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Author Topic: "Recovering Calvinist"  (Read 3807 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: July 28, 2012, 01:05:13 AM »

I've seen this custom title on two posters. Can someone explain what this means?
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« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2012, 12:24:58 PM »

Unfortunately this is not an answer to your question. Just a comment that I do not like this kind of rhetoric either. Orthodox and Calvinists do NOT worship a different God
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« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2012, 12:44:39 PM »

Unfortunately this is not an answer to your question. Just a comment that I do not like this kind of rhetoric either. Orthodox and Calvinists do NOT worship a different God
I think it depends on the kind of Calvinist you to which you are referring. I have met some Calvinists who believe that God is the direct cause of evil. In their paradigm, God wills certain evils on mankind. I understand that this not how all Calvinists view God, but there are some that do.
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« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2012, 12:54:30 PM »

Unfortunately this is not an answer to your question. Just a comment that I do not like this kind of rhetoric either. Orthodox and Calvinists do NOT worship a different God

Is there some reason that you are linking the two? When I hear "Recovering Calvinist" I just think of someone who used to be a Calvinist, and either 1) is struggling with certain elements of calvinism/orthodoxy, or 2) is just making a statement about where they came from ecclesiastically. I wouldn't have thought it had anything to do with making a claim like they worship a different God.  Huh
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« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2012, 12:59:14 PM »

Unfortunately this is not an answer to your question. Just a comment that I do not like this kind of rhetoric either. Orthodox and Calvinists do NOT worship a different God

Is there some reason that you are linking the two? When I hear "Recovering Calvinist" I just think of someone who used to be a Calvinist, and either 1) is struggling with certain elements of calvinism/orthodoxy, or 2) is just making a statement about where they came from ecclesiastically. I wouldn't have thought it had anything to do with making a claim like they worship a different God.  Huh
Maybe I should have quoted, and I will try to find the posting, but I have heard people say such
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« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2012, 04:11:14 PM »

...Orthodox and Calvinists do NOT worship a different God

Definitely debatable when you consider that the God of Calvinism intentionally creates some people with no purpose other than condemning them to western Hell and only dying for the people He deemed 'elect'. In which case, people are not accountable for their actions at all because they were only made to be horrible sinners and some saints. And that further leads us to the conclusion that one does not need to have any faith or works or live any Christian life because they either are elect or they aren't elect so there is no purpose in trying to change what will already happen. Not saying all Calvinists believe this, but ultimately I've seen some who do and I think that Calvinism as a teaching will lead to these dangerous conclusions.
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« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2012, 04:12:57 PM »

...Orthodox and Calvinists do NOT worship a different God

Definitely debatable when you consider that the God of Calvinism intentionally creates some people with no purpose other than condemning them to western Hell
As opposed to eastern Hell? Cheesy
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« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2012, 04:14:45 PM »

...Orthodox and Calvinists do NOT worship a different God

Definitely debatable when you consider that the God of Calvinism intentionally creates some people with no purpose other than condemning them to western Hell
As opposed to eastern Hell? Cheesy

Something about eastern Hell does not seem to carry that same sense of fear and torment as western Hell Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2012, 04:19:47 PM »

...Orthodox and Calvinists do NOT worship a different God

Definitely debatable when you consider that the God of Calvinism intentionally creates some people with no purpose other than condemning them to western Hell
As opposed to eastern Hell? Cheesy

Something about eastern Hell does not seem to carry that same sense of fear and torment as western Hell Smiley

You've been reading too much River of Fire and not enough Apocalypse of Peter (2nd century). Here are some lines to get you going:

"And there were certain there hanging by the tongue: and these were the blasphemers of the way of righteousness; and under them lay fire, burning and punishing them... And near those there were again women and men gnawing their own lips, and being punished and receiving a red-hot iron in their eyes: and these were they who blasphemed and slandered the way of righteousness. And over against these again other men and women gnawing their tongues and having flaming fire in their mouths: and these were the false witnesses..."
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« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2012, 04:34:13 PM »

I've never thought Calvinism was incompatable with Theism, but I do think it is incompatable with Christianity.
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« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2012, 04:37:18 PM »

I've never thought Calvinism was incompatable with Theism, but I do think it is incompatable with Christianity.
Can you explain further how it's incompatible. Not that I'm disagreeing, but just want to hear your take on it.
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« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2012, 05:25:21 PM »

A God of love does not preordain His creation to suffer without hope.

I've never thought Calvinism was incompatable with Theism, but I do think it is incompatable with Christianity.
Can you explain further how it's incompatible. Not that I'm disagreeing, but just want to hear your take on it.
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« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2012, 05:28:22 PM »

A God of love does not preordain His creation to suffer without hope.

I've never thought Calvinism was incompatable with Theism, but I do think it is incompatable with Christianity.
Can you explain further how it's incompatible. Not that I'm disagreeing, but just want to hear your take on it.
I'm curious how a Calvinist can explain that away though.
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« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2012, 06:04:16 PM »

...Apocalypse of Peter (2nd century).

Is that really a good source though? I mean, if it was not put into the Scripture Canon for some reason then wouldn't it at the very least be questionable?
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« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2012, 06:12:55 PM »

Perhaps I'll play Devil's Advocate for Calvinism to respond to some posters here, but for now let me just answer the OP:

I use the term "Recovering Calvinist" mostly as a way to identify my prior affiliation with a Reformed tradition, I was Presbyterian immediately before being received into the Orthodox Church. It also is a statement of my repudiation of Calvinism, which I had to give up to become Orthodox and, in my opinion, Calvinism is a very comprehensive and internally consistant dogma. It wasn't easy to disprove it to myself. It was my last theological hurdle to conversion, and I like to remind myself of that. I still have respect for it as a philosophical system, but it is heresy.
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« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2012, 06:18:04 PM »

...Apocalypse of Peter (2nd century).

Is that really a good source though? I mean, if it was not put into the Scripture Canon for some reason then wouldn't it at the very least be questionable?
Does questionable in relation to its qualification for inclusion in the New Testament canon automatically mean questionable for all purposes?
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« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2012, 06:18:56 PM »

...Apocalypse of Peter (2nd century).

Is that really a good source though? I mean, if it was not put into the Scripture Canon for some reason then wouldn't it at the very least be questionable?

Plenty of great works didn't make it into the canon. The Shepherd of Hermas, the Gospel of Nicodemus, The Protoevangelium, etc. Just because a work doesn't make it into the biblical canon doesn't mean it isn't profitable to read.

Though, I have heard mixed reviews about St. Peter's Apocalypse. Of course, St. John's was also criticized by some Fathers, and it ended up in the canon!
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« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2012, 07:44:13 PM »

...Apocalypse of Peter (2nd century).

Is that really a good source though? I mean, if it was not put into the Scripture Canon for some reason then wouldn't it at the very least be questionable?

Fwiw I'm not saying that we should attribute to it a ton of weight, I just think it's important to remember that such documents exist, and that as much as it horrifies our modern sensibilities, at least some Greek Christians thought that way and it wasn't just those medieval latins who came up with that kind of stuff. I tend towards the "I hope everyone is saved, but I promise not to be dogmatic" sutff popular among Orthodox, but let's not forget that either way hell must be a pretty terrible place*. I mean, it's punishment for eternity. That's gotta suck.  Anyway, this is way off topic, sorry about that OP and fellow webizens!


