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Author Topic: The Pre-Incarnate Christ - Heresy?  (Read 4469 times) Average Rating: 0
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Irish Hermit
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« on: June 20, 2009, 02:46:09 AM »

So you don't buy into the recognition that whatever liturgical practices the Orthodox Church has inherited from the Jews were revealed directly by the pre-incarnate Christ to Moses on Mount Sinai, revealed as being the pattern of worship in the heavenly realm?

The pre-incarnate Christ ?!

This is a heresy expounded by people who refuse to acknowledge that Christ is a Jew.    By postulating the pre-incarnation of Christ they want to say that Christ came into existence prior to the creation of humankind and prior to the existence of the Jewish race.  As such he has neither racial nor genetic distinctives   Heresy, pure and simple, and in my humble opinion, a distortion of Christology which is serious enough to remove a person from membership in the Church.
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« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2009, 03:04:48 AM »

The pre-incarnate Christ ?!

This is a heresy expounded by people who refuse to acknowledge that Christ is a Jew.    By postulating the pre-incarnation of Christ they want to say that Christ came into existence prior to the creation of humankind and prior to the existence of the Jewish race.  As such he has neither racial nor genetic distinctives   Heresy, pure and simple, and in my humble opinion, a distortion of Christology which is serious enough to remove a person from membership in the Church.
Heresy?  According to your logic you need to first prove that I seek to deny that Christ made Himself incarnate as a Jew.  I have done no such thing, nor do I desire to advance any such ridiculous idea.  You also need to prove that I intended to embrace a teaching contradictory to the faith of the Church and didn't merely use wording that put forth my Orthodox ideas in a rather imprecise manner.  IOW, I think you jumped the gun to identify me with heretics you may know and imply that I should be excommunicated for what I just said. Wink

Now, addressing your idea that my use of the word "pre-incarnate" implies that Christ came into existence prior to Creation, is it not true that He indeed did, or more correctly that He existed in eternity before the beginning.  I might have more correctly stated that the pre-incarnate Word of God is He who revealed the pattern of Tabernacle worship to Moses, but is not the Christ this Word of God?  Is it not correct to identify Christ and the Word of God as one and the same hypostasis so that we can now use the two titles interchangeably?  Thus, if Christ is the Word of God, then I can truly speak of the pre-incarnate Word of God who revealed the Law to Moses as the pre-incarnate Christ to indicate that the revelation of the Law was truly the work of Jesus Christ before He made Himself incarnate of the Virgin.

However, if others beside Irish Hermit find my use of "pre-incarnate Christ" as confusing, then I will use better terminology to express what I really mean.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2009, 03:11:09 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2009, 03:11:49 AM »

The pre-incarnate Christ ?!

This is a heresy expounded by people who refuse to acknowledge that Christ is a Jew.    By postulating the pre-incarnation of Christ they want to say that Christ came into existence prior to the creation of humankind and prior to the existence of the Jewish race.  As such he has neither racial nor genetic distinctives   Heresy, pure and simple, and in my humble opinion, a distortion of Christology which is serious enough to remove a person from membership in the Church.
Heresy?  According to your logic you need to first prove that I seek to deny that Christ made Himself incarnate as a Jew.  I have done no such thing, nor do I desire to advance any such ridiculous idea.

Now, addressing your idea that my use of the word "pre-incarnate" implies that Christ came into existence prior to Creation, is it not true that He indeed did, or more correctly that He existed in eternity before the beginning.  I might have more correctly stated that the pre-incarnate Word of God is He who revealed the pattern of Tabernacle worship to Moses, but is not the Christ this Word of God?  Is it not correct to identify Christ and the Word of God as one and the same hypostasis so that we can now use the two titles interchangeably?  Thus, if Christ is the Word of God, then I can truly speak of the pre-incarnate Word of God who revealed the Law to Moses as the pre-incarnate Christ to indicate that the revelation of the Law was truly the work of Jesus Christ before He made Himself incarnate of the Virgin.

However, if others beside Irish Hermit find my use of "pre-incarnate Christ" as confusing, then I will use better terminology to express what I really mean.

The problem with the "pre-incarnate Christ"...

When did the God-man Jesus Christ come into existence?  In other words, when did the Hypostatic Union take place?

Was it

1.  At the time of the conception in the womb of the All-Holy?  Or did a pre-existing Jesus Christ simply take up residence in her womb?

2. When the Second Person of the Trinity was eternally generated by the Father?  Does the eternal generation of the Son also "produce" Jesus Christ?

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« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2009, 03:33:09 AM »

The pre-incarnate Christ ?!

This is a heresy expounded by people who refuse to acknowledge that Christ is a Jew.    By postulating the pre-incarnation of Christ they want to say that Christ came into existence prior to the creation of humankind and prior to the existence of the Jewish race.  As such he has neither racial nor genetic distinctives   Heresy, pure and simple, and in my humble opinion, a distortion of Christology which is serious enough to remove a person from membership in the Church.
Heresy?  According to your logic you need to first prove that I seek to deny that Christ made Himself incarnate as a Jew.  I have done no such thing, nor do I desire to advance any such ridiculous idea.

Now, addressing your idea that my use of the word "pre-incarnate" implies that Christ came into existence prior to Creation, is it not true that He indeed did, or more correctly that He existed in eternity before the beginning.  I might have more correctly stated that the pre-incarnate Word of God is He who revealed the pattern of Tabernacle worship to Moses, but is not the Christ this Word of God?  Is it not correct to identify Christ and the Word of God as one and the same hypostasis so that we can now use the two titles interchangeably?  Thus, if Christ is the Word of God, then I can truly speak of the pre-incarnate Word of God who revealed the Law to Moses as the pre-incarnate Christ to indicate that the revelation of the Law was truly the work of Jesus Christ before He made Himself incarnate of the Virgin.

However, if others beside Irish Hermit find my use of "pre-incarnate Christ" as confusing, then I will use better terminology to express what I really mean.

