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Author Topic: How well did the Protestant Reformers know of Orthodoxy?  (Read 3902 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: November 22, 2010, 08:23:23 PM »

I'm sure John Calvin, Martin Luther and all the like sure had knowledge of Orthodoxy, but how well did they know of it and why didn't they reform back to Orthodoxy? Too many similarities with the Catholics?
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« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2010, 09:58:10 PM »

I'm sure John Calvin, Martin Luther and all the like sure had knowledge of Orthodoxy, but how well did they know of it and why didn't they reform back to Orthodoxy? Too many similarities with the Catholics?

Luther had a high opinion of the "Eastern Catholics," i.e. Orthodox, who were then undergoing persecution under the Turks. There was some interaction between the early Lutherans and Patriarch Jeremias, and at one point the Augsburg Confession was translated into Greek (no one knows who did it, but possibly Melanchthon?)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriarch_Jeremias_II_of_Constantinople
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« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2010, 10:24:21 PM »

Weren't some Eastern Patriarchs actually Calvinists for a while?
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« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2010, 10:25:17 PM »

I'm sure John Calvin, Martin Luther and all the like sure had knowledge of Orthodoxy, but how well did they know of it and why didn't they reform back to Orthodoxy? Too many similarities with the Catholics?

Luther had a high opinion of the "Eastern Catholics," i.e. Orthodox, who were then undergoing persecution under the Turks. There was some interaction between the early Lutherans and Patriarch Jeremias, and at one point the Augsburg Confession was translated into Greek (no one knows who did it, but possibly Melanchthon?)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriarch_Jeremias_II_of_Constantinople
Patriarch Jeremias II, the Tübingen Lutherans, and the Greek Version of the Augsburg Confession: A Sixteenth Century Encounter. E. Tibbs
http://www.stpaulsirvine.org/sixteenthcentury.pdf
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« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2010, 10:26:28 PM »

Weren't some Eastern Patriarchs actually Calvinists for a while?

Supposedly Patriarch Cyril Lucaris had Calvinistic theological sympathies, though that is disputed.
 You have not used the proper title while addressing the Hierarch. It's not your first time, so you receive a 7-day-long warning. Michał Kalina.
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« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2010, 10:27:22 PM »

Weren't some Eastern Patriarchs actually Calvinists for a while?
No.
http://books.google.com/books?id=G1h5ijh3YcwC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Synod+of+Jerusalem&cd=1#v=onepage&q&f=false
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« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2010, 10:28:46 PM »

Weren't some Eastern Patriarchs actually Calvinists for a while?

No, that was a fraudulent claim brought about by Jesuits against Patriarch Cyril Lukaris, hand -in-hand with a Calvinist "confession" supposedly written by him.
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« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2010, 10:47:25 PM »

John Wesley, granted, a later reformer, read closely the Church Fathers. He particularly had high regard for St. Macarius. He encouraged Methodists, and demanded preachers of his movement, to fast on Wednesday and Friday. When he spoke of Christian perfection, it comes close to an understanding of synergy and theosis, although he does not use these terms. Some have said that of all the Protestant reformers, Wesley's overall theology is closest to Orthodoxy.

As to why he did not convert, I have no idea. Perhaps he felt no need to since, being a priest in the Church of England, he considered himself as in communion with the Church. Perhaps it was not an option because there was no Orthodox community in England to which he could relate. Just guessing.
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« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2010, 10:54:16 PM »

John Wesley, granted, a later reformer, read closely the Church Fathers. He particularly had high regard for St. Macarius. He encouraged Methodists, and demanded preachers of his movement, to fast on Wednesday and Friday. When he spoke of Christian perfection, it comes close to an understanding of synergy and theosis, although he does not use these terms. Some have said that of all the Protestant reformers, Wesley's overall theology is closest to Orthodoxy.

As to why he did not convert, I have no idea. Perhaps he felt no need to since, being a priest in the Church of England, he considered himself as in communion with the Church. Perhaps it was not an option because there was no Orthodox community in England to which he could relate. Just guessing.

I read that Charles Wesley studied the Orthodox Fathers at Oxford.
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« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2010, 10:57:04 PM »

Weren't some Eastern Patriarchs actually Calvinists for a while?

No, that was a fraudulent claim brought about by Jesuits against Patriarch Cyril Lukaris, hand -in-hand with a Calvinist "confession" supposedly written by him.
Thanks for clearing that up.
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« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2010, 10:59:26 PM »

So it comes down to we don't really have a true undertstanding, or answer, to why they never reformed to Orthodoxy? But instead they took it as a revolution.