* Yeah, I said place. Not state of mind. Place. Come at me. Smiley
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« Reply #18 on: July 28, 2012, 08:23:34 PM »

In their paradigm, God wills certain evils on mankind.
I believe that, does that make me a Calvinist?  Wink
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« Reply #19 on: July 28, 2012, 09:58:53 PM »

No, I don't think that's at the heart of Calvinism.  It is not that God allows evil, or even executes evil against Creation, but that He created part of creation to endure evil.  He 'for-ordained' some of His creation, via 'double-predestination,' to be damned.

As for the effect on Calvinists, it robs them of compassion for the sinner.  That's the worst part of it.  The Calvinists and Crypto-calvinists amongst the Orthodox that I have encountered have that lack of love for mankind which is chilling when it surfaces.  It is Islam with coat of Bible-colored paint.


In their paradigm, God wills certain evils on mankind.
I believe that, does that make me a Calvinist?  Wink
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« Reply #20 on: July 28, 2012, 10:18:24 PM »

No, I don't think that's at the heart of Calvinism.  It is not that God allows evil, or even executes evil against Creation, but that He created part of creation to endure evil.  He 'for-ordained' some of His creation, via 'double-predestination,' to be damned.

As for the effect on Calvinists, it robs them of compassion for the sinner.  That's the worst part of it.  The Calvinists and Crypto-calvinists amongst the Orthodox that I have encountered have that lack of love for mankind which is chilling when it surfaces.  It is Islam with coat of Bible-colored paint.


In their paradigm, God wills certain evils on mankind.
I believe that, does that make me a Calvinist?  Wink
Father, that was my understanding as well.

By denying God the ability to predestine in accordance with the free will of creatures (which defies created causality), Calvinists 'force' him to create FOR evil.
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« Reply #21 on: July 28, 2012, 10:19:26 PM »

A God of love does not preordain His creation to suffer without hope.



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« Reply #22 on: July 28, 2012, 11:04:55 PM »

A God of love does not preordain His creation to suffer without hope.



Wisdom, let us attend.

Often suffering with hope is worst suffering of all. In fact, one could make a rather decent argument that suffering doesn't exist outside the horizon of hope.

I've always said of the Pauline big three, hope is the hardest. It seems those old Greeks agree with me as well.
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« Reply #23 on: July 28, 2012, 11:35:50 PM »

A God of love does not preordain His creation to suffer without hope.



Wisdom, let us attend.

Often suffering with hope is worst suffering of all. In fact, one could make a rather decent argument that suffering doesn't exist outside the horizon of hope.

I've always said of the Pauline big three, hope is the hardest. It seems those old Greeks agree with me as well.

I have to disagree with this. If there was no hope and we do suffer, then our suffering is pointless and probably better off just killing ourselves to end the suffering. However if there is suffering with hope, then we can suffer without despair.
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« Reply #24 on: July 29, 2012, 12:03:08 AM »

Yup.  Double Yup.

I have to disagree with this. If there was no hope and we do suffer, then our suffering is pointless and probably better off just killing ourselves to end the suffering. However if there is suffering with hope, then we can suffer without despair.
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« Reply #25 on: July 29, 2012, 12:36:06 AM »

...Apocalypse of Peter (2nd century).

Is that really a good source though? I mean, if it was not put into the Scripture Canon for some reason then wouldn't it at the very least be questionable?

Fwiw I'm not saying that we should attribute to it a ton of weight, I just think it's important to remember that such documents exist, and that as much as it horrifies our modern sensibilities, at least some Greek Christians thought that way and it wasn't just those medieval latins who came up with that kind of stuff. I tend towards the "I hope everyone is saved, but I promise not to be dogmatic" sutff popular among Orthodox, but let's not forget that either way hell must be a pretty terrible place*. I mean, it's punishment for eternity. That's gotta suck.  Anyway, this is way off topic, sorry about that OP and fellow webizens!


* Yeah, I said place. Not state of mind. Place. Come at me. Smiley


Good point. I think the "eastern hell is better than western hell" mindset misses the point. We are relieved to think that perhaps hell isn't literally getting poked in the eye with a hot iron, because that would be a bummer- but even we imagine hell to be simply separation from God and that somehow comforts us ("At least we won't be burning alive!"), isn't being eternally separated from God the biggest bummer of all? I can't imagine anything worse.
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« Reply #26 on: July 29, 2012, 12:54:20 AM »

Good point. I think the "eastern hell is better than western hell" mindset misses the point. We are relieved to think that perhaps hell isn't literally getting poked in the eye with a hot iron, because that would be a bummer- but even we imagine hell to be simply separation from God and that somehow comforts us ("At least we won't be burning alive!"), isn't being eternally separated from God the biggest bummer of all? I can't imagine anything worse.

Absolutely. The idea that 'eastern hell is better than western hell' is missing the point entirely. What the eastern fathers are saying when they say that the *Biblical* imagery of fire and torture is not literal is not that 'hell is not so bad' but rather that the actuality of hell is so terrible that we can't even begin to conceive of how terrible it really is. The physical imagery of so-called 'western hell' exists to try to give us a *minimum* idea of how bad hell actually is. If you think 'western hell' is bad or terrifying then what that should tell you is that 'eastern hell' (that is, the actuality of hell) is even worse.
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« Reply #27 on: July 29, 2012, 01:02:25 AM »

Good point. I think the "eastern hell is better than western hell" mindset misses the point. We are relieved to think that perhaps hell isn't literally getting poked in the eye with a hot iron, because that would be a bummer- but even we imagine hell to be simply separation from God and that somehow comforts us ("At least we won't be burning alive!"), isn't being eternally separated from God the biggest bummer of all? I can't imagine anything worse.

Absolutely. The idea that 'eastern hell is better than western hell' is missing the point entirely. What the eastern fathers are saying when they say that the *Biblical* imagery of fire and torture is not literal is not that 'hell is not so bad' but rather that the actuality of hell is so terrible that we can't even begin to conceive of how terrible it really is. The physical imagery of so-called 'western hell' exists to try to give us a *minimum* idea of how bad hell actually is. If you think 'western hell' is bad or terrifying then what that should tell you is that 'eastern hell' (that is, the actuality of hell) is even worse.
So how does this fit that we will all see God and how we receive God's love gives us either Hell or Heaven

Or is that compatible I dunno.

I wish Orthodooxy was more concrete in these matters.
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« Reply #28 on: July 29, 2012, 01:07:34 AM »

Good point. I think the "eastern hell is better than western hell" mindset misses the point. We are relieved to think that perhaps hell isn't literally getting poked in the eye with a hot iron, because that would be a bummer- but even we imagine hell to be simply separation from God and that somehow comforts us ("At least we won't be burning alive!"), isn't being eternally separated from God the biggest bummer of all? I can't imagine anything worse.

Absolutely. The idea that 'eastern hell is better than western hell' is missing the point entirely. What the eastern fathers are saying when they say that the *Biblical* imagery of fire and torture is not literal is not that 'hell is not so bad' but rather that the actuality of hell is so terrible that we can't even begin to conceive of how terrible it really is. The physical imagery of so-called 'western hell' exists to try to give us a *minimum* idea of how bad hell actually is. If you think 'western hell' is bad or terrifying then what that should tell you is that 'eastern hell' (that is, the actuality of hell) is even worse.
So how does this fit that we will all see God and how we receive God's love gives us either Hell or Heaven

Or is that compatible I dunno.

I wish Orthodooxy was more concrete in these matters.

I think it's essentially the same... receiving God's love for eternity and not having joy because of it sounds unbearable to me.
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« Reply #29 on: July 29, 2012, 01:10:38 AM »

Yup.  Double Yup.