The problem with the "pre-incarnate Christ"...

When did the God-man Jesus Christ come into existence?  In other words, when did the Hypostatic Union take place?

Was it

1.  At the time of the conception in the womb of the All-Holy?  Or did a pre-existing Jesus Christ simply take up residence in her womb?

2. When the Second Person of the Trinity was eternally generated by the Father?  Does the eternal generation of the Son also "produce" Jesus Christ?
Did not St. Paul identify the pre-incarnate Word as Christ in the following passage from 1 Corinthians?

I want you to know, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same supernatural food and all drank the same supernatural drink. For they drank from the supernatural Rock which followed them, and the Rock was Christ.  (1 Corinthians 10:1-4)

You identify the name and title "Jesus Christ" solely with the historic God-man who made Himself incarnate of the Virgin.  I identify Jesus Christ with the pre-incarnate Word who was God at the very beginning and with He who said, "before Abraham was, I AM", as St. John the Theologian recorded in his Gospel.  I don't see that I'm trying to say that Jesus Christ existed as the incarnate God-man before He made Himself incarnate in the Virgin, for such would be an impossible contradiction.  In fact, this is why I was very careful to use the word "pre-incarnate" to speak of Christ as He existed before He became the God-man, when He was purely the Divine Word of God.
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« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2009, 03:58:45 AM »

Dear Peter,

Thank you for creating this thread but I have to wonder if I am adequate to discussing this with you.   You made it stunningly clear that you see my ability to use logic as badly flawed and so there is not much I can write to which you would give serious consideration.

Maybe there are others on the Forum with better logic skills who could discuss it?

Concedo.
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« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2009, 07:56:02 AM »

I see the Forum has a previous thtread

The Incarnate Christ in the Old Testament

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,17697.msg257459/topicseen.html#msg257459
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« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2009, 08:27:37 AM »

I see the Forum has a previous thtread

The Incarnate Christ in the Old Testament

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,17697.msg257459/topicseen.html#msg257459

The Way Back Machine on full throttle.

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« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2009, 08:39:43 AM »

The pre-incarnate Christ ?!

This is a heresy expounded by people who refuse to acknowledge that Christ is a Jew.    By postulating the pre-incarnation of Christ they want to say that Christ came into existence prior to the creation of humankind and prior to the existence of the Jewish race.  As such he has neither racial nor genetic distinctives   Heresy, pure and simple, and in my humble opinion, a distortion of Christology which is serious enough to remove a person from membership in the Church.
Heresy?  According to your logic you need to first prove that I seek to deny that Christ made Himself incarnate as a Jew.  I have done no such thing, nor do I desire to advance any such ridiculous idea.

Now, addressing your idea that my use of the word "pre-incarnate" implies that Christ came into existence prior to Creation, is it not true that He indeed did, or more correctly that He existed in eternity before the beginning.  I might have more correctly stated that the pre-incarnate Word of God is He who revealed the pattern of Tabernacle worship to Moses, but is not the Christ this Word of God?  Is it not correct to identify Christ and the Word of God as one and the same hypostasis so that we can now use the two titles interchangeably?  Thus, if Christ is the Word of God, then I can truly speak of the pre-incarnate Word of God who revealed the Law to Moses as the pre-incarnate Christ to indicate that the revelation of the Law was truly the work of Jesus Christ before He made Himself incarnate of the Virgin.

However, if others beside Irish Hermit find my use of "pre-incarnate Christ" as confusing, then I will use better terminology to express what I really mean.

It is rather Eutychian.  If it were proper, then at the Burning Bush He would have said "My name is Jesus Christ."  The whole point of Christ saying "Before Abraham was, I AM," etc. is to identify Himself with "He Who has No Name," (to use a DeMillism).

You mean to say "the pre-Incarnate Logos/Word," I believe, because He remaine Logos while becoming Jesus Christ.

The problem with the "pre-incarnate Christ"...

When did the God-man Jesus Christ come into existence?  In other words, when did the Hypostatic Union take place?

Was it

1.  At the time of the conception in the womb of the All-Holy?  Or did a pre-existing Jesus Christ simply take up residence in her womb?

2. When the Second Person of the Trinity was eternally generated by the Father?  Does the eternal generation of the Son also "produce" Jesus Christ?
Did not St. Paul identify the pre-incarnate Word as Christ in the following passage from 1 Corinthians?

I want you to know, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same supernatural food and all drank the same supernatural drink. For they drank from the supernatural Rock which followed them, and the Rock was Christ.  (1 Corinthians 10:1-4)

You identify the name and title "Jesus Christ" solely with the historic God-man who made Himself incarnate of the Virgin.  I identify Jesus Christ with the pre-incarnate Word who was God at the very beginning and with He who said, "before Abraham was, I AM", as St. John the Theologian recorded in his Gospel.  I don't see that I'm trying to say that Jesus Christ existed as the incarnate God-man before He made Himself incarnate in the Virgin, for such would be an impossible contradiction.  In fact, this is why I was very careful to use the word "pre-incarnate" to speak of Christ as He existed before He became the God-man, when He was purely the Divine Word of God.
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« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2009, 09:26:27 AM »

St. John of Damascus wrote in his "Accurate Exposition of the Orthodox Faith" that we should only call "Christ" the complex hypostasis of the Logos after his incarnation. (I don't have an English translation at hand, only Russian, so I am not quoting, but you guys certainly know where to find the English quote.)
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« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2009, 09:38:10 AM »

St. John of Damascus wrote in his "Accurate Exposition of the Orthodox Faith" that we should only call "Christ" the complex hypostasis of the Logos after his incarnation. (I don't have an English translation at hand, only Russian, so I am not quoting, but you guys certainly know where to find the English quote.)

We can talk about the pre-incarnate Logos, which is probably what was meant, but we shouldn't talk about Jesus Christ before the Incarnation when the Logos took flesh, right?
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« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2009, 09:50:43 AM »

St. John of Damascus wrote in his "Accurate Exposition of the Orthodox Faith" that we should only call "Christ" the complex hypostasis of the Logos after his incarnation. (I don't have an English translation at hand, only Russian, so I am not quoting, but you guys certainly know where to find the English quote.)

