatic Union which took place in the womb of the Theotokos. 
« Last Edit: March 17, 2008, 01:03:26 PM by buzuxi »

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2008, 05:22:01 PM »
I'd never say so.

Everyone who is attending services and is reciting Creed for a while is actually perfectly acquainted with the dogma of the Holy Trinity, to the extent it's possible to us, humans, to comprehend it.

But, why are you giving me lectures while avoiding to address the questions I posted above?

This may solve all of your questions.
By: V. Bakouros

 
Quote
Directly dependent on the existential-personal dimension of Love, is the dogma of triunity. The term “Dogma” does not apply to something “inexplicable” (as we shall see further down), but to something “rudimentary”.  To be precise, it signifies the “rationalizing of something that cannot be expressed”; a rationalizing that founds the gnostic edifice.

If God –as an absolute essence– had only one persona, then that persona could not exist independently of the essence, and subsequently would not be able to be in communion with it existentially, through Love.

If the beyond-time and non-finite essence of God were expressed (existentially) through one persona only, then that persona would have been obliged to acknowledge it (the essence) out of necessity, otherwise it would be abolishing itself. Furthermore, the persona would also be incapable of loving the essence, because it would - inevitably- be in an eternal co-existence with it, ontologically as well.

Therefore, on the basis of Aristotelian logic, what would the single persona of the divine be contradistinguished with existentially (in order to define itself), if the essence alone were the “other reigning factor”?  We can see how this would have meant a compulsory relationship, and not a relationship of freedom, of Love.

The problem of a God subjugated to Fate, which was previously an ontological problem, is posed once again - but now as an existential problem - and cannot be solved.  Triunity (the co-existence of three personae) solves this problem of a servant God, because the three personae define themselves individually and each other, and they also freely choose to love, to exist in communion with each other, thus giving that same divine essence a hypostasis. At an ordinary ontological level, this issue appears impossible to solve.

Love, therefore, in Christian theology and life theory, is not a simple sentiment.  It is an existential category, which defines that very concept and experience of God, and even further, the very concept and experience of man.

If God exists in this manner because He loves, then man also is understood-fulfilled in this manner, and not in any other, because he loves.  When this does not occur, man is self-annulled.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #23 on: March 17, 2008, 06:42:19 PM »
This may solve all of your questions.
By: V. Bakouros
Huh?

Let me see if few lines, that were obviously part of a wider article, without a link or the title of work, or credentials of the author are able to "solve all my problems".

Quote
Directly dependent on the existential-personal dimension of Love, is the dogma of triunity.

How come it is "directly dependent"?

Since when Orthodox profess "dogma of triunity"? I know about dogma of the Holy Trinity, but "dogma of triunity" is unknown to me.

Quote
To be precise, it signifies the “rationalizing of something that cannot be expressed”; a rationalizing that founds the gnostic edifice.
...
It is an existential category, which defines that very concept and experience of God, and even further, the very concept and experience of man.
...
If God exists in this manner because He loves, then man also is understood-fulfilled in this manner, and not in any other, because he loves.

That migh work for gnostics, as the author himself recognizes. I also know much of the errors that puzzled West are a direct cosequence of the rationalizing about uncomprehensible and unspeakable, which is directly (again) in contradiction with the sound Orthodox teaching:

Like St. Gregory of Nyssa thought us:
Quote
"Let those who would pry into the mystery of the life of God, realize how little they understand of the mysteries of the life of the ant."

Like St. Gregory the Theologian thought us:
Quote
"Do tell me what is the unbegotteness of the Father, and I will explain to you the physiology of the generation of the Son and the procession of the Spirit, and we shall both of us be frenzy-stricken for prying into the mystery of God"

But the author obviously knows better than those two (of total three) Cappadocian Fathers.

Quote
The problem of a God subjugated to Fate, which was previously an ontological problem, is posed once again - but now as an existential problem - and cannot be solved.

The author obviously has some problem, which isn't explained in these few lines, which he says is an ontological one, so he decided to pose it now as an existential one and conclude it neither can be solved. What does it have with me, and Orthodox Christian? Is there something here I should be impressed with?

Quote
Triunity (the co-existence of three personae) solves this problem of a servant God, because the three personae define themselves individually and each other, and they also freely choose to love, to exist in communion with each other, thus giving that same divine essence a hypostasis. At an ordinary ontological level, this issue appears impossible to solve.

What is the problem of "a servant God" according to the author? Does he believe in God, or in a God?

Demetrios, are you serious? Is that the best shoot you can take in defense of "genioius" Metr. Zlizloulas? Why didn't you address any of those five questions of mine?
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #24 on: March 17, 2008, 06:44:19 PM »
This may solve all of your questions.
By: V. Bakouros 

Demetrios, could you give a link to where you found that, or if you typed it the name of the article and where you found it?  It would be helpful, and in line with forum guidelines.


The only way I could find it is in the Google cache (it seems the site that I found it quoted on - the Orthodox Outlet for Dogmatic Enquiries, or OODE - isn't working, or at least not for me):
http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:N_VWZwzCFP8J:www.oodegr.com/english/dogma/agapi_elefth3.htm+%22then+that+persona+could+not+exist+independently+of+the+essence%22&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us&client=firefox-a

Quote
This article is the third part of the extract from an article by the University teacher V. Bakouros that was published in the magazine “TREETO MAHTI” (December 2004 edition No.128, pages 22-26, with the general title “Socialistic Social Solidarity and Christian Love”).

This article is being re-published, by kind courtesy of the magazine, and will be completed in a series of segmented articles.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2008, 06:48:23 PM by cleveland »
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #25 on: March 17, 2008, 08:50:10 PM »
Demetrios, could you give a link to where you found that, or if you typed it the name of the article and where you found it?  It would be helpful, and in line with forum guidelines.


The only way I could find it is in the Google cache (it seems the site that I found it quoted on - the Orthodox Outlet for Dogmatic Enquiries, or OODE - isn't working, or at least not for me):
http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:N_VWZwzCFP8J:www.oodegr.com/english/dogma/agapi_elefth3.htm+%22then+that+persona+could+not+exist+independently+of+the+essence%22&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us&client=firefox-a

Try this link. Click at the English flag if you do not read Greek.  http://www.oodegr.com/oode/dogma/agapi_elefth4.htm
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #26 on: March 17, 2008, 10:23:05 PM »


Demetrios, are you serious? Is that the best shoot you can take in defense of "genioius" Metr. Zlizloulas? Why didn't you address any of those five questions of mine?
phrase them a little better and I will.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #27 on: March 18, 2008, 09:49:30 AM »

 Belief in the Eucharist alone leads to Catholicism leaving out the Holy Spirit.
Wow. That's right. We Catholics don't believe in the Holy Spirit. Thanks for reminding me; I had forgotten this secret Church teaching and had been accepting the heresy of the Trinity all of my life.  ;) Come now man. I see Eastern Orthodox Christian try to create all kinds of non-existant problems in Catholic theology for polemical prupose (some of you guys sure love your straw men) but this one takes the cake.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #28 on: March 18, 2008, 10:13:34 AM »
Wow. That's right. We Catholics don't believe in the Holy Spirit. Thanks for reminding me; I had forgotten this secret Church teaching and had been accepting the heresy of the Trinity all of my life.  ;) Come now man. I see Eastern Orthodox Christian try to create all kinds of non-existant problems in Catholic theology for polemical prupose (some of you guys sure love your straw men) but this one takes the cake.
As a Catholic you can easily validate my point. Can man be saved without baptism?
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #29 on: March 18, 2008, 12:13:03 PM »
Wow. That's right. We Catholics don't believe in the Holy Spirit. Thanks for reminding me; I had forgotten this secret Church teaching and had been accepting the heresy of the Trinity all of my life.  ;) Come now man. I see Eastern Orthodox Christian try to create all kinds of non-existant problems in Catholic theology for polemical prupose (some of you guys sure love your straw men) but this one takes the cake.

See my last post.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #30 on: March 18, 2008, 03:11:16 PM »
It seems trolling out and expressing "arguments" to prove Metr. Zlizloulas criticize Roman Catholics (as if it was a proof about his Orthodoxy) occurred. Yet:

phrase them a little better and I will.

When you swallow communion, what do you eat:

1) Flesh and blood of Jesus Christ

or

2)Bread and wine that will become flesh and blood in eshaton only?
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #31 on: March 18, 2008, 03:21:00 PM »
I would just like to join in on this parade and say that Met. John makes my skin crawl and I do not like his writings to the point of detesting them. 

Anyone who writes things and then is "loved" by EVERYONE and "makes so much sense" sends up HUGE red warning lights for me. 

I absolutely agree with the OP in that he makes NO sense to me. 

I also just wanted to post to be kept abreast of this thread.   ;) ;D
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #32 on: March 18, 2008, 03:43:28 PM »
It seems trolling out and expressing "arguments" to prove Metr. Zlizloulas criticize Roman Catholics (as if it was a proof about his Orthodoxy) occurred. Yet:

When you swallow communion, what do you eat:

1) Flesh and blood of Jesus Christ

or

2)Bread and wine that will become flesh and blood in eshaton only?

When you pray for intercession with an icon are you praying to the icon or the saint depicted in the icon?
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #33 on: March 18, 2008, 03:49:36 PM »
I would just like to join in on this parade and say that Met. John makes my skin crawl and I do not like his writings to the point of detesting them. 

Anyone who writes things and then is "loved" by EVERYONE and "makes so much sense" sends up HUGE red warning lights for me. 

I absolutely agree with the OP in that he makes NO sense to me. 

I also just wanted to post to be kept abreast of this thread.   ;) ;D

Ya, he is the Antichrist. Yawn
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #34 on: March 18, 2008, 03:53:07 PM »
Wow...grandstanding...havn't seen that one in a while.  smirk
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #35 on: March 18, 2008, 04:02:06 PM »
When you pray for intercession with an icon are you praying to the icon or the saint depicted in the icon?
Bad analogy.  Whereas we believe an icon to be a symbolic representation of the person depicted, we believe the Eucharist IS Christ, not merely a symbolic representation of Him.  There is simply no comparison.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #36 on: March 18, 2008, 04:12:46 PM »
Bad analogy.  Whereas we believe an icon to be a symbolic representation of the person depicted, we believe the Eucharist IS Christ, not merely a symbolic representation of Him.  There is simply no comparison.
So than everybody that goes to the Eucharist is simple saved regardless of the state of there soul.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #37 on: March 18, 2008, 04:37:18 PM »
Bad analogy. 

Extremely bad. But anyway:

I pray for the intercession of a Saint who is able to intercede both here and now and in eshaton, and not in eshaton only. The same I partake His flesh and blood here and now, and not what will become His flesh and blood in eshaton only.

Demetrios, you still haven't answered any question of mine.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #38 on: March 18, 2008, 04:38:26 PM »
So than everybody that goes to the Eucharist is simple saved regardless of the state of there soul.

And how exactly does that differ from the teaching of "Bishop" Spong?
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #39 on: March 18, 2008, 04:40:15 PM »
So than everybody that goes to the Eucharist is simple saved regardless of the state of there soul.
No.  In fact, many are condemned precisely because, in receiving the Eucharist, they have received Christ.  Have you not read St. Paul on this matter?  (cf. 1 Corinthians, Chapter 11:18-34).
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #40 on: March 18, 2008, 04:41:24 PM »
Extremely bad. But anyway:

I pray for the intercession of a Saint who is able to intercede both here and now and in eshaton, and not in eshaton only.

I should add:

Wouldn't the Saints be judged at the Judgment Day, along with the rest of us, too? How would they be able to intercede on that day when they wouldn't be able to look at His face?

If they will be able to intercede in eshaton only, when we are not alive anymore, why didn't Abraham interceded for the rich man?

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #41 on: March 18, 2008, 08:24:15 PM »
No.  In fact, many are condemned precisely because, in receiving the Eucharist, they have received Christ.  Have you not read St. Paul on this matter?  (cf. 1 Corinthians, Chapter 11:18-34).
And what is that condemnation that you speak of? ;)
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #42 on: March 18, 2008, 08:27:13 PM »
And how exactly does that differ from the teaching of "Bishop" Spong?
It doesn't differ one bit. The difference is that the end result is hell instead of hell. But what is hell?
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #43 on: March 18, 2008, 08:28:35 PM »
I should add:

Wouldn't the Saints be judged at the Judgment Day, along with the rest of us, too? How would they be able to intercede on that day when they wouldn't be able to look at His face?

If they will be able to intercede in eshaton only, when we are not alive anymore, why didn't Abraham interceded for the rich man?


If eternal life is infinite that why are you looking at time? Recapitulation doesn't include time.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2008, 08:31:08 PM by Demetrios G. »
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #44 on: March 18, 2008, 09:01:26 PM »
I should add:

Wouldn't the Saints be judged at the Judgment Day, along with the rest of us, too? How would they be able to intercede on that day when they wouldn't be able to look at His face?

If they will be able to intercede in eshaton only, when we are not alive anymore, why didn't Abraham interceded for the rich man?


You really don't see it do you? The end times are at every liturgy. Are not the saints there judging us in the Icons. Church is a depiction of the last day.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #45 on: March 18, 2008, 10:17:04 PM »
And what is that condemnation that you speak of? ;)
Read the passage from 1 Corinthians to which I referred you, and see if that doesn't answer your question.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #46 on: March 18, 2008, 10:36:47 PM »
Read the passage from 1 Corinthians to which I referred you, and see if that doesn't answer your question.
I don't see what you mean. Those verses support both theologies.
When Adam ate the fruit. Did God condemn him to just death or did he say, you will die and then go to hell. Eternal death is Hell.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #47 on: March 18, 2008, 10:46:08 PM »
I don't see what you mean. Those verses support both theologies.
I'm not speaking high theology here.

Quote
When Adam ate the fruit. Did God condemn him to just death or did he say, you will die and then go to hell. Eternal death is Hell.
I think you're reading into this discussion, and my participation in it, much more than I intend to communicate.  IOW, you're making things much more complicated than they need to be.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #48 on: March 19, 2008, 04:55:58 AM »
It doesn't differ one bit. The difference is that the end result is hell instead of hell. But what is hell?
For the sake of Orthodox that might read this, I'll just put the link to the taching of "Bishop" Spong which you claim doesn't differ for what Metr. Zlizloulas teaches (I don't know if he'd agree with you, but let each one decides for oneself).
http://www.dioceseofnewark.org/jsspong/reform.html

Quote
The issues to which I now call the Christians of the world to debate are these:

1. Theism, as a way of defining God, is dead. So most theological God-talk is today meaningless. A new way to speak of God must be found.
2. Since God can no longer be conceived in theistic terms, it becomes nonsensical to seek to understand Jesus as the incarnation of the theistic deity. So the Christology of the ages is bankrupt.
3. The biblical story of the perfect and finished creation from which human beings fell into sin is pre-Darwinian mythology and post-Darwinian nonsense.
4. The virgin birth, understood as literal biology, makes Christ's divinity, as traditionally understood, impossible.
5. The miracle stories of the New Testament can no longer be interpreted in a post-Newtonian world as supernatural events performed by an incarnate deity.
6. The view of the cross as the sacrifice for the sins of the world is a barbarian idea based on primitive concepts of God and must be dismissed.
7. Resurrection is an action of God. Jesus was raised into the meaning of God. It therefore cannot be a physical resuscitation occurring inside human history.
8. The story of the Ascension assumed a three-tiered universe and is therefore not capable of being translated into the concepts of a post-Copernican space age.
9. There is no external, objective, revealed standard writ in scripture or on tablets of stone that will govern our ethical behavior for all time.
10. Prayer cannot be a request made to a theistic deity to act in human history in a particular way.
11. The hope for life after death must be separated forever from the behavior control mentality of reward and punishment. The Church must abandon, therefore, its reliance on guilt as a motivator of behavior.
12. All human beings bear God's image and must be respected for what each person is. Therefore, no external description of one's being, whether based on race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, can properly be used as the basis for either rejection or discrimination.
The difference is that the end result is hell instead of hell. But what is hell?

I haven't had a revelation about hell, and I am unaware of any Church teaching about it, save from Apocalypsis of St. John the Theologian. No Church Father spoke about it, I guess they had good reasons for that. Therefore, I can't answer your question. But, it seems to me it was a rethorical one, and that you are prepared to answer it, I'm eager to listen the answer that Holy Fathers before your teachers have not addressed. I'm transformed into an ear.

If eternal life is infinite that why are you looking at time? Recapitulation doesn't include time.
You really don't see it do you? The end times are at every liturgy. Are not the saints there judging us in the Icons. Church is a depiction of the last day.

The apples and oranges you are mixing here are based on grave misconception of basics of Orthodox Faith. Liturgy is resemblance of the Judgment Day (but not only of it I'd say), while eucharist is Christ's real flash and blood. It was you who tried to make a false equilizer between praying for the intercession of Saints before an icon and epiklezis of eucharist.

It seems you are either heavily puzzled, or do not confess Orthodox Faith.

Is that what Metr. Zlizloulas' teaching lead you to? Is that why you are failing to address the questions I asked?
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #49 on: March 19, 2008, 10:12:25 AM »


I haven't had a revelation about hell, and I am unaware of any Church teaching about it, save from Apocalypsis of St. John the Theologian. No Church Father spoke about it, I guess they had good reasons for that. Therefore, I can't answer your question. But, it seems to me it was a rethorical one, and that you are prepared to answer it, I'm eager to listen the answer that Holy Fathers before your teachers have not addressed. I'm transformed into an ear.

Many of the fathers speak of Hell. They give insight to what it is. How one interprets it all depends on the condition of the soul. What I look at is the Dogma on creation. After all it is Dogma. Created from Nihl has consequences. What are they? They are a return to Nihl.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #50 on: March 19, 2008, 10:17:51 AM »


The apples and oranges you are mixing here are based on grave misconception of basics of Orthodox Faith. Liturgy is resemblance of the Judgment Day (but not only of it I'd say), while eucharist is Christ's real flash and blood. It was you who tried to make a false equilizer between praying for the intercession of Saints before an icon and epiklezis of eucharist.


The blood and body of Christ is real. Just as when we Pray to the saints and they hear us. A depiction doesn't mean it isn't or can not happen. You partake of the Original when we meet the requirement that lead us to the Original.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #51 on: March 19, 2008, 10:28:34 AM »
They are a return to Nihl.


No, sinners will be in hell, which is a conscious place of suffering for eternity. All people will be resurrected: good and bad, and judged together. This is Orthodox teaching. Here are the texts from the Sunday of the Last Judgment that prove this.



RIGHTEOUS JUDGE OF ALL MANKIND!
YOU WILL COME TO JUDGE THE LIVING AND THE DEAD,
ENTHRONED IN GLORY AND ESCORTED BY YOUR ANGELS.
EVERY MAN WILL STAND IN FEAR BEFORE YOU,
TREMBLING AT THE RIVER OF FIRE FLOWING PAST YOUR THRONE,
AS EACH ONE WAITS TO HEAR THE SENTENCE HE DESERVES.
ON THAT AWESOME DAY HAVE MERCY ON US AS WELL, O CHRIST;
COUNT US WORTHY OF SALVATION,
FOR, WORTHLESS AS WE ARE, WE TURN TO YOU IN FAITH,//
COMPASSIONATE AND MERCIFUL LORD!

THE BOOKS WILL BE OPENED AND THE WORKS OF ALL MEN LAID BARE:
THE VALE OF TEARS WILL ECHO WITH GNASHING OF TEETH;
THE SINNERS WILL MOURN IN VAIN, AS THEY DEPART TO ETERNAL DAMNATION.

YOUR JUDGMENTS ARE JUST, O LORD ALMIGHTY!
WE BEG YOU, MASTER, FULL OF GOODNESS AND COMPASSION://
TAKE PITY ON US WHO SING TO YOU, MOST MERCIFUL ONE!

THE TRUMPET SHALL SOUND AND THE GRAVES BE OPENED:
ALL MANKIND WILL ARISE IN TREMBLING;
THE RIGHTEOUS WILL REJOICE, AS THEY RECEIVE THEIR REWARD,
BUT THE WICKED WILL DEPART TO ETERNAL FIRE WITH WAILING AND HORROR.
LORD OF GLORY, HAVE MERCY ON US!
NUMBER US WITH THOSE WHO LOVE YOU, MASTER,//
FOR YOU ALONE ARE GOOD!

I SHUDDER IN TERROR WHEN I THINK OF THAT DREADFUL DAY;
I WEEP AS I CONSIDER THE DARKNESS THAT WILL NEVER SEE LIGHT:
THERE THE WORM SHALL NOT CEASE, OR THE FIRE BE QUENCHED;
THE PAIN OF THOSE WHO REJECT YOU WILL NEVER END.
SAVE ME, YOUR MOST WORTHLESS SERVANT, RIGHTEOUS JUDGE,//
FOR YOUR MERCY AND COMPASSION ARE MY ONLY HOPE!