I have to disagree with this. If there was no hope and we do suffer, then our suffering is pointless and probably better off just killing ourselves to end the suffering. However if there is suffering with hope, then we can suffer without despair.

Well as long there is no serious argument put forth nor a possible understanding of the possible structural necessary of hope for something like suffering to happen, OK, enjoy.
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« Reply #30 on: July 29, 2012, 01:14:37 AM »

What do you mean here, Orthonorm?

Yup.  Double Yup.

I have to disagree with this. If there was no hope and we do suffer, then our suffering is pointless and probably better off just killing ourselves to end the suffering. However if there is suffering with hope, then we can suffer without despair.

Well as long there is no serious argument put forth nor a possible understanding of the possible structural necessary of hope for something like suffering to happen, OK, enjoy.
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« Reply #31 on: July 29, 2012, 01:21:51 AM »

Good point. I think the "eastern hell is better than western hell" mindset misses the point. We are relieved to think that perhaps hell isn't literally getting poked in the eye with a hot iron, because that would be a bummer- but even we imagine hell to be simply separation from God and that somehow comforts us ("At least we won't be burning alive!"), isn't being eternally separated from God the biggest bummer of all? I can't imagine anything worse.

Absolutely. The idea that 'eastern hell is better than western hell' is missing the point entirely. What the eastern fathers are saying when they say that the *Biblical* imagery of fire and torture is not literal is not that 'hell is not so bad' but rather that the actuality of hell is so terrible that we can't even begin to conceive of how terrible it really is. The physical imagery of so-called 'western hell' exists to try to give us a *minimum* idea of how bad hell actually is. If you think 'western hell' is bad or terrifying then what that should tell you is that 'eastern hell' (that is, the actuality of hell) is even worse.
So how does this fit that we will all see God and how we receive God's love gives us either Hell or Heaven
Is that the Orthodox dogmatic teaching on hell, or is that an interpretation of the Orthodox dogmatic teaching on hell?
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« Reply #32 on: July 29, 2012, 01:23:55 AM »

...Orthodox and Calvinists do NOT worship a different God

Definitely debatable when you consider that the God of Calvinism intentionally creates some people with no purpose other than condemning them to western Hell
As opposed to eastern Hell? Cheesy

Something about eastern Hell does not seem to carry that same sense of fear and torment as western Hell Smiley
[/quote

St. Isaac certainly seems to think hell is frightening prospect.
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« Reply #33 on: July 29, 2012, 01:33:00 AM »

Good point. I think the "eastern hell is better than western hell" mindset misses the point. We are relieved to think that perhaps hell isn't literally getting poked in the eye with a hot iron, because that would be a bummer- but even we imagine hell to be simply separation from God and that somehow comforts us ("At least we won't be burning alive!"), isn't being eternally separated from God the biggest bummer of all? I can't imagine anything worse.

Absolutely. The idea that 'eastern hell is better than western hell' is missing the point entirely. What the eastern fathers are saying when they say that the *Biblical* imagery of fire and torture is not literal is not that 'hell is not so bad' but rather that the actuality of hell is so terrible that we can't even begin to conceive of how terrible it really is. The physical imagery of so-called 'western hell' exists to try to give us a *minimum* idea of how bad hell actually is. If you think 'western hell' is bad or terrifying then what that should tell you is that 'eastern hell' (that is, the actuality of hell) is even worse.
So how does this fit that we will all see God and how we receive God's love gives us either Hell or Heaven

Or is that compatible I dunno.

I wish Orthodooxy was more concrete in these matters.

That's exactly the point. Other than those saints who have directly experienced the Uncreated Light, human beings--including most Orthodox, and definitely including almost all non-Orthodox--cannot even begin to conceive what the *direct* experience of God that we will have after the Resurrection means, whether that is an experience of communion (Heaven) or of rejection (Hell). So the Bible and the Fathers offer images taken from actual physical experience--or that we can imagine based on actual physical experience--to try to give us an idea of what that experience will be like. But these images are not the reality, they are just a 'best approximation'. Heaven will be better than anything you can actually imagine (or that the saints can depict in words). And Hell will be worse than anything you can actually imagine (or that the saints can depict in words). The point is that 'eastern' Hell--the direct experience of God's Grace while rejecting it--will be worse than fire, worse than being consumed by worms, worse than torture. The bare statement 'hell is being without God' doesn't sound so bad to most people--particularly to those who don't recognize the degree to which God is ever-present in their current life, loving them and trying to call them to repentance. So the images of fire and the worm, etc are offered to people who don't have an actual referent (in terms of direct experience of God) to try to give them at least the begininning of an idea of what the actual experience will be like.
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« Reply #34 on: July 29, 2012, 01:53:17 AM »

I love how our theology regarding communion is also eschatological as you point out witega, Orthodoxy rocks.

But thank you for your response, makes alot of sense.
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« Reply #35 on: July 29, 2012, 02:28:49 AM »

Wait, when was hell mapped out, and who did it? Dante never spoke of "eastern" or "western" hell.
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« Reply #36 on: July 29, 2012, 02:47:38 AM »

Wait, when was hell mapped out, and who did it? Dante never spoke of "eastern" or "western" hell.
Touche.
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« Reply #37 on: July 29, 2012, 06:32:38 AM »

...Orthodox and Calvinists do NOT worship a different God

Definitely debatable when you consider that the God of Calvinism intentionally creates some people with no purpose other than condemning them to western Hell
As opposed to eastern Hell? Cheesy

Something about eastern Hell does not seem to carry that same sense of fear and torment as western Hell Smiley
Is this a good thing? A Christian should pray to fear separation from God more than physical burning, even if the former is terrifying indeed
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« Reply #38 on: July 29, 2012, 10:47:36 AM »

...Orthodox and Calvinists do NOT worship a different God

Definitely debatable when you consider that the God of Calvinism intentionally creates some people with no purpose other than condemning them to western Hell
As opposed to eastern Hell? Cheesy

Something about eastern Hell does not seem to carry that same sense of fear and torment as western Hell Smiley
Is this a good thing? A Christian should pray to fear separation from God more than physical burning, even if the former is terrifying indeed

I do not know about you but that scares me to no end!
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« Reply #39 on: July 31, 2012, 11:59:36 AM »

Orthonorm, what say you?  I wasn't offering a rhetorical question... what exactly do you mean?

What do you mean here, Orthonorm?

Yup.  Double Yup.

I have to disagree with this. If there was no hope and we do suffer, then our suffering is pointless and probably better off just killing ourselves to end the suffering. However if there is suffering with hope, then we can suffer without despair.

Well as long there is no serious argument put forth nor a possible understanding of the possible structural necessary of hope for something like suffering to happen, OK, enjoy.
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« Reply #40 on: July 31, 2012, 01:24:23 PM »

Bless Father!

If you can get a straight answer out of Orthonorm I will hail you as master of the interwebz.

Orthonorm, what say you?  I wasn't offering a rhetorical question... what exactly do you mean?

What do you mean here, Orthonorm?

Yup.  Double Yup.

I have to disagree with this. If there was no hope and we do suffer, then our suffering is pointless and probably better off just killing ourselves to end the suffering. However if there is suffering with hope, then we can suffer without despair.

Well as long there is no serious argument put forth nor a possible understanding of the possible structural necessary of hope for something like suffering to happen, OK, enjoy.
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« Reply #41 on: July 31, 2012, 11:55:40 PM »

orthonorm is out to lunch as he would say.

