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Author Topic: Question to EO's re Chalcedon  (Read 2188 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: February 05, 2012, 04:05:49 AM »

I have a question for the EO's here.  It is not intended to be polemical, and I do not want it to lead to polemics.  

Recently, an EO told me that Chalcedon upheld both "in two natures" and "one nature," and that both expressions have always been acceptable to the EO's.  

Is this true?  
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2012, 04:42:20 AM »

Of course. I think the problem OO's have, and please correct me if I am wrong, is that they do not like it when we separate the one nature into two distinct parts (God and man). NicholasMyra sent me a wonderful PM giving an example of a blue ball. The ball is blue but it is also round. You defined what is in essence one nature but described two parts of it. If that makes sense.
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« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2012, 04:47:12 AM »

Of course. I think the problem OO's have, and please correct me if I am wrong, is that they do not like it when we separate the one nature into two distinct parts
The word "parts" is a whole other ball-game, friend.

Christ is God and Christ is man. It's an antinomy. One subsistent hypostasis shouldn't be able to be both things, but Christ is. Some people don't get that, so they choose one or the other.
 
Here's something interesting for you folks to consider. The Psalmist says in Psalm two:

"I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD:
He said to Me:

 ‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance,
And the very ends of the earth as Your possession.
‘You shall break them with a rod of iron,
You shall shatter them like earthenware."

Adoptionists of various sorts liked to use this passage against those who thought that Jesus was the pre-existent Logos in the flesh (us). My question to y'all is, what legitimate truths were the Adoptionists perverting here? Who was told "You are my son, today I have begotten you" in the Old Testament? How does that relate to Christ?
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« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2012, 04:52:39 AM »

Of course. I think the problem OO's have, and please correct me if I am wrong, is that they do not like it when we separate the one nature into two distinct parts (God and man). NicholasMyra sent me a wonderful PM giving an example of a blue ball. The ball is blue but it is also round. You defined what is in essence one nature but described two parts of it. If that makes sense.

While I appreciate the analogy,  the problem with the "two natures" language is that it has led to the erroneous notion that Christ did some things as man and other things as God (e.g. He was tempted in His humanity, but He performed miracles in His divinity. Unless I am mistaken, we OO's believe that everything Christ did and experienced He did as fully God and fully man. The ball always acts as the ball. It does not act as "blue" when being used for soccer and "round" when being used for kickball. It is both blue and round at all times and in all functions. It is one ball.


Selam
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« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2012, 04:55:11 AM »

Of course. I think the problem OO's have, and please correct me if I am wrong, is that they do not like it when we separate the one nature into two distinct parts
The word "parts" is a whole other ball-game, friend.
Ugh I knew I botched something up...
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« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2012, 05:00:11 AM »

While I appreciate the analogy,  the problem with the "two natures" language is that it has led to the erroneous notion that Christ did some things as man and other things as God
And "one nature" had led to the erroneous notion that the Divinity inhibits or overrides the humanity (mixture/confusion).

What is it that we hear in the liturgy (I believe), and at baptisms?

"There is no word sufficient..."
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« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2012, 05:04:18 AM »

Of course. I think the problem OO's have, and please correct me if I am wrong, is that they do not like it when we separate the one nature into two distinct parts (God and man). NicholasMyra sent me a wonderful PM giving an example of a blue ball. The ball is blue but it is also round. You defined what is in essence one nature but described two parts of it. If that makes sense.

While I appreciate the analogy,  the problem with the "two natures" language is that it has led to the erroneous notion that Christ did some things as man and other things as God (e.g. He was tempted in His humanity, but He performed miracles in His divinity. Unless I am mistaken, we OO's believe that everything Christ did and experienced He did as fully God and fully man. The ball always acts as the ball. It does not act as "blue" when being used for soccer and "round" when being used for kickball. It is both blue and round at all times and in all functions. It is one ball.


Selam
Actually St. Cyril says that to divide names, like human and divine, does not mean necessarily a division of natures, persons or hypostases since all belongs to the one Logos. These division of names acted as a protection against heretics such as Arius. But the Logos alone is subjected to all human and divine actions.
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« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2012, 05:05:13 AM »

OK, this is a great conversation, but it is not answering my question:


Did Chalcedon uphold both "in two natures" and "one nature," and have both expressions always been acceptable to the EO's?  
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« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2012, 05:08:00 AM »

OK, this is a great conversation, but it is not answering my question:


Did Chalcedon uphold both "in two natures" and "one nature," and have both expressions always been acceptable to the EO's?  

Yes.
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« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2012, 05:09:08 AM »

OK, this is a great conversation, but it is not answering my question:


Did Chalcedon uphold both "in two natures" and "one nature," and have both expressions always been acceptable to the EO's?  

I would think that during the controversy surrounding Eutyches, one nature language would have been looked upon suspiciously. Most likely it would have been demanded that the speaker parse out his statement. You guys initially did the same to me when you suspected my language of being "Ibasian".

That said, I believe that Chalcedon upholds both Christologies ultimately.
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« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2012, 05:09:51 AM »

OK, this is a great conversation, but it is not answering my question:


Did Chalcedon uphold both "in two natures" and "one nature," and have both expressions always been acceptable to the EO's?  

I would think that during the controversy surrounding Eutyches, one nature language would have been looked upon suspiciously. Most likely it would have been demanded that the speaker parse out his statement.

