Author Topic: Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...  (Read 9005 times)

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Offline Rustaveli

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O.K.,

Howdy, everybody!

... I never really got any response / feedback to this specifically (in a now justly defunct thread :-)..., so I thought that I's post it here in the "Free-For-All", although with the hope that charity and goodwill will prevail in all discourse.

Re:Accounts of Chalcedon

------------------------------------------------------------------------
The document available at www.dskmariam.org on "The Doctrine of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church", includes sections on "The Incarnation" and "The Issue Between Monopysitism and Dyphysitism" This seems to me to be intended as a popular work, not a scholarly tome. Still, the statement therein cited below is interesting:
"Incarnation is a divine mystery. The two natures of Godhead and Manhood are perfectly united and Christ is thus one Person and one Nature from two Natures. Christ is one Incarnate nature of God the Word. After the union it is impossible to speak of Christ as being in two natures. By the union of the nature in the Incarnation the two natures became one nature, the natures being united without separation, without confusion, and without change. Neither of the two natures was assimilated by the other, the properties of the Divine Word were attributed to the flesh and those of the flesh to the Divine Word. The Logos revealed Himself in our flesh and became man like us. He did all things that man does with the exception of sin (John 8:46). And at the same time was truly God. He is God-Man. He is co-equal and consubstantial with the Father in his Godhead. He is perfectly united with us the union being from two modes of life into one."

(View the full document - and other interesting ones - at http://www.dskmariam.org/artsandlitreature/litreature/index.asp)

Now, I may be a bit theologically challenged, but this makes some sense to me;

...especially the acknowledgement that the Mystery of the Incarnation is just that, a Mystery which is beyond the limited faculties of the human mind to even begin to fathom.

(Oops, I'm probably already violating my vow to emulate Antonious' fasting observance... )! 8)

I have no desire for debate or strife, but I do seek to understand...
Perhaps it would be more enlightened to "Seek [me] first the Kingdom of God", etc., rather than try to wrap my fallen, limited mind around the ineffable and inconprehensible... ?  ???
« Last Edit: June 12, 2004, 10:16:23 AM by Rustaveli »

Offline Father Peter

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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2004, 01:34:54 PM »
Hi Rustavelli.

Generally you should read one nature as one hypostasis, certainly never as one ousia. The 'one' is used to describe the outcome of a real union that really unites the constituents without diminishing or confusing them.

St Cyrils phraseology - one incarnate nature of the Word - is often also used in the form - one incarnate hypostasis of the Word - or even in the form - one incarnate nature or hypostasis of the Word, stressing the synonymous use of nature and hypostasis in that context.

Whatever anyone else may say no OO believes that Christ is one ousia, and our historic rejection of the phrase 'in two natures' is not due to a reluctance to confess the reality of the humanity of Christ but because it was considered to stand for a failure to unite the humanity with the divinity save in a prosopic union.

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Offline Fr. David

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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2004, 02:28:03 PM »
Rustaveli --

Thanks for posting this; you've captured my musings (and conclusions) made over the past month or so regarding this subject quite well.

I'd like to add a question here: How would we facilitate the merging of these two communions, each of which has anathamatized men the other has declared to be saints?  

I have no problem with (really, I rejoice in) statements like the one Rustaveli posted, yet some (EO and OO) feel as though it would be merely the "papering over" of several different real yet neglected differences between the communions.  

As I said, I don't really think the christological threat is that real (though I could be wrong), yet the hagiological problem seems a bit of a toughy.

Thoughts?
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Offline Father Peter

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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2004, 02:41:21 PM »
In my own thoughts I start by de-anathematising someone like Leo of Rome and trying to understand him in the round. What was he trying to do? What was his context? etc etc.

This is not the end of any process but it is how I have to begin to understand someone who is venerated as a saint by others. I would expect the same of others in respect to the great figures of my own communion such as Severus of Antioch whose works are entirely accessible in English and French.

If the christological issue is resolved then all of the controversial figures need to be at least reconsidered. I might not end up venerating Leo of Rome as a saint but I should at least try to study him seriously and honestly. The same should take place wrt my own fathers.

Most of the problem is that those who are anathematised are just straw men as far as both sides are concerned. No-one is trying to understand, so it is easy to just paint these figures as bogey men. Equally there is a need to understand why the other side finds a figure controversial.

Without charity and self-reflection there is just lots of shouting and not much grace.
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Offline Linus7

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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2004, 09:09:48 AM »
I don't have enough time to post a considered response this morning, but I would like to say something about the following:

Quote
peterfarrington: Most of the problem is that those who are anathematised are just straw men as far as both sides are concerned. No-one is trying to understand, so it is easy to just paint these figures as bogey men.

Such statements seem to me to be an indictment of the Fathers of the Church.

After all, they were the ones who anathematized those who taught that Christ has but one nature and one will.

Did they really just set up "straw men" in order to anathematize them?

Did they make no effort to understand?

I don't think that is the case at all.

These issues are complex, and, frankly, most of us do not really understand them and all of their implications.

As a consequence, some of us seem to think that what we do not understand cannot possibly be worth arguing about. Therefore, we should just accept everyone as Orthodox who can profess a minimalistic creed that we can understand.

The other alternative - sticking with what the Fathers taught - entails division from other Christians and a sometimes difficult and often unsuccessful struggle to study and comprehend.

Personally, I think it is a mistake to let discussions of this sort spill over into forums like this one.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2004, 09:11:16 AM by Linus7 »
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Offline Father Peter

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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2004, 09:15:12 AM »
Same old same old Linus.

No need to investigate what anyone believes - just perpetuate ancient divisions.

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Offline Linus7

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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2004, 09:22:29 AM »
Same old same old Linus.

No need to investigate what anyone believes - just perpetuate ancient divisions.



What you call perpetuating ancient divisions I call loyalty to the teachings of the Church Fathers.

Not all divisions are evil. Not all unity is good.
The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true faith and in no way to deviate from the established doctrine of the Fathers.
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Offline Ben

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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2004, 12:45:23 PM »
Ok it says...

"The two natures of Godhead and Manhood are perfectly united and Christ is thus one Person and one Nature from two Natures".

My question is why was the word person and nature both used? I mean if the OO believe that the two natures are united in one person, but they say "one natrue" instead, then why would it say "one nature" AND "one person" from two natures?

One person from two natures, I understand that, but I am sorry, I don't understand one nature from two natures, when nature doesn't mean person - which it certainly doesn't in this case.
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Offline Linus7

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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2004, 01:24:02 PM »
Quote
"Incarnation is a divine mystery. The two natures of Godhead and Manhood are perfectly united and Christ is thus one Person and one Nature from two Natures. Christ is one Incarnate nature of God the Word."

Orthodox doctrine has no problem with the statement "Christ is thus one Person." On that we all agree.

The problem arises in the statement that "Christ is . . . one Nature from two Natures."

Some argue that by "nature" Non-Chalcedonians really mean hypostasis.

If that is the case, then they teach that Jesus Christ - the one hypostasis of the Word - is a composite of two hypostases, the Divine Logos and a human.

Since the word hypostasis refers to "individual reality," that which is distinctive about a person; is used of the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity; and is often synonymous with the word prosopon or "person;" this seems to imply that Christ is one person from two persons.

I am not saying that is what NCs actually teach, but it certainly shows that they cannot possibly always mean hypostasis when they actually say "nature."

If "Christ is . . . one nature from two natures," what happened to those two natures after the hypostatic union?