We can talk about the pre-incarnate Logos, which is probably what was meant, but we shouldn't talk about Jesus Christ before the Incarnation when the Logos took flesh, right?

Yes, that's how I understood Damascene's thought.
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« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2009, 10:47:46 AM »

The mormons use this heresy. Their Jesus ,who isn't our Christ, was the firstborn "spirit baby" of heavenly father and heavenly mother...none of this is new...the same heresies over and over and ,even more sad,the same antisemitism over and over.
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« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2009, 12:27:53 PM »

St. John of Damascus wrote in his "Accurate Exposition of the Orthodox Faith" that we should only call "Christ" the complex hypostasis of the Logos after his incarnation. (I don't have an English translation at hand, only Russian, so I am not quoting, but you guys certainly know where to find the English quote.)

We can talk about the pre-incarnate Logos, which is probably what was meant, but we shouldn't talk about Jesus Christ before the Incarnation when the Logos took flesh, right?

Yes, that's how I understood Damascene's thought.

But if someone says the pre-incarnate Christ, meaning the pre-incarnate Logos, but speaking imprecisely, isn't it rather harsh to call it heresy? Don't we have to look at what they mean rather than lumping someone in with a heretical group that uses the terminology in a different sense? Isn't it clear that the meaning here was correct? Isn't that why we can have books with titles like "The Face of Christ in the Old Testament", because we don't normally speak in completely precise terms when the meaning is clear?
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« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2009, 01:00:01 PM »

The mormons use this heresy. Their Jesus ,who isn't our Christ, was the firstborn "spirit baby" of heavenly father and heavenly mother...none of this is new...the same heresies over and over and ,even more sad,the same antisemitism over and over.
But defending against what was applied specifically to me, as Irish Hermit originally intended, I'm not Mormon, nor am I anti-Semitic.
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« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2009, 01:56:29 PM »

St. John of Damascus wrote in his "Accurate Exposition of the Orthodox Faith" that we should only call "Christ" the complex hypostasis of the Logos after his incarnation. (I don't have an English translation at hand, only Russian, so I am not quoting, but you guys certainly know where to find the English quote.)

We can talk about the pre-incarnate Logos, which is probably what was meant, but we shouldn't talk about Jesus Christ before the Incarnation when the Logos took flesh, right?

Yes, that's how I understood Damascene's thought.

But if someone says the pre-incarnate Christ, meaning the pre-incarnate Logos, but speaking imprecisely, isn't it rather harsh to call it heresy? Don't we have to look at what they mean rather than lumping someone in with a heretical group that uses the terminology in a different sense? Isn't it clear that the meaning here was correct? Isn't that why we can have books with titles like "The Face of Christ in the Old Testament", because we don't normally speak in completely precise terms when the meaning is clear?

I agree 100%. One should not use terms like "heresy" when one actually means something imprecisely expressed (often "imprecisely" only in the critic's opinion).
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« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2009, 05:07:33 PM »

The mormons use this heresy. Their Jesus ,who isn't our Christ, was the firstborn "spirit baby" of heavenly father and heavenly mother...none of this is new...the same heresies over and over and ,even more sad,the same antisemitism over and over.
But defending against what was applied specifically to me, as Irish Hermit originally intended, I'm not Mormon, nor am I anti-Semitic.

My contention actually was NOT against you and nor did I think you are a Mormon or an anti-semite.  I was responding to your statement wherein, or so it seemed to me, you were giving voice to a position held by either PO9 or sdcheung about the pre-incarnate Christ.

As mentioned I lack the logical skills to discuss this with you but as with some other threads on this Forum (e.g., the "Apostasy of ROCOR" thread) the lack of definition of the basic terms under discussion renders the discussion a minefield of miscommunication.  Would somebody please give the definition of the Church understanding of who and what the pre-incarnate Christ is.
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« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2009, 05:38:49 PM »

I don't know why Irish hermit is on the radar to be picked on or treated with disrespect but I am the one who mentioned the Mormons. Maybe someone needs to moderate the moderators.
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« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2009, 06:07:08 PM »


I agree 100%. One should not use terms like "heresy" when one actually means something imprecisely expressed (often "imprecisely" only in the critic's opinion).

I stand by the use of the term heresy as it applies to the definition I gave in the OP... 


The pre-incarnate Christ ?!

This is a heresy expounded by people who refuse to acknowledge that Christ is a Jew.    By postulating the pre-incarnation of Christ they want to say that Christ came into existence prior to the creation of humankind and prior to the existence of the Jewish race.  As such he has neither racial nor genetic distinctives   Heresy, pure and simple, and in my humble opinion, a distortion of Christology which is serious enough to remove a person from membership in the Church.
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« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2009, 07:11:52 PM »

I don't know why Irish hermit is on the radar to be picked on or treated with disrespect but I am the one who mentioned the Mormons. Maybe someone needs to moderate the moderators.

Thanks for the kind words but... "Don't worry about it; a monk is like a dog. If you give him a kick, that does him good, and if you don't give him a kick, but give him a piece of bread instead, that does him good as well."

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« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2009, 07:29:42 PM »

I am an Orthodox Christian. I must speak out against abuse or I become like the abuser.
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« Reply #20 on: June 20, 2009, 10:33:23 PM »

I don't know why Irish hermit is on the radar to be picked on or treated with disrespect but I am the one who mentioned the Mormons.
So someone can in a roundabout way accuse me of heresy and I'm not allowed to defend myself?

