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Author Topic: We are all (the Theotokos included) born in need of redemption?  (Read 2662 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: March 04, 2012, 10:11:08 PM »

Of course Mary was baptized and received the gift of the Spirit, as every Christian was. Although unlike other Christians, she had a particularly unique indwelling of the Spirit before that, at the annunciation. Until that point, she did the best with what she had available to her, much like the holy and righteous OT saints that came before her, along with John the Baptist. It is indeed our tradition that Mary was blameless in the eyes of God, as scripture attests to the same regarding Zechariah and Elizabeth: "Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord's commandments and regulations blamelessly." (Lk. 1:6) Considering what Jesus had to say about John, to say that he did not attain such a high state of perfection by God's grace is indeed Pelagianism.

Baptism remits sins and unites us to Christ through the power of the Spirit. Uniting ourselves with Christ is the only means to salvation.
So, she wasn't sinless before the Annunciation?

She inherited the same nature that her parents had, that they inherited from theirs, all the way back to the nature that Seth inherited from Adam and Eve. We are not only saved from our own personal sins, but also from the corruption that we are born with on account of the sins of our parents. Mary was not born exempt from this. To use the whole "she had to be exempt from original sin in order to postively respond to God" argument would also have to apply to Enoch who was taken up into heaven because he walked with God and Noah who was found to be righteous in the sight of God just to give a couple of examples to add to the previous one given of John the Baptist. Our personal obedience all by itself doesn't save us, only being united to Christ crucified and raised from the dead does that.

Not 'exempt', despite your polemics about natures of the parents, which is irrelevant. Enoch would certainly need to be preserved at some point in his life, if we are to understand the OT scriptures to mean something similar to that of Mary's gift. However, John the Baptist also received the Holy Spirit early (the womb), so the argument that she is singularly gifted by God through blessing is also incorrect. Before the RC dogma, some theologumena in the Latin west held her special Grace to have been bestowed in the womb at a similar time as St. John. This opinion was most notably held by St. Thomas Aquinas.

And from the Orthodox perspective, the immaculate conception is still a theologoumenon, and a theologoumenon it shall stay because belief in it has no bearing upon our salvation—something which the Roman Catholic Church seemed to have overlooked when the dogma was declared.

Agreed, but so what.

Exactly. Who cares?
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« Reply #46 on: March 04, 2012, 10:26:15 PM »

The Mother of God was a spotless sacrifice when she was offered up to God in the Temple at the age of three.   
Does that mean that, since she was spotless,  she was without original sin at the age of three, even though she was not baptised?

Mary was a person.  Orthodox Christians don't believe that you are borne with the stain of original sin and that baptism washes it off you like the Catholics.  It's a different viewpoint. 

Whose form of original sin are you referring to, The Orthodox Christian or the later Roman Catholic definition.

Either one. Did she need to be baptised if she was spotless?

But Orthodox don't see baptism as "washing away the original sin."  The original sin for us is that we are left with its mark, that we have the capability to sin. 
Was Mary spotless before her baptism?
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« Reply #47 on: March 04, 2012, 10:48:21 PM »

Of course Mary was baptized and received the gift of the Spirit, as every Christian was. Although unlike other Christians, she had a particularly unique indwelling of the Spirit before that, at the annunciation. Until that point, she did the best with what she had available to her, much like the holy and righteous OT saints that came before her, along with John the Baptist. It is indeed our tradition that Mary was blameless in the eyes of God, as scripture attests to the same regarding Zechariah and Elizabeth: "Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord's commandments and regulations blamelessly." (Lk. 1:6) Considering what Jesus had to say about John, to say that he did not attain such a high state of perfection by God's grace is indeed Pelagianism.

Baptism remits sins and unites us to Christ through the power of the Spirit. Uniting ourselves with Christ is the only means to salvation.
So, she wasn't sinless before the Annunciation?

She inherited the same nature that her parents had, that they inherited from theirs, all the way back to the nature that Seth inherited from Adam and Eve. We are not only saved from our own personal sins, but also from the corruption that we are born with on account of the sins of our parents. Mary was not born exempt from this. To use the whole "she had to be exempt from original sin in order to postively respond to God" argument would also have to apply to Enoch who was taken up into heaven because he walked with God and Noah who was found to be righteous in the sight of God just to give a couple of examples to add to the previous one given of John the Baptist. Our personal obedience all by itself doesn't save us, only being united to Christ crucified and raised from the dead does that.

Not 'exempt', despite your polemics about natures of the parents, which is irrelevant. Enoch would certainly need to be preserved at some point in his life, if we are to understand the OT scriptures to mean something similar to that of Mary's gift. However, John the Baptist also received the Holy Spirit early (the womb), so the argument that she is singularly gifted by God through blessing is also incorrect. Before the RC dogma, some theologumena in the Latin west held her special Grace to have been bestowed in the womb at a similar time as St. John. This opinion was most notably held by St. Thomas Aquinas.

And from the Orthodox perspective, the immaculate conception is still a theologoumenon, and a theologoumenon it shall stay because belief in it has no bearing upon our salvation—something which the Roman Catholic Church seemed to have overlooked when the dogma was declared.

I think it really goes beyond the level of pious opinion to the level of heresy.  To argue for the immaculate conception is to argue for a host of positions which are heretical.

Heresy?! What have you contributed to start throwing around the H word?
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« Reply #48 on: March 13, 2012, 10:12:50 AM »

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nd from the Orthodox perspective, the immaculate conception is still a theologoumenon, and a theologoumenon it shall stay because belief in it has no bearing upon our salvation—something which the Roman Catholic Church seemed to have overlooked when the dogma was declared.

You could say the same thing about the assumption of Mary, or her dormition etc. So to say it has no bearing upon your salvation is irrelevent.

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« Reply #49 on: March 13, 2012, 11:59:38 AM »

This is such a difficult topic.  Over the past few years I have read more than a few Orthodox reflections on it.  I think it is fair to say that within Orthodoxy a fairly wide range of opinion exists on the questions that have been posed in this thread.  And given modern Catholic abandonment of the Augustinian notion of original guilt, it has become even more difficult to specify the points of dogmatic disagreement with Orthodoxy and Catholicism.  Over at Catholic Answers I recently posted the following comment:

Quote
The differences between the Latin and Eastern Churches on the Immaculate Conception reflects subtle disagreements on grace, nature, and freedom, disagreements that are difficult to articulate but which exist nonetheless.

