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Author Topic: Simplistic Answers and Liberalism  (Read 1996 times) Average Rating: 0
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ialmisry
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« on: June 07, 2008, 01:19:23 PM »

This is split off by another thread.  We can start off by this exchange:

Fundamentalism is wrong in and of itself because it is a distortion of the whole Truth.

So's liberal Protestantism. Your point?


It seems that Liberals are adicted to two dimensional arguments, in particular those that deride conservatives as stuck in [what ever prior century you want].  In religions that deny tradition, one can do that.  Orthodoxy, however, is not one of those religions.
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« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2008, 01:28:40 PM »

For my own part, I don't equate fundamentalist with conservative. I think that is a major issue over on the other thread: people are approaching the discussion with different definitions of fundamentalism in mind. I would also say that fundamentals are important, and that we should give liberally. Yet I would agree with both parties in that neither fundamentalism nor liberalism has a place in Orthodoxy. It all depends on how you are using the terms.
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« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2008, 01:39:00 PM »

It seems that Liberals are adicted to two dimensional arguments, in particular those that deride conservatives as stuck in [what ever prior century you want].  In religions that deny tradition, one can do that.  Orthodoxy, however, is not one of those religions.

Forgive me if I do not correctly read your intent, but you seem to be missing the entire thrust of Ozgeorge's argument in the other thread, although somehow you acknowledge that he makes good points too.  Orthodoxy is neither liberal nor conservative.  Do you assume that it is conservative, because it is "traditional"?  This is an error made by many, IMHO.  Genuine Tradition has little to do with a political stance.  One way that it can be referred to is as the life of the Holy Spirit in the Church.  So it is dynamic and organic and changing, as well as remaining the same at all times, and of course transcends any kind of antinomy that we may care to apply to it as well.  To equate Tradition with conservatism is quite erroneous and misses the point. 
« Last Edit: June 07, 2008, 01:40:23 PM by Pravoslavbob » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2008, 01:53:00 PM »

Forgive me if I do not correctly read your intent, but you seem to be missing the entire thrust of Ozgeorge's argument in the other thread, although somehow you acknowledge that he makes good points too.  Orthodoxy is neither liberal nor conservative.  Do you assume that it is conservative, because it is "traditional"?  This is an error made by many, IMHO.  Genuine Tradition has little to do with a political stance.  One way that it can be referred to is as the life of the Holy Spirit in the Church.  So it is dynamic and organic and changing, as well as remaining the same at all times, and of course transcends any kind of antinomy that we may care to apply to it as well.  To equate Tradition with conservatism is quite erroneous and misses the point. 

This post is extremely helpful! Thanks!
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ialmisry
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« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2008, 02:18:06 PM »

Forgive me if I do not correctly read your intent, but you seem to be missing the entire thrust of Ozgeorge's argument in the other thread, although somehow you acknowledge that he makes good points too.  Orthodoxy is neither liberal nor conservative.  Do you assume that it is conservative, because it is "traditional"?  This is an error made by many, IMHO.  Genuine Tradition has little to do with a political stance.  One way that it can be referred to is as the life of the Holy Spirit in the Church.  So it is dynamic and organic and changing, as well as remaining the same at all times, and of course transcends any kind of antinomy that we may care to apply to it as well.  To equate Tradition with conservatism is quite erroneous and misses the point. 

As is equating conservatism with Fundamentalism (i.e. =ignorance), which is going on on the other thread, and elsewhere.

George does make valids points, such as:
Do you believe in the virgin birth? If you say yes then you are a Fundamentalist.
No. It just means that I believe in the Virgin Birth. What does the fact that I question whether Christ had the same DNA as the Theotokos make me?


Quote from: jnorm888 on Yesterday at 05:02:29 PM
Do you believe in the bodily resurrection of Christ? If you say yes then you are a Fundamentalist
No. It just means that I believe in the Bodily Resurrection of Christ. What does the fact that I give the Bodily Resurrection a different meaning in the role of Salvation to someone who is an atonement-substitution believer make me?


Quote from: jnorm888 on Yesterday at 05:02:29 PM
Do you believe in the "miracles" of the Bible? IF you say yes to that then you are a Fundamentalist..
No. It just means that I believe in the Miracles recorded in the Bible. What does the fact that I hold they have a different level of meaning make me?

although the last one I wonder what he means.

Now, when a Liberal theologian interpretes the Virgin Birth "theologically" to deny it "physically" (as opposed to meditating on its theological implication), or metaphors away the bodily Resurrection of Christ, they are complicating very simple things.  Black and White things.  Orthodoxy differs both from Fundamentalism and Liberalism of the Protestant variety: Fundamentalism, in the sense that their theological misunderstanding, Liberalism in that we take them as givens, as do the Fundamentalists.

