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Author Topic: Fr. Thomas Hopko  (Read 4361 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: June 17, 2010, 01:23:19 PM »

I recently read this talk by Fr. Thomas Hopko:  http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1698562/posts


Is he considered a theological liberal by many in the Eastern Orthodox Church or are his views becoming more common?
Also, I am planning on reading some of his books and I am wondering if they provide an accurate pictuer of Eastern Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2010, 01:53:09 PM »

I recently read this talk by Fr. Thomas Hopko:  http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1698562/posts


Is he considered a theological liberal by many in the Eastern Orthodox Church or are his views becoming more common?
Also, I am planning on reading some of his books and I am wondering if they provide an accurate pictuer of Eastern Orthodoxy.

You should also read other things he has written about the possibility of union, to wit:
Quote
First of all, the Orthodox would insist that the bishop of Rome hold the orthodox faith of the catholic church, and teach and defend true Christian doctrine. This means that the pope would have to do several specific things, chief among which, I would think, are the following:

1. He would have to confirm the original text of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Symbol of Faith and defend its use in all the churches, beginning with his own. At the very least (should some churches for pastoral reasons be permitted to keep the filioque in their creed), he would insist on an explanation that would clearly teach that the Holy Spirit "proceeds from the Son" only in relation to God's saving dispensation in the world. He would make certain that no Christian be tempted to believe that the Holy Spirit essentially proceeds from the Father and the Son together, and certainly not "from both as from one (ab utroque sicut ab uno.)

2. The pope would also teach that the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit are three distinct persons or hypostases, and not simply "subsistent relations" within the one God who is identified with the divine nature. And he would insist that the one true God of Christian faith is not the Holy Trinity understood as a quasi-uni-personal subject who reveals himself as Father, Son and Spirit, which is unacceptable "modalism." He would rather hold that the one God is Jesus' Father from whom the Holy Spirit proceeds who dwells in the Son, and in those who by faith and grace become sons of God through him.

3. The pope would also insist that human beings can have real communion with God through God's uncreated divine energies and actions toward creatures, from the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit.

4. He would also officially say that the immaculate conception of Christ's mother Mary from her parents, and Mary's total glorification in the risen Christ "at the right hand of the Father," are not properly explained in the papal bulls that originally accompanied the Roman church's "ex cathedra" dogmas on these two articles of faith. The pope would explain that Mary's conception by her parents was pure and holy without a need for God extraordinarily to apply "the merits of Christ" to Joachim and Anna's sexual act of conceiving her in order to free her from "the stain of original sin." And the pope would also have to make it clear that Mary really died, and was not assumed bodily into heaven before vanquishing death by faith in her Son Jesus.

5. The pope would also clearly state that though there may be a purification and cleansing from sin in the process of human dying, there is no state or condition of purgatory where sinners pay off the temporal punishment that they allegedly owe to God for their sins. The pope would also stop the practice of indulgences whereby, through certain pious activities, Christians can allegedly reduce the "days" of purgatorial suffering for themselves and others.

6. The pope would also make it clear that Christ's crucifixion was not a payment of the debt of punishment that humans allegedly owe to God for their sins. He would rather teach that Christ's self-offering to his Father was the saving, atoning and redeeming payment of the perfect love, trust, obedience, gratitude and glory that humans owe to God, which is all that God desires of them for their salvation.

7. The pope would also assure all Christians that the bishop of Rome will never do or teach anything on his own authority, "from himself and not from the consensus of the church (ex sese et non ex consensu ecclesiae)." He would promise to serve in his presidency solely as the spokesperson for all the bishops in apostolic succession who govern communities of believers who have chosen them to serve, and whose validity and legitimacy as bishops depend solely on their fidelity to the Gospel in communion with their predecessors in the episcopal office, and with each other.

8. On undecided doctrinal and moral issues the Pope of Rome would use his presidential authority to insure that everyone - clergyman or layperson - would be encouraged to freely present his or her arguments concerning Christian teaching and practice as witnessed in the Church's formal testimonies to Christian faith and life, i.e. the canonized scriptures, the traditional liturgies, the councils and canons, and the witness and writings of the canonized saints for the reasons that they are glorified.

9. The pope would also use his presidential authority to guarantee a spirit of freedom, openness, respect and love in and among all churches and Christians, and indeed all human beings, so that the Holy Spirit, Christ's sole "vicar on earth", may bring to remembrance what Christ has said, and guide people into all the truth. (Jn 14.25, 16.13) The pope would, in this way, truly be the Great Bridgebuilder (Pontifex Maximus)

The first essay may give a Roman Catholic false hope. For instance, in the first essay, Hopko says the filioque can be kept in the creed.

But in the second essay, Hopko explains what he means by "filioque", which, of course, is not how the Roman Catholic Church currently infallibly defines the "filioque".
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« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2010, 02:09:15 PM »

Or you can listen to him by podcasts:


http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/hopko - Speaking the Truth in Love - commentary on Christian belief and behavior

Or 

http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/namesofjesus - The Names of Jesus - Explaining the significance of each of the names of Christ


I think that Fr. Hopko is also a very good speaker  of Orthodox Theology.
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« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2010, 05:32:08 PM »

Here's a question I posted over at the St. Euphrosynos Cafe:

Quote from: Saint Iaint
"I have a question. Was St. Peter the first Bishop of Rome?

Fr. Thomas Hopko, Dean Emeritus of St. Vladimir's Seminary says that none of the twelve (13 including St. Paul?) Apostles were actually Bishops.

I have been told that St. Peter is called a 'Bishop' in the acts of the Councils... but I've never been able to find proof of that.