I have another question, not regardng the topic, but in regards to the Catholics and Orthodox. I read a bit history on Aquinas, and near his death he and the Pope at the time wanted to get the Orthodox and the Catholics as one church again. He later died without any further discussions on it. Was there more periods in time where such a 'reunion' may have occured?

I wonder if Aquinas himself was more in line with Orthodoxy than that of Catholicsm, maybe it was because of his theology which was the helping hand to try to reunite both churches?
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« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2010, 11:07:50 PM »

So it comes down to we don't really have a true undertstanding, or answer, to why they never reformed to Orthodoxy? But instead they took it as a revolution.

I have another question, not regardng the topic, but in regards to the Catholics and Orthodox. I read a bit history on Aquinas, and near his death he and the Pope at the time wanted to get the Orthodox and the Catholics as one church again. He later died without any further discussions on it. Was there more periods in time where such a 'reunion' may have occured?

I wonder if Aquinas himself was more in line with Orthodoxy than that of Catholicsm, maybe it was because of his theology which was the helping hand to try to reunite both churches?

Well, this was interesting: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_of_florence
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« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2010, 11:21:32 PM »

I'm sure John Calvin, Martin Luther and all the like sure had knowledge of Orthodoxy, but how well did they know of it and why didn't they reform back to Orthodoxy? Too many similarities with the Catholics?

Luther had a high opinion of the "Eastern Catholics," i.e. Orthodox, who were then undergoing persecution under the Turks. There was some interaction between the early Lutherans and Patriarch Jeremias, and at one point the Augsburg Confession was translated into Greek (no one knows who did it, but possibly Melanchthon?)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriarch_Jeremias_II_of_Constantinople

It was Melanchthon that not only wrote the Augsburg Confession, but also translated it into Greek.  He was assisted in the translation by a Serbian Priest.  Melanchthon was rather close to Orthodoxy, and it is unfortunate that the correspondence between the Lutherans and the Orthodox did not go further.

As an aside, Philip Melanchthon was a good friend of Martin Luther.  At one point, Melanchthon was close to death and Luther begged God not to take him.  Melanchthon was healed, but Luther later regretted it because Luther thought that Melanchthon "reverted back to Catholicism" in his later years.  This was not totally true, but I have a feeling that Melanchthon's contact with Orthodoxy had some positive effect on him.  He remains one of my favorite theologians.
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« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2010, 11:28:43 PM »

It amazes me how much they focused on that Filoque.

Thanks for the wiki link.
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« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2010, 11:54:40 PM »

John Wesley, granted, a later reformer, read closely the Church Fathers...

Very interesting, Kevin.  Do you happen to have a listing of books or links where I can research this further?  The works of John and Charles Wesley struck me as being, in many ways, compatible with Orthodoxy.  I won't press that point, but I would like to learn more about this connection. 
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« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2010, 12:46:50 AM »

John Wesley, granted, a later reformer, read closely the Church Fathers...

Very interesting, Kevin.  Do you happen to have a listing of books or links where I can research this further?  The works of John and Charles Wesley struck me as being, in many ways, compatible with Orthodoxy.  I won't press that point, but I would like to learn more about this connection. 

I've also read that most contemporaries of the Wesley's had a very bad reaction to the doctrine of Entire Sanctification. Does anyone know anything about this? Who was against it? Why?
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« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2010, 11:07:17 AM »

John Wesley, granted, a later reformer, read closely the Church Fathers...

Very interesting, Kevin.  Do you happen to have a listing of books or links where I can research this further?  The works of John and Charles Wesley struck me as being, in many ways, compatible with Orthodoxy.  I won't press that point, but I would like to learn more about this connection. 
I highly recommend you find John Wesley, edited by Albert Outler. The ISBN is 0 19 502810-4. It is an excellent collection of Wesley's life and thought. It includes references Wesley made to Macarius, Chrysostom, Clement, Ambrose, Athanasius, Augustine, Cyprian, Gregory of Nyssa, Gergory Nazianzus, Hilary, Ignatius, Irenaeus, Jerome, Justin Martyr, Lactantius, Origen, and Polycarp. Outler also discusses the influence the early church fathers had on Wesley, as well as noting how the doctrine of syergy impacted his theology.

You can also go to google books and download for free John Wesley's tract A Plain Account of Christian Perfection.

