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Author Topic: De-Incarnated Christ of Orthodoxy?  (Read 13090 times) Average Rating: 0
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JLatimer
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« on: October 26, 2011, 12:01:58 PM »

Christ, in Orthodox thought (or, at least, a popularized articulation of Orthodox thought), possess [sic] a cosmic Kingship; He is the “brooding omnipresence in the dome” of any properly constructed Orthodox temple, which leaves sufficient room for a more apt “doxological” cry from the kliros: “We have no king but Caesar!” There is a strange, almost disturbing, inversion of what Eric Voegelin called the “cosmological empire”: Orthodox society (more imagined than real) is not structured as a reflection of the cosmos; the cosmos under Christ is structured like a Byzantine court, with an earthly ceremonial ritual transformed into a liturgy that is given, by title, a divine status.
...
Venuleius (blog author): I’ve toyed (and, really, that’s all this is — toying) with the thesis that Christ is effectively “de-Incarnated” in popularized Orthodox thought, piety, liturgics, etc. So to assert, as Catholicism does (or, at least, did until Vatican II), that Christ is King in this world is an almost incomprehensible assertion for the Orthodox. Christ is Heaven (“the dome”), not here on earth;
...
Also, for reasons of historical accident more than anything else, it seems (I’m speculating here) that Orthodox piety centralized a cosmic, transcendent Christ over an earthly, suffering Christ (who was also, paradoxically, kingly). It’s almost as if Christ’s Kingship can’t be understand when he was “just” leading the Apostles around Galilee or “just” enduring questioning, mockery, physical assault, etc. He had to be positioned in the Heavens, with a choir of angels and Saints, to be a King.

How would you respond to this assertion that Orthodoxy (as opposed to Catholicism) de-incarnates Christ, that we relegate Him to a 'mystical/cosmological' role detached from this world? Is there any merit to this critique? He makes some very provocative, to say the least, assertions: for example, the claim that the Orthodox stand in the position of the Jews exclaiming we have no king but Caesar.

Quote
Venuleius: The question of Christ’s humanity in Orthodox (popular) thought is a difficult one to unravel, though I thought Fr. Patrick Reardon’s recent lecture on the Orthodox Western Rite where he notes that the Liturgy of St. John reflects a pre-Chalcedonian Christology offers a clue into the different “emphases” one finds in Eastern and Western Christian piety and liturgics. I discussed this matter with a friend of mine, and he noted that the humanity of Christ only becomes “front and center” during the liturgical offices of Holy Week, but by Holy Saturday it’s pulled back. (On this point I keep thinking of the Byzatine icon of Christ simultaneously “in the Heavens” and “in the Tomb”; there’s a powerful demand that people never forget that Christ is still God, which is theologically correct, though one could argue that it detracts from the very real (human) suffering and death he endured.)
...
Francis: I hear you and remember one of Balthasars’ critiques of slavic Byzantine iconography being deincarnated.

Would you go so far as to say or see a functional Monophysitism?

 Shocked

Note how he admits that the demand to never forget the Divinity of Christ is "theologically" correct, but still seems uncomfortable with it. Hate to be facile and dismissive, but, well, you know, the N word...
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« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2011, 12:09:15 PM »

Wow, never thought I'd see my brother's blog quoted here.  Cheesy
« Last Edit: October 26, 2011, 12:10:55 PM by Andrew21091 » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2011, 12:11:30 PM »

I think Orthodox could stand to emphasize more of Christ's role as our mediator to God, which I think Catholics emphasize more during liturgy, but other than that I don't see much difference.

Of course, we contend that Christ came from a woman just like us, not one who was immaculately conceived.
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« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2011, 12:13:41 PM »

Christ, in Orthodox thought (or, at least, a popularized articulation of Orthodox thought), possess [sic] a cosmic Kingship; He is the “brooding omnipresence in the dome” of any properly constructed Orthodox temple, which leaves sufficient room for a more apt “doxological” cry from the kliros: “We have no king but Caesar!” There is a strange, almost disturbing, inversion of what Eric Voegelin called the “cosmological empire”: Orthodox society (more imagined than real) is not structured as a reflection of the cosmos; the cosmos under Christ is structured like a Byzantine court, with an earthly ceremonial ritual transformed into a liturgy that is given, by title, a divine status.
...
Venuleius (blog author): I’ve toyed (and, really, that’s all this is — toying) with the thesis that Christ is effectively “de-Incarnated” in popularized Orthodox thought, piety, liturgics, etc. So to assert, as Catholicism does (or, at least, did until Vatican II), that Christ is King in this world is an almost incomprehensible assertion for the Orthodox. Christ is Heaven (“the dome”), not here on earth;
...
Also, for reasons of historical accident more than anything else, it seems (I’m speculating here) that Orthodox piety centralized a cosmic, transcendent Christ over an earthly, suffering Christ (who was also, paradoxically, kingly). It’s almost as if Christ’s Kingship can’t be understand when he was “just” leading the Apostles around Galilee or “just” enduring questioning, mockery, physical assault, etc. He had to be positioned in the Heavens, with a choir of angels and Saints, to be a King.

How would you respond to this assertion that Orthodoxy (as opposed to Catholicism) de-incarnates Christ, that we relegate Him to a 'mystical/cosmological' role detached from this world? Is there any merit to this critique? He makes some very provocative, to say the least, assertions: for example, the claim that the Orthodox stand in the position of the Jews exclaiming we have no king but Caesar.

Quote
Venuleius: The question of Christ’s humanity in Orthodox (popular) thought is a difficult one to unravel, though I thought Fr. Patrick Reardon’s recent lecture on the Orthodox Western Rite where he notes that the Liturgy of St. John reflects a pre-Chalcedonian Christology offers a clue into the different “emphases” one finds in Eastern and Western Christian piety and liturgics. I discussed this matter with a friend of mine, and he noted that the humanity of Christ only becomes “front and center” during the liturgical offices of Holy Week, but by Holy Saturday it’s pulled back. (On this point I keep thinking of the Byzatine icon of Christ simultaneously “in the Heavens” and “in the Tomb”; there’s a powerful demand that people never forget that Christ is still God, which is theologically correct, though one could argue that it detracts from the very real (human) suffering and death he endured.)
...
Francis: I hear you and remember one of Balthasars’ critiques of slavic Byzantine iconography being deincarnated.