One important reason, for example, that EO reject the Immaculate Conception is because it appears to ground the sanctity of the Theotokos in a singular bestowal of grace rather than in the sanctity of Israel, progressively embodied in the ancestors of Mary (particularly in her parents), and her synergistic, ascetical cooperation with divine grace. As Paul Evdokimov states: "Although she is of Adam's race, the Virgin is guarded from any personal impurity, all evil being rendered powerless to affect her by the successive purifications of her ancestors, by the special operation of the Spirit and by her outstanding act of free will" (Orthodoxy, p. 157).

I first became aware of this concern when I read Sergius Bulgakov's The Burning Bush and The Friend of the Bridegroom. EO do not see the Theotokos as "the great exception," as Orthodox polemicists sometimes like to put it. St John the Baptist also embodies an analogous sanctity! His conception, too, is commemorated in the liturgical calendar. He, too, manifested an incomparable sanctity. He, too, lived a sinless life. He, too, was "pre-determined" to exercise a unique role in the economy of salvation. Just as the Virgin Mary never knew separation from God, so did the Forerunner. And thus on the Deisis the Enthroned Christ is flanked by St John on his left and his Mother on his right.

I suspect it is simply impossible for us to categorize the grace and graces the Theotokos received at various points in her life.  On the one hand, we do not want to make her into the great Pelagian heroine who brought herself into a state of sinlessness and theosis by her own ascetical efforts.  On the other hand, we do not want to divorce her from the sanctity of Israel nor to diminish the salvific significance of her cooperation with God's grace at every point of her life. 

Did the Blessed Virgin ever sin at some point in her life?  Sergius Bulgakov certainly did not think so.  Consider these two passages:

Quote
In its countless divine services dedicated to the Mother of God, the Holy Orthodox Church firmly and clearly teaches the absolute sinlessness of Mary in her birth, her holy childhood and adolescence, in the Annunciation, in the birth of her Son and throughout her entire life. We shall pause at only the most important dogmatic witnesses borrowed from the services of Theotokos feasts. As is evident from these witnesses, the Most Holy Virgin is called in her very birth "Holy of Holies," "living heaven," "temple of all kings and thrones," "sole immaculate one," "the true temple pure from infancy on," "hostile to the course of sin," etc. The question arises: is the idea of any sort of assault of sin, which even some fathers of the church, and with them other orthodox theologians, allow, compatible with this veneration? Obviously not. The Mother of God was sinless, not a single attack of sin approached her most pure soul, the bearer of perfect virginity. But in that case is she not made equal "to the one sinless" Lord Jesus? No, and therein is the whole point. Sinlessness belongs in a unique and exclusive sense to the Son of God conceived without seed from a virgin who had never known a man, in that He was a stranger not only to every personal sin but also to original sin. The latter had absolutely no power over the new Adam. ... It is quite the opposite in the case of the Most Pure and Immaculate One: in her, original sin preserved its entire power with all its fatal consequences--weakness and mortality of the body (for death is only the final revelation of this weakness). The Theotokos died a natural death in fulfilment of the natural law, which she bore in her human nature. Death was defeated only by the salvific power of Christ's resurrection and was ultimately annulled by it. The Lord Jesus is in this sense the Saviour for the entire human race, and in it of His mother as well. ...

n as much as sin through the paralysis of human freedom engenders personal sinfulness, this latter can be weakened to a minimum and even brought down to the condition of full potentiality: posse non peccare (though before redemption and before baptism the condition of non posse peccare cannot be reached). To be sure, such a maximum achievement is unthinkable for fallen humanity without the help of Divine grace which, however, only assists freedom and does not compel it. In other words, when original sin as infirmity is kept in force, personal freedom from sins or personal sinlessness can be realized by the grace of God. In harmony with the firm and clear consciousness of the Church, John the Forerunner already approaches such personal sinlessness. The most holy Virgin Mary, the all-pure and all-immaculate, possesses such sinlessness. Only by virtue of this sinlessness was she able to say with her entire will, with her whole undivided essence, behold the handmaid of the Lord, to speak so that the answer to this full self-giving to God was the descent of the Holy Spirit and the seedless conception of the Lord Jesus Christ. The smallest sin in the past or the present would have broken the integrity of this self-giving and the power of this expression. This word, decisive for the whole human race and the entire world, was the expression not of a given moment only, but came out of the depths of Mary's unblemished being. It was the work and the sum of her life. The inadmissibility of personal sin in the Virgin Mary thus becomes axiomatically trustworthy provided we understand what kind of answer was demanded here of Mary. This was not the particular agreement of her will to a particular action, relating only to a given moment of life; no, this was the self-determination of her entire being.

Bulgakov is certainly not alone in believing this.  Having read St Gregory Palamas's homilies on the Theotokos, I believe that he too would affirm her absolute sinlessness. Compare also George Gabriel's Mary: The Untrodden Portal of God and Met Hierotheos's article "The Annunciation of the Virgin Mary."  In an essay on St John of Damascus and the Theotokos, Met Kallistos Ware writes:

Quote
John believes that Mary underwent a special purification and hallowing at the moment of the annunciation, when "the sanctifying power of the Spirit overshadowed, cleansed and consecrated her." But this does not signify that, in John's view, she was sinful prior to the annunciation; on the contrary, he clearly considers that she was always pure and guiltless. Moreover, he also states clearly that she was predestined from all eternity to be the Mother of God incarnate: "She was chosen from ancient generation, through the preordained counsel and good pleasure of God the Father ... The Father forechose her, the prophets through the Holy Spirit proclaimed her in advance.

But St John of Maximovitch appears to disagree.  He believes that that assertion of Mary's perfect sinlessness contradicts both Scripture and Tradition.   

The Catholic dogma of the Immaculate Conception is driven by the anti-Pelagian imperative.  Catholicism must insist, over against all forms of Pelagianism and Semi-Pelagianism, that the Virgin Mary possessed sanctifying grace from the first moment of her existence.  Orthodoxy also rejects Pelagianism; but it's less clear (at least to me) how the Orthodox understanding of synergism can be reconciled with the canons of the Second Synod of Orange.  I suspect that it is here where the real disagreement may lie.   

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« Reply #50 on: March 13, 2012, 12:32:36 PM »

Sergei Bulgakov's writings don't carry much weight due to his heresies regarding Sophianism.
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« Reply #51 on: March 13, 2012, 12:42:31 PM »

This is such a difficult topic.  Over the past few years I have read more than a few Orthodox reflections on it.  I think it is fair to say that within Orthodoxy a fairly wide range of opinion exists on the questions that have been posed in this thread.  And given modern Catholic abandonment of the Augustinian notion of original guilt, it has become even more difficult to specify the points of dogmatic disagreement with Orthodoxy and Catholicism.  Over at Catholic Answers I recently posted the following comment:

Quote
The differences between the Latin and Eastern Churches on the Immaculate Conception reflects subtle disagreements on grace, nature, and freedom, disagreements that are difficult to articulate but which exist nonetheless.

