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Author Topic: Fr. Thomas Hopko  (Read 4448 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.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2013, 08:07:40 PM by orthonorm » Logged

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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.
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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"?

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« Reply #45 on: April 08, 2013, 06:57:07 PM »

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

I didn't. That means you did not write it definitely so you don't have to provide any sources to your fantasy theories. And the stench remains.
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« Reply #46 on: April 08, 2013, 07:03:09 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?

I completely 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 Christian Slavic parishes in his hometown here,  OCA, ACROD, ROCOR, UOC and the BCC churches of the community.

And frankly, I am angry that the so-called "traditionalist" Orthodox can post here and challenge and disparage our hierarchy and clergy with disrespect, charges of heresy and so on while our rules prevent us from responding by calling a spade a spade. Anyone who personally knows Father Tom would regard Maria's speculation as about as credible or  believable as claiming that the moon is made of cheese.

Carl referenced the traditionalist forum, it is quite clear to me at least, that we "non traditionalists" are treated there as heterodox and considered less worthy than other "non traditionalists". I know that oc.net is an open forum and that other one is designed by and for "traditionalists" so one should not be surprised by what is discussed there. None the less I am fed up with Orthodox McCarthyism and bragadoccio online and I will respond to it when I see fit. It isn't just un-Orthodox, it is un-Christian.
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« Reply #47 on: April 08, 2013, 07:18:37 PM »


The Rules do allow questioning the practices, ethics, background of clergy and hierarchs merely so that concerns of the general public may get addressed.

If someone harbors a piece of mis-information, that little suspicion will keep gnawing at them and grow to complete distrust of the man, and perhaps even lead to questioning of the Church.

Therefore, it's best to let the questions come....and to have the faithful Orthodox address them politely, and thereby, preserve their good names.

In truth, by having these open discussions, we help preserve the integrity of the True Church and her hierarchs.

Now, about calling a spade a spade.....that is a personal attack on a fellow poster and not allowed...because once a person is personally attacked, they go on the defensive and are now closed to any material presented to them.  They will no longer be open to hearing the truth.

....besides....we'd never get any good information or discussions going, over all the name calling.  Lets leave the brawls for the bars.

Peace reigns in God's kingdom and on this Forum, which wishes to spread His message to the world.
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« Reply #48 on: April 08, 2013, 08:13:28 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?

Michal, if you care, technically it is libel. It is a mistake many native speakers make. Just thought you might want to know.

From someone who has been known to care insurance for it.
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« Reply #49 on: April 08, 2013, 08:30:10 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?

Michal, if you care, technically it is libel. It is a mistake many native speakers make. Just thought you might want to know.

From someone who has been known to care insurance for it.

This suggestion is as weird as is Michal's post.

How can this statement "it seems like the MP might be listening to Walters" be perceived as slander or as libelous? What crime am I insinuating? What wrong? Nothing at all! Are you both perceiving some weird fantasy that is in your minds.

If a person is "listening" to another person, surely the "listener" or receiver of that information could be politely pretending to be listening, couldn't he? Frankly, I think that this might be what is happening. Perhaps I am wrong, but if the MP were feigning interest when he really wants to get the Catholic Church to address some of the problems that separate us, would that not be a good thing? Furthermore, Dr. Walter and Father Nicholas Gruner are not on the good side of the Vatican, surely the MP knows this fact.
However, the MP also knows that Dr. Walter is wealthy and has a charity, so of course, he will be polite.

Back on topic. Thank you Liza!

I can understand how people might misperceive what Father Thomas Hopko has written in Free Republic. It SEEMS like he is saying that unity could occur even with the dreadful filioque left in the Nicene Creed. My response, "Not over my dead body."
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« Reply #50 on: April 08, 2013, 10:09:26 PM »


The Rules do allow questioning the practices, ethics, background of clergy and hierarchs merely so that concerns of the general public may get addressed.

If someone harbors a piece of mis-information, that little suspicion will keep gnawing at them and grow to complete distrust of the man, and perhaps even lead to questioning of the Church.

Therefore, it's best to let the questions come....and to have the faithful Orthodox address them politely, and thereby, preserve their good names.

In truth, by having these open discussions, we help preserve the integrity of the True Church and her hierarchs.

Now, about calling a spade a spade.....that is a personal attack on a fellow poster and not allowed...because once a person is personally attacked, they go on the defensive and are now closed to any material presented to them.  They will no longer be open to hearing the truth.

....besides....we'd never get any good information or discussions going, over all the name calling.  Lets leave the brawls for the bars.