Quote
"After the union it is impossible to speak of Christ as being in two natures."

Why?

If, as the author states in the very next sentence, the union of Christ's natures occurred "without separation, without confusion, and without change," what happened to the two natures?

If they are impossible to distinguish "after the union," how are they unconfused?

If the word nature is here being used in place of the word hypostasis, then the author seems to be saying that Christ's one hypostasis was formed of two hypostases.

In that case it is easy to understand why the author would insist that "after the union it is impossible to speak of Christ as being in two natures," because that would mean that Christ was three persons: divine, human, and a composite of the two!

Using the phrase "after the union" also seems to imply that there was a "before the union" for Christ's human nature.

Yet we know that is not the case. Christ's humanity came into existence as a consequence of the hypostatic union; it did not exist prior to it and never as a separate hypostasis.

Christ's humanity did not exist as something separate in being or time so that the preposition from can be used in connection with the hypostatic union.

Thus it is incorrect and improper to speak of "one nature from two natures" in that sense.

Christ's humanity came into existence as a component of the hypostatic union and is its product; it did not predate the union nor did it disappear as a consequence of it.

Not only is it not impossible to speak of Christ as being in two natures after the union, it is absolutely essential to do so in order to understand who Christ is and how He saved us.

Quote
"By the union of the nature in the Incarnation the two natures became one nature, the natures being united without separation, without confusion, and without change. Neither of the two natures was assimilated by the other, the properties of the Divine Word were attributed to the flesh and those of the flesh to the Divine Word. The Logos revealed Himself in our flesh and became man like us. He did all things that man does with the exception of sin (John 8:46). And at the same time was truly God. He is God-Man. He is co-equal and consubstantial with the Father in his Godhead. He is perfectly united with us the union being from two modes of life into one."

Once again, if the word nature is being used as hypostasis, then the author believes Christ's single hypostasis was formed from two hypostases.

If, on the other hand, he means by nature just what he says, then he believes Christ now has but one nature.

And although he says Christ's two natures are united "without confusion," he says it is impossible to speak of them "after the union."

This latter part is the same thing Eutyches said in his famous statement: "I confess that before the union our Lord had two natures, but after the union I confess one single nature," and what Coptic Pope Shenouda III has reiterated:  "So we can say that the Divine nature united hypostatically with the human nature within the Virgin’s womb, but after this unity we do not ever speak again about two natures of Christ."

A further consequence of this is the idea that our Lord has but one single will, the will being attributed to the person or hypostasis rather than to the physis or nature.

Of course, as St. Maximus the Confessor pointed out, the result of such an idea is that God must have three wills, since there are three hypostases in the Holy Trinity.

The notion that Christ has but a single will is a corollary of Non-Chalcedonian thought known as Monothelitism still held by NC leaders today.

It was condemned at the Sixth Ecumenical Council, at Constantinople, in 681.



« Last Edit: June 13, 2004, 02:04:09 PM by Linus7 »
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Offline Rustaveli

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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2004, 09:03:15 PM »
Personally, I think it is a mistake to let discussions of this sort spill over into forums like this one.


Linus,

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Your statement above I confess I don't understand; I "spilled" this thread in the "Free-for-Alll" arena, thinking that this might be the most appropriate venue, as the line I was persuing in the Chalcedonian Discussion was shut down (quite rightly, I concur), apparently due to some personal infighting between some Two-or-Three Personages Who Shall Remain Nameless (Unto Ages of Ages, Aimeen).  8)

Perhaps some of the wiser Elders could fill me in on the proper protocol, especially for this site in particular, as I'm new to both the site and Internet posting in general.

I'm in a shortage of time myself now, but there are a couple of questions which have been meaning to ask of you (hoping that this is not inappropriate, and asking your forgiveness if it is...), relating to this thread and the now-defunct one:

- Could you guide me to the Gospel texts wherein is contained, in seminal form, the teaching of the Council of Chalcedon which you mentioned in the other thread, and...

- You do realize that some Oriental Orthodox / "Non-Chalcedonians" could, and do [and obviously sometimes post on websites], feel "their" Fathers are the "Church Fathers", and their "Orthodoxy" the fullness of the Faith once delivered unto the Apostles... [Big-Ol'] ?

[just wondering...]

+ Thanks, and please pray for me, a sinner...
« Last Edit: June 13, 2004, 10:17:39 PM by Rustaveli »

Offline Rustaveli

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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2004, 09:31:26 PM »
Pedro,

Mixpantzinco, y Gloria a Jesuchristo!

I have enjoyed your postings in many, varied areas of the website. :)

... I may have to spend some time pondering and composing a worthy response to the things you bring up...

(especially as I had just now written a good portion of such a response, then hit the wrong button by accident and sent it into a virtual Black Hole... :( )

I wil try to reconstruct my basic thoughts therefrom:

Should we not, all who claim to be "Orthodox Christians", devote ourselves to prayer, fasting, and charitable discourse, that "all may be one", someday, as Our Lord prayed?

I do not believe in any "papering over" of differences, or some forced or artificial so-called "Union" of the (so-called) "EO" and "OO"; union will occur, and be full, when unity in the Faith is achieved. That may take long, long beyond our lifetimes.

But to make the effort, in true Christ-like love, is surely worth the effort, no?

And, in the meantime, even if I am an "EO", why should I [and others] not have an interest in the Liturgy, local traditions, saints, history, etc., of - for example - the Ethiopian Orthodox Church [... this is a rhetorical question; I think that you and I feel the same about this...]

? If we know each other better, is there not a chance that someday, despite human failings on both "sides", we may someday (if only in the "Sweet By-and-By") come together in Faith.

The issue of saints is, as Peter and yourself have brought up, an interesting part of this process.

Ethiopian Saints such as Saint Yared the Hymnographer or Saint Tekle Haymanot are figures whom I greatly admire, but are not considered saints by the "EO" calendar;

Do we really know, though, whether they are Saints around the Throne of the Lamb or not???

... It seems that the feast of All Saints, recently celebrated, celebrates all the saints whom God alone so knows...

I believe that He is best left in His rightful place as the final Judge in all of these things.

(some thoughts of mine... yours, and those of others... ?)

- Rustaveli, a sinner


Offline Fr. David

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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2004, 09:51:35 PM »
Mixpantzinco, y Gloria a Jesuchristo!

-íGloria para siempre!   ;D  What language is Mixpantzinco from?

Quote
I have enjoyed your postings in many, varied areas of the website. :)

Gracias, se+¦or.

Quote
union will occur, and be full, when unity in the Faith is achieved. That may take long, long beyond our lifetimes. But to make the effort, in true Christ-like love, is surely worth the effort, no?

Not only is it worth the effort, but I believe it is our duty.

Quote
The issue of saints [who are not considered saints by the "EO" calendar] is, as Peter and yourself have brought up, an interesting part of this process.

It really isn't an issue of "not being considered saints on our calendar," as you put it; the issue here is specific individuals -- on our side, for example, St. Leo, Pope of Rome -- who has been declared anathema and a heretic by the Oriental Orthodox, and whom we as Eastern Orthodox greatly revere as a rather influential saint.  

Obviously, something's got to give, and it's a biggie, as both sides see themselves as having been the One, True Church all this time, and these controversial saints in question (forgive me; the OO saints we've rejected aren't coming to mind immediately) would have to be renounced upon reunion.

This is something I don't know if either side is truly willing to do, as it seems that the saints in question all helped their respective sides to reach the decisions they reached.

