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Author Topic: Growth and development in the Eastern Orthodox Church  (Read 2035 times) Average Rating: 0
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Wyatt
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« on: June 08, 2012, 03:52:14 PM »

I was looking at the OCA website yesterday, and I came across the following:

"As the Church continues to live by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Tradition of the Church will continue to grow and develop. This process will go on until the establishment of the Kingdom of God at the end of the ages."

http://oca.org/orthodoxy/the-orthodox-faith/doctrine/sources-of-christian-doctrine/tradition

This got me to thinking, what kind of growth and developments occur in the Tradition of the Orthodox Church. Obviously, there are some things which are no-brainers such as the Liturgy, which is likely not identical to the Liturgy used in the very early years of the Church. Are there any examples of growth and developments in Tradition that are more recent, or that are occurring right now?
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« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2012, 03:58:03 PM »

I was looking at the OCA website yesterday, and I came across the following:

"As the Church continues to live by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Tradition of the Church will continue to grow and develop. This process will go on until the establishment of the Kingdom of God at the end of the ages."

http://oca.org/orthodoxy/the-orthodox-faith/doctrine/sources-of-christian-doctrine/tradition

This got me to thinking, what kind of growth and developments occur in the Tradition of the Orthodox Church. Obviously, there are some things which are no-brainers such as the Liturgy, which is likely not identical to the Liturgy used in the very early years of the Church. Are there any examples of growth and developments in Tradition that are more recent, or that are occurring right now?

This depends entirely on who you talk to; it would seem that, to some Orthodox, the liturgy was handed down by Christ Himself and has never changed, and that the fasts have been unaltered since the Apostles, etc., etc., to other Orthodox most everything has developed.  The truth is probably closer to the second group.
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« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2012, 01:26:02 PM »

I was looking at the OCA website yesterday, and I came across the following:

"As the Church continues to live by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Tradition of the Church will continue to grow and develop. This process will go on until the establishment of the Kingdom of God at the end of the ages."

http://oca.org/orthodoxy/the-orthodox-faith/doctrine/sources-of-christian-doctrine/tradition

This got me to thinking, what kind of growth and developments occur in the Tradition of the Orthodox Church. Obviously, there are some things which are no-brainers such as the Liturgy, which is likely not identical to the Liturgy used in the very early years of the Church. Are there any examples of growth and developments in Tradition that are more recent, or that are occurring right now?

This depends entirely on who you talk to; it would seem that, to some Orthodox, the liturgy was handed down by Christ Himself and has never changed, and that the fasts have been unaltered since the Apostles, etc., etc., to other Orthodox most everything has developed.  The truth is probably closer to the second group.
I agree. I would like to get a grasp on what exactly grows and develops within Eastern Orthodoxy. Obviously we have been told time and again that our developments that occurs within our Church are different than what occurs in the Eastern Orthodox Church. However, I am unsure exactly what and how Tradition develops within Eastern Orthodoxy. I would love to know some examples of not only what has grown or changed in some way in the past within Eastern Orthodoxy, but what is growing or changing now within the Tradition of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

I was actually a bit surprised to see the terms "growth and development" used on the OCA website. Usually it is said that we grow and change all the time but that the Eastern Orthodox Church essentially remains the same.
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« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2012, 03:27:04 PM »

I personally grow and develop by eating my green vegetables; however, this thread looks interesting, so I am going to subscribe.

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« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2012, 03:42:23 PM »

I was looking at the OCA website yesterday, and I came across the following:

"As the Church continues to live by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Tradition of the Church will continue to grow and develop. This process will go on until the establishment of the Kingdom of God at the end of the ages."

http://oca.org/orthodoxy/the-orthodox-faith/doctrine/sources-of-christian-doctrine/tradition

This got me to thinking, what kind of growth and developments occur in the Tradition of the Orthodox Church. Obviously, there are some things which are no-brainers such as the Liturgy, which is likely not identical to the Liturgy used in the very early years of the Church. Are there any examples of growth and developments in Tradition that are more recent, or that are occurring right now?

This depends entirely on who you talk to; it would seem that, to some Orthodox, the liturgy was handed down by Christ Himself and has never changed, and that the fasts have been unaltered since the Apostles, etc., etc., to other Orthodox most everything has developed.  The truth is probably closer to the second group.
I agree. I would like to get a grasp on what exactly grows and develops within Eastern Orthodoxy. Obviously we have been told time and again that our developments that occurs within our Church are different than what occurs in the Eastern Orthodox Church. However, I am unsure exactly what and how Tradition develops within Eastern Orthodoxy. I would love to know some examples of not only what has grown or changed in some way in the past within Eastern Orthodoxy, but what is growing or changing now within the Tradition of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

I was actually a bit surprised to see the terms "growth and development" used on the OCA website. Usually it is said that we grow and change all the time but that the Eastern Orthodox Church essentially remains the same.

Well, clearly the liturgy and fasts have changed substantially over the millenia.  In fact, there's a bit of change in the liturgy, aside from making it English, in the OCA at least just in the last century, with certain parts - if I understand correctly - that were once said quietly by the priest now being intentionally said loudly enough for the whole congregation to hear. 

Aside from that, doctrine and dogma have developed.  Anyone who says otherwise is an idiot.  If it hadn't, then several saints would have instead been heretics.  Honestly, I think that the teachings of the Church today, would have to be taught to the Apostles if they were to suddenly come back to life, because while the doctrines and dogmas are all outgrowths of apostolic teaching, there was clearly development with people saying, essentially, "If this is true, then that must mean this is also true," such as with the claim that Christ is both God and man, it requires belief in other things, but you still must develop the dogma in order to understand what "Christ is God and Man," means.
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« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2012, 03:45:05 PM »

I am not EO, but a friend from my church was telling me recently that when he was a child (he is in his early 60s now) there was a fast during which Copts were allowed to eat fish whereas nowadays they are not allowed to do so. I cannot remember which fast it was, but apparently this was a recent change (I want to say during the reign of HH Pope Shenouda III, but it might have been Kyrillos VI). There's some Oriental Orthodox development for you: Making the already strict fasts more strict! Grin
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« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2012, 12:46:31 PM »

dzheremi,
during the 19th or 20th centuries, one of the patriarchs made the fasts less strict.
then some enlightened leader more recently returned them back to the original strict fasting.
the coptic fasting schedule has been the same since about 300 or 400 AD, with the exception of the few decades it was relaxed.

so i hope the growth and tradition mentioned are explanations of the faith that are essentially the same, but put in words people today can understand.
may the blessings of the apostles' fast be with you all.
 Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2012, 09:48:36 PM »

I was looking at the OCA website yesterday, and I came across the following:

"As the Church continues to live by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Tradition of the Church will continue to grow and develop. This process will go on until the establishment of the Kingdom of God at the end of the ages."

http://oca.org/orthodoxy/the-orthodox-faith/doctrine/sources-of-christian-doctrine/tradition

This got me to thinking, what kind of growth and developments occur in the Tradition of the Orthodox Church. Obviously, there are some things which are no-brainers such as the Liturgy, which is likely not identical to the Liturgy used in the very early years of the Church. Are there any examples of growth and developments in Tradition that are more recent, or that are occurring right now?

This depends entirely on who you talk to; it would seem that, to some Orthodox, the liturgy was handed down by Christ Himself and has never changed, and that the fasts have been unaltered since the Apostles, etc., etc., to other Orthodox most everything has developed.  The truth is probably closer to the second group.
It's like a really good game of "Telephone." Even if you do really well and the message is almost completely intact, and maintains the integrity of the original comment, there are bound to be discrepancies if you pass it down a long enough line. It's inevitable. We just all try to do the best we can Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2012, 09:53:24 PM »

growth and development, spread to all corners of the earth and to further unite the Orthodox Church (for example, uniting USA under 1 jurisdiction).
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« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2012, 12:22:38 AM »

I was looking at the OCA website yesterday, and I came across the following:

"As the Church continues to live by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Tradition of the Church will continue to grow and develop. This process will go on until the establishment of the Kingdom of God at the end of the ages."

http://oca.org/orthodoxy/the-orthodox-faith/doctrine/sources-of-christian-doctrine/tradition

This got me to thinking, what kind of growth and developments occur in the Tradition of the Orthodox Church. Obviously, there are some things which are no-brainers such as the Liturgy, which is likely not identical to the Liturgy used in the very early years of the Church. Are there any examples of growth and developments in Tradition that are more recent, or that are occurring right now?