Would you go so far as to say or see a functional Monophysitism?

 Shocked

Note how he admits that the demand to never forget the Divinity of Christ is "theologically" correct, but still seems uncomfortable with it. Hate to be facile and dismissive, but, well, you know, the N word...
While I disagree with a great deal of what the author said, it is important to keep both facts in mind: both Christ's Divinity and his Humanity.
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« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2011, 12:14:27 PM »

Christ, in Orthodox thought (or, at least, a popularized articulation of Orthodox thought), possess [sic] a cosmic Kingship; He is the “brooding omnipresence in the dome” of any properly constructed Orthodox temple, which leaves sufficient room for a more apt “doxological” cry from the kliros: “We have no king but Caesar!” There is a strange, almost disturbing, inversion of what Eric Voegelin called the “cosmological empire”: Orthodox society (more imagined than real) is not structured as a reflection of the cosmos; the cosmos under Christ is structured like a Byzantine court, with an earthly ceremonial ritual transformed into a liturgy that is given, by title, a divine status.
...
Venuleius (blog author): I’ve toyed (and, really, that’s all this is — toying) with the thesis that Christ is effectively “de-Incarnated” in popularized Orthodox thought, piety, liturgics, etc. So to assert, as Catholicism does (or, at least, did until Vatican II), that Christ is King in this world is an almost incomprehensible assertion for the Orthodox. Christ is Heaven (“the dome”), not here on earth;
...
Also, for reasons of historical accident more than anything else, it seems (I’m speculating here) that Orthodox piety centralized a cosmic, transcendent Christ over an earthly, suffering Christ (who was also, paradoxically, kingly). It’s almost as if Christ’s Kingship can’t be understand when he was “just” leading the Apostles around Galilee or “just” enduring questioning, mockery, physical assault, etc. He had to be positioned in the Heavens, with a choir of angels and Saints, to be a King.

How would you respond to this assertion that Orthodoxy (as opposed to Catholicism) de-incarnates Christ, that we relegate Him to a 'mystical/cosmological' role detached from this world? Is there any merit to this critique? He makes some very provocative, to say the least, assertions: for example, the claim that the Orthodox stand in the position of the Jews exclaiming we have no king but Caesar.

Quote
Venuleius: The question of Christ’s humanity in Orthodox (popular) thought is a difficult one to unravel, though I thought Fr. Patrick Reardon’s recent lecture on the Orthodox Western Rite where he notes that the Liturgy of St. John reflects a pre-Chalcedonian Christology offers a clue into the different “emphases” one finds in Eastern and Western Christian piety and liturgics. I discussed this matter with a friend of mine, and he noted that the humanity of Christ only becomes “front and center” during the liturgical offices of Holy Week, but by Holy Saturday it’s pulled back. (On this point I keep thinking of the Byzatine icon of Christ simultaneously “in the Heavens” and “in the Tomb”; there’s a powerful demand that people never forget that Christ is still God, which is theologically correct, though one could argue that it detracts from the very real (human) suffering and death he endured.)
...
Francis: I hear you and remember one of Balthasars’ critiques of slavic Byzantine iconography being deincarnated.

Would you go so far as to say or see a functional Monophysitism?

 Shocked

Note how he admits that the demand to never forget the Divinity of Christ is "theologically" correct, but still seems uncomfortable with it. Hate to be facile and dismissive, but, well, you know, the N word...

When I click on the link, I get the blog article, but there's absolutely nothing about the person who wrote it.  Does he/she speak for the Catholic Church?  If so, in what capacity?  Or, is this just some anonymous blogger's opinion?
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« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2011, 12:14:33 PM »

Wow, never thought I'd see my brother's blog quoted here.  Cheesy

That's your brother?
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« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2011, 12:18:20 PM »

Wow, never thought I'd see my brother's blog quoted here.  Cheesy

That's your brother?

Is he RC?
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« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2011, 12:18:36 PM »

Wow, never thought I'd see my brother's blog quoted here.  Cheesy

That's your brother?

Aren't we all brothers and sisters?  Grin
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« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2011, 12:24:53 PM »

Wow, never thought I'd see my brother's blog quoted here.  Cheesy

That's your brother?

Is he RC?

Yes, he is my brother and yes he is Roman Catholic.
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« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2011, 12:25:02 PM »

I think the critique is perhaps valid if you slice Liturgy off and call it the whole of our beliefs, which this article seems to do.

The incarnation may not be emphasized as much in the rubrics of the Liturgy, but it is elsewhere: foremost in the Icons, which could not exist if we preached a "de-incarnated" Christ. Christ is as material as the icons on the wall, thus the Incarnation stands firm.

I don't see any need for the Liturgy to be, unto itself, a complete treatise on Orthodox beliefs. The Liturgy exists for a specific reason: for us to celebrate the Eucharist, which is itself a proclamation of the Incarnation.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2011, 12:25:40 PM by bogdan » Logged
JLatimer
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« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2011, 12:27:33 PM »

Wow, never thought I'd see my brother's blog quoted here.  Cheesy

That's your brother?

Is he RC?

Yes, he is my brother and yes he is Roman Catholic.

But was Orthodox at one point, no?
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« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2011, 12:29:28 PM »

Wow, never thought I'd see my brother's blog quoted here.  Cheesy

That's your brother?

Is he RC?

Yes, he is my brother and yes he is Roman Catholic.

But was Orthodox at one point, no?