WHEN THE THRONES ARE SET IN PLACE AND THE BOOKS ARE OPENED,
THEN GOD WILL TAKE HIS PLACE ON THE JUDGMENT-SEAT.
WHAT A FEARFUL SIGHT,
AS THE ANGELS STAND IN AWE AND THE RIVER OF FIRE FLOWS BY:
WHAT SHALL WE DO, WHO ARE ALREADY CONDEMNED BY OUR MANY SINS,
AS WE HEAR CHRIST CALL THE RIGHTEOUS TO HIS FATHER'S KINGDOM,
AND SEND THE WICKED TO ETERNAL DAMNATION?

WHO AMONG US CAN BEAR THAT TERRIBLE VERDICT?
HASTEN TO US, LOVER OF MANKIND AND KING OF THE UNIVERSE://
GRANT US THE GRACE OF REPENTANCE BEFORE THE END AND HAVE MERCY ON US!



WHEN YOU, O GOD, SHALL COME TO EARTH WITH GLORY,
ALL THINGS SHALL TREMBLE,
AND THE RIVER OF FIRE SHALL FLOW BEFORE YOUR JUDGMENT SEAT,
THE BOOKS SHALL BE OPENED AND THE HIDDEN THINGS DISCLOSED;
THEN DELIVER ME FROM THE UNQUENCHABLE FIRE,//
AND MAKE ME WORTHY TO STAND AT YOUR RIGHT HAND, RIGHTEOUS JUDGE!

                                                                               
Terror and amazement seize me
when I think of the unquenchable fire of Gehenna,
of the bitter worm and gnashing teeth.                                         
But release me and forgive me, O Christ,                                       
and set me in the ranks of Your elect.                                       
Unworthy though I be,                                                         
may I also hear Your voice                                                     
that so greatly desired, calls Your saints to joy,                             
and may I attain the ineffable blessings of the Kingdom of heaven.             
                                                                               
When at the judgement of the world
You will separate the sinners from the righteous,

count me as one of Your sheep
and do not place me with the goats, loving Lord,
but may I hear Your words of blessing.

The river of fire devours and torments me;                             
the gnashing of teeth grinds me to dust.                               
The darkness of the abyss fills my heart with dismay,                 
and what can I do to gain God's mercy?                                 
                                                                       
Spare, Lord, spare Your servant;                                     
do not deliver me to the bitter tormentors,                           
to the cruel angels of hell,                                           
who will never let me be at rest. 
                                   
                                                                                                                                             
Lord, Pardon, remit and forgive all my sins against You;
do not condemn me there, in the presence of the angels,               
to the punishment of fire and to unending shame.                       
                                                                       
                                                                       
Deliver me, Lord, from the gates of hell,
from chaos and darkness without light,
from the lowest depths of the earth and the unquenchable fire,
and from all the other everlasting punishments.

Lord of supreme love, as I think upon Your fearful judgement seat and
the day of Judgement, I tremble and am filled with fear, accused by my
own conscience.  When You sit on Your throne and bring all to trial
then no one will be able to deny his sins, for the truth will accuse
him and terror will hold him fast.  The flames of Gehenna will roar
and the sinners will gnash their teeth.  Therefore have mercy upon me
before the end,//AND SPARE ME, RIGHTEOUS JUDGE!


             
Terror seizes me when I think of the unquenchable fire,                       
of the bitter worm, the gnashing of teeth, and soul-destroying hell;           
yet I do not turn to true compunction.                                         
Lord, Lord, before the end, strengthen Your fear within me.                   

When You, O God, shall judge all things,                                     
who among us earthborn, beset by passions,
shall dare to stand before You?
Then the unquenchable fire and the destroying worm                             
shall seize the condemned and hold them fast forever.
                         
                                                                               
The Lord comes to punish sinners and to save the righteous.
Let us tremble and lament,
and call to mind that day when our hidden secrets will be disclosed
and He will pay us what is due.

                                                                   
BEHOLD, THE DAY OF THE LORD ALMIGHTY COMES,                       
AND WHO CAN ENDURE THE FEAR OF HIS PRESENCE?                       
IT IS A DAY OF WRATH; OF THE BURNING, FIERY FURNACE,               
AND THE JUDGE SHALL SIT, GIVING EACH THE DUE REWARD OF HIS WORKS.
                                                                   
I THINK UPON THAT DAY AND HOUR                                                   
WHEN WE SHALL ALL STAND NAKED AS MEN CONDEMNED                                 
BEFORE THE JUDGE WHO RESPECTS NO MAN'S PERSON.                                   
THEN THE TRUMPET SHALL SOUND                                                     
AND THE EARTH'S FOUNDATIONS SHALL SHAKE:                                         
THE DEAD SHALL RISE FROM THEIR GRAVES,                                           
AND MEN SHALL BE BROUGHT TOGETHER FROM ALL GENERATIONS.                         
THEN EACH MAN'S SECRETS WILL BE OPENLY BROUGHT BEFORE YOU,                     
AND THOSE WHO HAVE NEVER REPENTED SHALL WEEP AND LAMENT,                         
DEPARTING TO THE OUTER FIRE;
                                                     
BUT WITH GLADNESS AND REJOICING//                                               
THE COMPANY OF THE RIGHTEOUS SHALL ENTER THE HEAVENLY BRIDAL CHAMBER!           

                                                                                 
HOW SHALL IT BE IN THAT FEARFUL DAY AND HOUR,                                   
WHEN THE JUDGE SHALL SIT ON HIS DREADFUL THRONE!                                 
THE BOOKS SHALL BE OPENED, AND MEN'S ACTIONS EXAMINED,                         
AND THE SECRETS OF DARKNESS SHALL BE MADE PUBLIC.                               
ANGELS SHALL MOVE QUICKLY, GATHERING ALL THE NATIONS:                           
COME AND HEARKEN, KINGS AND PRINCES,                                             
THOSE WHO WERE SLAVES AND FREE,                                                 
SINNERS AND RIGHTEOUS, RICH AND POOR:                                           
FOR THE JUDGE IS COME TO PASS SENTENCE ON ALL OF THE INHABITED EARTH!
           
AND WHO SHALL BEAR TO STAND BEFORE HIS FACE IN THE PRESENCE OF THE
                                                           ANGELS,
CALLING US TO ACCOUNT FOR OUR ACTIONS AND THOUGHTS BY NIGHT OR BY DAY?         
HOW SHALL IT BE THEN IN THAT HOUR?                                             
BUT BEFORE THE END IS HERE, MAKE HASTE, MY SOUL,//                             
CRYING:  TURN ME BACK AND SAVE ME, ONLY COMPASSIONATE GOD!                   

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Offline Tzimis

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #52 on: March 19, 2008, 10:33:13 AM »
Hades is a place that man can come back from. All will resurrect to be judged. Hell is the second death.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #53 on: March 19, 2008, 10:47:38 AM »
Many of the fathers speak of Hell.
Some reference, please. Not necessarily "many" but a few would suffice.
Hades is a place that man can come back from. All will resurrect to be judged. Hell is the second death.
I'd really appreciate the reference to Hades as the place. I claim it's never been the teaching of the Church.

Created from Nihl has consequences. What are they? They are a return to Nihl.

That'll do fine for phylosophers, gnostics and socialists you posted above as relevant.

Us, Orthodox Christians, know the return to the Creator is promised and immortality is the properties of soul.

The blood and body of Christ is real. Just as when we Pray to the saints and they hear us. A depiction doesn't mean it isn't or can not happen.
And who exactly claimed anything else here?

You partake of the Original when we meet the requirement that lead us to the Original.

Would you translate it into English, please?
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Offline Tzimis

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #54 on: March 19, 2008, 11:08:40 AM »
Some reference, please. Not necessarily "many" but a few would suffice.I'd really appreciate the reference to Hades as the place. I claim it's never been the teaching of the Church.
Read the Bible.
Quote
That'll do fine for phylosophers, gnostics and socialists you posted above as relevant.

Us, Orthodox Christians, know the return to the Creator is promised and immortality is the properties of soul.
[/quote]
Saint Irenaeus puts it: "The teaching that the human soul is naturally immortal is from the devil" (Proof of the Apostolic Preaching, III, 20. 1).

In the Great Euchologion (Venice, 1862), a fundamental liturgical book of the Church, we read:
"O God, the great and most high, Thou Who alone hast immortality"


                [7th prayer of Vespers, p. 15]

"Thou Who alone art life-giving by nature... O only immortal"

            [Ode 5, Funeral Canon for Laymen, p. 410]

"Thou art the only immortal" [p.  410]

"The only One Who is immortal because of His godly nature"

            [Ode 1, Funeral Canon for Laymen, p. 471]

Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #55 on: March 19, 2008, 11:19:37 AM »
the soul is not naturally immortal but once created, God allows it to exist by grace for eternity, for both good and bad people.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #56 on: March 19, 2008, 11:24:14 AM »
the soul is not naturally immortal but once created, God allows it to exist by grace for eternity, for both good and bad people.
Wouldn't that mean that the soul is immortal?
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #57 on: March 19, 2008, 11:28:06 AM »
Wouldn't that mean that the soul is immortal?

Yes, but not "naturally".

BTW, where did I mention the word "naturally"? It's easier for you to refute what I never said than to respond to my questions.

According to you, is the sentence:

Immortality is the properties of the soul

heretical, or is there something else wrong with it?
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #58 on: March 19, 2008, 11:29:31 AM »
the soul is not naturally immortal but once created, God allows it to exist by grace for eternity, for both good and bad people.

I'd phrase it a bit different - God creates soul immortal and it can cease to exist only by a destructive act of God.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #59 on: March 19, 2008, 11:30:49 AM »
Read the Bible.

LOL

Is that best you can do?
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #60 on: March 19, 2008, 11:39:17 AM »
     St. Athanasius on the incarnation; 

3. Grudging existence to none therefore, He made all things out of nothing through His own Word, our Lord Jesus Christ; and of all these His earthly creatures He reserved especial mercy for the race of men. Upon them, therefore, upon men who, as animals, were essentially impermanent, He bestowed a grace which other creatures lacked-namely, the impress of His own Image, a share in the reasonable being of the very Word Himself, so that, reflecting Him and themselves becoming reasonable and expressing the Mind of God even as He does, though in limited degree, they might continue for ever in the blessed and only true life of the saints in paradise. But since the will of man could turn either way, God secured this grace that He had given by making it conditional from the first upon two things-namely, a law and a place.

4. For the transgression of the commandment was making them turn back again according to their nature ; and as they had at the beginning come into being out of non-existence, so were they now on the way to returning, through corruption, to non-existence again.

5. This, then, was the plight of men. God had not only made them out of nothing, but had also graciously bestowed on them His own life by the grace of the Word. Then, turning from eternal things to things corruptible, by counsel of the devil, they had become the cause of their own corruption in death; for, as I said before, though they were by nature subject to corruption, the grace of their union with the Word made them capable of escaping from the natural law, provided that they 'retained the beauty of innocence with which they were created.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #61 on: March 19, 2008, 11:42:14 AM »
I'd phrase it a bit different - God creates soul immortal and it can cease to exist only by a destructive act of God.
Wrong read above. man is the reason for his own death.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #62 on: March 19, 2008, 11:48:08 AM »
I think I have proven my point. There is no need to go any further. I know what my Church teaches. If you want to bask in Protestantism. no problem with me.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #63 on: March 19, 2008, 11:49:19 AM »
Wrong read above. man is the reason for his own death.

Are all followers of metr. Zlizloulas bound to express themselves in cryptic, minimalistic, inconclusive and defect manner, or just I haven't had meet one that expresses himself reasonably?
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #64 on: March 19, 2008, 11:52:44 AM »
I think I have proven my point. There is no need to go any further. I know what my Church teaches. If you want to bask in Protestantism. no problem with me.


Huh?

Is that all?

Where are the answers to my questions?

Why did you imply and refuted words I never said, but failed to address questions about the teaching?
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #65 on: March 19, 2008, 11:55:26 AM »
     St. Athanasius on the incarnation; 

4. For the transgression of the commandment was making them turn back again according to their nature ; and as they had at the beginning come into being out of non-existence, so were they now on the way to returning, through corruption, to non-existence again.


This is a false quote, St. Atanasios addressed here the state before Christ, before the Incarnation of Son as Jesus Christ. Still he hasn't used the finite verb, but infinite - returning to non-existence.

Lousy teaching needs false quotations.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #66 on: March 19, 2008, 12:11:02 PM »
Wouldn't that mean that the soul is immortal?

Of course it would, but not "naturally", since we are not platonists, but Orthodox Christians whom believe that God created all things, visible and invisible.

Just like St. John of Damascus thaught us

http://www.orthodox.net/fathers/exactii.html#BOOK_II_CHAPTER_XII

Quote
<- BOOK II CHAPTER XII ->
Concerning Man.

IN this way, then, God brought into existence mental essence(6), by which I mean, angels and all the heavenly orders. For these clearly have a mental and incorporeal nature: "incorporeal" I mean in comparison with the denseness of matter. For the Deity alone in reality is immaterial and incorporeal. But further He created in the same way sensible essence(7), that is heaven and earth and the intermediate region; and so He created both the kind of being that is of His own nature (for the nature that has to do with reason is related to God, and apprehensible by mind alone), and the kind which, inasmuch as it clearly falls under the province of the senses, is separated from Him by the greatest interval. And it was also fit that there should be a mixture of both kinds of being, as a token of still greater wisdom and of the opulence of the Divine expenditure as regards natures, as Gregorius, the expounder of God's being and ways, puts it, and to be a sort of connecting link between the visible and invisible natures(8). And by the word "fit" I mean, simply that it was an evidence of the Creator's will, for that will is the law and ordinance most meet, and no one will say to his Maker, "Why hast Thou so fashioned me?" For the potter is able at his will to make vessels of various patterns out of his clay(9), as a proof of his own wisdom.

Now this being the case, He creates with His own hands man of a visible nature and an invisible, after His own image and likeness: on the one hand man's body He formed of earth, and on the other his reasoning and

thinking soul(1) He bestowed upon him by His own inbreathing, and this is what we mean by "after His image." For the phrase "after His image" clearly refers(2) to the side of his nature which consists of mind and free will, whereas "after His likeness "means likeness in virtue so far as that is possible.

Further, body and soul were formed at one and the same time(3), not first the one and then the other, as Origen so senselessly supposes.

God then made man without evil, upright, virtuous, free from pain and care, glorified with every virtue, adorned with all that is good, like a sort of second microcosm within the great world(4). another angel capable of worship, compound, surveying the visible creation and initiated into the mysteries of the realm of thought, king over the things of earth, but subject to a higher king, of the earth and of the heaven, temporal and eternal, belonging to the realm of sight and to the realm of thought, midway between greatness and lowliness, spirit and flesh: for he is spirit by grace, but flesh by overweening pride: spirit that he may abide and glorify his Benefactor, and flesh that he may suffer, and suffering may be admonished and disciplined when he prides himself in his greatness(5): here, that is, in the present life, his life is ordered as an animal's, but elsewhere, that is, in the age to come, he is changed and--to complete the mystery--becomes deified by merely inclining himself towards God; becoming deified, in the way of participating in the divine glory and not in that of a change into the divine being(6).

But God made him by nature sinless, and endowed him with free will. By sinless, I mean not that sin could find no place in him (for that is the case with Deity alone), bat that sin is the result of the free volition he enjoys rather than an integral part of his nature(7); that is to say, he has the power to continue and go forward in the path of goodness, by co-operating with the divine grace, and likewise to turn from good and take to wickedness, for God has conceded this by conferring freedom of will upon him. For there is no virtue in what is the result of mere force(8).

The soul, accordingly(9), is a living essence, simple, incorporeal, invisible in its proper nature to bodily eyes, immortal, reasoning and intelligent, formless, making use of an organised body, and being the source of its powers of life, and growth, and sensation, and generation(1), mind being but its purest part and not in any wise alien to it; (for as the eye to the body, so is the mind to the soul); further it enjoys freedom and volition and energy, and is mutable, that is, it is given to change, because it is created. All these qualities according to nature it has received of the grace of the Creator, of which grace it has received both its being and this particular kind of nature.

Marg. The different applications of "incorporeal." We understand two kinds of what is incorporeal and invisible and formless: the one is such in essence, the other by free gift: and likewise the one is such in nature, and the other only in comparison with the denseness of matter. God then is incorporeal by nature, but the angels and demons and souls are said to be so by free gift, and in comparison with the denseness of matter.

Further, body is that which has three dimensions, that is to say, it has length and breadth and depth, or thickness. And every body is composed of the four elements; the bodies of living creatures, moreover, are composed of the four humours.

Now there are, it should be known, four elements: earth which is dry and cold: water which is cold and wet: air which is wet and warm: fire which is warm and dry. In like manner there are also four humours, analogous to the four elements: black bile, which bears an analogy to earth, for it is dry and cold: phlegm, analogous to water, for it is cold and wet: blood, analogous to air(2), for it is wet and warm: yellow bile, the analogue to fire, for it is warm and city. Now, fruits are composed of the elements, and the humours are composed of the fruits, and the bodies of living creatures consist of the humours and dissolve back into them. For every thing that is compound dissolves back into its elements.

Marg. That man has community alike with inanimate things and animate creatures, whe-

ther they are devoid of or possess the faculty of reason.

Man, it is to be noted, has community with things inanimate, and participates in the life of unreasoning creatures, and shares in the mental processes of those endowed with reason. For the bond of union between man and inanimate things is the body and its composition out of the font elements: and the bond between man and plants consists, in addition to these things, of their powers of nourishment and growth and seeding, that is, generation: and finally, over and above these links man is connected with unreasoning animals by appetite, that is anger and desire, and sense and impulsive movement.

There are then five senses, sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch. Further, impulsive movement consists in change from place to place, and in the movements of the body as a whole and in the emission of voice and the drawing of breath. For we have it in our power to perform or refrain from performing these actions.

Lastly, man's reason unites him to incorporeal and intelligent natures, for he applies his reason and mind and judgment to everything, and pursues after virtues, and eagerly follows after piety, which is the crown of the virtues. And so man is a microcosm.

Moreover, it should be known that division and flux and change(3) are peculiar to the body alone. By change, I mean change in quality, that is in heat and cold and so forth: by flux, I mean change in the way of depletion(4), for dry things and wet things and spirit s suffer depletion, and require repletion: so that hunger and thirst are natural affections. Again, division is the separation of the humours, one from another, and the partition into form and matter(6).

But piety and thought are the peculiar properties of the soul. And the virtues are common to soul and body, although they are referred to the soul as if the soul were making use of the body.

The reasoning part, it should be understood, naturally bears rule over that which is void of reason. For the faculties of the soul are divided into that which has reason, and that which is without reason. Again, of that which is without reason there are two divisions: that which does not listen to reason, that is to say, is disobedient to reason, and that which listens and obeys reason. That which does not listen or obey reason is the vital or pulsating faculty, and the spermatic or generative faculty, and the vegetative or nutritive faculty: to this belong also the faculties of growth and bodily formation. For these are not under the dominion of reason but under that of nature. That which listens to and obeys reason, on the other hand is divided into anger anti desire. And the unreasoning part of the soul is called in common the pathetic and the appetitive(7). Further, it is to be understood, that impulsive movement s likewise belongs to the part that is obedient to reason.

The part(9) which does not pay heed to reason includes the nutritive and generative and pulsating faculties: and the name "vegetative(9a)" is applied to the faculties of increase and nutriment and generation, and the name "vital" to the faculty of pulsation.

Of the faculty of nutrition, then, there are four forces: an attractive force which attracts nourishment: a retentive force by which nourishment is retained and not suffered to be immediately excreted: an alterative force by which the food is resolved into the humours: and an excretive force, by which the excess of food is excreted into the draught and cast forth.

The forces again(1), inherent in a living creature are, it should be noted, partly psychical, partly vegetative, partly vital. The psychical forces are concerned with free volition, that is to say, impulsive movement and sensation. Impulsive movement includes change of place and movement of the body as a whole, and phonation and respiration. For it is in our power to perform or refrain from performing these acts. The vegetative and vital forces, however, are quite outside the province of will. The vegetative, moreover, include the faculties of nourishment and growth, and generation, and the vital power is the faculty of pulsation. For these go on energising whether we will it or not.

Lastly, we must observe that of actual things, some are good, and some are bad. A good thing in anticipation constitutes desire: while a good thing in realisation constitutes pleasure. Similarly an evil thing in anticipation begets fear, and in realisation it begets pain. And when we speak of good in this connection we are to be understood to mean both real and apparent good: and, similarly, we mean real and apparent evil. 
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #67 on: March 19, 2008, 12:30:48 PM »
Wouldn't that mean that the soul is immortal?

No, not in the sense you mean.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #68 on: March 19, 2008, 12:32:06 PM »
I think I have proven my point. There is no need to go any further. I know what my Church teaches. If you want to bask in Protestantism. no problem with me.

No you haven't, and Orthodoxy does not teach what you are saying it does. Does your priest and bishop know that you confess soul destruction and a non-eternal hell?
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #69 on: March 19, 2008, 12:43:29 PM »
No, not in the sense you mean.

