Author Topic: Church Of The East?  (Read 515 times)

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Offline Green

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Church Of The East?
« on: July 29, 2016, 08:01:04 AM »
Greetings,

What is heretical about the (Assyrian/Ancient) Church Of the East? How did they fall out of communion with the rest of Christendom? What are peoples objections to this church? Any good sources I can learn more about them and other related things?

Thank you.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2016, 08:33:23 AM by Green »

Offline benjohn146

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Re: Church Of The East?
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2016, 08:34:54 AM »
Good day.

They are teaching and accepting nestorianism, a doctrine that divide Christ's human and divine nature. It has been condemned by the Church at the councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon.
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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Church Of The East?
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2016, 11:39:28 AM »
There's an ongoing discussion on whether they're actually Nestorian, but denying that Mary is the Mother of God and that God suffered in the cross, both which I believe that they espouse, is already pretty grave.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2016, 11:58:54 AM by RaphaCam »
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Re: Church Of The East?
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2016, 11:47:53 AM »
and that God suffered in the cross, both which I believe that they espouse, is already pretty grave.

Can someone explain me briefly what's about theopasianism and is it heretical or just the contrary?
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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Church Of The East?
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2016, 12:14:32 PM »
and that God suffered in the cross, both which I believe that they espouse, is already pretty grave.

Can someone explain me briefly what's about theopasianism and is it heretical or just the contrary?
Theopassionism is the belief that God suffered in the cross, which is Orthodox. Mar Babai, who was an early champion of the Church of the East, questioned that.
Die Erde steht in Ewigkeit. (Ec 1:4b)

Offline Minnesotan

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Re: Church Of The East?
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2016, 12:19:35 PM »
and that God suffered in the cross, both which I believe that they espouse, is already pretty grave.

Can someone explain me briefly what's about theopasianism and is it heretical or just the contrary?
Theopassionism is the belief that God suffered in the cross, which is Orthodox. Mar Babai, who was an early champion of the Church of the East, questioned that.

Wasn't the Chalcedonian split partly about that? There were a lot of people on the Chalcedonian side of the debate who also rejected it at first (they came around to supporting it later).
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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Church Of The East?
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2016, 12:30:54 PM »
and that God suffered in the cross, both which I believe that they espouse, is already pretty grave.

Can someone explain me briefly what's about theopasianism and is it heretical or just the contrary?
Theopassionism is the belief that God suffered in the cross, which is Orthodox. Mar Babai, who was an early champion of the Church of the East, questioned that.

Wasn't the Chalcedonian split partly about that? There were a lot of people on the Chalcedonian side of the debate who also rejected it at first (they came around to supporting it later).
There was unfortunately still a lot of crypto-Nestorianism, or even open Nestorianism, in our side, as far as I've read around.
Die Erde steht in Ewigkeit. (Ec 1:4b)

Offline Georgios Scholarios

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Re: Church Of The East?
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2016, 05:24:20 PM »
Do not forget that theopaschism can be plausibly understood in a heretical manner (i.e., by implying Christ suffered in his divine nature - something St. Cyril of Alexandria himself explicitly rejected) which is maybe why so many opposed it at first.

Anyway, the Church of the East denies that it has a Nestorian Christology. You have to be really careful when trying to understand the theology of a church that uses different language, since it may say something that sounds heretical but when properly understood is orthodox. Think of the problems Western Christians had when trying to translate ousia into Latin.

Offline Minnesotan

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Re: Church Of The East?
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2016, 12:53:42 AM »
Do not forget that theopaschism can be plausibly understood in a heretical manner (i.e., by implying Christ suffered in his divine nature - something St. Cyril of Alexandria himself explicitly rejected) which is maybe why so many opposed it at first.

Anyway, the Church of the East denies that it has a Nestorian Christology. You have to be really careful when trying to understand the theology of a church that uses different language, since it may say something that sounds heretical but when properly understood is orthodox. Think of the problems Western Christians had when trying to translate ousia into Latin.

Indeed. The late Patriarch, Mar Dinkha IV, took steps to explicitly disavow hardline Nestorianism. I suspect, within the Church of the East you can find people all across the theological spectrum, with some being closer to the Orthodox, some being heavily Protestant-influenced, and others indeed being Nestorians. Much like Anglicanism (which, like the Assyrian Church, also has open communion and multiple theological "parties" like high- and low-church, etc.)
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Offline MalpanaGiwargis

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Re: Church Of The East?
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2016, 01:25:50 PM »
Do not forget that theopaschism can be plausibly understood in a heretical manner (i.e., by implying Christ suffered in his divine nature - something St. Cyril of Alexandria himself explicitly rejected) which is maybe why so many opposed it at first.

Anyway, the Church of the East denies that it has a Nestorian Christology. You have to be really careful when trying to understand the theology of a church that uses different language, since it may say something that sounds heretical but when properly understood is orthodox. Think of the problems Western Christians had when trying to translate ousia into Latin.

Indeed. The late Patriarch, Mar Dinkha IV, took steps to explicitly disavow hardline Nestorianism. I suspect, within the Church of the East you can find people all across the theological spectrum, with some being closer to the Orthodox, some being heavily Protestant-influenced, and others indeed being Nestorians. Much like Anglicanism (which, like the Assyrian Church, also has open communion and multiple theological "parties" like high- and low-church, etc.)