This depends entirely on who you talk to; it would seem that, to some Orthodox, the liturgy was handed down by Christ Himself and has never changed, and that the fasts have been unaltered since the Apostles, etc., etc., to other Orthodox most everything has developed.  The truth is probably closer to the second group.
I agree. I would like to get a grasp on what exactly grows and develops within Eastern Orthodoxy. Obviously we have been told time and again that our developments that occurs within our Church are different than what occurs in the Eastern Orthodox Church. However, I am unsure exactly what and how Tradition develops within Eastern Orthodoxy. I would love to know some examples of not only what has grown or changed in some way in the past within Eastern Orthodoxy, but what is growing or changing now within the Tradition of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

I was actually a bit surprised to see the terms "growth and development" used on the OCA website. Usually it is said that we grow and change all the time but that the Eastern Orthodox Church essentially remains the same.

Well, clearly the liturgy and fasts have changed substantially over the millenia.  In fact, there's a bit of change in the liturgy, aside from making it English, in the OCA at least just in the last century, with certain parts - if I understand correctly - that were once said quietly by the priest now being intentionally said loudly enough for the whole congregation to hear.  

Aside from that, doctrine and dogma have developed.  Anyone who says otherwise is an idiot.  If it hadn't, then several saints would have instead been heretics.  Honestly, I think that the teachings of the Church today, would have to be taught to the Apostles if they were to suddenly come back to life, because while the doctrines and dogmas are all outgrowths of apostolic teaching, there was clearly development with people saying, essentially, "If this is true, then that must mean this is also true," such as with the claim that Christ is both God and man, it requires belief in other things, but you still must develop the dogma in order to understand what "Christ is God and Man," means.

I'm sorry to say, but it seems to me that you believe in the foolishness of the Greeks instead of that which was foolishness to the Greeks.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2012, 12:23:06 AM by Cavaradossi » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2012, 12:23:51 AM »

I was looking at the OCA website yesterday, and I came across the following:

"As the Church continues to live by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Tradition of the Church will continue to grow and develop. This process will go on until the establishment of the Kingdom of God at the end of the ages."

http://oca.org/orthodoxy/the-orthodox-faith/doctrine/sources-of-christian-doctrine/tradition

This got me to thinking, what kind of growth and developments occur in the Tradition of the Orthodox Church. Obviously, there are some things which are no-brainers such as the Liturgy, which is likely not identical to the Liturgy used in the very early years of the Church. Are there any examples of growth and developments in Tradition that are more recent, or that are occurring right now?

This depends entirely on who you talk to; it would seem that, to some Orthodox, the liturgy was handed down by Christ Himself and has never changed, and that the fasts have been unaltered since the Apostles, etc., etc., to other Orthodox most everything has developed.  The truth is probably closer to the second group.
I agree. I would like to get a grasp on what exactly grows and develops within Eastern Orthodoxy. Obviously we have been told time and again that our developments that occurs within our Church are different than what occurs in the Eastern Orthodox Church. However, I am unsure exactly what and how Tradition develops within Eastern Orthodoxy. I would love to know some examples of not only what has grown or changed in some way in the past within Eastern Orthodoxy, but what is growing or changing now within the Tradition of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

I was actually a bit surprised to see the terms "growth and development" used on the OCA website. Usually it is said that we grow and change all the time but that the Eastern Orthodox Church essentially remains the same.

Well, clearly the liturgy and fasts have changed substantially over the millenia.  In fact, there's a bit of change in the liturgy, aside from making it English, in the OCA at least just in the last century, with certain parts - if I understand correctly - that were once said quietly by the priest now being intentionally said loudly enough for the whole congregation to hear.  

Aside from that, doctrine and dogma have developed.  Anyone who says otherwise is an idiot.  If it hadn't, then several saints would have instead been heretics.  Honestly, I think that the teachings of the Church today, would have to be taught to the Apostles if they were to suddenly come back to life, because while the doctrines and dogmas are all outgrowths of apostolic teaching, there was clearly development with people saying, essentially, "If this is true, then that must mean this is also true," such as with the claim that Christ is both God and man, it requires belief in other things, but you still must develop the dogma in order to understand what "Christ is God and Man," means.

I'm sorry to say, but it seems to me that you believe in the foolishness of the Greeks instead of that which was foolishness to the Greeks.

What exactly are you objecting to?
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« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2012, 12:30:36 AM »

I was looking at the OCA website yesterday, and I came across the following:

"As the Church continues to live by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Tradition of the Church will continue to grow and develop. This process will go on until the establishment of the Kingdom of God at the end of the ages."

http://oca.org/orthodoxy/the-orthodox-faith/doctrine/sources-of-christian-doctrine/tradition

This got me to thinking, what kind of growth and developments occur in the Tradition of the Orthodox Church. Obviously, there are some things which are no-brainers such as the Liturgy, which is likely not identical to the Liturgy used in the very early years of the Church. Are there any examples of growth and developments in Tradition that are more recent, or that are occurring right now?

This depends entirely on who you talk to; it would seem that, to some Orthodox, the liturgy was handed down by Christ Himself and has never changed, and that the fasts have been unaltered since the Apostles, etc., etc., to other Orthodox most everything has developed.  The truth is probably closer to the second group.
I agree. I would like to get a grasp on what exactly grows and develops within Eastern Orthodoxy. Obviously we have been told time and again that our developments that occurs within our Church are different than what occurs in the Eastern Orthodox Church. However, I am unsure exactly what and how Tradition develops within Eastern Orthodoxy. I would love to know some examples of not only what has grown or changed in some way in the past within Eastern Orthodoxy, but what is growing or changing now within the Tradition of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

I was actually a bit surprised to see the terms "growth and development" used on the OCA website. Usually it is said that we grow and change all the time but that the Eastern Orthodox Church essentially remains the same.

Well, clearly the liturgy and fasts have changed substantially over the millenia.  In fact, there's a bit of change in the liturgy, aside from making it English, in the OCA at least just in the last century, with certain parts - if I understand correctly - that were once said quietly by the priest now being intentionally said loudly enough for the whole congregation to hear.  

Aside from that, doctrine and dogma have developed.  Anyone who says otherwise is an idiot.  If it hadn't, then several saints would have instead been heretics.  Honestly, I think that the teachings of the Church today, would have to be taught to the Apostles if they were to suddenly come back to life, because while the doctrines and dogmas are all outgrowths of apostolic teaching, there was clearly development with people saying, essentially, "If this is true, then that must mean this is also true," such as with the claim that Christ is both God and man, it requires belief in other things, but you still must develop the dogma in order to understand what "Christ is God and Man," means.

I'm sorry to say, but it seems to me that you believe in the foolishness of the Greeks instead of that which was foolishness to the Greeks.

What exactly are you objecting to?

That given a certain set of true propositions (what the Apostles taught), we can further develop the truth using deductive reasoning.
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« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2012, 12:45:37 AM »

I was looking at the OCA website yesterday, and I came across the following:

"As the Church continues to live by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Tradition of the Church will continue to grow and develop. This process will go on until the establishment of the Kingdom of God at the end of the ages."

http://oca.org/orthodoxy/the-orthodox-faith/doctrine/sources-of-christian-doctrine/tradition

This got me to thinking, what kind of growth and developments occur in the Tradition of the Orthodox Church. Obviously, there are some things which are no-brainers such as the Liturgy, which is likely not identical to the Liturgy used in the very early years of the Church. Are there any examples of growth and developments in Tradition that are more recent, or that are occurring right now?

This depends entirely on who you talk to; it would seem that, to some Orthodox, the liturgy was handed down by Christ Himself and has never changed, and that the fasts have been unaltered since the Apostles, etc., etc., to other Orthodox most everything has developed.  The truth is probably closer to the second group.
I agree. I would like to get a grasp on what exactly grows and develops within Eastern Orthodoxy. Obviously we have been told time and again that our developments that occurs within our Church are different than what occurs in the Eastern Orthodox Church. However, I am unsure exactly what and how Tradition develops within Eastern Orthodoxy. I would love to know some examples of not only what has grown or changed in some way in the past within Eastern Orthodoxy, but what is growing or changing now within the Tradition of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

I was actually a bit surprised to see the terms "growth and development" used on the OCA website. Usually it is said that we grow and change all the time but that the Eastern Orthodox Church essentially remains the same.

Well, clearly the liturgy and fasts have changed substantially over the millenia.  In fact, there's a bit of change in the liturgy, aside from making it English, in the OCA at least just in the last century, with certain parts - if I understand correctly - that were once said quietly by the priest now being intentionally said loudly enough for the whole congregation to hear.  