That said, I believe that Chalcedon upholds both Christologies ultimately.
Right and the hoopla over the Tome of St. Leo, which I think was misunderstood during that council. In fact St. Leo was very anti-Nestorian.
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« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2012, 05:11:01 AM »

Right and the hoopla over the Tome of St. Leo, which I think was misunderstood during that council. In fact St. Leo was very anti-Nestorian.
A lot of letters caused a lot of hoopla for about 100 years after that, or so it seems to me.
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« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2012, 12:21:42 PM »

OK, this is a great conversation, but it is not answering my question:


Did Chalcedon uphold both "in two natures" and "one nature," and have both expressions always been acceptable to the EO's?  

Yes.

From what I recall, only "in two natures" was used in the Definition.  If I am wrong about this, someone please correct me.

Can an EO point out when at Chalcedon "one nature" was approved, or used approvingly?
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« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2012, 12:23:45 PM »

Also, can an EO give me links to any Chalcedonian documents or writings that approvingly use "one nature?"  I've only heard Chalcedonians approvingly use "two natures," but I guess I've missed something.   Tongue
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« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2012, 01:15:53 PM »

OK, this is a great conversation, but it is not answering my question:


Did Chalcedon uphold both "in two natures" and "one nature," and have both expressions always been acceptable to the EO's? 

I would think that during the controversy surrounding Eutyches, one nature language would have been looked upon suspiciously. Most likely it would have been demanded that the speaker parse out his statement. You guys initially did the same to me when you suspected my language of being "Ibasian".

That said, I believe that Chalcedon upholds both Christologies ultimately.

I think Salpy was asking about the literal phrase itself, not if the essence of the Christology behind the phrase was help.

I mean I thought the answer was clear that even "of two natures" were rejected at least by the Latin bishops.  If that phrase was rejected, certainly the "one nature" language might have not even been open for discussion to begin with.  But maybe I missed something in reading some of the minutes.
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« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2012, 06:38:36 PM »

I mean I thought the answer was clear that even "of two natures" were rejected at least by the Latin bishops.  If that phrase was rejected, certainly the "one nature" language might have not even been open for discussion to begin with.  But maybe I missed something in reading some of the minutes.

From the Second Synodical Letter of St. Cyril--read at Chalcedon and therefore indisputably one of the 'synodical letters of St. Cyprian' received by that council in its formal definition (emphasis added):

Quote
For we do not say that the nature of the Word was changed and became flesh, or that it was converted into a whole man consisting of soul and body; but rather that the Word having personally united to himself flesh animated by a rational soul, did in an ineffable and inconceivable manner become man, and was called the Son of Man, not merely as willing or being pleased to be so called, neither on account of taking to himself a person, but because the two natures being brought together in a true union, there is of both one Christ and one Son;
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.x.v.html
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« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2012, 06:43:13 PM »

I mean I thought the answer was clear that even "of two natures" were rejected at least by the Latin bishops.  If that phrase was rejected, certainly the "one nature" language might have not even been open for discussion to begin with.  But maybe I missed something in reading some of the minutes.

From the Second Synodical Letter of St. Cyril--read at Chalcedon and therefore indisputably one of the 'synodical letters of St. Cyprian' received by that council in its formal definition (emphasis added):

Quote
For we do not say that the nature of the Word was changed and became flesh, or that it was converted into a whole man consisting of soul and body; but rather that the Word having personally united to himself flesh animated by a rational soul, did in an ineffable and inconceivable manner become man, and was called the Son of Man, not merely as willing or being pleased to be so called, neither on account of taking to himself a person, but because the two natures being brought together in a true union, there is of both one Christ and one Son;
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.x.v.html

Witega,

I'm not making anything up to refute anything.  It was clear that the original definition of Chalcedon had "of two natures" which were thrown out because the Latin bishops associated it with Dioscorus.

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.xi.xii.html

The question was asked whether the phrase was accepted or not.  There's at least some indication that some of the most revered fathers of Chalcedon didn't.
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« Reply #17 on: February 05, 2012, 07:10:58 PM »

I mean I thought the answer was clear that even "of two natures" were rejected at least by the Latin bishops.  If that phrase was rejected, certainly the "one nature" language might have not even been open for discussion to begin with.  But maybe I missed something in reading some of the minutes.

From the Second Synodical Letter of St. Cyril--read at Chalcedon and therefore indisputably one of the 'synodical letters of St. Cyprian' received by that council in its formal definition (emphasis added):

Quote
For we do not say that the nature of the Word was changed and became flesh, or that it was converted into a whole man consisting of soul and body; but rather that the Word having personally united to himself flesh animated by a rational soul, did in an ineffable and inconceivable manner become man, and was called the Son of Man, not merely as willing or being pleased to be so called, neither on account of taking to himself a person, but because the two natures being brought together in a true union, there is of both one Christ and one Son;
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.x.v.html

Witega,

I'm not making anything up to refute anything.  It was clear that the original definition of Chalcedon had "of two natures" which were thrown out because the Latin bishops associated it with Dioscorus.

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.xi.xii.html

The question was asked whether the phrase was accepted or not.  There's at least some indication that some of the most revered fathers of Chalcedon didn't.