Peace reigns in God's kingdom and on this Forum, which wishes to spread His message to the world.


I have no intention of resorting to "ad hominem" arguments or name calling. However the loose use of the charge of heretic or heresy is often little more than name calling or bullying and the use of these terms is on the increase.

This reflection by Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev: The Patristic Heritage and Modernity (2001) is worth a careful read and provides a far better argument in support of my understanding of the Faith than I could offer.

"If we concentrate only on the preservation and conservation of what has been accumulated by our Fathers before us, then things are quite simple. When, however, our vocation is to invest the talent of the patristic heritage, we find ourselves confronted by a tremendous task indeed, comprising not only the study of the works of the Fathers, but also their interpretation in the light of contemporary experience; it similarly requires an interpretation of our contemporary experience in the light of the teaching of the Fathers. This not only means studying the Fathers; the task before us is also to think patristically and to live patristically. For we will not be able to understand the fathers, if we have not shared their experience and endeavours, at least to a certain degree."  http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/11/1/2.aspx
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« Reply #51 on: April 08, 2013, 10:11:45 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?

James, my Orthodox faith was rattled by ecumenism completely.  After the events that I have described, I have never been on par with Orthodoxy since.    I would not resort to name calling though.  Though he is a WCC delegate, and while within the EO faith, I very much disagreed with him.  Being nicer and articulating your expressions, backing it up with facts "sometimes" works better.
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« Reply #52 on: April 08, 2013, 10:20:27 PM »


The Rules do allow questioning the practices, ethics, background of clergy and hierarchs merely so that concerns of the general public may get addressed.

If someone harbors a piece of mis-information, that little suspicion will keep gnawing at them and grow to complete distrust of the man, and perhaps even lead to questioning of the Church.

Therefore, it's best to let the questions come....and to have the faithful Orthodox address them politely, and thereby, preserve their good names.

In truth, by having these open discussions, we help preserve the integrity of the True Church and her hierarchs.

Now, about calling a spade a spade.....that is a personal attack on a fellow poster and not allowed...because once a person is personally attacked, they go on the defensive and are now closed to any material presented to them.  They will no longer be open to hearing the truth.

....besides....we'd never get any good information or discussions going, over all the name calling.  Lets leave the brawls for the bars.

Peace reigns in God's kingdom and on this Forum, which wishes to spread His message to the world.


I have no intention of resorting to "ad hominem" arguments or name calling. However the loose use of the charge of heretic or heresy is often little more than name calling or bullying and the use of these terms is on the increase.

This reflection by Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev: The Patristic Heritage and Modernity (2001) is worth a careful read and provides a far better argument in support of my understanding of the Faith than I could offer.

"If we concentrate only on the preservation and conservation of what has been accumulated by our Fathers before us, then things are quite simple. When, however, our vocation is to invest the talent of the patristic heritage, we find ourselves confronted by a tremendous task indeed, comprising not only the study of the works of the Fathers, but also their interpretation in the light of contemporary experience; it similarly requires an interpretation of our contemporary experience in the light of the teaching of the Fathers. This not only means studying the Fathers; the task before us is also to think patristically and to live patristically. For we will not be able to understand the fathers, if we have not shared their experience and endeavours, at least to a certain degree."  http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/11/1/2.aspx

I knew you weren't a name-caller, nor was I implying that....and hope you didn't take it personally.

By all means, if you see "heretic" used incorrectly, please report for moderation.  We don't always read every single post, and sometimes miss a few rule violations.

We would appreciate the "help" in bringing these to our attention.  Thanks!  Smiley
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« Reply #53 on: April 08, 2013, 10:23:19 PM »

To be quite honest, I'd be more alarmed if we weren't suspicious of the Moscow Patriarch.

After all....

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« Reply #54 on: April 08, 2013, 10:26:26 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 four volumes of The Orthodox Faith are pretty sound.  Being good friends with close relatives of Fr. Hopko, I will simply say that his older writings are sound.   Newer writings, well, care is needed. 
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« Reply #55 on: April 08, 2013, 10:48:49 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 Hopko or the OCA to give his answer. One has to put things into perspective and consider the source.