Excuse me, Anastasios, but what is wrong with sound Christian doctrine of immortality of soul?

I mean, nobody here mentioned that soul isn't created by God ex nihilo, or that its immortality is caused by anything else but by God. That we leave to platonists, gnostics, socialists or whomever.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #70 on: March 19, 2008, 01:04:18 PM »
Excuse me, Anastasios, but what is wrong with sound Christian doctrine of immortality of soul?

I mean, nobody here mentioned that soul isn't created by God ex nihilo, or that its immortality is caused by anything else but by God. That we leave to platonists, gnostics, socialists or whomever.

Right that is what I meant.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #71 on: March 19, 2008, 01:06:23 PM »
No you haven't, and Orthodoxy does not teach what you are saying it does. Does your priest and bishop know that you confess soul destruction and a non-eternal hell?

Unless things have changed since the last discussion, no, his priest and bishop have no idea what he is confessing on internet forums.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #72 on: March 19, 2008, 01:17:25 PM »
Demetrios,

For many of us here, theology is not the proper subject of the impious discourse and the irreverent intellectual speculation that seems to mark so much of modern academics.  Theology is instead man's feeble attempt to articulate that which God has revealed of Himself to us and is intended to inspire a sense of fear and reverent awe toward God and His saving plan for mankind.  Seen in this light, theology is a deadly serious endeavor, since our very salvation is at stake.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #73 on: March 19, 2008, 07:33:21 PM »
No you haven't, and Orthodoxy does not teach what you are saying it does. Does your priest and bishop know that you confess soul destruction and a non-eternal hell?
Eternal death is hell. Who said that death can not be Eternal. Nihl is eternal.
Weather God creates the conditions for man to exist in your type of hell by keeping man alive or he condemns as a protestant is the same thing. If God has created the condition for suffering he already knows what that suffering will do. Your theology is than, no different than a protestant who judges. People hold on to this belief because they need a revenge for those they hate.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #74 on: March 19, 2008, 07:51:06 PM »
Unless things have changed since the last discussion, no, his priest and bishop have no idea what he is confessing on internet forums.
I'll give you his number. you can call him.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #75 on: March 20, 2008, 02:27:18 AM »
Eternal death is hell. Who said that death can not be Eternal. Nihl is eternal.
Weather God creates the conditions for man to exist in your type of hell by keeping man alive or he condemns as a protestant is the same thing. If God has created the condition for suffering he already knows what that suffering will do. Your theology is than, no different than a protestant who judges. People hold on to this belief because they need a revenge for those they hate.
Maybe in this case Protestants have a better understanding of biblical doctrine than you have.  History also shows us that it wasn't Protestants who first articulated a doctrine of eternal suffering in hell--it was none other than Jesus Christ who did this, as Anastastios has attempted to remind you.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2008, 02:28:34 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #76 on: March 20, 2008, 03:44:32 AM »
Weather God creates the conditions for man to exist in your type of hell by keeping man alive or he condemns as a protestant is the same thing.

God doesn't "keep man alive" in Hades, nor he will be "keeping man alive" in eternal Hell.

Immortality is a properties of soul, for God creates soul immortal.

Judgment is not punishment in the sense of God's revenge, it is not aimed at eternal revenge, but is consequence of our free will and for what we have done during our lifetime.

Nobody has ever known what the Hell is like. At least nobody Orthodox - Hell in its fullness is yet to be established when bodies are resurrected.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #77 on: March 20, 2008, 08:28:55 AM »
God doesn't "keep man alive" in Hades, nor he will be "keeping man alive" in eternal Hell.
Exactly

Quote
Immortality is a properties of soul, for God creates soul immortal.
Souls are immortal only when in communion with Christ.

Quote
Judgment is not punishment in the sense of God's revenge, it is not aimed at eternal revenge, but is consequence of our free will and for what we have done during our lifetime.
God is a bi-polar god than. He loves you but he hates you.
Quote
Nobody has ever known what the Hell is like. At least nobody Orthodox - Hell in its fullness is yet to be established when bodies are resurrected.
[/quote]
Hell is a condition for the living. When one is in there sins they are in hell.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #78 on: March 20, 2008, 09:29:39 AM »
Eternal death is hell. Who said that death can not be Eternal. Nihl is eternal.
Weather God creates the conditions for man to exist in your type of hell by keeping man alive or he condemns as a protestant is the same thing. If God has created the condition for suffering he already knows what that suffering will do. Your theology is than, no different than a protestant who judges. People hold on to this belief because they need a revenge for those they hate.

I've posted the Orthodox liturgical texts. Why do you disagree with what the Fathers have written?
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #79 on: March 20, 2008, 09:33:42 AM »
Souls are immortal only when in communion with Christ.

Stop here. Prove it or admit it's utter nonsense.

I claim souls are created immortal by God ex nihilo. Therefore:

God is a bi-polar god than. He loves you but he hates you.

Is non-conclusive from what Orthodoxy profess and I'm trying to present to you.

Once created immortal, they'll end up eternally either with God in Paradise, or with the master of death in hell, but again immortal, since they are created such.

Hell is a condition for the living.

Haven't you said above that Hades is the place (and not a condition)?

When one is in there sins they are in hell.

In foretaste of it only. Hell still doesn't exist in its fullness - it will be such once the bodies are resurrected.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #80 on: March 20, 2008, 09:47:11 AM »
I've posted the Orthodox liturgical texts. Why do you disagree with what the Fathers have written?
I don't. Your interpretation of the text is flawed.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #81 on: March 20, 2008, 09:48:29 AM »
Stop here. Prove it or admit it's utter nonsense.

I extend the same offer to you. Prove that the soul is immortal.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #82 on: March 20, 2008, 09:55:04 AM »
I extend the same offer to you. Prove that the soul is immortal.
I already have:

Just like St. John of Damascus thaught us

http://www.orthodox.net/fathers/exactii.html#BOOK_II_CHAPTER_XII

<- BOOK II CHAPTER XII ->
Concerning Man.
...

The soul, accordingly(9), is a living essence, simple, incorporeal, invisible in its proper nature to bodily eyes, immortal, reasoning and intelligent, formless, making use of an organised body, and being the source of its powers of life, and growth, and sensation, and generation(1), mind being but its purest part and not in any wise alien to it; (for as the eye to the body, so is the mind to the soul); further it enjoys freedom and volition and energy, and is mutable, that is, it is given to change, because it is created. All these qualities according to nature it has received of the grace of the Creator, of which grace it has received both its being and this

Now I'm waiting for your proof.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #83 on: March 20, 2008, 10:02:52 AM »
I already have:

Now I'm waiting for your proof.

How can human nature unite as a whole in Christ. That my friend is your question. It can not. Your answer is below.

 
Quote
In the 38th epistle of Saint Basil, we note the following that was written by the saint, regarding the subject of inter-embracing: “Whatever the Father is, is also found in the Son. And whatever the Son is, is also found in the Father. The Son is found in His entirety within the Father and He respectively has the Father in His entirety within Him. Thus, the hypostasis of the Son is the image and the likeness by which the Father is recognized.  And the hypostasis of the Father is recognized in the image of the Son”.  This is where the phrase of the fourth Gospel relates to : “Whomsoever has seen me, has seen the Father, for I am in the Father and the Father is in me”.  Whomsoever sees the Son, also sees the Father. The Father is fully present, and the Son is fully present within the Father. In this way,  each hypostasis, each persona becomes the bearer of the entire Essence.  Godhood cannot be partitioned or fragmented; each Persona possesses godhood, undivided and complete.

This is precisely what allows each persona to exist inside the other personae. Saint Gregory the Nazianzene says:  “Godhood is unpartitioned, among its parts”.  Godhood, nature, essence cannot be partitioned.  It is however found in full, in the individual personae, in other words, in the personae that are different to each other.

Here we have a mysterious, paradoxical concept, which of course one could call a mystery (like the whole mystery of the Holy Trinity) and not attempt to comprehend at all.  But, as we attempted to do so with the other aspects of this great mystery of the Holy Trinity, we shall likewise attempt to shed light on this mystery also.

How is it possible, for one persona to be the bearer of the entire Essence, and how is it possible for a persona to exist inside another persona, without losing its identity?  Because, if we place two personae inside each other, there is the risk that they may relate to each other so much, that their individuality may be lost. On the contrary, here, the existence of the one persona inside the others actually creates an “individuality”, a “selfsameness”, an “anotherness”. In our experience this is not possible, and the Fathers attribute this to the fact that our nature –the essence of humanity- is partitioned when the persona comes into being. No single person is the bearer of the entire human essence, because if he were the bearer of the entire human essence, then at the death of one person, all people would have to die – all of the essence of humanity. The entirety of human nature would be eliminated, with the death of one man alone. But in the case of mankind, we have a partitioning of the essence and of the nature, with the birth of every single person.  This is attributed to the fact that the created being is composite, it has a beginning, and it moves within the limits of space and time, where space and time divide, and not unite.  This is why the created are also mortal/perishable.

These conditions cannot apply to God, as God has no beginning, and He has no mortality. Subsequently, He has no partitioning of the essence. With the three personae, the Essence is not partitioned into three parts, so that each persona has a part; instead, each persona takes all of the essence, it has all of the essence.

In our experience, if we examine the biological hypostasis of man, we can see that this does not apply, because we are all born with this partitioning nature. Hence the existence of death. Apart from the above, in our experience when we refer to personal relations, we can observe the phenomenon whereby a specific person has been regarded as the bearer of the entire human essence, of human existence. For example, in an announcement regarding the victims of a battle, the Ministry of Defence will say that there were ten fatalities. To a person who has no personal relations with those ten dead people, they are ten different people, whose individual deaths did not affect human nature in its entirety. Other people continue to exist, who continue to live and therefore human nature will continue to perpetuate itself. But for the mother of each of those deceased, or for someone who had a personal relationship with them, that one deceased person is a bearer of the entire human essence. He cannot be counted as “one of the ten”. He is the one, the person, the entire person. All of human nature is at risk of vanishing, when one person vanishes.  This is our experience within a personal association. Outside of a personal association, we cannot have this kind of experience. And why is this? Because this unity is so close, between two people, that the one actually considers the other to be the bearer of human essence, of human existence in its fullness,   

With these precise types of categorizing in the back of our mind, we can explain why this paradoxical and no less mysterious phenomenon occurs, as applied to the Holy Trinity. For example, when considering how the murder of one person is equivalent to a “crime against all of mankind”.  Or, when we say “after all, only one man was killed, the world isn’t lost”… Why is this?  Where do all these ideas of generalizing, of absolutizing a single person to such an extent spring from?  Well, all these ideas spring from our experience of personal relations, from our experience of the persona. The more we regard someone a persona, the more we regard him the bearer of humanity overall.

We have taken this from the concept that we have of God, because this is what God, the Holy Trinity means: that a single persona is not a portion of the essence; it is the entire essence. Thus, we can observe in our own experience also, indications of such a Triadic existence - the same manner of existence as the Holy Trinity. And that is what makes us human beings the images of God. When we say that man is made in the image of God, we need to look for the analogies between God and man, based on the triadic association. This is why the dogma on the Holy Trinity is so important. Because it sheds light on man’s very existence.


http://www.oodegr.com/english/dogmatiki1/D2b.htm  [Inserted reference  --Anastasios]
« Last Edit: March 20, 2008, 11:08:24 AM by Anastasios »
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #84 on: March 20, 2008, 10:11:53 AM »
How can human nature unite as a whole in Christ. That my friend is your question. It can not. Your answer is below.



Forgive me, but it is not up to you to rephrase my questions.

BTW, who is the author of that rubbish utter nonsense you posted? A socialist or a gnostic again?
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #85 on: March 20, 2008, 10:15:14 AM »
How can human nature unite as a whole in Christ. That my friend is your question. 

It isn't my question, since I'm an Orthodox Christian and I'm not striving to unite my nature (as a whole?) in Christ, but to unite my person.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #86 on: March 20, 2008, 10:38:37 AM »
Your liturgy is short on references to the Holy Spirit (explicit or implicit) and is at least one reason, IMHO, why liturgical scholars such as Keith F. Pecklers, S.J. and James F. White, among others, bemoan that an eschatological element is tragically missing from the Roman liturgy (and I would extrapolate from this the Western Christian experience in general), and why I think the transformative nature of the liturgy and the Church has not been successfully appropriated or understood by the West.

You may have a point there, Pravoslavbob; but it's a little hard to tell, what with the way you're lumping all Catholic liturgies together, whether they be Roman, Ambrosian, Byzantine, Chaldean, Coptic, Maronite, etc. etc.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #87 on: March 20, 2008, 11:08:59 AM »
I don't. Your interpretation of the text is flawed.

There is nothing to interpret. The text is clear.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #88 on: March 20, 2008, 11:12:49 AM »
From Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos:

http://www.pelagia.org/htm/b24.en.life_after_death.07.htm
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #89 on: March 20, 2008, 11:14:31 AM »
It isn't my question, since I'm an Orthodox Christian and I'm not striving to unite my nature (as a whole?) in Christ, but to unite my person.
That is correct. But what makes you think that your nature is already united?
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #90 on: March 20, 2008, 11:36:45 AM »
That is correct. But what makes you think that your nature is already united?

Huh?

Just like with Anastasios, you just avoid answering questions, again?

When did I ever posed that question? It's a non-issue. "Nature" in what sense? If you want to debate about it, you first need to make definitions of the notions, of the words used. St. John of Damascus invested the entire first chapter in his "Exact Exposition..." to define these notions.

I have never, ever, meet an Orthodox Christian who is bothered by uniting his "nature", or for that matter, "essence", "substance" or even "ousia" with Christ.

Back on the issue. Give us a proof about this utter nonsense you pronounced:

Quote from: Demetrios G.
Souls are immortal only when in communion with Christ.

I called St. John of Damascus, Atanasios called Sunday liturgy. What's your backup?
« Last Edit: March 20, 2008, 11:37:20 AM by orthodoxlurker »
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #91 on: March 20, 2008, 11:45:01 AM »
That is correct. But what makes you think that your nature is already united?

If you read that text you quoted and Atanasios subsequently put the link to, you'll see that the reference to human nature is twofold - as the reference to the nature of a particular man, and with the reference to humankind.

Consequently, I have no proof that my nature is already united. But human nature has been already united with Son in the person of Jesus Christ.

That's the basic of Christianity, and we had disputes with Nestorians and Monofisites about the fashion of that union. But this is not the issue here at all.

Give us a proof for at least one of your various silly statements poping up in this thread, give us at least for one of them, the last one.

You oppose St. John of Damascus, Demetrios! Is that what Metr. Zlizloulas' teaching lead you to?
« Last Edit: March 20, 2008, 11:46:36 AM by orthodoxlurker »
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #92 on: March 20, 2008, 02:35:05 PM »
So, Demetrios, let's examine the fruit of your academic theologizing on this thread.
  • Irreverently flippant attitude toward the faith many of us hold dear, as this is expressed in our patristics and liturgics
  • Refusing to answer questions
  • Answering questions with non sequiturs, straw man arguments, and a variety of other cryptic retorts
  • Intentionally rephrasing other posters' questions

To be honest with you, this fruit is starting to remind me of the blatant trolling behavior of someone else who posted quite frequently on our forum a few weeks ago.  Now, is this the humility and fear of God that accompanies all true theology?
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #93 on: March 20, 2008, 03:57:46 PM »


You oppose St. John of Damascus, Demetrios! Is that what Metr. Zlizloulas' teaching lead you to?

Not at all. Your form of salvation Doesn't require a Church. You can sit on a mountain and pray, Just like the monks do and be saved. The church is there, I would never deny it. You are simply missing the fact that there is a house of god that preforms a Liturgy. God is there at the Liturgy even more so than anywhere else. By simply dis attaching yourself from The Church you fall into Protestism. Why do we need a Liturgy if salvation is just spiritual? Is the blood and body of God reduced to spiritual food only?
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #94 on: March 20, 2008, 04:40:31 PM »
Not at all. Your form of salvation Doesn't require a Church. You can sit on a mountain and pray, Just like the monks do and be saved. The church is there, I would never deny it. You are simply missing the fact that there is a house of god that preforms a Liturgy. God is there at the Liturgy even more so than anywhere else.
Non sequitur!  How does this follow from anything that's been said before?

Quote
By simply dis attaching yourself from The Church you fall into Protestism. Why do we need a Liturgy if salvation is just spiritual? Is the blood and body of God reduced to spiritual food only?
Straw man!  Without defining, for the sake of this discussion, what Protestants believe, your repeated assertions that one's beliefs are Protestant do nothing to address the logic of your detractors and only serve to sidetrack rational discussion of your arguments.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #95 on: March 20, 2008, 05:00:39 PM »
Not at all.

St. John of Damascus says soul is immortal and is created as such by God. You still haven't backed up your outrageous statement.

Quote
Souls are immortal only when in communion with Christ.

You go to next subject again:

Quote
Your form of salvation Doesn't require a Church. You can sit on a mountain and pray, Just like the monks do and be saved. The church is there, I would never deny it. You are simply missing the fact that there is a house of god that preforms a Liturgy. God is there at the Liturgy even more so than anywhere else. By simply dis attaching yourself from The Church you fall into Protestism. Why do we need a Liturgy if salvation is just spiritual? Is the blood and body of God reduced to spiritual food only?

I'll be pleased to hear your objections and points to my words that would prove your thesis once you first respond to the question above, that I keep repeating for several posts without your answer.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #96 on: March 20, 2008, 05:03:16 PM »
Non sequitur!  How does this follow from anything that's been said before?
Straw man! 


Without defining, for the sake of this discussion, what Protestants believe, your repeated assertions that one's beliefs are Protestant do nothing to address the logic of your detractors and only serve to sidetrack rational discussion of your arguments.



As St Maximus continues to say:

Quote
It is through it [ie the Church] that absolutely no one at all is in himself separated from the community since everyone converges with all the rest and joins together with them by the one, simple, and indivisible grace and power of faith. ...Thus to be and to appear as one body formed of different members is really worthy of Christ Himself, our true head. It is He Who encloses in Himself all beings by the unique, simple, and infinitely wise power of His goodness.
This unifying work of the Church is its most awesome aspect for through it we participate in the healing of the whole creation from the effects of the Fall, from sin and death. Ultimately this is what our life in Christ within the Church is for as a kind of responsibility to the whole of creation.

That this work though can only be accomplished through Christ is also made obvious within the Church:


Quote
As the center of straight lines that radiate from Him [ie from Christ] He does not allow by His unique, simple, and single cause and power that the principles of beings become disjointed at the periphery but rather He circumscribes their extension in a circle and brings back to Himself the distinctive elements of beings which He Himself brought into existence. The reason for this is so that the creations and products of the one God be in no way strangers and enemies to one another by having no reason or center for which they might show each other friendly or peaceful sentiment or identity, and not run the risk of being separated from God to dissolve into nonbeing.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #97 on: March 20, 2008, 05:14:35 PM »


As St Maximus continues to say:

That this work though can only be accomplished through Christ is also made obvious within the Church:



Would you:

1) Once provide the source of quotations (possibly links, or at least the title of the work and chapter), so we aren't mislead if you just offered a false quotation as in case of St. Athanasios the Great above, or yet another gnostic or socialist as a voice of the Church?

2) Finally answer any of the questions?

3) Refer what is the connection between what you posted with the statement of any other poster on this thread you are supposedly debating?
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #98 on: March 20, 2008, 08:59:52 PM »
Demetrios G: Since you like changing the subject, I think I will take an opportunity to do so myself. Why do you have a quote from the wicked Joseph Stalin in your profile by the way?  So what if he said the Greeks helped decide WWII?  I would not be bragging that someone worse than Hitler was on my side.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2008, 09:01:01 PM by Anastasios »
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #99 on: March 20, 2008, 09:17:34 PM »
Demetrios G: Since you like changing the subject, I think I will take an opportunity to do so myself. Why do you have a quote from the wicked Joseph Stalin in your profile by the way?  So what if he said the Greeks helped decide WWII?  I would not be bragging that someone worse than Hitler was on my side. 

I much prefer Churchill's quote about Greeks and heroes (after learning that the Greeks defeated Italy in WWII):

"We will not say thereafter that the Greeks fight like heroes, but heroes fight like the Greeks!"
"O Cross of Christ, all-holy, thrice-blessed, and life-giving, instrument of the mystical rites of Zion, the holy Altar for the service of our Great Archpriest, the blessing - the weapon - the strength of priests, our pride, our consolation, the light in our hearts, our mind, and our steps"
Met. Meletios of Nikopolis & Preveza, from his ordination.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #100 on: March 20, 2008, 10:40:25 PM »
I much prefer Churchill's quote about Greeks and heroes (after learning that the Greeks defeated Italy in WWII):

"We will not say thereafter that the Greeks fight like heroes, but heroes fight like the Greeks!"

That is a better quote for sure.
  The Quote below is designed help people on this forum too practice there Ascetic skills. As well as the quote below my name.