Quote
Do we really know, though, whether they are Saints around the Throne of the Lamb or not???

Nope.

Quote
I believe that He is best left in His rightful place as the final Judge in all of these things.

Sounds like a good plan!
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Offline Arystarcus

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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2004, 04:19:53 AM »
Rustaveli,

I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed your last two posts. I found them to be quite thought provoking and you've pointed out some things that I had been wondering about myself.

I am looking forward to the many responses that you will receive from people who are more knowledgeable than I about such things and I think that it is because of those responses that posting it in the "Free-For-All" was an excellent idea in my mind.

May God bless you.

In Christ,
Aaron

PS-  I could not help but notice your avatar and quote beneath it. I was wondering what you could tell me about St. Shota Rustaveli, because I attempted to google him and came up with nothing. Perhaps you could give me some more info about him because I had no luck on my own - HELP!

Offline Father Peter

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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2004, 06:48:57 AM »
One person from two natures, I understand that, but I am sorry, I don't understand one nature from two natures, when nature doesn't mean person - which it certainly doesn't in this case.

One nature means one hypostasis - one self subsistent being who is also one person.

Nestorius could confess 'one person' and certainly confessed 'two natures'. What he would not confess is 'one hypostasis'.

Hypostasis is not synonymous with person in the Christological sense, since not all hypostases are personal. In the Cyrilline use of the terminology physis is generaly used Christologically to refer to hypostasis - an individual instance, a specific.

So we have 'one incarnate nature of the Word' or 'one incarnate nature OR hypostasis of the Word'. Where nature is synonymous with hypostasis.

Father John Romanides says:

"Of course Cyril prefers to speak of One Nature or Hypostasis of God the Logos Incarnate and become man, since this better safeguards the union and the attribution of all things pertaining to Christ to the Logos as the subject of all human and divine actions. For Cyril Physis means a concrete individual acting as subject in its own right and according to its own natural properties. Thus the One Nature of God the Logos Incarnate, having by His second birth appropriated to Himself a perfect, complete and real Manhood, has as His Own both the ousia and natural properties common to all men, whereby it is the Logos Himself Who is Christ and lives really and truly the life of man without any change whatsoever in his Divinity, having remained what He always was. To speak about two natures in Christ would be somewhat equivalent to a Chalcedonian speaking about two Hypostases in Christ. In this respect 'a Chalcedonian would accept and does accept everything Cyril says but would use Cyril's One Hypostasis of God the Logos Incarnate, since for him Physis means Ousia. "

What is being described is a Christ who is one being who contains within his being the fulness of a human individual or hypostasis - that does not have a person of its own - and the fullness of the divine hypostasis of the Word who is personal. The humanity is hypostatic - it is a real instance of humanity but it finds its personhood in being owned by the Word and being HIS humanity.

So Christ is of two natures - two real instances of Divinity and humanity - but in union these are one individual not two. But being a union not a mixture the realities out of which the incarnate Word composes his incarnate hypostasis are not mixed or confused. They remain what they were except that the humanity is glorified in being united with His Divinity.

"one and the same Christ our Lord the only-begotten Son of two natures un-confusedly, unchangeably, inseparably indivisibly to be recognized, the peculiarities of neither nature being lost by the union but rather the proprieties of each nature being preserved, concurring in one Person and in one subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons but one and the same only-begotten Son of God, the Word, our Lord Jesus Christ, according as the Prophets of old have taught us and as our Lord Jesus Christ himself hath instructed us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers hath delivered to us"

It says here 'one Person and one subsistence' and subsistence is 'hypostasis'. And in the union the humanity is not diminished but rather, as in all of us as we seek theosis, actually finds the fullest existence in submission to the will of the Word without ceasing to be what it was and is.

"For it was right that the flesh should be moved but subject to the divine will." and "his human will follows and that not as resisting and reluctant, but rather as subject to his divine and omnipotent will. "

So Christ is, in our terminology 'of or from two' which describes the continuing reality of his humanity and Divinity, but he is 'one incarnate nature or hypostasis', that is not simply one or the other or a mixture, but in a mysterious manner that we cannot know he has united humanity to himself and become really man while remaining really God, and not only in a personal manner as Nestorius seems to have taught, an external union of appearance or only of words, but really and truly, so that it is Orthodox to say 'one of the Holy Trinity suffered and died, but according to his humanity'. Nestorius couldn't say that.

Peter
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Offline Fr. David

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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2004, 08:46:17 AM »
Oof.

Too bad I don't have time to read all of that, Peter...probably just have to print it out and take it with me.

Could take a while.
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Offline Rustaveli

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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2004, 09:10:30 AM »
Arystarchus,

Thanks for the input!

... I received another inquiry about St. Shota Rustaveli, so [as I'm short on time], I'll hope it's not too tacky to share this with the wider forum:

The [relatively] newly-Glorified St. Shota Rustaveli is the Georgian poet who composed the national epic of the Georgian people, Vepik'aosani, or "The Knight in the Tiger Skin".

(I read once that he was excommunicated during his lifetime [... I have no sure source for this, close at hand...], as his great work is all about fictional characters who are Arabs, Chinese, Africans, etc., including a number of Muslims...).

It's quite Tolkienian, only earlier!

+ Check out:

http://www.nplg.gov.ge/ic/library_e/Wardrope/index.htm


... especially the "Introduction", a good place to start!

A model, I think, of a genius who was able to see Truth in many peoples and cultures...

Peace,

- R.

----------------------

Pedro -

"Mixpantzinco" is a greeting from ancient Nahuatl, the tongue of the Aztecs and related peoples. I think that it means "in your august presence", and was used a a standard greeting. [I know I shouldn't assume Nahua ties based on your country of origin, but I have a bit of a Precolombian Mesoamerican fascination ... sorry :) ].

The mission church which I attend is under the protection of San Pedro y San Pablo - please pray for us!

Mr Peter Farrington -

Thanks for the clarification of doctrinal terminology - although, like Hermano Pedro, I will need time to read, ruminate, and inwardly digest!

Thanks a thousandfold for your time and sharing of your knowledge and intellectual accumen.

... and, to all, I hope it's not against the rule to switch one's screen "avatar" as often as Vishnu. I like the portrait of St. Shota Rustaveli particularly, but I'm also still partial to Angelus Nosferatu as a Model of Repentance (and / or various saints whose aid I / we seek).

I'll keep St. Shota for now, though!



« Last Edit: June 14, 2004, 09:27:05 AM by Rustaveli »

Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2004, 09:34:24 AM »
Thanks, Rustaveli.
I was unaware that he had been glorified.

Demetri
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Offline Fr. David

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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2004, 10:06:34 AM »
A quick note --

[I know I shouldn't assume Nahua ties based on your country of origin, but I have a bit of a Precolombian Mesoamerican fascination ... sorry :) ].

That's all right...not really my country of origin.  I've lived in S. America, but they don't have a Bolivian flag available, so...Mexican it is, apparently.  I'm actually an anglo who's fluent in Spanish (and teaches it) and has lived for various parts of his life around latinos of lots of different stripes.  Thanks for the Nahuatl lesson, though...now if you REALLY wanted to make me "homesick," you could say something in Quechua, the ancient Inca tongue of the Andes...  ;D

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... and, to all, I hope it's not against the rule to switch one's screen "avatar" as often as Vishnu.

LOL  I just changed mine yesterday, matter of fact!  I always liked El Greco, who, yes, was a Greek painter in Spain, and who's true name was -- no kidding -- Theotokopulous!  Named after the Holy Mother!