Lol.  I tried the St.E.Cafe site a few years ago.  I thought it was scary.  Maybe it was just at a weird prolonged full moon thing when I gave it a chance, but when I revisited a little later, it must have been another full moon.  Never been there since.  While I am against people "riding on their laurels," I do think that Fr. Hopko's years of solid service cannot and should not be erased by obscurities as age increases.  While I do think that the suggestion that "we should just let them use filioque" is ill advised, as Pope Benedict was perfectly willing to pronounce it without filioque during Patriarch Bartholomew's visit a few years back, it is not heresy.  He is arguing that one can interpret filioque in Orthodoxy to indicate mission of the Spirit into the world.  The problem, of course, is that we know from writings of the Fathers at the time that the purpose of the clause is to indicate essential relations within the Trinity.  Can we change the creed so that we don't care about its affirming the eternal Divinity of the Spirit and relation of the Trinity?  No.  But to condemn Fr. Hopko for his looking to in an Orthodox way to bring back to Orthodoxy those who look to Christ as their Savior is ridiculous.  We should not follow his advice on this point, but we also should not condemn him, as he expressed nothing that negates the Spirit's eternal relations within the Trinity.     
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« Reply #56 on: April 08, 2013, 10:52:42 PM »

To be quite honest, I'd be more alarmed if we weren't suspicious of the Moscow Patriarch.

After all....



There are so many cover ups on stuff through the years...   Though hilarious (bad photoshop) and scandalous, it's just one card in the stack.  

1 Timothy 2:9 - In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;

1 Peter 3:3 - Whose adorning let it not be that outward [adorning] of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;

I could give you several quotes from early Christians (1st, 2nd, and 3rd Century) that went completely
against costly array (but I've had a long day and want to be stuck to my chair and not get my books).   Those under him were willing to deceive and lie to save face for him.   Yes, I agree, trust would be an issue.
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« Reply #57 on: April 08, 2013, 11:04:10 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 Hopko or the OCA to give his answer. One has to put things into perspective and consider the source.

Lol.  I tried the St.E.Cafe site a few years ago.  I thought it was scary.  Maybe it was just at a weird prolonged full moon thing when I gave it a chance, but when I revisited a little later, it must have been another full moon.  Never been there since.  While I am against people "riding on their laurels," I do think that Fr. Hopko's years of solid service cannot and should not be erased by obscurities as age increases.  While I do think that the suggestion that "we should just let them use filioque" is ill advised, as Pope Benedict was perfectly willing to pronounce it without filioque during Patriarch Bartholomew's visit a few years back, it is not heresy.  He is arguing that one can interpret filioque in Orthodoxy to indicate mission of the Spirit into the world.  The problem, of course, is that we know from writings of the Fathers at the time that the purpose of the clause is to indicate essential relations within the Trinity.  Can we change the creed so that we don't care about its affirming the eternal Divinity of the Spirit and relation of the Trinity?  No.  But to condemn Fr. Hopko for his looking to in an Orthodox way to bring back to Orthodoxy those who look to Christ as their Savior is ridiculous.  We should not follow his advice on this point, but we also should not condemn him, as he expressed nothing that negates the Spirit's eternal relations within the Trinity.     

As far as traditional Orthodoxy, I myself found St. E. Cafe to being pretty "good" in terms of (in context of non-controversy) "Orthodox tradition".   I like the anti-ecumenism stance that I read on there... 

As far as the subject is concerned, I very well may have been a victim of his delegation with the WCC (indirectly).   I would advise any EO Christian that 'wants Orthodoxy' to try to attend a WCC event.   I do think he's a genius in his works... But I think in that genius it contorts his mind into the rationale to accept the WCC.   Anyway, I'm gonna step out on this now, because I really have no dog in this fight anymore - I think I have the right to comment though, as he was "juiced in" the WCC, when I decided to "juice out" of Eastern Orthodoxy with a WCC catalyst.

If we cast the WCC & ecumenism aside, I think as James labeled him, he's a genius in Orthodox theology.

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« Reply #58 on: April 08, 2013, 11:12:14 PM »

Fr. Hopko  is a wonderful man with a wonderful family. If you ever get to meet him he will brighten your day.
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« Reply #59 on: April 08, 2013, 11:27:06 PM »

The real impact of the WCC and Orthodox "involvement" with the organization and alleged "contamination" as a result, are non issues but to the imaginations of the overwrought. The WCC is a paper tiger with nearly zero influence on national or global public policy and Orthodoxy is the proverbial elephant in the room full of the WCC grand poobahs. It is a dog and pony show at best. No real purpose is served by Orthodox involvement nor has real harm come to us as a result; we routinely ignore its commissions, pronouncements and policy recommendations to the everlasting dismay of the Protestant elitists who run the organization. But mere participation is hardly is evidence of heterodoxy on the part of the Orthodox who are involved with it, but rather it is a waste of time and money. Poor judgement? Perhaps, but hardly enough to justify schism and apostasy.
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« Reply #60 on: April 08, 2013, 11:27:34 PM »

Fr. Hopko  is a wonderful man with a wonderful family. If you ever get to meet him he will brighten your day.

