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Author Topic: The Theology of Metropolitan John Zizioulas  (Read 28269 times) Average Rating: 0
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« 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.
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« 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.
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« 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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« 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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« 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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« 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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« 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?
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« 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
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« 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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« 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.
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« 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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« 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.
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« 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
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« 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.
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« 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
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« 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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« 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?
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« 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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« 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.
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« 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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« 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.
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« 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?
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« 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.
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« 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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« 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. Wink
 General trolling behaviour. 
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« 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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« 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.
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« 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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« 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"
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« Reply #209 on: March 26, 2008, 09:53:46 AM »

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.
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« 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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« 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.
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« 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.
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« 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."
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« 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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« 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?
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« 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?
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« 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.
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« 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?
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« 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

Quote
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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« 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

Quote
§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
Quote
§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

Quote
§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.”.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf204.vii.ii.x.html

Quote
§10. By a like simile, the reasonableness of the work of redemption is shewn. How Christ wiped away our ruin, and provided its antidote by His own teaching. Scripture proofs of the Incarnation of the Word, and of the Sacrifice He wrought.

Now in truth this great work was peculiarly suited to God’s goodness. 1. For if a king, having founded a house or city, if it be beset by bandits from the carelessness of its inmates, does not by any means neglect it, but avenges and reclaims it as his own work, having regard not to the carelessness of the inhabitants, but to what beseems himself; much more did God the Word of the all-good Father not neglect the race of men, His work, going to corruption: but, while He blotted out the death which had ensued by the offering of His own body, He corrected their neglect by His own teaching, restoring all that was man’s by His own power. 2. And of this one may be assured at the hands of the Saviour’s own inspired writers, if one happen upon their writings, where they say: “For the love of Christ227227    2 Cor. v. 14. constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then all died, and He died for all that we should no longer live unto ourselves, but unto Him Who for our sakes died and rose again,” our Lord Jesus Christ. And, again: “But228228    Heb. ii. 9, sq. we behold Him, Who hath been made a little lower than the angels, even Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honour, that by the grace of God He should taste of death for every man.” 3. Then He also points out the reason why it was necessary for none other than God the Word Himself to become incarnate; as follows: “For it became Him, for Whom are all things, and through Whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through suffering;” by which words He means, that it belonged to none other to bring man back from the corruption which had begun, than the Word of God, Who had also made them from the beginning. 4. And that it was in order to the sacrifice for bodies such as His own that the Word Himself also assumed a body, to this, also, they refer in these words229229    Heb. ii. 14, sq.: “Forasmuch then as the children are the sharers in blood and flesh, He also Himself in like manner partook of the same, that through death He might bring to naught Him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and might deliver them who, through fear of death, were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” 5. For by the sacrifice of His own body, He both put an end to the law which was against us, and made a new beginning of life for us, by the hope of resurrection which He has given us. For since from man it was that death prevailed over men, for this cause conversely, by the Word of God being made man has come about the destruction of death and the resurrection of life; as the man which bore Christ230230    Cf. Gal. vi. 17 saith: “For231231    1 Cor. xv. 21, sq. since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive:” and so forth. For no longer now do we die as subject to condemnation; but as men who rise from the dead we await the general resurrection of all, “which232232    1 Tim. vi. 15. 42in its own times He shall show,” even God, Who has also wrought it, and bestowed it upon us. 6. This then is the first cause of the Saviour’s being made man. But one might see from the following reasons also, that His gracious coming amongst us was fitting to have taken place.

What was the aim of Son's incarnation as Jesus Christ and His Resurrection?

Was that a real Christ or only that one in eshaton will be the only real one?
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« Reply #221 on: March 27, 2008, 01:00:10 PM »

From:  http://www.oodegr.com/english/dogmatiki1/C2e.htm

This is how the Trinity exists. 

Comments, anyone?
Like St. Gregory of Nyssa thought us:

"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:

"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"
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« Reply #222 on: March 27, 2008, 01:12:31 PM »

lurker, did you not read Pravoslavbob’s latest post on this thread?  Or do you just want to get this thread locked?  Please do not argue anymore with Demetrios on his doctrine of soul death.  By stopping this, you will deny Demetrios any more temptation to continue arguing his point of view.

You also sound somewhat riled up in general.  Does God need to be defended in such a hostile manner?
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« Reply #223 on: March 27, 2008, 01:30:35 PM »

lurker, did you not read Pravoslavbob’s latest post on this thread?  Or do you just want to get this thread locked?  Please do not argue anymore with Demetrios on his doctrine of soul death.  By stopping this, you will deny Demetrios any more temptation to continue arguing his point of view.

You also sound somewhat riled up in general.  Does God need to be defended in such a hostile manner?

Peter, I'm really puzzled now.

I wrote two sentences only, one question about permissibility of our choice what to believe as Orthodox Christians, with the reference to quoted first cannon of the sixtht council, and two other sentences, actually titles of the quoted text.

I quoted St. Athanasios regarding the reasons for Son's Incarnation as Jesus Christ in the hope I actually comply with mod's request.

I found myself accused of being "hostile" and "riled up".

 Huh
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« Reply #224 on: March 27, 2008, 01:43:33 PM »

Peter, I'm really puzzled now.

I wrote two sentences only, one question about permissibility of our choice what to believe as Orthodox Christians, with the reference to quoted first cannon of the sixtht council, and two other sentences, actually titles of the quoted text.

I quoted St. Athanasios regarding the reasons for Son's Incarnation as Jesus Christ in the hope I actually comply with mod's request.

I found myself accused of being "hostile" and "riled up".

 Huh
I've been following this argument pretty closely, as you can see.  I also know your posting style well enough to know how inflammatory it can be at times, even though flaming others may not be your intent.  Posting quotes from the Fathers without offering any additional commentary whatsoever to clarify the message you intend to express is a big part of this.  To counter this, you might try stating your message in your own words (and with tact), using quotes from the Fathers only as needed to support your statements.
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