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Author Topic: Who is Vladimir Moss?? is he an orthodox Christian??  (Read 7853 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: September 21, 2012, 05:19:41 PM »

Romanides was a canonical Orthodox Christian priest and full professor of theology, whose teachings are have a firm foundations in the Fathers.

Moss seems to be a schismatic, surely he cannot be considered on equal footing with Romanides. He also is the author of "Bolshevism and the Jews (Vladimir Moss)", a text which falls into the domain of obscure conspiracy theories.
When it comes to issues of Original Sin though, I honestly think he's spot on, an refutes a lot of the anti-Western extremism other theologians taught.  His work needs to be appreciated on that end.  As jckstraw alluded, there needs to be a balance.  Otherwise you will mislead people.
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« Reply #46 on: September 21, 2012, 06:59:50 PM »

i think his critique of Kalomiros' River of Fire is quite good: http://www.orthodoxchristianbooks.com/articles/207/%E2%80%9C-river-fire%E2%80%9D-revisited/
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« Reply #47 on: September 21, 2012, 08:45:31 PM »

Please point me to a pre-modern source defining religion (or comparable Latin/ Greek words) as "a neurobiological illness." The English word "religion" has Latin roots and has a very stable definition over time.
The word "religion" was already used by Cicero to decribe polytheist temple cult. Has any Father, even Latin Father, used the word "religion" to describe Holy Orthodoxy? I am seriously not aware of any such example. If you have one, please quote.

i think his critique of Kalomiros' River of Fire is quite good: http://www.orthodoxchristianbooks.com/articles/207/%E2%80%9C-river-fire%E2%80%9D-revisited/
It is not good. Once again, he makes an accusation of heresy
Quote
Like all heretics, Kalomiros mixes truth with falsehood.
(quote from your link)
I really find it hard to take Mr. Moss seriously, when he makes lots of accusations of heresy against famous Orthodox theologians and priests of our time. And Moss himself is a member of a non-canonical group.

Also, I do not think it is wrong to state that St. Paul's use of the term dikaiosyne is influenced by the Hebrew. You just need to see how the Church Fathers explained St. Paul, then compare it to Jewish as well as non-Christian Greek uses of the term. In fact, one of the most central parts of St. Paul's definition goes back to the OT (Abraham's faith was accounted to him as righteousness).
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« Reply #48 on: September 21, 2012, 08:55:23 PM »

Please point me to a pre-modern source defining religion (or comparable Latin/ Greek words) as "a neurobiological illness." The English word "religion" has Latin roots and has a very stable definition over time.
The word "religion" was already used by Cicero to decribe polytheist temple cult. Has any Father, even Latin Father, used the word "religion" to describe Holy Orthodoxy? I am seriously not aware of any such example. If you have one, please quote.

All the time. For example, Saint Augustine's work De Vera Religione. Actually, going further back, "religio" is the word used to translate St. James' "θρησκεια" into Latin.

But the Latin word is really beside the point. We're talking about Fr. John Romanides, who wrote originally in Greek. He is not talking about the English word "religion," but the Greek word θρησκεια, the same word Saint James uses to describe Christian religion in James 1:27. Like the Latin word, θρησκεια could have pagan connotations too, but that did not preclude its use as a description of Christian piety.
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« Reply #49 on: September 21, 2012, 09:09:52 PM »


He's some kind of minor clergy, but would probably get a good laugh to find out people were referring to him with some kind of liturgical title.

I don't think the cassock, huge beard, and the presentation in front of the iconostasis dissuades people from thinking that.
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« Reply #50 on: September 21, 2012, 09:18:18 PM »

... i think there is a move to downplay or completely do away with the concept of God's justice and judgment --- its all just His love and light! i think Vladimir Moss is at least correctly motivated in calling attention to teachings on God's justice and judgment.

I'm inclined to agree, although I've not read Moss' work.

I've noticed this view, which seems to neglect or deemphasize judgment, quite a lot.  Yet I don't seem to come across it much in scripture or many works of the Fathers, monastics, etc.  I've even seen people on here and in person claim God's inability to judge, be wrathful because of being love, to be an Orthodox position.
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« Reply #51 on: September 21, 2012, 09:57:33 PM »

All the time. For example, Saint Augustine's work De Vera Religione.
Bl. Augustine, whether one considers him personally holy or not, is outside the patristic consent. And I am fed up with attempts to replace the theology of the Cappadocian fathers by Western Augustinianism.

Actually, going further back, "religio" is the word used to translate St. James' "θρησκεια" into Latin.
Now that is something to consider more seriously, even though St. Jerome's Latin translation is not without flaws either.