Amen.
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« Reply #61 on: April 08, 2013, 11:31:06 PM »

Fr. Hopko 

What kind of first name is Hopko?
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« Reply #62 on: April 08, 2013, 11:42:26 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 Hopko or the OCA to give his answer. One has to put things into perspective and consider the source.

Lol.  I tried the St.E.Cafe site a few years ago.  I thought it was scary.  Maybe it was just at a weird prolonged full moon thing when I gave it a chance, but when I revisited a little later, it must have been another full moon.  Never been there since.  While I am against people "riding on their laurels," I do think that Fr. Hopko's years of solid service cannot and should not be erased by obscurities as age increases.  While I do think that the suggestion that "we should just let them use filioque" is ill advised, as Pope Benedict was perfectly willing to pronounce it without filioque during Patriarch Bartholomew's visit a few years back, it is not heresy.  He is arguing that one can interpret filioque in Orthodoxy to indicate mission of the Spirit into the world.  The problem, of course, is that we know from writings of the Fathers at the time that the purpose of the clause is to indicate essential relations within the Trinity.  Can we change the creed so that we don't care about its affirming the eternal Divinity of the Spirit and relation of the Trinity?  No.  But to condemn Fr. Hopko for his looking to in an Orthodox way to bring back to Orthodoxy those who look to Christ as their Savior is ridiculous.  We should not follow his advice on this point, but we also should not condemn him, as he expressed nothing that negates the Spirit's eternal relations within the Trinity.     

As far as traditional Orthodoxy, I myself found St. E. Cafe to being pretty "good" in terms of (in context of non-controversy) "Orthodox tradition".   I like the anti-ecumenism stance that I read on there... 

As far as the subject is concerned, I very well may have been a victim of his delegation with the WCC (indirectly).   I would advise any EO Christian that 'wants Orthodoxy' to try to attend a WCC event.   I do think he's a genius in his works... But I think in that genius it contorts his mind into the rationale to accept the WCC.   Anyway, I'm gonna step out on this now, because I really have no dog in this fight anymore - I think I have the right to comment though, as he was "juiced in" the WCC, when I decided to "juice out" of Eastern Orthodoxy with a WCC catalyst.

If we cast the WCC & ecumenism aside, I think as James labeled him, he's a genius in Orthodox theology.



I don't think he is a an advocate of WCC "perspective."  No, I have not been to any WCC events (although I have been to NCC stuff), but have read of ridiculous things and tasted of it on NCC level.  And granted, you might say that I am "biased" to some degree, but I think you would be wrong about this.  I take family and friends and their sayings and writings at face value.  I look at some of my own writings from years back and think "what were you thinking when you wrote this."  Again, Fr. Hopko is solid, and a life of decent ministry is not erased by a few questionable writings (that do not contain heresy btw). 
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« Reply #63 on: April 08, 2013, 11:47:12 PM »

The real impact of the WCC and Orthodox "involvement" with the organization and alleged "contamination" as a result, are non issues but to the imaginations of the overwrought. The WCC is a paper tiger with nearly zero influence on national or global public policy and Orthodoxy is the proverbial elephant in the room full of the WCC grand poobahs. It is a dog and pony show at best. No real purpose is served by Orthodox involvement nor has real harm come to us as a result; we routinely ignore its commissions, pronouncements and policy recommendations to the everlasting dismay of the Protestant elitists who run the organization. But mere participation is hardly is evidence of heterodoxy on the part of the Orthodox who are involved with it, but rather it is a waste of time and money. Poor judgement? Perhaps, but hardly enough to justify schism and apostasy.

exactly. 
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« Reply #64 on: April 09, 2013, 12:07:26 AM »

The real impact of the WCC and Orthodox "involvement" with the organization and alleged "contamination" as a result, are non issues but to the imaginations of the overwrought. The WCC is a paper tiger with nearly zero influence on national or global public policy and Orthodoxy is the proverbial elephant in the room full of the WCC grand poobahs. It is a dog and pony show at best. No real purpose is served by Orthodox involvement nor has real harm come to us as a result; we routinely ignore its commissions, pronouncements and policy recommendations to the everlasting dismay of the Protestant elitists who run the organization. But mere participation is hardly is evidence of heterodoxy on the part of the Orthodox who are involved with it, but rather it is a waste of time and money. Poor judgement? Perhaps, but hardly enough to justify schism and apostasy.

exactly.  