Pedro, who wishes he were as penitent as his avatar....
Priest in the Orthodox Church in America - ordained on March 18, 2012

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Offline Father Peter

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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2004, 10:28:55 AM »
Sorry I am verbose. I tried to be brief as well.
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Offline Rustaveli

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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2004, 11:30:17 AM »
Thanks, Rustaveli.
I was unaware that he had been glorified.

Demetri

- The glorification was "local", I suppose, by the Most Holy and Quite Chalcedonian Autocephalous Katholicate-Patriarchate of Mtskheta and All Georgia -

I was blessed to visit there a couple o' years ago.

A fascinating country with a fascinating national epic!

It's hard to find an icon of St. Shota in the U.S., although his monarch (and the woman to whom the poem is dedicated, St. Tamar the Queen (or more properly, Tamar Mepe, "the King" [!]) is quite popular.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2004, 12:03:21 AM by Rustaveli »

Offline Linus7

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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2004, 01:14:27 PM »
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rustaveli: - Could you guide me to the Gospel texts wherein is contained, in seminal form, the teaching of the Council of Chalcedon which you mentioned in the other thread, and...

All of those verses which assert both the complete humanity and divinity of our Lord contain the teaching of Chalcedon in seminal form.

Of particular interest is Jesus' prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night He was betrayed, in which He petitioned His Father, "Not as I will, but as You will" (Matt. 26:39).

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Rustaveli: - You do realize that some Oriental Orthodox / "Non-Chalcedonians" could, and do [and obviously sometimes post on websites], feel "their" Fathers are the "Church Fathers", and their "Orthodoxy" the fullness of the Faith once delivered unto the Apostles... [Big-Ol'] ?

Naturally.

Muslims think they are right, too.

Each person must ask the Lord to help him or her find the truth and decide for him or herself.
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Offline Linus7

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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #21 on: June 14, 2004, 01:59:13 PM »
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peterfarrington:
One nature means one hypostasis - one self subsistent being who is also one person.

If that is truly the case, then what is one to make of the Non-Chalcedonian doctrine of "one nature from two natures?"

One hypostasis from two hypostases?

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peterfarrington: Nestorius could confess 'one person' and certainly confessed 'two natures'. What he would not confess is 'one hypostasis'.

True.

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peterfarrington: Hypostasis is not synonymous with person in the Christological sense, since not all hypostases are personal.

Please provide an example of an impersonal hypostasis.

In Trinitarian doctrine hypostasis is practically synonymous with person, which is why we speak of the three Persons of the Holy Trinity as three Hypostases with one Divine Nature.

I believe your assertion that "not all hypostases are personal" is not Orthodox teaching. Perhaps you could cite your source for it and prove that it is.

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peterfarrington: In the Cyrilline use of the terminology physis is generaly used Christologically to refer to hypostasis - an individual instance, a specific.

So we have 'one incarnate nature of the Word' or 'one incarnate nature OR hypostasis of the Word'. Where nature is synonymous with hypostasis.

In St. Cyril's early writings that is the case. The terminology was in the formative stage and had not been firmed up.

St. Cyril himself recognized this and was able to speak of two natures after the hypostatic union and even to sign the Formula of Union drafted by Theodoret of Cyrus, an act that drew criticism from some of his more extreme partisans and from later Non-Chalcedonians like Severus of Antioch and Timothy Aelurus.

In the same way, many early Fathers wrote of the Divine Word "assuming" humanity and of Jesus as the "assumed man." But they certainly did not mean the things that Nestorius and his followers would mean when they used those very same words.

Isn't it time to move beyond the use of confusing terminology?

If everyone actually understands and believes that our Lord is the one hypostasis of the Word in two natures, human and divine, then why continue to speak of "one nature from two natures?"

Why continue to insist that Christ has but one will?

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peterfarrington: Father John Romanides says:

"Of course Cyril prefers to speak of One Nature or Hypostasis of God the Logos Incarnate and become man, since this better safeguards the union and the attribution of all things pertaining to Christ to the Logos as the subject of all human and divine actions. For Cyril Physis means a concrete individual acting as subject in its own right and according to its own natural properties. Thus the One Nature of God the Logos Incarnate, having by His second birth appropriated to Himself a perfect, complete and real Manhood, has as His Own both the ousia and natural properties common to all men, whereby it is the Logos Himself Who is Christ and lives really and truly the life of man without any change whatsoever in his Divinity, having remained what He always was. To speak about two natures in Christ would be somewhat equivalent to a Chalcedonian speaking about two Hypostases in Christ. In this respect 'a Chalcedonian would accept and does accept everything Cyril says but would use Cyril's One Hypostasis of God the Logos Incarnate, since for him Physis means Ousia. "

I doubt that Fr. John Romanides meant that as an endorsement of Non-Chalcedonian doctrine.

It is clear what St. Cyril meant because, as I mentioned above, he moved beyond his early use of the word physis and was able to come to an agreement with the Antiochenes concerning the two natures of Christ.

He came to understand that the orthodox Antiochenes did not mean two hypostases in Christ any more than he himself did.

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peterfarrington: What is being described is a Christ who is one being who contains within his being the fulness of a human individual or hypostasis - that does not have a person of its own - and the fullness of the divine hypostasis of the Word who is personal. The humanity is hypostatic - it is a real instance of humanity but it finds its personhood in being owned by the Word and being HIS humanity.

Whoa!

Are you actually saying Christ's humanity is an hypostasis?

Then you are being consistent when you say "one nature from two natures!"

You really do mean "one hypostasis from two hypostases."

What is your source for this teaching, Peter?

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peterfarrington: So Christ is of two natures - two real instances of Divinity and humanity - but in union these are one individual not two. But being a union not a mixture the realities out of which the incarnate Word composes his incarnate hypostasis are not mixed or confused. They remain what they were except that the humanity is glorified in being united with His Divinity.

Do you agree with the Coptic Pope Shenouda III that "after this unity [the hypostatic union] we do not ever speak again about two natures of Christ" ?

If the two natures are not mixed, changed, or confused, why is it impossible to distinguish them - or even to speak of them - after the hypostatic union?

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peterfarrington: "one and the same Christ our Lord the only-begotten Son of two natures un-confusedly, unchangeably, inseparably indivisibly to be recognized, the peculiarities of neither nature being lost by the union but rather the proprieties of each nature being preserved, concurring in one Person and in one subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons but one and the same only-begotten Son of God, the Word, our Lord Jesus Christ, according as the Prophets of old have taught us and as our Lord Jesus Christ himself hath instructed us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers hath delivered to us"

It says here 'one Person and one subsistence' and subsistence is 'hypostasis'. And in the union the humanity is not diminished but rather, as in all of us as we seek theosis, actually finds the fullest existence in submission to the will of the Word without ceasing to be what it was and is.

"For it was right that the flesh should be moved but subject to the divine will." and "his human will follows and that not as resisting and reluctant, but rather as subject to his divine and omnipotent will. "

So Christ is, in our terminology 'of or from two' which describes the continuing reality of his humanity and Divinity, but he is 'one incarnate nature or hypostasis', that is not simply one or the other or a mixture, but in a mysterious manner that we cannot know he has united humanity to himself and become really man while remaining really God, and not only in a personal manner as Nestorius seems to have taught, an external union of appearance or only of words, but really and truly, so that it is Orthodox to say 'one of the Holy Trinity suffered and died, but according to his humanity'. Nestorius couldn't say that.

