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Author Topic: "Recovering Calvinist"  (Read 3671 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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