Now let me interpret our most Holy of emperors. I think he is saying that hope itself has a structure to it and because of that it allows suffering to happen. Basically if we remove hope from the equation we wouldn't really know what suffering is itself. Or we cannot identify with suffering because in order to suffer one must have hope in something better, which the latter causes us to suffer.
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« Reply #42 on: August 01, 2012, 10:19:48 AM »

Hope as it is commonly understood is always about the future being better than the present.  Now, someone who has never known suffering has no hope because he has no reason to be concerned about the future.  Really spoiled kids are not hopeful, they fully expect to get something wonderful and so there is no internal debate.

Suffering is always about the present.  We cannot suffer in the future, but only in the present.  One can suffer about the future, and sometimes that anxiety can be without hope, but sometimes there can be hope that the source of the anxiety will be alleviated, thus you have hope.  Suffering without hope means that the pain of present has no forseeable end and produces nothing.  It is, ultimately, despair.

Despair is the ultimate form of suffering.  It is one thing for a human being to be tortured with the hope of release either by escape or by death, but it is quite another if one is assured that death or escape are impossibilities.  A few years back, I read a book about the Piteşti Prison (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pite%C5%9Fti_prison), and this was the primary tool the Communists used to break Christians: the prisoners were assured that they would never be released until they submitted, and all means of suicide were removed or prevented.  By removing all hope, the Communists hoped the hopelessness of such an existence would succeed in creating new Socialists.

What this interpretation of Orthonorm lacks is an understanding of pain.  Pain has nothing to do with hope, pain has to do with what is natural.  It is a design issue: when a body is placed in an unnatural condition, or one not conducive to its design, it suffers pain.  This has nothing to do with hope.  Hope has to do with the duration of the unnatural state, rather than governing the design.


orthonorm is out to lunch as he would say.

Now let me interpret our most Holy of emperors. I think he is saying that hope itself has a structure to it and because of that it allows suffering to happen. Basically if we remove hope from the equation we wouldn't really know what suffering is itself. Or we cannot identify with suffering because in order to suffer one must have hope in something better, which the latter causes us to suffer.
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« Reply #43 on: August 06, 2012, 03:01:27 PM »

Although I've never used the title, I am also in the "recovering Calvinist" camp.

Unless I've overlooked it, no one in this thread has really hit the nail on the head as to what the most fundamental difference is between Orthodoxy and Calvinism, and why the two are so incompatible.

The Orthodox understanding of God as revealed in Christ is that the very core and heart of who God is is that God is love. Christ both defined and demonstrated that for us when He told us that "no greater love has any man than this, that he lay down his life for his friend." When Christ was hanging from the Tree and pouring out His life for us, He was manifesting in space and time what has been manifest for all eternity in the life of the Trinity. God is a God who humbles Himself and who eternally empties Himself for the sake of another.

The Calvinist understanding of God, as they believe is revealed in the consensus of Scripture as they understand it, is that God's highest aim is self-glorification. For them, God only does things because it brings glory to Himself. God is essentially inward-seeking and self-serving.

There lies the difference, and from that almost all other differences flow.
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« Reply #44 on: August 06, 2012, 03:18:28 PM »

Excellent observation. This is true, and it sheds a lot of light on the concept of double predestination.
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« Reply #45 on: September 12, 2012, 11:34:07 PM »

I have a question for any Calvinists or former Calvinists who post here.

My question is fairly simple: In the Calvinist teaching, if God inexorably decreed the fall of Adam (he decrees everything), how can Adam be held responsible or guilty for it? Likewise how can the reprobate, by nature incapable of doing anything but evil, be held culpable for their sin?

I have searched numerous Calvinist forums, tracts, catechisms, blogs, for a straightforward answer to this problem and I can't find one. I've seen lots of dodges, non-sequiturs, and bad analogies, but not an actual answer. Does a good answer simply not exist, or am I not looking in the right places?
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« Reply #46 on: September 13, 2012, 01:22:14 AM »

My question is fairly simple: In the Calvinist teaching, if God inexorably decreed the fall of Adam (he decrees everything), how can Adam be held responsible or guilty for it? Likewise how can the reprobate, by nature incapable of doing anything but evil, be held culpable for their sin?

They just quote Romans 9 and misinterpret it to refer to God deciding the ultimate eternal salvation of individuals.
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« Reply #47 on: September 13, 2012, 02:41:27 PM »

“But of eternal punishment, of cruelty, of pitilessness, and of inhumanity, we never, never say God is the author, who tells us that there is joy in heaven over one sinner that repents. Far be it from us, while we have our senses, to believe or to think this; and we do subject to an eternal anathema those who say and think such things, and esteem them to be worse than any infidels. . . . . But the novelties which the Calvinists have blasphemously introduced concerning God and divine things, perverting, mutilating, and abusing the Divine Scriptures, are sophistries and inventions of the devil” (Confession of Dositheus, Synod of Jerusalem, 1672)
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« Reply #48 on: September 13, 2012, 03:00:09 PM »

“But of eternal punishment, of cruelty, of pitilessness, and of inhumanity, we never, never say God is the author, who tells us that there is joy in heaven over one sinner that repents. Far be it from us, while we have our senses, to believe or to think this; and we do subject to an eternal anathema those who say and think such things, and esteem them to be worse than any infidels. . . . . But the novelties which the Calvinists have blasphemously introduced concerning God and divine things, perverting, mutilating, and abusing the Divine Scriptures, are sophistries and inventions of the devil” (Confession of Dositheus, Synod of Jerusalem, 1672)

They might not say it, but it doesn't stop it from being true.

Strange how the Calvinists here get slapped with the sophistry card, when it seems to me the attempt at any reconciliation of the "problem of evil" with the Greek notion of the divine (read Classical Christian Theodicy) is at best overly sophistic, at worse sophistry.

I think like most interesting thinkers Calvin's primary problem wasn't the fact he developed the problematic that he did, it was that he didn't go far enough. And I am terribly unaware of anyone who has done anything interesting along his line of thought since his demise. But I haven't spent much time reading Calvinist theology, so like Iconodule, I would be interested if there has been any ground breaking work within Calvinism. Since Calvin, like all the Reformers, certainly had a profound honesty about the problems of Christian thought, even if his answers, like the rest of the Reformers', ended up less than satisfactory.
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« Reply #49 on: September 13, 2012, 03:02:33 PM »

My question is fairly simple: In the Calvinist teaching, if God inexorably decreed the fall of Adam (he decrees everything), how can Adam be held responsible or guilty for it? Likewise how can the reprobate, by nature incapable of doing anything but evil, be held culpable for their sin?

They just quote Romans 9 and misinterpret it to refer to God deciding the ultimate eternal salvation of individuals.

No, I don't think Calvin is that simplistic. Even if the Orthodox are in their rejection of such a notion.
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« Reply #50 on: September 13, 2012, 03:18:14 PM »


No, I don't think Calvin is that simplistic. Even if the Orthodox are in their rejection of such a notion.
Not Calvin himself, but your average American evo-Calvinist.
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« Reply #51 on: September 13, 2012, 04:14:06 PM »

“But of eternal punishment, of cruelty, of pitilessness, and of inhumanity, we never, never say God is the author, who tells us that there is joy in heaven over one sinner that repents. Far be it from us, while we have our senses, to believe or to think this; and we do subject to an eternal anathema those who say and think such things, and esteem them to be worse than any infidels. . . . . But the novelties which the Calvinists have blasphemously introduced concerning God and divine things, perverting, mutilating, and abusing the Divine Scriptures, are sophistries and inventions of the devil” (Confession of Dositheus, Synod of Jerusalem, 1672)

They might not say it, but it doesn't stop it from being true.

