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Author Topic: Differences in Orthodox and Catholic Approaches to the Christian Life  (Read 7489 times) Average Rating: 0
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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #45 on: November 20, 2008, 04:57:50 AM »


Regardless of what man's intellect has to do with God, God is still Love.

That does have nothing with the subject being debated here, which is, to remind you, the claim about "faith through understanding" based on augustinian misunderstanding, and its particularly malign mode expressed by Anselm of Canterbury, completely alien to Orthodoxy.
So you would argue that the intellect plays no part at all in how we love God?
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« Reply #46 on: November 20, 2008, 10:38:12 AM »

BTW, Pravoslav, before you go Dan Brown and make a crack at St. Josemaria and Opus Dei, I suggest you actually read The Way and actually meet Opus Dei members. Go on a weekend retreat with them (I just did this past weekend, in fact).

The fact is that Opus Dei is an extremely controversial group, both inside and outside of the Roman Catholic Church.  I think I have met members of Opus Dei.  The thing is, they never admitted to me being members of the organisation and were in many ways quite secretive.  IMHO, your enthusiasm for this group does nothing to bolster your cause for Catholicism.  It might make some think that you have a tendency towards sectarian extremism.  I may or may not be counted among these people.  I am not saying that the link below gives the whole story, but it does give one pause to consider some disturbing questions.  And it's not only here that one can see evidence of the controversy.  Just doing a google search would provide one with plenty of reasons to question the motivations of this group and perhaps even its founder.

http://www.odan.org/



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« Reply #47 on: November 20, 2008, 01:38:49 PM »

To me it appears that the scholastics aquired a mind of faith by following the Augustinian Ideal, "I believe that I might understand".

They probably have. Since they believe that long that they might understand, and since it is used both to "glorify" and "love" God, one may wonder about the results. Have their stance born some fruits already?


It means that we use this sex drive as a means to glorify God. In marriage we glorify God by using the sex drive to move us towards the sexual union which unites a man and wife and causes procreation as God intended. Ouside fo marriage, we use our sex drive as a means to know God by learning the virtue of self mastery, thus respecting the gift of sexuality and its intended purpose.

I wasn't asking about sex, than about libido. You first pronounced that we should love God by our entire being and that the intellect is part of our being. I said libido was part of our being, too.

Now you switched to "glorify" instead of "love" and to sex instead of libido.

My initial complain has remained unanswered.
I'm sorry but now you are playing word games and I will not be drawn in.
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« Reply #48 on: November 20, 2008, 02:12:29 PM »

...

The complains against your stance could be placed in the following categories:

a) there are no Orthodox Saints with "ilumined intellect"; those of them who produced great expositions of faith, a.k.a. Holy Fathers, have done that in exercising their God gifted talent; unlike Westerners, Orthodox don't use the intellect to speculate about unconceivable - we reject that error of Blessed Augustine;

b) personality of St. Maria of Paris is that one of a repentant, and of martyr, not of a theologian;

c) the content of her work you presented here is of highly dubious Orthodoxy, perhaps thanking to her confessor Bulgakov whom was preaching heresy of Sophianism, condemned both by ROCOR and MP; moreover, although the subject might appear as intellectually challenging, it is actually not directed towards anything relevant for salvation and gaining the Heavenly Kingdom, than to establishment of an Earlthy Kingdom, that is an attempted bound to fail.
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« Reply #49 on: November 20, 2008, 02:20:27 PM »

Luberti is raising valid points and everyone is concerned with things like the names of Churches and who's feelings are being hurt to actually address his points. Was not the mind create by God? Did not God create everything about us as a means to recieve him? Does this not also include the mind? Is the mind just useless in our spiritual lives? I would think not when Christ commanded that we are to love God with all our minds.

Define the word "Mind". In my experience the word "Mind" in many ancient languages translates most closely to what we mean by the word "Life" or perhaps Mind/Life. It would not mean "rational analysis".
The intellect is part of our person and, as part of our person, we should use it to glorify Christ. This is true regardless of whether or not the word "mind" should be translated as "intellect".

That is certainly the approach of the RCC.....like I have been saying. I merely wanted to point out that there was no scientific method, or detailed analysis of how things work back when the passages you cited were written. "With Our Whole Mind" probably referes to "disposition" . You acquire and then apply the "Mind of Faith" .
Does acquiring a mind of faith mean that we stop thinking and asking questions? To me it appears that the scholastics aquired a mind of faith by following the Augustinian Ideal, "I believe that I might understand".