Aside from that, doctrine and dogma have developed.  Anyone who says otherwise is an idiot.  If it hadn't, then several saints would have instead been heretics.  Honestly, I think that the teachings of the Church today, would have to be taught to the Apostles if they were to suddenly come back to life, because while the doctrines and dogmas are all outgrowths of apostolic teaching, there was clearly development with people saying, essentially, "If this is true, then that must mean this is also true," such as with the claim that Christ is both God and man, it requires belief in other things, but you still must develop the dogma in order to understand what "Christ is God and Man," means.

I'm sorry to say, but it seems to me that you believe in the foolishness of the Greeks instead of that which was foolishness to the Greeks.

What exactly are you objecting to?

That given a certain set of true propositions (what the Apostles taught), we can further develop the truth using deductive reasoning.

Then you must object to the vast majority of Orthodox doctrine.
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The greatest tragedy in the world is when a cigarette ends.

American Spirits - the eco-friendly cigarette.

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« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2012, 12:49:11 AM »

I was looking at the OCA website yesterday, and I came across the following:

"As the Church continues to live by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Tradition of the Church will continue to grow and develop. This process will go on until the establishment of the Kingdom of God at the end of the ages."

http://oca.org/orthodoxy/the-orthodox-faith/doctrine/sources-of-christian-doctrine/tradition

This got me to thinking, what kind of growth and developments occur in the Tradition of the Orthodox Church. Obviously, there are some things which are no-brainers such as the Liturgy, which is likely not identical to the Liturgy used in the very early years of the Church. Are there any examples of growth and developments in Tradition that are more recent, or that are occurring right now?

This depends entirely on who you talk to; it would seem that, to some Orthodox, the liturgy was handed down by Christ Himself and has never changed, and that the fasts have been unaltered since the Apostles, etc., etc., to other Orthodox most everything has developed.  The truth is probably closer to the second group.
I agree. I would like to get a grasp on what exactly grows and develops within Eastern Orthodoxy. Obviously we have been told time and again that our developments that occurs within our Church are different than what occurs in the Eastern Orthodox Church. However, I am unsure exactly what and how Tradition develops within Eastern Orthodoxy. I would love to know some examples of not only what has grown or changed in some way in the past within Eastern Orthodoxy, but what is growing or changing now within the Tradition of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

I was actually a bit surprised to see the terms "growth and development" used on the OCA website. Usually it is said that we grow and change all the time but that the Eastern Orthodox Church essentially remains the same.

Well, clearly the liturgy and fasts have changed substantially over the millenia.  In fact, there's a bit of change in the liturgy, aside from making it English, in the OCA at least just in the last century, with certain parts - if I understand correctly - that were once said quietly by the priest now being intentionally said loudly enough for the whole congregation to hear.  

Aside from that, doctrine and dogma have developed.  Anyone who says otherwise is an idiot.  If it hadn't, then several saints would have instead been heretics.  Honestly, I think that the teachings of the Church today, would have to be taught to the Apostles if they were to suddenly come back to life, because while the doctrines and dogmas are all outgrowths of apostolic teaching, there was clearly development with people saying, essentially, "If this is true, then that must mean this is also true," such as with the claim that Christ is both God and man, it requires belief in other things, but you still must develop the dogma in order to understand what "Christ is God and Man," means.

I'm sorry to say, but it seems to me that you believe in the foolishness of the Greeks instead of that which was foolishness to the Greeks.

What exactly are you objecting to?

That given a certain set of true propositions (what the Apostles taught), we can further develop the truth using deductive reasoning.

Then you must object to the vast majority of Orthodox doctrine.

Not in the slightest. I object to how you understand Orthodox doctrine.
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« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2012, 10:07:07 AM »

I was looking at the OCA website yesterday, and I came across the following:

"As the Church continues to live by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Tradition of the Church will continue to grow and develop. This process will go on until the establishment of the Kingdom of God at the end of the ages."

http://oca.org/orthodoxy/the-orthodox-faith/doctrine/sources-of-christian-doctrine/tradition

This got me to thinking, what kind of growth and developments occur in the Tradition of the Orthodox Church. Obviously, there are some things which are no-brainers such as the Liturgy, which is likely not identical to the Liturgy used in the very early years of the Church. Are there any examples of growth and developments in Tradition that are more recent, or that are occurring right now?

This depends entirely on who you talk to; it would seem that, to some Orthodox, the liturgy was handed down by Christ Himself and has never changed, and that the fasts have been unaltered since the Apostles, etc., etc., to other Orthodox most everything has developed.  The truth is probably closer to the second group.
I agree. I would like to get a grasp on what exactly grows and develops within Eastern Orthodoxy. Obviously we have been told time and again that our developments that occurs within our Church are different than what occurs in the Eastern Orthodox Church. However, I am unsure exactly what and how Tradition develops within Eastern Orthodoxy. I would love to know some examples of not only what has grown or changed in some way in the past within Eastern Orthodoxy, but what is growing or changing now within the Tradition of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

I was actually a bit surprised to see the terms "growth and development" used on the OCA website. Usually it is said that we grow and change all the time but that the Eastern Orthodox Church essentially remains the same.

Well, clearly the liturgy and fasts have changed substantially over the millenia.  In fact, there's a bit of change in the liturgy, aside from making it English, in the OCA at least just in the last century, with certain parts - if I understand correctly - that were once said quietly by the priest now being intentionally said loudly enough for the whole congregation to hear.  

Aside from that, doctrine and dogma have developed.  Anyone who says otherwise is an idiot.  If it hadn't, then several saints would have instead been heretics.  Honestly, I think that the teachings of the Church today, would have to be taught to the Apostles if they were to suddenly come back to life, because while the doctrines and dogmas are all outgrowths of apostolic teaching, there was clearly development with people saying, essentially, "If this is true, then that must mean this is also true," such as with the claim that Christ is both God and man, it requires belief in other things, but you still must develop the dogma in order to understand what "Christ is God and Man," means.

I'm sorry to say, but it seems to me that you believe in the foolishness of the Greeks instead of that which was foolishness to the Greeks.

What exactly are you objecting to?

That given a certain set of true propositions (what the Apostles taught), we can further develop the truth using deductive reasoning.

Then you must object to the vast majority of Orthodox doctrine.

Not in the slightest. I object to how you understand Orthodox doctrine.

To JamesRottnek:  Perhaps you could give examples of Orthodox doctrines that have "developed" in the manner you say above.

To Cavaradossi:  Perhaps you could explain more fully how you think JamesRottnek understands (or misunderstands) Orthodox doctrine.
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« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2012, 01:03:59 PM »

I was looking at the OCA website yesterday, and I came across the following:

"As the Church continues to live by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Tradition of the Church will continue to grow and develop. This process will go on until the establishment of the Kingdom of God at the end of the ages."

http://oca.org/orthodoxy/the-orthodox-faith/doctrine/sources-of-christian-doctrine/tradition

This got me to thinking, what kind of growth and developments occur in the Tradition of the Orthodox Church. Obviously, there are some things which are no-brainers such as the Liturgy, which is likely not identical to the Liturgy used in the very early years of the Church. Are there any examples of growth and developments in Tradition that are more recent, or that are occurring right now?

This depends entirely on who you talk to; it would seem that, to some Orthodox, the liturgy was handed down by Christ Himself and has never changed, and that the fasts have been unaltered since the Apostles, etc., etc., to other Orthodox most everything has developed.  The truth is probably closer to the second group.
I agree. I would like to get a grasp on what exactly grows and develops within Eastern Orthodoxy. Obviously we have been told time and again that our developments that occurs within our Church are different than what occurs in the Eastern Orthodox Church. However, I am unsure exactly what and how Tradition develops within Eastern Orthodoxy. I would love to know some examples of not only what has grown or changed in some way in the past within Eastern Orthodoxy, but what is growing or changing now within the Tradition of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

I was actually a bit surprised to see the terms "growth and development" used on the OCA website. Usually it is said that we grow and change all the time but that the Eastern Orthodox Church essentially remains the same.

Well, clearly the liturgy and fasts have changed substantially over the millenia.  In fact, there's a bit of change in the liturgy, aside from making it English, in the OCA at least just in the last century, with certain parts - if I understand correctly - that were once said quietly by the priest now being intentionally said loudly enough for the whole congregation to hear.  