He was.
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« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2011, 12:46:20 PM »

It seems to me he's trying to find an actual problem where non really exists--except in his own mind, of course.
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« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2011, 01:11:02 PM »

Christ, in Orthodox thought (or, at least, a popularized articulation of Orthodox thought), possess [sic] a cosmic Kingship; He is the “brooding omnipresence in the dome” of any properly constructed Orthodox temple, which leaves sufficient room for a more apt “doxological” cry from the kliros: “We have no king but Caesar!” There is a strange, almost disturbing, inversion of what Eric Voegelin called the “cosmological empire”: Orthodox society (more imagined than real) is not structured as a reflection of the cosmos; the cosmos under Christ is structured like a Byzantine court, with an earthly ceremonial ritual transformed into a liturgy that is given, by title, a divine status.
...
Venuleius (blog author): I’ve toyed (and, really, that’s all this is — toying) with the thesis that Christ is effectively “de-Incarnated” in popularized Orthodox thought, piety, liturgics, etc. So to assert, as Catholicism does (or, at least, did until Vatican II), that Christ is King in this world is an almost incomprehensible assertion for the Orthodox. Christ is Heaven (“the dome”), not here on earth;
...
Also, for reasons of historical accident more than anything else, it seems (I’m speculating here) that Orthodox piety centralized a cosmic, transcendent Christ over an earthly, suffering Christ (who was also, paradoxically, kingly). It’s almost as if Christ’s Kingship can’t be understand when he was “just” leading the Apostles around Galilee or “just” enduring questioning, mockery, physical assault, etc. He had to be positioned in the Heavens, with a choir of angels and Saints, to be a King.

How would you respond to this assertion that Orthodoxy (as opposed to Catholicism) de-incarnates Christ, that we relegate Him to a 'mystical/cosmological' role detached from this world? Is there any merit to this critique? He makes some very provocative, to say the least, assertions: for example, the claim that the Orthodox stand in the position of the Jews exclaiming we have no king but Caesar.

Quote
Venuleius: The question of Christ’s humanity in Orthodox (popular) thought is a difficult one to unravel, though I thought Fr. Patrick Reardon’s recent lecture on the Orthodox Western Rite where he notes that the Liturgy of St. John reflects a pre-Chalcedonian Christology offers a clue into the different “emphases” one finds in Eastern and Western Christian piety and liturgics. I discussed this matter with a friend of mine, and he noted that the humanity of Christ only becomes “front and center” during the liturgical offices of Holy Week, but by Holy Saturday it’s pulled back. (On this point I keep thinking of the Byzatine icon of Christ simultaneously “in the Heavens” and “in the Tomb”; there’s a powerful demand that people never forget that Christ is still God, which is theologically correct, though one could argue that it detracts from the very real (human) suffering and death he endured.)
...
Francis: I hear you and remember one of Balthasars’ critiques of slavic Byzantine iconography being deincarnated.

Would you go so far as to say or see a functional Monophysitism?

 Shocked

Note how he admits that the demand to never forget the Divinity of Christ is "theologically" correct, but still seems uncomfortable with it. Hate to be facile and dismissive, but, well, you know, the N word...
Nonsense?

Because that is what it is.  Odd coming from an Ultramontanist, given that they need-and demand we need-a "visible head," while we have no problem with Christ ruling the Church as the "invisible Head." Seems like another attempt to attack the Orthodox as somehow deficient in not having a "Vicar of Christ" "tanking the place of God on earth." Simple: He is ever present in the Orthodox Church, so He-and we-don't need a "Vicar."

And He is present physically-deincarnation would cause the whole very visible role of the Holy Icons to collapse in Orthodoxy.  Since I haven't seen that, I have no idea where they are getting this "deincarnation" in the Orthodox Church from.

Maybe he is upset that we do not share the Vatican's thirst for gore, the fetish for displaying body parts or the obsession to put His mother on a par with Him.  Oh, well. That's their problem, not ours.

There is also not a too thinly disguised swipe at Orthodoxy as "Caesaropapism."  Of course, besides the transformation of the church into a Papal state-despite the clear words during that passion he refers to "My Kingdom is not of this world"-the Vatican is always selective in its condemnation of "Caesaropapism."  It of course defends to the death the act of the Germanic kings in overturning the Tradition of Orthodox Rome, reiterated by Popes and inscribed on the doors of St. Peter's itself, in the insertion of the filioque in the mass at Rome, praises the Emperors of the Romans who dragged the bishops from the Orthodox patriarchates to submit to the Vatican in return for armies to defend their kingdom of this world, and celebrates the imposition of "union" by the Polish King (at the time trying to overturn the reformation in his native Sweden, and promising Polish lords Russian lands to make up for those lost to Sweden).  It isn't upset that we allegedly say "we have no king but Caesar," but that we refuse to recognize Caesar's successor as pontifex maximus as "Caesar" and "Supreme Pontiff."

I've been to many Orthodox Churches which had no Pantocrator in the dome.  I've never been to one which did not have an Icon of the Theotokos and Child (how He came) flanking the altar (how He comes now).

"It’s almost as if Christ’s Kingship can’t be understand when he was “just” leading the Apostles around Galilee or “just” enduring questioning, mockery, physical assault, etc. He had to be positioned in the Heavens, with a choir of angels and Saints, to be a King." Nearly every large Orthodox Cross I've seen has, above the Crucifixed Christ the inscription "King of Glory."

No, there is no merit in this "critique." Just an agenda.
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« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2011, 01:36:10 PM »

Wow, never thought I'd see my brother's blog quoted here.  Cheesy

That's your brother?

Is he RC?

Yes, he is my brother and yes he is Roman Catholic.