But let's have a look at James 1:26-27
"26 If anyone thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. 27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world"
This is not explicitly referring to Christianity as "religion" or "θρησκεια". All we see see from this text is that St. James admits the possibility of this word to be used in a positive sense. But this positive sense contains works of love, not what we nowadays commonly define as religion. And notice that the negative sense comes first.


But the Latin word is really beside the point. We're talking about Fr. John Romanides, who wrote originally in Greek.
He has lived in the United States and some of his works were originally written in English.

He is not talking about the English word "religion," but the Greek word θρησκεια
Whatever word was used first (btw, you are right, θρησκεια is used in the Greeks version of the text), I guess it all comes down to the definition. But even if we use the definition of St. James, Orthodoxy is not a religion. Orthodoxy is not "to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world". No, Orthodoxy is the way to Theosis. The things St. James mentions are just by-products. Because if we have true Christian love, we will visit the suffering. And if we are truly filled by divine grace, we will not be spotted by the world.
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« Reply #52 on: September 21, 2012, 10:11:33 PM »

All the time. For example, Saint Augustine's work De Vera Religione.
Bl. Augustine, whether one considers him personally holy or not, is outside the patristic consent.

The Church has declared otherwise. "We further declare that we hold fast to the decrees of the four Councils, and in every way follow the holy Fathers, Athanasius, Hilary, Basil, Gregory the Theologian, Gregory of Nyssa, Ambrose, Theophilus, John (Chrysostom) of Constantinople, Cyril, Augustine, Proclus, Leo and their writings on the true faith." - 5th Ecumenical Council

Quote
And I am fed up with attempts to replace the theology of the Cappadocian fathers by Western Augustinianism.

I'm fed up with gimmicky, simplistic West/ East dichotomies which are thoroughly un-Patristic, unhelpful, and un-Catholic.

Quote
Whatever word was used first (btw, you are right, θρησκεια is used in the Greeks version of the text), I guess it all comes down to the definition. But even if we use the definition of St. James, Orthodoxy is not a religion. Orthodoxy is not "to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world".

You are reading Saint James very literally and reductively. Obviously Saint James gave these as examples to make a wider point.

Do you think visiting orphans and widows, and keeping oneself unspotted from the world, constitute a "neurobiological illness"?

Yes, Orthodox Christianity is a religion. If someone wants to say it's more than a religion too, that's fine. But contrasting Orthodoxy vs. religion as Romanides does, and then completely redefining the term "religion" to suit his argument, is not to be taken seriously.

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« Reply #53 on: September 21, 2012, 10:20:42 PM »

The Church has declared otherwise. "We further declare that we hold fast to the decrees of the four Councils, and in every way follow the holy Fathers, Athanasius, Hilary, Basil, Gregory the Theologian, Gregory of Nyssa, Ambrose, Theophilus, John (Chrysostom) of Constantinople, Cyril, Augustine, Proclus, Leo and their writings on the true faith." - 5th Ecumenical Council
They included Bl. Augustine out of respect for the Latins, not because they had actually read him.

I'm fed up with gimmicky, simplistic West/ East dichotomies which are thoroughly un-Patristic, unhelpful, and un-Catholic.
And I am fed up with Western heresies, even if the man who caused them had personal holiness. Btw, wasnt Bl.A. un-catholic by not having read most theological writings, instead inventing his own theological solutions?

You are reading Saint James very literally and reductively. Obviously Saint James gave these as examples to make a wider point.
No, that's NOT obvious. I would argue he understood "religion" in a similar way as Cicero, in the sense of necessary rites to pay respect to a deity. And his point is that such rites, for the true God consist not of some elaborate sacrifice, but precisely of visiting widows etc.
And this has nothing to do, neither with the most current contemporary definition of religion, nor with the definition of Fr. John Romanides.


But contrasting Orthodoxy vs. religion as Romanides does, and then completely redefining the term "religion" to suit his argument, is not to be taken seriously.
Now what exactly is so evil about defining "religion" in such a way as Fr. John did?
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« Reply #54 on: September 21, 2012, 10:35:16 PM »

The Church has declared otherwise. "We further declare that we hold fast to the decrees of the four Councils, and in every way follow the holy Fathers, Athanasius, Hilary, Basil, Gregory the Theologian, Gregory of Nyssa, Ambrose, Theophilus, John (Chrysostom) of Constantinople, Cyril, Augustine, Proclus, Leo and their writings on the true faith." - 5th Ecumenical Council
They included Bl. Augustine out of respect for the Latins, not because they had actually read him.

So an Ecumenical Council was wrong?