Perhaps, but the passage you cited probably wasn't intended to mean what you need it to mean. You can develop an internal logic for most anything
You sure can. For example a person can create an internal logic to support the idea that we should just throw our brains away when dealing with God.

Good thing I didn't say that then. I was referring to an overly mechanical approach to spirituality and the Mysteries of the Church that seeks to boil them down to  recipe's and equations and legalisms.
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« Reply #50 on: November 20, 2008, 02:31:11 PM »

This thread just confirms my decision to not be Eastern Orthodox. Man is a rational creature and the idea that that God given reason was not given to us to direct us towards God is just not in keeping with the Christian idea that we were created for God.
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« Reply #51 on: November 20, 2008, 02:44:22 PM »

Man is a rational creature and the idea that that God given reason was not given to us to direct us towards God is just not in keeping with the Christian idea that we were created for God.

The reason was gifted to us:

a) to be created in the icon (image) of Good
b) for the purpose of being able to distinct good from evil

That's according to New Testament. But you may have some additional arguments?
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« Reply #52 on: November 20, 2008, 02:45:09 PM »

This thread just confirms my decision to not be Eastern Orthodox. Man is a rational creature and the idea that that God given reason was not given to us to direct us towards God is just not in keeping with the Christian idea that we were created for God.

Sorry to hear of your decision Smiley

Never the less, I certainly would not disagree with your statement. Nothing about the Church or it's mysteries is unreasonable or shouldn't be thought through and "understood" to best of our ability.

The problem for me is a Western World View that has a very narrow approach to applying "Reason" . I find that approach stiff and prideful and produces formula's in the place of insight. Not always, but often enough.
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« Reply #53 on: November 20, 2008, 03:33:49 PM »

Man is a rational creature and the idea that that God given reason was not given to us to direct us towards God is just not in keeping with the Christian idea that we were created for God.

The reason was gifted to us:

a) to be created in the icon (image) of Good
b) for the purpose of being able to distinct good from evil

That's according to New Testament. But you may have some additional arguments?
c) To know that God is. The bible says that his eternal power and deity are made evident in what he has created. Thus, we can reason to his existence from his creation.
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« Reply #54 on: November 20, 2008, 04:29:47 PM »

^ Papist, I'm also saddened to hear of your decision.   Cry
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« Reply #55 on: November 20, 2008, 04:38:18 PM »

This thread just confirms my decision to not be Eastern Orthodox. Man is a rational creature and the idea that that God given reason was not given to us to direct us towards God is just not in keeping with the Christian idea that we were created for God.
So, you would see confirmation of your decision in a thread on a Netodox forum, and this without even questioning whether the participants on this thread are truly representative of Orthodox faith and praxis? Roll Eyes  (If you want my personal opinion, the views you've seen from a couple of posters on this thread certainly don't represent my understanding of Orthodox Christianity.)
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« Reply #56 on: November 20, 2008, 04:39:24 PM »

Man is a rational creature and the idea that that God given reason was not given to us to direct us towards God is just not in keeping with the Christian idea that we were created for God.

The reason was gifted to us:

a) to be created in the icon (image) of Good
b) for the purpose of being able to distinct good from evil

That's according to New Testament. But you may have some additional arguments?
c) To know that God is. The bible says that his eternal power and deity are made evident in what he has created. Thus, we can reason to his existence from his creation.

Your c) is actually pre-condition for b). Moreover, God has "made evident" (Orthodox position would be "revealed himself") only to the extent needed for our salvation. Therefore, we do know that He is, but cannot know what He is over the extent He had revealed Themselves.

That's exactly what you miss, that's where Blessed Augustine erred and Anselm added to his error.
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« Reply #57 on: November 20, 2008, 04:53:23 PM »

Moreover:

His "external force" that has been "made evident" in His creation as a grounds for us to "know" Him is:

a) grounded entirely in creation, and disregards completely Incarnation of Son as God-Man and His victory over sin and death;

b) that particular logical tool can be used for proving the existence of God only, but isn't apt to prove His existence;

c) it's completely superflous as method to knowing God indirectly, through His creation; we know that from other sources much better
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« Reply #58 on: November 20, 2008, 06:46:15 PM »

Man is a rational creature and the idea that that God given reason was not given to us to direct us towards God is just not in keeping with the Christian idea that we were created for God.