One important reason, for example, that EO reject the Immaculate Conception is because it appears to ground the sanctity of the Theotokos in a singular bestowal of grace rather than in the sanctity of Israel, progressively embodied in the ancestors of Mary (particularly in her parents), and her synergistic, ascetical cooperation with divine grace. As Paul Evdokimov states: "Although she is of Adam's race, the Virgin is guarded from any personal impurity, all evil being rendered powerless to affect her by the successive purifications of her ancestors, by the special operation of the Spirit and by her outstanding act of free will" (Orthodoxy, p. 157).

I first became aware of this concern when I read Sergius Bulgakov's The Burning Bush and The Friend of the Bridegroom. EO do not see the Theotokos as "the great exception," as Orthodox polemicists sometimes like to put it. St John the Baptist also embodies an analogous sanctity! His conception, too, is commemorated in the liturgical calendar. He, too, manifested an incomparable sanctity. He, too, lived a sinless life. He, too, was "pre-determined" to exercise a unique role in the economy of salvation. Just as the Virgin Mary never knew separation from God, so did the Forerunner. And thus on the Deisis the Enthroned Christ is flanked by St John on his left and his Mother on his right.

I suspect it is simply impossible for us to categorize the grace and graces the Theotokos received at various points in her life.  On the one hand, we do not want to make her into the great Pelagian heroine who brought herself into a state of sinlessness and theosis by her own ascetical efforts.  On the other hand, we do not want to divorce her from the sanctity of Israel nor to diminish the salvific significance of her cooperation with God's grace at every point of her life.  

Did the Blessed Virgin ever sin at some point in her life?  Sergius Bulgakov certainly did not think so.  Consider these two passages:

Quote
In its countless divine services dedicated to the Mother of God, the Holy Orthodox Church firmly and clearly teaches the absolute sinlessness of Mary in her birth, her holy childhood and adolescence, in the Annunciation, in the birth of her Son and throughout her entire life. We shall pause at only the most important dogmatic witnesses borrowed from the services of Theotokos feasts. As is evident from these witnesses, the Most Holy Virgin is called in her very birth "Holy of Holies," "living heaven," "temple of all kings and thrones," "sole immaculate one," "the true temple pure from infancy on," "hostile to the course of sin," etc. The question arises: is the idea of any sort of assault of sin, which even some fathers of the church, and with them other orthodox theologians, allow, compatible with this veneration? Obviously not. The Mother of God was sinless, not a single attack of sin approached her most pure soul, the bearer of perfect virginity. But in that case is she not made equal "to the one sinless" Lord Jesus? No, and therein is the whole point. Sinlessness belongs in a unique and exclusive sense to the Son of God conceived without seed from a virgin who had never known a man, in that He was a stranger not only to every personal sin but also to original sin. The latter had absolutely no power over the new Adam. ... It is quite the opposite in the case of the Most Pure and Immaculate One: in her, original sin preserved its entire power with all its fatal consequences--weakness and mortality of the body (for death is only the final revelation of this weakness). The Theotokos died a natural death in fulfilment of the natural law, which she bore in her human nature. Death was defeated only by the salvific power of Christ's resurrection and was ultimately annulled by it. The Lord Jesus is in this sense the Saviour for the entire human race, and in it of His mother as well. ...

n as much as sin through the paralysis of human freedom engenders personal sinfulness, this latter can be weakened to a minimum and even brought down to the condition of full potentiality: posse non peccare (though before redemption and before baptism the condition of non posse peccare cannot be reached). To be sure, such a maximum achievement is unthinkable for fallen humanity without the help of Divine grace which, however, only assists freedom and does not compel it. In other words, when original sin as infirmity is kept in force, personal freedom from sins or personal sinlessness can be realized by the grace of God. In harmony with the firm and clear consciousness of the Church, John the Forerunner already approaches such personal sinlessness. The most holy Virgin Mary, the all-pure and all-immaculate, possesses such sinlessness. Only by virtue of this sinlessness was she able to say with her entire will, with her whole undivided essence, behold the handmaid of the Lord, to speak so that the answer to this full self-giving to God was the descent of the Holy Spirit and the seedless conception of the Lord Jesus Christ. The smallest sin in the past or the present would have broken the integrity of this self-giving and the power of this expression. This word, decisive for the whole human race and the entire world, was the expression not of a given moment only, but came out of the depths of Mary's unblemished being. It was the work and the sum of her life. The inadmissibility of personal sin in the Virgin Mary thus becomes axiomatically trustworthy provided we understand what kind of answer was demanded here of Mary. This was not the particular agreement of her will to a particular action, relating only to a given moment of life; no, this was the self-determination of her entire being.

Bulgakov is certainly not alone in believing this.  Having read St Gregory Palamas's homilies on the Theotokos, I believe that he too would affirm her absolute sinlessness. Compare also George Gabriel's Mary: The Untrodden Portal of God and Met Hierotheos's article "The Annunciation of the Virgin Mary."  In an essay on St John of Damascus and the Theotokos, Met Kallistos Ware writes:

Quote
John believes that Mary underwent a special purification and hallowing at the moment of the annunciation, when "the sanctifying power of the Spirit overshadowed, cleansed and consecrated her." But this does not signify that, in John's view, she was sinful prior to the annunciation; on the contrary, he clearly considers that she was always pure and guiltless. Moreover, he also states clearly that she was predestined from all eternity to be the Mother of God incarnate: "She was chosen from ancient generation, through the preordained counsel and good pleasure of God the Father ... The Father forechose her, the prophets through the Holy Spirit proclaimed her in advance.

But St John of Maximovitch appears to disagree.  He believes that that assertion of Mary's perfect sinlessness contradicts both Scripture and Tradition.    

The Catholic dogma of the Immaculate Conception is driven by the anti-Pelagian imperative.  Catholicism must insist, over against all forms of Pelagianism and Semi-Pelagianism, that the Virgin Mary possessed sanctifying grace from the first moment of her existence.  Orthodoxy also rejects Pelagianism; but it's less clear (at least to me) how the Orthodox understanding of synergism can be reconciled with the canons of the Second Synod of Orange.  I suspect that it is here where the real disagreement may lie.    