Maybe someone needs to moderate the moderators.
If I may comment on this:  Please be aware that every moderator was first a mere poster on this forum.  This freedom to post on threads as nothing more than fellow posters was not taken from us when we were appointed moderators.  Therefore, I am invited to continue exercising my freedom to comment on this thread as a poster and not as a moderator.  When I post in green text like this, then I'm speaking as a moderator and wish to be recognized as bearing the authority of a moderator; otherwise, when I post in the default black text of most of this post, then I'm merely offering my comments as a poster and don't want to be seen as asserting any moderatorial authority.
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« Reply #21 on: June 21, 2009, 01:40:26 AM »

I don't know why Irish hermit is on the radar to be picked on or treated with disrespect but I am the one who mentioned the Mormons.
So someone can in a roundabout way accuse me of heresy and I'm not allowed to defend myself?


Good grief,  I certainly have not accused you of heresy either directly or in a roundabout way.

I was responding to something which you wrote (I'll append it below) which you obviously expected me to answer and which seemed to me to be your rendering of something from Pravoslav09 or sdcheung.

And I am sure that SDMPNS was not accusing you of heresy when he mentioned the Mormons.

Here is your message to which I responded (it is in the OP above):

Quote from: PeterTheAleut on 19 June 2009, 17:39:51
Quote
So you don't buy into the recognition that whatever liturgical practices the Orthodox Church has inherited from the Jews were revealed directly by the pre-incarnate Christ to Moses on Mount Sinai, revealed as being the pattern of worship in the heavenly realm?

I amswered your question by replying negatively.  No, I do not recognise it as such.

I fully understand that you would be quite upset if SDMPNS and I accused you of heresy.  Neither of us did.  No Orthodox priest would accuse another Orthodox Christian of heresy under any circumstances except where he was 100% convinced that he was correct in that assessment.   I would expect the person accused to take the matter to his bishop who would take it to mine and I would expect quite a severe sentence for a false accusation of heresy against a member of the Church.



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« Reply #22 on: June 21, 2009, 07:46:43 AM »

Did not St. Paul identify the pre-incarnate Word as Christ in the following passage from 1 Corinthians?

I want you to know, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same supernatural food and all drank the same supernatural drink. For they drank from the supernatural Rock which followed them, and the Rock was Christ.  (1 Corinthians 10:1-4)

You identify the name and title "Jesus Christ" solely with the historic God-man who made Himself incarnate of the Virgin.  I identify Jesus Christ with the pre-incarnate Word who was God at the very beginning and with He who said, "before Abraham was, I AM", as St. John the Theologian recorded in his Gospel.  I don't see that I'm trying to say that Jesus Christ existed as the incarnate God-man before He made Himself incarnate in the Virgin, for such would be an impossible contradiction.  In fact, this is why I was very careful to use the word "pre-incarnate" to speak of Christ as He existed before He became the God-man, when He was purely the Divine Word of God.

My position: if you have to define what you mean by a phrase in theological debate in order to make it sound non-heretical, it's probably best to use the definition instead of the phrase.  Case in point: Pre-Incarnate Christ.

ISTM that St. Paul in the above point is saying "and the Rock was who Christ IS - the Pre-Incarnate Logos."  However, we can't say that for certain since St. Paul never had to deal with those who denied that Jesus was a Jew or who had a different outlook on the Incarnation.

However, I do think it's telling that when, in what I've seen, the Fathers want to talk about the appearances of and references to the Son in the OT they use the phrase "Pre-Incarnate Logos."  I would probably stick to that as the safe alternative - I'm not debating whether you're using the phrase in an Orthodox manner, or with an Orthodox outlook, but the Church does have a tendency to treat as radioactive any phrase that, while it can be used in an Orthodox manner, it frequently is used in a heretical manner.  (I suppose in that way it's like avoiding someone infected with Ebola - there is always the chance you won't die if you stick around, but why take the risk?)
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« Reply #23 on: June 21, 2009, 07:50:00 AM »

I fully understand that you would be quite upset if SDMPNS and I accused you of heresy.  Neither of us did.  No Orthodox priest would accuse another Orthodox Christian of heresy under any circumstances except where he was 100% convinced that he was correct in that assessment.   I would expect the person accused to take the matter to his bishop who would take it to mine and I would expect quite a severe sentence for a false accusation of heresy against a member of the Church.

Father, forgive a tangent... May I ask, what about lay people? If one lay Orthodox publicly accuses another lay Orthodox in heresy, many, many times, without any substantiation (and the accused has a proof that there is no substance in the accusations - e.g., a priest was present during the conversations and confirmed that the accused person is accused wrongfully) - should any measures be taken against the false accuser? Are there any canons about that?

I never was in a situation like this, but I was (and, I'm afraid, still am) in a somewhat similar situation: the public (and false) accuser was/is a Ukrainian Eastern Rite Catholic (at least technically). I have suffered from his false accusations for years, and it may still be not over, and I don't know what to do.
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« Reply #24 on: June 21, 2009, 08:05:18 AM »

I fully understand that you would be quite upset if SDMPNS and I accused you of heresy.  Neither of us did.  No Orthodox priest would accuse another Orthodox Christian of heresy under any circumstances except where he was 100% convinced that he was correct in that assessment.   I would expect the person accused to take the matter to his bishop who would take it to mine and I would expect quite a severe sentence for a false accusation of heresy against a member of the Church.

Father, forgive a tangent... May I ask, what about lay people? If one lay Orthodox publicly accuses another lay Orthodox in heresy, many, many times, without any substantiation (and the accused has a proof that there is no substance in the accusations - e.g., a priest was present during the conversations and confirmed that the accused person is accused wrongfully) - should any measures be taken against the false accuser? Are there any canons about that?

I never was in a situation like this, but I was (and, I'm afraid, still am) in a somewhat similar situation: the public (and false) accuser was/is a Ukrainian Eastern Rite Catholic (at least technically). I have suffered from his false accusations for years, and it may still be not over, and I don't know what to do.

Dear Heorhij,

I feel very sorry that you are in this situation.   I cannot offer advice since I have always seen the Internet as inadequate to deal with personal situations.   It seems to be a point which still troubles you very much.  Take it to your parish priest for his advice how to handle it and I am sure he will bring some comfort to your soul.  If your priest is overworked and has little free time, then look around your parish and see it there is a mature person in whom you can confide.  I'll write your name into my book of names for evening prayers.
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« Reply #25 on: June 21, 2009, 09:53:03 AM »

^^Thank you so much, Father.