I hope these are helpful for your exploration.
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« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2010, 11:12:06 AM »

I just stumbled upon this link and read the first couple pages of this doctoral dissertation. It looks fascinating to me, and may be quite helpful to further discussion on this thread.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/21551512/John-Wesley-Eastern-Orthodoxy
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« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2010, 11:25:26 AM »

I just stumbled upon this link and read the first couple pages of this doctoral dissertation. It looks fascinating to me, and may be quite helpful to further discussion on this thread.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/21551512/John-Wesley-Eastern-Orthodoxy

Very interesting. My priest had mentioned this but I never heard this growing up a Methodist. I had sent a letter to the "Methodist Confessing Movement" about 6 months ago asking them to consider taking Wesley further than he wanted to go by returning to Holy Orthodoxy. Needless to say, I never got a reply.  Tongue

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« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2010, 01:05:27 PM »

I'm sure John Calvin, Martin Luther and all the like sure had knowledge of Orthodoxy, but how well did they know of it and why didn't they reform back to Orthodoxy? Too many similarities with the Catholics?

Luther had a high opinion of the "Eastern Catholics," i.e. Orthodox, who were then undergoing persecution under the Turks. There was some interaction between the early Lutherans and Patriarch Jeremias, and at one point the Augsburg Confession was translated into Greek (no one knows who did it, but possibly Melanchthon?)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriarch_Jeremias_II_of_Constantinople

It was Melanchthon that not only wrote the Augsburg Confession, but also translated it into Greek.  He was assisted in the translation by a Serbian Priest.  Melanchthon was rather close to Orthodoxy, and it is unfortunate that the correspondence between the Lutherans and the Orthodox did not go further.

As an aside, Philip Melanchthon was a good friend of Martin Luther.  At one point, Melanchthon was close to death and Luther begged God not to take him.  Melanchthon was healed, but Luther later regretted it because Luther thought that Melanchthon "reverted back to Catholicism" in his later years.  This was not totally true, but I have a feeling that Melanchthon's contact with Orthodoxy had some positive effect on him.  He remains one of my favorite theologians.
He was laid next to Luther in the Schloßkirche in Wittenberg.
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« Reply #20 on: November 23, 2010, 02:02:30 PM »

Weren't some Eastern Patriarchs actually Calvinists for a while?

Supposedly Patriarch Cyril Lucaris had Calvinistic theological sympathies, though that is disputed.
 You have not used the proper title while addressing the Hierarch. It's not your first time, so you receive a 7-day-long warning. Michał Kalina.

It's actually been thoroughly debunked by Greek Orthodox theologians, as well as the Council of Jerusalem, which did not accept the Confession ascribed to him as actually haveing been written by Patriarch Cyril Lukaris. Patriarch Cyril anathematized it and Calvinism, together with Roman Catholicism. He was a great champion of Orthodoxy, martyred by papal agents in collusion with the Turks.
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« Reply #21 on: November 23, 2010, 02:28:27 PM »

Weren't some Eastern Patriarchs actually Calvinists for a while?

Supposedly Patriarch Cyril Lucaris had Calvinistic theological sympathies, though that is disputed.
You have not used the proper title while addressing the Hierarch. It's not your first time, so you receive a 7-day-long warning. Michał Kalina.

You forgot to tell me who I talk to about my objections to this absurd rule. I don't care about the warning, nor do I care about it being reversed. I just think the entire policy is ridiculous. When St. Vladimir's Seminary Press releases a book by "John Anthony McGuckin," are they intentionally trying to slight him or undermine his authority because they don't put his ecclesiastical title before his name?

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« Reply #22 on: November 23, 2010, 04:06:04 PM »

I highly recommend you find John Wesley, edited by Albert Outler. The ISBN is 0 19 502810-4. It is an excellent collection of Wesley's life and thought. It includes references Wesley made to Macarius, Chrysostom, Clement, Ambrose, Athanasius, Augustine, Cyprian, Gregory of Nyssa, Gergory Nazianzus, Hilary, Ignatius, Irenaeus, Jerome, Justin Martyr, Lactantius, Origen, and Polycarp. Outler also discusses the influence the early church fathers had on Wesley, as well as noting how the doctrine of syergy impacted his theology.

You can also go to google books and download for free John Wesley's tract A Plain Account of Christian Perfection.

I hope these are helpful for your exploration.

Kevin, thanks very much for your contribution to this thread and your help.  The Outler book and the dissertation you linked will certainly aid my exploration.  A Plain Account of Christian Perfection is wonderful, and it's primarily where I found the teachings that appeared compatible with Orthodoxy.

It seems that if John Wesley is to be classified as a Protestant Reformer, he apparently had a solid knowledge of, at the very least, historical Orthodoxy.

 
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« Reply #23 on: November 23, 2010, 06:06:21 PM »

Fr. Michael Oleksa, IIRC, mentioned in one of his lectures that an associate of Jan Hus, Jerome of Prague,  became Orthodox. His Orthodox baptismal certificate was supposedly found recently. He also suffered the same fate as Hus. There is apparent veneration for him in the Czech Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #24 on: November 23, 2010, 11:04:09 PM »

Weren't some Eastern Patriarchs actually Calvinists for a while?