The argument is only hinted on the other thread, but appears in the open elsewhere, where the argument is "the Church has changed, she will change again, she should change by...X."  The assertion that the Church has changed is not fully substantiated, and the explanation how this fits in with Tradition is not explained, just jettisoned.
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« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2008, 02:56:29 PM »

Now, when a Liberal theologian interpretes the Virgin Birth "theologically" to deny it "physically"
No ialmisry. This is not the interpretation of a "Liberal" theologian. This is the interpretation of a heretic.
You still don't get it do you?
There is no such thing as a "Liberal theologian" or a "Conservative theologian". There are just "theologians".
Oh that you don't see the irony of this thread! You reduce everything to "Conservative vs. Liberal" and that's supposed to convince people that you're not being simplistic!
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« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2008, 04:45:29 PM »

No ialmisry. This is not the interpretation of a "Liberal" theologian. This is the interpretation of a heretic.
You still don't get it do you?
There is no such thing as a "Liberal theologian" or a "Conservative theologian". There are just "theologians".
Oh that you don't see the irony of this thread! You reduce everything to "Conservative vs. Liberal" and that's supposed to convince people that you're not being simplistic!
d

Produce a conservative liberation theologian, and I'll buy your argument.

I had Uta Ranke-Heinnemann in mind.  I don't know where she falls on the political spectrum, either in Germany (where her father was president), the US or the world stage.  Nor do I care.  Her "theology" is a different matter.  She's not "just a theologian."  Nor are many who push an agenda, with women's ordination merely being the byproduct (similar things occur on the right, btw, for example the Greek junta).
http://www.beliefnet.com/story/165/story_16553_1.html
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« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2008, 04:50:56 PM »

d

Produce a conservative liberation theologian, and I'll buy your argument.

I had Uta Ranke-Heinnemann in mind.  I don't know where she falls on the political spectrum, either in Germany (where her father was president), the US or the world stage.  Nor do I care.  Her "theology" is a different matter.  She's not "just a theologian."  Nor are many who push an agenda, with women's ordination merely being the byproduct (similar things occur on the right, btw, for example the Greek junta).
http://www.beliefnet.com/story/165/story_16553_1.html

I know this is a completely pointless excercise, but you've misread my point (again).
No ialmisry. This is not the interpretation of a "Liberal" theologian. This is the interpretation of a heretic.
You still don't get it do you?
There is no such thing as a "Liberal theologian" or a "Conservative theologian". There are just "theologians".
Now do you get it?
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« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2008, 05:21:49 PM »

I know this is a completely pointless excercise, but you've misread my point (again).Now do you get it?

No, what's your point?

This is split off by another thread.  We can start off by this exchange:


Quote from: ozgeorge on Yesterday at 04:42:33 PM
Fundamentalism is wrong in and of itself because it is a distortion of the whole Truth.


Quote from: ialmisry on Yesterday at 09:15:50 PM
So's liberal Protestantism. Your point?

Maybe it's the hangup with the word "liberal."  I understand, liberals, at least in the US are running from the term.  "Mainstream" better?
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« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2008, 05:26:27 PM »

No, what's your point?
Never mind.
It's foggy and drizzling here. Hows the weather your way?
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« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2008, 05:36:00 PM »

Never mind.
It's foggy and drizzling here. Hows the weather your way?

Warm and windy.  Have a nice winter.
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« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2008, 08:19:42 PM »

From Asteriktos;
Quote
For my own part, I don't equate fundamentalist with conservative. I think that is a major issue over on the other thread: people are approaching the discussion with different definitions of fundamentalism in mind. I would also say that fundamentals are important, and that we should give liberally. Yet I would agree with both parties in that neither fundamentalism nor liberalism has a place in Orthodoxy. It all depends on how you are using the terms


Forgive me if I do not correctly read your intent, but you seem to be missing the entire thrust of Ozgeorge's argument in the other thread, although somehow you acknowledge that he makes good points too.  Orthodoxy is neither liberal nor conservative.  Do you assume that it is conservative, because it is "traditional"?  This is an error made by many, IMHO.  Genuine Tradition has little to do with a political stance.  One way that it can be referred to is as the life of the Holy Spirit in the Church.  So it is dynamic and organic and changing, as well as remaining the same at all times, and of course transcends any kind of antinomy that we may care to apply to it as well.  To equate Tradition with conservatism is quite erroneous and misses the point. 

Excellent posts and very helpful.

I hope I don't give offence here, but I have an observation; probably one that has been made before. I'm going to focus on adult converts with this observation, though I have witnessed what ozgeorge points out as simplistic thinking in cradle converts, too. So I'm not singling adult converts out, it's just that as an adult convert myself, I feel sort of more qualified to speak about us. Grin

From what I have observed of adult converts no matter how hard we try we can't help but carry with us a certain amount of baggage from our previous religious position; whatever that be. And it seems that it's not unreasonable that this should be the case for at least some time, but however painful it might be for us to give up our old way of thinking it's something that eventually we need to do.