I'm not accusing you of making up anything. I'm pointing out that whether or not the Fathers of Chalcedon included 'of two natures' in the formal definition, they did include "the synodical letters of the Blessed Cyril, Pastor of the Church of Alexandria, addressed to Nestorius and the Easterns" in that same definition. There is disagreement as to whether this includes the third synodical letter with the 12 anathemas (EO's believe it did, in concord with the 5th Ecumenical Council, others disagee), but there is no disagreement that it includes the second synodical letter which was actually read at Chalcedon. And the second synodical letter clearly uses 'of two'.

I can put several different constructions on why it was handled the way it was ('left out but not left out') depending on whether I want to take an EO or an OO or a utilitarian spin on things. But it is there. (Not to mention that as an EO I take the word of Constantinople II that the 3rd synodical epistle, which is even more explicit was also there)
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« Reply #18 on: February 05, 2012, 08:17:28 PM »

So a letter by St. Cyril using "of both" was accepted, while for the Definition St. Dioscoros' (and St. Cyril's) "of two natures" was explicitly rejected and replaced with "in two natures."  That gives further support to those of us who contend that Chalcedon was a bit ambiguous and confused.   Smiley

I still would like to know where in Chalcedon "one nature" is used approvingly.

Also, can someone link to any literature written by a Chalcedonian, either ancient or modern, that uses "one nature" approvingly?

If Chalcedon established both "two natures" and "one nature" as equally acceptable language when referring to the union of God and man in Christ, then what I asked for above should be easy to find.
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« Reply #19 on: February 05, 2012, 09:40:47 PM »

The were multiple Greek words that we translate as "nature" into English (as well as into other languages). The debate wasn't as simple as our language makes it out to be.

This article, written by a modern "Chalcedonian", gives a traditional EO point of view, addressing the Greek verbiage in dispute at the time and the various subtle nuances thereof:

http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/mono_share.aspx

I hope that aids the discussion.
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« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2012, 10:06:30 PM »

Well that's not my favorite website as it misrepresents the OO position on issues, and in fact it misrepresents St. Dioscoros in the article you linked.  But if the article represents the mind of the EO's, it is interesting it what it has to say about Chalcedon.

It doesn't say where Chalcedon accepts "one nature," and seems to say the council did not accept it.  In fact, the article explicitly says that Chalcedon rejected the Cyrilian "of two natures":

Quote
The "breakthrough" of Chalcedon was made possible at least partially by the contribution of St. Leo the Great, Pope of Rome, who, in his Tome, drew a balanced and harmonious picture of the Incarnate Christ as existing in two natures (substantiae in the Latin original), united in one person (persona in Latin). The bishops assembled at Chalcedon carefully compared the Tome of St. Leo with the writings of St. Cyril and declared St. Leo's theology to be fully Orthodox. Dioscoros, however, refused to accept the phrase "union of two natures" or "...in two natures." He insisted on the phrase "union from two natures" or "...out of two natures" (ek duo physeon). This formulation had been used widely in the decades leading up to Chalcedon, but it had the drawback of being able to be interpreted in a monophysite way, as it was by Eutyches, who declared that he accepted two natures before the union but only one nature after the union —that is, when the two natures of Godhead and manhood were Joined in the Incarnation of Christ, they were united into one composite, divine-human nature. Dioscoros, in maintaining that the Incarnation was a union from two natures, not a union of two natures, denied that the two natures continued to exist, each preserving its own characteristics, in the Incarnate Lord. His position was decisively rejected by the Council.

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« Reply #21 on: February 06, 2012, 12:28:09 AM »

Well that's not my favorite website as it misrepresents the OO position on issues, and in fact it misrepresents St. Dioscoros in the article you linked.  But if the article represents the mind of the EO's, it is interesting it what it has to say about Chalcedon.

It doesn't say where Chalcedon accepts "one nature," and seems to say the council did not accept it.  In fact, the article explicitly says that Chalcedon rejected the Cyrilian "of two natures":

Quote
The "breakthrough" of Chalcedon was made possible at least partially by the contribution of St. Leo the Great, Pope of Rome, who, in his Tome, drew a balanced and harmonious picture of the Incarnate Christ as existing in two natures (substantiae in the Latin original), united in one person (persona in Latin). The bishops assembled at Chalcedon carefully compared the Tome of St. Leo with the writings of St. Cyril and declared St. Leo's theology to be fully Orthodox. Dioscoros, however, refused to accept the phrase "union of two natures" or "...in two natures." He insisted on the phrase "union from two natures" or "...out of two natures" (ek duo physeon). This formulation had been used widely in the decades leading up to Chalcedon, but it had the drawback of being able to be interpreted in a monophysite way, as it was by Eutyches, who declared that he accepted two natures before the union but only one nature after the union —that is, when the two natures of Godhead and manhood were Joined in the Incarnation of Christ, they were united into one composite, divine-human nature. Dioscoros, in maintaining that the Incarnation was a union from two natures, not a union of two natures, denied that the two natures continued to exist, each preserving its own characteristics, in the Incarnate Lord. His position was decisively rejected by the Council.


Look at it this way.  In the third council, St. Cyril found nothing heretical about the phrase "Christotokos."  The problem was that it could be utilized to avoid Orthodoxy by circumventing "Theotokos."   Same thing at Chalcedon.   Just as a person who said "we will only use Christotokos and never use Theotokos" was a Nestorian, where as a person who would use "both" was Orthodox, so also, someone who said "we will only use "out of" but not "in" two natures was seen as monophysite, whereas one who used both phrases was Orthodox. 