Supposedly Patriarch Cyril Lucaris had Calvinistic theological sympathies, though that is disputed.
You have not used the proper title while addressing the Hierarch. It's not your first time, so you receive a 7-day-long warning. Michał Kalina.

You forgot to tell me who I talk to about my objections to this absurd rule. I don't care about the warning, nor do I care about it being reversed. I just think the entire policy is ridiculous. When St. Vladimir's Seminary Press releases a book by "John Anthony McGuckin," are they intentionally trying to slight him or undermine his authority because they don't put his ecclesiastical title before his name?

I wholly agree with you that tis is an absurd rule, even more absurdly enforced. We are talking about people dead a few centuries ago, for God's sake.

For publicly criticizing a moderatorial action, you are receiving this warning to last for the next three weeks. Remember that the only appropriate way to argue with or criticize a moderatorial action is via private message either to the moderator who took action or to the global moderator directly responsible for overseeing his work--in this case, Fr. George. If you think this action wrong, feel free to appeal it via private message to Fr. George.

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« Reply #25 on: December 27, 2010, 12:25:20 AM »

So it comes down to we don't really have a true undertstanding, or answer, to why they never reformed to Orthodoxy? But instead they took it as a revolution.

I have another question, not regardng the topic, but in regards to the Catholics and Orthodox. I read a bit history on Aquinas, and near his death he and the Pope at the time wanted to get the Orthodox and the Catholics as one church again. He later died without any further discussions on it. Was there more periods in time where such a 'reunion' may have occured?

I wonder if Aquinas himself was more in line with Orthodoxy than that of Catholicsm, maybe it was because of his theology which was the helping hand to try to reunite both churches?

The Catholic and Orthodox Churches have been reunited twice since 1054, at the Second Council of Lyon and the Council of Florence. Both times though this was repudiated in the east almost immediately.

At the request of Pope Urban IV Thomas wrote a document for the Second Council of Lyon, since referred to as Contra Errores Graecorum (Thomas did not call it that). Thomas was to be present at the council, but died en route. The council achieved the unification of the Churches in 1274, but it was repudiated by Byzantine Emperor Andronikos II in 1282.

Thomas felt that the schism between Catholic and Orthodox was based on misunderstanding rather than enduring doctrinal disunion, but he believed in both the filioque and the Papal primacy.
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« Reply #26 on: December 27, 2010, 12:38:27 AM »

Thomas felt that the schism between Catholic and Orthodox was based on misunderstanding rather than enduring doctrinal disunion, but he believed in both the filioque and the Papal primacy.

Both the two examples you gave at the end are more than just "misunderstandings" and I would guarentee for the Catholic Church to be unified with the Orthodox Church, the Pope would have to renounce his headship.
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« Reply #27 on: December 28, 2010, 04:22:44 PM »

I was giving the opinion of Thomas.

The Western and Eastern Churches were united for 200 years between the pontificate of John VIII and Leo IX with the west using the filioque and the east rejecting it, so I have a hard time taking it seriously as an issue.

On the issue of the Papacy, I agree that that isn't going away anytime soon. Rome will never renounce the authority to define the teachings of the magisterium that she has always held, the East remains enamored the novelties introduced by Cerularius on that issue.
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« Reply #28 on: December 28, 2010, 04:43:07 PM »

Thomas felt that the schism between Catholic and Orthodox was based on misunderstanding rather than enduring doctrinal disunion, but he believed in both the filioque and the Papal primacy.

I have read next to nothing from Aquinas so care to point out where he says that?

Melanchthon was rather close to Orthodoxy, and it is unfortunate that the correspondence between the Lutherans and the Orthodox did not go further.

As an aside, Philip Melanchthon was a good friend of Martin Luther.  At one point, Melanchthon was close to death and Luther begged God not to take him.  Melanchthon was healed, but Luther later regretted it because Luther thought that Melanchthon "reverted back to Catholicism" in his later years.  This was not totally true, but I have a feeling that Melanchthon's contact with Orthodoxy had some positive effect on him.  He remains one of my favorite theologians.

How come he was close to Orthodoxy and why did Luther think that Melanchton had abandoned his Protestantism?
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« Reply #29 on: December 28, 2010, 04:57:26 PM »

I was giving the opinion of Thomas.

The Western and Eastern Churches were united for 200 years between the pontificate of John VIII and Leo IX with the west using the filioque and the east rejecting it, so I have a hard time taking it seriously as an issue.

On the issue of the Papacy, I agree that that isn't going away anytime soon. Rome will never renounce the authority to define the teachings of the magisterium that she has always held, the East remains enamored the novelties introduced by Cerularius on that issue.