Was St. Peter the first 'pope'? I've argued w/ a man who claims to be Orthodox about this... Isn't the concept of a 'pope' alien to Orthodoxy (which holds that all Bishops are equal)?

If the successor of St. Peter is considered to be the 'pope'... then shouldn't the Bishop of Antioch be the 'pope' - since St. Peter was in Antioch before he was ever in Rome?

Wasn't his first successor neccessarily then in Antioch - rather than in Rome?

Thanks!"

Here's part of the reply I got:

Quote from: Cyprian
"Greetings and welcome to the forum,

I would not pay much attention to the ramblings of Fr. Thomas Hopko. He along with St. Vladimir's are less than ideal sources for learning about genuine Orthodox tradition.

Of course the Apostles were bishops. After all, what saith the Scripture? (...)"

Here's the rest if anyone's interested:

St. Euphrosynos Cafe - Saint Peter, Bishop?

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« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2010, 06:01:22 PM »

^ Roman Catholics like to cite versions of Scriptures that support them. In other words, they are to be taken with a grain of salt. For example, a fellow called Cyprian claims the backing of the Bible by citing this passage:

Acts 1:20: "For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take."

The problems are (1) this version comes from the King James Bible that was based on previous English translations that were based on the Latin Vulgate; (2) The Authorized King James Bible revised existing English translations to "guarantee that the new version would conform to the ecclesiology  and reflect the episcopal structure of the Church of England and its beliefs about an ordained clergy" (Wikipedia); and (3) it actually quotes Psalm 109-8, that is, Scripture from a time that did not have bishops and such.

BTW, most other versions use either "office" or "leadership."
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« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2013, 07:36:35 PM »

What very little I have heard or read of Fr. Thomas Hopko is sound.  I am familiar with his preface to 'The Way of a Pilgrim' and his Ancient Faith Radio defense of the toll houses, but a recent reading of his analysis of the Christian Mysteries indicated he had an insight into this which is lacking in most people I know.  This began to make me notice that this writer possibly consistently puts out valuable stuff.  If anyone is aware of any specific significant errors or heresies to which Fr. Thomas Hopko subscribes, then I would like to know about it.  I am considering the possibility of purchasing the set linked below:

The Orthodox Faith (Four Volumes)
By Thomas Hopko
http://oca.org/orthodoxy/the-orthodox-faith

I am not so much concerned that his synod is the OCA or if he is viewed by posters at St Euphrosynos as a liberal, but rather that he might have sufficiently valuable insight which I lack to make acquiring his catechism worthwhile.  King Solomon wrote that "Safety resides in the multitude of counsel."
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« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2013, 08:06:19 PM »

What very little I have heard or read of Fr. Thomas Hopko is sound.  I am familiar with his preface to 'The Way of a Pilgrim' and his Ancient Faith Radio defense of the toll houses, but a recent reading of his analysis of the Christian Mysteries indicated he had an insight into this which is lacking in most people I know.  This began to make me notice that this writer possibly consistently puts out valuable stuff.  If anyone is aware of any specific significant errors or heresies to which Fr. Thomas Hopko subscribes, then I would like to know about it.  I am considering the possibility of purchasing the set linked below:

The Orthodox Faith (Four Volumes)
By Thomas Hopko
http://oca.org/orthodoxy/the-orthodox-faith

I am not so much concerned that his synod is the OCA or if he is viewed by posters at St Euphrosynos as a liberal, but rather that he might have sufficiently valuable insight which I lack to make acquiring his catechism worthwhile.  King Solomon wrote that "Safety resides in the multitude of counsel."

The content would be considered rather "basic". One of the strengths many cite about this series is the emphasis on Scripture to give evidence for Orthodox practice and belief. Also the inclusion of a non-trivial bibliography isn't to be overlooked.

Fr. Thom has said if he were asked to do the same work again, he would do it differently and has always had reservations has been critical about the inclusions of "icons" copied into the text (a liberal indeed).

To say that Father Thom is a mere liberal is to suggest that one knows nothing about the word liberal, Fr. Thom, and most likely both.
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« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2013, 09:12:52 PM »

The content would be considered rather "basic". One of the strengths many cite about this series is the emphasis on Scripture to give evidence for Orthodox practice and belief. Also the inclusion of a non-trivial bibliography isn't to be overlooked.

This is good.  Since I am more familiar with Old calendarist writers, a review of the basics from the perspective of one of the better mainstream writers is actually what I was looking for.
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« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2013, 09:16:57 PM »

While I was a catechumen in the OCA, I enjoyed reading Father Thomas Hopko especially his rainbow catechetical books on Orthodoxy. However, his latest ad for Ancient Faith Radio bothers me. In his apparent attempt to reach out to Protestants, it sounds like he has gone quite far out on a limb.
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« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2013, 10:00:39 PM »

While I was a catechumen in the OCA, I enjoyed reading Father Thomas Hopko especially his rainbow catechetical books on Orthodoxy. However, his latest ad for Ancient Faith Radio bothers me. In his apparent attempt to reach out to Protestants, it sounds like he has gone quite far out on a limb.

I haven't heard this ad, and I can't find a link to it.

Can you expand on what about it makes you uncomfortable?
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« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2013, 10:03:07 PM »

While I was a catechumen in the OCA, I enjoyed reading Father Thomas Hopko especially his rainbow catechetical books on Orthodoxy. However, his latest ad for Ancient Faith Radio bothers me. In his apparent attempt to reach out to Protestants, it sounds like he has gone quite far out on a limb.