Yes, my parish priest knows. I was not, actually, asking how I should deal with this situation psychologically. I was, rather, interested in the merely canonical, "disciplinary" side of it: are there any disciplinary measures that the Church would use towards someone who is systematically writing false accusations in heresy on public fora.
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« Reply #26 on: June 21, 2009, 09:59:54 AM »

^^Thank you so much, Father.

Yes, my parish priest knows. I was not, actually, asking how I should deal with this situation psychologically. I was, rather, interested in the merely canonical, "disciplinary" side of it: are there any disciplinary measures that the Church would use towards someone who is systematically writing false accusations in heresy on public fora.

I don't know if there are pre legislated measures to shut down such false accusations.  I would think it would be handled on an individual basis by the priest or the bishop.  I am a member of a traditionalist e-group and it would turn your hair white if you read the heresies of which my own Church (Russian Church Abroad) is accused on a daily basis by members of the newly created ecclesial groups.
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« Reply #27 on: June 21, 2009, 10:20:26 AM »

Did not St. Paul identify the pre-incarnate Word as Christ in the following passage from 1 Corinthians?

I want you to know, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same supernatural food and all drank the same supernatural drink. For they drank from the supernatural Rock which followed them, and the Rock was Christ.  (1 Corinthians 10:1-4)

You identify the name and title "Jesus Christ" solely with the historic God-man who made Himself incarnate of the Virgin.  I identify Jesus Christ with the pre-incarnate Word who was God at the very beginning and with He who said, "before Abraham was, I AM", as St. John the Theologian recorded in his Gospel.  I don't see that I'm trying to say that Jesus Christ existed as the incarnate God-man before He made Himself incarnate in the Virgin, for such would be an impossible contradiction.  In fact, this is why I was very careful to use the word "pre-incarnate" to speak of Christ as He existed before He became the God-man, when He was purely the Divine Word of God.

My position: if you have to define what you mean by a phrase in theological debate in order to make it sound non-heretical, it's probably best to use the definition instead of the phrase.  Case in point: Pre-Incarnate Christ.

ISTM that St. Paul in the above point is saying "and the Rock was who Christ IS - the Pre-Incarnate Logos."  However, we can't say that for certain since St. Paul never had to deal with those who denied that Jesus was a Jew or who had a different outlook on the Incarnation.

However, I do think it's telling that when, in what I've seen, the Fathers want to talk about the appearances of and references to the Son in the OT they use the phrase "Pre-Incarnate Logos."  I would probably stick to that as the safe alternative - I'm not debating whether you're using the phrase in an Orthodox manner, or with an Orthodox outlook, but the Church does have a tendency to treat as radioactive any phrase that, while it can be used in an Orthodox manner, it frequently is used in a heretical manner.  (I suppose in that way it's like avoiding someone infected with Ebola - there is always the chance you won't die if you stick around, but why take the risk?)
LOL. I like the analogy.
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« Reply #28 on: June 22, 2009, 12:02:48 AM »

Christ is identical in person to the Word. I really don't see your issue here.
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« Reply #29 on: June 22, 2009, 12:52:25 AM »

IMHO, it would seem that things have been blown out of proportion.

I personally thought it was quite clear what Peter meant by 'pre-Incarnate Christ' and cannot understand why he had to qualify himself so extensively.

It's quite a common phrase in contemporary theological works. Even prominent EO theologians like Bishop Kallistos Ware have no qualms about using it. What is meant by it is just an assumed given in the context of today's theological world, and reasonableess would demand that one should not suggest any other interpretation of it--particularly an interpretation that insinuates (intentionally or not) heresy on behalf on the one so using it---unless there are very clear contextual factors surrounding its use that would strongly suggest such interpretation.

Just my opinion...



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« Reply #30 on: June 22, 2009, 01:00:20 AM »

IMHO, it would seem that things have been blown out of proportion.

I personally thought it was quite clear what Peter meant by 'pre-Incarnate Christ' and cannot understand why he had to qualify himself so extensively.

It's quite a common phrase in contemporary theological works. Even prominent EO theologians like Bishop Kallistos Ware have no qualms about using it. What is meant by it is just an assumed given in the context of today's theological world, and reasonableess would demand that one should not suggest any other interpretation of it--particularly an interpretation that insinuates (intentionally or not) heresy on behalf on the one so using it---unless there are very clear contextual factors surrounding its use that would strongly suggest such interpretation.

Just my opinion...

As was noted in Message #15, unless some definition is given of "the pre-Incarnate Christ" this discussion is a minefield of miscommunication.

So, would somebody please offer the church-patristic understanding and put this discussion on a firm footing.

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« Reply #31 on: June 22, 2009, 01:02:59 AM »

.....reasonableess would demand that one should not suggest any other interpretation of it--particularly an interpretation that insinuates (intentionally or not) heresy on behalf on the one so using it---unless there are very clear contextual factors surrounding its use that would strongly suggest such interpretation.

Indeed there are.  Please refer to the OP.  The interpretation is heretical.
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« Reply #32 on: June 22, 2009, 01:28:24 AM »

IMHO, it would seem that things have been blown out of proportion.

I personally thought it was quite clear what Peter meant by 'pre-Incarnate Christ' and cannot understand why he had to qualify himself so extensively.


I suppose that in a non-Chalcedonian context the key question is:  Is the pre-incarnate Christ a different Hypostasis to the incarnate Christ?
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« Reply #33 on: June 22, 2009, 01:39:45 AM »

OK folks, here are a few posts from the "Incarnate Christ in the OT" thread to make your deliberations easier:

Quote
It is the pre-incarnate Word of God who speaks in the OT. Christ, the Word of God, and second person of the Holy Trinity became incarnate (i.e. took on human flesh and appearance) at the Annunciation. Any manifestation of God the Son and Word was a prefiguration, a "type and shadow" of the incarnate, fully revealed, visible God-Man who was to come.