Aside from that, doctrine and dogma have developed.  Anyone who says otherwise is an idiot.  If it hadn't, then several saints would have instead been heretics.  Honestly, I think that the teachings of the Church today, would have to be taught to the Apostles if they were to suddenly come back to life, because while the doctrines and dogmas are all outgrowths of apostolic teaching, there was clearly development with people saying, essentially, "If this is true, then that must mean this is also true," such as with the claim that Christ is both God and man, it requires belief in other things, but you still must develop the dogma in order to understand what "Christ is God and Man," means.

I'm sorry to say, but it seems to me that you believe in the foolishness of the Greeks instead of that which was foolishness to the Greeks.

What exactly are you objecting to?

That given a certain set of true propositions (what the Apostles taught), we can further develop the truth using deductive reasoning.

Then you must object to the vast majority of Orthodox doctrine.

Not in the slightest. I object to how you understand Orthodox doctrine.
Well obviously there has been some growth and development in the history of the Church, right? I mean, if everything was fully ironed out and crystal clear in the days of the Apostles there would not have been a need to hold Ecumenical Councils.
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« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2012, 01:10:42 PM »

Well obviously there has been some growth and development in the history of the Church, right? I mean, if everything was fully ironed out and crystal clear in the days of the Apostles heretics had not attempted to introduce new teachings contrary to the Apostolic Traditionthere would not have been a need to hold Ecumenical Councils to restate the crystal clear teaching of the Apostles.

Fixed that for you.
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« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2012, 01:19:03 PM »

Well obviously there has been some growth and development in the history of the Church, right? I mean, if everything was fully ironed out and crystal clear in the days of the Apostles heretics had not attempted to introduce new teachings contrary to the Apostolic Traditionthere would not have been a need to hold Ecumenical Councils to restate the crystal clear teaching of the Apostles.

Fixed that for you.
Show me Trinitarian theology pre-Nicea that is as precise and developed as post-Nicea.
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« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2012, 01:24:17 PM »

Well obviously there has been some growth and development in the history of the Church, right? I mean, if everything was fully ironed out and crystal clear in the days of the Apostles there had not been differences and alterations in people's interpretations there would not have been a need to hold Ecumenical Councils to clarify and uncover just what the Apostles had originally taught.

Fixed that for you.
I agree with both of those, there are always going to be discrepancies and everything cannot be clear to everyone, as well as people are going to try to introduce new things. They aren't always heretics, necessarily, I don't believe, because they don't think that anything is going wrong.

That's my interpretation, take it for whatever it's worth Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2012, 01:59:37 PM »

Well obviously there has been some growth and development in the history of the Church, right? I mean, if everything was fully ironed out and crystal clear in the days of the Apostles heretics had not attempted to introduce new teachings contrary to the Apostolic Traditionthere would not have been a need to hold Ecumenical Councils to restate the crystal clear teaching of the Apostles.

Fixed that for you.

I'm sure Wyatt appreciates your "fix" no end and without reservation  Roll Eyes.

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« Reply #20 on: June 11, 2012, 04:06:46 PM »

Well obviously there has been some growth and development in the history of the Church, right? I mean, if everything was fully ironed out and crystal clear in the days of the Apostles heretics had not attempted to introduce new teachings contrary to the Apostolic Traditionthere would not have been a need to hold Ecumenical Councils to restate the crystal clear teaching of the Apostles.

Fixed that for you.
Show me Trinitarian theology pre-Nicea that is as precise and developed as post-Nicea.

Quote
But the errors of heretics and blasphemers force us to deal with unlawful matters, to scale perilous heights, to speak unutterable words, to trespass on forbidden ground. Faith ought in silence to fulfil the commandments, worshipping the Father, reverencing with Him the Son, abounding in the Holy Ghost, but we must strain the poor resources of our language to express thoughts too great for words. The error of others compels us to err in daring to embody in human terms truths which ought to be hidden in the silent veneration of the heart. - St. Hilary of Poitiers, On the Trinity 2.2 (thanks to Fr. Akimel for the pointer)

St. Athanasius wrote 'On the Incarnation' at least 7 years before Nicea and it's still considered one of the finest expositions of the Orthodox understanding of the relationship of the Father to the Son and of the Son to humanity ever written.

St. John was quite clear: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Nicea wasn't necessary because the Apostle had been unclear. It was necessary because heretics chose to pretend it wasn't clear.
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« Reply #21 on: June 11, 2012, 05:07:51 PM »

St. Athanasius wrote 'On the Incarnation' at least 7 years before Nicea and it's still considered one of the finest expositions of the Orthodox understanding of the relationship of the Father to the Son and of the Son to humanity ever written.

St. John was quite clear: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Nicea wasn't necessary because the Apostle had been unclear. It was necessary because heretics chose to pretend it wasn't clear.
Then why wasn't St. Athanasius and St. John cited directly to the heretics? Why did a council need to be held and a new creed formulated? Also, you make it sound as if the heretics knew they were wrong and just wanted to lead people astray. Surely that is not the case. I'm sure the heretics believed their teachings were orthodox and that orthodoxy was the actual heresy.
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« Reply #22 on: June 11, 2012, 05:13:52 PM »

St. Athanasius wrote 'On the Incarnation' at least 7 years before Nicea and it's still considered one of the finest expositions of the Orthodox understanding of the relationship of the Father to the Son and of the Son to humanity ever written.

St. John was quite clear: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Nicea wasn't necessary because the Apostle had been unclear. It was necessary because heretics chose to pretend it wasn't clear.
Then why wasn't St. Athanasius and St. John cited directly to the heretics? Why did a council need to be held and a new creed formulated? Also, you make it sound as if the heretics knew they were wrong and just wanted to lead people astray. Surely that is not the case. I'm sure the heretics believed their teachings were orthodox and that orthodoxy was the actual heresy.

Exactly what I was thinking, but you beat me to it  Wink.
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« Reply #23 on: June 12, 2012, 03:31:23 AM »

The Apostolic Tradition is nothing less than what was received from the Apostles.

The shaking of the aer during the recitation of the creed, for example, was not received from the Apostles but is, rather, one possible way of expressing the Apostolic teaching (amongst possible others).

I must say I am with witega and Cavaradossi in this (if I understand them correctly).
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« Reply #24 on: June 12, 2012, 03:49:15 AM »

St. Athanasius wrote 'On the Incarnation' at least 7 years before Nicea and it's still considered one of the finest expositions of the Orthodox understanding of the relationship of the Father to the Son and of the Son to humanity ever written.

St. John was quite clear: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Nicea wasn't necessary because the Apostle had been unclear. It was necessary because heretics chose to pretend it wasn't clear.
Then why wasn't St. Athanasius and St. John cited directly to the heretics? Why did a council need to be held and a new creed formulated? Also, you make it sound as if the heretics knew they were wrong and just wanted to lead people astray. Surely that is not the case. I'm sure the heretics believed their teachings were orthodox and that orthodoxy was the actual heresy.

You honestly think that nobody directly cited John 1 to Arius?  Huh Huh Huh
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« Reply #25 on: June 12, 2012, 04:00:17 AM »

St. Athanasius wrote 'On the Incarnation' at least 7 years before Nicea and it's still considered one of the finest expositions of the Orthodox understanding of the relationship of the Father to the Son and of the Son to humanity ever written.

St. John was quite clear: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Nicea wasn't necessary because the Apostle had been unclear. It was necessary because heretics chose to pretend it wasn't clear.
Then why wasn't St. Athanasius and St. John cited directly to the heretics? Why did a council need to be held and a new creed formulated? Also, you make it sound as if the heretics knew they were wrong and just wanted to lead people astray. Surely that is not the case. I'm sure the heretics believed their teachings were orthodox and that orthodoxy was the actual heresy.

You honestly think that nobody directly cited John 1 to Arius?  Huh Huh Huh
And if I might add on to this, even if John 1 is quite clear, which it is, it's possible to distort that to a heresy the heretic wants it to be. Even if you flesh out John 1 in the Creed that doesn't mean it loses it's crystal clearness but perhaps becomes axiomatic with the Scriptures.
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« Reply #26 on: June 12, 2012, 10:00:01 AM »

St. Athanasius wrote 'On the Incarnation' at least 7 years before Nicea and it's still considered one of the finest expositions of the Orthodox understanding of the relationship of the Father to the Son and of the Son to humanity ever written.

St. John was quite clear: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Nicea wasn't necessary because the Apostle had been unclear. It was necessary because heretics chose to pretend it wasn't clear.
Then why wasn't St. Athanasius and St. John cited directly to the heretics? Why did a council need to be held and a new creed formulated? Also, you make it sound as if the heretics knew they were wrong and just wanted to lead people astray. Surely that is not the case. I'm sure the heretics believed their teachings were orthodox and that orthodoxy was the actual heresy.