Back to the topic: I am surprised that you choose to stay out of this Cleveland. Wise move on your part ;). I could use your help. I'm being attack from all places.

  The truth is that there are two ecology's in Orthodoxy. The problem is that most "Orthoprotestants" Joke. Do not know of the most essential one.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #101 on: March 20, 2008, 10:42:23 PM »
That is a better quote for sure.
  The Quote below is designed help people on this forum too practice there Ascetic skills. As well as the quote below my name.


I am starting to think you are toying with us.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #102 on: March 20, 2008, 10:53:12 PM »
I am starting to think you are toying with us.
I'm not toying with you. You are attacking me without reason. If you would like to discuss this topic as gentleman than we can continue.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #103 on: March 21, 2008, 01:30:39 AM »
You may have a point there, Pravoslavbob; but it's a little hard to tell, what with the way you're lumping all Catholic liturgies together, whether they be Roman, Ambrosian, Byzantine, Chaldean, Coptic, Maronite, etc. etc.

Not at all.  Please don't play games.  I specifically refer to the Roman liturgy in my post.  I'm not lumping any of them together at all.  Not that any of the liturgies that you mention apart from the Roman and the Ambrosian grew up under the aegis of the Pope of Rome.
Atheists have noetic deficiencies.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #104 on: March 21, 2008, 01:39:26 AM »
Non sequitur!  How does this follow from anything that's been said before?
Straw man!  Without defining, for the sake of this discussion, what Protestants believe, your repeated assertions that one's beliefs are Protestant do nothing to address the logic of your detractors and only serve to sidetrack rational discussion of your arguments.



As St Maximus continues to say:

Quote
It is through it [ie the Church] that absolutely no one at all is in himself separated from the community since everyone converges with all the rest and joins together with them by the one, simple, and indivisible grace and power of faith. ...Thus to be and to appear as one body formed of different members is really worthy of Christ Himself, our true head. It is He Who encloses in Himself all beings by the unique, simple, and infinitely wise power of His goodness.
This unifying work of the Church is its most awesome aspect for through it we participate in the healing of the whole creation from the effects of the Fall, from sin and death. Ultimately this is what our life in Christ within the Church is for as a kind of responsibility to the whole of creation.

That this work though can only be accomplished through Christ is also made obvious within the Church:


Quote
As the center of straight lines that radiate from Him [ie from Christ] He does not allow by His unique, simple, and single cause and power that the principles of beings become disjointed at the periphery but rather He circumscribes their extension in a circle and brings back to Himself the distinctive elements of beings which He Himself brought into existence. The reason for this is so that the creations and products of the one God be in no way strangers and enemies to one another by having no reason or center for which they might show each other friendly or peaceful sentiment or identity, and not run the risk of being separated from God to dissolve into nonbeing.

As St Maximus continues to say:

That this work though can only be accomplished through Christ is also made obvious within the Church:


What's this got to do with the color of camel hair on a horse's rump?
« Last Edit: March 21, 2008, 01:39:48 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #105 on: March 21, 2008, 01:52:05 AM »
Would you:

1) Once provide the source of quotations (possibly links, or at least the title of the work and chapter), so we aren't mislead if you just offered a false quotation as in case of St. Athanasios the Great above, or yet another gnostic or socialist as a voice of the Church?
To be fair, lurker, I need to call you out on this possible ad hominem (according to a stricter definition of the term than we normally use here).  Have you judged Metropolitan John (Zizioulas) to be gnostic based on an objective, rational examination of the gnostic content of his writings, or have you prejudged the Metropolitan based on nothing more than gut-level feelings that have no basis in fact and are a poor foundation for judging anyone?  (This is, in fact, a very important distinction to consider, seeing that the subject of this thread is REALLY supposed to be the theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas, whom you have apparently judged without evidence, and not that of Demetrios G.)  I also fail to see what one's economic theory (i.e., socialism) has to do with one's faithfulness, or lack thereof, to Orthodoxy.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2008, 01:56:56 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #106 on: March 21, 2008, 02:11:14 AM »
I'm not toying with you. You are attacking me without reason. If you would like to discuss this topic as gentleman than we can continue.
Demetrios,

In all seriousness, when someone asks you questions about your theology and public doctrine, the gentlemanly thing to do is give straight answers to the questions asked of you, NOT to change the subject frequently to avoid answering questions.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #107 on: March 21, 2008, 04:26:18 AM »
To be fair, lurker, I need to call you out on this possible ad hominem (according to a stricter definition of the term than we normally use here).  Have you judged Metropolitan John (Zizioulas) to be gnostic based on an objective, rational examination of the gnostic content of his writings, or have you prejudged the Metropolitan based on nothing more than gut-level feelings that have no basis in fact and are a poor foundation for judging anyone?  (This is, in fact, a very important distinction to consider, seeing that the subject of this thread is REALLY supposed to be the theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas, whom you have apparently judged without evidence, and not that of Demetrios G.)  I also fail to see what one's economic theory (i.e., socialism) has to do with one's faithfulness, or lack thereof, to Orthodoxy.
As a matter of fact, I haven't referred to Metr. Zlizloulas' teaching as a gnostic one.

Here us http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,15064.msg215239.html#msg215239 a post of Demetrios, with the text of V. Bakouros, with the clear reference of "gnostic edifice". It appears the author is a socialist (which isn't disqualifying per se for me), but I really don't have the intention of accepting gnosticism or socialism, or whatever for that mater, instead of Orthodox Christianity.

Yet another Demetrios' post http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,15064.msg215806.html#msg215806 contained text without a link or reference to the autorship. What I said about it was "rubbish utter nonsense" in the context of this debate, without knowing who wrote it. Frankly I just did a cursory reading of it, since it wasn't relevant for the topic. Anastasios inserted the link afterwards so I became aware only subsequently that it is a work of Metr. Zlizloulas. But I still can't see how relevant these lines for any point related to the thread.

I have prejudged Metr. Zlizloulas' teaching in the second post in this topic http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,15064.msg215084.html#msg215084 when I said I won't read him anymore since I feel reading his works is destructive for my soul. Though I find what Seerb1389 wrote about "distaste" as a better phrase.

Finally, I wasnt' started the thread - I just responded in another topic after the first week of Lent fast. After that I found myself debating various claims of Demetrios that are unacceptable to me according to my knowledge of Orthodoxy and I don't know if that unacceptability is sourced in socialism, gnosticism, teaching of "Bishop" Spong (whom Demetrios claim profess the same as Metr. Zlizloulas) or Metr. Zlizloulas.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #108 on: March 21, 2008, 08:47:36 AM »


What's this got to do with the color of camel hair on a horse's rump?

The problem here is that most of you have a preconceived notion that man is immortal.
For one moment. Clear your mind of this and view Orthodox theology just as an Atheist would.
An Atheist believes that at the moment of his death he doesn't exist. Now, start from the beginning and look at our theology through his eye's.
What does he see? He sees that Adam dies, He sees that all Generation after him die, He sees that death is his enemy, Ansesteral sin is nothing more than death itself. He becomes baptized onto Christs resurrection. The Priest Drowned him in the tub. Killing his fleshly body, Because his fleshly body lead to non-existence. He resurrects with his spiritual self, He receives Communion as the actual body and blood of Christ. He is saved by Christ from death. The Church is also salvation for his physical existence. Now connect what you know with what I just illustrated and you have Orthodoxy.

Now I will post what a ROCOR Priest has told me.

 
Quote
First off we can see that a fundamental difference is that for the Fathers the penalty for sin is not for our ultimate death unless we make such of it. Rather death which is the fruit of sin is for remedial purposes so that we may turn to Christ.

Secondly death is not the unwilling result of sin since sin very much results from our free will. Death ultimately is the cosmic result of our free assent to sin. Thus the penalty we suffer for this is in one sense not imposed from the outside.

In another sense however the penalty for sin is very much part of God's allowance for mankind. This is best seen though as part of God's purposeful economia for mankind for He does not leave death in its destructiveness but rather transforms its power.

Thus paradoxically in Christ death is not actually death which would be complete separation from God and thus annihilation of what we are. Rather in Christ death as the fruit of sin now is transformed into a doorway which opens unto life. Thus in Christ death becomes the doorway to life and life can result from death. Although the two are different- one the result of our turning away from God & the other of our turning towards Him- life and death are no longer two radically opposed states.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #109 on: March 21, 2008, 09:55:20 AM »
Not at all.  Please don't play games.  I specifically refer to the Roman liturgy in my post.  I'm not lumping any of them together at all. 

So you did. (Sorry I guess I didn't read closely enough.):

Your liturgy is short on references to the Holy Spirit (explicit or implicit) and is at least one reason, IMHO, why liturgical scholars such as Keith F. Pecklers, S.J. and James F. White, among others, bemoan that an eschatological element is tragically missing from the Roman liturgy (and I would extrapolate from this the Western Christian experience in general), and why I think the transformative nature of the liturgy and the Church has not been successfully appropriated or understood by the West.

Nevertheless, even assuming you are correct I would still say that the statement in question -- Demetrios's statement that "Belief in the Eucharist alone leads to Catholicism leaving out the Holy Spirit." -- is a jump to unwarranted conclusions.

-Peter.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #110 on: March 21, 2008, 10:06:48 AM »

Nevertheless, even assuming you are correct I would still say that the statement in question -- Demetrios's statement that "Belief in the Eucharist alone leads to Catholicism leaving out the Holy Spirit." -- is a jump to unwarranted conclusions.

-Peter.
How we perceive it makes all the difference. When one states that the Eucharist is salvation they are correct. But when we box God into a corner we limit him to a ritual.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #111 on: March 21, 2008, 11:35:51 AM »
I'm not toying with you. You are attacking me without reason. If you would like to discuss this topic as gentleman than we can continue.

What have I done to attack you? I  believe that you are the one that is not acting gentlemanly by claiming the "case is closed" and that I don't know how to interpret texts, and by virtue of the fact that you skirt around questions by asking other questions.

About the only low blow you can accuse me of is questioning your quote of Stalin, which, is something I had wanted to do for some time.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #112 on: March 21, 2008, 01:11:13 PM »
But when we box God into a corner we limit him to a ritual.

I can agree with that, but the point is that Catholics don't box God into a corner or limit him to a ritual.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #113 on: March 21, 2008, 01:54:43 PM »
Now I will post what a ROCOR Priest has told me.
So you quote a ROCOR priest who supports your point of view.  Big deal. ::)  Are you not aware that even ROCOR clergy are not immune to teaching heresy?
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #114 on: March 21, 2008, 04:31:57 PM »
So you quote a ROCOR priest who supports your point of view.  Big deal. ::)  Are you not aware that even ROCOR clergy are not immune to teaching heresy?
Are you claiming that I am teaching heresy?
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #115 on: March 21, 2008, 05:38:25 PM »
Are you claiming that I am teaching heresy?

Are you claiming that you are teaching?
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #116 on: March 22, 2008, 12:53:17 AM »
Are you claiming that I am teaching heresy?
What evidence can you provide for us that your doctrine of soul death represents the consensus of Patristic thought on the matter?  So far, all you've done is repeat a select quote from St. Athanasius and maybe something short from St. Maximos, but these two Fathers could very well have been wrong on this specific point of theology.  You can't just take a tiny snippet from the work of a respected Father and build a whole system of dogma on that snippet alone, for such is how heresies are created.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2008, 01:43:38 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #117 on: March 22, 2008, 12:57:09 AM »
Are you claiming that you are teaching?
Define what the Eucharist is and you will teach yourself.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #118 on: March 22, 2008, 01:15:38 AM »
Define what the Eucharist is and you will teach yourself.
Demetrios, orthodoxlurker asked for a straight "yes" or "no" answer, not another one of these cryptic replies.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2008, 01:16:53 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #119 on: March 22, 2008, 03:46:30 AM »
Define what the Eucharist is and you will teach yourself.

That's what I receive when I'm prepared.

And this infallible definition is sufficient for me, and I believe could be useful for any Orthodox Christian. Since Church hasn't bothered to establish even the definition of itself, that's more than sufficient.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #120 on: March 22, 2008, 03:59:38 AM »
Define what the Eucharist is and you will teach yourself.

Besides, I'd be very reluctant to teach myself, I rely on Church to teach me and guide me. I'm not a Protestant, I'm an Orthodox Christian.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #121 on: March 22, 2008, 04:15:08 AM »
..So far, all you've done is repeat a select quote from St. Athanasius and maybe something short from St. Maximos, but these two Fathers could very well have been wrong on this specific point of theology.
...

Peter, I just ask you to take in consideration my refutal above - the quote of St. Athanasios the Grat was taken out of context - that specific paragraph from "On the Logos Incarnate" refers to the state before incarnation, and is not supporting what Demetrios wanted to prove - it refers to "on the way to returning,", as unfinished act, not to "(will) have returned" as an finished act.

One would need to rad "On the Logos Incarnate" entirely so would see how unsubstantiated Demetrios' reference to St. Athanasios for his stance was.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #122 on: March 22, 2008, 11:07:41 AM »
I conferred with a friend about St Maximus and he says that St Maximus in his work against apokatastasis specifically says that hell is eternal. I am looking for this quote.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #123 on: March 22, 2008, 11:52:21 AM »
That's what I receive when I'm prepared.

And this infallible definition is sufficient for me, and I believe could be useful for any Orthodox Christian. Since Church hasn't bothered to establish even the definition of itself, that's more than sufficient.
Run away now.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #124 on: March 22, 2008, 11:55:06 AM »
I conferred with a friend about St Maximus and he says that St Maximus in his work against apokatastasis specifically says that hell is eternal. I am looking for this quote.
Death is eternal. It is non-existence. When an exclusioner sends someone to there death. He is trying to punish him no?
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #125 on: March 22, 2008, 12:22:54 PM »
When an exclusioner sends someone to there death. He is trying to punish him no?

Seems like a pretty extreme form of exclusion.  :laugh: ;)
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #126 on: March 22, 2008, 02:31:20 PM »
What evidence can you provide for us that your doctrine of soul death represents the consensus of Patristic thought on the matter?  So far, all you've done is repeat a select quote from St. Athanasius and maybe something short from St. Maximos, but these two Fathers could very well have been wrong on this specific point of theology.  You can't just take a tiny snippet from the work of a respected Father and build a whole system of dogma on that snippet alone, for such is how heresies are created.

Demetrios G:
With these thoughts of PeterTheAleut in mind, in accordance with forum policy and precedent, I am going to request that you provide substantive Patristic evidence for your doctrine of soul death within 72 hours.  It should be enough evidence to argue (not conclusively prove) that the doctrine is at least accepted as a solid minority opinion in the Church.  Please note that you also have the option of simply admitting that you cannot supply such evidence.  If you do not exercise one of the above options within 72 hours, there may be further consequences.  I am also going to request that you answer questions put to you in a straightforward manner and not in cryptic riddles, as many posters on this thread have asked you to.  If you do not accede to the above requests, I am afraid that you will leave me no option but to lock the thread and possibly proceed with other actions.  My sincere hope, however, is that you will view this request as a way of being able to make your points clearly in this debate and as a means of avoiding thread closure.

Respectfully,

Pravoslavbob, Religious Topics Moderator.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2008, 02:39:36 PM by Pravoslavbob »
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #127 on: March 22, 2008, 02:49:47 PM »
Peter, I just ask you to take in consideration my refutal above - the quote of St. Athanasios the Grat was taken out of context - that specific paragraph from "On the Logos Incarnate" refers to the state before incarnation, and is not supporting what Demetrios wanted to prove - it refers to "on the way to returning,", as unfinished act, not to "(will) have returned" as an finished act.

One would need to rad "On the Logos Incarnate" entirely so would see how unsubstantiated Demetrios' reference to St. Athanasios for his stance was.
I agree with your refutation, lurker, having already read St. Athanasios's On the Incarnation from cover to cover.
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Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #129 on: March 22, 2008, 08:50:20 PM »
Seems like a pretty extreme form of exclusion.  :laugh: ;)
Not more extreme than the everlasting punishment you Catholics propose. ;)
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #130 on: March 22, 2008, 09:51:06 PM »
Seems like a pretty extreme form of exclusion.  :laugh: ;)

Only God makes the exclusions on judgement day. When man ventures into it he himself may be excluded.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #131 on: March 22, 2008, 11:43:21 PM »
http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/immortality_soul.htm
This article essentially asserts that it is not Christian to believe that the human soul is immortal by its very nature, that if the soul possesses immortality, it does so purely by the will and grace of God.  However, this doesn't address the question of soul death, or total annihilation of the wicked after bodily death.  To my knowledge, the Orthodox Christian position is that immortality is a property bestowed by God upon every human soul (again, purely by the will of God and not by any necessity inherent within man's nature), that the soul lives on after separating from the body at physical death, though in a state contrary to human nature, and that every soul will be reunited to its body at the general resurrection (of which Fr. Georges wrote in concluding the above article).  Where your doctrine of soul death contradicts the biblical and Orthodox witness, Demetrios, is precisely in your denial of the General Resurrection of which Christ Himself spoke.  Jesus didn't say in Matthew 25:31-46 and in Revelation 20:11-15 that only the righteous dead will be resurrected; He said that ALL the dead, righteous and wicked alike, will be resurrected before the Last Judgment.  Now, what evidence can you provide to suggest that a sizable minority of the Holy Fathers contradicted Christ's teaching on the General Resurrection?
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #132 on: March 23, 2008, 02:54:00 AM »
This article essentially asserts that it is not Christian to believe that the human soul is immortal by its very nature, that if the soul possesses immortality, it does so purely by the will and grace of God

Agreed.  Ironically, it also argues quite forcibly against Demetrios' position.  So we are still waiting for evidence of Patristic confirmation of his claims.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #133 on: March 23, 2008, 09:17:48 AM »
Quote
Christians, as Christians, are not committed to any philosophical doctrine of immortality. But they are committed to the belief in the General Resurrection. Man is a creature. His very existence is the grant of God. His very existence is contingent. He exists by the grace of God. But God created Man for existence, i.e., for an eternal destiny. This destiny can be achieved and consummated only in communion with God.

You must have missed this than.

I do believe in a Judgement day for all. So where is the problem?
What you are missing is the second death, which is non-existence.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #134 on: March 23, 2008, 09:22:34 AM »
Roman Catholics aren't wrong on this matter. The differences is that they view the church as a past event. We view it as a future event. In this event we aren't excluding anyone.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #135 on: March 23, 2008, 11:00:06 AM »
Agreed.  Ironically, it also argues quite forcibly against Demetrios' position.  So we are still waiting for evidence of Patristic confirmation of his claims.
The whole bible when read literally completely backs my claim. Eternal life means nothing more than eternal life. because of you're preconceived notion that all are immortal, you can not see it that way.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2008, 11:02:13 AM by Demetrios G. »
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #136 on: March 23, 2008, 11:01:06 AM »
You must have missed this than.

I do believe in a Judgement day for all. So where is the problem?
What you are missing is the second death, which is non-existence.
No, I didn't miss that.  I actually read the whole article.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #137 on: March 23, 2008, 12:47:35 PM »
Roman Catholics aren't wrong on this matter. The differences is that they view the church as a past event. We view it as a future event. In this event we aren't excluding anyone.

No they don't.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #138 on: March 23, 2008, 12:48:50 PM »
Was praying in Church again today, and found another text, saying that sinners will be tormented forever...how do things that cease to exist suffer eternal torment?
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Offline Anastasios

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #139 on: March 23, 2008, 01:00:05 PM »
Just read that article. noticed two important things:

Quote
St. Maximus did not believe in the inevitable conversion of obstinate souls. He taught an apokatastasis of nature, i.e., a restitution of all beings to an integrity of nature, of a universal manifestation of the Divine Life, which will be evident to every one. But those who have deliberately spent their lives on earth in fleshly desires, "against nature," will be unable to enjoy this eternal bliss. The Light is the Word, that illuminates the natural minds of the faithful; but as a burning fire of the judgment (ti kavsi tis kriseos), He punishes those who, through love of the flesh, cling to the nocturnal darkness of this life. The distinction is between an epignosis, and a methesis. "Acknowledgment" is not the same as "Participation." God will be in all indeed, but only in the Saints will He be present "with grace" (dia tin harin) ; in the reprobate He will be present "without grace" (para tin harin). And the wicked will be estranged from God by their lack of a resolute purpose of good." We have here the same duality of nature and will. In the resurrection the whole of creation will be restored, i.e., brought to perfection and ultimate stability. But sin and evil are rooted in the will. The Hellenistic mind concluded therefrom that evil is unstable and by itself must disappear inevitably. For nothing can be perpetual, unless it be rooted in a Divine decree.