Many popes have anathematized the filioque (St. Leo III and John VIII among them. Pope John VIII also recognized the two councils in Constantinople--one held by St. Photoios and one reinstating him as Patriarch of Constantinople), indeed it was not employed in Rome until the coronation of Henry II as Emperor in 1014. From that time, it was included in papal systatic letters until the pontificate of Gregory VII (or thereabouts), when the pope stopped sending letters of his confession of faith to the other patriarchs. Parts of the Western Church, such as Spain, Germany, France, and England employed filioque to various extents, but there was no unanimity in the Western Church on filioque, and there was not, until after the schism in 1054, an actual dogmatizing on the meaning of filioque, whereby the teaching of the Western Church was set.

Michael Cerularius did not introduce novelties, especially not on the notion of papal authority. Get your facts right.
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« Reply #30 on: December 28, 2010, 05:24:41 PM »


Melanchthon was rather close to Orthodoxy, and it is unfortunate that the correspondence between the Lutherans and the Orthodox did not go further.

As an aside, Philip Melanchthon was a good friend of Martin Luther.  At one point, Melanchthon was close to death and Luther begged God not to take him.  Melanchthon was healed, but Luther later regretted it because Luther thought that Melanchthon "reverted back to Catholicism" in his later years.  This was not totally true, but I have a feeling that Melanchthon's contact with Orthodoxy had some positive effect on him.  He remains one of my favorite theologians.

How come he was close to Orthodoxy and why did Luther think that Melanchton had abandoned his Protestantism?

It has been a long time since I have studied Lutheran theology, but if I remember correctly, Melanchthon thought that works were a bit more necessary than Luther did.  He was accused of Synergism, and was accused of allowing some "Papist" practices back into the Church.  From what I remember, both of these accusations were not supported by Melanchthon's actual writings.
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« Reply #31 on: December 28, 2010, 05:53:07 PM »

As a Westerner, the more educated you [general you] are in a secular sense, the more you've immersed yourself in the hegemony of Enlightenment reductionism (whether you realise it or not). If you swallow this reductionism whole, without examining it for what it is, you tend towards atheism. Atheism is the faith choice of the reductionist.

People who are born Protestant and who are "thinkers" by nature will often (certainly not always) gravitate towards Orthodoxy, because it's the only internally coherent branch of Christianity.

If these "thinkers" keep "thinking", and start mistakenly applying reductionist scientific thinking to metaphysical concerns, they may stray into atheism too.
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« Reply #32 on: December 28, 2010, 06:02:46 PM »

I think the original question of this thread is about as useful as "how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?"

Whether or not the Reformers were aware of Orthodox theology, world events in history did not lend themselves to the West reaching out to the East. Russia wanted nothing to do with Europe during this time (this was during the rein of Ivan the Terrible), and Greece was under the rule of the Turks.

Also, the West viewed the East as backwards and foreign, and probably held the same view regarding its religion.
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« Reply #33 on: December 28, 2010, 11:57:21 PM »

I was giving the opinion of Thomas.

The Western and Eastern Churches were united for 200 years between the pontificate of John VIII and Leo IX with the west using the filioque and the east rejecting it, so I have a hard time taking it seriously as an issue.

On the issue of the Papacy, I agree that that isn't going away anytime soon. Rome will never renounce the authority to define the teachings of the magisterium that she has always held, the East remains enamored the novelties introduced by Cerularius on that issue.

Many popes have anathematized the filioque (St. Leo III and John VIII among them. Pope John VIII also recognized the two councils in Constantinople--one held by St. Photoios and one reinstating him as Patriarch of Constantinople), indeed it was not employed in Rome until the coronation of Henry II as Emperor in 1014. From that time, it was included in papal systatic letters until the pontificate of Gregory VII (or thereabouts), when the pope stopped sending letters of his confession of faith to the other patriarchs. Parts of the Western Church, such as Spain, Germany, France, and England employed filioque to various extents, but there was no unanimity in the Western Church on filioque, and there was not, until after the schism in 1054, an actual dogmatizing on the meaning of filioque, whereby the teaching of the Western Church was set.

Michael Cerularius did not introduce novelties, especially not on the notion of papal authority. Get your facts right.

Neither Leo III nor John VIII anathematized the filioque, what's your source on that? There is not now nor has there ever been a dogmatic definition on the filioque either way by the Roman Church, to my knowledge. It has always been held as an acceptable but not necessary practice. At most, Leo III didn't allow it to be used in Rome, which is certainly not anathematizing it.