I’m sure you two have had some interesting discussions and debates over the years.  I found somewhat humorous the following comment that your brother made in the comments section of his blog: 

Venuleius:

"Look, I’m not Catholic because I care about liturgy; I’m Catholic because I don’t want to go to hell. I want my plenary indulgences, Rosaries, Novenas to St. Joseph so I can find a new position, daily morning Mass that’s over in time for me to get to work, afternoon Mass during the workday that I can go to on my lunch hour, night Mass during the week I can go to after work, Saturday night Mass that I can go to so I can do drugs, drink, and have sex with my wife on Sunday morning (because — all you Orthodox out there — that’s what Catholics who go to “accommodation Mass” really do), Confessionals where I don’t have to smell the priest’s breath, scary bloody Crucifixion statuary, Purgatory, the Filioque, the Immaculate Conception, Latin, normal, well-adjusted people, etc. That’s the package deal the Pope personally dispatched to me to get me to sign-up. So far, no buyer’s remorse."


From the little I have read of the blog, the author seems very much at home with scholasticism and the absolute certainty and clarity that results from such a centralized and organized religious institution.  About the comments provided in the OP, however, I don’t have a comment.       
« Last Edit: October 26, 2011, 01:36:45 PM by jah777 » Logged
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« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2011, 02:33:26 PM »

Wow, never thought I'd see my brother's blog quoted here.  Cheesy

That's your brother?

Is he RC?

Yes, he is my brother and yes he is Roman Catholic.

I’m sure you two have had some interesting discussions and debates over the years.  I found somewhat humorous the following comment that your brother made in the comments section of his blog: 

Venuleius:

"Look, I’m not Catholic because I care about liturgy; I’m Catholic because I don’t want to go to hell. I want my plenary indulgences, Rosaries, Novenas to St. Joseph so I can find a new position, daily morning Mass that’s over in time for me to get to work, afternoon Mass during the workday that I can go to on my lunch hour, night Mass during the week I can go to after work, Saturday night Mass that I can go to so I can do drugs, drink, and have sex with my wife on Sunday morning (because — all you Orthodox out there — that’s what Catholics who go to “accommodation Mass” really do), Confessionals where I don’t have to smell the priest’s breath, scary bloody Crucifixion statuary, Purgatory, the Filioque, the Immaculate Conception, Latin, normal, well-adjusted people, etc. That’s the package deal the Pope personally dispatched to me to get me to sign-up. So far, no buyer’s remorse."


From the little I have read of the blog, the author seems very much at home with scholasticism and the absolute certainty and clarity that results from such a centralized and organized religious institution.  About the comments provided in the OP, however, I don’t have a comment.       

I hope he is joking.
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« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2011, 02:43:01 PM »

I got a kick out of this response (which I agree with)
Quote
Personally, enjoy the “Jesus went down, punched the devil in the nose, and kicked down the gates of hell” side of the story more than the “He was bleeding all over the place” side. But I’m an insecure Cubs fan and enjoy being on the winning side for once.
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« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2011, 02:46:31 PM »

Wow, never thought I'd see my brother's blog quoted here.  Cheesy

That's your brother?

Is he RC?

Yes, he is my brother and yes he is Roman Catholic.

I’m sure you two have had some interesting discussions and debates over the years.  I found somewhat humorous the following comment that your brother made in the comments section of his blog: 

Venuleius:

"Look, I’m not Catholic because I care about liturgy; I’m Catholic because I don’t want to go to hell. I want my plenary indulgences, Rosaries, Novenas to St. Joseph so I can find a new position, daily morning Mass that’s over in time for me to get to work, afternoon Mass during the workday that I can go to on my lunch hour, night Mass during the week I can go to after work, Saturday night Mass that I can go to so I can do drugs, drink, and have sex with my wife on Sunday morning (because — all you Orthodox out there — that’s what Catholics who go to “accommodation Mass” really do), Confessionals where I don’t have to smell the priest’s breath, scary bloody Crucifixion statuary, Purgatory, the Filioque, the Immaculate Conception, Latin, normal, well-adjusted people, etc. That’s the package deal the Pope personally dispatched to me to get me to sign-up. So far, no buyer’s remorse."


From the little I have read of the blog, the author seems very much at home with scholasticism and the absolute certainty and clarity that results from such a centralized and organized religious institution.  About the comments provided in the OP, however, I don’t have a comment.       

I hope he is joking.

Seems pretty tongue-in-cheek to me.  But, what do I know?
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« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2011, 02:50:50 PM »

Another Latin Catholic criticizing completely legitimate aspects of Eastern Catholicism. *papal facepalm*
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« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2011, 03:04:39 PM »

Thanks for a great response, but let me play devil's advocate.

Nonsense?

Because that is what it is.  Odd coming from an Ultramontanist, given that they need-and demand we need-a "visible head," while we have no problem with Christ ruling the Church as the "invisible Head."

I think he might see invisibility as a sign of 'disincarnation'. ISTM he's working off an incarnate=visible idea. 

Quote
Seems like another attempt to attack the Orthodox as somehow deficient in not having a "Vicar of Christ" "tanking the place of God on earth." Simple: He is ever present in the Orthodox Church,

He might say, as sacerdotium but not as regnum. His critique seems to be that the Orthodox Church acts a dispenser of sacraments, but does not image Christ's Kingship over creation. How do you address that? What is Christ's Kingship? How does it differ from earthly kingship? How is it similar? How does He exercise it? How does the Orthodox Church show it forth?

Quote
so He-and we-don't need a "Vicar."

And He is present physically-deincarnation would cause the whole very visible role of the Holy Icons to collapse in Orthodoxy.  Since I haven't seen that, I have no idea where they are getting this "deincarnation" in the Orthodox Church from.

He mentions the idea that Orthodox icons are too 'ascetical' or 'mystical'. Again the idea that incarnate=visible (in this case in the sense of 'realistic'). 

Quote
Maybe he is upset that we do not share the Vatican's thirst for gore,

I think he might say what we see as a thirst for gore is a real, thoroughgoing commitment to the real, true, literal humanity of Christ. 

Quote
the fetish for displaying body parts or the obsession to put His mother on a par with Him.  Oh, well. That's their problem, not ours.