You honestly think that nobody directly cited John 1 to Arius?  Huh Huh Huh

To expand a little on the historical basics:
1) No Ecumenical Council was ever called because the Fathers were sitting around and thought "It would be a good idea if we clarified the Church's teaching on X". Every council was called specifically in the face of a heresy which resisted local attempts at correction.
2)The last point bears reiteration--the Orthodox response to every condemned heresy was never first formulated at a council. In every case, communion had already been borken and Orthodox Fathers had already enunciated the Orthodox position and condemned the heresy before, often well before, the council was called. I've already mentioned St. Athanasius preceding Nicea. But to continue, St. Basil wrote On the Holy Spirit at least a decade before Constantinople I. St. Cyril's 12 anathemas against Nestorius were published before Ephesus. St. Flavian and St. Leo excommunicated and deposed Eutyches before Chalcedon. Pope St. Martin had synodically condemned Monothelitism 40 years before the 6th Ecumenical Council, and the Latern council of 769 condemned iconoclasm 20 years before the 7th Ecumenical Council.

Or in other words, the Ecumenical Councils were not called to 'clarify Orthodox doctrine'. They were called to condemn heretics--who had already been condemned but whose condemnation had run into a real-world roadblock (Nestorius was Patriarch of Constantinople and could ignore the condmenations of other Patriarchates, Eutyches was spiritual father to the highest-ranking civil servant in the Empire who protected him, the Monothelites and Iconoclasts had been backed by Emperors) that needed the weight of the entire Church to overcome it. I borrowed the St. Hilary quote from a contemporary thread currently talking about how dogma is fundamentally apophatic in nature because it is an important point to keep in mind: the primary goal, function, and achievement of each Ecumenical Council was not to improve on what had been handed down to them by the Apostles, but rather to identify and condemn what was clearly not consistent with what had been handed down. Or as the Fathers of Chalcedon put it: " this present holy, great, and ecumenical synod, desiring to exclude every device against the Truth, and teaching that which is unchanged from the beginning has decreed..."

Quote
Also, you make it sound as if the heretics knew they were wrong and just wanted to lead people astray.
If you mean in the sense that Arius said, "Well, I know the Gospel of John says the Word was God, but I just disagree and am going to teach something different", then no that's not what I'm saying. But the Fathers are pretty unanimous in ascribing a certain degree of willfulness, of deliberate and stubborn volition to heresy. It's not that Arius outright said, I disagree with St. John, but that he read St. John and said, "well, the plain meaning, and the teaching handed down, just don't make a lot of sense to me. So I'm going to reintepret it in a way that makes more sense". This is getting back to Cavaradossi's point about the 'foolishness to the Gentiles'--the Apostolic Teaching that the Father and the Son are one doesn't make logical sense and it didn't make sense in terms of enlightened Classical philosophy.

So St. John said, "The Word is God"
Arius said, "well it depends on what you mean by 'is'"
Nicea said "No stupid. is means is. homoousious, one in essence."

If the point of the councils was to clarify Orthodox doctrine in such a way that it would remove the confusion of heretics, they were all abject failures. Arius died rejecting Nicea. Nestorius died rejecting Ephesus. Eutyches died rejecting Chalcedon. Again, the point of the councils was not to 'improve' or 'clarify' the Apostolic teaching--it was to formally declare with the voice of the whole Church what had already been declared by the Apostles and intervening Fathers, "This is the Faith of the Fathers. That is not."
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« Reply #27 on: June 12, 2012, 10:42:45 AM »

St. Athanasius wrote 'On the Incarnation' at least 7 years before Nicea and it's still considered one of the finest expositions of the Orthodox understanding of the relationship of the Father to the Son and of the Son to humanity ever written.

St. John was quite clear: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Nicea wasn't necessary because the Apostle had been unclear. It was necessary because heretics chose to pretend it wasn't clear.
Then why wasn't St. Athanasius and St. John cited directly to the heretics? Why did a council need to be held and a new creed formulated? Also, you make it sound as if the heretics knew they were wrong and just wanted to lead people astray. Surely that is not the case. I'm sure the heretics believed their teachings were orthodox and that orthodoxy was the actual heresy.

You honestly think that nobody directly cited John 1 to Arius?  Huh Huh Huh

To expand a little on the historical basics:
1) No Ecumenical Council was ever called because the Fathers were sitting around and thought "It would be a good idea if we clarified the Church's teaching on X". Every council was called specifically in the face of a heresy which resisted local attempts at correction.
2)The last point bears reiteration--the Orthodox orthodox Christian response to every condemned heresy was never first formulated at a council. In every case, communion had already been borken and Orthodox  Church Fathers had already enunciated the Orthodox orthodox Christian position and condemned the heresy before, often well before, the council was called. I've already mentioned St. Athanasius preceding Nicea. But to continue, St. Basil wrote On the Holy Spirit at least a decade before Constantinople I. St. Cyril's 12 anathemas against Nestorius were published before Ephesus. St. Flavian and St. Leo excommunicated and deposed Eutyches before Chalcedon. Pope St. Martin had synodically condemned Monothelitism 40 years before the 6th Ecumenical Council, and the Latern council of 769 condemned iconoclasm 20 years before the 7th Ecumenical Council.

Or in other words, the Ecumenical Councils were not called to 'clarify Orthodox orthodox Christian doctrine'. They were called to condemn heretics--who had already been condemned but whose condemnation had run into a real-world roadblock (Nestorius was Patriarch of Constantinople and could ignore the condmenations of other Patriarchates, Eutyches was spiritual father to the highest-ranking civil servant in the Empire who protected him, the Monothelites and Iconoclasts had been backed by Emperors) that needed the weight of the entire Church to overcome it. I borrowed the St. Hilary quote from a contemporary thread currently talking about how dogma is fundamentally apophatic in nature because it is an important point to keep in mind: the primary goal, function, and achievement of each Ecumenical Council was not to improve on what had been handed down to them by the Apostles, but rather to identify and condemn what was clearly not consistent with what had been handed down. Or as the Fathers of Chalcedon put it: " this present holy, great, and ecumenical synod, desiring to exclude every device against the Truth, and teaching that which is unchanged from the beginning has decreed..."

Quote
Also, you make it sound as if the heretics knew they were wrong and just wanted to lead people astray.
If you mean in the sense that Arius said, "Well, I know the Gospel of John says the Word was God, but I just disagree and am going to teach something different", then no that's not what I'm saying. But the Fathers are pretty unanimous in ascribing a certain degree of willfulness, of deliberate and stubborn volition to heresy. It's not that Arius outright said, I disagree with St. John, but that he read St. John and said, "well, the plain meaning, and the teaching handed down, just don't make a lot of sense to me. So I'm going to reintepret it in a way that makes more sense". This is getting back to Cavaradossi's point about the 'foolishness to the Gentiles'--the Apostolic Teaching that the Father and the Son are one doesn't make logical sense and it didn't make sense in terms of enlightened Classical philosophy.

So St. John said, "The Word is God"
Arius Bill Clinton said, "well it depends on what you mean by 'is'"
Nicea said "No stupid. is means is. homoousious, one in essence."

If the point of the councils was to clarify Orthodox  orthodox Christian doctrine in such a way that it would remove the confusion of heretics, they were all abject failures. Arius died rejecting Nicea. Nestorius died rejecting Ephesus. Eutyches died rejecting Chalcedon. Again, the point of the councils was not to 'improve' or 'clarify' the Apostolic teaching--it was to formally declare with the voice of the whole Church what had already been declared by the Apostles and intervening Fathers, "This is the Faith of the Fathers. That is not."

Thanks for clarifying.  Well put.

(And I "fixed" a couple things for you  Grin.)
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« Reply #28 on: June 12, 2012, 03:29:51 PM »

St. Athanasius wrote 'On the Incarnation' at least 7 years before Nicea and it's still considered one of the finest expositions of the Orthodox understanding of the relationship of the Father to the Son and of the Son to humanity ever written.

St. John was quite clear: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Nicea wasn't necessary because the Apostle had been unclear. It was necessary because heretics chose to pretend it wasn't clear.
Then why wasn't St. Athanasius and St. John cited directly to the heretics? Why did a council need to be held and a new creed formulated? Also, you make it sound as if the heretics knew they were wrong and just wanted to lead people astray. Surely that is not the case. I'm sure the heretics believed their teachings were orthodox and that orthodoxy was the actual heresy.