On Cerularius, his flat refusal to meet with Humbert was most certainly a novel practice. It contradicted both the authority to serve as the final word on established magisterial teaching which the Roman Church had always asserted for itself and the collegiality which the Orthodox claim was the tradition of the church.
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« Reply #34 on: December 29, 2010, 06:57:43 AM »


1. It has always been held as an acceptable but not necessary practice.

2. On Cerularius, his flat refusal to meet with Humbert was most certainly a novel practice. It contradicted both the authority to serve as the final word on established magisterial teaching which the Roman Church had always asserted for itself and the collegiality which the Orthodox claim was the tradition of the church.


1. Wrong.  It was an innovation, and you know that.

2. The text in bold speaks for itself.  Rome asserted this for itself, the Orthodox just do not recognize it.  The collegiality of Orthodox teaching has no room for a deluded Bishop to assert things for himself and expect all of the other Bishops to bow down to him.
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« Reply #35 on: December 29, 2010, 02:13:03 PM »

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1. Wrong.  It was an innovation, and you know that.

Yes, it came about in 6th century Spain. I am at pains to see why you think this is relevant to the question of whether the Filioque was ever anathematized by Leo III or John VIII

Quote
2. The text in bold speaks for itself.  Rome asserted this for itself, the Orthodox just do not recognize it.  The collegiality of Orthodox teaching has no room for a deluded Bishop to assert things for himself and expect all of the other Bishops to bow down to him.

The east was always less than perfectly obedient in their fascinations with the many heresies they embraced during the first millenium, but they never openly contradicted Rome's authority until Photios. When they did, Photios had to drag up the by now 300 year old Filioque and excommunicate the west over it, because he knew that Pope Nicholas I's authority to make a ruling on canon law questions of the Constantinople patriarchate was perfectly in keeping with Church tradition. Had it not been, there would have been no reason or need to accuse Nicholas of heresy. He could have just told the Roman church to mind its own business.
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« Reply #36 on: December 29, 2010, 03:49:31 PM »

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1. Wrong.  It was an innovation, and you know that.

Yes, it came about in 6th century Spain. I am at pains to see why you think this is relevant to the question of whether the Filioque was ever anathematized by Leo III or John VIII

Quote
2. The text in bold speaks for itself.  Rome asserted this for itself, the Orthodox just do not recognize it.  The collegiality of Orthodox teaching has no room for a deluded Bishop to assert things for himself and expect all of the other Bishops to bow down to him.

The east was always less than perfectly obedient in their fascinations with the many heresies they embraced during the first millenium, but they never openly contradicted Rome's authority until Photios. When they did, Photios had to drag up the by now 300 year old Filioque and excommunicate the west over it, because he knew that Pope Nicholas I's authority to make a ruling on canon law questions of the Constantinople patriarchate was perfectly in keeping with Church tradition. Had it not been, there would have been no reason or need to accuse Nicholas of heresy. He could have just told the Roman church to mind its own business.

It remains interesting that the other three Patriarchs did not see things that way. 
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« Reply #37 on: December 29, 2010, 04:06:43 PM »

Nor did Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria, like it when Pope Saint Innocent I declared that the name of the deposed Patriarch Saint John Chrysostom was to be restored to the diptychs of Constantinople, on his own pontifical initiative. Indeed, Theophilus succeeded in preventing it from happening until after his death. But nevertheless, it was done, on authority of the Bishop of Rome.

"Who does not know or observe that it [the church order] was delivered by Peter the chief of the apostles to the Roman church, and is kept until now, and ought to be retained by all, and that nothing ought to be imposed or introduced which has no authority, or seems to derive its precedents elsewhere?"
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« Reply #38 on: December 29, 2010, 06:48:46 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
I'm sure John Calvin, Martin Luther and all the like sure had knowledge of Orthodoxy, but how well did they know of it and why didn't they reform back to Orthodoxy? Too many similarities with the Catholics?

True, Luther and Calvin had many sympathies and relations to Orthodoxy in their own doctrines BUT remember that the Protestant movement was hijacked by politicians, princes and business men who made it about money.  Their beef had little to do with theology, rather these were highly opposed to paying taxes and tithes to the Roman clergy, and further resented the confining economic sanctions, laws and codes of the Roman Church.  The Protestant Movement was hardly even a religious movement, it was basically an economic revolution, using religion as a pretext, a subterfuge, and a rallying cry.  Further, the apostasy and corruption of a lot of Roman Catholic local leadership exasperated any honest and sincere reform attempts within the Roman Church forcing any religious leaders seeking positive change out entirely to side with the rebels.