Respect for Latins. Never in 21st century Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #55 on: September 21, 2012, 10:36:16 PM »

Leave no nit unpicked.
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« Reply #56 on: September 21, 2012, 10:36:53 PM »

The Church has declared otherwise. "We further declare that we hold fast to the decrees of the four Councils, and in every way follow the holy Fathers, Athanasius, Hilary, Basil, Gregory the Theologian, Gregory of Nyssa, Ambrose, Theophilus, John (Chrysostom) of Constantinople, Cyril, Augustine, Proclus, Leo and their writings on the true faith." - 5th Ecumenical Council
They included Bl. Augustine out of respect for the Latins, not because they had actually read him.

So an Ecumenical Council was wrong?

No, no. It just wasn't right in the way people thought.
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« Reply #57 on: September 21, 2012, 10:37:54 PM »

Leave no nit unpicked.

Thanks. I've never had a specific motto but this sounds rather nice. I think I steal that.

The Church has declared otherwise. "We further declare that we hold fast to the decrees of the four Councils, and in every way follow the holy Fathers, Athanasius, Hilary, Basil, Gregory the Theologian, Gregory of Nyssa, Ambrose, Theophilus, John (Chrysostom) of Constantinople, Cyril, Augustine, Proclus, Leo and their writings on the true faith." - 5th Ecumenical Council
They included Bl. Augustine out of respect for the Latins, not because they had actually read him.

So an Ecumenical Council was wrong?

No, no. It just wasn't right in the way people thought.

Right. So when it said that Augustine is a Holy Father that should be followed it didn't mean that Augustine is a Holy Father that should be followed. Makes sense.
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« Reply #58 on: September 21, 2012, 10:46:13 PM »

All the time. For example, Saint Augustine's work De Vera Religione.
Bl. Augustine, whether one considers him personally holy or not, is outside the patristic consent. And I am fed up with attempts to replace the theology of the Cappadocian fathers by Western Augustinianism.

Actually, going further back, "religio" is the word used to translate St. James' "θρησκεια" into Latin.
Now that is something to consider more seriously, even though St. Jerome's Latin translation is not without flaws either.

But let's have a look at James 1:26-27
"26 If anyone thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. 27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world"
This is not explicitly referring to Christianity as "religion" or "θρησκεια". All we see see from this text is that St. James admits the possibility of this word to be used in a positive sense. But this positive sense contains works of love, not what we nowadays commonly define as religion. And notice that the negative sense comes first.


But the Latin word is really beside the point. We're talking about Fr. John Romanides, who wrote originally in Greek.
He has lived in the United States and some of his works were originally written in English.

He is not talking about the English word "religion," but the Greek word θρησκεια
Whatever word was used first (btw, you are right, θρησκεια is used in the Greeks version of the text), I guess it all comes down to the definition. But even if we use the definition of St. James, Orthodoxy is not a religion. Orthodoxy is not "to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world". No, Orthodoxy is the way to Theosis. The things St. James mentions are just by-products. Because if we have true Christian love, we will visit the suffering. And if we are truly filled by divine grace, we will not be spotted by the world.

Excellent response, Gorazd.
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« Reply #59 on: September 21, 2012, 10:53:34 PM »

i agree with Iconodule. are there any examples of any Fathers speaking of religion as a neurobiological sickness? Fr. John asserts that the Ecumenical Councils operated under this understanding -- where does he get this from?!
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« Reply #60 on: September 21, 2012, 10:58:47 PM »

i agree with Iconodule. are there any examples of any Fathers speaking of religion as a neurobiological sickness? Fr. John asserts that the Ecumenical Councils operated under this understanding -- where does he get this from?!

Fr. Alexander Schmemmann, IIRC, also follows the religion vs. Christianity argument, predating Fr. John Romanides.
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« Reply #61 on: September 21, 2012, 11:00:43 PM »

i dont recall anything about religion being a neurobiological sickness from him though. as far as i can tell he pulled it out of nowhere
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« Reply #62 on: September 21, 2012, 11:01:59 PM »

i dont recall anything about religion being a neurobiological sickness from him though. as far as i can tell he pulled it out of nowhere

Perhaps it is a theme of Greek theological scholarship and hasn't been translated into English in any other source.

Even many patristic texts are not yet translated into English.
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« Reply #63 on: September 21, 2012, 11:12:01 PM »

Fr. John pushes this theme as the key to Orthodox spirituality. If that were the case, such a concept should be readily available and easy to locate in the fathers.
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« Reply #64 on: September 21, 2012, 11:19:33 PM »

Fr. John pushes this theme as the key to Orthodox spirituality. If that were the case, such a concept should be readily available and easy to locate in the fathers.