The Christian inference is exactly the opposite.
There is the inertia and obstinacy of the will, and this obstinacy may remain uncured even in the "universal Restoration." God never does any violence to man, and communion with God cannot be forced upon the obstinate. In the phrase of St. Maximus, "the Spirit does not produce an undesired resolve but it transforms a chosen purpose into theosis" (Quaest. ad Thalass., 6). We live in a changed world: it has been changed by Christ's redeeming Resurrection. Life has been given, and it will prevail. The Incarnate Lord is in very truth the Second Adam and in Him the new humanity has been inaugurated. Not only an ultimate "survival" is assured, but also the fulfillment of God's creative purpose. Man is made "immortal." He cannot commit an ultimate "metaphysical suicide" and strike himself out of existence. Yet even the victory of Christ does not force "Eternal Life" upon the "closed" beings. As St. Augustine says, for the creature "being is not the same thing as living" (De Genesi ad litt. I, 5).

So, we understand that all nature is restored; that it is the Hellenes who posited that evil will disappear by itself inevitably, but the Christians understand that the obdurate in heart will never be converted, because God does not force it, and they will continue to exist, although they will not have "life", becuase metaphysical suicide is not possible and survival is assured.

I am glad to see that Fr Georges clearly teaches that man exists perpetually whether in heaven or hell.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #140 on: March 23, 2008, 04:59:51 PM »
The whole bible when read literally completely backs my claim. Eternal life means nothing more than eternal life. because of you're preconceived notion that all are immortal, you can not see it that way.
Is this how the Holy Fathers read the Bible?

You label "Protestant" those who disagree with you, yet it is YOU who use an approach to exegesis (i.e., literalism) often employed by Protestants to support your spurious doctrines.  (Are you also not aware that Protestants often make the same argument you just made that the Bible, when read literally, supports all of their unorthodox and often mutually contradictory doctrines?  I suppose that a literal reading of the Bible, apart from the Tradition that gives the Bible life, can be made to support any off-the-wall dogma such as yours.)  You attack belief in the immortality of the soul--whether by God's creative will or by the soul's very nature, you never say--as a Hellenistic construct, yet your belief that evil will be dissolved into nothingness together with those persons who practice it, as Anastasios pointed out in Fr. Florovsky's essay, is just as Hellenistic a belief.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2008, 05:06:20 PM by PeterTheAleut »
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #141 on: March 23, 2008, 09:08:16 PM »
Just read that article. noticed two important things:

So, we understand that all nature is restored; that it is the Hellenes who posited that evil will disappear by itself inevitably, but the Christians understand that the obdurate in heart will never be converted, because God does not force it, and they will continue to exist, although they will not have "life", becuase metaphysical suicide is not possible and survival is assured.

I am glad to see that Fr Georges clearly teaches that man exists perpetually whether in heaven or hell.
I will quote the Metropolitans response.


 
Quote
How is it  possible, for one persona to be the bearer of the entire Essence, and how is it possible for a persona to exist inside another persona, without losing its identity?  Because, if we place two personae inside each other, there is the risk that they may relate to each other so much, that their individuality may be lost. On the contrary, here, the existence of the one persona inside the others actually creates an “individuality”, a “selfsameness”, an “anotherness”. In our experience this is not possible, and the Fathers attribute this to the fact that our nature –the essence of humanity- is partitioned when the persona comes into being. No single person is the bearer of the entire human essence, because if he were the bearer of the entire human essence, then at the death of one person, all people would have to die – all of the essence of humanity. The entirety of human nature would be eliminated, with the death of one man alone. But in the case of mankind, we have a partitioning of the essence and of the nature, with the birth of every single person.  This is attributed to the fact that the created being is composite, it has a beginning, and it moves within the limits of space and time, where space and time divide, and not unite.  This is why the created are also mortal/perishable.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #142 on: March 23, 2008, 10:11:21 PM »
I will quote the Metropolitans response.
Let's see.  So far you've cited articles from modern-day theologians Fr. Georges Florovsky and Metropolitan John (Zizioulas).  They may indeed be considered eminent theologians, though I thought argument re. the soundness of the Metropolitan's theology, rather than your own theology, was to be the subject of this discussion.  But neither has yet been glorified as a saint--Metropolitan John is still alive in the flesh!--and neither can yet be ranked among the Holy Fathers of our faith.  You need to do much better, Demetrios.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #143 on: March 24, 2008, 12:40:51 AM »
Let's see.  So far you've cited articles from modern-day theologians Fr. Georges Florovsky and Metropolitan John (Zizioulas).  They may indeed be considered eminent theologians, though I thought argument re. the soundness of the Metropolitan's theology, rather than your own theology, was to be the subject of this discussion.  But neither has yet been glorified as a saint--Metropolitan John is still alive in the flesh!--and neither can yet be ranked among the Holy Fathers of our faith.  You need to do much better, Demetrios.

If you truly believe that His Eminence is in error, perhaps you should accuse him of heresy before the Synod of Constantinople rather than dismiss his teachings as heretical simply because they don't jive with your personal beliefs. Absent an official condemnation we can only assume that while his beliefs may not be mainstream, neither are they inconsonant with the Orthodox Faith.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #144 on: March 24, 2008, 12:50:12 AM »
If you truly believe that His Eminence is in error, perhaps you should accuse him of heresy before the Synod of Constantinople rather than dismiss his teachings as heretical simply because they don't jive with your personal beliefs. Absent an official condemnation we can only assume that while his beliefs may not be mainstream, neither are they inconsonant with the Orthodox Faith.
GiC, I think you misread me. ;)  I said nothing good or bad about the Metropolitan's theology, since very little has really been said on this thread about it despite the OP, nor have I ever accused His Eminence of being in error.  Read again the post you quoted, and you'll see that it actually speaks of His Eminence, Metropolitan John of Pergamon in a neutral manner, and then only secondarily in response to how another poster has cited His Eminence as evidence for his own pet doctrines.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2008, 12:52:45 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #145 on: March 24, 2008, 08:21:00 AM »
If you truly believe that His Eminence is in error, perhaps you should accuse him of heresy before the Synod of Constantinople rather than dismiss his teachings as heretical simply because they don't jive with your personal beliefs. Absent an official condemnation we can only assume that while his beliefs may not be mainstream, neither are they inconsonant with the Orthodox Faith.
Thank you GIC.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #146 on: March 24, 2008, 08:27:12 AM »
Thank you GIC.

How about instead of thanking GiC for misunderstanding Peter's point, you answer the questions put to you?
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #147 on: March 24, 2008, 08:28:24 AM »
How about instead of thanking GiC for misunderstanding Peter's point, you answer the questions put to you?
I must have missed the question. Where is it?
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #148 on: March 24, 2008, 08:46:40 AM »
I must have missed the question. Where is it?

There's four pages of them and it's a false statement that you missed them; you've responded to quite a few of them with responses that had nothing to do with the question posed, so we know you didn't miss them.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #149 on: March 24, 2008, 08:55:59 AM »
There's four pages of them and it's a false statement that you missed them; you've responded to quite a few of them with responses that had nothing to do with the question posed, so we know you didn't miss them.
If you have anything to add where is it?
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #150 on: March 24, 2008, 08:57:04 AM »
If you have anything to add where is it?

Answer the questions.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #151 on: March 24, 2008, 09:00:57 AM »
I have never stated in this whole thread that you're position isn't a legitimate one. Don't dismiss mine because it doesn't fit into you're scope of what salvation is. My position is just as Orthodox as your's.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #152 on: March 24, 2008, 09:03:50 AM »
I have never stated in this whole thread that you're position isn't a legitimate one. Don't dismiss mine because it doesn't fit into you're scope of what salvation is. My position is just as Orthodox as your's.

Actually, you have yet to show, in accordance with Pravoslavbob's moderatorial request, that your position is even a minority position within Orthodoxy, so don't go claiming that something that you either cannot or will not provide support for is just as Orthodox as our position.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #153 on: March 24, 2008, 09:05:53 AM »
Actually, you have yet to show, in accordance with Pravoslavbob's moderatorial request, that your position is even a minority position within Orthodoxy, so don't go claiming that something that you either cannot or will not provide support for is just as Orthodox as our position.
The metropolitan is in communion with the EP. That should answer your question.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #154 on: March 24, 2008, 09:08:54 AM »
I'll go ahead and repost Pravoslavbob's request for your benefit.  I'd hate for you to have "missed it."

Demetrios G:
With these thoughts of PeterTheAleut in mind, in accordance with forum policy and precedent, I am going to request that you provide substantive Patristic evidence for your doctrine of soul death within 72 hours.  It should be enough evidence to argue (not conclusively prove) that the doctrine is at least accepted as a solid minority opinion in the Church.  Please note that you also have the option of simply admitting that you cannot supply such evidence.  If you do not exercise one of the above options within 72 hours, there may be further consequences.  I am also going to request that you answer questions put to you in a straightforward manner and not in cryptic riddles, as many posters on this thread have asked you to.  If you do not accede to the above requests, I am afraid that you will leave me no option but to lock the thread and possibly proceed with other actions.  My sincere hope, however, is that you will view this request as a way of being able to make your points clearly in this debate and as a means of avoiding thread closure.

Respectfully,

Pravoslavbob, Religious Topics Moderator.


If I do my math correctly, I believe you're down to around 29 hours or so.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #155 on: March 24, 2008, 09:20:17 AM »
You are excluding atheists and evolutionists from your Church. You are wrong.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #156 on: March 24, 2008, 09:27:44 AM »
You are excluding atheists and evolutionists from your Church. You are wrong.

Prove it, as Pravoslavbob requested.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #157 on: March 24, 2008, 09:55:04 AM »
GiC, I think you misread me. ;)  I said nothing good or bad about the Metropolitan's theology, since very little has really been said on this thread about it despite the OP, nor have I ever accused His Eminence of being in error.  Read again the post you quoted, and you'll see that it actually speaks of His Eminence, Metropolitan John of Pergamon in a neutral manner, and then only secondarily in response to how another poster has cited His Eminence as evidence for his own pet doctrines.

Perhaps I did, my point was simply that a teaching of a sitting bishop is just as relevant as a patristic quote, perhaps more relevant since teachings evolve and develop and it is ultimately the current bishops that decide whether past decisions should be maintained or altered. As for whether or not these quotes demonstrate Demetrios' case, I'll leave that to him to argue.

I tend to believe that either there is no soul and no afterlife or all are reunited with the One...any position inbetween is just logically inconsistant, but we've already argued these points on other threads and this is not the place.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #158 on: March 24, 2008, 10:07:06 AM »
Prove it, as Pravoslavbob requested.
Demetrios, remember that there's also no shame in simply admitting that you just CANNOT provide the patristic evidence requested of you.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #159 on: March 24, 2008, 11:37:08 AM »
Demetrios G:
With these thoughts of PeterTheAleut in mind, in accordance with forum policy and precedent, I am going to request that you provide substantive Patristic evidence for your doctrine of soul death within 72 hours.  It should be enough evidence to argue (not conclusively prove) that the doctrine is at least accepted as a solid minority opinion in the Church. 

Is the doctrine of soul death even something that Metropolitan Zizioulas holds? You all seem to be assuming that it is, and perhaps you're right to do so (I certainly don't claim to know him as well as you all do); but it would be helpful to see a simple, direct statement on the matter.

-Peter.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #160 on: March 24, 2008, 11:47:37 AM »
Is the doctrine of soul death even something that Metropolitan Zizioulas holds? You all seem to be assuming that it is, and perhaps you're right to do so (I certainly don't claim to know him as well as you all do); but it would be helpful to see a simple, direct statement on the matter.

-Peter.

Actually, I believe that Demetrios G. is the only assuming that it is (there's a reply from PtA on page 3 concerning that).
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #161 on: March 24, 2008, 12:12:35 PM »
Actually, I believe that Demetrios G. is the only assuming that it is (there's a reply from PtA on page 3 concerning that).

OIC
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #162 on: March 24, 2008, 12:13:26 PM »
Perhaps I did, my point was simply that a teaching of a sitting bishop is just as relevant as a patristic quote, perhaps more relevant since teachings evolve and develop and it is ultimately the current bishops that decide whether past decisions should be maintained or altered. As for whether or not these quotes demonstrate Demetrios' case, I'll leave that to him to argue.

No it's not, because the teaching of a sitting bishop does not necessarily have ecumenical reception, whereas the teaching of an acknowledged father does.  Dogmatic teachings cannot be altered over time, but can only be developed further.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #163 on: March 24, 2008, 12:14:07 PM »
I have never stated in this whole thread that you're position isn't a legitimate one. Don't dismiss mine because it doesn't fit into you're scope of what salvation is. My position is just as Orthodox as your's.

No, you were calling us Protestant (and thus heretics) before. Now you are saying we are all Orthodox. Stop flopping around.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #164 on: March 24, 2008, 01:27:21 PM »
Is the doctrine of soul death even something that Metropolitan Zizioulas holds? You all seem to be assuming that it is, and perhaps you're right to do so (I certainly don't claim to know him as well as you all do); but it would be helpful to see a simple, direct statement on the matter.

-Peter.
Yes it is.

  The transcending of death, therefore, is –par excellence- the Gospel, which the Church offers us.  With His Resurrection (which signifies the transcendence of biological death), Christ provides us with the conviction, the hope, that it is possible for this admixture of the real life with the false that we are subject to can be cleared, so that the element of death may be removed, leaving only the element of life. This is the real and eternal life, because a “real” life is also an eternal life. As for the word “eternal” in the New Testament, it has no other inference, except that it is an extension of this life.  It is only in Platonism that the term “eternal” is juxtaposed to the term “current”, i.e., an entirely different level of thought. We do not find this kind of level in the Biblical perception. In the biblical perception, we have straight lines. Time, and consequently History, the corpus and the course of matter- of the material world - is a blessed part of Creation. In Platonism however, this is a negative point of reference, since one must escape from Time in order to be released and move on to another level; i.e., to fly beyond Time.  Unfortunately, many Christians interpret things in this Platonic manner, when they say:  “Did he die? Consider him blessed. He has departed from this fake world. He has slipped away from Time.  He has gone to eternity, where Time doesn’t exist. These ideas are not Christian.  The expectation therefore of the Resurrection is precisely an expectation of the transcendence of death and the catharsis of existence, so that the false and the deceptive element is taken out of the way.

I shall revert therefore to the manner in which the deceptive and the false element appeared, which is directly related to the “nil” from which Creation began. Imagine that we have a world that originates from nil; a world that did not previously exist.  We therefore have an entity “A”, which has nothing behind it as support; i.e., it has no pre-existence. This entity constitutes a multiplicity in Creation, because Creation is not one thing – God didn’t create one being; He created many.  Creation began with multiplicity, therefore “nil” had infiltrated everything; it exists between “A” and “B” because “B” is also a creation, just like every single creation that has been created, thus, there exists a dimension between beings.  The dimension between beings in Creation is expressed by two elements: space and time.  Between “A” and “B” or “B” and “C” there definitely is space and time.  Between them is space and time, which is what gives them their hypostasis; it connects them between each other, but it also keeps them separate. In other words, time and space act (this is yet another deception that is created) simultaneously as a connective element and as a differentiating factor.  Take for example the space that we have between us; it is the element that unites me with you. If space didn’t exist, I couldn’t be united with you – we couldn’t communicate between us. This same space, with the same, uniting energy, also acts differently and divisively upon us, because, thanks to this space, I am able to separate myself from you and be divided from you.  Time does the same thing. The time between my father and myself is that which unites me to my father, but, the fact that my father used to exist at one time, whereas I exist now – this space of time that intervened, is what separated me from my father.  This intervention of space and time - as a unifying and simultaneously dividing element - is what renders every created being (and they all began from the original “nil”) perishable.  What do we mean by “perishable”?  We mean “divisible” and “subject to deterioration”.  Time and space therefore compose beings, and decompose them simultaneously; and in this way, what we said earlier about the deception we call “life” is verified.  A “life” is created, which is imbued with death on account of a division; because, what is death? It is a separation; it is deterioration, the decomposition of existence.  We have here a composite world, which breaks up with death.  “A” and “B” no longer communicate with each other and “B” doesn’t communicate with “C”.  However, “B” itself is also composite, because it is composed of smaller elements; thus, just as in the death of a person –for example- we have two sides to the separation, i.e., one separation is the separation between “A” and “B” (the personal separation), and the other separation is when the whole – the person we call “A” – disintegrates into his composite elements; these disintegrate, and thenceforth, we have the dissolution of a unity that had originally been secured by time and space. In other words, all of these beings are subject to the influence of “nil”, from which they originated.  This whole, therefore, which is called “world” and which originates from nil, must unite itself to the whole that doesn’t have these kinds of processes. Since God didn’t have a beginning from “nil”, and by not living within space and time, He is not subject to this fate.   And that is where the real life is: where death doesn’t exist.

I would like to draw as a conclusion that, upon severing his bond, Man was left to this fate.  He was therefore deceived - and continues to be deceived - by believing that he lives when in fact he is dying, and by believing that with time and space, he can accomplish something. This is how deception appears in History, i.e., that within time - during the progress of History - eternicity can be secured. But, this cannot be achieved, unless one shuts his eyes to the problem of death, and shows disinterest in whether all beings become deteriorated and destroyed; when he shows concern whether humanity will survive, but not whether certain specific people will survive.  Christian Dogmatics however must seriously consider the issue of deterioration, the issue of death of each single person, each single being, and believe that the world is indeed subject to deterioration, and thereafter, the solution that can be provided is another matter.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #165 on: March 24, 2008, 02:57:55 PM »
Yes it is.

  The transcending of death, therefore, is –par excellence- the Gospel, which the Church offers us.  With His Resurrection (which signifies the transcendence of biological death), Christ provides us with the conviction, the hope, that it is possible for this admixture of the real life with the false that we are subject to can be cleared, so that the element of death may be removed, leaving only the element of life. This is the real and eternal life, because a “real” life is also an eternal life. As for the word “eternal” in the New Testament, it has no other inference, except that it is an extension of this life.  It is only in Platonism that the term “eternal” is juxtaposed to the term “current”, i.e., an entirely different level of thought. We do not find this kind of level in the Biblical perception. In the biblical perception, we have straight lines. Time, and consequently History, the corpus and the course of matter- of the material world - is a blessed part of Creation. In Platonism however, this is a negative point of reference, since one must escape from Time in order to be released and move on to another level; i.e., to fly beyond Time.  Unfortunately, many Christians interpret things in this Platonic manner, when they say:  “Did he die? Consider him blessed. He has departed from this fake world. He has slipped away from Time.  He has gone to eternity, where Time doesn’t exist. These ideas are not Christian.  The expectation therefore of the Resurrection is precisely an expectation of the transcendence of death and the catharsis of existence, so that the false and the deceptive element is taken out of the way.

I shall revert therefore to the manner in which the deceptive and the false element appeared, which is directly related to the “nil” from which Creation began. Imagine that we have a world that originates from nil; a world that did not previously exist.  We therefore have an entity “A”, which has nothing behind it as support; i.e., it has no pre-existence. This entity constitutes a multiplicity in Creation, because Creation is not one thing – God didn’t create one being; He created many.  Creation began with multiplicity, therefore “nil” had infiltrated everything; it exists between “A” and “B” because “B” is also a creation, just like every single creation that has been created, thus, there exists a dimension between beings.  The dimension between beings in Creation is expressed by two elements: space and time.  Between “A” and “B” or “B” and “C” there definitely is space and time.  Between them is space and time, which is what gives them their hypostasis; it connects them between each other, but it also keeps them separate. In other words, time and space act (this is yet another deception that is created) simultaneously as a connective element and as a differentiating factor.  Take for example the space that we have between us; it is the element that unites me with you. If space didn’t exist, I couldn’t be united with you – we couldn’t communicate between us. This same space, with the same, uniting energy, also acts differently and divisively upon us, because, thanks to this space, I am able to separate myself from you and be divided from you.  Time does the same thing. The time between my father and myself is that which unites me to my father, but, the fact that my father used to exist at one time, whereas I exist now – this space of time that intervened, is what separated me from my father.  This intervention of space and time - as a unifying and simultaneously dividing element - is what renders every created being (and they all began from the original “nil”) perishable.  What do we mean by “perishable”?  We mean “divisible” and “subject to deterioration”.  Time and space therefore compose beings, and decompose them simultaneously; and in this way, what we said earlier about the deception we call “life” is verified.  A “life” is created, which is imbued with death on account of a division; because, what is death? It is a separation; it is deterioration, the decomposition of existence.  We have here a composite world, which breaks up with death.  “A” and “B” no longer communicate with each other and “B” doesn’t communicate with “C”.  However, “B” itself is also composite, because it is composed of smaller elements; thus, just as in the death of a person –for example- we have two sides to the separation, i.e., one separation is the separation between “A” and “B” (the personal separation), and the other separation is when the whole – the person we call “A” – disintegrates into his composite elements; these disintegrate, and thenceforth, we have the dissolution of a unity that had originally been secured by time and space. In other words, all of these beings are subject to the influence of “nil”, from which they originated.  This whole, therefore, which is called “world” and which originates from nil, must unite itself to the whole that doesn’t have these kinds of processes. Since God didn’t have a beginning from “nil”, and by not living within space and time, He is not subject to this fate.   And that is where the real life is: where death doesn’t exist.