However, after the movement gained speed and momentum, even good Anglicans and Lutherans who largely agree theological and dogmatically still with the Roman Catholic and Orthodox doctrines and who define themselves still according to our own accepted Apostolic Tradition, none-the-less retained the socio-cultural aspect of independence that dominated the Protestant thinking.  After the economic and political clouds subsided, faithful Protestants shifted their theology away from some fundamental doctrines of the Orthodox, such as the Sacramentality of the Divine Mysteries, the divine authority of the Apostolic clergy, and the submission of the laity to the Tradition rather than the intuition.  Protestants especially today resent highly the ideas of the Church which teach spirit rather than logic.  Protestant thinkers tend to favor an individualistic approach to religion, worship, and Scriptural interpretation. 

But initially, as with most situations, it was really all over money, on both sides, both the Protestant reformers/rebels and the Roman Counter-Reformists who often were seeking not doctrinal unity and reconciliation, but rather the regain lost economic and political resources in Northern and Western Europe..


stay blessed,
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« Reply #39 on: December 30, 2010, 01:16:46 AM »

This thread was intended to be a discussion of how well the early Protestant reformers knew of Orthodoxy, not another discussion of papal primacy, the filioque, relations between Rome and the East, or any other subject that would be better served on the Orthodox-Catholic board. Please get back on topic.
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« Reply #40 on: December 30, 2010, 04:40:58 AM »

I feel that I am responsible for taking this thread off topic. I apologize for doing so, as my intention was never to act in anything other in good faith. If anyone would like to make a new thread on the subject (Probably in Orthodox-Catholic discussion) I welcome it.
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« Reply #41 on: December 30, 2010, 01:54:29 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Forgive me, I am not intending to discredit or challenge the moderation, all due maximum respect to the moderators here and I am glad we can stay a bit on topic, but considering the topic is vaguely about the Reformation and the mindset of Protestant thinkers of the period, is it not appropriate to discuss the East/West relations, as the Protestants were initially good Roman Catholics, and as such viewed their world through a Roman Catholic lens, and to understand this mindset is to better understand the Protestant's view of Orthodox which is precisely what the OP asked.

How the Protestants viewed Roman Catholics, and in particular the immediately preceding relationships of East and West (as discussed above on this thread) were fundamental aspects of the Protestant Reformation and how the Protestants would've viewed Orthodox.  For example, it was mentioned the historical flirting of Rome and the Orthodox towards a sort of reunification, and this was heavily on the mind of the Protestants when they would interpret the potentials of favoring Orthodox instead of outright rejection of both Rome and Orthodox in favor of Protestantism.  The historic evidence of the relationship between Rome and Orthodox is then an important aspect to understand the context of the Protestant Reformation. 

However, as I already pointed out above, the Protestant Reformation was largely a political and economic revolution, hardly a theological one.  In that context, how the Protestants viewed Orthodox is almost irrelevant, considering that theology and religion were largely a pretext for the early Protestant leaders seeking political separation from the heavy hand of Rome.  Realistically, there was not even that much theological refute against Roman Catholic doctrines and theology, the early Protestants largely accepts most of the teachings of the Church, it was the Roman politics and economics they rejected and rebelled against, not necessarily the theology.  The proof? The first Protestants were Sacramental and Hierarchical in their clergy, they were hardly Baptists, rather they were essentially in religious practice still Roman Catholic in anathema and separation from the Papacy.  I suppose the real question this OP is asking is "Why didn't the early Protestants simply join the Orthodox rather than separate entirely on their own considering the retained the importance of liturgy and the sacraments?" and that indeed is a very very on-topic and good question to ask.


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« Reply #42 on: December 31, 2010, 11:36:53 AM »

"How well did the Protestant Reformers know of Orthodoxy?"  This is an interesting question, and it is a different question from "How well did the Protestant Reformers know the Church Fathers?"  Were there many Orthodox congregations in Germany or Switzerland in the 16th century?  What real possibilities might the Reformers have had to experience Orthodoxy personally and directly?  I have no clue.

Some of the Reformers read extensively in the Church Fathers.  St Augustine was everybody's favorite, of course, though Luther and Calvin were compelled to admit that Augustine didn't get St Paul quite right on justification by faith.  Apart from Augustine, Luther does not appear to have liked many of the Church Fathers.  He despised St Jerome:  "'I know no doctor whom I hate so much, although I once loved him ardently and read him voraciously.  Surely there's more learning in Aesop than in all of Jerome." About others:  "'I have no use for Chrysostom either, for he is only a gossip.  Basil doesn't amount to anything; he was a monk, after all, and I wouldn't givre a penny for him.  Philip's [Melanchthon's] Apology is superior to all the doctors of the church, even to Augustine himself.  Hilary and Theophylact are good, and so is Ambrose."   

John Calvin quotes extensively from the Church Fathers, as does Martin Chemnitz.  But how well did they "know" them?  Their reading of the Fathers was controlled and shaped by their polemical commitments.  The Church Fathers were mined for support in the theological controversies of the day.  The same could be said of Catholic theologians of the time.