Not necessarily. He could be offering a grand synthesis.

What, according to the patristic consensus, is the key to Orthodox spirituality, in your understanding?
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« Reply #65 on: September 21, 2012, 11:35:00 PM »

Fr. John pushes this theme as the key to Orthodox spirituality. If that were the case, such a concept should be readily available and easy to locate in the fathers.

Not necessarily. He could be offering a grand synthesis.

Correcting the flow of blood and spinal fluid is a grand synthesis of Orthodox spirituality?  Huh
A synthesis should be made up of already familiar elements.

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What, according to the patristic consensus, is the key to Orthodox spirituality, in your understanding?

Illumination of the intellect, acquisition of the Holy Spirit, union with God.
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« Reply #66 on: September 21, 2012, 11:39:59 PM »

So an Ecumenical Council was wrong?
If you say "The Ecumenical Councils are infallible", that's westernised theology. It's basically just replacing the word "Pope" with something else in the sentence "The Pope is infallible".

The Ecumenical Council are central to Orthodoxy, of course. But still there are some points that still require discussion. Let's say you follow St. Gregory of Nyssa in every possible way, does that mean his version of apokatastasis is dogma? Of course not, it was clearly rejected by great saints such as St. Photius the Great and St. Mark of Ephesus. At best, the position of St. Gregory is a minority theologoumenon.

Similar examples could be made for others mentioned in that sentence of the 5th Ecumenical Council.
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« Reply #67 on: September 21, 2012, 11:42:14 PM »

Fr. John pushes this theme as the key to Orthodox spirituality. If that were the case, such a concept should be readily available and easy to locate in the fathers.

Not necessarily. He could be offering a grand synthesis.

Correcting the flow of blood and spinal fluid is a grand synthesis of Orthodox spirituality?  Huh
A synthesis should be made up of already familiar elements.

Quote
What, according to the patristic consensus, is the key to Orthodox spirituality, in your understanding?

Illumination of the intellect, acquisition of the Holy Spirit, union with God.

Maybe not synthesis. Wild reductionism? Bizarre sloganeering? Bumperstickering? I think "Religion is a neurobiological sickness" would make an awesome bumpersticker, but it's likely to get honks from atheists and weird looks from Orthodox unless they're among the few who have actually read and agreed with Fr. Romanides, which narrows the field down to mainly just Greeks and those who wish they were Greek.
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« Reply #68 on: September 21, 2012, 11:54:00 PM »

As far as Fr. John Romanides, I have read some articles translated in Romanian and I believe they were some of the best modern theology I've ever heard. I've seen him criticized by old calendarists (not Vladimir Moss particularly). They seem to think that he is too modern, too lax, but it's really their eyes that are sick and project that reality upon Father John. And, being modern is known to scare old calendarists to an extreme.

As far as "Orthodoxy not being a religion" theme in Fr. John's work, we really need to look at it for what it is. I don't think Fr. John was trying to fool people by switching definitions around. You can look at it as a literary method. The message is very powerful and refreshing.
We really need to try to see the good in things, or else we will never be satisfied or agree to anything.
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« Reply #69 on: September 21, 2012, 11:54:10 PM »

So an Ecumenical Council was wrong?
If you say "The Ecumenical Councils are infallible", that's westernised theology. It's basically just replacing the word "Pope" with something else in the sentence "The Pope is infallible".

I wouldn't say the Councils are infallible, but they certainly carry a fair amount of weight against, say, the odd internet theologian.

Who are you again?

Oh right, you're the guy who tried to argue that Saint Nikodemus of the Holy Mountain is a Westernizer.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #70 on: September 21, 2012, 11:55:57 PM »

i would definitely say the Ecumenical Councils are infallible -- jus' sayin'
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« Reply #71 on: September 22, 2012, 12:01:40 AM »

I would say that their teachings are true and Orthodox. I'm not sure what it means to say that they're "infallible."
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« Reply #72 on: September 22, 2012, 12:12:37 AM »

as far as im concerned "true and Orthodox" is synonymous with "infallible." the truth does not contain fallacy - its infallible (otherwise it wouldn't be the truth!)
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« Reply #73 on: September 22, 2012, 12:14:36 AM »

Well, I think some things happened at the Councils occasionally which were problematic. For example, some of the bishops at Chalcedon read the letter of Ibas and said it was orthodox.