He's a dirty ecumenist and I'll flat out say it. It's sad too, because theologically he is a genius and we need more contemporary theologians like him. If only he were more stern, polemic and less ecumenical.
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« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2013, 10:04:11 PM »

While I was a catechumen in the OCA, I enjoyed reading Father Thomas Hopko especially his rainbow catechetical books on Orthodoxy. However, his latest ad for Ancient Faith Radio bothers me. In his apparent attempt to reach out to Protestants, it sounds like he has gone quite far out on a limb.

Listen to his recent podcasts about his visit to Wheaton College, here and here. I wouldn't say he's going out on any limbs for the Protestants.
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« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2013, 10:57:43 PM »

While I was a catechumen in the OCA, I enjoyed reading Father Thomas Hopko especially his rainbow catechetical books on Orthodoxy. However, his latest ad for Ancient Faith Radio bothers me. In his apparent attempt to reach out to Protestants, it sounds like he has gone quite far out on a limb.

I haven't heard this ad, and I can't find a link to it.

Can you expand on what about it makes you uncomfortable?

Ancient Faith Radio has not played it recently now that it is Lent.
It stated: we have been saved, we have been redeemed, we have ....
It almost sounded like those once saved, always saved protestants.
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« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2013, 11:08:34 PM »

While I was a catechumen in the OCA, I enjoyed reading Father Thomas Hopko especially his rainbow catechetical books on Orthodoxy. However, his latest ad for Ancient Faith Radio bothers me. In his apparent attempt to reach out to Protestants, it sounds like he has gone quite far out on a limb.

I haven't heard this ad, and I can't find a link to it.

Can you expand on what about it makes you uncomfortable?

Ancient Faith Radio has not played it recently now that it is Lent.
It stated: we have been saved, we have been redeemed, we have ....
It almost sounded like those once saved, always saved protestants.

And that's exactly true. At the same time, we are also in the midst of being saving, being redeemed, etc. Likewise, at the End of Days, those who persevere will be saved, will be redeemed, etc. again. Just as the priest prays at the Liturgy:

"All these things having come to pass for us: the Cross, the Tomb, the Resurrection on the third day, the Ascension into Heaven, the Sitting at the Right Hand and the Second and Most Glorious Coming Again..."

Except that the last event has not happened for us, and we are likewise in the midst of those events during the Divine Liturgy, making them present with us now, and not simply a history.

Fr. Hopko speaks about these things in this manner quite a bit, as do many Orthodox teachers, both ancient and modern.
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« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2013, 11:19:33 PM »


Ancient Faith Radio has not played it recently now that it is Lent.
It stated: we have been saved, we have been redeemed, we have ....
Maria, that's not a protestant thing.
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« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2013, 11:35:12 PM »


Ancient Faith Radio has not played it recently now that it is Lent.
It stated: we have been saved, we have been redeemed, we have ....
Maria, that's not a protestant thing.

It was the last part of his statement, which I cannot remember and therefore was not able to quote ... , that had me somewhat concerned.
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« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2013, 11:36:55 PM »

While I was a catechumen in the OCA, I enjoyed reading Father Thomas Hopko especially his rainbow catechetical books on Orthodoxy. However, his latest ad for Ancient Faith Radio bothers me. In his apparent attempt to reach out to Protestants, it sounds like he has gone quite far out on a limb.

I haven't heard this ad, and I can't find a link to it.

Can you expand on what about it makes you uncomfortable?

Ancient Faith Radio has not played it recently now that it is Lent.
It stated: we have been saved, we have been redeemed, we have ....
It almost sounded like those once saved, always saved protestants.

And that's exactly true. At the same time, we are also in the midst of being saving, being redeemed, etc. Likewise, at the End of Days, those who persevere will be saved, will be redeemed, etc. again. Just as the priest prays at the Liturgy:

"All these things having come to pass for us: the Cross, the Tomb, the Resurrection on the third day, the Ascension into Heaven, the Sitting at the Right Hand and the Second and Most Glorious Coming Again..."

Except that the last event has not happened for us, and we are likewise in the midst of those events during the Divine Liturgy, making them present with us now, and not simply a history.

Fr. Hopko speaks about these things in this manner quite a bit, as do many Orthodox teachers, both ancient and modern.

If you have heard this ad, could you please quote it verbatim?
Yes, the first part of his ad is very orthodox, but the last part of it, which I cannot remember, bothers me. I have been listening to Ancient Faith Radio, but they have not played that ad recently.
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« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2013, 11:39:38 PM »

While I was a catechumen in the OCA, I enjoyed reading Father Thomas Hopko especially his rainbow catechetical books on Orthodoxy. However, his latest ad for Ancient Faith Radio bothers me. In his apparent attempt to reach out to Protestants, it sounds like he has gone quite far out on a limb.

I haven't heard this ad, and I can't find a link to it.

Can you expand on what about it makes you uncomfortable?

Ancient Faith Radio has not played it recently now that it is Lent.
It stated: we have been saved, we have been redeemed, we have ....
It almost sounded like those once saved, always saved protestants.

And that's exactly true. At the same time, we are also in the midst of being saving, being redeemed, etc. Likewise, at the End of Days, those who persevere will be saved, will be redeemed, etc. again. Just as the priest prays at the Liturgy:

"All these things having come to pass for us: the Cross, the Tomb, the Resurrection on the third day, the Ascension into Heaven, the Sitting at the Right Hand and the Second and Most Glorious Coming Again..."

Except that the last event has not happened for us, and we are likewise in the midst of those events during the Divine Liturgy, making them present with us now, and not simply a history.

Fr. Hopko speaks about these things in this manner quite a bit, as do many Orthodox teachers, both ancient and modern.

If you have heard this ad, could you please quote it verbatim?
Yes, the first part of his ad is very orthodox, but the last part of it, which I cannot remember, bothers me. I have been listening to Ancient Faith Radio, but they have not played that ad recently.