You honestly think that nobody directly cited John 1 to Arius?  Huh Huh Huh

To expand a little on the historical basics:
1) No Ecumenical Council was ever called because the Fathers were sitting around and thought "It would be a good idea if we clarified the Church's teaching on X". Every council was called specifically in the face of a heresy which resisted local attempts at correction.
2)The last point bears reiteration--the Orthodox orthodox Christian response to every condemned heresy was never first formulated at a council. In every case, communion had already been borken and Orthodox  Church Fathers had already enunciated the Orthodox orthodox Christian position and condemned the heresy before, often well before, the council was called. I've already mentioned St. Athanasius preceding Nicea. But to continue, St. Basil wrote On the Holy Spirit at least a decade before Constantinople I. St. Cyril's 12 anathemas against Nestorius were published before Ephesus. St. Flavian and St. Leo excommunicated and deposed Eutyches before Chalcedon. Pope St. Martin had synodically condemned Monothelitism 40 years before the 6th Ecumenical Council, and the Latern council of 769 condemned iconoclasm 20 years before the 7th Ecumenical Council.

Or in other words, the Ecumenical Councils were not called to 'clarify Orthodox orthodox Christian doctrine'. They were called to condemn heretics--who had already been condemned but whose condemnation had run into a real-world roadblock (Nestorius was Patriarch of Constantinople and could ignore the condmenations of other Patriarchates, Eutyches was spiritual father to the highest-ranking civil servant in the Empire who protected him, the Monothelites and Iconoclasts had been backed by Emperors) that needed the weight of the entire Church to overcome it. I borrowed the St. Hilary quote from a contemporary thread currently talking about how dogma is fundamentally apophatic in nature because it is an important point to keep in mind: the primary goal, function, and achievement of each Ecumenical Council was not to improve on what had been handed down to them by the Apostles, but rather to identify and condemn what was clearly not consistent with what had been handed down. Or as the Fathers of Chalcedon put it: " this present holy, great, and ecumenical synod, desiring to exclude every device against the Truth, and teaching that which is unchanged from the beginning has decreed..."

Quote
Also, you make it sound as if the heretics knew they were wrong and just wanted to lead people astray.
If you mean in the sense that Arius said, "Well, I know the Gospel of John says the Word was God, but I just disagree and am going to teach something different", then no that's not what I'm saying. But the Fathers are pretty unanimous in ascribing a certain degree of willfulness, of deliberate and stubborn volition to heresy. It's not that Arius outright said, I disagree with St. John, but that he read St. John and said, "well, the plain meaning, and the teaching handed down, just don't make a lot of sense to me. So I'm going to reintepret it in a way that makes more sense". This is getting back to Cavaradossi's point about the 'foolishness to the Gentiles'--the Apostolic Teaching that the Father and the Son are one doesn't make logical sense and it didn't make sense in terms of enlightened Classical philosophy.

So St. John said, "The Word is God"
Arius Bill Clinton said, "well it depends on what you mean by 'is'"
Nicea said "No stupid. is means is. homoousious, one in essence."

If the point of the councils was to clarify Orthodox  orthodox Christian doctrine in such a way that it would remove the confusion of heretics, they were all abject failures. Arius died rejecting Nicea. Nestorius died rejecting Ephesus. Eutyches died rejecting Chalcedon. Again, the point of the councils was not to 'improve' or 'clarify' the Apostolic teaching--it was to formally declare with the voice of the whole Church what had already been declared by the Apostles and intervening Fathers, "This is the Faith of the Fathers. That is not."

Thanks for clarifying.  Well put.

(And I "fixed" a couple things for you  Grin.)
For someone who describes himself as "older than dirt; dumber than a box of rocks; colossally ignorant; a little crazy" you sure you should be fixing people's posts? Wink

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #29 on: June 12, 2012, 04:28:22 PM »

St. Athanasius wrote 'On the Incarnation' at least 7 years before Nicea and it's still considered one of the finest expositions of the Orthodox understanding of the relationship of the Father to the Son and of the Son to humanity ever written.

St. John was quite clear: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Nicea wasn't necessary because the Apostle had been unclear. It was necessary because heretics chose to pretend it wasn't clear.
Then why wasn't St. Athanasius and St. John cited directly to the heretics? Why did a council need to be held and a new creed formulated? Also, you make it sound as if the heretics knew they were wrong and just wanted to lead people astray. Surely that is not the case. I'm sure the heretics believed their teachings were orthodox and that orthodoxy was the actual heresy.

You honestly think that nobody directly cited John 1 to Arius?  Huh Huh Huh

To expand a little on the historical basics:
1) No Ecumenical Council was ever called because the Fathers were sitting around and thought "It would be a good idea if we clarified the Church's teaching on X". Every council was called specifically in the face of a heresy which resisted local attempts at correction.
2)The last point bears reiteration--the Orthodox orthodox Christian response to every condemned heresy was never first formulated at a council. In every case, communion had already been borken and Orthodox  Church Fathers had already enunciated the Orthodox orthodox Christian position and condemned the heresy before, often well before, the council was called. I've already mentioned St. Athanasius preceding Nicea. But to continue, St. Basil wrote On the Holy Spirit at least a decade before Constantinople I. St. Cyril's 12 anathemas against Nestorius were published before Ephesus. St. Flavian and St. Leo excommunicated and deposed Eutyches before Chalcedon. Pope St. Martin had synodically condemned Monothelitism 40 years before the 6th Ecumenical Council, and the Latern council of 769 condemned iconoclasm 20 years before the 7th Ecumenical Council.

Or in other words, the Ecumenical Councils were not called to 'clarify Orthodox orthodox Christian doctrine'. They were called to condemn heretics--who had already been condemned but whose condemnation had run into a real-world roadblock (Nestorius was Patriarch of Constantinople and could ignore the condmenations of other Patriarchates, Eutyches was spiritual father to the highest-ranking civil servant in the Empire who protected him, the Monothelites and Iconoclasts had been backed by Emperors) that needed the weight of the entire Church to overcome it. I borrowed the St. Hilary quote from a contemporary thread currently talking about how dogma is fundamentally apophatic in nature because it is an important point to keep in mind: the primary goal, function, and achievement of each Ecumenical Council was not to improve on what had been handed down to them by the Apostles, but rather to identify and condemn what was clearly not consistent with what had been handed down. Or as the Fathers of Chalcedon put it: " this present holy, great, and ecumenical synod, desiring to exclude every device against the Truth, and teaching that which is unchanged from the beginning has decreed..."

Quote
Also, you make it sound as if the heretics knew they were wrong and just wanted to lead people astray.
If you mean in the sense that Arius said, "Well, I know the Gospel of John says the Word was God, but I just disagree and am going to teach something different", then no that's not what I'm saying. But the Fathers are pretty unanimous in ascribing a certain degree of willfulness, of deliberate and stubborn volition to heresy. It's not that Arius outright said, I disagree with St. John, but that he read St. John and said, "well, the plain meaning, and the teaching handed down, just don't make a lot of sense to me. So I'm going to reintepret it in a way that makes more sense". This is getting back to Cavaradossi's point about the 'foolishness to the Gentiles'--the Apostolic Teaching that the Father and the Son are one doesn't make logical sense and it didn't make sense in terms of enlightened Classical philosophy.

So St. John said, "The Word is God"
Arius Bill Clinton said, "well it depends on what you mean by 'is'"
Nicea said "No stupid. is means is. homoousious, one in essence."

If the point of the councils was to clarify Orthodox  orthodox Christian doctrine in such a way that it would remove the confusion of heretics, they were all abject failures. Arius died rejecting Nicea. Nestorius died rejecting Ephesus. Eutyches died rejecting Chalcedon. Again, the point of the councils was not to 'improve' or 'clarify' the Apostolic teaching--it was to formally declare with the voice of the whole Church what had already been declared by the Apostles and intervening Fathers, "This is the Faith of the Fathers. That is not."

Thanks for clarifying.  Well put.

(And I "fixed" a couple things for you  Grin.)
For someone who describes himself as "older than dirt; dumber than a box of rocks; colossally ignorant; a little crazy" you sure you should be fixing people's posts? Wink

In Christ,
Andrew

Who better  Grin laugh Grin laugh?  No one else seemed up to the task  Grin Grin!
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« Reply #30 on: June 12, 2012, 04:30:31 PM »

St. Athanasius wrote 'On the Incarnation' at least 7 years before Nicea and it's still considered one of the finest expositions of the Orthodox understanding of the relationship of the Father to the Son and of the Son to humanity ever written.