However, this does not impinge on the truth of the Council's definition or the binding nature of its canons.
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« Reply #74 on: September 22, 2012, 12:37:32 AM »

I wouldn't say the Councils are infallible, but they certainly carry a fair amount of weight against, say, the odd internet theologian.
Do you even read exactly what I write? I was not arguing against the council, but against understanding the council as a pope. And by giving the example of St. Gregory, who is mentioned in the same sentence, and giving two examples of his reception in the Church, I made it clear that we cannot legitimately derive from the sentence you quoted, that St. Gregory, Bl. Augustine or any of the names mentioned, produced theological writings without error.

Don't read the Council as Pastor Rick Warren reads the Bible, please.


Who are you again?

Oh right, you're the guy who tried to argue that Saint Nikodemus of the Holy Mountain is a Westernizer.  Roll Eyes
Are you denying that "Unseen Warfare" originally is a Roman Catholic work? I pointed out, while not denying the person holiness of Saint Nikodemos, that such an approach is highly problematic and I still feel uncomfortable with that work.

Btw, why doesnt whoever likes Bl. Augustine and Fr. Lorenzo Scupoli just join the Roman Catholic Church? But let Orthodoxy be Orthodox please, instead of brining in other theology.
In this discussion, I also see that several persons here do call the councils "infallible", just as they called the Pope or the Biblical text infallible before becoming Orthodox. We must really be careful that the influx of Western converts does not lead to an influx of Western theology and mentality also. We already had a Western captivity and I thought we were over that.
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« Reply #75 on: September 22, 2012, 07:39:15 AM »

the Church is the Body of Christ with Christ as its head -- of course the Church is infallible. The Body of Christ preaches/teaches no error. Its not Catholic or Protestant to believe in unwavering truth -- the question is simply where you locate the authority.
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« Reply #76 on: September 22, 2012, 08:17:42 AM »

as far as im concerned "true and Orthodox" is synonymous with "infallible." the truth does not contain fallacy - its infallible (otherwise it wouldn't be the truth!)

On a similar note, old calendarists who call themselves "true orthodox" are doing something very silly. It's like saying in court that everybody must believe you because you are an honest person. Smiley  Being as over-zealous as they are, still they don't realize that you simply don't add words to the title of the Orthodox Church. Wouldn't that be heresy? Changing an iota? Other than mentioning the location of the church together with the title "Orthodox Christian Church of...", wouldn't it be wrong to add or change words?
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« Reply #77 on: September 22, 2012, 08:20:02 AM »

as far as im concerned "true and Orthodox" is synonymous with "infallible." the truth does not contain fallacy - its infallible (otherwise it wouldn't be the truth!)

On a similar note, old calendarists who call themselves "true orthodox" are doing something very silly. It's like saying in court that everybody must believe you because you are an honest person. Smiley  Being as over-zealous as they are, still they don't realize that you simply don't add words to the title of the Orthodox Church. Wouldn't that be heresy? Changing an iota? Other than mentioning the location of the church together with the title "Orthodox Christian Church of...", wouldn't it be wrong to add or change words?

No.
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« Reply #78 on: September 22, 2012, 08:44:05 AM »

as far as im concerned "true and Orthodox" is synonymous with "infallible." the truth does not contain fallacy - its infallible (otherwise it wouldn't be the truth!)

On a similar note, old calendarists who call themselves "true orthodox" are doing something very silly. It's like saying in court that everybody must believe you because you are an honest person. Smiley  Being as over-zealous as they are, still they don't realize that you simply don't add words to the title of the Orthodox Church. Wouldn't that be heresy? Changing an iota? Other than mentioning the location of the church together with the title "Orthodox Christian Church of...", wouldn't it be wrong to add or change words?

No.

You do realize that's not actually an answer...   Smiley
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« Reply #79 on: September 22, 2012, 09:18:29 AM »

the Church is the Body of Christ with Christ as its head -- of course the Church is infallible. The Body of Christ preaches/teaches no error. Its not Catholic or Protestant to believe in unwavering truth -- the question is simply where you locate the authority.

The word "authority" is already Latin. The Greek exousia has different connotations, maybe best translated as "power".

And in fact, in the Orthodox Church, everything happens through the Holy Spirit and the divine, uncreated Grace. That's where it is, not in the letters of some text. Even though the councils are extremely important, they do not stand alone, but through their reception in the Church. Some have been completely rejected (robber councils), others have been received, but there are still nuances. As I said, not everything these saints listed have said, is the belief of the Church. St. Gregory's apokatastasis is not, and Bl. Augustine's original sin is not either.