I was simply addressing what you stated it said (particularly the line I bolded and italicized). While I do listen to some podcasts on Ancient Faith, I don't listen to much of it overall (as I think most of it isn't very good. Not unOrthodox, just...not good) and I almost never stream it. To my knowledge, I haven't heard the ad.
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« Reply #18 on: April 07, 2013, 11:59:20 PM »

While I was a catechumen in the OCA, I enjoyed reading Father Thomas Hopko especially his rainbow catechetical books on Orthodoxy. However, his latest ad for Ancient Faith Radio bothers me. In his apparent attempt to reach out to Protestants, it sounds like he has gone quite far out on a limb.

I haven't heard this ad, and I can't find a link to it.

Can you expand on what about it makes you uncomfortable?

Ancient Faith Radio has not played it recently now that it is Lent.
It stated: we have been saved, we have been redeemed, we have ....
It almost sounded like those once saved, always saved protestants.

And that's exactly true. At the same time, we are also in the midst of being saving, being redeemed, etc. Likewise, at the End of Days, those who persevere will be saved, will be redeemed, etc. again. Just as the priest prays at the Liturgy:

"All these things having come to pass for us: the Cross, the Tomb, the Resurrection on the third day, the Ascension into Heaven, the Sitting at the Right Hand and the Second and Most Glorious Coming Again..."

Except that the last event has not happened for us, and we are likewise in the midst of those events during the Divine Liturgy, making them present with us now, and not simply a history.

Fr. Hopko speaks about these things in this manner quite a bit, as do many Orthodox teachers, both ancient and modern.

If you have heard this ad, could you please quote it verbatim?
Yes, the first part of his ad is very orthodox, but the last part of it, which I cannot remember, bothers me. I have been listening to Ancient Faith Radio, but they have not played that ad recently.

I was simply addressing what you stated it said (particularly the line I bolded and italicized). While I do listen to some podcasts on Ancient Faith, I don't listen to much of it overall (as I think most of it isn't very good. Not unOrthodox, just...not good) and I almost never stream it. To my knowledge, I haven't heard the ad.

I have found this on Ancient Faith:
http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/illuminedheart/toll_houses_after_death_reality_or_heresy
Quote
Father Thomas Hopko:

You cannot have faith and love without showing it in actual deeds. But it is also said that deeds may be done, even in the name of Jesus, without real love for God. So either one of those will not save you. You have to have both, together. In other words, Jesus said, “I was hungry, you gave me food, I was thirsty, you gave me drink.” You actually have to do those acts.
In the first letter of John, the apostle says, “Let us not love in word only, but let it be in deed and in truth, erga and alētheia. It has to be done in truth, in reality, and in actual act. Erga means work, act, or deed.
So, on the one hand, a person cannot say, “I love God, I believe in God,” but they never help the poor, they never do anything for anybody. On the other hand, a person can say, “I gave my body to be burned and I worked miracles in Christ’s name.” And the Lord may also say, “Yes, you did it, but you didn’t really love. It wasn’t really done from love. It was done out of vanity and pride.”

And I agree here with Father Thomas Hopko.

However, even my husband was a little concerned about that ad. I just want clarification.
I tried several searches on google and ixquick, but could not find it.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2013, 12:12:42 AM by Maria » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2013, 12:08:32 AM »

I have found this on Ancient Faith:
Quote
Father Thomas Hopko:

You cannot have faith and love without showing it in actual deeds. But it is also said that deeds may be done, even in the name of Jesus, without real love for God. So either one of those will not save you. You have to have both, together. In other words, Jesus said, “I was hungry, you gave me food, I was thirsty, you gave me drink.” You actually have to do those acts.
In the first letter of John, the apostle says, “Let us not love in word only, but let it be in deed and in truth, erga and alētheia. It has to be done in truth, in reality, and in actual act. Erga means work, act, or deed.
So, on the one hand, a person cannot say, “I love God, I believe in God,” but they never help the poor, they never do anything for anybody. On the other hand, a person can say, “I gave my body to be burned and I worked miracles in Christ’s name.” And the Lord may also say, “Yes, you did it, but you didn’t really love. It wasn’t really done from love. It was done out of vanity and pride.”

And I agree here with Father Thomas Hopko.

However, even my husband was a little concerned about that ad. I just want clarification.
I tried several searches on google and ixquick, but could not find it.


Yep, that also sounds fine.

I can't really give you an absolute affirmation without having the ad, and I know you're trying to find it. Maybe it will play again after Lent?

All I can say, really, is that I listen to a lot of Fr. Hopko (a lot of Fr. Hopko) and haven't ever really heard him say anything with which I vehemently disagree. I realize I'm no Athonite-style traditionalist, but I'd hardly say I'm a liberal, either.

The people that dislike him seem to be disappointed that he teaches like a professor instead of an elder...but he is a professor, and not an elder. It's like complaining that your mustard taste too much like mustard, and that you were expecting it to taste more like ketchup.

Now, if Elder Paisios read like Fr. Thomas Hopko, then I'd be concerned!
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« Reply #20 on: April 08, 2013, 12:14:00 AM »

I have found this on Ancient Faith:
Quote
Father Thomas Hopko:

You cannot have faith and love without showing it in actual deeds. But it is also said that deeds may be done, even in the name of Jesus, without real love for God. So either one of those will not save you. You have to have both, together. In other words, Jesus said, “I was hungry, you gave me food, I was thirsty, you gave me drink.” You actually have to do those acts.
In the first letter of John, the apostle says, “Let us not love in word only, but let it be in deed and in truth, erga and alētheia. It has to be done in truth, in reality, and in actual act. Erga means work, act, or deed.
So, on the one hand, a person cannot say, “I love God, I believe in God,” but they never help the poor, they never do anything for anybody. On the other hand, a person can say, “I gave my body to be burned and I worked miracles in Christ’s name.” And the Lord may also say, “Yes, you did it, but you didn’t really love. It wasn’t really done from love. It was done out of vanity and pride.”

