Author Topic: "What was the intention of Christ, John v., in teaching the Jews to 'search the scriptures' as test  (Read 1474 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Happy Lutheran

  • Servant of Christ
  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 308
Ah, but what Christ?

This one:

Acts 17:30-31 - The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

We know historically from Christian and non Christian sources Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, he died by crucifixion, his followers preached that they witnessed the resurrection till their bloody deaths and logic dictates no one does that unless it's true. It's God raising Christ from the dead that gives us assurance. He commands we believe it and repent. The Gospel is a verifiable truth claim and those who reject the truth do not benefit from the good news.

Quote
And despite Trisagion's excellent post, you still misunderstand/mischaracterize Holy Tradition. What can we do to explain it to you so that you can understand?

Respectful dialogue like we've had in this thread and most others I've been involved in here. I'm not here to spam the board or convert anyone and I'm also not planning on leaving the site. I'll be around here and there and enjoy the conversations when they're civil. I think I understand the assertion Orthodoxy makes, what I haven't come to yet is making sense of it based on the evidence which is the types of things we are discussing on this thread. 
1 Corinthians 1:27 - But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong

Offline katherineofdixie

  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 3,717
Ah, but what Christ?

This one:

Acts 17:30-31 - The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

We know historically from Christian and non Christian sources Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, he died by crucifixion, his followers preached that they witnessed the resurrection till their bloody deaths and logic dictates no one does that unless it's true. It's God raising Christ from the dead that gives us assurance. He commands we believe it and repent. The Gospel is a verifiable truth claim and those who reject the truth do not benefit from the good news.

But that's your own personal interpretation/understanding and truth claim. (Not saying it's wrong) It may not be, and indeed often seems not to be, the same Christ for everyone. IIRC, an Episcopal bishop or two have denied the Resurrection. That's why I said, "what Christ?" since Christians today seem to be saying all sorts of odd (and IMHO wrong) things about Him - which are their own personal interpretations/understandings. And which they would probably argue are just as valid as yours.
So how do we know who's preaching the true Christ and who's preaching the Christ they made in their own image?
"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom

Offline Happy Lutheran

  • Servant of Christ
  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 308

But that's your own personal interpretation/understanding and truth claim. (Not saying it's wrong) It may not be, and indeed often seems not to be, the same Christ for everyone. IIRC, an Episcopal bishop or two have denied the Resurrection. That's why I said, "what Christ?" since Christians today seem to be saying all sorts of odd (and IMHO wrong) things about Him - which are their own personal interpretations/understandings. And which they would probably argue are just as valid as yours.
So how do we know who's preaching the true Christ and who's preaching the Christ they made in their own image?

I'm aware of Bishop Spong who also says Paul was a closet homosexual and denies the Scriptures to be inspired. God gave Bishop Spong and everyone that denies the resurrection sufficient proof and they'll be judged for rejecting it.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2015, 11:43:30 AM by Happy Lutheran »
1 Corinthians 1:27 - But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong

Offline katherineofdixie

  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 3,717
This is the one I was thinking of: (italics mine, btw)
"Bishop Marianne Budde, Episcopal Bishop of Washington, “Someone once asked me if I thought the resurrection was necessary. He meant it in the most sincere way, as a person of both faith and doubt who wondered if we needed to be bound by so unreasonable a proposition that Jesus' tomb was, in fact, empty on that first Easter morning. I hesitated in answering because there seemed to be layers of argument behind the question. My answer was yes, resurrection is the foundation of Christian faith, but probably not in the way he meant it.
…To say that resurrection is essential doesn't mean that if someone were to discover a tomb with Jesus' remains in it that the entire enterprise would come crashing down. The truth is that we don't know what happened to Jesus after his death, anymore than we can know what will happen to us. What we do know from the stories handed down is how Jesus' followers experienced his resurrection. What we know is how we experience resurrection ourselves.”
http://www.virtueonline.org/washington-episcopal-bishop-denies-bodily-resurrection-jesus

So again I wonder how you tell the people who are preaching the real Christ, the true Christ, from the people who are preaching the Christ that they made up themselves?
"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom

Offline TheTrisagion

  • The cat is back and its better than ever!
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 12,674
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Primacy and authority are two completely separate things. They have nothing to do with one another.