St. John was quite clear: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Nicea wasn't necessary because the Apostle had been unclear. It was necessary because heretics chose to pretend it wasn't clear.

Then why wasn't St. Athanasius and St. John cited directly to the heretics? Why did a council need to be held and a new creed formulated? Also, you make it sound as if the heretics knew they were wrong and just wanted to lead people astray. Surely that is not the case. I'm sure the heretics believed their teachings were orthodox and that orthodoxy was the actual heresy.

You honestly think that nobody directly cited John 1 to Arius?  Huh Huh Huh

To expand a little on the historical basics:
1) No Ecumenical Council was ever called because the Fathers were sitting around and thought "It would be a good idea if we clarified the Church's teaching on X". Every council was called specifically in the face of a heresy which resisted local attempts at correction.
2)The last point bears reiteration--the Orthodox response to every condemned heresy was never first formulated at a council. In every case, communion had already been borken and Orthodox Fathers had already enunciated the Orthodox position and condemned the heresy before, often well before, the council was called. I've already mentioned St. Athanasius preceding Nicea. But to continue, St. Basil wrote On the Holy Spirit at least a decade before Constantinople I. St. Cyril's 12 anathemas against Nestorius were published before Ephesus. St. Flavian and St. Leo excommunicated and deposed Eutyches before Chalcedon. Pope St. Martin had synodically condemned Monothelitism 40 years before the 6th Ecumenical Council, and the Latern council of 769 condemned iconoclasm 20 years before the 7th Ecumenical Council.

Or in other words, the Ecumenical Councils were not called to 'clarify Orthodox doctrine'. They were called to condemn heretics--who had already been condemned but whose condemnation had run into a real-world roadblock (Nestorius was Patriarch of Constantinople and could ignore the condmenations of other Patriarchates, Eutyches was spiritual father to the highest-ranking civil servant in the Empire who protected him, the Monothelites and Iconoclasts had been backed by Emperors) that needed the weight of the entire Church to overcome it. I borrowed the St. Hilary quote from a contemporary thread currently talking about how dogma is fundamentally apophatic in nature because it is an important point to keep in mind: the primary goal, function, and achievement of each Ecumenical Council was not to improve on what had been handed down to them by the Apostles, but rather to identify and condemn what was clearly not consistent with what had been handed down. Or as the Fathers of Chalcedon put it: " this present holy, great, and ecumenical synod, desiring to exclude every device against the Truth, and teaching that which is unchanged from the beginning has decreed..."

Quote
Also, you make it sound as if the heretics knew they were wrong and just wanted to lead people astray.
If you mean in the sense that Arius said, "Well, I know the Gospel of John says the Word was God, but I just disagree and am going to teach something different", then no that's not what I'm saying. But the Fathers are pretty unanimous in ascribing a certain degree of willfulness, of deliberate and stubborn volition to heresy. It's not that Arius outright said, I disagree with St. John, but that he read St. John and said, "well, the plain meaning, and the teaching handed down, just don't make a lot of sense to me. So I'm going to reintepret it in a way that makes more sense". This is getting back to Cavaradossi's point about the 'foolishness to the Gentiles'--the Apostolic Teaching that the Father and the Son are one doesn't make logical sense and it didn't make sense in terms of enlightened Classical philosophy.

So St. John said, "The Word is God"
Arius said, "well it depends on what you mean by 'is'"
Nicea said "No stupid. is means is. homoousious, one in essence."

If the point of the councils was to clarify Orthodox doctrine in such a way that it would remove the confusion of heretics, they were all abject failures. Arius died rejecting Nicea. Nestorius died rejecting Ephesus. Eutyches died rejecting Chalcedon. Again, the point of the councils was not to 'improve' or 'clarify' the Apostolic teaching--it was to formally declare with the voice of the whole Church what had already been declared by the Apostles and intervening Fathers, "This is the Faith of the Fathers. That is not."

Great stuff. Thank you for this.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2012, 04:32:39 PM by Clemente » Logged
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« Reply #31 on: June 12, 2012, 06:31:23 PM »

^ Ditto.
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« Reply #32 on: June 12, 2012, 09:42:46 PM »

For someone who describes himself as "older than dirt; dumber than a box of rocks; colossally ignorant; a little crazy" you sure you should be fixing people's posts? Wink

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« Reply #33 on: June 13, 2012, 01:58:58 AM »

St. Athanasius wrote 'On the Incarnation' at least 7 years before Nicea and it's still considered one of the finest expositions of the Orthodox understanding of the relationship of the Father to the Son and of the Son to humanity ever written.

St. John was quite clear: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Nicea wasn't necessary because the Apostle had been unclear. It was necessary because heretics chose to pretend it wasn't clear.
Then why wasn't St. Athanasius and St. John cited directly to the heretics? Why did a council need to be held and a new creed formulated? Also, you make it sound as if the heretics knew they were wrong and just wanted to lead people astray. Surely that is not the case. I'm sure the heretics believed their teachings were orthodox and that orthodoxy was the actual heresy.

You honestly think that nobody directly cited John 1 to Arius?  Huh Huh Huh

To expand a little on the historical basics:
1) No Ecumenical Council was ever called because the Fathers were sitting around and thought "It would be a good idea if we clarified the Church's teaching on X". Every council was called specifically in the face of a heresy which resisted local attempts at correction.
2)The last point bears reiteration--the Orthodox response to every condemned heresy was never first formulated at a council. In every case, communion had already been borken and Orthodox Fathers had already enunciated the Orthodox position and condemned the heresy before, often well before, the council was called. I've already mentioned St. Athanasius preceding Nicea. But to continue, St. Basil wrote On the Holy Spirit at least a decade before Constantinople I. St. Cyril's 12 anathemas against Nestorius were published before Ephesus. St. Flavian and St. Leo excommunicated and deposed Eutyches before Chalcedon. Pope St. Martin had synodically condemned Monothelitism 40 years before the 6th Ecumenical Council, and the Latern council of 769 condemned iconoclasm 20 years before the 7th Ecumenical Council.

Or in other words, the Ecumenical Councils were not called to 'clarify Orthodox doctrine'. They were called to condemn heretics--who had already been condemned but whose condemnation had run into a real-world roadblock (Nestorius was Patriarch of Constantinople and could ignore the condmenations of other Patriarchates, Eutyches was spiritual father to the highest-ranking civil servant in the Empire who protected him, the Monothelites and Iconoclasts had been backed by Emperors) that needed the weight of the entire Church to overcome it. I borrowed the St. Hilary quote from a contemporary thread currently talking about how dogma is fundamentally apophatic in nature because it is an important point to keep in mind: the primary goal, function, and achievement of each Ecumenical Council was not to improve on what had been handed down to them by the Apostles, but rather to identify and condemn what was clearly not consistent with what had been handed down. Or as the Fathers of Chalcedon put it: " this present holy, great, and ecumenical synod, desiring to exclude every device against the Truth, and teaching that which is unchanged from the beginning has decreed..."

Quote
Also, you make it sound as if the heretics knew they were wrong and just wanted to lead people astray.
If you mean in the sense that Arius said, "Well, I know the Gospel of John says the Word was God, but I just disagree and am going to teach something different", then no that's not what I'm saying. But the Fathers are pretty unanimous in ascribing a certain degree of willfulness, of deliberate and stubborn volition to heresy. It's not that Arius outright said, I disagree with St. John, but that he read St. John and said, "well, the plain meaning, and the teaching handed down, just don't make a lot of sense to me. So I'm going to reintepret it in a way that makes more sense". This is getting back to Cavaradossi's point about the 'foolishness to the Gentiles'--the Apostolic Teaching that the Father and the Son are one doesn't make logical sense and it didn't make sense in terms of enlightened Classical philosophy.

So St. John said, "The Word is God"
Arius said, "well it depends on what you mean by 'is'"
Nicea said "No stupid. is means is. homoousious, one in essence."

If the point of the councils was to clarify Orthodox doctrine in such a way that it would remove the confusion of heretics, they were all abject failures. Arius died rejecting Nicea. Nestorius died rejecting Ephesus. Eutyches died rejecting Chalcedon. Again, the point of the councils was not to 'improve' or 'clarify' the Apostolic teaching--it was to formally declare with the voice of the whole Church what had already been declared by the Apostles and intervening Fathers, "This is the Faith of the Fathers. That is not."
I think he's got it. Grin
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« Reply #34 on: June 13, 2012, 02:16:59 AM »

Well obviously there has been some growth and development in the history of the Church, right? I mean, if everything was fully ironed out and crystal clear in the days of the Apostles heretics had not attempted to introduce new teachings contrary to the Apostolic Traditionthere would not have been a need to hold Ecumenical Councils to restate the crystal clear teaching of the Apostles.