The Church of the East disavowed what the Imperial Church called "Nestorianism" in antiquity; many of them are puzzled why they are called after a man who was not a member of their Church. The situation is terribly complicated linguistically. The translation of Greek theology into Syriac, and vice versa, is an obvious problem. An oft-overlooked problem is that the relevant Greek terms in Greek had always been a bit fluid depending on who was using them. And then within Syriac, terms such as "qnomo/qnoma" seem to be used by the East Syrians to mean one thing in Trinitarian theology and another in Christology–this is the origin of the charge that they believed in "two persons" in Christ. Among theologians, there was also the long-running feud between Antiochene and Alexandrian Christologies. And the (strong!) personalities of the various bishops involved in the dispute cannot be ignored, either.

The fundamental disagreement is whether the "communication of idioms" is permissible. "God suffered in the flesh." Is that Orthodox or heretical? Well, it depends on what you mean. If we mean that Jesus Christ suffered (in his passible human nature), and since Jesus is God, we can say that "God suffered in the flesh," then that is Orthodox. If we mean that the divine nature suffered, then that is heretical. Similarly with the statement "God was born of a woman" or any number of statements we want to bring forward. The East Syrian tradition has always been very uncomfortable with the communication of idioms; the other ancient Christian traditions have not had trouble with that.
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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Church Of The East?
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2016, 01:41:50 PM »
The Church of the East disavowed what the Imperial Church called "Nestorianism" in antiquity; many of them are puzzled why they are called after a man who was not a member of their Church. The situation is terribly complicated linguistically. The translation of Greek theology into Syriac, and vice versa, is an obvious problem. An oft-overlooked problem is that the relevant Greek terms in Greek had always been a bit fluid depending on who was using them. And then within Syriac, terms such as "qnomo/qnoma" seem to be used by the East Syrians to mean one thing in Trinitarian theology and another in Christology–this is the origin of the charge that they believed in "two persons" in Christ. Among theologians, there was also the long-running feud between Antiochene and Alexandrian Christologies. And the (strong!) personalities of the various bishops involved in the dispute cannot be ignored, either.
Makes a lot of sense.
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Re: Church Of The East?
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2016, 05:48:04 PM »
Do not forget that theopaschism can be plausibly understood in a heretical manner (i.e., by implying Christ suffered in his divine nature - something St. Cyril of Alexandria himself explicitly rejected) which is maybe why so many opposed it at first.

Anyway, the Church of the East denies that it has a Nestorian Christology. You have to be really careful when trying to understand the theology of a church that uses different language, since it may say something that sounds heretical but when properly understood is orthodox. Think of the problems Western Christians had when trying to translate ousia into Latin.

Indeed. The late Patriarch, Mar Dinkha IV, took steps to explicitly disavow hardline Nestorianism. I suspect, within the Church of the East you can find people all across the theological spectrum, with some being closer to the Orthodox, some being heavily Protestant-influenced, and others indeed being Nestorians. Much like Anglicanism (which, like the Assyrian Church, also has open communion and multiple theological "parties" like high- and low-church, etc.)

The Church of the East disavowed what the Imperial Church called "Nestorianism" in antiquity; many of them are puzzled why they are called after a man who was not a member of their Church. The situation is terribly complicated linguistically. The translation of Greek theology into Syriac, and vice versa, is an obvious problem. An oft-overlooked problem is that the relevant Greek terms in Greek had always been a bit fluid depending on who was using them. And then within Syriac, terms such as "qnomo/qnoma" seem to be used by the East Syrians to mean one thing in Trinitarian theology and another in Christology–this is the origin of the charge that they believed in "two persons" in Christ. Among theologians, there was also the long-running feud between Antiochene and Alexandrian Christologies. And the (strong!) personalities of the various bishops involved in the dispute cannot be ignored, either.

The fundamental disagreement is whether the "communication of idioms" is permissible. "God suffered in the flesh." Is that Orthodox or heretical? Well, it depends on what you mean. If we mean that Jesus Christ suffered (in his passible human nature), and since Jesus is God, we can say that "God suffered in the flesh," then that is Orthodox. If we mean that the divine nature suffered, then that is heretical. Similarly with the statement "God was born of a woman" or any number of statements we want to bring forward. The East Syrian tradition has always been very uncomfortable with the communication of idioms; the other ancient Christian traditions have not had trouble with that.

My contention is more than this.  It's not enough to say Christ is one person, God who suffered in the flesh.  The flesh is vibrating with divine power, insomuch as the suffering in the flesh becomes a source of our deification.  In the Eucharist, we do not partake of humanity without the divinity.  This is the question I'd like resolved by the Church of the East, which until now I haven't seen anything clear, except maybe Mar Bawai Soro, who interestingly enough left the Church of the East and joined the Chaldeans.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2016, 05:48:57 PM by minasoliman »
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Re: Church Of The East?
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2016, 06:57:29 PM »
Do not forget that theopaschism can be plausibly understood in a heretical manner (i.e., by implying Christ suffered in his divine nature - something St. Cyril of Alexandria himself explicitly rejected) which is maybe why so many opposed it at first.

The logic being that the divine Logos did not Itself die, yeah?