A lot of the Orthodox local churches have withdrawn from the WCC. I wish those still involved would just do the same and be done with it, since I agree that it's essentially a waste of our time.

Anyone know which local churches are still involved? I'll see if I can find a list, since this is essentially just my known curiosity (and I don't wish to detract from the OP). I know Georgia was involved and left. I'm unsure if the Russian Church is still involved...is the OCA? Anyway...I digress.

EDIT: I did a quick search on the WCC website to see who's involved from us. I found the following national autocephalous churches to be WCC members:

Albania
Finland (autonomous, under Moscow)
Greece
Poland
Jerusalem
Cyprus

For the Oriental Orthodox, the Eritrean Tewahedo Orthodox Church seems to be the only member.
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« Reply #65 on: April 09, 2013, 01:03:18 AM »

The real impact of the WCC and Orthodox "involvement" with the organization and alleged "contamination" as a result, are non issues but to the imaginations of the overwrought. The WCC is a paper tiger with nearly zero influence on national or global public policy and Orthodoxy is the proverbial elephant in the room full of the WCC grand poobahs. It is a dog and pony show at best. No real purpose is served by Orthodox involvement nor has real harm come to us as a result; we routinely ignore its commissions, pronouncements and policy recommendations to the everlasting dismay of the Protestant elitists who run the organization. But mere participation is hardly is evidence of heterodoxy on the part of the Orthodox who are involved with it, but rather it is a waste of time and money. Poor judgement? Perhaps, but hardly enough to justify schism and apostasy.

exactly.  

A lot of the Orthodox local churches have withdrawn from the WCC. I wish those still involved would just do the same and be done with it, since I agree that it's essentially a waste of our time.

Anyone know which local churches are still involved? I'll see if I can find a list, since this is essentially just my known curiosity (and I don't wish to detract from the OP). I know Georgia was involved and left. I'm unsure if the Russian Church is still involved...is the OCA? Anyway...I digress.

EDIT: I did a quick search on the WCC website to see who's involved from us. I found the following national autocephalous churches to be WCC members:

Albania
Finland (autonomous, under Moscow)
Greece
Poland
Jerusalem
Cyprus

For the Oriental Orthodox, the Eritrean Tewahedo Orthodox Church seems to be the only member.

It is good that Orthodox Churches are withdrawing from the WCC. Why should Orthodox Churches be funding the WCC by their membership dues?
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« Reply #66 on: April 09, 2013, 05:29:56 AM »

This suggestion is as weird as is Michal's post.

How can this statement "it seems like the MP might be listening to Walters" be perceived as slander or as libelous? What crime am I insinuating? What wrong? Nothing at all! Are you both perceiving some weird fantasy that is in your minds.

You are accusing Moscow Patriarchate of considering adopting a heresy. With no proof at all. "Based" on a fact that this guy and his priest friend visit Russia to speak on charity conferences.

"It seems that Maria might have been involved in paedophilia since she was a Roman Catholic and some Roman Catholics were or are paedophiles".

How does that feel?
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« Reply #67 on: April 09, 2013, 05:53:23 AM »

Finland (autonomous, under Moscow)

Last time I checked, Finland still was under Constantinople...
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« Reply #68 on: April 09, 2013, 11:40:20 AM »

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.

Thanks for the reference. It appears that an Episcopal priest wrote the Free Republic article that quoted Father Hopko, who said, among other things:

"Another point for the Orthodox is that we not only have to desire unity, be ready to sacrifice everything essential to have it, to be able to distinguish what is essential from what is not, be able to forgive the past and admit our own sins and concentrate on ourselves, to do practical acts of charity and mercy – but also never, ever to say or do anything that would offend another person unnecessarily…There are so many ways we can charitably go out of our way to not hurt others… our churches speak about unity, and then every day attack each other in missionary work and so on. Even among the Orthodox, one of our jurisdictions starts a mission and three days later, another jurisdiction starts another mission on the same street. That’s just offensive." (my emphasis).

While I do not agree with others that what you have insinuated is libelous, I ask you if it was truly necessary, as it has offended not only those who like Father Hopko but also those who are under the Patriarchate of Moscow. Indeed, what you insinuated may be offensive to most folks, whether they are fans of Fr Hopko or the MP, just because you brought to the table an insinuation and dropped it there like a stink bomb.