Here is the Horos of the Holy 6th Ecumenical Council: 
"We recognize the miracles and the sufferings as from one and the same, but of one or of the other nature of which he is and in which he exists, as Cyril admirably says. Preserving therefore the inconfusedness and indivisibility, we make briefly this whole confession, believing our Lord Jesus Christ to be one of the Trinity and after the incarnation our true God, we say that his two natures shone forth in his one subsistence in which He both performed the miracles and endured the sufferings through the whole of his economic conversation, and that not in appearance only but in very deed, and this by reason of the difference of nature which must be recognized in the same Person, for although joined together yet each nature wills and does the things proper to it indivisibly and inconfusedly."

Was it Christ who turned over the money changers?  Yes.   Was it His divinity or was it His human arms that turned them over?   It was His human arms--human energeia.   He could have exercised His divine operation and smote the tables that way.  But He used His human operation to do so.   It was HE that did it in either case, as a Person.   
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« Reply #22 on: February 06, 2012, 12:39:02 AM »

^Incidentally, the Orthodox Church has always upheld, but is especially brought out in the 6th council, that monophysitism and its relatives are akin to Apollinarianism.  Whereas Apollinarianism replaced the entire human soul with the divinity, monophysitism and monotheletism replaced the human volitional aspect of the soul with the divinity.  Whether miaphysite doctrine is compatible remains to be seen.  But otherwise, it is "Apollinarianism-Lite." 
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« Reply #23 on: February 06, 2012, 01:24:18 AM »

...Just as a person who said "we will only use Christotokos and never use Theotokos" was a Nestorian, where as a person who would use "both" was Orthodox, so also, someone who said "we will only use "out of" but not "in" two natures was seen as monophysite, whereas one who used both phrases was Orthodox. 

Thanks Father.   Smiley

But does Chalcedon approve of both?  I'm trying to find where in the Council "one nature" was held up as Orthodox alongside "in two natures."  The article above seemed to say that the former was rejected ("of two natures" was rejected) and only "in two natures" was approved.
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« Reply #24 on: February 06, 2012, 02:13:35 AM »

...Just as a person who said "we will only use Christotokos and never use Theotokos" was a Nestorian, where as a person who would use "both" was Orthodox, so also, someone who said "we will only use "out of" but not "in" two natures was seen as monophysite, whereas one who used both phrases was Orthodox. 

Thanks Father.   Smiley

But does Chalcedon approve of both?  I'm trying to find where in the Council "one nature" was held up as Orthodox alongside "in two natures."  The article above seemed to say that the former was rejected ("of two natures" was rejected) and only "in two natures" was approved.


Salpy,

My memory serves that it approves of both.  However, I will need to look at the acts to check.  Hopefully I will be able to do so tomorrow and get back to you.  Thanks for your patience. 
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« Reply #25 on: February 06, 2012, 04:24:50 AM »

Whereas Apollinarianism replaced the entire human soul with the divinity, monophysitism and monotheletism replaced the human volitional aspect of the soul with the divinity.
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« Reply #26 on: February 06, 2012, 07:38:16 AM »

The Synod at Constantinople which condemned Eutyches insisted that it was not possible to speak of one nature and that this was error. The second synod at Ephesus corrected this, since it meant that St Cyril was condemned, and chose to exclude the language of two natures since this was clearly still being used to promote Nestorianism.

Chalcedon then reversed the decision at Ephesus, and not only excluded the Cyrilline 'of two natures' which would have been acceptable, but insisted on 'in two natures' which was clearly Theodorean.

At the end of Chalcedon it was not possible to speak of 'one incarnate nature', or even, 'of two natures', until the so-called neo-Cyrilline movement rehabilitated these terms under Justinian by proposing that 'in two natures' was synonymous with these other terms.

That is not to argue what good, bad, best or worst. But it seems to me that this is what happened with the permitted forms of language. It would seem to me that at Constatinople there were some efforts to allow 'one incarnate nature' and 'of two natures' to be synonymous but these were rejected by those who wished to condemn Eutyches as a matter of course. It would also seem to me that by the time of the second council of Ephesus there was too great a controversy, and figures such as Theodoret and Ibas were too active in support of a Theodorean Christology, for it to be considered acceptable to use the two nature language.

Chalcedon turned out as it did, and the one incarnate nature language was disallowed.

By the time it was possible to agree that these terms could be used synonymously the issue of Chalcedon as an historical event was too difficult to deal with. This is why Constantinople 553 is acceptable to the OO, but Chalcedon remains unacceptable.
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« Reply #27 on: February 06, 2012, 03:51:52 PM »

The Synod at Constantinople which condemned Eutyches insisted that it was not possible to speak of one nature and that this was error.
Which part of that council are you referring to, Father? The minutes in which Eutyches was condemned?
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« Reply #28 on: February 06, 2012, 11:23:48 PM »

The Synod at Constantinople which condemned Eutyches insisted that it was not possible to speak of one nature and that this was error.
Which part of that council are you referring to, Father? The minutes in which Eutyches was condemned?