There is also not a too thinly disguised swipe at Orthodoxy as "Caesaropapism."  Of course, besides the transformation of the church into a Papal state-despite the clear words during that passion he refers to "My Kingdom is not of this world"

He seems to draw a distinction between "of this world", "in this world". He seems to think Orthodoxy, in stressing that Christ's Kingdom is not of this world, has pushed it altogether out of this world. For him, Christ's Kingdom is not of this world, but is in this world. I would tend to agree with that. But if not the Vatican, what does Christ's not-of-but-in-this-world Kingdom look like? 

Quote
-the Vatican is always selective in its condemnation of "Caesaropapism."  It of course defends to the death the act of the Germanic kings in overturning the Tradition of Orthodox Rome, reiterated by Popes and inscribed on the doors of St. Peter's itself, in the insertion of the filioque in the mass at Rome, praises the Emperors of the Romans who dragged the bishops from the Orthodox patriarchates to submit to the Vatican in return for armies to defend their kingdom of this world, and celebrates the imposition of "union" by the Polish King (at the time trying to overturn the reformation in his native Sweden, and promising Polish lords Russian lands to make up for those lost to Sweden).  It isn't upset that we allegedly say "we have no king but Caesar," but that we refuse to recognize Caesar's successor as pontifex maximus as "Caesar" and "Supreme Pontiff."

I've been to many Orthodox Churches which had no Pantocrator in the dome.  I've never been to one which did not have an Icon of the Theotokos and Child (how He came) flanking the altar (how He comes now).

"It’s almost as if Christ’s Kingship can’t be understand when he was “just” leading the Apostles around Galilee or “just” enduring questioning, mockery, physical assault, etc. He had to be positioned in the Heavens, with a choir of angels and Saints, to be a King." Nearly every large Orthodox Cross I've seen has, above the Crucifixed Christ the inscription "King of Glory."

The N word I was thinking was Nestorian. It seems there is a similar concern for defending the integrity of humanity in the Incarnation, and a similar result: the Word of God assuming not humanity but a man (as you said, a visible Vicar of Christ, "taking the place of God on earth").
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« Reply #20 on: October 26, 2011, 03:09:13 PM »

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



No, there is no merit in this "critique." Just an agenda.

You called it Wink

Christ, in Orthodox thought (or, at least, a popularized articulation of Orthodox thought), possess [sic] a cosmic Kingship; He is the “brooding omnipresence in the dome” of any properly constructed Orthodox temple, which leaves sufficient room for a more apt “doxological” cry from the kliros: “We have no king but Caesar!” There is a strange, almost disturbing, inversion of what Eric Voegelin called the “cosmological empire”: Orthodox society (more imagined than real) is not structured as a reflection of the cosmos; the cosmos under Christ is structured like a Byzantine court, with an earthly ceremonial ritual transformed into a liturgy that is given, by title, a divine status.
...
Venuleius (blog author): I’ve toyed (and, really, that’s all this is — toying) with the thesis that Christ is effectively “de-Incarnated” in popularized Orthodox thought, piety, liturgics, etc. So to assert, as Catholicism does (or, at least, did until Vatican II), that Christ is King in this world is an almost incomprehensible assertion for the Orthodox. Christ is Heaven (“the dome”), not here on earth;
...
Also, for reasons of historical accident more than anything else, it seems (I’m speculating here) that Orthodox piety centralized a cosmic, transcendent Christ over an earthly, suffering Christ (who was also, paradoxically, kingly). It’s almost as if Christ’s Kingship can’t be understand when he was “just” leading the Apostles around Galilee or “just” enduring questioning, mockery, physical assault, etc. He had to be positioned in the Heavens, with a choir of angels and Saints, to be a King.

How would you respond to this assertion that Orthodoxy (as opposed to Catholicism) de-incarnates Christ, that we relegate Him to a 'mystical/cosmological' role detached from this world? Is there any merit to this critique? He makes some very provocative, to say the least, assertions: for example, the claim that the Orthodox stand in the position of the Jews exclaiming we have no king but Caesar.

Quote
Venuleius: The question of Christ’s humanity in Orthodox (popular) thought is a difficult one to unravel, though I thought Fr. Patrick Reardon’s recent lecture on the Orthodox Western Rite where he notes that the Liturgy of St. John reflects a pre-Chalcedonian Christology offers a clue into the different “emphases” one finds in Eastern and Western Christian piety and liturgics. I discussed this matter with a friend of mine, and he noted that the humanity of Christ only becomes “front and center” during the liturgical offices of Holy Week, but by Holy Saturday it’s pulled back. (On this point I keep thinking of the Byzatine icon of Christ simultaneously “in the Heavens” and “in the Tomb”; there’s a powerful demand that people never forget that Christ is still God, which is theologically correct, though one could argue that it detracts from the very real (human) suffering and death he endured.)
...
Francis: I hear you and remember one of Balthasars’ critiques of slavic Byzantine iconography being deincarnated.

Would you go so far as to say or see a functional Monophysitism?

 Shocked

Note how he admits that the demand to never forget the Divinity of Christ is "theologically" correct, but still seems uncomfortable with it. Hate to be facile and dismissive, but, well, you know, the N word...

We never separate His humanity from His divinity, and we rarely de-incarnate Christ, though many heresies in the past have.  This author is just misunderstanding our emphasis on the Divine.  We as Orthodox have already embraced the humanity of Christ by accepting His coming in the Incarnate form, however, we must continually reaffirm our experience of His Divinity because this is God Almighty!  We need God, and so we need the Divine!
Quote
]that Christ is King in this world is an almost incomprehensible assertion for the Orthodox.

This is nonsense because Christ is precisely King in this world because ALL of this world ONLY exists because of His  own divine authority, life-giving power, and creation sustaining force.  He is not tainted by our politics or socio-cultural baggage, true, rather He transcends these because of His Universal kingship, and when we cooperate with Him we to transcend our limited perspectives and join in not just in the Heavenly kingdom, but in manifesting the fullness of His kingship here on Earth in our present moments.