In fact, as I want to point out again, Bl. Augustine was included in the list to please the Latins, as his works simply weren't available in Greek. That's just how it was, there is no point is saying "It's not like that because it cannot have been like that." It was. Insofar, St. Gregory was included, although the fathers of Council knew about his theology. Bl. Augustine was included, but only the minority of wetern delegates knew what he actually taught.
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« Reply #80 on: September 22, 2012, 11:04:33 AM »

I don't think there's much wrong woth Augustinianism.  It's how Protestants interpret St. Augustine that's the problem.  I think St. Augustine in his cultural context is highly misunderstood.  If we can have a separate discussion about St. Augustine and where people make comments against his doctrine of Original Sin, I can show an alternate interpretation based on St. Augustine himself.

I would think "Western Captivity" would be a lack of a tradition of theosis or even anti-theosis, or the use of juridical language to such an extreme in exclusion of other more ontological understandings of salvation.  But in combatting Western Captivity, I wouldn't exclude Western or Latin tradition of soteriology, as I believe it is complimentary to the East.  In fact, in my opinion, a lot of Western juridical terminology might even be Alexandrian in origin to begin with, i.e. "Eastern".
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« Reply #81 on: September 22, 2012, 11:11:12 AM »

I wouldn't say the Councils are infallible, but they certainly carry a fair amount of weight against, say, the odd internet theologian.
Do you even read exactly what I write? I was not arguing against the council, but against understanding the council as a pope. And by giving the example of St. Gregory, who is mentioned in the same sentence, and giving two examples of his reception in the Church, I made it clear that we cannot legitimately derive from the sentence you quoted, that St. Gregory, Bl. Augustine or any of the names mentioned, produced theological writings without error.

Your silly assertion was that Saint Augustine is not part of the patristic consensus, not merely that he made some mistakes. The Council simply disproves that and you are dodging that fact.

Also, why do you persist in the Roman Catholic practice of referring to someone as "blessed" as if that's "less than a saint"? Get thee hence, reprobate Westernizer!

Quote
Are you denying that "Unseen Warfare" originally is a Roman Catholic work?

No, I'm simply asserting that "Unseen Warfare", as published by Sts. Nicodemus and Theophan, is a legitimate Orthodox work.

Quote
I pointed out, while not denying the person holiness of Saint Nikodemos, that such an approach is highly problematic and I still feel uncomfortable with that work.

Saint Basil and other fathers believed we could benefit from pagan writings. Your antipathy toward "the West" is rooted in a modern East/West dichotomy which has nothing to do with traditional Orthodoxy or the fathers.

I also remember you standing in judgment of St. Nikodemos for including the writings of Evagrius in the Philokalia. Obviously you do believe in an infallible authority- but it's not councils, not the fathers, but yourself.

Quote
Btw, why doesnt whoever likes Bl. Augustine and Fr. Lorenzo Scupoli just join the Roman Catholic Church? But let Orthodoxy be Orthodox please, instead of brining in other theology.

So you think Saints Nikodemos and Theophan should have really just joined the Roman Catholics. And I guess Saint Basil should have become a pagan, since he liked pagan literature.

Quote
In this discussion, I also see that several persons here do call the councils "infallible", just as they called the Pope or the Biblical text infallible before becoming Orthodox. We must really be careful that the influx of Western converts does not lead to an influx of Western theology and mentality also. We already had a Western captivity and I thought we were over that.

What we need to really be careful of is of self-appointed theologians reading about a simplistic east/west dichotomy in modern Orthodox literature and twisting Church teaching and history to suit this model.
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« Reply #82 on: September 22, 2012, 11:37:16 AM »

Your silly assertion was that Saint Augustine is not part of the patristic consensus, not merely that he made some mistakes. The Council simply disproves that and you are dodging that fact.
It is not silly, and the council does not disprove what I said. I am really having the impression that you do not understand my words. To be outside the patristic consensus means to hold theological opinions that are different from what the immense majority of the Fathers agreed on. For example on Original Sin. Or do you seriously claim that most Fathers held the Augustinian view?


Also, why do you persist in the Roman Catholic practice of referring to someone as "blessed" as if that's "less than a saint"? Get thee hence, reprobate Westernizer!
Whether he is a saint (in the sense of a model of the faithful and suitable intercessor) is under discussion. I am using the title the Council (don't you like councils?) used in order to refer to him.

No, I'm simply asserting that "Unseen Warfare", as published by Sts. Nicodemus and Theophan, is a legitimate Orthodox work.
Imagine your parish bought a Western church building and redecorated it Orthodox. It's an Orthodox church then, but it's still not the same as one built Orthodox to begin with, and it still does have some heterodox feel there. That's what I said about the book. And precisely in such spiritual matters, I do not feel comfortable with that.