The reason was gifted to us:

a) to be created in the icon (image) of Good
b) for the purpose of being able to distinct good from evil

That's according to New Testament. But you may have some additional arguments?
c) To know that God is. The bible says that his eternal power and deity are made evident in what he has created. Thus, we can reason to his existence from his creation.

I don't think anyone thinks it cant be done. It's one approach that comes out of the Western European experience. The Eastern experience does not think Christianity cant be reasoned through to some extent. Obviously it can. But the Eastern Way is a bit more centered experiential knowledge and transformation.   
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« Reply #59 on: November 20, 2008, 06:48:21 PM »

This thread just confirms my decision to not be Eastern Orthodox. Man is a rational creature and the idea that that God given reason was not given to us to direct us towards God is just not in keeping with the Christian idea that we were created for God.
So, you would see confirmation of your decision in a thread on a Netodox forum, and this without even questioning whether the participants on this thread are truly representative of Orthodox faith and praxis? Roll Eyes  (If you want my personal opinion, the views you've seen from a couple of posters on this thread certainly don't represent my understanding of Orthodox Christianity.)

Dont get too upset. He has been around for a long time on online forums. I don't think he was making a serious statement.
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« Reply #60 on: November 20, 2008, 09:56:49 PM »

The complains against your stance could be placed in the following categories:

a) there are no Orthodox Saints with "ilumined intellect"; those of them who produced great expositions of faith, a.k.a. Holy Fathers, have done that in exercising their God gifted talent; unlike Westerners, Orthodox don't use the intellect to speculate about unconceivable - we reject that error of Blessed Augustine;

What was unconceivable that St. Augustine explored (that he did not openly admit his fallible understanding on)?

Quote
b) personality of St. Maria of Paris is that one of a repentant, and of martyr, not of a theologian;

c) the content of her work you presented here is of highly dubious Orthodoxy, perhaps thanking to her confessor Bulgakov whom was preaching heresy of Sophianism, condemned both by ROCOR and MP; moreover, although the subject might appear as intellectually challenging, it is actually not directed towards anything relevant for salvation and gaining the Heavenly Kingdom, than to establishment of an Earlthy Kingdom, that is an attempted bound to fail.

Anything is, if you're doing it right.
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« Reply #61 on: November 21, 2008, 11:41:39 AM »

Quote
Man is a rational creature and the idea that that God given reason was not given to us to direct us towards God is just not in keeping with the Christian idea that we were created for God.

Agreed.  Smiley
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« Reply #62 on: November 22, 2008, 11:45:43 AM »

This thread just confirms my decision to not be Eastern Orthodox.
Hogwash.  You are being completely irrational here. The life of the Church which is unique and theanthropic is displayed in every believer according to their individual contribution. It is one of the most childish things I hear on fora: "This thread is the reason I'm not Catholic/Buddhist/Islamic/Hindu/Zoroastrian......" If you think that an oline conversation involving three people represents all of Catholicism/Islam/Hinduism/Buddhism.... then all Catholics must believe in Medjugorje, because every Catholic I personally know does.
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« Reply #63 on: November 22, 2008, 12:16:09 PM »

This thread just confirms my decision to not be Eastern Orthodox.
Hogwash.  You are being completely irrational here. The life of the Church which is unique and theanthropic is displayed in every believer according to
You're not a very good counselor are you.  Wink
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« Reply #64 on: November 22, 2008, 12:20:07 PM »

You're not a very good counselor are you.  Wink
You're not paying me, so you're not a client.
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« Reply #65 on: November 22, 2008, 10:01:33 PM »

What was unconceivable that St. Augustine explored (that he did not openly admit his fallible understanding on)?


There is abundant literature about it online.
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/bless_aug.aspx
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/inq_reformed.aspx
http://orthodoxinfo.com/searchresults.aspx?kw=augustine
http://www.romanity.org/htm/rom.18.en.augustine_unknowingly_rejects_the_doctrine.01.htm
http://www.romanity.org/htm/rom.31.en.augustine.htm
Quote
However, Augustine is the unique source of the humorous errors of Barlaam the Calabrian who was accused of heresy by St. Gregory Palamas and was condemned as a heretic by the Councils of Constantinople New Rome held in 1341, 1347 and 1351 for his teaching that God reveals his will to humans by means of creatures which He brings into existence to be seen and heard and which He passes back into non existence when the revelations have been accomplished.