Fr Aidan

While we say that she was nurtured by grace throughout her life, this is something that is possible to all.  She was most receptive and obedient to this grace, and blameless in God's eyes. Also we also emphasize her free-will in co-operating with God's grace throughout her life, expressed the most clearly in the annunciation.

She did not need to be baptized in the womb (i.e. immaculate conception) to wash away the guilt of original sin, since she did not inherit it. Although Catholics today may shy away from the idea of inheriting guilt, this idea was commonly held during the inception of this dogma.

Again, great example rather than great exception.
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« Reply #52 on: March 13, 2012, 01:02:59 PM »

Quote
nd from the Orthodox perspective, the immaculate conception is still a theologoumenon, and a theologoumenon it shall stay because belief in it has no bearing upon our salvation—something which the Roman Catholic Church seemed to have overlooked when the dogma was declared.

You could say the same thing about the assumption of Mary, or her dormition etc. So to say it has no bearing upon your salvation is irrelevent.


The Orthodox Church had not dogmatized the Assumption (or for that matter her dormition).  So you proved his point.
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« Reply #53 on: March 13, 2012, 02:41:52 PM »

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nd from the Orthodox perspective, the immaculate conception is still a theologoumenon, and a theologoumenon it shall stay because belief in it has no bearing upon our salvation—something which the Roman Catholic Church seemed to have overlooked when the dogma was declared.

You could say the same thing about the assumption of Mary, or her dormition etc. So to say it has no bearing upon your salvation is irrelevent.


The Orthodox Church had not dogmatized the Assumption (or for that matter her dormition).  So you proved his point.


Liturgy isn't dogmatical? You have  liturgical feasts about the assumption but it is not a dogma?
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« Reply #54 on: March 13, 2012, 03:04:19 PM »

Quote
nd from the Orthodox perspective, the immaculate conception is still a theologoumenon, and a theologoumenon it shall stay because belief in it has no bearing upon our salvation—something which the Roman Catholic Church seemed to have overlooked when the dogma was declared.

You could say the same thing about the assumption of Mary, or her dormition etc. So to say it has no bearing upon your salvation is irrelevent.


The Orthodox Church had not dogmatized the Assumption (or for that matter her dormition).  So you proved his point.


Liturgy isn't dogmatical? You have  liturgical feasts about the assumption but it is not a dogma?

I'd have to agree... a universally celebrated feast is on the same level as dogma.
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« Reply #55 on: March 13, 2012, 03:08:13 PM »

The Orthodox Church had not dogmatized the Assumption (or for that matter her dormition).  So you proved his point.
What does it mean when the Orthodox Church approves and venerates all those icons depicting the falling asleep of Mary?
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« Reply #56 on: March 13, 2012, 03:25:49 PM »

The feast of the dormition is part of our rich liturgical tradition, and meant to be contemplated within the church by the faithful. It's not part of the doctrine or dogma of the church, which goes along with the gospel that we preach to the world and hold all the faithful accountable to.
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« Reply #57 on: March 13, 2012, 03:27:39 PM »

The feast of the dormition is part of our rich liturgical tradition, and meant to be contemplated within the church by the faithful. It's not part of the doctrine or dogma of the church, which goes along with the gospel that we preach to the world and hold all the faithful accountable to.

So Iconodule is incorrect?
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« Reply #58 on: March 13, 2012, 03:30:57 PM »

The feast of the dormition is part of our rich liturgical tradition, and meant to be contemplated within the church by the faithful. It's not part of the doctrine or dogma of the church, which goes along with the gospel that we preach to the world and hold all the faithful accountable to.

So Iconodule is incorrect?

I've never heard the feast of the assumption referred to as dogma of the church. Perhaps a resident priest can correct me. Dogma includes things like the virgin birth, the Trinity, etc.
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« Reply #59 on: March 13, 2012, 03:34:36 PM »

The feast of the dormition is part of our rich liturgical tradition, and meant to be contemplated within the church by the faithful. It's not part of the doctrine or dogma of the church, which goes along with the gospel that we preach to the world and hold all the faithful accountable to.

So Iconodule is incorrect?

I've never heard the feast of the assumption referred to as dogma of the church. Perhaps a resident priest can correct me. Dogma includes things like the virgin birth, the Trinity, etc.

So, the question to hopefully be answered by a priest is: "are universally celebrated feasts on the same level as dogma?"  Correct?
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« Reply #60 on: March 13, 2012, 04:13:10 PM »

Sergei Bulgakov's writings don't carry much weight due to his heresies regarding Sophianism.

The question of the alleged heterodoxy of Bulgakov's reflections on sophia are irrelevant at this point.  He died a faithful communicant of the Orthodox Church.  All that matters in this thread is whether his reflections on the Theotokos faithfully witness to the faith of the Church.  I believe that they do.   
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« Reply #61 on: March 13, 2012, 04:30:37 PM »

The feast of the dormition is part of our rich liturgical tradition, and meant to be contemplated within the church by the faithful. It's not part of the doctrine or dogma of the church, which goes along with the gospel that we preach to the world and hold all the faithful accountable to.

So Iconodule is incorrect?

I've never heard the feast of the assumption referred to as dogma of the church. Perhaps a resident priest can correct me. Dogma includes things like the virgin birth, the Trinity, etc.

So, the question to hopefully be answered by a priest is: "are universally celebrated feasts on the same level as dogma?"  Correct?

Every Orthodox theology text I've ever read says no. Being Orthodox while rejecting the Dormition of the Theotokos would be somewhat similar to being a flat-earther, but salvation is open to the stupid and insane as well. 'Dogma' is those things that are necessary to believe for salvation--and what  happened to the Theotokos at the end of her life simply has no actual impact on an individual's ability to be united to her Son.

'Theotokos' is 'dogma' because if you don't believe that Christ was God, you are directly rejecting your own ability to be united to God (i.e., its an implicit rejection of the very idea of salvation). The Dormition just doesn't have that implication.
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« Reply #62 on: March 13, 2012, 04:42:03 PM »

Quote
Every Orthodox theology text I've ever read says no. Being Orthodox while rejecting the Dormition of the Theotokos would be somewhat similar to being a flat-earther, but salvation is open to the stupid and insane as well. 'Dogma' is those things that are necessary to believe for salvation--and what  happened to the Theotokos at the end of her life simply has no actual impact on an individual's ability to be united to her Son.