Saint Basil and other fathers believed we could benefit from pagan writings. Your antipathy toward "the West" is rooted in a modern East/West dichotomy which has nothing to do with traditional Orthodoxy or the fathers.
I do not hate the West (actually, I live in the West, where part of my family came as refugees). I just do not think we should use wrong theology in the Orthodox Church.

Just as St. Basil could profit from Pagan science or philosophy, we can profit nowadays from scientific research done by non-Orthodox scientists. But in spiritual matters, we have to be careful.

I also remember you standing in judgment of St. Nikodemos for including the writings of Evagrius in the Philokalia. Obviously you do believe in an infallible authority- but it's not councils, not the fathers, but yourself.
I just said that Evagrios was condemned by the Church (not by myself), so it is problematic to present his writings as a model for the faithful. Do you think saints such as St. Nikodemos never did anything controversial or worthy of further discussion?

What we need to really be careful of is of self-appointed theologians reading about a simplistic east/west dichotomy in modern Orthodox literature and twisting Church teaching and history to suit this model.
What do you know about me, to call me self-appointed?
Anyway, I just want the Orthodox faith to be pure. I love the Greek Fathers, and the Desert Fathers of Egypt. That is Orthodoxy. Are they not good enough for you?

Why do you want to bring in Bl. Augustine or whatever? Do you know that the church in his homeland, present-day Algeria, became extinct under Islam? Is that the Church, against Hades would not prevail?
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« Reply #83 on: September 22, 2012, 08:37:21 PM »

Your silly assertion was that Saint Augustine is not part of the patristic consensus, not merely that he made some mistakes. The Council simply disproves that and you are dodging that fact.
It is not silly, and the council does not disprove what I said. I am really having the impression that you do not understand my words. To be outside the patristic consensus means to hold theological opinions that are different from what the immense majority of the Fathers agreed on. For example on Original Sin. Or do you seriously claim that most Fathers held the Augustinian view?

You asked if any Latin Fathers used "religion" to describe the Christian faith, and I pointed to Saint Augustine's De Vera Religione. Your response: Augustine is outside the patristic consensus, implying that therefore he doesn't count as a Latin Father and his example is invalid.

But if you can admit that Saint Augustine is a Father of the church we can move on.

Quote
Also, why do you persist in the Roman Catholic practice of referring to someone as "blessed" as if that's "less than a saint"? Get thee hence, reprobate Westernizer!
Whether he is a saint (in the sense of a model of the faithful and suitable intercessor) is under discussion. I am using the title the Council (don't you like councils?) used in order to refer to him.

So you agree that he is a saint, since "blessed" and "saint" are synonymous in the Orthodox Church. Glad we could clear that up.  

Quote
No, I'm simply asserting that "Unseen Warfare", as published by Sts. Nicodemus and Theophan, is a legitimate Orthodox work.
Imagine your parish bought a Western church building and redecorated it Orthodox. It's an Orthodox church then, but it's still not the same as one built Orthodox to begin with, and it still does have some heterodox feel there. That's what I said about the book. And precisely in such spiritual matters, I do not feel comfortable with that.

My parish church building used to belong to a baptist church. There is no heterodox feel there. Our church is 100% Orthodox and there is no need to demolish the building and put a new building up. What you feel "comfortable" with has nothing to do with what is right.
[quote[
Saint Basil and other fathers believed we could benefit from pagan writings. Your antipathy toward "the West" is rooted in a modern East/West dichotomy which has nothing to do with traditional Orthodoxy or the fathers.
I do not hate the West (actually, I live in the West, where part of my family came as refugees). I just do not think we should use wrong theology in the Orthodox Church.[/quote]

And you have yet to identify a single element of "wrong theology" in the Orthodox editions of Unseen Warfare.

Quote
Just as St. Basil could profit from Pagan science or philosophy, we can profit nowadays from scientific research done by non-Orthodox scientists. But in spiritual matters, we have to be careful.

Philosophy is also spiritual. Orthodox spirituality is replete with terminology and concepts borrowed from pagan philosophers, albeit endued with a new meaning. I have no problem with that. I don't feel that Saint Athanasius' On the Incarnation has a "pagan feel" because it borrows some concepts from Plato.

Quote
I just said that Evagrios was condemned by the Church (not by myself), so it is problematic to present his writings as a model for the faithful.
Do you think saints such as St. Nikodemos never did anything controversial or worthy of further discussion?

In collecting some of Evagrios' spiritual texts, Saint Nikodemos was doing nothing which had not already been done by the Desert Fathers you claim to admire, who were deeply influenced by Evagrios (and Origen). So if you have a problem with the inclusion of Evagrios in the Philokalia, take it up with the Desert Fathers, not St. Nikodemos.