Peter

What do you make of Coptic Pope Shenouda III's assertion that Christ has but one will, which is, of course, simply what Non-Chalcedonians have always asserted?

It seems to me that NC Christology posits a fully human Christ but then makes Him so much the passive instrument of His divinity as to be practically Apollinarian.

When one speaks of "one nature from two" - whether one really means nature or hypostasis - and then says it is impossible to speak of the natures after this unity, he causes one of the natures to disappear or be absorbed into the other, despite protests of no mixture, change, or confusion.

In the case of Non-Chalcedonian Christology it is the human Jesus who seems to disappear, dominated by and made the passive instrument of the Divine.

This, rather than deifying humanity, makes a marionette of it, saving it through a form of tyranny.

Only the Orthodox Christology - as expounded in the Tome of Pope St. Leo the Great and approved by the Holy Spirit at Chalcedon - preserves the truth in its fullness.

Only a free man, freely assenting to the will of God the Father, could redeem a humanity that willfully transgressed His commandments in the first place.

After all, God could have just dominated Adam and Eve to begin with.
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Offline TomS

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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #22 on: June 14, 2004, 11:07:28 PM »
One nature means one hypostasis - one self subsistent being who is also one person.

Nestorius could confess 'one person' and certainly confessed 'two natures'. What he would not confess is 'one hypostasis'.

Hypostasis is not synonymous with person in the Christological sense...

Sigh. This is all so difficult.

Lucky for you I have discovered that there is a TRUE Orthodox Church located in Surrey.

Saint Edward Brotherhood
Saint Cyprian's Avenue
Brookwood, Woking
Surrey GU24 0BL
England
Telephone: (01483) 487763
Email: info@saintedwardbrotherhood.org

http://www.saintedwardbrotherhood.org/monastery.html

You no longer HAVE to live in schism and in confusion! You can taste the sweetness of the True Faith.


Offline Rustaveli

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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #23 on: June 15, 2004, 12:16:15 AM »
All of those verses which assert both the complete humanity and divinity of our Lord contain the teaching of Chalcedon in seminal form.

Of particular interest is Jesus' prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night He was betrayed, in which He petitioned His Father, "Not as I will, but as You will" (Matt. 26:39).Naturally.

Muslims think they are right, too.

Each person must ask the Lord to help him or her find the truth and decide for him or herself.

Hmmm...

Very interesting points. I have been much illumined by the recent postings of both yourself and Mr Farrington.

(although the mention of the two of you together might cause spontaneous combustion ...  8) )

Just kidding... !


Offline Ben

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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #24 on: June 15, 2004, 12:31:07 AM »
Linus bringing up scripture does make me wonder. I mean this whole issue of Chalcedon, I wonder can we find the answers in Holy Scripture? Does Holy Scripture directly, or indirectly, address the natures and wills of Christ?
"I prefer to be accused unjustly, for then I have nothing to reproach myself with, and joyfully offer this to the good Lord. Then I humble myself at the thought that I am indeed capable of doing the thing of which I have been accused. " - Saint

Offline Father Peter

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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #25 on: June 15, 2004, 05:44:46 AM »
If that is truly the case, then what is one to make of the Non-Chalcedonian doctrine of "one nature from two natures?"

One hypostasis from two hypostases?True. Please provide an example of an impersonal hypostasis.

Are you saying then that the humanity of Christ is not hypostatic - that is that you deny its reality? There is a difference between self-subsistent hypostases and non-self-subsistent hypostases. A self-subsistent hypostasis has a person, a non-self-subsistent hypostasis does not. The humanity of Christ is real and hypostatic but it is not its own, it does not belong to itself it belongs to Christ, the self-subsistent hypostasis of the Word.

This is the same as the later teaching of Leontius about enhypostasis. The humanity has to be hypostatic or it is not real.

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I believe your assertion that "not all hypostases are personal" is not Orthodox teaching. Perhaps you could cite your source for it and prove that it is.In St. Cyril's early writings that is the case. The terminology was in the formative stage and had not been firmed up.

Your body is hypostatic. But it does not have its own person. It rather belongs to the person of your spirit which is also hypostatic but which is of a different nature. St Cyril used the body/spirit anaology of two natures in union all the time. That Christ is One is a good book of his to read. It was certainly not some early language he repudiated. The body and the spirit are totally different, two different natures, but they are united and make one hypostasis, while both remain hypostatic and completely different.

Is Christ two beings or one being who has two real ways of being?

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St. Cyril himself recognized this and was able to speak of two natures after the hypostatic union and even to sign the Formula of Union drafted by Theodoret of Cyrus, an act that drew criticism from some of his more extreme partisans and from later Non-Chalcedonians like Severus of Antioch and Timothy Aelurus.

Depends how nature is used, that's all. He also never spoke of Christ being 'in two natures', at the most he spoke 'two natures in Christ'. You seem to think that I am obliged to not understand how you are using nature and hypostasis. Of course I do. And I agree with you usage.

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Isn't it time to move beyond the use of confusing terminology?

Absolutely - but I seriously and sadly have not sensed that you wanted to.

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If everyone actually understands and believes that our Lord is the one hypostasis of the Word in two natures, human and divine, then why continue to speak of "one nature from two natures?"

Because you have still not recognised that this usage is entirely acceptable to Nestorians. You are using hypostasis as a synonym for person and so you are only saying that Christ is 'one person in two natures'. Nestorius said the same. I don't think you think like Nestorius for one moment, but you do seem to be thinking that only the OO terminology is problematic. It isn't, for what I understand perfectly you find confusing and what you understand perfectly I can see has plenty of scope for confusion.

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Why continue to insist that Christ has but one will? I doubt that Fr. John Romanides meant that as an endorsement of Non-Chalcedonian doctrine.

Do you agree with the teaching:

"his human will follows and that not as resisting and reluctant, but rather as subject to his divine and omnipotent will."

It is in this sense that we speak of 'one will'. We don't dispute that the humanity has its own proper will. We have synodally stated at the highest level:

"the Hypostasis of the Logos became composite (sunqetoj) by uniting to His divine uncreated nature with its natural will and energy, which He has in common with the Father and the Holy Spirit, created human nature, which He assumed at the Incarnation and made His own, with its natural will and energy."

So it cannot be said that we don't confess the human will of Christ. We do. But we assert that it is subject to the divine will. Just as the greatest saints have united their will to Christ as far as possible and from an external union as it were of devotion. So in Christ the humanity finds its glorification in serving the Divine Word.

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It is clear what St. Cyril meant because, as I mentioned above, he moved beyond his early use of the word physis and was able to come to an agreement with the Antiochenes concerning the two natures of Christ.

The use of physis for hypostasis is far from an early usage. And are you aware of his letters where he complains that the Antiocheans are barely Orthodox enough but he is willing to put up with their errors for the sake of union on the more important matters?

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He came to understand that the orthodox Antiochenes did not mean two hypostases in Christ any more than he himself did.Whoa!

In fact he came to see that he had been conned because many of the Antiochean supporters of the heretic Theodore were saying that Cyril had been won over to their false Christology. John of Antioch was certainly sound but many of his followers were far from Orthodox.

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Are you actually saying Christ's humanity is an hypostasis?

Are you actually saying that Christ's humanity is not real?

Or are we just getting lost in terminology which I thought you didn't want. Why don't you just explain what you believe is necessary without using physis or hypostasis?

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Then you are being consistent when you say "one nature from two natures!"