Strange how the Calvinists here get slapped with the sophistry card, when it seems to me the attempt at any reconciliation of the "problem of evil" with the Greek notion of the divine (read Classical Christian Theodicy) is at best overly sophistic, at worse sophistry.

I think like most interesting thinkers Calvin's primary problem wasn't the fact he developed the problematic that he did, it was that he didn't go far enough. And I am terribly unaware of anyone who has done anything interesting along his line of thought since his demise. But I haven't spent much time reading Calvinist theology, so like Iconodule, I would be interested if there has been any ground breaking work within Calvinism. Since Calvin, like all the Reformers, certainly had a profound honesty about the problems of Christian thought, even if his answers, like the rest of the Reformers', ended up less than satisfactory.

Would you call yourself a Lucarian Orthodox?
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« Reply #52 on: September 13, 2012, 05:19:36 PM »

Honestly, from what I've read of more modern Reformed theology (and I must confess that I am rather ignorant on the subject), it seems to me like a weird and rather disagreeable hodgepodge of Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, and Calvin mixed together. That being said, I think people do not give the Reformed enough serious thought, which is unfortunate.
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« Reply #53 on: September 13, 2012, 05:34:46 PM »

Honestly, from what I've read of more modern Reformed theology (and I must confess that I am rather ignorant on the subject), it seems to me like a weird and rather disagreeable hodgepodge of Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, and Calvin mixed together. That being said, I think people do not give the Reformed enough serious thought, which is unfortunate.
Before I found Orthodoxy, I was rather impressed by the Reformed theologians who would debate with open theists. I could tell how difficult it was to argue with them, even harder were the Catholics.
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« Reply #54 on: September 13, 2012, 06:03:03 PM »

Honestly, from what I've read of more modern Reformed theology (and I must confess that I am rather ignorant on the subject), it seems to me like a weird and rather disagreeable hodgepodge of Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, and Calvin mixed together. That being said, I think people do not give the Reformed enough serious thought, which is unfortunate.
Before I found Orthodoxy, I was rather impressed by the Reformed theologians who would debate with open theists. I could tell how difficult it was to argue with them, even harder were the Catholics.

A well studied Roman Catholic is a strong debater. Unfortunately, as with Orthodox Christianity, RCism is racked with nominalism.
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« Reply #55 on: September 13, 2012, 06:07:07 PM »

Honestly, from what I've read of more modern Reformed theology (and I must confess that I am rather ignorant on the subject), it seems to me like a weird and rather disagreeable hodgepodge of Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, and Calvin mixed together. That being said, I think people do not give the Reformed enough serious thought, which is unfortunate.
Before I found Orthodoxy, I was rather impressed by the Reformed theologians who would debate with open theists. I could tell how difficult it was to argue with them, even harder were the Catholics.

A well studied Roman Catholic is a strong debater. Unfortunately, as with Orthodox Christianity, RCism is racked with nominalism.
My friend who is/was a RC, who a few on this board know of from Facebook, definitely exhibited strong nominalism in getting into debates with us. Interestingly I think it planted the seed to start taking his faith a little more seriously.

But I agree with your first point, I saw plenty of atheists stumble when trying to debate with Catholics.
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« Reply #56 on: September 13, 2012, 07:28:06 PM »

This is my opinion, and a rather uninformed one when it comes to Calvin, but I think I see a quite reasonable false conclusion in his work simply from a finite being looking into a infinite being without have a clear vision on what that infinite being contains in it self and what it doesn't.  If I'm way off here let me know so I don't say anything like this again.
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« Reply #57 on: September 13, 2012, 10:23:41 PM »

Honestly, from what I've read of more modern Reformed theology (and I must confess that I am rather ignorant on the subject), it seems to me like a weird and rather disagreeable hodgepodge of Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, and Calvin mixed together. That being said, I think people do not give the Reformed enough serious thought, which is unfortunate.
Before I found Orthodoxy, I was rather impressed by the Reformed theologians who would debate with open theists. I could tell how difficult it was to argue with them, even harder were the Catholics.

A well studied Roman Catholic is a strong debater. Unfortunately, as with Orthodox Christianity, RCism is racked with nominalism.

So who is the Orthodox William of Ockham?
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« Reply #58 on: September 13, 2012, 10:26:21 PM »

Honestly, from what I've read of more modern Reformed theology (and I must confess that I am rather ignorant on the subject), it seems to me like a weird and rather disagreeable hodgepodge of Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, and Calvin mixed together. That being said, I think people do not give the Reformed enough serious thought, which is unfortunate.
Before I found Orthodoxy, I was rather impressed by the Reformed theologians who would debate with open theists. I could tell how difficult it was to argue with them, even harder were the Catholics.

A well studied Roman Catholic is a strong debater. Unfortunately, as with Orthodox Christianity, RCism is racked with nominalism.

So who is the Orthodox William of Ockham?
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« Reply #59 on: September 13, 2012, 10:27:21 PM »

Honestly, from what I've read of more modern Reformed theology (and I must confess that I am rather ignorant on the subject), it seems to me like a weird and rather disagreeable hodgepodge of Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, and Calvin mixed together. That being said, I think people do not give the Reformed enough serious thought, which is unfortunate.
Before I found Orthodoxy, I was rather impressed by the Reformed theologians who would debate with open theists. I could tell how difficult it was to argue with them, even harder were the Catholics.

A well studied Roman Catholic is a strong debater. Unfortunately, as with Orthodox Christianity, RCism is racked with nominalism.

So who is the Orthodox William of Ockham?
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He always struck me of having a strong essentialist stance.
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« Reply #60 on: September 13, 2012, 10:32:33 PM »

Honestly, from what I've read of more modern Reformed theology (and I must confess that I am rather ignorant on the subject), it seems to me like a weird and rather disagreeable hodgepodge of Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, and Calvin mixed together. That being said, I think people do not give the Reformed enough serious thought, which is unfortunate.
Before I found Orthodoxy, I was rather impressed by the Reformed theologians who would debate with open theists. I could tell how difficult it was to argue with them, even harder were the Catholics.

A well studied Roman Catholic is a strong debater. Unfortunately, as with Orthodox Christianity, RCism is racked with nominalism.

So who is the Orthodox William of Ockham?
BISHOP KALLISTOS WARE

He always struck me of having a strong essentialist stance.
You know what book that is really apparent? "The Orthodox Way".

I've yet to come across an Orthodox theologian that has much nominalistic thought.
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« Reply #61 on: September 13, 2012, 10:57:54 PM »

I honestly never understood why nominalism is such a bogeyman amongst Christians.
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« Reply #62 on: September 13, 2012, 11:03:25 PM »

I honestly never understood why nominalism is such a bogeyman amongst Christians.
I think it depends on the context. And this is where I would actually agree with Fr. Hopko on that many of the Orthodox parishes have alot of nominalism, which we both feel is a negative.

But I would look forward to hearing your take on it.
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« Reply #63 on: September 13, 2012, 11:09:33 PM »

I honestly never understood why nominalism is such a bogeyman amongst Christians.

Neither do I (really I do, in the end it threatens the existence of a certain understanding of God depending on the degree of the rejection of the existence of universals.). It is probably one of the more interesting developments in the history of medieval thought, although like everything it has it ancient roots.