Quote
Anyway, I just want the Orthodox faith to be pure.

Then stop polluting it with cartoonish east-west dichotomies which come not from the Greek Fathers but from modern pop-theologians who want Orthodoxy to be something exotic or "ontologically" different from the West.

What you are pushing is a bizarre variant of Orientalism.

Quote
I love the Greek Fathers, and the Desert Fathers of Egypt. That is Orthodoxy.

That is not all of Orthodoxy. The Latin Fathers are also Orthodox. Your vision of the Church is contrary to its Catholic character.

Quote
Why do you want to bring in Bl. Augustine or whatever?

I'm not bringing anything in. Saint Augustine was recognized as a great Father of the Church long before I was born. Saint Augustine is "in", whether you are comfortable with that or not.

Quote
Do you know that the church in his homeland, present-day Algeria, became extinct under Islam? Is that the Church, against Hades would not prevail?

You are implying that Saint Augustine was therefore not part of the real Church. I guess the real Church only existed in the East for you, even when it was in full communion with the West. You are piling innovation upon innovation, in the name of sham "purity".

The Eastern Church has also lost quite a bit of territory to Islam, in case you didn't notice.
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« Reply #84 on: September 22, 2012, 09:05:58 PM »

Iconodule,

Even when "the West" was in full communion with the Church, problematic developments began. Christ said, the branches that do not bring fruit will be cut off and burnt. That is what happened with North Africa, which brought us the poisoned fruit of "original sin" and a beginning of the legalistic view of salvation. This is what happened with the Church of Rome. They are cut off from the Tree of Life. Why do you hang on to their theology, when we know already where it lead?

Orthodoxy in the West is not Augustinianism or legalism, it is people like Archimandrite Sophrony, Fr. Vladimir Lossky, Fr. Alexander Schmemann, Léonid Ouspensky, and yes, Fr. John Romanides, who lived part of his life in the US. They all lived in the West and maintained a Patristic view of Orthodoxy. They let the pure light shine, while the East was sanctified by the blood of the new martyrs of the Bolshevik yoke (in case you aren't aware, Marxism is Protestantism minus God) and the church of Rome destroyed its altars after Vatican II.
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« Reply #85 on: September 22, 2012, 10:39:44 PM »

Quote
Marxism is Protestantism minus God
What does that even mean? Roll Eyes
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« Reply #86 on: September 22, 2012, 11:13:25 PM »

I've read just about nothing from Fr. John himself but considering what he seemed to think about St. Augustine I wouldn't say he had firm foundations in the Fathers.
First of all, we usually say "Blessed Augustine" in the Orthodox Church. Secondly, even the greatest supporters of Bl. Augustine in the Orthodox Church, such as Fr. Seraphim Rose, do not endorse him because of his theology, but because of his holy life.

I think it is pretty much consent in the Church that Bl. Augustine's theology contains flaws and it is not exactly a model for imitation, especially not if isolated from the Greek Fathers.

His "religion is a neurobiological illness" schtick is very shaky to say the least
The whole quote is "Religion is a neurobiological illness and Orthodoxy is its cure." So, by saying that, Fr. John Romanides made it quite clear that he did not call Orthodoxy "a neurobiological illness", on the contrary.

Oh please, not this again.  St. Augustine the Blessed.
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« Reply #87 on: September 22, 2012, 11:43:07 PM »


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WosgwLekgn8


This is heretical teaching, a denial of the doctrine of Christ's Sacrifice for sin on the Cross, which is ORTHODOX teaching. It comes from the heretical teacher Fr. John Romanides, an ecumenist and newcalendarist.

Vladimir Moss   One week before



Is this true??

It is true that you should not take Mr. Moss's claim of heresy at face value. If he claims that Mr. Robinson's teaching is heretical, he should at least give a thorough explanation why. Unfortunately, Mr. Moss throws claims of heresy around like it is a hobby, but has he provided a more thorough explanation for his views anywhere?


He has written a book called "The New Soteriology" which you can consult if you're interested. It's available for free from his website.
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« Reply #88 on: September 22, 2012, 11:44:43 PM »

I'm pretty sure he's a member of HOTCA which is an Old Calendarist synod. While I have enjoyed reading some of his writings on church history I don't like most everything I've read of his theological works.

He's with the Russian True Orthodox Church now.
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« Reply #89 on: September 22, 2012, 11:46:37 PM »

And just to be clear, Dr Moss's writings are not necessarily representative of True Orthodoxy.
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