Minutes aren't a part of a council;  They are the record of the council.   Smiley  At Flavian's synod Eutyches was condemned, and so was the phrase "one nature."  Fr. Peter wrote a paper on this, but I can't find it on the internet right now.

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« Reply #29 on: February 06, 2012, 11:52:06 PM »

I guess what is perplexing me right now is that the claim that Chalcedon upheld both "one nature" and "two natures" contradicts everything I thought I knew about Chalcedon and the Chalcedonians up until now.

The Definition of Chalcedon has only "in two natures," and nowhere mentions "one nature," or "of two natures."

St. Dioscorus wanted the Definition to say "of two natures," and from what I understand he might have signed onto Chalcedon had the Definition said that (someone correct me if I am wrong here.)  But "of two natures" was rejected and only "in two natures" was used.

"One nature" was condemned at Flavian's Synod.  The bishops at Ephesus II overturned Flavian's Synod (partly because condemning "one nature" would have condemned St. Cyril,) but then Chalcedon overturend Ephesus II.

I know I've read things written by EO's (including threads here at OCnet) that condemn "one nature" as being per se heretical.

For centuries Chalcedonians have called the OO's "monophysite" (meaning "one nature.")  That term was always used pejoratively and was equated with heresy.

Although I cannot say that I have read the entire minutes of Chalcedon (I haven't the strength  Smiley ) I've read significant portions of it, and I never ran across anything affirming or supporting "one nature" or "of two natures."

So you guys can imagine my surprise when recently a Chalcedonian told me that Chalcedon approved of both "one nature" and "two natures."   Moreover, he indicated that EO's as a whole have no problem with "one nature," and actually do use it approvingly.

It just didn't make sense to me.

But I am willing to be proved wrong.  I just need someone to show me where in Chalcedon "one nature," or "of two natures," was approved.  I also would like to see something written by a Chalcedonian--an article, sermon, anything like that--which approvingly uses "one nature" to describe the union of divinity and humanity in Christ.
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« Reply #30 on: February 07, 2012, 12:46:15 AM »

It is a lot to trod through.  You may find this interesting, though... 
Chalcedon, 5th Session:  "The most magnificent and glorious officials said:  'Dioscorus said that the reason for Flavian's deposition was that he said there are two natures, but the definition has 'from two natures.'  Anatolius the most devout Archbishop of Constantinople said:  'it was not because of the faith that Dioscorus was deposed.  He was deposed because he broke off communion with the lord Archbishop Leo and was summoned a third time and did not come."    Price 2.198
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« Reply #31 on: February 07, 2012, 01:10:38 AM »

Chalcedon Session I, after quoting St. Cyril:  "After reciting the aforesaid letter the same Eustathius the most devout bishop of Berytus said:  'Anathema to whoever says one nature in such a way as to abolish Christ's flesh taht is consubstantial with us, and anathema to whoever says two natures in such a way as to divide the Son of God"  Price 1.185
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« Reply #32 on: February 07, 2012, 10:56:59 AM »

I have a question for the EO's here.  It is not intended to be polemical, and I do not want it to lead to polemics.  

Recently, an EO told me that Chalcedon upheld both "in two natures" and "one nature," and that both expressions have always been acceptable to the EO's.  

Is this true?

Is your question in regard to what was believed and procliamed, especially relating to the controversy at hand, or is it simply a "does this word appear in the definition or canons outside of the context in which they were written and the intent of their meaning"?
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« Reply #33 on: February 07, 2012, 06:14:10 PM »

I guess what is perplexing me right now is that the claim that Chalcedon upheld both "one nature" and "two natures" contradicts everything I thought I knew about Chalcedon and the Chalcedonians up until now.

The Definition of Chalcedon has only "in two natures," and nowhere mentions "one nature," or "of two natures."

St. Dioscorus wanted the Definition to say "of two natures," and from what I understand he might have signed onto Chalcedon had the Definition said that (someone correct me if I am wrong here.)  But "of two natures" was rejected and only "in two natures" was used.

"One nature" was condemned at Flavian's Synod.  The bishops at Ephesus II overturned Flavian's Synod (partly because condemning "one nature" would have condemned St. Cyril,) but then Chalcedon overturend Ephesus II.

I know I've read things written by EO's (including threads here at OCnet) that condemn "one nature" as being per se heretical.

For centuries Chalcedonians have called the OO's "monophysite" (meaning "one nature.")  That term was always used pejoratively and was equated with heresy.

Although I cannot say that I have read the entire minutes of Chalcedon (I haven't the strength  Smiley ) I've read significant portions of it, and I never ran across anything affirming or supporting "one nature" or "of two natures."

So you guys can imagine my surprise when recently a Chalcedonian told me that Chalcedon approved of both "one nature" and "two natures."   Moreover, he indicated that EO's as a whole have no problem with "one nature," and actually do use it approvingly.

It just didn't make sense to me.

But I am willing to be proved wrong.  I just need someone to show me where in Chalcedon "one nature," or "of two natures," was approved.  I also would like to see something written by a Chalcedonian--an article, sermon, anything like that--which approvingly uses "one nature" to describe the union of divinity and humanity in Christ.