But really all this stuff is out of my pay grade, which includes nearly everything. Including making change for an order off the dollar menu at a McDonald's.

Back to something more provocative I know nothing about: Calvinism.

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« Reply #64 on: September 13, 2012, 11:10:27 PM »

I honestly never understood why nominalism is such a bogeyman amongst Christians.
I think it depends on the context. And this is where I would actually agree with Fr. Hopko on that many of the Orthodox parishes have alot of nominalism, which we both feel is a negative.

But I would look forward to hearing your take on it.

You do understand that different nominalisms are being discussed here? I wonder what a nominalist would say about that?
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« Reply #65 on: September 13, 2012, 11:18:41 PM »

I've yet to come across an Orthodox theologian that has much nominalistic thought.

I myself lean strongly toward nominalism, which makes it rather difficult for me to deal with, like, all of Orthodox theology.

Most modern people would have a hard time understanding essentialism, and I think we could benefit from learning to express our theology using different metaphysics.
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« Reply #66 on: September 13, 2012, 11:19:33 PM »

I honestly never understood why nominalism is such a bogeyman amongst Christians.
I think it depends on the context. And this is where I would actually agree with Fr. Hopko on that many of the Orthodox parishes have alot of nominalism, which we both feel is a negative.

But I would look forward to hearing your take on it.

You do understand that different nominalisms are being discussed here? I wonder what a nominalist would say about that?
I was going to ask that question on what defintion of nominalism we are talking about, but I didn't want to look like a further idiot.
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« Reply #67 on: September 13, 2012, 11:20:46 PM »

Cavaradossi,

Back to the other thing I know nothing about.

If you talk to a non-sophisticate (if someone of your erudition know such folks), ask them in a plain way about "universals". If green exists? And wait for their answer.

I think you might be surprised about how nominalist in a "weak sense" most folks are.
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« Reply #68 on: September 13, 2012, 11:26:32 PM »

I've yet to come across an Orthodox theologian that has much nominalistic thought.

I myself lean strongly toward nominalism, which makes it rather difficult for me to deal with, like, all of Orthodox theology.

Most modern people would have a hard time understanding essentialism, and I think we could benefit from learning to express our theology using different metaphysics.

Hey I was posting while you were. I agree with the bolded.

I don't hang around such sophisticates. So I never have really encountered a serious self-proclaimed nominalist like yourself.

Could you expound a little (I ain't looking for some argument) on how you reconcile your nominalist bent and belief in God and just some stuff in general. In short, could you talk a little about how you think?

I typically don't ask such open questions, but really, I've rarely (outside certain mathematics courses) heard anyone take nominalism seriously.

Thanks.

(FWIW, if you don't hang on every word with issues forth from my mouth, I think nominalism and "essentialism" or belief in universals (which I find in the end to be the same although many would argue otherwise) stem from the same less than productive method.)

Again just curious, if you care to take a little to expand a bit on your thinking.
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« Reply #69 on: September 13, 2012, 11:32:56 PM »

I honestly never understood why nominalism is such a bogeyman amongst Christians.
I think it depends on the context. And this is where I would actually agree with Fr. Hopko on that many of the Orthodox parishes have alot of nominalism, which we both feel is a negative.

But I would look forward to hearing your take on it.

Those of us who are sane, I think, should be willing to admit that if universals exist (either in some realm of universals, in the mind of God, or in the subjects), that language is not capable of accurately describing universals in a fashion which corresponds to what they are in themselves. For those of us who speak multiple languages, this is perhaps an easy problem to grasp. I think it was Gregory of Nyssa who once took a jab at Eunomius, saying that if we really could know the essence if God just by the term 'ingenerate', how terrible must it be for the Latins, Egyptians and Syriacs, who have no word which means exactly what 'agenneton' means in Greek. But this sort of thinking seems to be true of all things, and not just particularly true with God.

When I say 'grain', am I evoking some universal genus which is found in maize, wheat, oat, barley, rye, rice, and millet? But what about things which are also called grain in an equivocal sense? We have grains of sand, and the grain of a piece of wood. It would seem like grain, far from naming whatever universal might be find in millet, maize, wheat, etc., instead describes some quality which is shared by all things called 'grain', even of those which would traditionally be said to have the word predicated of them equivocally. If we admit then, that names don't truly correspond to universals but only what we observe of them, then that pushes universals into an awkward position of being spoken about but never spoken directly of, at which point, one has to wonder whether they are even necessary at all. I am by no means committed to nominalism, but I think that if we take an agnostic stance towards whether universals can be known, like some of the fathers did, then we should at least be open to the possibility that they don't exist at all.
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« Reply #70 on: September 14, 2012, 01:44:43 AM »

I've yet to come across an Orthodox theologian that has much nominalistic thought.

I myself lean strongly toward nominalism, which makes it rather difficult for me to deal with, like, all of Orthodox theology.

Most modern people would have a hard time understanding essentialism, and I think we could benefit from learning to express our theology using different metaphysics.

Hey I was posting while you were. I agree with the bolded.

I don't hang around such sophisticates. So I never have really encountered a serious self-proclaimed nominalist like yourself.

Could you expound a little (I ain't looking for some argument) on how you reconcile your nominalist bent and belief in God and just some stuff in general. In short, could you talk a little about how you think?

I typically don't ask such open questions, but really, I've rarely (outside certain mathematics courses) heard anyone take nominalism seriously.

Thanks.

(FWIW, if you don't hang on every word with issues forth from my mouth, I think nominalism and "essentialism" or belief in universals (which I find in the end to be the same although many would argue otherwise) stem from the same less than productive method.)

Again just curious, if you care to take a little to expand a bit on your thinking.

As fascinating as I find theology, I find philosophy equally dull, but I'll just try to set out how I think about stuff. I'm not interested in arguing for it. I'll just put it out there.

-We think about things in terms of labels based on patterns, which may be illusory.
-Universals don't quite exist (at least not at our level of experience).
-Individuals and discrete objects don't really exist either.

Unfortunately, it looks like there's not much left to exist.

Theologically, I struggle with the Greek concepts of essence and nature, which are typically treated by us Orthodox as having objective and borderline concrete existence. I would say that essence and nature are purely artificial constructs that we have invented in order to reduce the world to more manageable categories that we can think about easily. I don't think there's objectively any such thing as a nature or an essence.

Think about incarnational theology. I have trouble with this statement: Christ transformed the human nature through His redemptive acts. If nature is just a convenient abstraction, then how do Christ's redemptive acts affect us? They should only affect Him personally. Similarly, Western theories of atonemet stop making sense, because they presuppose an objective connection between Christ and the rest of humanity.

Now, I absolutely do not think that a nominalism undermines the doctrine of redemption. But it requires a completely different explanation--a less abstract one. I don't believe either explanation would contradict the other, or that we'd truly be inventing anything new, although I might call one explanation more precise.

This is just an example of a theological question that's affected by a nominalist theory, because the traditional Orthodox explanation supposes the existence of universal commonalities in a very strong sense.

I noticed you seemed to ask how I reconcile nominalism with belief in God. Unfortunately, I'm not sure what the contradiction would be, but I'd be glad to hear.

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« Reply #71 on: September 14, 2012, 04:05:54 AM »

Those of us who are sane, I think, should be willing to admit that if universals exist (either in some realm of universals, in the mind of God, or in the subjects), that language is not capable of accurately describing universals in a fashion which corresponds to what they are in themselves.
I can admit to that, and will do so.

