Author Topic: This is how ecumenism is done folks.  (Read 2211 times)

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Offline Shiny

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This is how ecumenism is done folks.
« on: February 29, 2012, 08:21:33 AM »
Fr. Pavlos Stratigeas on Oprah regarding the "Last Temptation of Christ" film. Skip to 25:50 to hear him speak.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnntls_ufr0

Awesome.
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Offline CoptoGeek

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Re: This is how ecumenism is done folks.
« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2012, 08:59:02 AM »
"The devil dared to tempt Christ in the desert. Christ, in Himself, He was never tempted because He was the person of God."
« Last Edit: February 29, 2012, 09:00:30 AM by CoptoGeek »
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Offline Νεκτάριος

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Re: This is how ecumenism is done folks.
« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2012, 09:10:05 AM »
If Christ was unable to be tempted would that make Him fully human?  I understand the point of wishing to avoid Nestorianism, but if Christ couldn't have been tempted due to His divinity it would stand to reason that He also couldn't have been crucified.  What is the traditional patristic teaching on this?

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Re: This is how ecumenism is done folks.
« Reply #3 on: February 29, 2012, 10:55:37 AM »
If Christ was unable to be tempted would that make Him fully human?  I understand the point of wishing to avoid Nestorianism, but if Christ couldn't have been tempted due to His divinity it would stand to reason that He also couldn't have been crucified.  What is the traditional patristic teaching on this?

I think in terms if being able to deliberate, the teaching is that Christ did not deliberate his actions as a human would, because while the will, energies and nature are human, they have no hypostatic reality apart from the divine person who gives them existence (that is that the divine person, God the Son, is the subject of the particular existence of human will, nature and energies in question).
« Last Edit: February 29, 2012, 11:14:02 AM by Cavaradossi »
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Offline That person

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Re: This is how ecumenism is done folks.
« Reply #4 on: February 29, 2012, 04:19:22 PM »
"The devil dared to tempt Christ in the desert. Christ, in Himself, He was never tempted because He was the person of God."
I haven't seen it, but I'm pretty sure the movie depicts Satan as the source of the temptation. Given my ignorance, I really have no personal opinion on it, although I'm sure Scorcese did a fine job artistically.

On a side note, the Sacred Namer about 30 minutes in was too funny.
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Offline akimori makoto

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Re: This is how ecumenism is done folks.
« Reply #5 on: February 29, 2012, 05:12:57 PM »
If Christ was unable to be tempted would that make Him fully human?  I understand the point of wishing to avoid Nestorianism, but if Christ couldn't have been tempted due to His divinity it would stand to reason that He also couldn't have been crucified.  What is the traditional patristic teaching on this?

I think in terms if being able to deliberate, the teaching is that Christ did not deliberate his actions as a human would, because while the will, energies and nature are human, they have no hypostatic reality apart from the divine person who gives them existence (that is that the divine person, God the Son, is the subject of the particular existence of human will, nature and energies in question).

Sometimes, I fancy myself rather clever. Then someone talks christology and I am mindblown.
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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: This is how ecumenism is done folks.
« Reply #6 on: February 29, 2012, 05:24:11 PM »
"Christ, in Himself, He was never tempted because He was the person of God."
Blasphemy!

He never engaged a gnomic will to entertain the temptation, but he was indeed tempted authentically as the Incarnate Logos.

Also confusion of nature/essence and person.
« Last Edit: February 29, 2012, 05:38:58 PM by NicholasMyra »
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: This is how ecumenism is done folks.
« Reply #7 on: February 29, 2012, 05:31:43 PM »
If Christ was unable to be tempted would that make Him fully human?  I understand the point of wishing to avoid Nestorianism, but if Christ couldn't have been tempted due to His divinity it would stand to reason that He also couldn't have been crucified.  What is the traditional patristic teaching on this?

I think in terms if being able to deliberate, the teaching is that Christ did not deliberate his actions as a human would, because while the will, energies and nature are human, they have no hypostatic reality apart from the divine person who gives them existence (that is that the divine person, God the Son, is the subject of the particular existence of human will, nature and energies in question).

Sometimes, I fancy myself rather clever. Then someone talks christology and I am mindblown.

It's a sign of sanity.
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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: This is how ecumenism is done folks.
« Reply #8 on: February 29, 2012, 05:43:17 PM »
"The Latin and Lutheran clergymen on the panel were made to look foolish when faced with the Orthodox theology of Fr. Pavlos."