That said, I want to continue with the article in the Free Republic. I have a feeling that the offending passages are the ones that call for the Orthodox to be flexible, such as:

"Another point for the Orthodox is that we not only have to desire unity, be ready to sacrifice everything essential to have it, to be able to distinguish what is essential from what is not, be able to forgive the past and admit our own sins and concentrate on ourselves, to do practical acts of charity and mercy"
.....
"So Orthodox need to be ready to go the extra mile. Jesus said, “If they ask for your coat, give them your shirt. If they ask you to go one mile, go two.” So our attitude has to be always toward bending over backwards, so to speak, to do the thing that will build up unity rather than give offense or cause hard feelings."

I frankly think that he made a mistake in saying "(we have to) be ready to sacrifice everything essential to have (unity)." This must have been a slip of the tongue, because the very next phrase is "to be able to distinguish what is essential from what is not": why make the distinction at all if we are to sacrifice essentials? So, the question here is what is essential and what is not? If one thinks that everything is essential we shall have more great schisms. like the unfortunate Old Believers one.

The point remains, however, that Father Hopko is essentially correct. To quote him from the beginning of his talk, "When people ask me, for example, why the Orthodox jurisdictions in America are not united, the answer is very clear: because our leaders don’t want it. If they wanted it, we would have had it yesterday. There is nothing stopping them… you may have to suffer a lot. You may have to give up some things: power, pre-eminence, prominence, property, possessions, prestige, positions, privilege and pleasure. We’re not ready to give up those things because of pride, passion and prejudice. Forget it. There’s not going to be any unity. That’s what divides people generally, and it is certainly what divides churches…"
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« Reply #69 on: April 09, 2013, 11:43:29 AM »

The real impact of the WCC and Orthodox "involvement" with the organization and alleged "contamination" as a result, are non issues but to the imaginations of the overwrought. The WCC is a paper tiger with nearly zero influence on national or global public policy and Orthodoxy is the proverbial elephant in the room full of the WCC grand poobahs. It is a dog and pony show at best. No real purpose is served by Orthodox involvement nor has real harm come to us as a result; we routinely ignore its commissions, pronouncements and policy recommendations to the everlasting dismay of the Protestant elitists who run the organization. But mere participation is hardly is evidence of heterodoxy on the part of the Orthodox who are involved with it, but rather it is a waste of time and money. Poor judgement? Perhaps, but hardly enough to justify schism and apostasy.

exactly. 

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« Reply #70 on: April 09, 2013, 11:58:28 AM »

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.

Thanks for the reference. It appears that an Episcopal priest wrote the Free Republic article that quoted Father Hopko, who said, among other things:

"Another point for the Orthodox is that we not only have to desire unity, be ready to sacrifice everything essential to have it, to be able to distinguish what is essential from what is not, be able to forgive the past and admit our own sins and concentrate on ourselves, to do practical acts of charity and mercy – but also never, ever to say or do anything that would offend another person unnecessarily…There are so many ways we can charitably go out of our way to not hurt others… our churches speak about unity, and then every day attack each other in missionary work and so on. Even among the Orthodox, one of our jurisdictions starts a mission and three days later, another jurisdiction starts another mission on the same street. That’s just offensive." (my emphasis).

While I do not agree with others that what you have insinuated is libelous, I ask you if it was truly necessary, as it has offended not only those who like Father Hopko but also those who are under the Patriarchate of Moscow. Indeed, what you insinuated may be offensive to most folks, whether they are fans of Fr Hopko or the MP, just because you brought to the table an insinuation and dropped it there like a stink bomb.

That said, I want to continue with the article in the Free Republic. I have a feeling that the offending passages are the ones that call for the Orthodox to be flexible, such as:

"Another point for the Orthodox is that we not only have to desire unity, be ready to sacrifice everything essential to have it, to be able to distinguish what is essential from what is not, be able to forgive the past and admit our own sins and concentrate on ourselves, to do practical acts of charity and mercy"
.....
"So Orthodox need to be ready to go the extra mile. Jesus said, “If they ask for your coat, give them your shirt. If they ask you to go one mile, go two.” So our attitude has to be always toward bending over backwards, so to speak, to do the thing that will build up unity rather than give offense or cause hard feelings."

I frankly think that he made a mistake in saying "(we have to) be ready to sacrifice everything essential to have (unity)." This must have been a slip of the tongue, because the very next phrase is "to be able to distinguish what is essential from what is not": why make the distinction at all if we are to sacrifice essentials? So, the question here is what is essential and what is not? If one thinks that everything is essential we shall have more great schisms. like the unfortunate Old Believers one.