Quote
For those of us who speak multiple languages, this is perhaps an easy problem to grasp. I think it was Gregory of Nyssa who once took a jab at Eunomius, saying that if we really could know the essence if God just by the term 'ingenerate', how terrible must it be for the Latins, Egyptians and Syriacs, who have no word which means exactly what 'agenneton' means in Greek. But this sort of thinking seems to be true of all things, and not just particularly true with God.
Ok I'm following you here, how language posits a problem with ontology.

Quote
When I say 'grain', am I evoking some universal genus which is found in maize, wheat, oat, barley, rye, rice, and millet? But what about things which are also called grain in an equivocal sense? We have grains of sand, and the grain of a piece of wood. It would seem like grain, far from naming whatever universal might be find in millet, maize, wheat, etc., instead describes some quality which is shared by all things called 'grain', even of those which would traditionally be said to have the word predicated of them equivocally. If we admit then, that names don't truly correspond to universals but only what we observe of them, then that pushes universals into an awkward position of being spoken about but never spoken directly of, at which point, one has to wonder whether they are even necessary at all. I am by no means committed to nominalism, but I think that if we take an agnostic stance towards whether universals can be known, like some of the fathers did, then we should at least be open to the possibility that they don't exist at all.
Are you saying that names do not have a place in the real world but only exist in the mind? And that names themselves are not beings? It seemed to me that Orthodoxy rejects this sort of dualism.

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« Reply #72 on: September 14, 2012, 09:13:42 AM »

When I say 'grain', am I evoking some universal genus which is found in maize, wheat, oat, barley, rye, rice, and millet? But what about things which are also called grain in an equivocal sense? We have grains of sand, and the grain of a piece of wood. It would seem like grain, far from naming whatever universal might be find in millet, maize, wheat, etc., instead describes some quality which is shared by all things called 'grain', even of those which would traditionally be said to have the word predicated of them equivocally. If we admit then, that names don't truly correspond to universals but only what we observe of them, then that pushes universals into an awkward position of being spoken about but never spoken directly of, at which point, one has to wonder whether they are even necessary at all. I am by no means committed to nominalism, but I think that if we take an agnostic stance towards whether universals can be known, like some of the fathers did, then we should at least be open to the possibility that they don't exist at all.
Are you saying that names do not have a place in the real world but only exist in the mind? And that names themselves are not beings? It seemed to me that Orthodoxy rejects this sort of dualism.

I agree with Cavaradossi's reasoning. I don't see how a name can be considered to exist outside of the human mind. I also don't see how this is dualistic.
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« Reply #73 on: September 14, 2012, 02:05:32 PM »

It depends on the meaning of "name".

We will all receive a "name" in the parousia. What will that name be? A label? Or is the semitic sense of a "name" more to do with a relational reality?
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« Reply #74 on: September 14, 2012, 02:15:10 PM »

Quote
When I say 'grain', am I evoking some universal genus which is found in maize, wheat, oat, barley, rye, rice, and millet? But what about things which are also called grain in an equivocal sense? We have grains of sand, and the grain of a piece of wood. It would seem like grain, far from naming whatever universal might be find in millet, maize, wheat, etc., instead describes some quality which is shared by all things called 'grain', even of those which would traditionally be said to have the word predicated of them equivocally. If we admit then, that names don't truly correspond to universals but only what we observe of them, then that pushes universals into an awkward position of being spoken about but never spoken directly of, at which point, one has to wonder whether they are even necessary at all. I am by no means committed to nominalism, but I think that if we take an agnostic stance towards whether universals can be known, like some of the fathers did, then we should at least be open to the possibility that they don't exist at all.
Are you saying that names do not have a place in the real world but only exist in the mind? And that names themselves are not beings? It seemed to me that Orthodoxy rejects this sort of dualism.

It depends on what you mean by exist in the real world. Do names have some sort of existence outside of the minds which comprehend them? If that is true, then how do names change meaning over time? When the English word 'corn' became synonymous with 'maize', and lost its older meaning of 'cereal grain', did we somehow change the being of 'corn'? In the theology of the Cappadocian Fathers (as well as later saints, like John of Damascus), names, precisely because of their inherent instability, were not thought of as being indicative of what something is, but only describing how something is, what something is not, or that something is. This perceived distance between names and the essences they describe seems to be why, for example, St. John of Damascus could comfortably write that the name 'Θεός' is only the second most proper name of God, the first being 'He that is' (ὁ ὤν). Because no name names the essence of God, he seems to argue that 'He that is', is most proper because God himself spoke it, and also because it is indicative (or manifests) of God's being and essence (τοῦ τὶ εἶναι, of the 'what it is'), while 'Θεός' is second most proper because it is indicative of His energy (he gives a list of supposed etymologies for Θεός earlier which supports this assertion).

None of this, of course, denies that names have true meaning, insofar as they can refer to things which are real (energies), but it denies the theory of language whereby a name can indicate what something is. And that leads back to, my whole: once we start dealing with these unknown essences, which seem to be little more than unknowable kernels of being, surrounded by 'energies' through which they are made manifest, one has to wonder why essences are necessary at all for understanding the world if we never can perceive them.
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« Reply #75 on: September 14, 2012, 03:25:57 PM »

When I say 'grain', am I evoking some universal genus which is found in maize, wheat, oat, barley, rye, rice, and millet? But what about things which are also called grain in an equivocal sense? We have grains of sand, and the grain of a piece of wood. It would seem like grain, far from naming whatever universal might be find in millet, maize, wheat, etc., instead describes some quality which is shared by all things called 'grain', even of those which would traditionally be said to have the word predicated of them equivocally. If we admit then, that names don't truly correspond to universals but only what we observe of them, then that pushes universals into an awkward position of being spoken about but never spoken directly of, at which point, one has to wonder whether they are even necessary at all. I am by no means committed to nominalism, but I think that if we take an agnostic stance towards whether universals can be known, like some of the fathers did, then we should at least be open to the possibility that they don't exist at all.
Are you saying that names do not have a place in the real world but only exist in the mind? And that names themselves are not beings? It seemed to me that Orthodoxy rejects this sort of dualism.

I agree with Cavaradossi's reasoning. I don't see how a name can be considered to exist outside of the human mind. I also don't see how this is dualistic.
I would say that the Orthodox are more monistic than dualistic because all is in the nous. And that there is somewhat of an embrace of ideaslitic epistemology. We more or less do not use our logical faculties the way the Roman Catholics do with Aristotlian metaphysics, rather we come to God's knowledge by theoria in theosis. I guess you could say I like St. Gregory Palamas' hesychasm approach.
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« Reply #76 on: September 14, 2012, 03:53:23 PM »

When I say 'grain', am I evoking some universal genus which is found in maize, wheat, oat, barley, rye, rice, and millet? But what about things which are also called grain in an equivocal sense? We have grains of sand, and the grain of a piece of wood. It would seem like grain, far from naming whatever universal might be find in millet, maize, wheat, etc., instead describes some quality which is shared by all things called 'grain', even of those which would traditionally be said to have the word predicated of them equivocally. If we admit then, that names don't truly correspond to universals but only what we observe of them, then that pushes universals into an awkward position of being spoken about but never spoken directly of, at which point, one has to wonder whether they are even necessary at all. I am by no means committed to nominalism, but I think that if we take an agnostic stance towards whether universals can be known, like some of the fathers did, then we should at least be open to the possibility that they don't exist at all.
Are you saying that names do not have a place in the real world but only exist in the mind? And that names themselves are not beings? It seemed to me that Orthodoxy rejects this sort of dualism.