And I agree here with Father Thomas Hopko.

However, even my husband was a little concerned about that ad. I just want clarification.
I tried several searches on google and ixquick, but could not find it.


Yep, that also sounds fine.

I can't really give you an absolute affirmation without having the ad, and I know you're trying to find it. Maybe it will play again after Lent?

All I can say, really, is that I listen to a lot of Fr. Hopko (a lot of Fr. Hopko) and haven't ever really heard him say anything with which I vehemently disagree. I realize I'm no Athonite-style traditionalist, but I'd hardly say I'm a liberal, either.

The people that dislike him seem to be disappointed that he teaches like a professor instead of an elder...but he is a professor, and not an elder. It's like complaining that your mustard taste too much like mustard, and that you were expecting it to taste more like ketchup.

Now, if Elder Paisios read like Fr. Thomas Hopko, then I'd be concerned!

On the contrary, Father Thomas Hopko has really given some excellent retreats.

I will never forget the retreat he gave at a Greek Orthodox Church.
The words he gave I cannot remember, but I do remember this woman who wore a bright huge red hat about as wide as she was fat and it was filled with artificial fruit ... and this during Great Lent. Believe it or not, Father Thomas Hopko did not mention that crazy flamboyant hat at all. Such custody of the eyes. Smiley
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« Reply #21 on: April 08, 2013, 12:16:43 AM »

I have found this on Ancient Faith:
Quote
Father Thomas Hopko:

You cannot have faith and love without showing it in actual deeds. But it is also said that deeds may be done, even in the name of Jesus, without real love for God. So either one of those will not save you. You have to have both, together. In other words, Jesus said, “I was hungry, you gave me food, I was thirsty, you gave me drink.” You actually have to do those acts.
In the first letter of John, the apostle says, “Let us not love in word only, but let it be in deed and in truth, erga and alētheia. It has to be done in truth, in reality, and in actual act. Erga means work, act, or deed.
So, on the one hand, a person cannot say, “I love God, I believe in God,” but they never help the poor, they never do anything for anybody. On the other hand, a person can say, “I gave my body to be burned and I worked miracles in Christ’s name.” And the Lord may also say, “Yes, you did it, but you didn’t really love. It wasn’t really done from love. It was done out of vanity and pride.”

And I agree here with Father Thomas Hopko.

However, even my husband was a little concerned about that ad. I just want clarification.
I tried several searches on google and ixquick, but could not find it.


Yep, that also sounds fine.

I can't really give you an absolute affirmation without having the ad, and I know you're trying to find it. Maybe it will play again after Lent?

All I can say, really, is that I listen to a lot of Fr. Hopko (a lot of Fr. Hopko) and haven't ever really heard him say anything with which I vehemently disagree. I realize I'm no Athonite-style traditionalist, but I'd hardly say I'm a liberal, either.

The people that dislike him seem to be disappointed that he teaches like a professor instead of an elder...but he is a professor, and not an elder. It's like complaining that your mustard taste too much like mustard, and that you were expecting it to taste more like ketchup.

Now, if Elder Paisios read like Fr. Thomas Hopko, then I'd be concerned!

On the contrary, Father Thomas Hopko has really given some excellent retreats.


This is true, as well. I even got to attend one (and listen to those on Ancient Faith). They're very good. That said, I still wouldn't call him an elder!
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« Reply #22 on: April 08, 2013, 12:19:59 AM »

While I was a catechumen in the OCA, I enjoyed reading Father Thomas Hopko especially his rainbow catechetical books on Orthodoxy. However, his latest ad for Ancient Faith Radio bothers me. In his apparent attempt to reach out to Protestants, it sounds like he has gone quite far out on a limb.

He's a dirty ecumenist and I'll flat out say it. It's sad too, because theologically he is a genius and we need more contemporary theologians like him. If only he were more stern, polemic and less ecumenical.

This is poor form, James.
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« Reply #23 on: April 08, 2013, 12:35:17 AM »

If only he were more stern ...
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While his perogative may be open to question, I think his tone while discussing what may be a controversial subject given the audience is for me something to be desired and imitated.  Fr. Hopko strikes me as the kind of guy who would very seldom if ever get angry (at least in the sense of loose control of his emotion even for a moment).  He handled the letter of the protestant listener rather well - at least as far as his conversability.  I doubt he would have such a successful radio show if it were otherwise.
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« Reply #24 on: April 08, 2013, 07:53:33 AM »

Here's a question I posted over at the St. Euphrosynos Cafe:

Quote from: Saint Iaint
"I have a question. Was St. Peter the first Bishop of Rome?

Fr. Thomas Hopko, Dean Emeritus of St. Vladimir's Seminary says that none of the twelve (13 including St. Paul?) Apostles were actually Bishops.

I have been told that St. Peter is called a 'Bishop' in the acts of the Councils... but I've never been able to find proof of that.

Was St. Peter the first 'pope'? I've argued w/ a man who claims to be Orthodox about this... Isn't the concept of a 'pope' alien to Orthodoxy (which holds that all Bishops are equal)?

If the successor of St. Peter is considered to be the 'pope'... then shouldn't the Bishop of Antioch be the 'pope' - since St. Peter was in Antioch before he was ever in Rome?

Wasn't his first successor neccessarily then in Antioch - rather than in Rome?

Thanks!"

