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Author Topic: Armenian vs. Coptic Theology  (Read 6864 times) Average Rating: 0
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Orthodox11
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« Reply #45 on: April 15, 2009, 08:55:27 AM »

We EOs just finished (unfortunately, I wish we heard it more) the Theotokion of St. Basil:
All of creation rejoices in you
O Full of Grace!
The ranks of angels and the race of men.
O Santified Temple and Spritual Paradise
The Glory of Virgins
From whom God became incarnate and became a child
Our God from before the ages.
He made your body into a Throne
And your womb He made more spacious than the heavens.
All of Creation rejoices in you!
O Full of Grace, Glory to you!

What do you mean finished? My HTM Horologion appoints this to be read at the end of every Small Compline, after "Unto thee do I commit mine every hope...."
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ialmisry
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« Reply #46 on: April 15, 2009, 09:38:17 AM »

We EOs just finished (unfortunately, I wish we heard it more) the Theotokion of St. Basil:
All of creation rejoices in you
O Full of Grace!
The ranks of angels and the race of men.
O Santified Temple and Spritual Paradise
The Glory of Virgins
From whom God became incarnate and became a child
Our God from before the ages.
He made your body into a Throne
And your womb He made more spacious than the heavens.
All of Creation rejoices in you!
O Full of Grace, Glory to you!

What do you mean finished? My HTM Horologion appoints this to be read at the end of every Small Compline, after "Unto thee do I commit mine every hope...."

When is the next small compline scheduled?
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Orthodox11
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« Reply #47 on: April 15, 2009, 09:41:00 AM »

When is the next small compline scheduled?

Pretty much every day of the year - besides mondays, tuesdays, and thursdays of Lent - before you go to bed.
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« Reply #48 on: April 15, 2009, 09:51:13 AM »

When is the next small compline scheduled?

Pretty much every day of the year - besides mondays, tuesdays, and thursdays of Lent - before you go to bed.

I was talking about the Church as a whole.
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #49 on: April 15, 2009, 12:35:12 PM »

I've always thought that when considering the One Who she held in her womb, He is truly the hypostasis of the Logos in incarnate form.  Therefore, I don't deny the Lord being fully divine and full human.  St. Cyril always stressed the idea that "Mother of God" equates mother of the hypostasis Who took flesh from her and made it His very own.

At the same time, I always believed that the essence of the Godhead is by nature uncontainable.  As the womb created, as our bodies our created, and probably even the heavens are created filled with the created angelic hosts, nothing can contain the Godhead.  The poetic language used in hymns are show the preference of the Logos to place His throne, to point to where the true altar and the Holy of Holies are.  The Burning Bush is has bush (created matter) and had a seeable fire that represented the emanation of the Godhead.  When you can see the divinity, do you see the Godhead, the essence itself?  The fathers tell us "No," not even the angels in heaven can see it.

Here's a Theotokia from our hymns that I was alluding to:

Quote
And they made an Ark
of Shittim wood
and overlaid it with gold
with-in and with-out

You too Oh Mary
are clothed with the glory
of the Divinity
with-in and with-out

For you have brought
many people
unto God your Son
through your purity

I suppose this doesn't disprove holding the essence of Godhead in her too.  So then I have a question.  Can we then hold the essence in us too?  I'm ready to stand corrected if there's a a distinction between partaking of the Unpartakable and containing the Uncontainable.  Can I for instance have the fullness of the Godhead be contained in me via the Eucharist?

Quote
TRULY, it is appropriate and right
to sing praise to you; to bless You,
to serve You, to worship you, and to
glorify You; O one and only true God, the
lover of mankind; the ineffable; the
unseen; the uncontainable; without
beginning; the eternal ; the timeless; the
limitless; the unsearchable; the
unchanging; the Creator of all; the
Saviour of everyone. (Coptic Liturgy of St. Gregory)


God bless.
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« Reply #50 on: April 15, 2009, 01:05:24 PM »

^ The bible says that all the fullness of the deity dwelt in Christ in bodily form. Would that not mean also his essence? Then would not that mean that the essence and energies of God were some how present in the womb of Mary? Am I wrong?
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« Reply #51 on: April 15, 2009, 01:14:22 PM »

^ The bible says that all the fullness of the deity dwelt in Christ in bodily form. Would that not mean also his essence? Then would not that mean that the essence and energies of God were some how present in the womb of Mary? Am I wrong?

I don't know...I guess this is a matter I need to contemplate on.  The question I'm asking is how can we call someone or something "Uncontainable" and then "contained?"  Could it be that the verse talks about not a mere bearing of God as in any prophet, but true and personal involvement of the body as it belongs truly to the Logos?  That this not a mere union as one between people, but a true hypostatic union.
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Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
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« Reply #52 on: April 15, 2009, 01:16:03 PM »

^ The bible says that all the fullness of the deity dwelt in Christ in bodily form. Would that not mean also his essence? Then would not that mean that the essence and energies of God were some how present in the womb of Mary? Am I wrong?