I agree with Cavaradossi's reasoning. I don't see how a name can be considered to exist outside of the human mind. I also don't see how this is dualistic.
I would say that the Orthodox are more monistic than dualistic because all is in the nous. And that there is somewhat of an embrace of ideaslitic epistemology. We more or less do not use our logical faculties the way the Roman Catholics do with Aristotlian metaphysics, rather we come to God's knowledge by theoria in theosis. I guess you could say I like St. Gregory Palamas' hesychasm approach.

Well, I haven't read Palamas, so I'm afraid I can't give an educated response; but surely you've read St. Maximus, the Orthodox Prince of Aristotle?
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« Reply #77 on: September 14, 2012, 04:19:53 PM »

When I say 'grain', am I evoking some universal genus which is found in maize, wheat, oat, barley, rye, rice, and millet? But what about things which are also called grain in an equivocal sense? We have grains of sand, and the grain of a piece of wood. It would seem like grain, far from naming whatever universal might be find in millet, maize, wheat, etc., instead describes some quality which is shared by all things called 'grain', even of those which would traditionally be said to have the word predicated of them equivocally. If we admit then, that names don't truly correspond to universals but only what we observe of them, then that pushes universals into an awkward position of being spoken about but never spoken directly of, at which point, one has to wonder whether they are even necessary at all. I am by no means committed to nominalism, but I think that if we take an agnostic stance towards whether universals can be known, like some of the fathers did, then we should at least be open to the possibility that they don't exist at all.
Are you saying that names do not have a place in the real world but only exist in the mind? And that names themselves are not beings? It seemed to me that Orthodoxy rejects this sort of dualism.

I agree with Cavaradossi's reasoning. I don't see how a name can be considered to exist outside of the human mind. I also don't see how this is dualistic.
I would say that the Orthodox are more monistic than dualistic because all is in the nous. And that there is somewhat of an embrace of ideaslitic epistemology. We more or less do not use our logical faculties the way the Roman Catholics do with Aristotlian metaphysics, rather we come to God's knowledge by theoria in theosis. I guess you could say I like St. Gregory Palamas' hesychasm approach.

What do you mean by an idealistic epistemology? Also, in the philosophy of the Cappodocians, names and words are all epinoetic processes. They are related, but distanced from the way we encounter things as they exist. I never really got the impression that Orthodox theology was monistic in its epistemology.
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« Reply #78 on: September 14, 2012, 06:01:35 PM »

Well it's not entirely monistic because we still have a problem with neoplatonism. But I definitely see a rejection of dualism in Orthodoxy, because I ultimately do see a reconcilliation with both mind and matter, and a seperation of both seems to me at ends with Orthodox theology.

More later when I have the time from work and my hobbies.
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« Reply #79 on: September 14, 2012, 06:05:55 PM »

When I say 'grain', am I evoking some universal genus which is found in maize, wheat, oat, barley, rye, rice, and millet? But what about things which are also called grain in an equivocal sense? We have grains of sand, and the grain of a piece of wood. It would seem like grain, far from naming whatever universal might be find in millet, maize, wheat, etc., instead describes some quality which is shared by all things called 'grain', even of those which would traditionally be said to have the word predicated of them equivocally. If we admit then, that names don't truly correspond to universals but only what we observe of them, then that pushes universals into an awkward position of being spoken about but never spoken directly of, at which point, one has to wonder whether they are even necessary at all. I am by no means committed to nominalism, but I think that if we take an agnostic stance towards whether universals can be known, like some of the fathers did, then we should at least be open to the possibility that they don't exist at all.
Are you saying that names do not have a place in the real world but only exist in the mind? And that names themselves are not beings? It seemed to me that Orthodoxy rejects this sort of dualism.

I agree with Cavaradossi's reasoning. I don't see how a name can be considered to exist outside of the human mind. I also don't see how this is dualistic.
I would say that the Orthodox are more monistic than dualistic because all is in the nous. And that there is somewhat of an embrace of ideaslitic epistemology. We more or less do not use our logical faculties the way the Roman Catholics do with Aristotlian metaphysics, rather we come to God's knowledge by theoria in theosis. I guess you could say I like St. Gregory Palamas' hesychasm approach.

Well, I haven't read Palamas, so I'm afraid I can't give an educated response; but surely you've read St. Maximus, the Orthodox Prince of Aristotle?

Plz poste moar?
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« Reply #80 on: September 14, 2012, 08:00:53 PM »

I defiantly agree with the best way to refer to God would be "He that is".  So I this brings me to a question, I assume that "The Existing One" didn't get a choice about existing? And if your sole existence is to infinitly be I also would assume that He doesn't get a choice to at some point not be?
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« Reply #81 on: September 14, 2012, 08:08:07 PM »

Also, in the philosophy of the Cappodocians, names and words are all epinoetic processes.
BTW isn't that the problem the West has on the experience of God? Let alone pagan philosophy.
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« Reply #82 on: September 14, 2012, 08:57:27 PM »

Also, in the philosophy of the Cappodocians, names and words are all epinoetic processes.
BTW isn't that the problem the West has on the experience of God? Let alone pagan philosophy.

No, because we still encounter things noetically. It is our thoughts and words about them which are epinoetic. This is why the saints unanimously agree that the noetic vision of the Uncreated Light is beyond description.
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« Reply #83 on: September 14, 2012, 11:14:25 PM »

When I say 'grain', am I evoking some universal genus which is found in maize, wheat, oat, barley, rye, rice, and millet? But what about things which are also called grain in an equivocal sense? We have grains of sand, and the grain of a piece of wood. It would seem like grain, far from naming whatever universal might be find in millet, maize, wheat, etc., instead describes some quality which is shared by all things called 'grain', even of those which would traditionally be said to have the word predicated of them equivocally. If we admit then, that names don't truly correspond to universals but only what we observe of them, then that pushes universals into an awkward position of being spoken about but never spoken directly of, at which point, one has to wonder whether they are even necessary at all. I am by no means committed to nominalism, but I think that if we take an agnostic stance towards whether universals can be known, like some of the fathers did, then we should at least be open to the possibility that they don't exist at all.
Are you saying that names do not have a place in the real world but only exist in the mind? And that names themselves are not beings? It seemed to me that Orthodoxy rejects this sort of dualism.

I agree with Cavaradossi's reasoning. I don't see how a name can be considered to exist outside of the human mind. I also don't see how this is dualistic.
I would say that the Orthodox are more monistic than dualistic because all is in the nous. And that there is somewhat of an embrace of ideaslitic epistemology. We more or less do not use our logical faculties the way the Roman Catholics do with Aristotlian metaphysics, rather we come to God's knowledge by theoria in theosis. I guess you could say I like St. Gregory Palamas' hesychasm approach.

Well, I haven't read Palamas, so I'm afraid I can't give an educated response; but surely you've read St. Maximus, the Orthodox Prince of Aristotle?

Plz poste moar?

St. Maximus is Aristotelian in the sense that he reasons extensively from Aristotelian syllogisms and terminology. I know a priest who did his theological studies on St. Maximus, translating many of his works. According to the priest, large swaths of some of St. Maximus' writings are copied verbatim from Aristotle.

Interestingly, it is reported that his professors weren't too happy with that.
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« Reply #84 on: September 15, 2012, 06:52:27 PM »

Hey, Apotheoun, care to discuss?
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