Fixed that for you.
Show me Trinitarian theology pre-Nicea that is as precise and developed as post-Nicea.
That you think precise and developed is a good thing is telling.

I remember remarking to the Unitarians, when they claimed that the average seminarian of today has more theological knowledge than the participants at the Council of Nicea: "Yes, that's why the Fathers got it right."
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« Reply #35 on: June 13, 2012, 02:22:08 AM »

I was looking at the OCA website yesterday, and I came across the following:

"As the Church continues to live by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Tradition of the Church will continue to grow and develop. This process will go on until the establishment of the Kingdom of God at the end of the ages."

http://oca.org/orthodoxy/the-orthodox-faith/doctrine/sources-of-christian-doctrine/tradition

This got me to thinking, what kind of growth and developments occur in the Tradition of the Orthodox Church. Obviously, there are some things which are no-brainers such as the Liturgy, which is likely not identical to the Liturgy used in the very early years of the Church. Are there any examples of growth and developments in Tradition that are more recent, or that are occurring right now?

This depends entirely on who you talk to; it would seem that, to some Orthodox, the liturgy was handed down by Christ Himself and has never changed, and that the fasts have been unaltered since the Apostles, etc., etc., to other Orthodox most everything has developed.  The truth is probably closer to the second group.
I agree. I would like to get a grasp on what exactly grows and develops within Eastern Orthodoxy. Obviously we have been told time and again that our developments that occurs within our Church are different than what occurs in the Eastern Orthodox Church. However, I am unsure exactly what and how Tradition develops within Eastern Orthodoxy. I would love to know some examples of not only what has grown or changed in some way in the past within Eastern Orthodoxy, but what is growing or changing now within the Tradition of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

I was actually a bit surprised to see the terms "growth and development" used on the OCA website. Usually it is said that we grow and change all the time but that the Eastern Orthodox Church essentially remains the same.

Well, clearly the liturgy and fasts have changed substantially over the millenia.  In fact, there's a bit of change in the liturgy, aside from making it English, in the OCA at least just in the last century, with certain parts - if I understand correctly - that were once said quietly by the priest now being intentionally said loudly enough for the whole congregation to hear.  

Aside from that, doctrine and dogma have developed.  Anyone who says otherwise is an idiot.  If it hadn't, then several saints would have instead been heretics.  Honestly, I think that the teachings of the Church today, would have to be taught to the Apostles if they were to suddenly come back to life, because while the doctrines and dogmas are all outgrowths of apostolic teaching, there was clearly development with people saying, essentially, "If this is true, then that must mean this is also true," such as with the claim that Christ is both God and man, it requires belief in other things, but you still must develop the dogma in order to understand what "Christ is God and Man," means.

I'm sorry to say, but it seems to me that you believe in the foolishness of the Greeks instead of that which was foolishness to the Greeks.

What exactly are you objecting to?

That given a certain set of true propositions (what the Apostles taught), we can further develop the truth using deductive reasoning.

Then you must object to the vast majority of Orthodox doctrine.

Not in the slightest. I object to how you understand Orthodox doctrine.
Well obviously there has been some growth and development in the history of the Church, right? I mean, if everything was fully ironed out and crystal clear in the days of the Apostles there would not have been a need to hold Ecumenical Councils.
"Clarification" is the mother of heresy.

Many have died a martyr's death for Christ, although they couldn't tell you a thing about any (except perhaps Nicea I and II) of the Ecumenical Councils.

Not all Orthodox are theologians, but every heresiarch is a theologian.
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« Reply #36 on: June 13, 2012, 07:16:27 AM »

For someone who describes himself as "older than dirt; dumber than a box of rocks; colossally ignorant; a little crazy" you sure you should be fixing people's posts? Wink

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« Reply #37 on: June 13, 2012, 09:02:20 AM »

So, the Doctrines of the Trinity and the basic Christology haven't undergone ANY development? That is it was all handed down and people didn't quite get it? OR was the basic understanding there and it took time for people to figure out how to correctly put it into words?

Development doesn't necessarily mean changed. Though that understanding helps when afraid to use the same words as a Catholic. Development means fleshing out the truth to clarify an earlier understanding from the original understanding than has become misunderstood.
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« Reply #38 on: June 13, 2012, 09:58:01 AM »

For someone who describes himself as "older than dirt; dumber than a box of rocks; colossally ignorant; a little crazy" you sure you should be fixing people's posts? Wink

In Christ,
Andrew

Who better  Grin laugh Grin laugh?  No one else seemed up to the task  Grin Grin!

I can see where this is heading ...

A book club discussing Joseph Heller's Catch-22 (1961).

I'm glad you clarified that, because I wasn't sure myself  Grin.  (Hopefully no one will accuse you of heresy for your "clarification"  laugh laugh.)

(What a fantastic book that was, and still is, too, btw!)
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« Reply #39 on: June 13, 2012, 11:10:37 AM »

So, the Doctrines of the Trinity and the basic Christology haven't undergone ANY development? That is it was all handed down and people didn't quite get it? OR was the basic understanding there and it took time for people to figure out how to correctly put it into words?

If you believe that Christ told the Apostles that the Holy Spirit would lead them into "all truth," and you believe that the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation are true, then I'm not sure how you argue otherwise. I'm also fairly certain that if you search the corpus of first millennial writings, you will not find a single Father who would agree with the proposition that the Apostles did not know how to put correct doctrine into correct words or that the Church, from the beginning (and not from 318 or from 381 or from 787) possessed "all things pertaining to life and godliness."

Yes, there were heretics who misunderstood/misapplied the original teaching. And yes, over time, the fundamental doctrine was expressed in different words for different audiences/contexts. What Orthodox resists is the idea that this can be characterized as an change, improvement, or 'clarification' of the Apostolic doctrine.

Let me put it this way: What St. John the Evangelist actually said about the relations of the Word to the Father was: Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος'. He didn't say it in English, and indeed wouldn't have had any idea of how to say it in English. So when I say that St. John said "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." one could technically say that I* have "changed" the Apostolic statement by putting it in different words. But while I have changed the words, I haven't changed the meaning nor have I added or subtracted anything to that meaning--and if I have done any of those things, then that is not 'development' or 'improvement' or 'clarification'. It's bad translation, and the proper response of anyone to a bad translation is to return to the original (if possible) or at the least find a better translation, with fidelity to the original as the fundamental criteria for what makes a good translation.

In the same way, just as the Apostles did not express the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation in English, they didn't express it in the jargon of Classical Greek philosophy. And just as later disciples translated what they did express (in the written or the oral tradition) into other languages, some attempted to translate it into other idioms. And some of those (the heretics) did a particularly bad job of it--when they found they couldn't express the original meaning well in the new idiom, they chose to alter the meaning so that it would better fit their schema, rather than altering their schema to accept the meaning. And in response to this, yes, orthodox Fathers provided better translations (or in some cases simply pointed out the parts that were simply not transalatable--our God is 1 and 3 which is true but will never be translatable into the language of traditional mathematics). Not because homoousious is more true or clearer than the Scriptural 'I and the Father are one', but because it's a more accurate translation into learned Greek than the various distortions Arius provided.

This again is the apophatic nature of dogma--the reality of the Trinity, a reality experientially and noetically known to the Church, transcends anything that can be captured in the limited medium of human knowledge. St. John correctly expresses it, Nicea and Constantinople I correctly expressed it, the English translation of the Creed correctly expresses it, but none of them are the only possible way to express it. On the other hand, any way which supposedly expresses this truth which contradicts or changes the meaning expressed in any of these codified ways, can be positively identified as false. Which was the function of the Ecumenical Councils and the creeds and definitions adopted there--not change or improve or clarify the meaning of the correct doctrine the Fathers who came to the council already knew, but to express the doctrine in a way that categorically denied false ways of expressing that meaning. And by the same token, if I cannot 'translate' my idiom back into the actual language used by the Apostles, then that is prima facie evidence I have departed from the Apostolic doctrine.
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Ariel Starling - New album

For it were better to suffer everything, rather than divide the Church of God. Even martyrdom for the sake of preventing division would not be less glorious than for refusing to worship idols. - St. Dionysius the Great
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