Quote
If Christ is eternally incarnate, as in having been incarnate (having a material, human body and nature, as well as being fully God) "in the beginning", then where does the Annunciation fit in? Did the Word of God become flesh twice? Or more than twice? And whose flesh did He take on before the events of the Annunciation? Or was this "old" flesh discarded when He became incarnate by the Virgin? This is a mighty theological pickle you're getting yourself into, my friend. You may be confusing the prefigurative OT appearances of God the Word (the three strangers at the Oak of Mamre, the angel of God who wrestled with Jacob, etc etc) with the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us, which is an entirely different proposition to the types and shadows of the OT.
Quote
How can God, who is Other, infinite, incomprehensible, unknowable in His fullness to our own feeble and puny little human minds, be described or talked about, other than in the limited, human languages we have? Anthropomorphic terms are woefully inadequate, but that's the best we've got. This is but one of many liturgical passages illustrating this human inadequacy:

Ikos 9 from the Akathist to the Mother of God:

We behold the most eloquent orators mute as fish before you, O Theotokos; for they are at a loss to explain how you could remain a virgin and yet give birth. But as for us, marvelling at this mystery, we cry with faith: Alleluia.

God the Son and Word, Himself infinite and unknowable "in the beginning", fully revealed Himself to us when He became incarnate at a fixed point in history, and "dwelled among us". He even gave three of His disciples a brief glimpse of His divine glory at His Transfiguration.

The Word is indeed begotten of the Father before all ages, but this in no way means that he took flesh before the ages. Show us a troparion, kontakion, stikheron, apostikhon, Theotokion or any liturgical material from any menaion, triodion, okhtoik or other Orthodox liturgical reference which states or teaches this. Why do I raise the matter of liturgical texts? Because they represent the consensus patrum, the distillation of scripture and patristic writings and Traditions which the Church teaches in all places and at all times. Different Fathers may hold a variety of views on any given matter, as they are not themselves infallible.

Allow me to ask you this, Acolyte: Did the Archangel Gabriel become incarnate when he visited Zachariah in the temple? Or when he visited the Mother of God at the Annunciation?

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« Reply #34 on: June 22, 2009, 03:20:40 AM »

.....reasonableess would demand that one should not suggest any other interpretation of it--particularly an interpretation that insinuates (intentionally or not) heresy on behalf on the one so using it---unless there are very clear contextual factors surrounding its use that would strongly suggest such interpretation.

Indeed there are.  Please refer to the OP.  The interpretation is heretical.
I think EA means the interpretation I attached to my use of the phrase "pre-incarnate Christ" and the context within which I used the phrase, both of which I already explained.  He doesn't appear to be talking about the interpretation you attach to the phrase and project onto the one using it.
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« Reply #35 on: June 22, 2009, 03:25:56 AM »

OK folks, here are a few posts from the "Incarnate Christ in the OT" thread to make your deliberations easier:

Quote
It is the pre-incarnate Word of God who speaks in the OT. Christ, the Word of God, and second person of the Holy Trinity became incarnate (i.e. took on human flesh and appearance) at the Annunciation. Any manifestation of God the Son and Word was a prefiguration, a "type and shadow" of the incarnate, fully revealed, visible God-Man who was to come.

Quote
If Christ is eternally incarnate, as in having been incarnate (having a material, human body and nature, as well as being fully God) "in the beginning", then where does the Annunciation fit in? Did the Word of God become flesh twice? Or more than twice? And whose flesh did He take on before the events of the Annunciation? Or was this "old" flesh discarded when He became incarnate by the Virgin? This is a mighty theological pickle you're getting yourself into, my friend. You may be confusing the prefigurative OT appearances of God the Word (the three strangers at the Oak of Mamre, the angel of God who wrestled with Jacob, etc etc) with the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us, which is an entirely different proposition to the types and shadows of the OT.
Quote
How can God, who is Other, infinite, incomprehensible, unknowable in His fullness to our own feeble and puny little human minds, be described or talked about, other than in the limited, human languages we have? Anthropomorphic terms are woefully inadequate, but that's the best we've got. This is but one of many liturgical passages illustrating this human inadequacy:

Ikos 9 from the Akathist to the Mother of God:

We behold the most eloquent orators mute as fish before you, O Theotokos; for they are at a loss to explain how you could remain a virgin and yet give birth. But as for us, marvelling at this mystery, we cry with faith: Alleluia.

God the Son and Word, Himself infinite and unknowable "in the beginning", fully revealed Himself to us when He became incarnate at a fixed point in history, and "dwelled among us". He even gave three of His disciples a brief glimpse of His divine glory at His Transfiguration.

The Word is indeed begotten of the Father before all ages, but this in no way means that he took flesh before the ages. Show us a troparion, kontakion, stikheron, apostikhon, Theotokion or any liturgical material from any menaion, triodion, okhtoik or other Orthodox liturgical reference which states or teaches this. Why do I raise the matter of liturgical texts? Because they represent the consensus patrum, the distillation of scripture and patristic writings and Traditions which the Church teaches in all places and at all times. Different Fathers may hold a variety of views on any given matter, as they are not themselves infallible.

Allow me to ask you this, Acolyte: Did the Archangel Gabriel become incarnate when he visited Zachariah in the temple? Or when he visited the Mother of God at the Annunciation?


Can you quote someone other than yourself?
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« Reply #36 on: June 22, 2009, 03:35:42 AM »

I think EA means the interpretation I attached to my use of the phrase "pre-incarnate Christ" and the context within which I used the phrase, both of which I already explained.  He doesn't appear to be talking about the interpretation you attach to the phrase and project onto the one using it.

Your interpretation is that Jesus Christ existed before he was incarnate from the Virgin Mary.

Message #2
Quote
the work of Jesus Christ before He made Himself incarnate of the Virgin.