Several 17th century Anglicans, Lancelot Andrewes being the most preeminent, developed a deep appreciation of the Eastern Fathers.           
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« Reply #43 on: December 31, 2010, 12:04:43 PM »

Given the season, perhaps this citation from Bishop Lancelot's 1605 Christmas homily, preached before King James I, might be of interest to the brethren:

Farther, we are to understand this, "that to whom much is given, of them will much be required;" and as St. Gregory wells saith, Cum crescunt dona, crescunt et rationes donorum, "As the gifts grow, so grow the accounts too;" therefore, that by this new dignity befallen us, Necessitas qu dam nobis imposita est, saith St. Augustine, "there is a certain necessity laid upon us" to become in some measure suitable unto it; in that we are one--one flesh and one blood, with the Son of God. Being thus "in honour," we ought to understand our estate, and not fall into the Psalmist's reproof, that we, "become like the beasts that perish." For if we do indeed think our nature is ennobled by this so high a conjunction, we shall henceforth hold ourselves more dear, and at a higher rate, than to prostitute ourselves to sin, for every base, trifling, and transitory pleasure. For tell me, men that are taken to this degree, shall any of them prove a devil, as Christ said of Judas? or ever, as these with us of late, have to do with any devilish or Judasly fact?

Shall any man, after this "assumption, be as "horse or mule that have no understanding,' and in a Christian profession like a brutish life? Nay then, St. Paul tells us further, that if we henceforth "walk like men," like but even carnal or natural men, it is a fault in us. Somewhat must appear in us more than in ordinary men, who are vouchsafed so extraordinary a favour. Somewhat more than common would come from us, if it but for this day's sake.

To conclude; not only thus to frame meditations and resolutions, but even some practice too, out of this act of "apprehension." It is very agreeable to reason, saith the Apostle, that we endeavour and make a proffer, if we may by any means, to "apprehend" Him in His, by Whom we are thus in our nature "apprehended," or, as He termeth it, "comphrended," even Christ Jesus; and be united to Him this day, as He was to us this day, by a mutual and reciprocal "apprehension." We may so, and we are bound so; vere dignum et justum est. And we do so, so oft as we do with St. James lay hold of, "apprehend," or receive insitum verbum, the "word which is daily grafted into us." For "the Word" He is, and in the word He is received by us. But that is not the proper of this day, unless there be another joined unto it. This day Verbum caro factum est, and so must be "apprehended" in both. But specially in His flesh as this day giveth it, as this day would have us. Now "the bread which we break, is it not the partaking of the body, of the flesh, of Jesus Christ?" It is surely, and by it and by nothing more are we made partakers of this blessed union. A little before He said, "Because the children were partakers of flesh and blood, He also would take part with them--may not we say the same? Because He hath so done, taken ours of us, we also ensuing His steps will participate with Him and with His flesh which He hath taken of us. It is most kindly to take part with Him in that which He took part in with us, and that, to no other end, but that He might make the receiving of it by us a means whereby He might "dwell in us, and we in Him." He taking our flesh, and we receiving His Spirit; by His flesh which He took of us receiving His Spirit which He imparteth to us; that, as He by ours became consors humanae naturae, so we by His might become consortes Divinae naturae, "partakers of the Divine nature." Verily, it is the most straight and perfect "taking hold" that is. No union so knitteth as it. Not consanguinity; brethren fall out. Not marriage; man and wife are severed. But that which is nourished, and the nourishment wherewith they never are, never can be severed, but remain one for ever. With this act then of mutual "taking," taking of His flesh as He has taken ours, let us seal our duty to Him this day, for taking not "Angels," but "the seed of Abraham."
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« Reply #44 on: January 03, 2011, 11:33:59 AM »

John Wesley, granted, a later reformer, read closely the Church Fathers. He particularly had high regard for St. Macarius. He encouraged Methodists, and demanded preachers of his movement, to fast on Wednesday and Friday. When he spoke of Christian perfection, it comes close to an understanding of synergy and theosis, although he does not use these terms. Some have said that of all the Protestant reformers, Wesley's overall theology is closest to Orthodoxy.

I agree!

Quote
As to why he did not convert, I have no idea. Perhaps he felt no need to since, being a priest in the Church of England, he considered himself as in communion with the Church. Perhaps it was not an option because there was no Orthodox community in England to which he could relate. Just guessing.

It probably had more to do with his altergate experience. I think I spelled it wrong, but yeah I think the Pietist movement probably directed him in a different direction to the point that it really didn't matter what church you went to as long as you had that inner experience. The Anglican Non-Jurors seemed more open to the idea of going East. William Law is still one of my favorite authors.


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