Here's part of the reply I got:

Quote from: Cyprian
"Greetings and welcome to the forum,

I would not pay much attention to the ramblings of Fr. Thomas Hopko. He along with St. Vladimir's are less than ideal sources for learning about genuine Orthodox tradition.

Of course the Apostles were bishops. After all, what saith the Scripture? (...)"

Here's the rest if anyone's interested:

St. Euphrosynos Cafe - Saint Peter, Bishop?


as the bishops are the successors to the Apostles, none of the Apostles were bishops, although they shared the episcopate with their successors.
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« Reply #25 on: April 08, 2013, 08:10:33 AM »

I can't seem to find the link anymore, but Fr. Hopko did a really interesting lecture on the nature of the Book of Revelation. It was posted with the title, "It Is Not Your Business to Know When He Comes Back."  laugh Provocative, yes, but worth it if you can ever find it in a search.
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« Reply #26 on: April 08, 2013, 09:11:00 AM »

I can't seem to find the link anymore, but Fr. Hopko did a really interesting lecture on the nature of the Book of Revelation. It was posted with the title, "It Is Not Your Business to Know When He Comes Back."  laugh Provocative, yes, but worth it if you can ever find it in a search.

Fr. Thomas Hopko speaks at St. Elijah about Christianity and Armageddon
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fz6DK7IRh0A

I watched the above presentation of Hopko's a couple weeks back and have wanted to hear what people thought. 
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« Reply #27 on: April 08, 2013, 09:29:07 AM »

If that's the one I remember, I loved it - directly rebuts the idea, popular in fundamentalist circles, that we should try to match every last news event to such-and-such symbol in Revelation. Instead, he emphasizes the need for repentance and prayer every day. It's a much healthier way to look at the message of the book, in my opinion.
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« Reply #28 on: April 08, 2013, 11:38:48 AM »

I can't seem to find the link anymore, but Fr. Hopko did a really interesting lecture on the nature of the Book of Revelation. It was posted with the title, "It Is Not Your Business to Know When He Comes Back."  laugh Provocative, yes, but worth it if you can ever find it in a search.

Fr. Thomas Hopko speaks at St. Elijah about Christianity and Armageddon
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fz6DK7IRh0A

I watched the above presentation of Hopko's a couple weeks back and have wanted to hear what people thought. 

It was a really good talk! Of course, if you're looking for an exhaustive talk on St. John's Apocalypse, this isn't it (and Fr. Hopko readily admits such in the course of the talk) but it is a good overview, as well as a good focused talk.
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« Reply #29 on: April 08, 2013, 11:41:08 AM »

I have always appreciated Father Thomas's podcasts. Given the sheer volume of what he publishes in this manner, it's no wonder that we don't necessarily agree with everything he says. He himself has even said that he doesn't expect everyone to agree with everything he says. Many times he is simply sharing his thoughts. It's really a bit rambling at times, as though he's thinking out loud, even working out a few things for himself - I recognize that I often do the same thing myself, so I can easily identify with his style. Yes, each of us can probably quibble with some things he says, but when you look at the whole deal, it's pretty good value.
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« Reply #30 on: April 08, 2013, 12:01:39 PM »

I have always appreciated Father Thomas's podcasts. Given the sheer volume of what he publishes in this manner, it's no wonder that we don't necessarily agree with everything he says. He himself has even said that he doesn't expect everyone to agree with everything he says. Many times he is simply sharing his thoughts. It's really a bit rambling at times, as though he's thinking out loud, even working out a few things for himself - I recognize that I often do the same thing myself, so I can easily identify with his style. Yes, each of us can probably quibble with some things he says, but when you look at the whole deal, it's pretty good value.

+1

Couldn't have said it better!

Listening to Fr. Tom's podcasts is such an informal experience. It feels like old-school peripatetic, conversational education. Lecture without discussion is, I think, vastly overrated.
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« Reply #31 on: April 08, 2013, 02:39:37 PM »

I can't seem to find the link anymore, but Fr. Hopko did a really interesting lecture on the nature of the Book of Revelation. It was posted with the title, "It Is Not Your Business to Know When He Comes Back."  laugh Provocative, yes, but worth it if you can ever find it in a search.

Fr. Thomas Hopko speaks at St. Elijah about Christianity and Armageddon
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fz6DK7IRh0A

I watched the above presentation of Hopko's a couple weeks back and have wanted to hear what people thought. 

The one hour mark really hits home.  His teaching set, Apocalypse, had a great impact on me when I was an inquirer.  I have, I think, all of his teaching CD's in my library and podcasts downloaded.  I also very much agree with genesisisone's post.  I don't pretend to be informed enough to disagree much, but my experience is that God has used him for the conversion of many.  God grant him many years.
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« Reply #32 on: April 08, 2013, 02:50:47 PM »

While I was a catechumen in the OCA, I enjoyed reading Father Thomas Hopko especially his rainbow catechetical books on Orthodoxy. However, his latest ad for Ancient Faith Radio bothers me. In his apparent attempt to reach out to Protestants, it sounds like he has gone quite far out on a limb.

He's a dirty ecumenist and I'll flat out say it. It's sad too, because theologically he is a genius and we need more contemporary theologians like him. If only he were more stern, polemic and less ecumenical.

This is poor form, James.
Do we really expect anything different from the boy who wanted to anathematize the Ecumenical Patriarch?
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« Reply #33 on: April 08, 2013, 03:01:19 PM »

While I was a catechumen in the OCA, I enjoyed reading Father Thomas Hopko especially his rainbow catechetical books on Orthodoxy. However, his latest ad for Ancient Faith Radio bothers me. In his apparent attempt to reach out to Protestants, it sounds like he has gone quite far out on a limb.