I don't know...I guess this is a matter I need to contemplate on.  The question I'm asking is how can we call someone or something "Uncontainable" and then "contained?"  Could it be that the verse talks about not a mere bearing of God as in any prophet, but true and personal involvement of the body as it belongs truly to the Logos?  That this not a mere union as one between people, but a true hypostatic union.
I don't know that we literally believe the entirety of God's infinite essence/energies were contained in the womb. We need to do some more reading on this topic. Also, I need to clarify the fact that I see the essence/energies distinction as a true distinction from the human point of view, but not an ontological distinction in God.
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« Reply #53 on: April 15, 2009, 05:40:00 PM »

The question I'm asking is how can we call someone or something "Uncontainable" and then "contained?" 

"All we the generations call thee blessed, O Virgin Theotokos, for in thee He, the Uncontainable One, Christ our God, was pleased to be contained..." - Theotokion from the Midnight Service for weekdays.
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« Reply #54 on: April 15, 2009, 07:54:59 PM »


The OO Church seems to have a history of approaching with great caution any attempt to needlessly define and analyse basic theological concepts. The subconscious sentiment of the Church is that the mysteries of the Faith are to be honoured in reverent silence to the greatest degree possible--the threshold for breaking that silence being marked  by those circumstances in which the integrity of the Faith is being threatened by severe opposition

Thank you, EA!  The other day, on another thread in another section, I was telling about a lecture by a deacon at my church who basically said the same thing.  I couldn't remember exactly his words, but this sums up what he said.

I think this is at the root of a lot of misunderstandings here.  There is a tendency to take   the fact that the OO's have not formulated an elaborate statement on something and draw the conclusion that we must therefore support or reject a particular doctrine.  That, however, is not necessarily the case.  Thank you again for explaining this so well.
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« Reply #55 on: April 15, 2009, 08:50:29 PM »

The question I'm asking is how can we call someone or something "Uncontainable" and then "contained?" 

"All we the generations call thee blessed, O Virgin Theotokos, for in thee He, the Uncontainable One, Christ our God, was pleased to be contained..." - Theotokion from the Midnight Service for weekdays.

I don't know.  I think this can be interpreted either way.  The One Who is Uncontainable became containable humanly.
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« Reply #56 on: April 28, 2009, 01:19:57 AM »

I'd just like to note that I had the pleasure of reading some translations of works of various Copto-Arabic Saints/Theologians (e.g. St Severus Ibn Al Muqaffa, Paulos Al-Bushi etc) addressing common Islamic challenges to the Incarnation--challenges to the effect of questioning the necessity and logic of God becoming man.

I was particularly impressed and inspired (and even somewhat amused) by an answer given by Paulos Al-Bushi who, using the highest level of literary sophistication of his time, answered with the utmost simplicity to the effect of: "God doesn't do anything superfluously; if He became man, He had a reason for it. Period."

From the perspective of Logic101 this is an exemplary example of circular reasoning. From the perspective of Orthodoxy101 this is an exemplary example of a humble apophaticism that shies away from probing into the mysteries of God and a genuine conviction that feels no need to probe into the mysteries of God even in the face of skepticism.
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« Reply #57 on: April 28, 2009, 10:15:51 AM »

I'm reading further into these recently available english translations of various saintly Copto-Arabic writers, and I am in awe!

Another author has addressed the question of 'Did God need to become man?' in a most inspiring way. Abba Yahya Ibn-Adi essentially answered to the effect of: yes, it was necessary for God to become man insofar as a) He is necessarily generous in essence and b) the act of becoming man was an expression of His generosity.
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"Philosophy is the imitation by a man of what is better, according to what is possible" - St Severus
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« Reply #58 on: May 21, 2009, 11:43:42 AM »

My most recent entry in the Wisdom of the OO Fathers thread further reinforces the fact that an emphasis on theosis in the Coptic Orthodox tradition extended well beyond the Arabisation/Islamisation of Egypt:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12005.msg323353.html#msg323353

In the above quote, Abba Paulos al-Bushi asserts that evidence to the fact that God became man is to be found in the ability of the Saints of the Church (i.e. men) to become like God.
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« Reply #59 on: June 28, 2009, 07:03:50 AM »

There seems to be a lot of dispute now over topics like theosis, with sides forming with some following EO spirituality and some rejecting it. I don't know much about what's going on though.

If you do a www.google.com search you will find information on the controversy on theosis, between Pope Shenouda and Fr Matta the Poor.   

Use the words:   matta pope shenouda theosis
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Mar Bishoy has a small monograoh on the net concerning theosis

Deification of Man and the Interpretation of "Partakers of the Divine Nature" (2 Pet 1:4)

http://www.metroplit-bishoy.org/english/index.htm
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« Reply #60 on: June 28, 2009, 10:44:05 AM »

The above post was split off from the following thread:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,22014.new.html#new
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Tags: theopoiesis salvation theosis Coptic Orthodox Church Armenian Church communion mystery 
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