We accept Christ as King of both Heaven and Earth precisely by His Incarnation.  Does Christ sit on an earthly throne surrounded by an ethnic federation or kingdom? Not necessarily, but than again, Christ is the truly Universal King of all Creation, both in Heaven and in Earth.  We must therefore explicitly emphasize His kingship in Heaven, as this is as fundamentally important to us as any kingship on Earth. Further, as God Almighty, Christ is of course King in His Flesh, whether or not His crown is golden or of thorns, because as God Incarnate Christ perpetually and at every moment sustains all of His Creation.  The Universe is not self-existing, only God is self-existing, and so in His Incarnation Christ effectively demonstrates His earthly (i.e., physical dominion) kingship in that He is the One sustaining all of Creation, just God always has, however now not just from His Divine existence, but in an unimaginable physical form.  In this way, God expresses His kingly authority by physically sustaining the Universe, in being Himself a physical being, Jesus Christ the God-Man.

Our Divine liturgy is precisely that moment when the kingdoms of Heaven and Earth interact and unite by His Incarnation.  We are not merely transported to Heaven, as if separate from Earth, and going to worship a Christ whose Kingdom is also separated from Earth, rather the Kingdom of Heaven intrudes upon Earth, and we bridge the gap just as Christ does by His very own Flesh and Blood.  The Liturgy is not then orchestrated around the Byzantine Court, if anything, since the Liturgy is a glimpse into the Heavenly orders, the Byzantine courts (and indeed all Imperial Orthodox Courts, from Russia to Ethiopia and everywhere in between) were orchestrated around Heaven!
So we never think of Christ as only being a King in Heaven, even if He is sitting at the right hand of the Father as we pray in the Creed, because at the right hand of the Father He is sitting in His deified, resurrected, physical body, and as such is manifesting then His creative powers through His physical body, just as He always had through His spiritual hypostases as Father, Son the Word, and Holy Spirit.  Now that the Word is Incarnate, the Son expresses His Divine power through His physical hypostasis of His incarnate body.  So He is always an earthly King then in the sense that in  all of His actions He manifests them by His physical hypostasis, which is by definition earthly and interconnected with the physical realm of Earth by its very physicality.  How could He then be "detached" from the physical world when for all time and forever He remains a physical being by His eternal Incarnation?



He might say, as sacerdotium but not as regnum. His critique seems to be that the Orthodox Church acts a dispenser of sacraments, but does not image Christ's Kingship over creation. How do you address that? What is Christ's Kingship? How does it differ from earthly kingship? How is it similar? How does He exercise it? How does the Orthodox Church show it forth?


Christ's Kingship is the power of His Divinity which creates and sustains all moments of reality.  This kingship is expressed of course, by His Divinity as the Word, and yet become "earthly" because of the Incarnation.  God is King because He is all-powerful.  Jesus Christ is an earthly King because He is God in an earthly Form, manifesting the Immateriality of the Infinite Godhead's creative and sustaining faculties through His own human-divine hypostasis.  An earthly king expresses power and authority over his earthly dominion by his own existing body, which is the only way for humans to express their God-given agency.  Jesus Christ, as God, expresses His own Divine agency, also through His earthly Hypostasis, and therefore His Kingship, which is Divine, subsequently becomes Earthly as well.

I would say that this blog is simply clumsy and way to over-thinking it!

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2011, 03:14:40 PM »

I got a kick out of this response (which I agree with)
Quote
Personally, enjoy the “Jesus went down, punched the devil in the nose, and kicked down the gates of hell” side of the story more than the “He was bleeding all over the place” side. But I’m an insecure Cubs fan and enjoy being on the winning side for once.

Yes, I enjoyed that, too. It seems to me Venuleius' critique is based on a reading of those two 'sides of the story' as being opposed, and needing to be held in 'balance'. If you overemphasize the Divinity, you lose the humanity. So we shouldn't overemphasize the Divine, omnipotent Christ.

This way of thinking ISTM assumes, though, that the Divinity of Christ "went down, punched the devil in the nose, and kicked down the gates of hell". Helpless humanity is stuck bleeding while Divinity is taking care of business. For Venuleius, the emphasis on punching the devil in the nose is part of the "powerful demand that people never forget that Christ is still God", when in reality, isn't the Gospel message that all humanity, in Christ Jesus, went down, punched the devil in the nose, and kicked down the gates of hell?

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« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2011, 03:18:01 PM »

I got a kick out of this response (which I agree with)
Quote
Personally, enjoy the “Jesus went down, punched the devil in the nose, and kicked down the gates of hell” side of the story more than the “He was bleeding all over the place” side. But I’m an insecure Cubs fan and enjoy being on the winning side for once.

Yes, I enjoyed that, too. It seems to me Venuleius' critique is based on a reading of those two 'sides of the story' as being opposed, and needing to be held in 'balance'. If you overemphasize the Divinity, you lose the humanity. So we shouldn't overemphasize the Divine, omnipotent Christ.

This way of thinking ISTM assumes, though, that the Divinity of Christ "went down, punched the devil in the nose, and kicked down the gates of hell". Helpless humanity is stuck bleeding while Divinity is taking care of business. When in reality, isn't the Gospel message that all humanity, in Christ Jesus, went down, punched the devil in the nose, and kicked down the gates of hell?
I have heard that the East spends more time emphasizing the Divinity of Christ because the East had to face all of those heresies that denied his Divnity.
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« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2011, 03:23:22 PM »

I got a kick out of this response (which I agree with)
Quote
Personally, enjoy the “Jesus went down, punched the devil in the nose, and kicked down the gates of hell” side of the story more than the “He was bleeding all over the place” side. But I’m an insecure Cubs fan and enjoy being on the winning side for once.

Yes, I enjoyed that, too. It seems to me Venuleius' critique is based on a reading of those two 'sides of the story' as being opposed, and needing to be held in 'balance'. If you overemphasize the Divinity, you lose the humanity. So we shouldn't overemphasize the Divine, omnipotent Christ.