I would like to draw as a conclusion that, upon severing his bond, Man was left to this fate.  He was therefore deceived - and continues to be deceived - by believing that he lives when in fact he is dying, and by believing that with time and space, he can accomplish something. This is how deception appears in History, i.e., that within time - during the progress of History - eternicity can be secured. But, this cannot be achieved, unless one shuts his eyes to the problem of death, and shows disinterest in whether all beings become deteriorated and destroyed; when he shows concern whether humanity will survive, but not whether certain specific people will survive.  Christian Dogmatics however must seriously consider the issue of deterioration, the issue of death of each single person, each single being, and believe that the world is indeed subject to deterioration, and thereafter, the solution that can be provided is another matter.
1.  You've been told this many times:  You need to credit your sources.
2.  Assuming Metropolitan John did say this, I still don't see in this clear evidence that His Eminence taught soul death as you teach the doctrine here.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2008, 03:13:14 PM by PeterTheAleut »
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #166 on: March 24, 2008, 03:04:49 PM »
No, you were calling us Protestant (and thus heretics) before. Now you are saying we are all Orthodox. Stop flopping around.
No one called you or anyone heretic. You are mistaken. There is no Dogma on the after life. No one knows what will happen after the judgment. Who ever claims to know is just speculating. I know many of you stress a particular type of hell. In the future it is best to not torment those who aren't a part of your group with you're concepts. Eternal death could very well in be what is in store as well.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2008, 03:05:56 PM by Demetrios G. »
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #167 on: March 24, 2008, 03:24:09 PM »
Yes it is.

  The transcending of death, therefore, is –par excellence- the Gospel, which the Church offers us.  With His Resurrection (which signifies the transcendence of biological death), Christ provides us with the conviction, the hope, that it is possible for this admixture of the real life with the false that we are subject to can be cleared, so that the element of death may be removed, leaving only the element of life. This is the real and eternal life, because a “real” life is also an eternal life. As for the word “eternal” in the New Testament, it has no other inference, except that it is an extension of this life.  It is only in Platonism that the term “eternal” is juxtaposed to the term “current”, i.e., an entirely different level of thought. We do not find this kind of level in the Biblical perception. In the biblical perception, we have straight lines. Time, and consequently History, the corpus and the course of matter- of the material world - is a blessed part of Creation. In Platonism however, this is a negative point of reference, since one must escape from Time in order to be released and move on to another level; i.e., to fly beyond Time.  Unfortunately, many Christians interpret things in this Platonic manner, when they say:  “Did he die? Consider him blessed. He has departed from this fake world. He has slipped away from Time.  He has gone to eternity, where Time doesn’t exist. These ideas are not Christian.  The expectation therefore of the Resurrection is precisely an expectation of the transcendence of death and the catharsis of existence, so that the false and the deceptive element is taken out of the way.

I shall revert therefore to the manner in which the deceptive and the false element appeared, which is directly related to the “nil” from which Creation began. Imagine that we have a world that originates from nil; a world that did not previously exist.  We therefore have an entity “A”, which has nothing behind it as support; i.e., it has no pre-existence. This entity constitutes a multiplicity in Creation, because Creation is not one thing – God didn’t create one being; He created many.  Creation began with multiplicity, therefore “nil” had infiltrated everything; it exists between “A” and “B” because “B” is also a creation, just like every single creation that has been created, thus, there exists a dimension between beings.  The dimension between beings in Creation is expressed by two elements: space and time.  Between “A” and “B” or “B” and “C” there definitely is space and time.  Between them is space and time, which is what gives them their hypostasis; it connects them between each other, but it also keeps them separate. In other words, time and space act (this is yet another deception that is created) simultaneously as a connective element and as a differentiating factor.  Take for example the space that we have between us; it is the element that unites me with you. If space didn’t exist, I couldn’t be united with you – we couldn’t communicate between us. This same space, with the same, uniting energy, also acts differently and divisively upon us, because, thanks to this space, I am able to separate myself from you and be divided from you.  Time does the same thing. The time between my father and myself is that which unites me to my father, but, the fact that my father used to exist at one time, whereas I exist now – this space of time that intervened, is what separated me from my father.  This intervention of space and time - as a unifying and simultaneously dividing element - is what renders every created being (and they all began from the original “nil”) perishable.  What do we mean by “perishable”?  We mean “divisible” and “subject to deterioration”.  Time and space therefore compose beings, and decompose them simultaneously; and in this way, what we said earlier about the deception we call “life” is verified.  A “life” is created, which is imbued with death on account of a division; because, what is death? It is a separation; it is deterioration, the decomposition of existence.  We have here a composite world, which breaks up with death.  “A” and “B” no longer communicate with each other and “B” doesn’t communicate with “C”.  However, “B” itself is also composite, because it is composed of smaller elements; thus, just as in the death of a person –for example- we have two sides to the separation, i.e., one separation is the separation between “A” and “B” (the personal separation), and the other separation is when the whole – the person we call “A” – disintegrates into his composite elements; these disintegrate, and thenceforth, we have the dissolution of a unity that had originally been secured by time and space. In other words, all of these beings are subject to the influence of “nil”, from which they originated.  This whole, therefore, which is called “world” and which originates from nil, must unite itself to the whole that doesn’t have these kinds of processes. Since God didn’t have a beginning from “nil”, and by not living within space and time, He is not subject to this fate.   And that is where the real life is: where death doesn’t exist.

I would like to draw as a conclusion that, upon severing his bond, Man was left to this fate.  He was therefore deceived - and continues to be deceived - by believing that he lives when in fact he is dying, and by believing that with time and space, he can accomplish something. This is how deception appears in History, i.e., that within time - during the progress of History - eternicity can be secured. But, this cannot be achieved, unless one shuts his eyes to the problem of death, and shows disinterest in whether all beings become deteriorated and destroyed; when he shows concern whether humanity will survive, but not whether certain specific people will survive.  Christian Dogmatics however must seriously consider the issue of deterioration, the issue of death of each single person, each single being, and believe that the world is indeed subject to deterioration, and thereafter, the solution that can be provided is another matter.

Demetrios,

I was not asking what the doctrine of soul death is, but rather whether it is held by Metropolitan Zizioulas. (I'm not exactly clear on how you could have misunderstood my question, which was quite straightforward. I'm beginning to suspect that you're a bit over-fond of the sound of your own voice.)

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Offline Veniamin

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #168 on: March 24, 2008, 03:25:19 PM »
I'm not exactly clear on how you could have misunderstood my question, which was quite straightforward.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #169 on: March 24, 2008, 03:26:17 PM »
No one called you or anyone heretic. You are mistaken. There is no Dogma on the after life. No one knows what will happen after the judgment. Who ever claims to know is just speculating. I know many of you stress a particular type of hell. In the future it is best to not torment those who aren't a part of your group with you're concepts. Eternal death could very well in be what is in store as well.

Whoever claims to know the Flying Spaghetti Monster doesn't exist is just speculating.  Believing in the Flying Spaghetti Monster is just as Orthodox as your view.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #170 on: March 24, 2008, 03:43:29 PM »
Demetrios,

I was not asking what the doctrine of soul death is, but rather whether it is held by Metropolitan Zizioulas. (I'm not exactly clear on how you could have misunderstood my question, which was quite straightforward. I'm beginning to suspect that you're a bit over-fond of the sound of your own voice.)

-Peter.
Is this not what you have stated. The posted article is from him.

Quote
direct statement on the matter.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2008, 03:44:34 PM by Demetrios G. »
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #171 on: March 24, 2008, 03:45:42 PM »
Whoever claims to know the Flying Spaghetti Monster doesn't exist is just speculating.  Believing in the Flying Spaghetti Monster is just as Orthodox as your view.
You have proven your childlessness before. This is nothing new.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

Offline Veniamin

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #172 on: March 24, 2008, 03:48:23 PM »
You have proven your childlessness before. This is nothing new.

You probably don't appreciate Jonathan Swift, either, do you?
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #173 on: March 24, 2008, 03:59:52 PM »
For those of you who think I am mistaken. Read over his writings yourself.
He state death several times as a possible outcome. What I believe he is stating is that many today are falling away from our Eucharistic tradition and falling into Protestantisms.

http://www.oodegr.com/english/dogmatiki1/perieh.htm
« Last Edit: March 24, 2008, 04:00:09 PM by Demetrios G. »
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

Offline Peter J

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #174 on: March 24, 2008, 06:18:57 PM »
The posted article is from him.

Well now we might be getting somewhere. I shall examine said article and see if it supports your case. (I noticed you highlighted the words "biological death", but I fail to see how that helps.)

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #175 on: March 24, 2008, 06:33:13 PM »
Summary Review of Being as Communion (Chapter 1), by Metropolitan John (Zizioulas) of Pergamon
http://books.google.com/books?id=l4yaKM9SRQ8C&dq=zizioulas+%22being+as+communion%22&pg=PP1&ots=bG820tQMKr&sig=M3jA8BkQ9LMUpOa8lf9fudENGdg&hl=en&prev=http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Zizioulas+%22Being+as+Communion%22&sa=X&oi=print&ct=title&cad=one-book-with-thumbnail
  • Love is what constitutes the very nature of personhood, both in the Trinity and in Man--"I love, therefore I am," in my own allusion to Descartes.
  • Sin is separation from the community of love in pursuit of individualized existence; the consequence is degradation into purely biological beings who cannot escape nature's eventual dissolution.
  • Salvation is restoration into persons who love and who seek their identity in the communion of the Holy Trinity and of other persons.  This is actuated in union with Christ within the Church and her sacramental mysteries.

My Critique
  • Excessively close, cataphatic identification of God with the character trait of love:  Is love constitutive of God's very Essence, or is love merely a property of how He relates to His creation--i.e., His Energies?
  • Taken to its logical extreme, which I don't think His Eminence intended, the Metropolitan's description of the consequence of sin can be developed into a doctrine of soul destruction such as Demetrios preaches here.
  • Just like the teachings of any individual, even those of such great Fathers as St. Athanasius and St. John of Damascus, we must not read Metropolitan John's teachings in isolation from the rest of our Tradition, for such is the root of virtually all of our heresies.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2008, 06:37:36 PM by PeterTheAleut »
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #176 on: March 24, 2008, 08:37:07 PM »
No it's not, because the teaching of a sitting bishop does not necessarily have ecumenical reception, whereas the teaching of an acknowledged father does.  Dogmatic teachings cannot be altered over time, but can only be developed further.

Are you sure about that? If the claims of your church are true we have, indeed, altered out doctrines; isn't that why you broke from us afterall? ;)
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #177 on: March 24, 2008, 08:42:25 PM »
I think you're dream came true GIC. It seems he is an Evolutionist.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #178 on: March 24, 2008, 09:08:41 PM »
It is my understanding that the doctrine of annihilation would have no place in Orthodox theology. Do we not believe that, by means of Christ's Incarnation and resurrection, immortality is bestowed on all?



I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #179 on: March 24, 2008, 09:26:05 PM »
Demetrios,

If that passage from Zizioulas is the best you can do, I'm afraid I have to reject your claim that he agrees with the idea of souls ceasing to exist. (I can understand why you would frame your arguments in terms of his ideas, but that's not the same thing as saying that he agrees with you.)

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Peter.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #180 on: March 24, 2008, 09:39:07 PM »
Summary Review of Being as Communion (Chapter 1), by Metropolitan John (Zizioulas) of Pergamon
http://books.google.com/books?id=l4yaKM9SRQ8C&dq=zizioulas+%22being+as+communion%22&pg=PP1&ots=bG820tQMKr&sig=M3jA8BkQ9LMUpOa8lf9fudENGdg&hl=en&prev=http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Zizioulas+%22Being+as+Communion%22&sa=X&oi=print&ct=title&cad=one-book-with-thumbnail
  • Love is what constitutes the very nature of personhood, both in the Trinity and in Man--"I love, therefore I am," in my own allusion to Descartes.
  • Sin is separation from the community of love in pursuit of individualized existence; the consequence is degradation into purely biological beings who cannot escape nature's eventual dissolution.
  • Salvation is restoration into persons who love and who seek their identity in the communion of the Holy Trinity and of other persons.  This is actuated in union with Christ within the Church and her sacramental mysteries.



My Critique
  • Excessively close, cataphatic identification of God with the character trait of love:  Is love constitutive of God's very Essence, or is love merely a property of how He relates to His creation--i.e., His Energies?
  • Taken to its logical extreme, which I don't think His Eminence intended, the Metropolitan's description of the consequence of sin can be developed into a doctrine of soul destruction such as Demetrios preaches here.
  • Just like the teachings of any individual, even those of such great Fathers as St. Athanasius and St. John of Damascus, we must not read Metropolitan John's teachings in isolation from the rest of our Tradition, for such is the root of virtually all of our heresies.

You can Critique all you want. Facts are fact. He is teaching a soul destruction. A non-existence.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #181 on: March 24, 2008, 11:01:59 PM »
You can Critique all you want. Facts are fact. He is teaching a soul destruction. A non-existence.
I haven't seen that yet.  Besides, why are you building your whole system of dogmatics on what Metropolitan John teaches--er, should I say, what you interpret His Eminence to be teaching?  What of all the other Fathers of our holy faith?  Can you prove, as Pravoslavbob requested, that your doctrine of soul destruction held at least a strong minority opinion among the Holy Fathers?  You haven't done so yet, and time is running out.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2008, 11:09:15 PM by PeterTheAleut »
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #182 on: March 24, 2008, 11:31:11 PM »
Summary Review of Being as Communion (Chapter 1), by Metropolitan John (Zizioulas) of Pergamon
http://books.google.com/books?id=l4yaKM9SRQ8C&dq=zizioulas+%22being+as+communion%22&pg=PP1&ots=bG820tQMKr&sig=M3jA8BkQ9LMUpOa8lf9fudENGdg&hl=en&prev=http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Zizioulas+%22Being+as+Communion%22&sa=X&oi=print&ct=title&cad=one-book-with-thumbnail
  • Love is what constitutes the very nature of personhood, both in the Trinity and in Man--"I love, therefore I am," in my own allusion to Descartes.
  • Sin is separation from the community of love in pursuit of individualized existence; the consequence is degradation into purely biological beings who cannot escape nature's eventual dissolution.
  • Salvation is restoration into persons who love and who seek their identity in the communion of the Holy Trinity and of other persons.  This is actuated in union with Christ within the Church and her sacramental mysteries.

My Critique
  • Excessively close, cataphatic identification of God with the character trait of love:  Is love constitutive of God's very Essence, or is love merely a property of how He relates to His creation--i.e., His Energies?
  • Taken to its logical extreme, which I don't think His Eminence intended, the Metropolitan's description of the consequence of sin can be developed into a doctrine of soul destruction such as Demetrios preaches here.
  • Just like the teachings of any individual, even those of such great Fathers as St. Athanasius and St. John of Damascus, we must not read Metropolitan John's teachings in isolation from the rest of our Tradition, for such is the root of virtually all of our heresies.
Additional questions that come to my mind in reading His Eminence:
  • What constitutes the image of God in Man?  Is it immortality, at least in the minimal, existential sense that God created us to exist without end in eternity?  To my knowledge, the majority of the Holy Fathers would say yes.  From what I can gather, Metropolitan John says no, that apart from communion with God we disintegrate into nothingness.
  • Does sin separate us totally from the love of God?  Applied to the first sinners, Adam and Eve, this could imply that they lost the image of God completely in their fall from grace and became mere animals save for their conscious decision to continue to call upon the Name of the Lord through their experience of the consequences of their sin.  This, to me, comes dangerously close to what I understand to be an Augustinian, or at least Calvinist, doctrine of total depravity.
  • Is the final Gehenna a total separation from the love of God?  If so, then I can't see how Gehenna could be anything other than complete annihilation, since it is the love of God that sustains all of creation, and nothing can exist apart from God's sustaining love.  ISTM, however, that a legitimate Orthodox opinion holds that ALL humans will dwell in the love of God after the final resurrection, that the love of God will be light and warmth to those made capable through deification of receiving God's love, but a fire of torment for those not made so disposed.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #183 on: March 25, 2008, 07:15:50 AM »
If you truly believe that His Eminence is in error, perhaps you should accuse him of heresy before the Synod of Constantinople rather than dismiss his teachings as heretical simply because they don't jive with your personal beliefs. Absent an official condemnation we can only assume that while his beliefs may not be mainstream, neither are they inconsonant with the Orthodox Faith.

He can't.

6th canon of 2nd Ecumenical Council

http://www.intratext.com/IXT/ENG0835/_PT.HTM
Quote
6.

 Because many men, in a spirit of enmity and for purposes of slander being desirous to confound and subvert ecclesiastical discipline, connive to fabricate certain charges against Orthodox Bishops managing the churches, in an attempt designing nothing else but to sully the reputation of the priests and to raise disturbances among peoples who are at peace; on this account it has pleased the holy Council of the Bishops who have convened in Constantinople to decree that informers are not to be admitted without examination, nor are all men to be allowed to bring accusations against those managing the churches, nor yet are all to be excluded. But if anyone lay a personal grievance, that is, a private complaint, against a Bishop, on the ground that he has been a victim of the Bishop’s greed or other unjust treatment, in the case of such accusations neither the personality nor the religion of the accuser is to be inquired into. For then the conscience of the Bishop must be clear in every respect, and the man who claims to have been wronged should receive justice whatever be his religion. But if the indictment brought against the Bishop be of an ecclesiastical nature, then the personality of the informers must be considered, in order, first of all, not to allow heretics to make charges against Orthodox Bishops in regard to ecclesiastical matters. We call heretics those who have of old been proscribed from the Church, and those who have thereafter been anathematized by us; and in addition to these those who, though pretending to confess the sound faith, have schismatically separated and have gathered congregations in opposition to our canonical Bishops. Further, as regarding those who have previously been condemned by the Church on certain charges and have been ousted therefrom or excluded from communion, whether they belong to the clergy or to the ranks of laymen, neither shall these persons be allowed to accuse a Bishop until they have first cleared themselves of their own indictment. Likewise as regarding those who are themselves being accused from before, they are not to be permitted to accuse a Bishop, or other clergymen, until they have first proved themselves innocent of the charges placed against them. If, however, certain persons are neither heretics nor excluded from communion, nor condemned, nor previously charged with any offenses, should declare that they have an accusation of an ecclesiastical nature against a Bishop, the holy Council bids these persons to lodge their accusations before all the Bishops of the province and before them to prove the charges against the Bishop involved in the case. But if it so happen that the provincial Bishops are unable to or incompetent to decide the case against the Bishop and make the correction due, then they are to go to a greater synod of the Bishops of this diocese summoned to try this case. And they are not to lodge the accusation until they themselves have in writing agreed to incur the same penalty if in the course of the trial it be proved that they have been slandering the accused Bishop. But if anyone, scorning what has been decreed in the foregoing statements, should dare either to annoy the emperor’s ears or to trouble courts of secular authorities or an ecumenical council to the affrontment of all the Bishops of the diocese, let no such person be allowed to present any information whatever, because of his having thus roundly insulted the Canons and ecclesiastical discipline.

You again demonstrate your ignorance of Cannon Law.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #184 on: March 25, 2008, 07:21:53 AM »
... My position is just as Orthodox as your's.

No, it isn't.

http://etext.virginia.edu/etcbin/toccer-new2?id=KjvLuke.sgm&images=images/modeng&data=/texts/english/modeng/parsed&tag=public&part=16&division=div1

Luke 16:19-31

Quote
19: There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
20: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
21: And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
22: And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
23: And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24: And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
25: But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
26: And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
27: Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:
28: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
29: Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
30: And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
31: And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

http://etext.virginia.edu/etcbin/toccer-new2?id=KjvRoma.sgm&images=images/modeng&data=/texts/english/modeng/parsed&tag=public&part=16&division=div1

Romans 16:17-18
Quote
17: Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
18: For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
Quote
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #185 on: March 25, 2008, 07:29:17 AM »
Run away now.

I will, after the second approach.

Here is what Eucharist is, according to First Ecumenical Counci (cannon 18).

http://www.intratext.com/IXT/ENG0835/_PK.HTM

Quote
It has come to the notice of the holy and great Council that in some regions and cities Deacons are giving the Eucharist to Presbyters, which is something that neither the Canon nor custom has allowed those who have not the authority to offer, to give the body of Christ to those offering it. It has also further been learned that already some Deacons touch the Eucharist even before the Bishops. Let all these things, therefore, be done away with, and let Deacons conform to their own standards, well knowing that they are servants of the Bishop, and that they are inferior to Presbyters. Let them take the Eucharist in due order after the Presbyters, with either the Bishop or the Presbyters administering it to them. But neither let it be permissible for Deacons to sit among Presbyters, for to do so is contrary to the Canon, and is contrary to due order: if, in disregard of these definitions, anyone refuses to obey, let him be dismissed from his diaconate.

There is nothing about "Original" or "eshaton" in it.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #186 on: March 25, 2008, 08:25:23 AM »
I will, after the second approach.

Here is what Eucharist is, according to First Ecumenical Counci (cannon 18).

http://www.intratext.com/IXT/ENG0835/_PK.HTM

There is nothing about "Original" or "eshaton" in it.