So you can be a faithfull orthodox and deny what the CHurch teaches and celebrates? You can deny many points of the Liturgy and still be orthodox? And you are telling me that the flat earth is celebrated in the Liturgy? Is there a day for the feast of the "flat earth" in the calendar? Isn't obedience to the Church and its teachings necessary for salvation?
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« Reply #63 on: March 13, 2012, 04:51:15 PM »

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Dogma and Liturgy.

Harnack's thesis is faulty in other respects. He does not understand that Orthodox dogma does not occupy the same isolated position within the Church as do doctrine and creed in the Protestant churches. Rather, dogma is part and parcel of the liturgical life of the Church. The creeds of the Orthodox Church are not abstract formulations of a "pure doctrine." They are hymns of adoration which have their place in the liturgy. There is a statement of dogma in the baptismal creed that the proselyte speaks in praise of God and in proclamation of the divine truth of salvation. Similarly, in the Eucharistic liturgy God is adored in the words of the credo before the priest invokes the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Eucharistic elements. Thus dogma has fully preserved its original liturgical function in the Orthodox Church.

Moreover, in the view of the Orthodox Church the liturgy is the proper place for dogma, not theological summas and textbooks. This is particularly true for the Eucharistic liturgy, this liturgy being a mystical unfolding of the full abundance of divine acts of redemption and divinely revealed truths. Liturgy and dogma, worship and creed, prayer and theological meditation and speculation are therefore inseparable. The dogma is a component of the living worship. Intellectual definition of the truths of the Christian faith is necessary, of course, and certainly that is one of the functions of dogma. But in the Orthodox Church dogma is not limited to differentiating Christian principles from false doctrines. It governs the Christian's religious and moral life; that is, it has a practical side. It promotes growth in the Christian's spiritual life by keeping the facts of redemption ever present in his mind.
http://www.holytrinitymission.org/books/english/eastern_orthodox_church_e_benz.htm#_Toc49321364

I dont understand, he says "this liturgy being a mystical unfolding of the full abundance of divine acts of redemption and divinely revealed truths."
 


So isn't the liturgy dogmatical if it is divinely reavealed truth?
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« Reply #64 on: March 13, 2012, 05:04:20 PM »

Even though St. Epiphanius claimed that no one knew what happened to Mary after this life, we still recognize him as a saint. Last time I checked, the RC does too.
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« Reply #65 on: March 13, 2012, 05:08:40 PM »

So you can be a faithfull orthodox and deny what the CHurch teaches and celebrates? You can deny many points of the Liturgy and still be orthodox? And you are telling me that the flat earth is celebrated in the Liturgy? Is there a day for the feast of the "flat earth" in the calendar? Isn't obedience to the Church and its teachings necessary for salvation?
These are interesting questions.
I have a few more. From the Orthodox standpoint, what is the difference between a dogma, a doctrine, and a teaching of the Orthodox Church? What teachings of the Orthodox Church are you required to believe in, and what teachings are you free to reject. For example, are you free to reject the teaching of the Dormition of Mary, and can you be a good Orthodox Christian and believe that Mary was not taken up to heaven bodily?
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« Reply #66 on: March 13, 2012, 05:12:37 PM »

Even though St. Epiphanius claimed that no one knew what happened to Mary after this life, we still recognize him as a saint. Last time I checked, the RC does too.

So there is a liturgical development of doctrine and belief in the Autocephalous churches as well? But anyway this can be seen on many points like the Fathers who said that mary sinned or those who denied inspiration for the book of Revelation in the Bible.

St Photius, who died in communion with the Roman see, well said that saints are not infaillible and can do theological mystakes.
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« Reply #67 on: March 13, 2012, 05:28:56 PM »

So you can be a faithfull orthodox and deny what the CHurch teaches and celebrates? You can deny many points of the Liturgy and still be orthodox? ... Isn't obedience to the Church and its teachings necessary for salvation?

I find myself in agreement with you on these points, but just as I believe that we are to believe what we celebrate liturgically (the bodily assumption of the Theotokos is in our hymns for that feast day - despite what some say, I don't personally see it as "optional"), I also don't believe that everything has to be formally dogmatized in order to be true.
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« Reply #68 on: March 13, 2012, 06:00:15 PM »

The Orthodox Church had not dogmatized the Assumption (or for that matter her dormition).  So you proved his point.
What does it mean when the Orthodox Church approves and venerates all those icons depicting the falling asleep of Mary?
For one, that due to original/ancestral sin, she did fall asleep. The Vatican's Immortalists have no refuge in Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #69 on: March 14, 2012, 01:01:35 AM »

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Every Orthodox theology text I've ever read says no. Being Orthodox while rejecting the Dormition of the Theotokos would be somewhat similar to being a flat-earther, but salvation is open to the stupid and insane as well. 'Dogma' is those things that are necessary to believe for salvation--and what  happened to the Theotokos at the end of her life simply has no actual impact on an individual's ability to be united to her Son.

So you can be a faithfull orthodox and deny what the CHurch teaches and celebrates? You can deny many points of the Liturgy and still be orthodox? And you are telling me that the flat earth is celebrated in the Liturgy? Is there a day for the feast of the "flat earth" in the calendar? Isn't obedience to the Church and its teachings necessary for salvation?

Did you miss the 'somewhat similar' qualifier? My point was not that it is 'the same' but rather that being an Orthodox Christian today while rejecting the Assumption requires the same level of cognitive incoherence/willful ignorance that being a flat-earther in the modern world does. Aside from that, you are kind of throwing the kitchen sink at this so I'll just focus on the last question.

Obedience to the Church's *dogmas* is necessary for salvation, because those dogmas are the Gospel of Jesus Christ, salvation itself. But for that very reason, the Church does not dogmatize anything that is not actually necessary for salvation. It is God's desire that all men come to salvation--so why would we insert requirement that doesn't absolutely have to be there? Many things are true (the earth is round, the earth orbits the sun, the Theotokos' body was taken up into heaven, St. Constantine is a saint, fasting is an important spiritual discipline) which the Church does not dogmatize because their truth is not directly relevant to the ability of a sinful human being to be united with God.

So, for a different example, the Church has dogmatized the central point of Genesis 1 ("Creator of Heaven and Earth and of all things visible and invisible") because it is necessary to have some concept of the Creator in order to seek to be united with Him. But the Church has not dogmatized whether Genesis 1 is absolutely literal with 24-hour days, plants created before the sun, etc or whether the account is at some level symbolic/allegorized. Because *how* God created everything is not relevant to salvation.