Well, they did confuse Nestorianism and Monophysitism. But the bar was not set high.
« Last Edit: February 29, 2012, 05:43:26 PM by NicholasMyra »
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Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: This is how ecumenism is done folks.
« Reply #9 on: February 29, 2012, 06:29:36 PM »
ha...won't see an episode like that on day time tv anymore...

Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: This is how ecumenism is done folks.
« Reply #10 on: February 29, 2012, 06:30:53 PM »
btw...i think the black guy in the audience makes alot of sense. Basically, if Christ didn't assume it, it wasn't healed.

Offline orthonorm

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Re: This is how ecumenism is done folks.
« Reply #11 on: February 29, 2012, 06:37:32 PM »
btw...i think the black guy in the audience makes alot of sense. Basically, if Christ didn't assume it, it wasn't healed.

Exactly what I thought. The first black guy . . . I sorta trailed off but maybe he or another black dude start sounding like some Messianic Newage Christian toward the end.
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: This is how ecumenism is done folks.
« Reply #12 on: February 29, 2012, 06:38:18 PM »
ha...won't see an episode like that on day time tv anymore...

Again what I said. This was when Oprah was still ripping off Donahue and before she created her cult to herself.
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Re: This is how ecumenism is done folks.
« Reply #13 on: February 29, 2012, 07:57:15 PM »
If Christ was unable to be tempted would that make Him fully human?  I understand the point of wishing to avoid Nestorianism, but if Christ couldn't have been tempted due to His divinity it would stand to reason that He also couldn't have been crucified.  What is the traditional patristic teaching on this?

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Re: This is how ecumenism is done folks.
« Reply #14 on: February 29, 2012, 08:04:57 PM »
"Christ, in Himself, He was never tempted because He was the person of God."
Blasphemy!

He never engaged a gnomic will to entertain the temptation, but he was indeed tempted authentically as the Incarnate Logos.

Also confusion of nature/essence and person.

Yup, I agree, and I think the movie actually showed Christ entertaining the temptation, which is why is was so blasphemous to many Christians.  I think that's what Fr. Pavlos was trying to say, but of course, in the heat of the moment, people were too emotional to try to put their arguments in a coherent fashion.

It would have been nice for Fr. Pavlos to speak again at the end concerning the guy who wrote about Christ "finding his own divinity" to teach us all to "find our inner divinity" (notice how the book "changed Oprah's life").  I'm sure Fr. Pavlos would say the famous Athanasian line of God being made man so that man might might be made God.
« Last Edit: February 29, 2012, 08:09:05 PM by minasoliman »
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Re: This is how ecumenism is done folks.
« Reply #15 on: February 29, 2012, 09:49:46 PM »
"Christ, in Himself, He was never tempted because He was the person of God."
Blasphemy!

He never engaged a gnomic will to entertain the temptation, but he was indeed tempted authentically as the Incarnate Logos.

Also confusion of nature/essence and person.

Mischievous sinner that I am, as soon I heard the good Father say those words all I could think was "Nicholas meet red meat". But, at least I wasn't cruel enough to post a picture of red meat under my quote on account of the Great Lent and my aspirations for hyperdox cred.  ;D
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Offline Nikolaostheservant

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Re: This is how ecumenism is done folks.
« Reply #16 on: February 29, 2012, 10:36:19 PM »
Thanks for that link, i did not go to sleep until after 3a.m. >:( But it was worth it.

After watching the angry guy in the front of the audience reponding to Fr. Pavlos. i dont remember what exactly he said but what he said made made me think, realy wish Fr. would have reponded to him.

Also, and more importantly---did you realise Oprah had a lisp :o The things money can heal ::)

Another thing ha ha haaaaha one of the Fr. said Oprahs name wrong ;D

Offline Anastasios

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Re: This is how ecumenism is done folks.
« Reply #17 on: February 29, 2012, 11:50:38 PM »
Fr. Pavlos is now Metropolitan Pavlos of America, the president of the Eparchial Synod of the Church of the GOC of America (Old Calendar Greek Orthodox).  He is my bishop and Geronda.

I found the comment immediately after Geronda's comment to be reflective of our culture in general; Geronda states a theological distinction between internal and external temptation, and instead of debating the merit of the assertion, the gentleman (who clearly had no idea what the point Geronda was making was or what the implications of the Western clergy's assertions were) proceeds to make the statement that "The Bible says he was tempted so I'll take that over your words!" The question is not whether the Bible says Christ was tempted (does he assume we Orthodox don't ever read the Bible?) but rather what the nature of that temptation was.