So I would ask again the questions I asked of you in Message #3:

When did this un-incarnated Jesus Christ come into existence and how?


What was His nature, His Hypostasis?    Did He have a human will?  Did He have a human nature?   Was he divine-human, or to put it accurately, was His Hypostasis theandric?

And, coming back to the question I just asked of Ekhristosanesti:   Is the Hypostasis of the pre-incarnate Christ the same as the incarnate Christ ?
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« Reply #37 on: June 22, 2009, 03:38:50 AM »

OK folks, here are a few posts from the "Incarnate Christ in the OT" thread to make your deliberations easier:

Quote
It is the pre-incarnate Word of God who speaks in the OT. Christ, the Word of God, and second person of the Holy Trinity became incarnate (i.e. took on human flesh and appearance) at the Annunciation. Any manifestation of God the Son and Word was a prefiguration, a "type and shadow" of the incarnate, fully revealed, visible God-Man who was to come.

Quote
If Christ is eternally incarnate, as in having been incarnate (having a material, human body and nature, as well as being fully God) "in the beginning", then where does the Annunciation fit in? Did the Word of God become flesh twice? Or more than twice? And whose flesh did He take on before the events of the Annunciation? Or was this "old" flesh discarded when He became incarnate by the Virgin? This is a mighty theological pickle you're getting yourself into, my friend. You may be confusing the prefigurative OT appearances of God the Word (the three strangers at the Oak of Mamre, the angel of God who wrestled with Jacob, etc etc) with the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us, which is an entirely different proposition to the types and shadows of the OT.
Quote
How can God, who is Other, infinite, incomprehensible, unknowable in His fullness to our own feeble and puny little human minds, be described or talked about, other than in the limited, human languages we have? Anthropomorphic terms are woefully inadequate, but that's the best we've got. This is but one of many liturgical passages illustrating this human inadequacy:

Ikos 9 from the Akathist to the Mother of God:

We behold the most eloquent orators mute as fish before you, O Theotokos; for they are at a loss to explain how you could remain a virgin and yet give birth. But as for us, marvelling at this mystery, we cry with faith: Alleluia.

God the Son and Word, Himself infinite and unknowable "in the beginning", fully revealed Himself to us when He became incarnate at a fixed point in history, and "dwelled among us". He even gave three of His disciples a brief glimpse of His divine glory at His Transfiguration.

The Word is indeed begotten of the Father before all ages, but this in no way means that he took flesh before the ages. Show us a troparion, kontakion, stikheron, apostikhon, Theotokion or any liturgical material from any menaion, triodion, okhtoik or other Orthodox liturgical reference which states or teaches this. Why do I raise the matter of liturgical texts? Because they represent the consensus patrum, the distillation of scripture and patristic writings and Traditions which the Church teaches in all places and at all times. Different Fathers may hold a variety of views on any given matter, as they are not themselves infallible.

Allow me to ask you this, Acolyte: Did the Archangel Gabriel become incarnate when he visited Zachariah in the temple? Or when he visited the Mother of God at the Annunciation?


Can you quote someone other than yourself?

I thought it was valuable to have this viewpoint brought into this thread for our consisderation.  LBK makes some good points.
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« Reply #38 on: June 22, 2009, 03:49:17 AM »

I think EA means the interpretation I attached to my use of the phrase "pre-incarnate Christ" and the context within which I used the phrase, both of which I already explained.  He doesn't appear to be talking about the interpretation you attach to the phrase and project onto the one using it.

Your interpretation is that Jesus Christ existed before he was incarnate from the Virgin Mary.

Message #2
Quote
the work of Jesus Christ before He made Himself incarnate of the Virgin.

So I would ask again the questions I asked of you in Message #3:

When did this un-incarnated Jesus Christ come into existence and how?


What was His nature, His Hypostasis?    Did He have a human will?  Did He have a human nature?   Was he divine-human, or to put it accurately, was His Hypostasis theandric?

And, coming back to the question I just asked of Ekhristosanesti:   Is the Hypostasis of the pre-incarnate Christ the same as the incarnate Christ ?

If you aren't accusing me of heresy, as you stated so clearly in the following quote, then why are you trying to run me through this inquisition? Huh

I don't know why Irish hermit is on the radar to be picked on or treated with disrespect but I am the one who mentioned the Mormons.
So someone can in a roundabout way accuse me of heresy and I'm not allowed to defend myself?


Good grief,  I certainly have not accused you of heresy either directly or in a roundabout way.

I was responding to something which you wrote (I'll append it below) which you obviously expected me to answer and which seemed to me to be your rendering of something from Pravoslav09 or sdcheung.

And I am sure that SDMPNS was not accusing you of heresy when he mentioned the Mormons.

Here is your message to which I responded (it is in the OP above):

Quote from: PeterTheAleut on 19 June 2009, 17:39:51
Quote
So you don't buy into the recognition that whatever liturgical practices the Orthodox Church has inherited from the Jews were revealed directly by the pre-incarnate Christ to Moses on Mount Sinai, revealed as being the pattern of worship in the heavenly realm?

I amswered your question by replying negatively.  No, I do not recognise it as such.

I fully understand that you would be quite upset if SDMPNS and I accused you of heresy.  Neither of us did.  No Orthodox priest would accuse another Orthodox Christian of heresy under any circumstances except where he was 100% convinced that he was correct in that assessment.   I would expect the person accused to take the matter to his bishop who would take it to mine and I would expect quite a severe sentence for a false accusation of heresy against a member of the Church.
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« Reply #39 on: June 22, 2009, 03:58:44 AM »

I think EA means the interpretation I attached to my use of the phrase "pre-incarnate Christ" and the context within which I used the phrase, both of which I already explained.  He doesn't appear to be talking about the interpretation you attach to the phrase and project onto the one using it.

Your interpretation is that Jesus Christ existed before he was incarnate from the Virgin Mary.

Message #2
Quote
the work of Jesus Christ before He made Himself incarnate of the Virgin.