This way of thinking ISTM assumes, though, that the Divinity of Christ "went down, punched the devil in the nose, and kicked down the gates of hell". Helpless humanity is stuck bleeding while Divinity is taking care of business. When in reality, isn't the Gospel message that all humanity, in Christ Jesus, went down, punched the devil in the nose, and kicked down the gates of hell?
I have heard that the East spends more time emphasizing the Divinity of Christ because the East had to face all of those heresies that denied his Divnity.

What I'm trying to say, though, is that "trampling down death by death" is not emphasizing Christ's Divinity. After all, is it any wonder God could defeat death? The wonder is that in the Godman, humanity defeats death.
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« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2011, 03:34:20 PM »

Read the Christological threads here. It is obvious how serious some folks take Christ's Incarnation. Not very.

And I am out.
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« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2011, 03:35:40 PM »

I got a kick out of this response (which I agree with)
Quote
Personally, enjoy the “Jesus went down, punched the devil in the nose, and kicked down the gates of hell” side of the story more than the “He was bleeding all over the place” side. But I’m an insecure Cubs fan and enjoy being on the winning side for once.

Yes, I enjoyed that, too. It seems to me Venuleius' critique is based on a reading of those two 'sides of the story' as being opposed, and needing to be held in 'balance'. If you overemphasize the Divinity, you lose the humanity. So we shouldn't overemphasize the Divine, omnipotent Christ.

This way of thinking ISTM assumes, though, that the Divinity of Christ "went down, punched the devil in the nose, and kicked down the gates of hell". Helpless humanity is stuck bleeding while Divinity is taking care of business. When in reality, isn't the Gospel message that all humanity, in Christ Jesus, went down, punched the devil in the nose, and kicked down the gates of hell?
I have heard that the East spends more time emphasizing the Divinity of Christ because the East had to face all of those heresies that denied his Divnity.

I have heard that the Orthodox Church has learned how portray the divinity and humanity of Christ by partaking of the divine grace which is present only in the mysteries of the Orthodox Church.  Without such grace, Roman Catholicism became estranged from the authentic experience of divine grace and attempted to fill the spiritual vacuum with a pietisim that thrived on and nurtured the baser emotions through graphic portrayals of Christ’s suffering which were mostly characterized by gross materiality and plain gore without any spiritual quality.  This loss of authentic spiritual experience also led to the replacement of the authority of Christ with that of the Pope, the replacement of a God-centered spirituality in which man is deified with a man-centered pseudo-spirituality which attempts to humanize God, a replacement of the sober asceticism of the Desert Fathers with the delusions of “mystics”, etc.  At least that’s what I hear.   
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« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2011, 03:44:27 PM »

Read the Christological threads here. It is obvious how serious some folks take Christ's Incarnation. Not very.

And I am out.

Yes; only you, NicholasMyra, and Fr. Thomas Hopko take the Incarnation seriously. How could I forget?
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« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2011, 03:48:16 PM »

Read the Christological threads here. It is obvious how serious some folks take Christ's Incarnation. Not very.

And I am out.

Yes; only you, NicholasMyra, and Fr. Thomas Hopko take the Incarnation seriously. How could I forget?

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« Reply #28 on: October 26, 2011, 03:55:50 PM »

Read the Christological threads here. It is obvious how serious some folks take Christ's Incarnation. Not very.

And I am out.

Yes; only you, NicholasMyra, and Fr. Thomas Hopko take the Incarnation seriously. How could I forget?



Honestly, I didn't expect you to respond after you declared yourself "out". I'm a bit disappointed. But I'll admit you've successfully discomfited me again with your reply.
What are you saying?
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« Reply #29 on: October 26, 2011, 04:15:35 PM »

Read the Christological threads here. It is obvious how serious some folks take Christ's Incarnation. Not very.

And I am out.

Yes; only you, NicholasMyra, and Fr. Thomas Hopko take the Incarnation seriously. How could I forget?



Honestly, I didn't expect you to respond after you declared yourself "out". I'm a bit disappointed. But I'll admit you've successfully discomfited me again with your reply.
What are you saying?

Gee, I haven't seen one of those for awhile! It sure looks like one of those maps that someone else is so fond of posting  Grin.
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« Reply #30 on: October 26, 2011, 05:04:28 PM »

Wow, never thought I'd see my brother's blog quoted here.  Cheesy

That's your brother?

Is he RC?

Yes, he is my brother and yes he is Roman Catholic.

I bet that makes for some interesting chat over thanksgiving dinner...hehe Wink
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« Reply #31 on: October 26, 2011, 05:08:07 PM »

Wow, never thought I'd see my brother's blog quoted here.  Cheesy

That's your brother?

Is he RC?

Yes, he is my brother and yes he is Roman Catholic.

I bet that makes for some interesting chat over thanksgiving dinner...hehe Wink

You think they pray together  Grin Shocked?  Oy vey ist mir  Grin!
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« Reply #32 on: October 26, 2011, 05:10:02 PM »

"Christ is in our midst! Indeed he is, and forever shall be!"
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« Reply #33 on: October 26, 2011, 05:11:24 PM »

Read the Christological threads here. It is obvious how serious some folks take Christ's Incarnation. Not very.

And I am out.

Yes; only you, NicholasMyra, and Fr. Thomas Hopko take the Incarnation seriously. How could I forget?



I see a scary looking pig...did I fail?? Tongue
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« Reply #34 on: October 26, 2011, 05:13:03 PM »

Read the Christological threads here. It is obvious how serious some folks take Christ's Incarnation. Not very.

And I am out.

Yes; only you, NicholasMyra, and Fr. Thomas Hopko take the Incarnation seriously. How could I forget?

Well played, JLatimer!