Such revelations have been supposedly recorded in the Bible because preserved by the Biblical writers.

This nonsense cannot be termed a heresy since it is too stupid.

The method he introduced in Christianity never produced anything but errors, Papist's post offering a fine example of it.

Quote from: Papist
c) To know that God is. The bible says that his eternal power and deity are made evident in what he has created. Thus, we can reason to his existence from his creation.

Let us examine the content of the statement:

Fact to be proved: Knowledge on God's existence

Proof used: a) The statement of the Bible, about b) His eternal power and deity c) having been made evident in what He has created

Method of proving: Reason

The problem is that the Knowledge on God's existence cannot be logically proved if the proof is the saying of the Bible.

If we are to prove the fact "that God is", the Bible cannot have the meaning of the message of God, since we are yet to prove that "God is" at all.

Moreover, even before we have proved it, we are employing some attributes of His, namely "power and deity" in his creation. How does elaborating properties, attributes, of something, the existence of whom/what/which still haven't been proved, can be employed as a proof in a reasonable, logical method?

It cannot. Either the method is not logical, reasonable, or such means can't be used. You can't have both.

All that was achieved is to create blurb in divine message by applying human "wisdom" to build a false proof about what nobody denied in the first place. And upon such, unnecessary conclusions, Anselm went building further, Thomas Aquinas tried to correct but was doom to fail in advance due to the limits of already adopted Papal Theology, Bonaventure added, Albert the Great added...and so on.
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« Reply #66 on: December 17, 2008, 09:37:44 AM »

Are we debating the role of man's rational faculty in the spiritual life?  I don't see any problems with St. Maria's words.  The difference between the EO and RC positions, according to my limited understanding, is that in EO tradition, reason is employed, and eventually surpassed, in man's 'knowledge' of God, whereas in RC tradition, the reason is more likely to serve a prominent role in their version of 'theosis'.  All of our faculties, including reason, emotion, and sex drive, among many others, are employed in our theosis, but they are not paramount because the nous is a higher aspect of the soul than the rational faculty.  The problems of misunderstanding come when the nous is translated into English as "mind" or "intellect", as it is in the English translation of the Philokalia, when nous is really something different entirely, like the heart.  In RC works, I've seen more of an identification between the nous and the faculty of reason. 

Maybe you all are debating something else, but there were enough side remarks for me to be unable to understand the subject of debate with any specificity.  Correct me if I misunderstood.
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« Reply #67 on: December 17, 2008, 01:00:40 PM »

Are we debating the role of man's rational faculty in the spiritual life?  I don't see any problems with St. Maria's words.  The difference between the EO and RC positions, according to my limited understanding, is that in EO tradition, reason is employed, and eventually surpassed, in man's 'knowledge' of God, whereas in RC tradition, the reason is more likely to serve a prominent role in their version of 'theosis'.  All of our faculties, including reason, emotion, and sex drive, among many others, are employed in our theosis, but they are not paramount because the nous is a higher aspect of the soul than the rational faculty.  The problems of misunderstanding come when the nous is translated into English as "mind" or "intellect", as it is in the English translation of the Philokalia, when nous is really something different entirely, like the heart.  In RC works, I've seen more of an identification between the nous and the faculty of reason. 

Maybe you all are debating something else, but there were enough side remarks for me to be unable to understand the subject of debate with any specificity.  Correct me if I misunderstood.
But "heart" in the in the scriptures, does not meaning feeling or a sense of something. The Nous is the gournd of being. That would include our intellect.
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« Reply #68 on: December 17, 2008, 04:00:25 PM »

Are we debating the role of man's rational faculty in the spiritual life?  I don't see any problems with St. Maria's words.  The difference between the EO and RC positions, according to my limited understanding, is that in EO tradition, reason is employed, and eventually surpassed, in man's 'knowledge' of God, whereas in RC tradition, the reason is more likely to serve a prominent role in their version of 'theosis'.  All of our faculties, including reason, emotion, and sex drive, among many others, are employed in our theosis, but they are not paramount because the nous is a higher aspect of the soul than the rational faculty.  The problems of misunderstanding come when the nous is translated into English as "mind" or "intellect", as it is in the English translation of the Philokalia, when nous is really something different entirely, like the heart.  In RC works, I've seen more of an identification between the nous and the faculty of reason. 