Is it not the Resurrected body of Christ who transcended death?
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #187 on: March 25, 2008, 09:37:34 AM »
ANF01. The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus Chapter V.—The soul is not in its own nature immortal.

“ ‘These philosophers know nothing, then, about these things; for they cannot tell what a soul is.’

“ ‘It does not appear so.’

“ ‘Nor ought it to be called immortal; for if it is immortal, it is plainly unbegotten.’

“ ‘It is both unbegotten and immortal, according to some who are styled Platonists.’

“ ‘Do you say that the world is also unbegotten?’

“ ‘Some say so. I do not, however, agree with them.’

“ ‘You are right; for what reason has one for supposing that a body so solid, possessing resistance, composite, changeable, decaying, and renewed every day, has not arisen from some cause? But if the world is begotten, souls also are necessarily begotten; and perhaps at one time they were not in existence, for they were made on account of men and other living creatures, if you will say that they have been begotten wholly apart, and not along with their respective bodies.’

“ ‘This seems to be correct.’

“ ‘They are not, then, immortal?’

“ ‘No; since the world has appeared to us to be begotten.’

“ ‘But I do not say, indeed, that all souls die; for that were truly a piece of good fortune to the evil. What then? The souls of the pious remain in a better place, while those of the unjust and wicked are in a worse, waiting for the time of judgment. Thus some which have appeared worthy of God never die; but others are punished so long as God wills them to exist and to be punished.’

“ ‘Is what you say, then, of a like nature with that which Plato in Timæus hints about the world, when he says that it is indeed subject to decay, inasmuch as it has been created, but that it will neither be dissolved nor meet with the fate of death on account of the will of God? Does it seem to you the very same can be said of the soul, and generally of all things? For those things which exist afterGod, or shall at any time exist,these have the nature of decay, and are such as may be blotted out and cease to exist; for God alone is unbegotten and incorruptible, and therefore He is God, but all other things after Him are created and corruptible. For this reason souls both die and are punished
« Last Edit: March 25, 2008, 09:37:51 AM by Demetrios G. »
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #188 on: March 25, 2008, 10:04:13 AM »
“ ‘But I do not say, indeed, that all souls die; for that were truly a piece of good fortune to the evil. What then? The souls of the pious remain in a better place, while those of the unjust and wicked are in a worse, waiting for the time of judgment. Thus some which have appeared worthy of God never die; but others are punished so long as God wills them to exist and to be punished.

“ ‘Is what you say, then, of a like nature with that which Plato in Timæus hints about the world, when he says that it is indeed subject to decay, inasmuch as it has been created, but that it will neither be dissolved nor meet with the fate of death on account of the will of God? Does it seem to you the very same can be said of the soul, and generally of all things? For those things which exist afterGod, or shall at any time exist,these have the nature of decay, and are such as may be blotted out and cease to exist; for God alone is unbegotten and incorruptible, and therefore He is God, but all other things after Him are created and corruptible. For this reason souls both die and are punished

Can you give us a link so we can cross-reference this?  Besides, this doesn't prove your point, either.  I think everyone here will agree that the soul is not immortal in its own nature, as the Platonists would have us believe.  But what have you to say about the Orthodox doctrine that God created the soul immortal, that immortality is one of the aspects of the image of God in which God created us?  You seem to miss this important distinction.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #189 on: March 25, 2008, 10:28:38 AM »
Can you give us a link so we can cross-reference this?  Besides, this doesn't prove your point, either.  I think everyone here will agree that the soul is not immortal in its own nature, as the Platonists would have us believe.  But what have you to say about the Orthodox doctrine that God created the soul immortal, that immortality is one of the aspects of the image of God in which God created us?  You seem to miss this important distinction.
If you read all of the fathers. They usually leave us with a bi-polar understanding. There are people who see things in strait lines. They will choose the theology that suits them. Some can see both.  They are people that can see two dimensionally. They can see what I am saying. Both theologies are correct. They are united at the Eucharist.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #190 on: March 25, 2008, 10:39:23 AM »
If you read all of the fathers. They usually leave us with a bi-polar understanding. There are people who see things in strait lines. They will choose the theology that suits them. Some can see both.  They are people that can see two dimensionally. They can see what I am saying. Both theologies are correct. They are united at the Eucharist.

No, they can't be both correct.  Death and not-death can't both be correct as they are mutually exclusive.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #191 on: March 25, 2008, 10:50:09 AM »
No, they can't be both correct.  Death and not-death can't both be correct as they are mutually exclusive.
Yes it is. No it isn't, just doesn't work for me. Grow up.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #192 on: March 25, 2008, 10:54:11 AM »
The river of fire. I will admit that it isn't doctrine. Does so will at validating my point. The first part speaks exclusively to those that believe death to be Hell and than flips to the commonly known depiction.
http://www.orthodoxpress.org/parish/river_of_fire.htm
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #193 on: March 25, 2008, 11:08:56 AM »
Yes it is. No it isn't, just doesn't work for me. Grow up.

Personal insults, the last refuge of those without a supportable argument.

You still haven't addressed how two mutually exclusive doctrines can both be correct.  If doctrine A is correct, and as part of it refutes doctrine B, doctrine B cannot also be correct.  A doctrine teaching soul-death cannot exist side-by-side with a doctrine teaching there is not soul-death.

However, so this doesn't get lost in the shuffle, you still haven't provided the support for your position requested by Pravoslavbob.  Please do so.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2008, 11:09:17 AM by Veniamin »
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #194 on: March 25, 2008, 11:11:22 AM »
The whole point I am trying to display is that the commonly held view, while accurate. Leaves atheists and Evolutionist out of the kingdom of God. No one is excluded through the texts of the fathers. Those that hold to evolution or atheism. Can and will continue to be Orthodox
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #195 on: March 25, 2008, 11:13:47 AM »
The whole point I am trying to display is that the commonly held view, while accurate. Leaves atheists and Evolutionist out of the kingdom of God. No one is excluded through the texts of the fathers. Those that hold to evolution or atheism. Can and will continue to be Orthodox

And that still doesn't address the point Pravoslavbob requested.  That is the point you need to be addressing, not throwing out wild tangents in an attempt to distract people from the fact you refuse to provide the requested materials.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #196 on: March 25, 2008, 11:15:05 AM »
Personal insults, the last refuge of those without a supportable argument.

You still haven't addressed how two mutually exclusive doctrines can both be correct.  If doctrine A is correct, and as part of it refutes doctrine B, doctrine B cannot also be correct.  A doctrine teaching soul-death cannot exist side-by-side with a doctrine teaching there is not soul-death.

However, so this doesn't get lost in the shuffle, you still haven't provided the support for your position requested by Pravoslavbob.  Please do so.

I have listed many fathers as a testimony. Why are you still threating me with expulsion?
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #197 on: March 25, 2008, 11:20:15 AM »
I have listed many fathers as a testimony. Why are you still threating me with expulsion?

A) I have yet to threaten you with anything, so the accusation that I am threatening you with expulsion is an outright lie.

B) You have not yet complied with Pravoslavbob's request, which was that you provide evidence that the doctrine you are arguing is a solid minority opinion within the Church, at the least.  You have not provided anything approaching that.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #198 on: March 25, 2008, 11:22:36 AM »
A) I have yet to threaten you with anything, so the accusation that I am threatening you with expulsion is an outright lie.

B) You have not yet complied with Pravoslavbob's request, which was that you provide evidence that the doctrine you are arguing is a solid minority opinion within the Church, at the least.  You have not provided anything approaching that.
If you actually have taken the time to read said material would would see as much.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #199 on: March 25, 2008, 11:27:19 AM »
If you actually have taken the time to read said material would would see as much.

All I've seen are a couple of uncredited sources (which PtA called you out on) and a few scattered articles, with only one or two even potentially qualifying as Patristic support.  I do see a lot of posts by you running off in other directions in response to reiterated requests for the evidence.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #200 on: March 25, 2008, 11:36:58 AM »
All I've seen are a couple of uncredited sources (which PtA called you out on) and a few scattered articles, with only one or two even potentially qualifying as Patristic support.  I do see a lot of posts by you running off in other directions in response to reiterated requests for the evidence.
I am dodging questions that don't pertain to the subject. I have listed plenty of sources.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #201 on: March 25, 2008, 12:22:35 PM »
But what have you to say about the Orthodox doctrine that God created the soul immortal, that immortality is one of the aspects of the image of God in which God created us?
And what is our immortality but perpetual sustenance by the Source and Sustainer of life?  If God so desires to sustain our existences forever, does not a claim that human souls will be annihilated allow people to assert a power greater than God?
« Last Edit: March 25, 2008, 12:25:02 PM by PeterTheAleut »
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #202 on: March 25, 2008, 02:27:22 PM »
And what is our immortality but perpetual sustenance by the Source and Sustainer of life?  If God so desires to sustain our existences forever, does not a claim that human souls will be annihilated allow people to assert a power greater than God?
No. The power to live immortal comes from our free will to choose life or death. Christ gave man a way to an immortal life. Just as he gave Adam and Eve the same choice.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #203 on: March 25, 2008, 03:17:12 PM »
No. The power to live immortal comes from our free will to choose life or death. Christ gave man a way to an immortal life. Just as he gave Adam and Eve the same choice.
Where's the patristic evidence for this?
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #204 on: March 25, 2008, 04:19:24 PM »
Where's the patristic evidence for this?
Follow your signature and you will find it. Truth is often in the paradox. ;)
 General trolling behaviour. 
« Last Edit: March 25, 2008, 04:20:10 PM by Demetrios G. »
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #205 on: March 25, 2008, 05:55:07 PM »
Demetrios G.,

I'm sorry to say that I agree with other posters on this thread, in that you have not provided sufficient evidence to back up your claim within the allotted time period.  You have even sometimes begun different (and I would say occasionally bizarre) trains of thought in an attempt to distract posters from the matter at hand, that being your assertion that soul death is a completely Orthodox doctrine.  For these reasons, as well as your reluctance to answer questions in a forthright manner,  I am giving you a warning for general trolling behaviour. 

I have decided to let this thread remain open for the time being, since it seems to me that PeterTheAleut has endeavoured to bring it back to its original purpose of discussing the theology of Metropolitan John.  You are more than welcome to participate in this discussion.  However, rest assured that further attempts to derail the thread will not be tolerated, and will result in raising your warning level to that of post moderation and/or in the closing of the thread and/or other moderational action. 

At OC.net, we have tried to cultivate an atmosphere where differing points of view can be freely expressed.  You were not given a warning because your views differed from those of the majority, but rather for reasons I have outlined above.  We try to stress the importance of keeping threads more-or-less on topic in order to safeguard the integrity of the site and to make it as easy as possible for our posters to follow threads as they evolve.  I hope that you will contribute to discussion here as you have shown yourself to be capable of doing in the past, using forthright and cogent arguments to make your points. 

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« Last Edit: March 25, 2008, 06:39:17 PM by Pravoslavbob »
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #206 on: March 26, 2008, 01:47:32 AM »
For those of you who think I am mistaken. Read over his writings yourself.
He state death several times as a possible outcome. What I believe he is stating is that many today are falling away from our Eucharistic tradition and falling into Protestantisms.

http://www.oodegr.com/english/dogmatiki1/perieh.htm
I just finished reading through the entire section "On Creation, Salvation, Christology and Ecclesiology" on the web site linked above.  It's definitely a very interesting read; I recommend it.  Metropolitan John did speak of death quite a bit as a return to nil, a fall into non-existence, so I can see how someone could unscrupulously or carelessly use His Eminence's teaching on human death as the basis for a teaching of soul annihilation.  However, I don't see such doctrine of soul death necessarily flowing from his work.  In that he didn't speak at all of the nature of the human soul after death, one is certainly free to embrace His Eminence's definition of death as return to nothingness while at the same time remaining faithful to the traditional Orthodox doctrine that God sustains the psyche (soul) of each person after biological death.  (Of course, this does require an understanding that God separates the soul of each human from his body after death so that something of the person is preserved as the body disintegrates.)

Again in brief, I haven't seen any indication in what I've read of the dogmatic works of Metropolitan John (Zizioulas) that His Eminence teaches a doctrine of soul death such as Demetrios G. teaches here.  I think one really has to butcher His Eminence's theology to produce such a doctrine.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2008, 01:53:01 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #207 on: March 26, 2008, 06:20:49 AM »
I just finished reading through the entire section "On Creation, Salvation, Christology and Ecclesiology" on the web site linked above.  It's definitely a very interesting read; I recommend it.  Metropolitan John did speak of death quite a bit as a return to nil, a fall into non-existence,...

http://www.groupsrv.com/religion/about95808.html

Quote
From St. John Cassian (Conferences, Conf. One sect. 14; Paulist Press pg.
49):

"...the souls of the dead [are] not deprived of their intellectual
faculties but... they also are not lacking in feelings such as hope and
sadness, joy and fear. They already have a foretaste of what is in store
for them after the general judgment. Nor does it happen, as some
unbelievers would hold, that upon leaving this world they are turned to
nothing. Actually they live more intensely and they concentrate more on the
praises of God." 
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #208 on: March 26, 2008, 09:19:54 AM »
I just finished reading through the entire section "On Creation, Salvation, Christology and Ecclesiology" on the web site linked above.  It's definitely a very interesting read; I recommend it.  Metropolitan John did speak of death quite a bit as a return to nil, a fall into non-existence, so I can see how someone could unscrupulously or carelessly use His Eminence's teaching on human death as the basis for a teaching of soul annihilation.  However, I don't see such doctrine of soul death necessarily flowing from his work.  In that he didn't speak at all of the nature of the human soul after death, one is certainly free to embrace His Eminence's definition of death as return to nothingness while at the same time remaining faithful to the traditional Orthodox doctrine that God sustains the psyche (soul) of each person after biological death.  (Of course, this does require an understanding that God separates the soul of each human from his body after death so that something of the person is preserved as the body disintegrates.)

Again in brief, I haven't seen any indication in what I've read of the dogmatic works of Metropolitan John (Zizioulas) that His Eminence teaches a doctrine of soul death such as Demetrios G. teaches here.  I think one really has to butcher His Eminence's theology to produce such a doctrine.

I have stated before that there is a Bi-polar with all of the fathers as to what death is. I believe there is a good reason for that. The first is that the early Christians were preaching to Jews. Who viewed death literally. When the Christians preaches to the Greeks they used a platonic method. If you look you can see both at the same time.

Quote
1 Corinthians 9:19Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law. 22To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 23I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

I have told you which theology I favor.

Matthew 10:28:
"και μη φοβηθητε απο των αποκτεινοντων το σωμα την δε ψυχην μη δυναμενων αποκτειναι φοβεισθε δε μαλλον τον δυναμενον και ψυχην και σωμα απολεσαι εν γεεννη"
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #209 on: March 26, 2008, 09:53:46 AM »
http://www.groupsrv.com/religion/about95808.html

lurker, I fail to see what point you're trying to make with this link. As I said, I didn't see in Metropolitan John's works anything about the fate of the human soul after death. If you're judging His Eminence's theology from my review, you might try reading the whole review first, since you seem to have missed the second half of it.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2008, 11:38:21 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #210 on: March 26, 2008, 12:03:26 PM »
I have told you which theology I favor.

Matthew 10:28:
"και μη φοβηθητε απο των αποκτεινοντων το σωμα την δε ψυχην μη δυναμενων αποκτειναι φοβεισθε δε μαλλον τον δυναμενον και ψυχην και σωμα απολεσαι εν γεεννη"

The ol' trick of a certain other poster here, if it doesn't make any sense to any poster on the board, simply put it up in Greek with the implication that the text then has some hidden nuance that exists only in Greek and therefore makes your point.

Sorry, but the passage in question makes no implication of soul destruction that I can see... it's simply using an extended metaphor. 

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #211 on: March 26, 2008, 12:22:30 PM »
The ol' trick of a certain other poster here, if it doesn't make any sense to any poster on the board, simply put it up in Greek with the implication that the text then has some hidden nuance that exists only in Greek and therefore makes your point.

Sorry, but the passage in question makes no implication of soul destruction that I can see... it's simply using an extended metaphor. 

Everything is a metaphor for you. Read it in your native tongue than.

Matthew 10:28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #212 on: March 26, 2008, 01:08:58 PM »
lurker, I fail to see what point you're trying to make with this link. As I said, I didn't see in Metropolitan John's works anything about the fate of the human soul after death. If you're judging His Eminence's theology from my review, you might try reading the whole review first, since you seem to have missed the second half of it.

I haven't referred to his work, I just pointed to the stance that "deat as return to nil" isn't orthodox.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2008, 01:09:37 PM by orthodoxlurker »
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #213 on: March 26, 2008, 01:49:10 PM »
Everything is a metaphor for you. Read it in your native tongue than.

Matthew 10:28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

You know, I didn't want to stick my head in this...

But just because the scripture says "the one who can destroy both soul and body" doesn't mean "will destroy both soul and body."  Ability /= intent, ability /= destiny.  And it doesn't actually say that the Devil has the ability to destroy what only God made and what we believe only God can actually destroy.  Instead, the metaphorical interpretation of "destroy" is favorable in this place: it is "destroyed" through sin and participation in sin, through blackening, through separation from God.  Only God can destroy the soul, though, in the sense of destroy as "annihilate" or "end existence."
« Last Edit: March 26, 2008, 01:52:26 PM by cleveland »
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #214 on: March 26, 2008, 02:20:59 PM »
I haven't referred to his work, I just pointed to the stance that "deat as return to nil" isn't orthodox.
Death is the return to nil for all material creatures other than humans, as it is also for the material component of the human essence--this is what His Eminence was talking about.  Again, he mentioned nothing of what we understand to be the spiritual component of Man's essence, so in the sense that you seem to understand [human] death (i.e., separation of the soul from the body), I don't see Metropolitan John teaching anything unorthodox.

You might actually try reading the dogmatic works of His Eminence before you offer any more comments on this discussion, since you appear to be replying solely to my review of his work.  Don't just trust what I say, since I'm only voicing my interpretation.  Read him for yourself.

http://www.oodegr.com/english/dogmatiki1/perieh.htm
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #215 on: March 26, 2008, 02:46:23 PM »
I haven't referred to his work, I just pointed to the stance that "deat as return to nil" isn't orthodox.
Have you read the Dogma on creation?
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #216 on: March 26, 2008, 03:00:45 PM »
You know, I didn't want to stick my head in this...

But just because the scripture says "the one who can destroy both soul and body" doesn't mean "will destroy both soul and body."  Ability /= intent, ability /= destiny.  And it doesn't actually say that the Devil has the ability to destroy what only God made and what we believe only God can actually destroy.  Instead, the metaphorical interpretation of "destroy" is favorable in this place: it is "destroyed" through sin and participation in sin, through blackening, through separation from God.  Only God can destroy the soul, though, in the sense of destroy as "annihilate" or "end existence."
Yes, only God can destroy a soul. If you would like to answer a question without trapping you into this. If not I understand. Let me ask you what is better of the two. A continued punishment or a non-existence. Someone in hell would perfer the ladder for sure. Would a loving God torment someone that he loves and brought into existence?
Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.

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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #217 on: March 26, 2008, 04:25:34 PM »
The discussion concerning soul death is over.  If there is any more direct mention of it the thread will be locked.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2008, 01:38:22 PM by Pravoslavbob »
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #218 on: March 27, 2008, 12:57:10 AM »
From:  http://www.oodegr.com/english/dogmatiki1/C2e.htm

       Bearing all the above in mind, we shall proceed to make certain observations as regards their significance, not just for us theologians who speak a ‘language’ of our own, but for every human being.  What is the meaning of this Dogma on God?  Does our existence change, if God wasn’t this or that?  And what is the meaning of all these details?

       First of all, let’s take the question of whether the essence expresses the unison of God or not. If, in other words, we were to follow Augustine’s theology, where would it lead us? ( I Am Referring to our existence in general ).  When a teenager asks “who asked me if I wanted to come into this life?”, he is elevating his freedom above his existence.  He does not take his existence as something given.  He would like to have been asked.  He wasn’t asked. Hence, he sees his existence as something restrictive to his freedom.   And indeed, there are no greater shackles, than those of existence itself.  Don’t think of this as something strange. We have become accustomed to the moral concept of freedom; we believe that we are happy if we can choose between two, three pieces and then vote (this is what we call political freedom, or , in the moral sphere we understand freedom as being the ability to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’).  But a bigger challenge for freedom is that I cannot say ‘no’ to my existence.  And should I wish to say ‘no’ to my existence, then I cease to exist and my freedom is also retracted.