... (for balance: I enjoy orthonorm and NicholasMyra's thoughts on the topic and have elsewhere agreed with them on discrete points related to the subject) ...
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« Reply #35 on: October 26, 2011, 05:13:20 PM »

Read the Christological threads here. It is obvious how serious some folks take Christ's Incarnation. Not very.

And I am out.

Yes; only you, NicholasMyra, and Fr. Thomas Hopko take the Incarnation seriously. How could I forget?



I see a scary looking pig...did I fail?? Tongue
I am disappointed that I saw what it actually was. What does THAT say about my psyche?
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« Reply #36 on: October 26, 2011, 05:14:26 PM »

Read the Christological threads here. It is obvious how serious some folks take Christ's Incarnation. Not very.

And I am out.

Yes; only you, NicholasMyra, and Fr. Thomas Hopko take the Incarnation seriously. How could I forget?



I see a scary looking pig...did I fail?? Tongue

Well...........hmmmmm........der ist no failink!  However......
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« Reply #37 on: October 26, 2011, 05:14:46 PM »

we are constantly reminded of Christ's humanity whenever we venerate the Theotokos or sing hymns of praise to her.
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« Reply #38 on: October 26, 2011, 05:18:51 PM »

Re the OP -- personally, I am beyond pleased that our Divine Liturgy speaks of Christ as "our true God".

I think popular protestantism especially lacks this awareness of the Lord's divinity properly understood.
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« Reply #39 on: October 26, 2011, 05:19:20 PM »

Read the Christological threads here. It is obvious how serious some folks take Christ's Incarnation. Not very.

And I am out.

Yes; only you, NicholasMyra, and Fr. Thomas Hopko take the Incarnation seriously. How could I forget?



I see a scary looking pig...did I fail?? Tongue
I am disappointed that I saw what it actually was. What does THAT say about my psyche?

I take it your question was rhetorical, right?  It was, wasn't it?  Shocked Grin
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"May Thy Cross, O Lord, in which I seek refuge, be for me a bridge across the great river of fire.  May I pass along it to the habitation of life." ~St. Ephraim the Syrian

"Sometimes you're the windshield.  Sometimes you're the bug." ~ Mark Knopfler (?)
NicholasMyra
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Avowed denominationalist


« Reply #40 on: October 26, 2011, 05:24:35 PM »

Read the Christological threads here. It is obvious how serious some folks take Christ's Incarnation. Not very.

And I am out.

Yes; only you, NicholasMyra, and Fr. Thomas Hopko take the Incarnation seriously. How could I forget?
I blame St. Vlad's. They're always introducing innovations into the American theological landscape, like that whole "God became man" thing.
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Quote from: Orthonorm
if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

"You are philosophical innovators. As for me, I follow the Fathers." -Every heresiarch ever
Ortho_cat
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« Reply #41 on: October 26, 2011, 05:28:05 PM »

Wow, never thought I'd see my brother's blog quoted here.  Cheesy

That's your brother?

Is he RC?

Yes, he is my brother and yes he is Roman Catholic.

But was Orthodox at one point, no?

He was.

You should invite your  brother to come join us on here! I for one am interested to hear his story...
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JLatimer
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« Reply #42 on: October 26, 2011, 05:42:15 PM »

Read the Christological threads here. It is obvious how serious some folks take Christ's Incarnation. Not very.

And I am out.

Yes; only you, NicholasMyra, and Fr. Thomas Hopko take the Incarnation seriously. How could I forget?
I blame St. Vlad's. They're always introducing innovations into the American theological landscape, like that whole "God became man" thing.

Definitely one of the more onerous innovations to come out of that accursed den of iniquity and modernism. As an Aristotelio-Arian crypto-Apollinarian gnostic, I know that God is incorporeal and impassible, and that between Spirit and matter is an unbridgable gap as between two opposed and antagonistic concepts. As Plato says, and as was further clarified by Blessed Plotinus, only through leaving behind the body and entering into pure contemplation can we transcend the fetters of materiality and become pure spirit beings in union with the One Who is by nature immaterial.
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1 Samuel 25:22 (KJV)
So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.
orthonorm
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Posts: 16,506



« Reply #43 on: October 26, 2011, 05:45:24 PM »

Read the Christological threads here. It is obvious how serious some folks take Christ's Incarnation. Not very.

And I am out.

Yes; only you, NicholasMyra, and Fr. Thomas Hopko take the Incarnation seriously. How could I forget?



Honestly, I didn't expect you to respond after you declared yourself "out". I'm a bit disappointed. But I'll admit you've successfully discomfited me again with your reply.
What are you saying?

It's internetz zykologikals. Re-read my post and your response. I am backing off this stuff, until people start paying me.

My post was a crafted statement to illicit a response, which I no doubt knew you would give, to attempt to show you your own latent and obvious insecurities regarding your position on the subject. It was vague and you filled in the blanks. Your blanks say more about how you stand than all those posts of yours in the threads.

IOW, your response is a whole lot more telling than mine.

I am clear on why I find the subject upsetting. Are you?

FWIW, the real ink blots are in color.
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Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
orthonorm
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Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,506



« Reply #44 on: October 26, 2011, 05:45:51 PM »

Read the Christological threads here. It is obvious how serious some folks take Christ's Incarnation. Not very.

And I am out.

Yes; only you, NicholasMyra, and Fr. Thomas Hopko take the Incarnation seriously. How could I forget?
I blame St. Vlad's. They're always introducing innovations into the American theological landscape, like that whole "God became man" thing.

Definitely one of the more onerous innovations to come out of that accursed den of iniquity and modernism. As an Aristotelio-Arian crypto-Apollinarian gnostic, I know that God is incorporeal and impassible, and that between Spirit and matter is an unbridgable gap as between two opposed and antagonistic concepts. As Plato says, and as was further clarified by Blessed Plotinus, only through leaving behind the body and entering into pure contemplation can we transcend the fetters of materiality and become pure spirit beings in union with the One Who is by nature immaterial.

WISDOM!
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Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
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