I am not defending the Orthodox who rejects the Assumption (assuming he even exists). Maybe he thinks its an allegory and maybe that's as valid as the Orthodox who thinks Genesis 1 is an allegory. Or maybe he's just a fool. But as I said before, God wants fools to be saved too--and the Church is not in the business of making it harder for fools to be saved (thank God), but of getting them over the threshold (the dogmas) and then leading them ever closer to the Truth.
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« Reply #70 on: March 14, 2012, 01:05:02 AM »

Even though St. Epiphanius claimed that no one knew what happened to Mary after this life, we still recognize him as a saint. Last time I checked, the RC does too.

So there is a liturgical development of doctrine and belief in the Autocephalous churches as well? But anyway this can be seen on many points like the Fathers who said that mary sinned or those who denied inspiration for the book of Revelation in the Bible.

St Photius, who died in communion with the Roman see, well said that saints are not infaillible and can do theological mystakes.

St. Photius, a Pillar of Orthodoxy, was correct. St. Epiphanius was wrong on the topic of the Assumption. But the point is that being wrong on this topic did not keep him from being a saint--proof that being wrong on this topic does not prevent a person from being a saint; and therefore proof that it is not a 'dogma', not 'necessary for salvation'.
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« Reply #71 on: March 14, 2012, 01:06:15 AM »

Even though St. Epiphanius claimed that no one knew what happened to Mary after this life, we still recognize him as a saint. Last time I checked, the RC does too.

So there is a liturgical development of doctrine and belief in the Autocephalous churches as well? But anyway this can be seen on many points like the Fathers who said that mary sinned or those who denied inspiration for the book of Revelation in the Bible.

St Photius, who died in communion with the Roman see, well said that saints are not infaillible and can do theological mystakes.

St. Photius, a Pillar of Orthodoxy, was correct. St. Epiphanius was wrong on the topic of the Assumption. But the point is that being wrong on this topic did not keep him from being a saint--proof that being wrong on this topic does not prevent a person from being a saint; and therefore proof that it is not a 'dogma', not 'necessary for salvation'.

precisely.
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« Reply #72 on: March 14, 2012, 01:31:00 AM »

Even though St. Epiphanius claimed that no one knew what happened to Mary after this life, we still recognize him as a saint. Last time I checked, the RC does too.

So there is a liturgical development of doctrine and belief in the Autocephalous churches as well? But anyway this can be seen on many points like the Fathers who said that mary sinned or those who denied inspiration for the book of Revelation in the Bible.

St Photius, who died in communion with the Roman see, well said that saints are not infaillible and can do theological mystakes.

St. Photius, a Pillar of Orthodoxy, was correct. St. Epiphanius was wrong on the topic of the Assumption. But the point is that being wrong on this topic did not keep him from being a saint--proof that being wrong on this topic does not prevent a person from being a saint; and therefore proof that it is not a 'dogma', not 'necessary for salvation'.

Is the Palamite doctine dogmatical since the palamite synods? It is necesary to understand his speeches for salvation?
So St Augustine is a saint even if you consider him to have made theological mystakes? Or is he a heretic nonetheless as said this website:
http://www.trueorthodoxy.org/heretics_roman_catholics_augustine_refutation_veneration.shtml

And it didnt answer my intended question: Is the liturgy dogmatical? If it is considered as revealed truth?
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« Reply #73 on: March 14, 2012, 01:51:02 AM »

Even though St. Epiphanius claimed that no one knew what happened to Mary after this life, we still recognize him as a saint. Last time I checked, the RC does too.

So there is a liturgical development of doctrine and belief in the Autocephalous churches as well? But anyway this can be seen on many points like the Fathers who said that mary sinned or those who denied inspiration for the book of Revelation in the Bible.

St Photius, who died in communion with the Roman see, well said that saints are not infaillible and can do theological mystakes.

St. Photius, a Pillar of Orthodoxy, was correct. St. Epiphanius was wrong on the topic of the Assumption. But the point is that being wrong on this topic did not keep him from being a saint--proof that being wrong on this topic does not prevent a person from being a saint; and therefore proof that it is not a 'dogma', not 'necessary for salvation'.

precisely.
Only Christ is 100% Orthodox.  All Fathers fall short.  We all do. It only becomes a problem when we become obstinate about our mistakes.  IIRC, St. Epiphanius explicitely says he is expressing his own opinion, and that he doesn't really know.
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« Reply #74 on: March 14, 2012, 01:51:02 AM »

Even though St. Epiphanius claimed that no one knew what happened to Mary after this life, we still recognize him as a saint. Last time I checked, the RC does too.

So there is a liturgical development of doctrine and belief in the Autocephalous churches as well? But anyway this can be seen on many points like the Fathers who said that mary sinned or those who denied inspiration for the book of Revelation in the Bible.

St Photius, who died in communion with the Roman see, well said that saints are not infaillible and can do theological mystakes.
He also said that that included Popes of Rome.

Why wouldn't he be in communion with Rome?  Rome came to his understanding at the Fourth Council of Constantinople (879).
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« Reply #75 on: March 14, 2012, 01:51:02 AM »

Quote
Every Orthodox theology text I've ever read says no. Being Orthodox while rejecting the Dormition of the Theotokos would be somewhat similar to being a flat-earther, but salvation is open to the stupid and insane as well. 'Dogma' is those things that are necessary to believe for salvation--and what  happened to the Theotokos at the end of her life simply has no actual impact on an individual's ability to be united to her Son.

So you can be a faithfull orthodox and deny what the CHurch teaches and celebrates? You can deny many points of the Liturgy and still be orthodox? And you are telling me that the flat earth is celebrated in the Liturgy? Is there a day for the feast of the "flat earth" in the calendar? Isn't obedience to the Church and its teachings necessary for salvation?
It is, but the Church doesn't teach " if anyone, which God forbid, should dare willfully to deny or to call into doubt that which we have defined [on the Assumption], let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith."

It was never publically preached by the Church until after the Fourth Ecumenical Council (451), so it can never become a dogma.

We have never got an straight answer if "development of doctrine" means that doctrines go through the various degrees of "theological certitude" until they attain dogmatic status.

This is sort of an artificial question, as I've never met an Orthodox who denied the Assumption.  It seems we don't need a dogmatic definition with the threat of hell fire.
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« Reply #76 on: March 14, 2012, 02:17:30 AM »

Even though St. Epiphanius claimed that no one knew what happened to Mary after this life, we still recognize him as a saint. Last time I checked, the RC does too.

So there is a liturgical development of doctrine and belief in the Autocephalous churches as well? But anyway this can be seen on many points like the Fathers who said that mary sinned or those who denied inspiration for the book of Revelation in the Bible.