Christ is one real individual being from two different ways of being and these two ways of being do not cease to be completely different, nor completely active in Christ, but he is one being and individual not two.

Anything else is heresy.

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You really do mean "one hypostasis from two hypostases."

Well it is more complex than that. Do you want to learn what I mean? I mean that the realities of which Christ is composed are from the ousia of humanity and Divinity. But the Christ is not incarnate in the whole ousia of humanity rather he has united one real instance of humanity with his real Divine hypostasis and person. The word we use for a real instance is a hypostasis which is defined, certainly by us, as an instance of a generality or class.

My flesh is certainly a real instance of the class of human flesh, and my spirit is certainly a real instance of the class of human spirit and these have been united to make me, but my flesh does not cease to be a real instance of flesh, different from all other real instances, and my spirit does not cease to be a real instance of human spirit different from all other real instances. If my flesh is not a real instance then it is not hypostatic but it does not stand on its own, it belongs to me.

In a not completely dissimilar way the humanity of Christ with natural will and energy is a real instance - do you deny this. It is not 'the human ousia' it is an individuated instance of the human ousia. But it does not belong to itself, it belongs to the person of the Word. If it is ousia then Christ is incarnate in all men. In our terminology it is hypostatic but not an independent hypostasis.

What word would you want to use for a 'real individual instance of a a member of an ousia'. I don't mind using that in conversation with you. But you must surely have a word for that which is not personal but is a real instance of an ousia. If the humanity of Christ is not an individual instance of the human ousia, and therefore as flesh neither the ousia itself, which is the whole class, nor a person, since the humanity does not have a human person, then what word would you use?

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What is your source for this teaching, Peter?Do you agree with the Coptic Pope Shenouda III that "after this unity [the hypostatic union] we do not ever speak again about two natures of Christ" ?

If the two natures are not mixed, changed, or confused, why is it impossible to distinguish them - or even to speak of them - after the hypostatic union?What do you make of Coptic Pope Shenouda III's assertion that Christ has but one will, which is, of course, simply what Non-Chalcedonians have always asserted?

There is not problem with distinguishing them. And of course Pope Shenouda does not say that Christ has one will. He says many times that the humanity of Christ has a natural will. I will quote again from words he signed:

"..human nature, which He assumed at the Incarnation and made His own, with its natural will and energy."

But the human will is not independent of the will of the Word, just as the whole of Christ's humanity is not independent of the Word to whom it belongs. I wil quote again:

"these two natural wills are not contrary the one to the other (God forbid!) as the impious heretics assert, but his human will follows and that not as resisting and reluctant, but rather as subject to his divine and omnipotent will. For it was right that the flesh should be moved but subject to the divine will, according to the most wise Athanasius. For as his flesh is called and is the flesh of God the Word, so also the natural will of his flesh is called and is the proper will of God the Word, as he himself says: "I came down from heaven, not that I might do mine own will but the will of the Father which sent me!" where he calls his own will the will of his flesh, inasmuch as his flesh was also his own. For as his most holy and immaculate animated flesh was not destroyed because it was deified but continued in its own state and nature (orw te kai logw), so also his human will,although deified, was not suppressed, but was rather preserved according to the saying of Gregory Theologus: "His will [i.e., the Saviour's] is not contrary to God but altogether deified."

This is how and why we speak of one will - one will standing for a union of human and divine wills in which the human will is not removed but is deified and is subject to the divine will. If we say of a football team that they acted as one, how much more should we say that the union of humanity and divinity in Christ brought about a union in which there was no division of will, even as there was no confusion.

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It seems to me that NC Christology posits a fully human Christ but then makes Him so much the passive instrument of His divinity as to be practically Apollinarian.

Do you agree with the teaching I have quoted just above? I do not believe that the OO teach anything more than this.
Do you agree with it or not?

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When one speaks of "one nature from two" - whether one really means nature or hypostasis - and then says it is impossible to speak of the natures after this unity, he causes one of the natures to disappear or be absorbed into the other, despite protests of no mixture, change, or confusion.

Let me quote you a bit from St Cyril quoted by Severus as his own teaching. He says:

"There is no share in any blame that one should recognise, for example, that the flesh is one thing in its own nature, apart from the Word which sprang from God and the Father, and that the Only-Begotten is another again, with respect to his own nature. Nevertheless to recognise these things is not to divide the natures after the union."

and Severus himself says:

"Let us make an enquiry of the divinity and humanity. They are not only different in everything but they are removed from each other and distinct as well. But when the union is professed from the two of them, the difference, again, in the quality of the natures from which there is the One Christ is not supressed, but in conjunction by hypostasis division is driven out."

So we have no problem with recognising the distinction of the natures. No problem at all. But we do not allow division to set them up as separate agents with their own agendas and therefore their own persons.

Fr John Romanides sees this in the Tome:

"There is no doubt that Leo tended to separate or distinguish the acts of Christ in such a way that the two natures seem to be acting as separate subjects"

And if they are separate subjects then they are separate persons and we have Nestorianism. Not that it is my point to accuse Leo of Rome of that. But as Severus says, we have no problem with recognising difference, of course the humanity is different in every way from the divinity, but we cannot allow division to set up tow subjects.

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In the case of Non-Chalcedonian Christology it is the human Jesus who seems to disappear, dominated by and made the passive instrument of the Divine.

This, rather than deifying humanity, makes a marionette of it, saving it through a form of tyranny.

I hope you will respond to the quote about the human will being subject to the divine will. I personally have never recognised what you are suggesting in anything I have read among the OO. Who is the 'human Jesus'? A man apart from the Word of God? You must be careful that you do not introduce division. When Christ ate and drank was that in his flesh or in his divinity? Of course it was in his flesh. When he suffered and dies was that in his flesh or in his divinity? Of course it was in his divinity.

But one of the Holy Trinity suffered and died, in his humanity It was not a mere man called Jesus, it was the Son of God who suffered and died in his own flesh.

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Only the Orthodox Christology - as expounded in the Tome of Pope St. Leo the Great and approved by the Holy Spirit at Chalcedon - preserves the truth in its fullness.

Only a free man, freely assenting to the will of God the Father, could redeem a humanity that willfully transgressed His commandments in the first place.

That does seem contrary to the teaching on the will I quoted earlier. Do you agree that the human will is subject to the divine will?

Nor, I'm afraid, though I do really appreciate the tone of your post and have tried to respond in like manner, do I find we have gone beyond terminology.

If you could respond to the quote about the teaching on the human will being subject to the divine will, since that seems to be an area we disagree somewhat, and if you could explain what you believe in your own words without using physis, nature, or hypostasis then that would be helpful as well.

Best wishes

Peter
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« Last Edit: June 15, 2004, 05:45:25 AM by peterfarrington »
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Offline Father Peter

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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #26 on: June 15, 2004, 05:49:13 AM »
Lucky for you I have discovered that there is a TRUE Orthodox Church located in Surrey.

Saint Edward Brotherhood

Thanks Tom

I already know all about the Saint Edward Brotherhood. I must admit I find them a little too spiky and stopped getting their magazine because it was full of denunciations of every other EO church.

My priest goes there once or twice a year and is always quite warmly welcomed, obviously as a monophysite heretic :-) They haven't yet communed him with any Ethiopian friends under an icon of St John Maximovitch.