He's a dirty ecumenist and I'll flat out say it. It's sad too, because theologically he is a genius and we need more contemporary theologians like him. If only he were more stern, polemic and less ecumenical.

James--Are you (a) using a rhetorical device, (b) stirring the pot, or (c) sincere?
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« Reply #34 on: April 08, 2013, 03:05:35 PM »

While I was a catechumen in the OCA, I enjoyed reading Father Thomas Hopko especially his rainbow catechetical books on Orthodoxy. However, his latest ad for Ancient Faith Radio bothers me. In his apparent attempt to reach out to Protestants, it sounds like he has gone quite far out on a limb.

He's a dirty ecumenist and I'll flat out say it. It's sad too, because theologically he is a genius and we need more contemporary theologians like him. If only he were more stern, polemic and less ecumenical.

James--Are you (a) using a rhetorical device, (b) stirring the pot, or (c) sincere?

I am going to choose:

(d) all of the above
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« Reply #35 on: April 08, 2013, 03:07:04 PM »

While I was a catechumen in the OCA, I enjoyed reading Father Thomas Hopko especially his rainbow catechetical books on Orthodoxy. However, his latest ad for Ancient Faith Radio bothers me. In his apparent attempt to reach out to Protestants, it sounds like he has gone quite far out on a limb.

He's a dirty ecumenist and I'll flat out say it. It's sad too, because theologically he is a genius and we need more contemporary theologians like him. If only he were more stern, polemic and less ecumenical.

James--Are you (a) using a rhetorical device, (b) stirring the pot, or (c) sincere?

I am going to choose:

(d) all of the above

(e) b and c.

Unless ad hominem is being counted as a "rhetorical device."
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« Reply #36 on: April 08, 2013, 03:30:53 PM »

Here's a question I posted over at the St. Euphrosynos Cafe:

Quote from: Saint Iaint
"I have a question. Was St. Peter the first Bishop of Rome?

Fr. Thomas Hopko, Dean Emeritus of St. Vladimir's Seminary says that none of the twelve (13 including St. Paul?) Apostles were actually Bishops.

I have been told that St. Peter is called a 'Bishop' in the acts of the Councils... but I've never been able to find proof of that.

Was St. Peter the first 'pope'? I've argued w/ a man who claims to be Orthodox about this... Isn't the concept of a 'pope' alien to Orthodoxy (which holds that all Bishops are equal)?

If the successor of St. Peter is considered to be the 'pope'... then shouldn't the Bishop of Antioch be the 'pope' - since St. Peter was in Antioch before he was ever in Rome?

Wasn't his first successor neccessarily then in Antioch - rather than in Rome?

Thanks!"

Here's part of the reply I got:

Quote from: Cyprian
"Greetings and welcome to the forum,

I would not pay much attention to the ramblings of Fr. Thomas Hopko. He along with St. Vladimir's are less than ideal sources for learning about genuine Orthodox tradition.

Of course the Apostles were bishops. After all, what saith the Scripture? (...)"

Here's the rest if anyone's interested:

St. Euphrosynos Cafe - Saint Peter, Bishop?



With all due respects to Father Anastasios Hudson and Mr. Jonathan Gress who are running the St Euphrosynos Cafe, I would not take anything that appears there as a source "for learning about genuine Orthodox traditions." What is most interesting that "Cyprian" who is quoted above, did not have to denigrate either Fr. Hopko or the OCA to give his answer. One has to put things into perspective and consider the source.
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« Reply #37 on: April 08, 2013, 05:08:24 PM »

Of course I agree with Carl regarding Fr. Thomas. He has served and preached many times at my parish church which was the original home to his family. If he is too inclusive for the ultra purist crowd, too bad. Like many of us non-converts, his family and life experiences on the ground are forged in the reality of the history of the American Orthodox experience - he has family and friends associated with all of the related eastern Slavic parishes in his hometown here, both OCA, both ACROD, the BBC  and the ROCOR  and the UOC churches of the community.
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« Reply #38 on: April 08, 2013, 05:33:16 PM »

Here's a question I posted over at the St. Euphrosynos Cafe:

Quote from: Saint Iaint
"I have a question. Was St. Peter the first Bishop of Rome?

Fr. Thomas Hopko, Dean Emeritus of St. Vladimir's Seminary says that none of the twelve (13 including St. Paul?) Apostles were actually Bishops.

I have been told that St. Peter is called a 'Bishop' in the acts of the Councils... but I've never been able to find proof of that.

Was St. Peter the first 'pope'? I've argued w/ a man who claims to be Orthodox about this... Isn't the concept of a 'pope' alien to Orthodoxy (which holds that all Bishops are equal)?

If the successor of St. Peter is considered to be the 'pope'... then shouldn't the Bishop of Antioch be the 'pope' - since St. Peter was in Antioch before he was ever in Rome?

Wasn't his first successor neccessarily then in Antioch - rather than in Rome?

Thanks!"

Here's part of the reply I got:

Quote from: Cyprian
"Greetings and welcome to the forum,

I would not pay much attention to the ramblings of Fr. Thomas Hopko. He along with St. Vladimir's are less than ideal sources for learning about genuine Orthodox tradition.

Of course the Apostles were bishops. After all, what saith the Scripture? (...)"

Here's the rest if anyone's interested:

St. Euphrosynos Cafe - Saint Peter, Bishop?



With all due respects to Father Anastasios Hudson and Mr. Jonathan Gress who are running the St Euphrosynos Cafe, I would not take anything that appears there as a source "for learning about genuine Orthodox traditions." What is most interesting that "Cyprian" who is quoted above, did not have to denigrate either Fr. Hopko or the OCA to give his answer. One has to put things into perspective and consider the source.