St Photius, who died in communion with the Roman see, well said that saints are not infaillible and can do theological mystakes.

St. Photius, a Pillar of Orthodoxy, was correct. St. Epiphanius was wrong on the topic of the Assumption. But the point is that being wrong on this topic did not keep him from being a saint--proof that being wrong on this topic does not prevent a person from being a saint; and therefore proof that it is not a 'dogma', not 'necessary for salvation'.

Is the Palamite doctine dogmatical since the palamite synods? It is necesary to understand his speeches for salvation?
So St Augustine is a saint even if you consider him to have made theological mystakes? Or is he a heretic nonetheless as said this website:
http://www.trueorthodoxy.org/heretics_roman_catholics_augustine_refutation_veneration.shtml

And it didnt answer my intended question: Is the liturgy dogmatical? If it is considered as revealed truth?

The essence-energy distinction is necessary for salvation. Your question on whether it is necessary to understand the writings of Gregory Palamas is a bit misleading, however. It is necessary for salvation to understand the writings of Gregory Palamas as much as it is necessary to understand the writings of St. Athanasius on the divinity of the Son, the Cappadocians Fathers on the divinity of the Holy Spirit, St. Cyril of Alexandria on the hypostatic union, Pope St. Leo on the two natures of Christ, The Council of Constantinople's clarification on the two natures of Christ, St. Maximus the Confessor on the two natures and wills of Christ, and St. John of Damascus on the use of holy images. For most people, this probably means in an incredibly condensed manner (as in, the teachings are each condensed into a paragraph or less). For others, this may be mean enough information to fill volumes, if they are knowledgeable enough.
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« Reply #77 on: March 14, 2012, 09:18:19 AM »

The Orthodox Church had not dogmatized the Assumption (or for that matter her dormition).  So you proved his point.
What does it mean when the Orthodox Church approves and venerates all those icons depicting the falling asleep of Mary?
For one, that due to original/ancestral sin, she did fall asleep. The Vatican's Immortalists have no refuge in Orthodoxy.

So the Dormition is on the level of dogma then.
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« Reply #78 on: March 14, 2012, 09:20:31 AM »

Quote
Every Orthodox theology text I've ever read says no. Being Orthodox while rejecting the Dormition of the Theotokos would be somewhat similar to being a flat-earther, but salvation is open to the stupid and insane as well. 'Dogma' is those things that are necessary to believe for salvation--and what  happened to the Theotokos at the end of her life simply has no actual impact on an individual's ability to be united to her Son.

So you can be a faithfull orthodox and deny what the CHurch teaches and celebrates? You can deny many points of the Liturgy and still be orthodox? And you are telling me that the flat earth is celebrated in the Liturgy? Is there a day for the feast of the "flat earth" in the calendar? Isn't obedience to the Church and its teachings necessary for salvation?
It is, but the Church doesn't teach " if anyone, which God forbid, should dare willfully to deny or to call into doubt that which we have defined [on the Assumption], let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith."

It was never publically preached by the Church until after the Fourth Ecumenical Council (451), so it can never become a dogma.

We have never got an straight answer if "development of doctrine" means that doctrines go through the various degrees of "theological certitude" until they attain dogmatic status.

This is sort of an artificial question, as I've never met an Orthodox who denied the Assumption.  It seems we don't need a dogmatic definition with the threat of hell fire.

There is a deacon on another forum who denies the entry of the Theotokos into the Holy of Holies. I asked him what he does on November 21... he hasn't answered yet.
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« Reply #79 on: March 14, 2012, 09:26:22 AM »

Quote
Every Orthodox theology text I've ever read says no. Being Orthodox while rejecting the Dormition of the Theotokos would be somewhat similar to being a flat-earther, but salvation is open to the stupid and insane as well. 'Dogma' is those things that are necessary to believe for salvation--and what  happened to the Theotokos at the end of her life simply has no actual impact on an individual's ability to be united to her Son.

So you can be a faithfull orthodox and deny what the CHurch teaches and celebrates? You can deny many points of the Liturgy and still be orthodox? And you are telling me that the flat earth is celebrated in the Liturgy? Is there a day for the feast of the "flat earth" in the calendar? Isn't obedience to the Church and its teachings necessary for salvation?
It is, but the Church doesn't teach " if anyone, which God forbid, should dare willfully to deny or to call into doubt that which we have defined [on the Assumption], let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith."

It was never publically preached by the Church until after the Fourth Ecumenical Council (451), so it can never become a dogma.

We have never got an straight answer if "development of doctrine" means that doctrines go through the various degrees of "theological certitude" until they attain dogmatic status.

This is sort of an artificial question, as I've never met an Orthodox who denied the Assumption.  It seems we don't need a dogmatic definition with the threat of hell fire.

There is a deacon on another forum who denies the entry of the Theotokos into the Holy of Holies. I asked him what he does on November 21... he hasn't answered yet.

And don't expect one from him, either.  He's not known for admitting his mistakes. Roll Eyes Roll Eyes
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« Reply #80 on: March 14, 2012, 11:27:53 AM »

The Orthodox Church had not dogmatized the Assumption (or for that matter her dormition).  So you proved his point.
What does it mean when the Orthodox Church approves and venerates all those icons depicting the falling asleep of Mary?
For one, that due to original/ancestral sin, she did fall asleep. The Vatican's Immortalists have no refuge in Orthodoxy.

So the Dormition is on the level of dogma then.
If not, as close as you can get.
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« Reply #81 on: March 14, 2012, 02:18:09 PM »

Quote
Every Orthodox theology text I've ever read says no. Being Orthodox while rejecting the Dormition of the Theotokos would be somewhat similar to being a flat-earther, but salvation is open to the stupid and insane as well. 'Dogma' is those things that are necessary to believe for salvation--and what  happened to the Theotokos at the end of her life simply has no actual impact on an individual's ability to be united to her Son.

So you can be a faithfull orthodox and deny what the CHurch teaches and celebrates? You can deny many points of the Liturgy and still be orthodox? And you are telling me that the flat earth is celebrated in the Liturgy? Is there a day for the feast of the "flat earth" in the calendar? Isn't obedience to the Church and its teachings necessary for salvation?
It is, but the Church doesn't teach " if anyone, which God forbid, should dare willfully to deny or to call into doubt that which we have defined [on the Assumption], let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith."

It was never publically preached by the Church until after the Fourth Ecumenical Council (451), so it can never become a dogma.

We have never got an straight answer if "development of doctrine" means that doctrines go through the various degrees of "theological certitude" until they attain dogmatic status.