The point remains, however, that Father Hopko is essentially correct. To quote him from the beginning of his talk, "When people ask me, for example, why the Orthodox jurisdictions in America are not united, the answer is very clear: because our leaders don’t want it. If they wanted it, we would have had it yesterday. There is nothing stopping them… you may have to suffer a lot. You may have to give up some things: power, pre-eminence, prominence, property, possessions, prestige, positions, privilege and pleasure. We’re not ready to give up those things because of pride, passion and prejudice. Forget it. There’s not going to be any unity. That’s what divides people generally, and it is certainly what divides churches…"

No truer words have been spoken.  Statements like this are what make me love Fr. Thomas more and more.  I would love and pray for some sort of unity, but I know in my heart that our leaders are just humans and, as such, even the holiest of them are tempted more than I ever care to be.
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« Reply #71 on: April 09, 2013, 12:00:48 PM »

This suggestion is as weird as is Michal's post.

How can this statement "it seems like the MP might be listening to Walters" be perceived as slander or as libelous? What crime am I insinuating? What wrong? Nothing at all! Are you both perceiving some weird fantasy that is in your minds.

You are accusing Moscow Patriarchate of considering adopting a heresy. With no proof at all. "Based" on a fact that this guy and his priest friend visit Russia to speak on charity conferences.

"It seems that Maria might have been involved in paedophilia since she was a Roman Catholic and some Roman Catholics were or are paedophiles".

How does that feel?

What you just wrote about me is a totally irrational assumption that directly slanders any Catholic or former Catholic. Shame on you.

I did not mention heresy at all when writing about the MP, but you have made a wild illogical assumption.
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« Reply #72 on: April 09, 2013, 12:06:57 PM »

What you just wrote about me is a totally irrational assumption that directly slanders any Catholic or former Catholic. Shame on you.

Same what you wrote about the MP. So unreasonable accusations hurt, don't they? BTW these are not accusations. Did you ever notice in your very careful reading that I used the qualifer "SEEMS"?

Quote
I did not mention heresy at all when writing about the MP, but you have made a wild illogical assumption.

Let's see...

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.

So isn't filioque a heresy? Damn, all these super-hiper-tradidional Churches are so confusing...
« Last Edit: April 09, 2013, 12:07:20 PM by Michał Kalina » Logged

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« Reply #73 on: April 09, 2013, 12:12:56 PM »

Carl said
Quote
I frankly think that he made a mistake in saying "(we have to) be ready to sacrifice everything essential to have (unity)." This must have been a slip of the tongue, because the very next phrase is "to be able to distinguish what is essential from what is not": why make the distinction at all if we are to sacrifice essentials? So, the question here is what is essential and what is not? If one thinks that everything is essential we shall have more great schisms. like the unfortunate Old Believers one.

This is the point. Father Thomas Hopko was very imprecise here, and this imprecision has caused misunderstandings here. Now whether he did this intentionally or unintentionally as a slip of the tongue (keyboard) is between him and God. However, I did read this article when it came out in 2006, and it did shake my faith, so much so, that I started to look into True Orthodoxy.

Now, when I talked with another OCA priest, now a bishop, he told me that yes, the OCA is working and taking baby steps toward unity with Rome, but he did say THAT (not a direct quote, Michal) that the filioque would NOT be an item of negotiation.  Since Rome has used the Nicene Creed WITHOUT the filioque in the presence of Orthodox hierarchs, she would be expected to continue using the Creed without that filioque.

 
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« Reply #74 on: April 09, 2013, 12:13:55 PM »

This suggestion is as weird as is Michal's post.

How can this statement "it seems like the MP might be listening to Walters" be perceived as slander or as libelous? What crime am I insinuating? What wrong? Nothing at all! Are you both perceiving some weird fantasy that is in your minds.

You are accusing Moscow Patriarchate of considering adopting a heresy. With no proof at all. "Based" on a fact that this guy and his priest friend visit Russia to speak on charity conferences.

"It seems that Maria might have been involved in paedophilia since she was a Roman Catholic and some Roman Catholics were or are paedophiles".

How does that feel?

Michal, allow me to quote you from before - Do you have anything to substantiate your slander?
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« Reply #75 on: April 09, 2013, 12:14:06 PM »

Finland (autonomous, under Moscow)

Last time I checked, Finland still was under Constantinople...