It seems that many of us on OC.net have come to Orthodoxy from conservative backgrounds and rather than changing our mindset we cling to conservatism as if it is the be all and end all of all things; in such a way that it actually prevents us from acquiring the mindset that is necessary for us to liberate ourselves from such labels as "conservative" and "liberal", and to actually embrace Tradition in such a way that we see the lack of charity in labelling other people. IMO, Pravoslavbob's point that "Tradition doesn't equate with conservatism" is a mantra that needs to be practiced until we get the point.

We may not like the questions asked or the opinions of others on the forum, but being free to ask any question, make any comment about that which is not dogma is a freedom that Orthodoxy gives each of us. I know that I rejoice in having thrown off the shackles of "conservatism" and found a faith that delights my own inquisitive nature. I believe that if we stop inquiring, stop discussing awkward topics, we stop growing and we spend our lives in a mental rut. And always being right, can be a lonely business.

Asteriktos is right IMO; fundamentalism nor liberalism (nor conservatism) have a place in Orthodoxy.
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ialmisry
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« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2008, 08:27:07 PM »

From Asteriktos;

Excellent posts and very helpful.

I hope I don't give offence here, but I have an observation; probably one that has been made before. I'm going to focus on adult converts with this observation, though I have witnessed what ozgeorge points out as simplistic thinking in cradle converts, too. So I'm not singling adult converts out, it's just that as an adult convert myself, I feel sort of more qualified to speak about us. Grin

From what I have observed of adult converts no matter how hard we try we can't help but carry with us a certain amount of baggage from our previous religious position; whatever that be. And it seems that it's not unreasonable that this should be the case for at least some time, but however painful it might be for us to give up our old way of thinking it's something that eventually we need to do.

It seems that many of us on OC.net have come to Orthodoxy from conservative backgrounds and rather than changing our mindset we cling to conservatism as if it is the be all and end all of all things; in such a way that it actually prevents us from acquiring the mindset that is necessary for us to liberate ourselves from such labels as "conservative" and "liberal", and to actually embrace Tradition in such a way that we see the lack of charity in labelling other people. IMO, Pravoslavbob's point that "Tradition doesn't equate with conservatism" is a mantra that needs to be practiced until we get the point.

We may not like the questions asked or the opinions of others on the forum, but being free to ask any question, make any comment about that which is not dogma is a freedom that Orthodoxy gives each of us. I know that I rejoice in having thrown off the shackles of "conservatism" and found a faith that delights my own inquisitive nature. I believe that if we stop inquiring, stop discussing awkward topics, we stop growing and we spend our lives in a mental rut. And always being right, can be a lonely business.

Asteriktos is right IMO; fundamentalism nor liberalism (nor conservatism) have a place in Orthodoxy.

You talk as if conservatives are bound not to ask, inquire, discuss or have an inquisitive nature.
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« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2008, 09:09:28 PM »

You talk as if conservatives are bound not to ask, inquire, discuss or have an inquisitive nature.

Please read the first passage you have underlined again.
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« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2008, 09:23:36 PM »

What I am discovering is that when I am amongst friends of my parish (who are both cradle and more recent converts from far more permissive backgrounds than myself) I come across as too inquisitive, permissive and "liberal" on nearly all issues, but on this forum I find myself feeling outlandishly conservative.  Huh Truly, many of the views expressed here I didn't know were in any form tolerated in Orthodoxy from the real life conversations I've had with people.
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« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2008, 09:30:42 PM »

What I am discovering is that when I am amongst friends of my parish (who are both cradle and more recent converts from far more permissive backgrounds than myself) I come across as too inquisitive, permissive and "liberal" on nearly all issues, but on this forum I find myself feeling outlandishly conservative.  Huh Truly, many of the views expressed here I didn't know were in any form tolerated in Orthodoxy from the real life conversations I've had with people.

Orthodoxy has had that issue since Pentecost.  The Epistles, Holy Tradition & Holy Fathers have fleshed out the Orthodox faith during the ensuing Centuries.  The Orthodox faith has the quality that nothing can be added nor subtracted from the Faith as handed down by Christ, thru the Apostles, Holy Fathers, Ecumenical Councils, etc.

There's nothing wrong with being too inquisitive, permissive or even "liberal."  Look at it another way:  If in doubt about the latter 2 bolded items, it doesn't hurt to ask.  If you get an answer, make sure that answer agrees with what you know about the Orthodox faith.  If there are still questions, ask again and repeat until some understanding is reached.  If in doubt, someone ought to say, "I don't know."   Smiley
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