This is sort of an artificial question, as I've never met an Orthodox who denied the Assumption.  It seems we don't need a dogmatic definition with the threat of hell fire.

There is a deacon on another forum who denies the entry of the Theotokos into the Holy of Holies. I asked him what he does on November 21... he hasn't answered yet.

And don't expect one from him, either.  He's not known for admitting his mistakes. Roll Eyes Roll Eyes

I think Fr. Hopko questions the historical reality of such an event as well.
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« Reply #82 on: March 14, 2012, 02:23:00 PM »

The essence-energy distinction is necessary for salvation.
It is? What happens to all those people who don't understand it?
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« Reply #83 on: March 14, 2012, 02:38:39 PM »

The essence-energy distinction is necessary for salvation.
It is? What happens to all those people who don't understand it?

As Cavadarossi already pointed out, the same thing that happens to those people who don't understand Christ's gnomic will. You're only responsible for dogmas to the degree you are able to understand them. If you are content with a child's faith, "I believe whatever the Church says." then you don't need to understand ousia vs. hypostatis vs. physis, essence and energy, gnomic will, or why Theotokos and Christokos are both true but Theotokos is the dogmatic one.

Again going back to the point that dogmas are not set up to be preconditions for salvation ("You must understand X to be saved"--this is the Protestant approach with its' 'age of reason', etc). They are rather descriptions of the actual experience of salvation in the Church. You cannot deny them because to deny them is to deny salvation itself--but if your affirmation of them is through obedience (or actual experience) rather than intellectual comprehension of the decrees of the 6th Ecumenical Council et. al. that is sufficient.
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« Reply #84 on: March 14, 2012, 03:58:16 PM »

Quote
The essence-energy distinction is necessary for salvation.

So there are "truths" necessary for salvation that are not proclaimed in any oecumenical council? Or do you consider the palamite synods oecumenicals?
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« Reply #85 on: March 14, 2012, 04:13:44 PM »

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The essence-energy distinction is necessary for salvation.

So there are "truths" necessary for salvation that are not proclaimed in any oecumenical council? Or do you consider the palamite synods oecumenicals?

This Christian truth was expressed before St. Palamas.
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« Reply #86 on: March 14, 2012, 04:37:21 PM »

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The essence-energy distinction is necessary for salvation.

So there are "truths" necessary for salvation that are not proclaimed in any oecumenical council? Or do you consider the palamite synods oecumenicals?

As made clear on the other thread, you do not even know what you are arguing about when you fuss about St. Palamas. St. Palamas' teaching is 'dogma' in the same sense that the Divinity of Christ and the Humanity of Christ are dogmas--because there has always been and will always only be one Gospel. Anything which expresses that Gospel correctly is dogma, by its very nature and regardless of human recognition. The only role of councils (whether it be the 7 Ecumenical Councils, the Palamite Councils, or any local synod called upon to deliberate a doctrinal issue) is to identify what is a correct expression and condemn what is false expression when some confusion about it has arisen.
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« Reply #87 on: March 14, 2012, 05:12:52 PM »

So you can be a faithfull orthodox and deny what the CHurch teaches and celebrates? You can deny many points of the Liturgy and still be orthodox? ... Isn't obedience to the Church and its teachings necessary for salvation?

I find myself in agreement with you on these points, but just as I believe that we are to believe what we celebrate liturgically (the bodily assumption of the Theotokos is in our hymns for that feast day - despite what some say, I don't personally see it as "optional"), I also don't believe that everything has to be formally dogmatized in order to be true.

Given that

"Dogma is the established belief or doctrine held by a religion, or a particular group or organization.[1] It is authoritative and not to be disputed, doubted, or diverged from, by the practitioners or believers. Although it generally refers to religious beliefs that are accepted without reason or evidence, they can refer to acceptable opinions of philosophers or philosophical schools, public decrees, or issued decisions of political authorities.[2] The term derives from Greek δόγμα "that which seems to one, opinion or belief"[3] and that from δοκέω (dokeo), "to think, to suppose, to imagine".[4] Dogma came to signify laws or ordinances adjudged and imposed upon others by the First Century. The plural is either dogmas or dogmata, from Greek δόγματα. Today, It is sometimes used as a synonym for systematic theology."  from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dogma

then something that is true could certainly be "dogma" without some kind of "formal" juridical act, no?
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« Reply #88 on: March 14, 2012, 05:55:16 PM »

So you can be a faithfull orthodox and deny what the CHurch teaches and celebrates? You can deny many points of the Liturgy and still be orthodox? ... Isn't obedience to the Church and its teachings necessary for salvation?

I find myself in agreement with you on these points, but just as I believe that we are to believe what we celebrate liturgically (the bodily assumption of the Theotokos is in our hymns for that feast day - despite what some say, I don't personally see it as "optional"), I also don't believe that everything has to be formally dogmatized in order to be true.

Given that

"Dogma is the established belief or doctrine held by a religion, or a particular group or organization.[1] It is authoritative and not to be disputed, doubted, or diverged from, by the practitioners or believers. Although it generally refers to religious beliefs that are accepted without reason or evidence, they can refer to acceptable opinions of philosophers or philosophical schools, public decrees, or issued decisions of political authorities.[2] The term derives from Greek δόγμα "that which seems to one, opinion or belief"[3] and that from δοκέω (dokeo), "to think, to suppose, to imagine".[4] Dogma came to signify laws or ordinances adjudged and imposed upon others by the First Century. The plural is either dogmas or dogmata, from Greek δόγματα. Today, It is sometimes used as a synonym for systematic theology."  from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dogma

then something that is true could certainly be "dogma" without some kind of "formal" juridical act, no?

I don't see that one can assume that a Wikipedia (or really any general) definition of the English word 'dogma' is conclusive for Orthodox usage--the common English usage will obviously more strongly reflect Protestant and Roman uses of the term.

However, I would actually agree with you. The reality of the Eucharist has always been dogma in the Orthodox Church--so much so that it has never needed a formal pronouncement because it was never in question.
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« Reply #89 on: March 14, 2012, 06:10:16 PM »

I don't see that one can assume that a Wikipedia (or really any general) definition of the English word 'dogma' is conclusive for Orthodox usage--the common English usage will obviously more strongly reflect Protestant and Roman uses of the term.

However, I would actually agree with you. The reality of the Eucharist has always been dogma in the Orthodox Church--so much so that it has never needed a formal pronouncement because it was never in question.


In what way does an Orthodox dogma differ from the Roman Catholic *spit* concept of a dogma?
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