It's a complicated answer Salpy.  I will say this.  If you take Chalcedon alone, then it gets quite messy and contradictory.  But EOs generally have a belief that you can't take a council by itself, but that it has to be interpreted on the basis of the councils before AND after it.  We as OOs generally disagree with this interpretation, as we see it as intellectually dishonest.  Nevertheless, we accept the fact that we'll never agree on interpretations, but we are reacting positively on the Orthodox-ness of the interpretation itself.

FatherHLL for instance quotes Bishop Anatolious of Constantinople, how he is defending the phrase and pushing to mention that Pope Dioscorus was never condemned for heresy.  We actually quote him too to try to prove to EOs who do condemn Pope Dioscorus as a Eutychian that there was one Chalcedonian who would disagree with them.  The legates of Pope Leo had different opinions however.  Obviously, some remnants of Alexandrian traditioned bishops were still there, shouting accusations of Nestorianism against the legates.  In the end, we can't help but wonder why Chalcedon still decided to remove "of two natures" and throw in the "in two natures."  This is our contention.  But you have post-Chalcedonian saints who on the pretense of defending Chalcedon later confess Christ as "of, in and two natures."

Whatever the case may be, the answer depends on how you interpret the council itself and its minutes, and whether you feel it's justified or not.  It's amazing that this council has come down to us quite preserved with minutes, where both sides would debate for centuries on how these minutes support our interpretation.  If you choose to highlight the idea that "of two natures" was thrown out in the original confession, you're more inclined to answer "No!"  But if you are going to find indications of Orthodox supporters of the phrase within the council, and the continuity of acceptance of councils before and after it, you're more inclined to answer "Yes!"
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« Reply #34 on: February 07, 2012, 06:39:22 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
In the end, we can't help but wonder why Chalcedon still decided to remove "of two natures" and throw in the "in two natures."  This is our contention.


Amen Amen Smiley

Could have solved a lot of drama..

Quote
So also a man who accepts the right confession of the edict, if it is enough for him, and he does not add the exact words which remove the heresy, opens a door to impiety through the ambiguity of the written words, and falls under the sentences of the holy Gregory in that he is doing detriment to the truth.

Let us therefore acquiesce in the spiritual distinctions of Gregory the Theologian, and shun ambiguity only when it stands alone, and by the double meaning inflicts injury on the truth; but, when it is made subservient to accuracy by the addition of more perfect statements, let us accept it. This same teaching is given by Basil also who has the same spirit as Gregory in the epistle which he wrote to Maximus the philosopher, the words being as follows: «But for my part I must call what is yours mine.>

What has thrown the churches into confusion down to the present day is this, the fact that those who are in power halt between the two sides, and wish always to please both sides.
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« Reply #35 on: February 07, 2012, 06:45:54 PM »

It's a complicated answer Salpy.  I will say this.  If you take Chalcedon alone, then it gets quite messy and contradictory.  But EOs generally have a belief that you can't take a council by itself, but that it has to be interpreted on the basis of the councils before AND after it.  We as OOs generally disagree with this interpretation, as we see it as intellectually dishonest.  Nevertheless, we accept the fact that we'll never agree on interpretations, but we are reacting positively on the Orthodox-ness of the interpretation itself.

I can understand this criticism with regard to using later councils--though as an EO I wold point to St. Ireneus and many that followed that one of, if not THE point of the Apostolic succession of the episcopacy is that it is their successors who are not only most qualified to interpret the teachings of the previous generations of Apostles and Fathers, but indeed are the ones selected by the Church and ordained by the Holy Spirit to that work.

But I don't understand how it applies to councils before? The Fathers of Constantinople I did not go back over 'the homoousious-ness' of the Son. They declared their fidelity to Nicea and moved on to other issues. The Fathers of Ephesus did not go back over the equality of the Spirit with the Father and the Son, they declared their fidelity to Nicea and Constantinople and moved on to contemporary issues. A recognized council is part of the foundation of faith that any council is saying 'this is a given', and whatever we are doing now we do so in the belief that we are being consistent with what came before.
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« Reply #36 on: February 07, 2012, 06:57:05 PM »

It's a complicated answer Salpy.  I will say this.  If you take Chalcedon alone, then it gets quite messy and contradictory.  But EOs generally have a belief that you can't take a council by itself, but that it has to be interpreted on the basis of the councils before AND after it.  We as OOs generally disagree with this interpretation, as we see it as intellectually dishonest.  Nevertheless, we accept the fact that we'll never agree on interpretations, but we are reacting positively on the Orthodox-ness of the interpretation itself.

I can understand this criticism with regard to using later councils--though as an EO I wold point to St. Ireneus and many that followed that one of, if not THE point of the Apostolic succession of the episcopacy is that it is their successors who are not only most qualified to interpret the teachings of the previous generations of Apostles and Fathers, but indeed are the ones selected by the Church and ordained by the Holy Spirit to that work.

But I don't understand how it applies to councils before? The Fathers of Constantinople I did not go back over 'the homoousious-ness' of the Son. They declared their fidelity to Nicea and moved on to other issues. The Fathers of Ephesus did not go back over the equality of the Spirit with the Father and the Son, they declared their fidelity to Nicea and Constantinople and moved on to contemporary issues. A recognized council is part of the foundation of faith that any council is saying 'this is a given', and whatever we are doing now we do so in the belief that we are being consistent with what came before.