Yes, my apologies.. It switched from the omophor of Moscow to the omophor of Constantinople in 1923. I stand corrected.
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« Reply #76 on: April 09, 2013, 12:15:28 PM »

What you just wrote about me is a totally irrational assumption that directly slanders any Catholic or former Catholic. Shame on you.

Same what you wrote about the MP. So unreasonable accusations hurt, don't they? BTW these are not accusations. Did you ever notice in your very careful reading that I used the qualifer "SEEMS"?

Quote
I did not mention heresy at all when writing about the MP, but you have made a wild illogical assumption.

Let's see...

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.

So isn't filioque a heresy? Damn, all these super-hiper-tradidional Churches are so confusing...

Bruce Walters is the one talking about the filioque, not the MP.
Cannot anyone read English?

You all are reading entirely TOO much into my statements.
This is a perfect example of all the goading and baiting that goes on here unabated.


Dare I call it harassment?
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« Reply #77 on: April 09, 2013, 12:20:43 PM »

Michal, allow me to quote you from before - Do you have anything to substantiate your slander?

"It's not a slander. I used the phrase "it seems" that means I am not sure about that and just thinking aloud."

That's how would I respond if I thought it was true.

Do you REALLY think I consider her to be a peadophile?

Bruce Walters is the one talking about the filioque, not the MP.
Cannot anyone read English?

You all are reading entirely TOO much into my statements.

Quote
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.

So who is listening to his proposals? How else could that be read?
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« Reply #78 on: April 09, 2013, 12:30:51 PM »

Michal, allow me to quote you from before - Do you have anything to substantiate your slander?

"It's not a slander. I used the phrase "it seems" that means I am not sure about that and just thinking aloud."

That's how would I respond if I thought it was true.

Do you REALLY think I consider her to be a peadophile?

Bruce Walters is the one talking about the filioque, not the MP.
Cannot anyone read English?

You all are reading entirely TOO much into my statements.

Quote
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.

So who is listening to his proposals? How else could that be read?

There is a significant difference between polite listening, pretending to listen, and listening attentively and taking action. I have written, and you have apparently ignored me, that I think the MP was apparently not listening attentively at all, but only appearing to listen out of politeness.
 
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« Reply #79 on: April 09, 2013, 12:32:12 PM »

Suggestion to Mods:

Please move this thread into the Private Forums. Thank you.
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« Reply #80 on: April 09, 2013, 01:24:34 PM »


Bruce Walters is the one talking about the filioque, not the MP.
Cannot anyone read English?

You all are reading entirely TOO much into my statements.


Maria, I'm going to be frank here. If you think people are reading too much into your statements, then you should make your statements clearer. When I read your first statement in this thread, I thought you were insinuating that the MP was in talks with Rome over unification. That may not have been what you intended, but that's how it came across to me (and probably Michał as well). Just my two cents on this.
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« Reply #81 on: April 09, 2013, 01:34:09 PM »

Maria, I'm going to be frank here. If you think people are reading too much into your statements, then you should make your statements clearer. When I read your first statement in this thread, I thought you were insinuating that the MP was in talks with Rome over unification. That may not have been what you intended, but that's how it came across to me (and probably Michał as well). Just my two cents on this.

Maria is not dumb. She is perfectly aware what she did and she did that on purpose (not for the first time she is accusing World Orthodoxy of some bizarre things with no proof (or to be more frankly, not accusing but sharing some gossips and suggesting things)). She secured herself with stating she is not certain about these but as the old proverb says: "It is not important whether you rob someone or it was you who were robbed. Either way you were involved in a robbery". The fart is spreading in the air.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2013, 01:34:56 PM by Michał Kalina » Logged

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« Reply #82 on: April 09, 2013, 01:36:59 PM »

[miscons]True Orthodoxy!  My favorite topic!
« Last Edit: April 09, 2013, 01:37:12 PM by Deep Roots » Logged

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« Reply #83 on: April 09, 2013, 01:52:35 PM »

I would like to apologize to Maria and to all of our Roman Catholic posters for this post, even if it was offered as an over-the-top equivalent to Maria's earlier post:

"It seems that Maria might have been involved in paedophilia since she was a Roman Catholic and some Roman Catholics were or are paedophiles"

Folks, this is Great Lent and I cannot take it any more. A long recess is called until after Pascha. Carl Kraeff
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« Reply #84 on: May 08, 2013, 11:18:59 AM »

This topic is unlocked as promised. Carl Kraeff
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« Reply #85 on: May 08, 2013, 04:40:18 PM »

I just recently listened to a cd called "praying with icons" by Fr. Hopko

If anyone else has heard it, what's your opinion.
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