So I would ask again the questions I asked of you in Message #3:

When did this un-incarnated Jesus Christ come into existence and how?


What was His nature, His Hypostasis?    Did He have a human will?  Did He have a human nature?   Was he divine-human, or to put it accurately, was His Hypostasis theandric?

And, coming back to the question I just asked of Ekhristosanesti:   Is the Hypostasis of the pre-incarnate Christ the same as the incarnate Christ ?

If you aren't accusing me of heresy, as you stated so clearly in the following quote, then why are you trying to run me through this inquisition? Huh

LOL!  Inquisition?   No Inquisition, my friend.

It was your own good self who created this thread and entitled it The Pre-Incarnate Christ - Heresy?

So I am trying to discover from you, and from others who want to contribute, your understanding of the pre-incarnate Christ.   But it is a bit like trying to draw teeth.  :-)  I just assumed that since you gave the thread this title you would be willing to offer a definition and explain it.  As I've mentioned before, without a definition or two this thread is simply going to be a morass of misunderstanding.
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« Reply #40 on: June 22, 2009, 04:15:11 AM »

I think EA means the interpretation I attached to my use of the phrase "pre-incarnate Christ" and the context within which I used the phrase, both of which I already explained.  He doesn't appear to be talking about the interpretation you attach to the phrase and project onto the one using it.

Your interpretation is that Jesus Christ existed before he was incarnate from the Virgin Mary.

Message #2
Quote
the work of Jesus Christ before He made Himself incarnate of the Virgin.

So I would ask again the questions I asked of you in Message #3:

When did this un-incarnated Jesus Christ come into existence and how?


What was His nature, His Hypostasis?    Did He have a human will?  Did He have a human nature?   Was he divine-human, or to put it accurately, was His Hypostasis theandric?

And, coming back to the question I just asked of Ekhristosanesti:   Is the Hypostasis of the pre-incarnate Christ the same as the incarnate Christ ?

If you aren't accusing me of heresy, as you stated so clearly in the following quote, then why are you trying to run me through this inquisition? Huh

LOL!  Inquisition?   No Inquisition, my friend.

It was your own good self who created this thread and entitled it The Pre-Incarnate Christ - Heresy?

So I am trying to discover from you, and from others who want to contribute, your understanding of the pre-incarnate Christ.   But it is a bit like trying to draw teeth.  :-)  I just assumed that since you gave the thread this title you would be willing to offer a definition and explain it.  As I've mentioned before, without a definition or two this thread is simply going to be a morass of misunderstanding.

I already gave you my definition.  Why do you ask for it again?

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,21923.msg333272.html#msg333272


If you want to know why I've taken such a defensive tone on this thread, let's go back to your post that I made the OP of this thread (since it was off topic where you originally posted it).  You didn't offer any mitigating words such as, "I trust that you don't mean this to sound heretical", or "I don't know that you fully understand what your choice of words is saying" or any such thing.  You simply said that the words I chose to use espoused a heretical Christology serious enough to warrant excommunication.  Without mitigating your words to assure me that you had no intention of accusing me personally, how else was I to understand them except as a roundabout allegation that I am a heretic?  Then later you finally come out and say you meant no accusation against me, only to come back later and ask the same questions I perceived as inquisitory the first time you asked them of me.

So I ask you again, are you or are you not accusing me of heresy? Huh
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« Reply #41 on: June 22, 2009, 04:31:21 AM »

Can you quote someone other than yourself?

My dear PtA, I drew from my own posts as I have the right and the authority to comment further on them. If I were to quote others, I may run the risk of misinterpreting their thoughts, or putting words in their mouth which should not be there. Have you found anything in these posts of mine which you feel are contrary to Orthodox doctrine or theology? If yes, please speak up.
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« Reply #42 on: June 22, 2009, 04:39:52 AM »


So I ask you again, are you or are you not accusing me of heresy? Huh

Your position as expressed thus far is unclear and I do not think that anybody can draw any conclusions.   

But I think you may be accusing me of heresy for not believing in the pre-incarnate Christ

Is there anybody at all here who believes in the concept and Person of the pre-incarnate Christ who is willing and able to present a definition to the list?    How can we answer Peter's question as to whether it is heresy without an understanding of what it comprises?
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« Reply #43 on: June 22, 2009, 04:45:27 AM »

I wonder if someone would please clarify if Bishop's Kallistos' use of the term "pre-incarnate Christ" below, would be considered heretical...

“Through the creation to the Creator”: in and through the tree he beholds, Moses enters into communion with the living God. Nor is this all. On the interpretation accepted by the Orthodox Church, the personal encounter is to be understood in more specific terms. Moses does not simply meet God, but he meets Christ. All the theophanies in the Old Testament are manifestations, not of God the Father — Whom “no one has ever seen” (John 1:18) — but of the pre-incarnate Christ, God the eternal Logos. Visitors to St. Mark’s in Venice will recall that in the mosaics depicting the story of Genesis 1, the face of God the Creator bears unmistakably the lineaments of Christ. In the same way, when Isaiah sees God enthroned in the temple, “high and lifted up” (Isaiah 6:1), and when Ezekiel sees in the midst of the wheels and of the four living creatures “something that seemed like a human form” (Ezekiel 1:26), it is Christ the Logos Whom they both behold.

http://incommunion.org/?p=252




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« Reply #44 on: June 22, 2009, 04:55:00 AM »

I wonder if someone would please clarify if Bishop's Kallistos' use of the term "pre-incarnate Christ" below, would be considered heretical...

“...the theophanies in the Old Testament are manifestations, not of God the Father — Whom “no one has ever seen” (John 1:18) — but of the pre-incarnate Christ, God the eternal Logos.
http://incommunion.org/?p=252


Is it the Church's Christology that God the Son, God the Logos, is the un-incarnate Jesus Christ?

This cannot be justifed except by postulating that at the generation of the Son and the causation of the Spirit before all time, Jesus Christ was also generated and in some fashion partook of the Hypostasis of the Son.

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