Which is why I mentioned if you take Chalcedon "alone," it would be a never-ending argument.  For instance, we would argue that the Three Chapters contradict the idea that Ephesus was accepted.  EOs would argue that a few people spoke wrongly and they were ignored, but Ephesus of St. Cyril was accepted.  Then we would rebut, then you would answer back...then we go about our separate ways. Wink
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« Reply #37 on: February 07, 2012, 08:35:34 PM »

Of course. I think the problem OO's have, and please correct me if I am wrong, is that they do not like it when we separate the one nature into two distinct parts (God and man). NicholasMyra sent me a wonderful PM giving an example of a blue ball. The ball is blue but it is also round. You defined what is in essence one nature but described two parts of it. If that makes sense.

While I appreciate the analogy,  the problem with the "two natures" language is that it has led to the erroneous notion that Christ did some things as man and other things as God (e.g. He was tempted in His humanity, but He performed miracles in His divinity. Unless I am mistaken, we OO's believe that everything Christ did and experienced He did as fully God and fully man. The ball always acts as the ball. It does not act as "blue" when being used for soccer and "round" when being used for kickball. It is both blue and round at all times and in all functions. It is one ball.


Selam

This sentiment above is why I thought about OO for sometime. Fr. Peter here disabused me of my considerations.

But Gebre's criticism is one I can absolutely relate to.
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« Reply #38 on: February 07, 2012, 10:44:14 PM »

I have a question for the EO's here.  It is not intended to be polemical, and I do not want it to lead to polemics.  

Recently, an EO told me that Chalcedon upheld both "in two natures" and "one nature," and that both expressions have always been acceptable to the EO's.  

Is this true?

Is your question in regard to what was believed and procliamed, especially relating to the controversy at hand, or is it simply a "does this word appear in the definition or canons outside of the context in which they were written and the intent of their meaning"?

What I want is someone to show me where in the minutes of Chalcedon it was decided or decreed that "one nature" or "of two natures" were correct, Orthodox terminology.  Where was it upheld or approved by the Council? 

FatherHLL quotes a couple of individuals who seemed sympathetic to the terms, but that's not a decision by the Council upholding them.   I want something on the same level as the Definition of Chalcedon explicitly upholding "one nature," or "of two natures," in addition to "in two natures." 

Is that in the minutes of the Council?

I'm only asking this because I recently came across an EO who insists that Chalcedon upheld both "one nature" and "in two natures."  And I think he meant something within the decisions of Chalcedon itself, not Chalcedon as interpreted one hundred years later by Con. II.

And I don't mean for someone to show me that Chalcedon can be interpreted in a manner consistent with "one nature."  I mean the actual language, "one nature," or "of two natures."  I mean an official decision at the Council, upholding "one nature" and explicitly putting it on the same level with "in two natures."

That is what this EO told me Chalcedon did.

I'd also like links to online sermons, articles, etc, by Chalcedonians explaining the Incarnation by using the phrase "one incarnate nature," instead of "two natures."  This EO told me that the EO Tradition uses both phrases and approves of both.  So I am assuming that "one nature" is really used by EO pastors and theologians when speaking about the Incarnation, just as much as they use "in two natures."  So I would like links to that if such links exist.
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« Reply #39 on: May 25, 2012, 09:14:04 PM »

Bump.

Has anyone found where in the Definition of Chalcedon "one nature" is explicitly held to be as equally correct as "in two natures"?  Or has someone found another decree issued during the council, as authoritative as the Definition, that upholds "one nature," or "of two natures"?

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« Reply #40 on: May 25, 2012, 09:25:43 PM »

I'm just wondering, since I was recently reminded that Pope Leo in his Tome stated the following:

Quote
But when Eutyches, on being questioned in your examination of him, answered, “I confess that our Lord was of two natures before the union, but after the union I confess one nature;” I am astonished that so absurd and perverse a profession as this of his was not rebuked by a censure on the part of any of his judges, and that an utterance extremely foolish and extremely blasphemous was passed over, just as if nothing had been heard which could give offence:  seeing that it is as impious to say that the Only-begotten Son of God was of two natures before the Incarnation as it is shocking to affirm that, since the Word became flesh, there has been in him one nature only

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.xi.vii.html

In his Tome, Pope Leo calls the language "one nature" and "of two natures" absurd, perverse, extremely foolish, extremely blasphemous and impious.

So I am wondering if there was some authoritative decree in the Council that dealt with this particular section of the Tome and stated that such language was just as Orthodox as "in two natures."

Again, I'm only asking about this because I have come across EO's who claim that Chalcedon explicitly upheld "one nature" and "of two natures" as being Orthodox.
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« Reply #41 on: May 28, 2012, 12:20:49 AM »

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

The etymological question to ask is what language did the Council of Chalcedon explicitly forbid in the context of "One Nature" of Jesus Christ the Word.  The Oriental Fathers have always particularly rejected the Chalcedonian addition of the term diophysis for "two natures" instead preferring the language of Saint Cyril who said Christ existed as a Miaphysis, a composite nature.  This term was upheld in the Council of Ephesus.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #42 on: May 28, 2012, 01:42:45 PM »

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

The etymological question to ask is what language did the Council of Chalcedon explicitly forbid in the context of "One Nature" of Jesus Christ the Word.  The Oriental Fathers have always particularly rejected the Chalcedonian addition of the term diophysis for "two natures" instead preferring the language of Saint Cyril who said Christ existed as a Miaphysis, a composite nature.  This term was upheld in the Council of Ephesus.