Maybe you all are debating something else, but there were enough side remarks for me to be unable to understand the subject of debate with any specificity.  Correct me if I misunderstood.
I don't know all of the fine details, but my view on it is that right reason can help solve many of life's problems. And of course, charity (or the heart ?) is one of the highest virtues. As Christians we are called to love God and to love our neighbor.
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« Reply #69 on: December 17, 2008, 04:12:21 PM »

Are we debating the role of man's rational faculty in the spiritual life?  I don't see any problems with St. Maria's words. 

As the author of the tangent that became a thread, I don't know what others are debating, but my point was that EO don't mix apples and oranges - application of reason (part, or an attribute, of human personality) is limited to the notions apt to be examined by reason. The process of application of reason, i.e. rational thinking, making rational conclusions, is strictly separated from irrational, supranatural, mystical or ecstatic experience.

St. Maria's of Paris words don't fit that criteria.


The difference between the EO and RC positions, according to my limited understanding, is that in EO tradition, reason is employed, and eventually surpassed, in man's 'knowledge' of God, whereas in RC tradition, the reason is more likely to serve a prominent role in their version of 'theosis'.  All of our faculties, including reason, emotion, and sex drive, among many others, are employed in our theosis, but they are not paramount because the nous is a higher aspect of the soul than the rational faculty.  The problems of misunderstanding come when the nous is translated into English as "mind" or "intellect", as it is in the English translation of the Philokalia, when nous is really something different entirely, like the heart.  In RC works, I've seen more of an identification between the nous and the faculty of reason. 


RC do what we don't and I believe I already elaborated that above.
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« Reply #70 on: December 17, 2008, 04:32:57 PM »


Try the other way around; The charisma of self mastery allows for control of one's libido in order to love God with all of one's soul, heart and mind.

If this is translated into obvious truth that there are appropriate and inappropriate ways of employing various parts of our personality in our personal relation towards God I wholeheartedly agree.

In that case, there ought to be both appropriate and inappropriate way of employing man's intellect in man's personal relation towards God, too.

Now, I'll have to wait for Papist's response.
And I agree. Throwing our brains out when dealing with God is the inapporpriate way.
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« Reply #71 on: December 17, 2008, 06:10:48 PM »


Try the other way around; The charisma of self mastery allows for control of one's libido in order to love God with all of one's soul, heart and mind.

If this is translated into obvious truth that there are appropriate and inappropriate ways of employing various parts of our personality in our personal relation towards God I wholeheartedly agree.

In that case, there ought to be both appropriate and inappropriate way of employing man's intellect in man's personal relation towards God, too.

Now, I'll have to wait for Papist's response.
And I agree. Throwing our brains out when dealing with God is the inapporpriate way.

Exactly.

Why do you make conclusions in expectation that they should pass examination by reason only if the examiner throw out his brain?
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Curse the Pope, for he is the root and cause of these disasters! - St. Nektarios of Aegina

You don't get to circumvent your post moderation by calling out the moderators in your signature. ~Veniamin, Global Moderator
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« Reply #72 on: December 17, 2008, 10:30:22 PM »

The Nous is the ground of being.

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Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
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"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
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« Reply #73 on: December 18, 2008, 03:02:17 PM »


Try the other way around; The charisma of self mastery allows for control of one's libido in order to love God with all of one's soul, heart and mind.

If this is translated into obvious truth that there are appropriate and inappropriate ways of employing various parts of our personality in our personal relation towards God I wholeheartedly agree.

In that case, there ought to be both appropriate and inappropriate way of employing man's intellect in man's personal relation towards God, too.

Now, I'll have to wait for Papist's response.
And I agree. Throwing our brains out when dealing with God is the inapporpriate way.

Exactly.

Why do you make conclusions in expectation that they should pass examination by reason only if the examiner throw out his brain?
come again. Wink
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You are right. I apologize for having sacked Constantinople. I really need to stop doing that.
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