       My freedom becomes self-annulled.  But what is this attributed to?  It is attributed to the fact that my persona does not precede my essence; that my essence comes before my persona.  Should you apply this to God, and create a theology in which the essence precedes the persona of God, you would have – ontologically - the most un-free being of all.  God would then also be shackled by His existence.  Don’t let it surprise you that something like this would preoccupy us.  It should preoccupy us, because if God were not free to exist, then what could we expect?  Why do we seek this freedom?  Or is this perhaps an impermissible thing to do?  No, it is not impermissible. It is within the notion of freedom. That is why we express it by creating new identities (as we mentioned in a previous chapter ), which we freely choose.  And it is significant, that at the exact moment that the teenager asks “who asked me if I wanted to come into this life?”, he is going through the crisis of abandoning his given identities which are his family members, as well as his tendency to create his own identity, his own identities, that will be based on the unfettered relationships that he wants to define; these are defined by nature and given by the family.  Consequently, freedom – with regard to identity, to identifying with something and for something to exist for us - is a basic element of our having been created free by God and that we are in God’s image, therefore if God Himself isn’t free according to this aspect, then we too cannot hope or expect that we shall become - or shall be – free, hence freedom is a totally groundless thing.

       We must know whether the God in Whom we believe, and Whose images we want to be, is shackled to His existence or not; also, whether He exists because He has to exist; because He exists and cannot do otherwise. This very important subject is hidden behind the persona’s priority.

       If that which makes God exist is not His essence, but the Persona of the Father, then we definitely have freedom. God does not exist because He can’t do otherwise.  He exists, means: “He is”.  He is hypostasized freely.  A Persona is that which hypostatizes Him.   Just as I can freely say to someone: “To me, you don’t exist”.  To us, this ability to say: “you exist” or “you don’t exist”, is paradoxical.  If you have read the “Theatre of the Absurd”, you will see in there how intense this speculation is.  You will see in there that tendency to ignore and to say that: to me, that person doesn’t exist; I ignore him.  That is the absurd (of course) yet so natural element of existence: you cannot ignore it.   To us it is absurd, because existence precedes essence, as an obligatory reality.  And the persona comes after that, because it is reacting to that obligatory reality; it wants to independently create its own identities.  It ignores the objective essence and reality, but creates something absurd, because it can’t actually do it. This absurdness is the logic of Triadic Theology.  Logic is now the illogical !  Because in there, it is no longer illogical.  It is the reasoning within God’s Being.  It is because the essence does not precede, nor does it define, existence. If we think in an unorthodox way of God in this area, and we say that the essence precedes existence, then all these existential consequences appear.  And God?  Well, we must then either introduce the absurd element into God, or we ignore the personal speculation, and the speculation on freedom that the absurd element creates within us.  Of course, to a certain point this can be done, and we do, in general terms, put aside this absurd element.  But I don’t think it is possible – unless we deprive mankind of freedom altogether – to deprive it of its protest towards the phenomenon of the obligatory fact of his existence, which implies, as I said, the precedence of the essence to the persona.

       So, if God exists because the Father exists, and not because the essence exists, then we too have the hope that this absurd thing that we seek, may quite possibly be logical in reality; it may become logical.  The logic of Theology therefore, is the reversal or the denial of this absurd element.  This absolute freedom of God is expressed in the specific way of the Triadic relationship, and here we have another existential consequence, which is the continuation of the previous one.  Because for us existence is a given thing and therefore obligatory, our freedom is exercised in a double way; either by our unshackled acceptance  of our freedom, or the denial of our existence, i.e.  to not be able to deny my existence, to commit suicide, just as Dostoevsky analyzes it in his book “The Possessed”.  In this way, you will be fully proving your freedom.  It is only then that you prove your freedom fully: when you deny your existence.

       Well, for us there is the possibility to exercise freedom, at any rate there is the temptation to exercise our freedom in a negative manner, because our existence is a given thing, by someone else, hence our reaction to this existence.  In the case of God, how can God be free?  How can God exercise His freedom, if His existence is not a given thing?  He has only one way to exercise it:  affirmatively, positively.   For God, freedom is a one-way street; it is always affirmation.  God cannot say ‘no’.  What would He say ‘no’ to?   His freedom is only affirmative, and that’s why God’s freedom is expressed with His Triadic existence.   The Father’s freedom is expressed by saying ‘yes’ to the Son, the Son saying ‘yes’ to the Father.  It is the ‘yes – yes’ that Paul says was brought to us by Christ (Corinthians II, 1:19). You cannot say ‘no’ within the framework of the freedom that is not provoked by given existence, nor is it given ‘from without’ (that framework).  With God, nothing can be given ‘from without’.  Even His own self, His own existence, is not the result of His essence.  Consequently, not even His existence is obligatory.  He wouldn’t have been free otherwise.  On the other hand, if we were deprived of the ability to say ‘no’, we would cease to be free.  Seeing how existence for us is a given fact, we must have the option of being able to say ‘no’ to anything that is given to us ‘from without’.  But to God, there is no such option of choice; freedom is not exercised by God as a choice; it is exercised voluntarily, and only as Love, in its affirmative sense. Now, if you apply this to the human existence – as a fulfillment by the image of God, or as that which was revealed by Christ, or as it will be fulfilled eschatologically in the state of theosis – you will see that even then, freedom is forever a one-way street (as expounded by Saint Maximus extensively).  It is forever affirmative. Freedom is not the ‘yes’ and the ‘no’.  It is only the ‘yes’.  The relative verse in Corinthians II is very revealing. Paul says there: “Jesus Christ who is amongst you and is preached by you, did not become ‘yes’ and ‘no’, but within Him was the ‘yes’” (Corinthians II, 1:19).  God’s ‘yes’ and Christ’s ‘yes’  is now the freedom of affirmation.  It is from the Triadic dogma that this aspect of existence called ‘freedom’ springs from – or rather, is illuminated by. And how is it illuminated?  By what conclusion?  The conclusion is that there is only one way to exercise freedom to prove that you are free, and that is LOVE. The positive kind; the affirmation towards another being, other than yourself.  To freely say that “I acknowledge that this exists for me, and that it becomes a part of my existence.”

       This is how the Trinity exists.  The Father freely consents that He wants to have a Son, and He has that Son, freely.  God exercises His freedom when the Father begets the Son, also when He sends forth the Holy Spirit. And he exercises it in one form alone: as LOVE, as an affirmative action, and not a negative one. His negative freedom would have been His saying that He doesn’t exist; He would deny Himself.  But He would be saying that, only if the essence preceded - and therefore defined – His existence.

       Thus, a way of existence is created for man also, which is comprised of expressing, of exercising our freedom affirmatively, as love, and not negatively.  This is the “likeness of God”.  The image of God is fulfilled, precisely  this self-government of man, which has the ability to say ‘no’, but when it says ‘yes’, it is exercising freedom in a divine manner. This is how one also reaches those great connoisseurs of God and mankind as well, who are none other than the monks, whose existence begins and is supported by their eradication of their personal wills, and by their ‘yes’ to the other person, and their Elder.

       All the above are revelations of Triadic Theology from the aspect of experience which we spoke of in the first lessons.  You see now, that God - whom we theologians speak of dogmatically and have difficulty in making sense out of all this – to a saint, it is just a very simple experience.  He most probably won’t be able to put everything in words, the way that we do, but if you observe what I just told you, when I analyzed the existential consequences of the Triadic dogma, you will immediately see that a saint comprehends them automatically; he experiences them.




Comments, anyone?
« Last Edit: March 27, 2008, 12:58:00 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #219 on: March 27, 2008, 12:32:21 PM »
Let me ask you what is better of the two. A continued punishment or a non-existence.

Are you saying we are entitled to choose?

http://www.intratext.com/IXT/ENG0835/_P22.HTM

First cannon of the Sixth Council

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In beginning either a discourse or an action of any kind the thoughtful find it best to begin with God, and to rely upon God, in accordance with the utterance of the Theologian. Hence, inasmuch as we have already preached piety in a clarion voice, and the Church in which Christ[127] has been laid as the foundation is continually growing apace and waxing more and more capable, insomuch that it may be said to have outgrown the cedars of Lebanon, and now in commencing a recital of sacred words, by divine grace we decree that the faith which has been handed down to us shall be and remain exempt from any and every innovation and mutilation just as it has been delivered to us by those who have been both eye-witness and servants of the word of the God-approved Apostles, and further by the three hundred and eighteen holy and blissful Fathers who convened in Nicaea in the reign of Constantine, who became our Emperor, against ungodly Arius and the heathenish deity of a diverse god, or one might more aptly say of a multitude of diverse gods, which was dogmatized by him; and who in their unanimous consensus of opinion regarding the faith revealed and stated to us with convincing clearness the fact that the three hypostases of the thearchic nature are of the same essence, without allowing this important point to remain hidden under a bushel of ignorance, but, on the contrary, openly taught the faithful outright to adore the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit with one adoration, and deposed and denounced the opinion that divinity if of unequal grades (or ranks), and efficiently overthrew and demolished the puerile toys which the heretics had built up and erected upon sand in opposition to Orthodoxy. Likewise it is to be noted that we are determined to strengthen as much as we can the faith which was proclaimed by the one hundred and fifty Holy Fathers who convened in the Imperial City itself in the reign of Theodosius the Great, who also became our Emperor, embracing the utterance of the Theologian and driving out profane Macedonius along with previous enemies of the truth, on the ground that he impudently and arrogantly opined the head of lordship to be a servant and slave, and as having preferred as a matter of choice to split the indivisible unit in robber fashion, as though the mystery of the hope were not sufficient to sustain us. Along with this abominable fellow who waxed rabid against the truth they courageously condemned also Apolinarius the monstrous initiate of wickedness and vice, who vomited forth an ungodly view proclaiming the Lord to have been taken up in body without a mind and without a soul, so that it is hence evident that he too was addicted to the unwelcome conclusion that we have been left with an imperfect hope of salvation. But as a matter of fact we also gladly ratify the teachings set forth by the God-bearing Fathers who earlier assembled themselves in the city of Euphesus in the reign of Theodosius, who was the son of Arcadius and who also became our Emperor, and we hold them to be an unbreakable and mighty power of piety, preaching one Christ the Son of God who became incarnate, and the intemerate Ever-Virgin who seedlessly gave birth to Him, holding her to have been properly speaking (Note of Translator. — Lest the exact meaning of this exceedingly important phrase be lost upon the unwary reader, it may not be amiss here to state that it would be more usually expressed in ordinary English by the word literally) and “in truth a Theotocos” (i.e., when interpreted into plain English, “a woman who gives birth to God or to a god”), and driving away into banishment the driveling dissension of Nestorius on the ground that it has lost all contact with the Divine Oracle, while at the same time it seeks to renew the prevalence of Jewish ungodliness and aversion to piety, and we dogmatize the one Christ to be human being in due form and a God in due form. But we do not stop here. We Orthodoxly confirm the faith which was engrossed upon a pillar in the Metropolis of the Chalcedonians in the reign of Marcianus, who also became our Emperor, by the six hundred and thirty God-approved Fathers, which conveyed to the ends of the earth in a loud voice the one Christ the Son of God composed of two natures and in these two same natures glorified; and we have driven out of the sacred precincts of the Church Eutyches the vain-minded, who declared it to be his opinion that great mystery of the Economy was only seemingly consummated, as something sinister and miasmatic, and along with him also Dioscorus and Nestorius, the former being a defender and champion of dissension, the latter of confusion, and both of them being diametrically opposite outlets of impiety, fallen out in the same direction towards one and the same yawning chasm of perdition and godlessness. But neither do we stop here. We take the pious utterances of the one hundred and sixty-five God-bearing Fathers who assembled upon the ground of this Imperial City in the reign of Justinian, who became our Emperor and who passed away at the termination of his pious career, and, recognizing them to have been inspired and uttered by the (Holy) Spirit, we teach them outright to our posterity; which Fathers indeed as a Council anathematized and consigned to abomination Theodore of Mopsuestia, the teacher of Nestorius, and in addition Origen and Didymus and Evagrius, who joined hands in refashioning the Greek myths and recounting to us periods and mutations of certain bodies and souls, prompted by raptures and hallucinations of the mind, and in drunken revelry impiously exulting over the resurrection of the dead; as well as what had been written by Theodoret against the right faith and correct belief and against the twelves heads (or chapters) of blissful Cyril; and also the so-called letter of Ibas. And again we faithfully join together in the promise and vow to preserve and safeguard and keep inviolable the faith declared by the Sixth holy Council recently assembled on the grounds of this Imperial City in the reign of Constantine, who became our Emperor and passed away at the termination of his divine career, and which received still greater validity by virtue of the fact that the pious Emperor himself sealed up the volumes containing it by impressing them with his own seals with a view to ensuring their safety in every succeeding age; and which has with the love of God clearly enabled us to entertain an Orthodox conception of the straightforward dogma which they outlined of the truth that there were and are two natural wills, or, that is to say, wishes, and two natural energies inherent in the incarnate economy of our one Lord Jesus, the true God; and which Council by a vote of piety condemned those who teach their laities outright the doctrine of a single will and of a single energy inherent in our one Lord and God Jesus Christ, among whom we cite by name Theodore the Bishop of Faran, Cyrus (the Patriarch) of Alexandria, Honorius (the Pope) of Rome, Sergius, Pyrrhus, Paul, Peter, all four of whom have acted as presiding chairmen in this God-guarded city, Macarius who became the Bishop of the Antiochians, Stephanus his disciple, and foolish (or witless) Polychronius. Hence we solemnly decree that this Council, while preserving intact the common body of Christ our God, and, succinctly speaking, of all the men who have distinguished themselves in the Church of God and have become luminaries in the world, “holding forth the word of life” (Phil. 2:16), is committed to holding the faith firm and sure, even till the consummation of the age, and that it shall remain immutable and unaltered, as well as their God-imparted writings and dogmas; and rejecting and anathematized, on the ground that its authors were enemies of the truth, and snortingly and ravingly uttered vain things against God and made injustice and unrighteousness the highest objects of their study and meditation. If, however, there be anyone in the world who does not care to hold and embrace the aforesaid dogmas of piety, and believe and preach thus, but, on the contrary, attempts to by-pass them, let him be anathema, in accordance with the definition (or rule) already previously promulgated by the aforesaid holy and blissful Fathers, and let him be erased and expunged from the Christian Roll like an alien, and as one not belonging to our faith. For we are fully resolved and have been determined not to add anything to or to remove anything from what has previously been decreed, or any words whatsoever that we have been able to understand.
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Re: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas
« Reply #220 on: March 27, 2008, 12:45:15 PM »
Have you read the Dogma on creation?
What should I respond?

Some chapters from St. Athanasios the Great On Incarnation of Logos

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf204.vii.ii.vi.html

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§6. The human race then was wasting, God’s image was being effaced, and His work ruined. Either, then, God must forego His spoken word by which man had incurred ruin; or that which had shared in the being of the Word must sink back again into destruction, in which case God’s design would be defeated. What then? was God’s goodness to suffer this? But if so, why had man been made? It could have been weakness, not goodness on God’s part.

For this cause, then, death having gained upon men, and corruption abiding upon them, the race of man was perishing; the rational man made in God’s image was disappearing, and the handiwork of God was in process of dissolution. 2. For death, as I said above, gained from that time forth a legal212212    Gen. ii. 15. hold over us, and it was impossible to evade the law, since it had been laid down by God because213213    Gal. iii. 19 (verbally only). of the transgression, and the result was in truth at once monstrous and unseemly. 3. For it were monstrous, firstly, that God, having spoken, should prove false—that, when once He had ordained that man, if he transgressed the commandment, should die the death, after the transgression man should not die, but God’s word should be broken. For God would not be true, if, when He had said we should die, man died not. 4. Again, it were unseemly that creatures once made rational, and having partaken of the Word, should go to ruin, and turn again toward non-existence by the way of corruption214214    Cf. Anselm cur Deus Homo, II. 4, ‘Valde alienum est ab eo, ut ullam rationalem naturam penitus perire sinat.’. 5. For it were not worthy of God’s goodness that the things He had made should waste away, because of the deceit practised on men by the devil. 6. Especially it was unseemly to the last degree that God’s handicraft among men should be done away, either because of their own carelessness, or because of the deceitfulness of evil spirits.

7. So, as the rational creatures were wasting and such works in course of ruin, what was God in His goodness to do? Suffer corruption to prevail against them and death to hold them fast? And where were the profit of their having been made, to begin with? For better were they not made, than once made, left to neglect and ruin. 8. For neglect reveals weakness, and not goodness on God’s part—if, that is, He allows His own work to be ruined when once He had made it—more so than if He had never made man at all. 9. For if He had not made them, none could impute weakness; but once He had made them, and created them out of nothing, it were most monstrous for the work to be ruined, and that before the eyes of the Maker. 10. It was, then, out of the question to leave men to the current of corruption; because this would be unseemly, and unworthy of God’s goodness.
 

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf204.vii.ii.viii.html
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§8. The Word, then, visited that earth in which He was yet always present ; and saw all these evils. He takes a body of our Nature, and that of a spotless Virgin, in whose womb He makes it His own, wherein to reveal Himself, conquer death, and restore life.

For this purpose, then, the incorporeal and incorruptible and immaterial Word of God comes to our realm, howbeit he was not far from us218218    Acts xvii. 27. before. For no part of Creation is left void of Him: He has filled all things everywhere, remaining present with His own Father. But He comes in condescension to shew loving-kindness upon us, and to visit us. 2. And seeing the race of rational creatures in the way to perish, and death reigning over them by corruption; seeing, too, that the threat against transgression gave a firm hold to the corruption which was upon us, and that it was monstrous that219219    Cf. vi. 3. before the law was fulfilled it should fall through: seeing, once more, the unseemliness of what was come to pass: that the things whereof He Himself was Artificer were passing away: seeing, further, the exceeding wickedness of men, and how by little and little they had increased it to an intolerable pitch against themselves: and seeing, lastly, how all men were under penalty of death: He took pity on our race, and had mercy on our infirmity, and condescended to our corruption, and, unable to bear that death should have the mastery—lest the creature should perish, and His Father’s handiwork in men be spent for nought—He takes unto Himself a body, and that of no different sort from ours. 3. For He did not simply will to become embodied, or will merely to appear220220    Cf. 43. 2.. For if He willed merely to appear, He was able to effect His divine appearance by some other and higher means as well. But He takes a body of our kind, and not merely so, but from a spotless and stainless virgin, knowing not a man, a body clean and in very truth pure from intercourse of men. For being Himself mighty, and Artificer of everything, He prepares the body in the Virgin as a temple unto Himself, and makes it His very own221221    Cf. Orat. iii. 33, note 5, also ib. 31, note 10. as an instrument, in it manifested, and in it dwelling. 4. And thus taking from our bodies one of like nature, because all were under penalty of the corruption of death He gave it over to death in the stead of all, and offered it to the Father—doing this, moreover, of His loving-kindness, to the end that, firstly, all being held to have died in Him, the law involving the ruin of men might be undone (inasmuch as its power was fully spent in the Lord’s body, and had no longer holding-ground against men, his peers), and that, secondly, whereas men had turned toward corruption, He might turn them again toward incorruption, and quicken them from death by the appropriation222222    Cf. Orat. iii. 33, note 5, also ib. 31, note 10. of His body and by the grace of the Resurrection, banishing death from them like straw from the fire223223    The simile is inverted. Men are the ‘straw,’ death the ‘fire.’ cf. xliv. 7..
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf204.vii.ii.ix.html

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§9. The Word, since death alone could stay the plague, took a mortal body which, united with Him, should avail for all, and by partaking of His immortality stay the corruption of the Race. By being above all, He made His Flesh an offering for our souls; by being one with us all, he clothed us with immortality. Simile to illustrate this.

For the Word, perceiving that no otherwise could the corruption of men be undone save by death as a necessary condition, while it was impossible for the Word to suffer death, being immortal, and Son of the Father; to this end He takes to Himself a body capable of death, that it, by partaking of the Word Who is above all, might be worthy to die in the stead of all, and might, because of the Word which was come 41to dwell in it, remain incorruptible, and that thenceforth corruption might be stayed from all by the Grace of the Resurrection. Whence, by offering unto death the body He Himself had taken, as an offering and sacrifice free from any stain, straightway He put away death from all His peers by the offering of an equivalent. 2. For being over all, the Word of God naturally by offering His own temple and corporeal instrument for the life224224    ἀντίψυχον. of all satisfied the debt by His death. And thus He, the incorruptible Son of God, being conjoined with all by a like nature, naturally clothed all with incorruption, by the promise of the resurrection. For the actual corruption in death has no longer holding-ground against men, by reason of the Word, which by His one body has come to dwell among them. 3. And like as225225    Possibly suggested by the practice of the emperors. Constantinople was thus dignified a few years later (326). For this simile compare Sermo Major de Fide, c. 6. when a great king has entered into some large city and taken up his abode in one of the houses there, such city is at all events held worthy of high honour, nor does any enemy or bandit any longer descend upon it and subject it; but, on the contrary, it is thought entitled to all care, because of the king’s having taken up his residence in a single house there: so, too, has it been with the Monarch of all. 4. For now that He has come to our realm, and taken up his abode in one body among His peers, henceforth the whole conspiracy of the enemy against mankind is checked, and the corruption of death which before was prevailing against them is done away. For the race of men had gone to ruin, had not the Lord and Saviour of all, the Son of God, come among us to meet the end of death226226    Or, “to put an end to death.”.<