Dr. Jonathan Gress is running quite a tight ship at E. Cafe.
And for your information, Cyprian who is not a member of any True Orthodox Jurisdiction, manages to criticize every Orthodox jurisdiction at E. Cafe. Yes, please pray for him and consider the source.

However, we are now way off topic.
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« Reply #39 on: April 08, 2013, 05:39:00 PM »

While I was a catechumen in the OCA, I enjoyed reading Father Thomas Hopko especially his rainbow catechetical books on Orthodoxy. However, his latest ad for Ancient Faith Radio bothers me. In his apparent attempt to reach out to Protestants, it sounds like he has gone quite far out on a limb.

He's a dirty ecumenist and I'll flat out say it. It's sad too, because theologically he is a genius and we need more contemporary theologians like him. If only he were more stern, polemic and less ecumenical.

James--Are you (a) using a rhetorical device, (b) stirring the pot, or (c) sincere?

Using a little bit of hyperbole, so I guess (a). In reality, I think that Fr. Thomas Hopko is a skilled theologian and very talented at presenting Orthodox theology in an understandable way to the western layman and very valuable to the faith. I just think that his recent dealing with Protestants and other non-Orthodox groups is...questionable at times. Maybe he's just trying to be polite, but it seems like he oftentimes neglects his sureness in the Church and acts like all Christianity is just a different side of the same coin, and basically adopts the "whatever works for you" attitude.
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« Reply #40 on: April 08, 2013, 05:42:27 PM »

While I was a catechumen in the OCA, I enjoyed reading Father Thomas Hopko especially his rainbow catechetical books on Orthodoxy. However, his latest ad for Ancient Faith Radio bothers me. In his apparent attempt to reach out to Protestants, it sounds like he has gone quite far out on a limb.

He's a dirty ecumenist and I'll flat out say it. It's sad too, because theologically he is a genius and we need more contemporary theologians like him. If only he were more stern, polemic and less ecumenical.

James--Are you (a) using a rhetorical device, (b) stirring the pot, or (c) sincere?

Using a little bit of hyperbole, so I guess (a). In reality, I think that Fr. Thomas Hopko is a skilled theologian and very talented at presenting Orthodox theology in an understandable way to the western layman and very valuable to the faith. I just think that his recent dealing with Protestants and other non-Orthodox groups is...questionable at times. Maybe he's just trying to be polite, but it seems like he oftentimes neglects his sureness in the Church and acts like all Christianity is just a different side of the same coin, and basically adopts the "whatever works for you" attitude.

I think that you are quite mistaken, James. Just because he is talking to them does not mean that he is adopting that "whatever works for you" attitude. Now, it is probably true that he is not preaching at them like Jeremiah. Does that bother your sensibilities?
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« Reply #41 on: April 08, 2013, 05:44:36 PM »

While I was a catechumen in the OCA, I enjoyed reading Father Thomas Hopko especially his rainbow catechetical books on Orthodoxy. However, his latest ad for Ancient Faith Radio bothers me. In his apparent attempt to reach out to Protestants, it sounds like he has gone quite far out on a limb.

He's a dirty ecumenist and I'll flat out say it. It's sad too, because theologically he is a genius and we need more contemporary theologians like him. If only he were more stern, polemic and less ecumenical.

James--Are you (a) using a rhetorical device, (b) stirring the pot, or (c) sincere?

Using a little bit of hyperbole, so I guess (a). In reality, I think that Fr. Thomas Hopko is a skilled theologian and very talented at presenting Orthodox theology in an understandable way to the western layman and very valuable to the faith. I just think that his recent dealing with Protestants and other non-Orthodox groups is...questionable at times. Maybe he's just trying to be polite, but it seems like he oftentimes neglects his sureness in the Church and acts like all Christianity is just a different side of the same coin, and basically adopts the "whatever works for you" attitude.

Well, this layman is guessing that you haven't listened to the video. 
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« Reply #42 on: April 08, 2013, 06:04:46 PM »

I recently read this talk by Fr. Thomas Hopko:  http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1698562/posts


Is he considered a theological liberal by many in the Eastern Orthodox Church or are his views becoming more common?
Also, I am planning on reading some of his books and I am wondering if they provide an accurate pictuer of Eastern Orthodoxy.

It seems like Fr. Thomas Hopko's talk in 2006 published by the Free Republic has provided some major disinformation. For example, there was a novel written by Bruce Walters in 2011, Russian Sunrise, in which the Russian Orthodox Church comes into unity with the Roman Catholic Church and adds the filioque to the Creed as part of its agreement with the Vatican. Dr. Bruce Walters has gone on many trips to Russia to present his ideas, and it seems like the MP might be listening to Walters and his friends including Father Nicholas Gruner.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2013, 06:31:14 PM by Maria » Logged

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« Reply #43 on: April 08, 2013, 06:23:20 PM »

and it seems like the MP might be listening to Walters and his friends including Father Nicholas Gruner.

Do you have anything to substantiate your slander?
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« Reply #44 on: April 08, 2013, 06:29:50 PM »

and it seems like the MP might be listening to Walters and his friends including Father Nicholas Gruner.

Do you have anything to substantiate your slander?

Slander?

Dr. Walters has mentioned that he has a charity in Russia. He is a psychiatrist who regularly visits the MP in Russia. Father Nicholas Gruner has invited Dr. Walters to speak at his public events which honor the Blessed Virgin Mary (Fatima). The MP has sent greetings to the new Pope Francis, and is encouraging dialog with the Vatican.

Did you ever notice in your very careful reading that I used the qualifer "SEEMS"?

« Last Edit: April 08, 2013, 06:36:02 PM by Maria » Logged

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