Peter
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Offline Linus7

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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #27 on: June 15, 2004, 08:09:45 AM »
According to the eminent Catholic theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar, in his book, Cosmic Liturgy: The Universe According to Maximus the Confessor, hypostasis ". . . has the same meaning as prosopon, (which means 'mask,' 'role,' 'person') and denotes the three 'Persons' in God; it is thus the reality that is described and expressed as a 'manner of existing' or 'mode of origin.' In its root meaning, and even in the created realm, 'hypostasis' is an essence's (ousia's) 'being-for-itself': what distinguishes a concrete being from others of the same genus. So it answers to the question 'Who?', in a broad sense; it is the indicator and affirmation of a subject, an 'I.' " (pp. 222-223).

Jesus' human nature is not an hypostasis. It is a concrete human being or nature, but its subject, its "I," is the Second Hypostasis of the Holy Trinity, the Divine Logos.

You still have not supplied the source of your theological ideas, Peter.

The Orthodox teaching is not that our Lord is "one hypostasis from two other hypostases."

The Orthodox teaching is that our Lord is the one hypostasis of the Word in two natures, where nature and hypostasis do not mean the same thing.

I don't have much time to respond right now, but I will try to respond more fully later.

« Last Edit: June 15, 2004, 08:11:04 AM by Linus7 »
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Offline Father Peter

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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #28 on: June 15, 2004, 09:11:24 AM »
Linus - the definition of a word isn't given by fiat. It means what it means to the people using it.

Why on earth is it a surprise that a Roman Catholic theologian defines terms ina Roman Catholic/Eastern Orthodox way?

I cannot imagine that he would do anything else.

I thought that you wanted to go beyond terminology. Can't you see that it doesn't matter at all what a 'concrete human being' is called as long as we agree that Christ had united concrete human existence to his divinity.

Don't you see the pointlessness about arguing which term should mean what.

I thought for a moment you had got beyond that.

If you are trying to say that you believe that in Christ his humanity was real but its subject was the Word of God then we are agreed.

The terms hypostasis and nature are not required for us to agree.

I am not going to argue over which word should mean what - that is just polemics and a waste of time. It is the meaning of a sentence that matters not the symbols used to communicate or fail to communicate the meaning.

I said that the human nature of Jesus was hypostatic not a hypostasis. If you mean by that a hypostasis on it's own which would then be a personal. Of course I don't believe that.

I also didn't say "one hypostasis from two other hypostases". It is not fair in theologically dialogue that you put words into my mouth. I said that the humanity of the Lord is hypostatic, that is it is real and concrete and has been united to his hypostasis.

Why don't you stick with the good idea you came up with and leave this terminology alone. Its not going to get us anywhere. I'd rather read you telling me what you believe without using these terms and then we can see if we agree.

If you believe that in Christ his humanity was real but its subject was the Word of God then we are agreed.

Why not leave it at that and rejoice. Otherwise we are just going to get into arguments about whether suspenders hold up trousers or stockings and insisting which piece of clothing it must exclusively apply to.

You've said nature and hypostasis aren't the same thing - well of course in your terminology they are not. But in mine they are close synonyms - and in the use of St Cyril.

So what do we do - go yah sucks to you - or see what we mean when we use those terms?

I've said that I agree with your explanation. It is unreasonable to expect that terminology be used in the same way by all people. What is reasonable is to expect the same meaning whatever the terminology.

So please describe in terms for a 12 year old how Christ should be confessed and then we might get somewhere.

Best wishes

Peter
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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #29 on: June 15, 2004, 09:16:28 AM »
Just in case the reference to 'a caribbean' in Linus' post was meant to refer to Father V.C. Samuel the author of Chalcedon Re-Examined, here is a link to his biography. I can't find any reference to the Caribbean though.

http://www.massey.ac.nz/~ccherian/stdionysiusnz/vcsameul.htm
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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #30 on: June 15, 2004, 11:55:38 AM »
Peter,

I'm curious, I think I've heard that in Reggae music, you here the phrase "I and I", which has some type of dual meaning - not just a schizophrenic phrase if you will.  Could that be some of the confusion with the "Christ is . . . one Nature from two Natures." statement?  It sounds like a similar, cultural linguistic thing.  I'm sure most people here know by now that Bob Marley converted to the Coptic Church shortly before he died - and I've heard that his last albums reflect it (or his journey).  What 'cha think?

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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #31 on: June 15, 2004, 06:49:20 PM »
This is interesting ... (from http://rastaites.com/rasponse01.htm#Question5)

Question  " Tell me something? Why does rasta say I and I? I was told it is because of the two conciousness levels of a rasta. One I for mankind and the other I for himself? Is that what I and I is about?

I&I signifies I&I unity with JAH the Most High. As in I and I God, it is also used to signify I&I Rastafari bredren and sistren, also signifying I&I unity with the Most I. So it can mean I or we or even you, although now more I's would say "the I" for you. The dictionary definition below is from the Rasta Patois Dictionary  
"I and I, I&I:  
I, me, you and me, we (1)Rastafari speech eliminates you, me we, they, etc., as divisive and replaces same with communal I and I.  I and I embraces the congregation in unity with the  Most I (high) in an endless circle of inity (unity)."

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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #32 on: June 15, 2004, 07:20:45 PM »
This is interesting ... (from http://rastaites.com/rasponse01.htm#Question5)

Question  " Tell me something? Why does rasta say I and I? I was told it is because of the two conciousness levels of a rasta. One I for mankind and the other I for himself? Is that what I and I is about?

I&I signifies I&I unity with JAH the Most High. As in I and I God, it is also used to signify I&I Rastafari bredren and sistren, also signifying I&I unity with the Most I. So it can mean I or we or even you, although now more I's would say "the I" for you. The dictionary definition below is from the Rasta Patois Dictionary  
"I and I, I&I:  
I, me, you and me, we (1)Rastafari speech eliminates you, me we, they, etc., as divisive and replaces same with communal I and I.  I and I embraces the congregation in unity with the  Most I (high) in an endless circle of inity (unity)."

Yes, I've read something similar (if not this exact thing) before - which is why I'm asking Peter.  I'm speculating that something like this could be the source of the "confusion"/schism/etc.  And since Rastafarianism came from a West Indies and African Christian (Eritrean/Ethiopian?) hodge podge, I'm thinking it could explain "One Nature from two Natures"

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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #33 on: June 15, 2004, 08:42:47 PM »
Quite right, but here you may get into the arena of how God speaks to many people in many differing and variant ways....

Might run contrary to some folks' interpretaion of doctrine, but...

... sounds vaguely Pauline to me ...

;)

« Last Edit: June 16, 2004, 08:26:32 AM by Rustaveli »

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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #34 on: June 15, 2004, 11:28:52 PM »
Just in case the reference to 'a caribbean' in Linus' post was meant to refer to Father V.C. Samuel the author of Chalcedon Re-Examined, here is a link to his biography. I can't find any reference to the Caribbean though.

http://www.massey.ac.nz/~ccherian/stdionysiusnz/vcsameul.htm

I realize that you are trying to imply that I am some sort of "racist" because I thought I recalled someone mentioning that the author of that book was from the Caribbean.

You actually mentioned (over in the NC Forum) that the mere use of the word "Caribbean" by me sounded racist!

I think you are using cheap political correctness to mask the poverty of your arguments, especially after you created an hypostatic quagmire from which you find it difficult to extricate yourself.

You asked for my comments on what you said about the submission of our Lord's human will to His divine will.

Of course I believe our Lord Jesus' human will freely assented to the will of His Father, the will He, in His Divine Nature, shares with the Father and the Holy Spirit.

You say that is all that Non-Chalcedonian leaders mean when they teach that our Lord has but one will.