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Actually this seems to be at the heart of the contention:

If Ephesus upheld the term 'Miaphysis', then Chalcedon did as well because the Definition of Chalcedon starts by placing Ephesus on the same level as Nicea and Constantinople as settled, authoritative doctrine. So the 'two natures' language of Chalcedon was added to refute Eutychianism on the one side, as the 'one nature' language of Ephesus had already refuted Nestorianism on the other side.

And in earlier discussion, I had assumed as you are doing that Ephesus had upheld the 'miaphysis' term. However, it seems the term does not actually appear in the definition of Ephesus or in the synodical letters of Cyril against Nestorius (including the XII anathemas) or the Formula of Reunion. Related (e.g., "'ek' two natures") terms which fairly clearly imply 'miaphysis' appear, but as far as I've been able to find out (mainly by asking here), the actual phrase 'one nature'/'miaphysis' does not appear in St. Cyril's writing until sometime later than the Council of Ephesus.
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« Reply #43 on: May 28, 2012, 01:56:23 PM »

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

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

The etymological question to ask is what language did the Council of Chalcedon explicitly forbid in the context of "One Nature" of Jesus Christ the Word.  The Oriental Fathers have always particularly rejected the Chalcedonian addition of the term diophysis for "two natures" instead preferring the language of Saint Cyril who said Christ existed as a Miaphysis, a composite nature.  This term was upheld in the Council of Ephesus.

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Actually this seems to be at the heart of the contention:

If Ephesus upheld the term 'Miaphysis', then Chalcedon did as well because the Definition of Chalcedon starts by placing Ephesus on the same level as Nicea and Constantinople as settled, authoritative doctrine. So the 'two natures' language of Chalcedon was added to refute Eutychianism on the one side, as the 'one nature' language of Ephesus had already refuted Nestorianism on the other side.

And in earlier discussion, I had assumed as you are doing that Ephesus had upheld the 'miaphysis' term. However, it seems the term does not actually appear in the definition of Ephesus or in the synodical letters of Cyril against Nestorius (including the XII anathemas) or the Formula of Reunion. Related (e.g., "'ek' two natures") terms which fairly clearly imply 'miaphysis' appear, but as far as I've been able to find out (mainly by asking here), the actual phrase 'one nature'/'miaphysis' does not appear in St. Cyril's writing until sometime later than the Council of Ephesus.

Can you demonstrate this? All the literature I've read say that both the Formula for Reunion and also the Council of Ephesus used and upheld the term Miaphysis.   It is indeed the crux of the Oriental protest.  Whether Coptic, or Ethiopian, or Syrian, or Armenian, all the Oriental literature and sermons I've read in the context of Cyril, Ephesus, and the Reunion all affirm that Miaphysis was the term used, however I don't read Greek, neither do I have any copies of these documents in their original Greek even if I wanted to take a stab because I  could do a Where's Waldo for μία φύσις..

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #44 on: May 28, 2012, 02:08:59 PM »

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

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

The etymological question to ask is what language did the Council of Chalcedon explicitly forbid in the context of "One Nature" of Jesus Christ the Word.  The Oriental Fathers have always particularly rejected the Chalcedonian addition of the term diophysis for "two natures" instead preferring the language of Saint Cyril who said Christ existed as a Miaphysis, a composite nature.  This term was upheld in the Council of Ephesus.

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Actually this seems to be at the heart of the contention:

If Ephesus upheld the term 'Miaphysis', then Chalcedon did as well because the Definition of Chalcedon starts by placing Ephesus on the same level as Nicea and Constantinople as settled, authoritative doctrine. So the 'two natures' language of Chalcedon was added to refute Eutychianism on the one side, as the 'one nature' language of Ephesus had already refuted Nestorianism on the other side.

And in earlier discussion, I had assumed as you are doing that Ephesus had upheld the 'miaphysis' term. However, it seems the term does not actually appear in the definition of Ephesus or in the synodical letters of Cyril against Nestorius (including the XII anathemas) or the Formula of Reunion. Related (e.g., "'ek' two natures") terms which fairly clearly imply 'miaphysis' appear, but as far as I've been able to find out (mainly by asking here), the actual phrase 'one nature'/'miaphysis' does not appear in St. Cyril's writing until sometime later than the Council of Ephesus.

Can you demonstrate this? All the literature I've read say that both the Formula for Reunion and also the Council of Ephesus used and upheld the term Miaphysis.   It is indeed the crux of the Oriental protest.  Whether Coptic, or Ethiopian, or Syrian, or Armenian, all the Oriental literature and sermons I've read in the context of Cyril, Ephesus, and the Reunion all affirm that Miaphysis was the term used, however I don't read Greek, neither do I have any copies of these documents in their original Greek even if I wanted to take a stab because I  could do a Where's Waldo for μία φύσις..

stay blessed,
habte selassie

My statement comes from having gone to the CCEL site and reading all the pronouncements from Ephesus, St. Cyril's letters, and the Formula of Reunion and not finding 'one nature' explicitly stated anywhere. I would actually be quite pleased if you could demonstrate I'm wrong (either in having just plain overlooked something or that the translations I was reading were misleading and the original Greek does have 'miaphysis' somewhere).
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