Also, the man's attitude, manifested in the "oh yeah?! Well then.....!" gotcha-style response is annoying. Basically assume, don't listen, respond quickly. Ugh.

To be clear, Geronda did say though several times Christ was not tempted internally as opposed to externally and that the Devil did dare to tempt Christ. I think that it was the best he could have done in the short time allotted for comments. The problem is that Western Christians and Orthodox Christians often have different ideas of just what exactly is a temptation, since they don't generally have recourse to the neptic fathers' teachings as found in the Philokalia.

Yes, Christ was "tempted" in the sense of things were offered to him that were sinful, but he never entered the state of entertaining them, which is the first state of sin, but where most Western Christians would still think is still the state of "being tempted." In other words, sitting around and thinking about whether one should commit a sin is in and of itself sinful, so Christ did not engage in that.

I am of course generalizing here "the" Western Christian position as there is not one position and many would probably disagree with what I have characterized above, but I am speaking from what I witnessed in general among my co-religionists when I was a Protestant and a Roman Catholic.

The reason this is Nestorian is that if Christ in his human nature could sit around and think about whether to sin, but in His divinity He would not, then there could be a split personality, split will in Christ. Nestorians believed that the man Jesus was overshadowed by the Divine Logos, and that they formed a partnership, but that the Divine properties did not transfer to the human nature and vice versa (the technical name for this is communicatio idiomatum, the exchange of properties). That is why Christ raised the dead through His human voice, but also we can say that "God died" on the Cross, even though of course the Divnity did not.

Contrast this with the Orthodox teaching as expounded by St. Cyril of Alexandria: the Logos took flesh on himself. At no time was this flesh an independent human being that the Divinity overshadowed, even from conception--but rather, the Logos formed the human flesh in Mary's womb through the Holy Spirit and assumed it. Yes, it was fully human and had a soul, but at no time was it a new creation (which is why it was a virgin birth, so that a "new" person was not being created. This is why icons of God creating Adam show Jesus Christ doing it, even if at that time Christ had not yet taken flesh.

These topics are of course very complex, and nuanced, which is why the discussion could not have been handled fully in one comments segment on that TV show :)
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Re: This is how ecumenism is done folks.
« Reply #18 on: February 29, 2012, 11:54:07 PM »
BTW, Geronda Pavlos was supposed to be on that panel, but his flight was delayed and so he was just in the audience instead. It would have been fun if he had been on the panel :)
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: This is how ecumenism is done folks.
« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2012, 12:29:16 AM »
Father, thank you for your thorough remarks. Would you be willing over the next few weeks likely to hash some of them out? In response to some questions from the penut gallergy? (intended)
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: This is how ecumenism is done folks.
« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2012, 12:30:56 AM »
Anyone see the film?

I will probably watch it sometime in the near future again.

And maybe I will post my reactions to it when I first saw it.

Great soundtrack by all accounts anyhow, if you listen to such music.
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Offline Νεκτάριος

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Re: This is how ecumenism is done folks.
« Reply #21 on: March 01, 2012, 06:10:24 AM »
Thanks for the thoughtful response, Fr. Anastasie! 

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Re: This is how ecumenism is done folks.
« Reply #22 on: March 01, 2012, 06:53:37 AM »
If Christ was unable to be tempted would that make Him fully human?  I understand the point of wishing to avoid Nestorianism, but if Christ couldn't have been tempted due to His divinity it would stand to reason that He also couldn't have been crucified.  What is the traditional patristic teaching on this?

I think in terms if being able to deliberate, the teaching is that Christ did not deliberate his actions as a human would, because while the will, energies and nature are human, they have no hypostatic reality apart from the divine person who gives them existence (that is that the divine person, God the Son, is the subject of the particular existence of human will, nature and energies in question).

Sometimes, I fancy myself rather clever. Then someone talks christology and I am mindblown.

It's a sign of sanity.

I think we all know that I've gone off the deep end already. Save yourselves. :laugh:
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Offline CoptoGeek

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Re: This is how ecumenism is done folks.
« Reply #23 on: March 01, 2012, 09:20:33 AM »
"The devil dared to tempt Christ in the desert. Christ, in Himself, He was never tempted because He was the person of God."
I haven't seen it, but I'm pretty sure the movie depicts Satan as the source of the temptation. Given my ignorance, I really have no personal opinion on it, although I'm sure Scorcese did a fine job artistically.