If they really believe our Lord has two wills, why do they keep speaking of one will?

They make a point of it as a contrast to the Orthodox teaching of the two wills of Christ and even refer to us as "ditheletes."

I really don't think they mean what you think they mean.

Here is something I have quoted before, from the Metropolitan Paulos Mar Gregorios of the Non-Chalcedonian Syrian Orthodox Church of India:

Quote
We are unable to say what this council [the Sixth] says when it affirms "two wills and two operations concurring most fitly in him"....

To summarize: Acceptance of the Sixth Council is much more difficult for us than the acceptance of Chalcedon. The following are the chief reasons:...

b) We are unable to accept the dithelete formula, attributing will and energy to the natures rather than to the hypostasis. We can only affirm the one united and unconfused divine-human nature, will and energy of Christ the incarnate Lord.

c) We find that this Sixth Council exalts as its standard mainly the teaching of Leo and Agatho, popes of Rome, paying only lip-service to the teachings of the Blessed Cyril. We regard Leo as a heretic for his teaching that the will and operation of Christ is to be attributed to the two natures of Christ rather than to the one hypostasis. The human nature is as "natural" to Christ the incarnate Word as is the divine. It is one hypostasis who now is both divine and human, and all the activities come from the one hypostasis.

The bolding is mine, for emphasis.

If, as Met. Paulos Mar Gregorios says, the will comes from the hypostasis, then one might wonder whether there are three wills in the Holy Trinity, one for each of the Hypostases.

That question aside, however, the Met. Paulos Mar Gregorios does not seem to believe there are two wills in our Lord Jesus Christ. He certainly does not seem to believe that Non-Chalcedonians and Eastern Orthodox agree on this issue.

And we know that Coptic Pope Shenouda III has said repeatedly that Christ has but one will.

Why do these men keep saying these things - knowing full well the effect of such statements - if they really believe something else altogether?





« Last Edit: June 15, 2004, 11:34:14 PM by Linus7 »
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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #35 on: June 15, 2004, 11:54:04 PM »
I understand that the EO and OO have different terminolgy. But why can't the OO Patriachs simply explain what they mean by "one will" and "one nature" when they speak of such issues? If the EO and OO really believe the same thing, why can't both sides admit they use different terminology but that they mean the exact same thing as the bishops at Ephesus II and the bishops at Chalcedon?
"I prefer to be accused unjustly, for then I have nothing to reproach myself with, and joyfully offer this to the good Lord. Then I humble myself at the thought that I am indeed capable of doing the thing of which I have been accused. " - Saint

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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #36 on: June 15, 2004, 11:55:39 PM »
Oh and Linus could you please provide your source for the quote from Met. Paulos Mar Gregorios.

Thanks.
"I prefer to be accused unjustly, for then I have nothing to reproach myself with, and joyfully offer this to the good Lord. Then I humble myself at the thought that I am indeed capable of doing the thing of which I have been accused. " - Saint

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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #37 on: June 16, 2004, 12:06:55 AM »
Oh and Linus could you please provide your source for the quote from Met. Paulos Mar Gregorios.

Thanks.

The Greek Orthodox Theological Review, Vol. XVI, nos. 1 and 2, 1971, pp. 133-143, as quoted here.

The remarks also appeared in Does Chalcedon Divide or Unite?, Gregorios, Lazareth and Nissiotis, eds., World Council of Churches, Geneva: 1981; pp. 133-135.

« Last Edit: June 16, 2004, 12:13:56 AM by Linus7 »
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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #38 on: June 16, 2004, 12:11:55 AM »
Thanks Linus! :)
"I prefer to be accused unjustly, for then I have nothing to reproach myself with, and joyfully offer this to the good Lord. Then I humble myself at the thought that I am indeed capable of doing the thing of which I have been accused. " - Saint

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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #39 on: June 16, 2004, 08:33:37 AM »
I can't even find "the reference to 'a caribbean' in Linus' post", or the post in question ...

Might this be in another thread?

... and, perhaps, is the reference perhaps to the Brahana Selassie book on the EOTC?
« Last Edit: June 16, 2004, 08:36:00 AM by Rustaveli »

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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #40 on: June 16, 2004, 08:44:16 AM »
Yes, I've read something similar (if not this exact thing) before - which is why I'm asking Peter.  I'm speculating that something like this could be the source of the "confusion"/schism/etc.  And since Rastafarianism came from a West Indies and African Christian (Eritrean/Ethiopian?) hodge podge, I'm thinking it could explain "One Nature from two Natures"

An interesting approach to understanding how Truth might be expressed in different languages;

Of course, Rastafarianism [which I find endlessly fascinating, plus it has given rise to some very good and positive music ...  8)...] is a modern phenomenon, arising (like the Nation of Islam, and - in part - from the same Garveyite base...) during the Twentieth century;

Still, the Rasta fascination with Ethiopia is perhaps indicative of a link - Indeed, many Rastas (including Robert Nesta Marley, of Blessed Memory, and his wife Rita) embraced the Ethiopian Orthodox Faith.

The Rasta "Groundation" commemoration, celebrating the occasion of Emperor Haile Selassie's visit to Jamaica, is an event of interest, as H.I.M. was a bit surprised at being greeted as an incarnate deity, since he was a devout Ethiopian Orthodox Christian ...

I recommend www.onedropbooks.com as a source for Rastafarian [and, also, Orthodox] reading material which might otherwise be hard to come by...

And I recommend Burning Spear and Peter Tosh for music & message.   :)
« Last Edit: June 17, 2004, 01:00:12 AM by Rustaveli »

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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #41 on: June 16, 2004, 09:20:38 AM »

Still, the Rasta fascination with Ethiopia is perhaps indicative of a link - Indeed, many Rastas (including Robert Nesta Marley, of Blessed Memory, and his wife Rita) embraced the Ethiopian Orthodox Faith.


They DID? WAY cool! :D

Think I'll go reload the CD player with some island tunes today...

Demetri
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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #42 on: June 16, 2004, 09:42:05 AM »
« Last Edit: June 16, 2004, 09:42:49 AM by Rustaveli »

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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #43 on: June 19, 2004, 01:09:02 AM »
All of those verses which assert both the complete humanity and divinity of our Lord contain the teaching of Chalcedon in seminal form.

Of particular interest is Jesus' prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night He was betrayed, in which He petitioned His Father, "Not as I will, but as You will" (Matt. 26:39).

Interesting. The Greek text which I am reading is:

pater mou ei dunaton estin parelqetw ap emou to pothrion touto plhn ouc wV egw qelw all wV su

(I don't know if this will come through in a proper font, that may depend upon individual machines & their font capabilities...)

What I find interesting is that, transliterated [roughly], the text is "plin ouks hos ego Thelo all' hos su", or (translated) "not as I will but as thou" [end of verse].

Hmmm...

The operative word translated "will" (Thelo) occurs but once ... Our Lord does not repeat the word for "will", but says "not as I will but as thou" (except in certain English translations).

Welp, that's about enough for me!

Thanks for bringing up this pointer to the Truth.

Gotta go - I need to book passage to Lalibela to make pilgrimage and be baptized into The One True Tewahedo Faith!!

 ;)

« Last Edit: June 19, 2004, 01:11:03 AM by Rustaveli »

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Re:Nature, Will, and a Hope for Being Outrageously Agreeable...
« Reply #44 on: June 19, 2004, 06:14:37 AM »
Rustaveli,

"Which" Greek text are you using?

Demetri
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