On a side note, the Sacred Namer about 30 minutes in was too funny.

I didn't see it either.  I think the really controversial part of the film was while Christ was on the Cross but its been a long time.  Will have to check out that part, I jumped right to Fr. Pavlos' comment.
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Re: This is how ecumenism is done folks.
« Reply #24 on: March 01, 2012, 09:29:05 AM »
Honestly I couldn't watch that whole conversation. It was like watching a "debate" on Bill O'Reilly, except people were shouting dumb slogans at each other about theology instead of politics.

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Re: This is how ecumenism is done folks.
« Reply #25 on: March 01, 2012, 09:33:34 AM »
Thank you, Fr. Anastasios for the explanation. That's how I thought I understood the temptation, but some of the threads here made me question, in a good & challenging way, my general understanding...and I like to cause mischief  :laugh:
« Last Edit: March 01, 2012, 09:39:29 AM by CoptoGeek »
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Offline CoptoGeek

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Re: This is how ecumenism is done folks.
« Reply #26 on: March 01, 2012, 09:36:03 AM »
Honestly I couldn't watch that whole conversation. It was like watching a "debate" on Bill O'Reilly, except people were shouting dumb slogans at each other about theology instead of politics.

But you gotta admit hearing "Nestorianism", "Hypostasis", and "Physis" thrown around on the Oprah show, of all things, was pretty cool.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2012, 09:38:06 AM by CoptoGeek »
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Re: This is how ecumenism is done folks.
« Reply #27 on: March 01, 2012, 10:22:56 AM »
"The devil dared to tempt Christ in the desert. Christ, in Himself, He was never tempted because He was the person of God."
I haven't seen it, but I'm pretty sure the movie depicts Satan as the source of the temptation. Given my ignorance, I really have no personal opinion on it, although I'm sure Scorcese did a fine job artistically.

On a side note, the Sacred Namer about 30 minutes in was too funny.

I didn't see it either.  I think the really controversial part of the film was while Christ was on the Cross but its been a long time.  Will have to check out that part, I jumped right to Fr. Pavlos' comment.

The real controversial thing for most people when it came out was when it showed Christ and Mary Magdalene married and engaging in activity that married couples do.  This was part of the entertaining of the eponymous "last" temptation, which riffs on the Jews and the Bad Thief's admonishments for Jesus to "come down off that cross if you are the Son of God."  In the film, it appears that Christ does just that and has a "normal" life afterwards, although things start to really fall apart because He was supposed to die on the cross.  In the end, Jesus stays on the cross and world is saved.

I had never thought about it the way Fr. Pavlos (and Fr. A) describe the Nestorianism of the project.  It makes complete sense to me knowing what I know now, but, as has been pointed out, it would take far more time to explain it that what is customarily allowed to daytime talk tv.
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Re: This is how ecumenism is done folks.
« Reply #28 on: March 01, 2012, 10:38:58 AM »
Honestly I couldn't watch that whole conversation. It was like watching a "debate" on Bill O'Reilly, except people were shouting dumb slogans at each other about theology instead of politics.

But you gotta admit hearing... "Physis" thrown around on the Oprah show

They throw feces around on the Oprah show all the time.

Offline ialmisry

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Re: This is how ecumenism is done folks.
« Reply #29 on: March 01, 2012, 11:21:44 AM »
Anyone see the film?

I will probably watch it sometime in the near future again.

And maybe I will post my reactions to it when I first saw it.

Great soundtrack by all accounts anyhow, if you listen to such music.
I saw it when it first came out, and my first criticism was for a story I think I know fairly well, I couldn't follow what was going on.

Btw, during the dream sequence, Christ commits adultery with his sister-in-law, something which most people miss.  As Fr. Anastasios said, Christ would not be exercising a gnomic will that way.
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Offline jah777

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Re: This is how ecumenism is done folks.
« Reply #30 on: March 01, 2012, 11:57:25 AM »
BTW, Geronda Pavlos was supposed to be on that panel, but his flight was delayed and so he was just in the audience instead. It would have been fun if he had been on the panel :)

You mean Met Pavlos doesn't normally buy tickets to the Oprah Show and fly several hundred miles to be in the live studio audience?  I'm glad you clarified that.   ;)