Maybe you can expand a little to show me what you mean? I would think the primacy would be the final authority not sure how you separate them?
A bishop has no authority to add to or subtract from Tradition. He is bound to uphold Tradition. His job is to shepherd the Church, but he can be every bit as wrong as anyone else can when it comes to the interpretation of Scripture. There have been a number of Patriarchs that have been heretics. Usually, they end up getting deposed. If we accepted their primacy as final authority, then we would follow them into heresy, but such is not the case.

Quote
Quote
Orthodoxy looks to Tradition. Period. Full Stop. There is no other way to know God, but through the Traditions of the Church. Tradition is comprised first and foremost the Gospels, second the Epistles and Psalms, third the rest of Scripture, fourth the writings and teachings of the Church Fathers as well as hymnography, Liturgy, prayers and iconography. It is all encompassing. All these things compliment one another, reinforce one another and protect one another.

I understand that Orthodox make this claim. I've been around here 3 years and I've heard the claim many times. Everyone makes a claim. Rome makes claims, Sunni Muslims make claims, Shia Muslims make claims, Atheists make claims. We have to work them out with evidence and logic though that's why we have these discussions. If you want to bind consciences of Christian minds with things outside Scripture they need to be supported.
I don't know what binding consciences of Christian minds means; I've never heard that term before. Essentially, the basis we have is that Christ states that He will preserve the Church. The Church is called the Body of Christ. It is called the Pillar of Truth. None of these things are said about Scripture. Orthodoxy is the only Church that can trace itself back to the Apostles, that has preserved the teaching and has not changed its doctrine. Rome admits that it "develops" doctrine. The Liturgy we use was the Liturgy being used in the 4th Century and was based off Liturgy that went further back than that. We pray and recite what we believe and that has not changed. What Muslims or atheists think about Christ and His teachings are outside the scope of this discussion, but I'd be happy to discuss that in another thread if you desire.

Quote
Quote
You express a concern about many schisms and separations, but of the faith communities of Christianity, Orthodoxy is one of the least splintered segments in all of Christendom! There are fewer groups that have broken off from Orthodoxy in 2000 years than have broken off of the Lutheran Church in 500 years. When groups start placing things other than Tradition at the front of the line, that is when schisms start. Look at history. Stick the Pope out front, what happens? Schism. Remove traditions. Schism. Stick personal interpretation out front. Schism.

Free societies have led to today's situation in the church. Lutherans were excommunicated like OO and Assyrians and like them we're still around. For me the church is where the Gospel is preached and the sacraments administered. Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote about how he experienced the power of God in his travels. If he was in Rome at the Vatican or in the United States at an all black Southern Baptist church. That would be my position, Orthodox worship the risen Christ, so do Catholics, so do Lutherans, and so do mainline Protestants. You want to find comfort in your Traditions, that's great. You want to bind consciences to them, you have to show convincing evidence.
The key words there are "For me". Unfortunately, "for me" has no bearing on anything whether it be me or you saying it.  What do Christ and the Apostles say the Church is? What did the earliest Christians believe the Church to be? You mention what Bonhoeffer observed at that is very true. God is not confined to utilizing His power within the Church. Being a member of the Orthodox Church does not guarantee salvation. Following Traditions does not guarantee salvation. Not being a member does not guarantee damnation. The Church is, however the Deposit of Faith. It is the Pillar of Truth. The extent of Truth present in communities outside the Orthodox Church exists only to the extent that they agree with the Church. I know that sounds very exclusionary, but God revealed Himself as a Triune God to the Holy, Catholic & Apostolic Church. Those communities that also follow that, also hold to Truth, those that don't, do not. God reveal to His Church that the Holy Eucharist is truly the Body and Blood of Christ. Those that hold to that, hold to Truth, those that don't, do not. God revealed to the Church that it is the continuation of Israel. Those that hold to that, hold to Truth. Those that don't do not. 
Guys! They're not intercoursing. It's just an unfortunate angle.

Offline Happy Lutheran

  • Servant of Christ
  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 308
So again I wonder how you tell the people who are preaching the real Christ, the true Christ, from the people who are preaching the Christ that they made up themselves?

I can't infallibly see the heart of any man. I could ask the same question to you, how do you tell? You can't hide behind Orthodoxy and avoid the question. There were many Popes that said schismatics (Orthodoxy) had no share in eternal life. I don't think many think that now, I certainly don't, but there has always been this contention. What I do know is what the Scriptures tell us. There is one God, Jesus is the divine Son of God, who died for the sin of the world and was raised for assurance to those who believe, they repent will not be put to shame. I could post many verses but will just post a few:

1 Corinthians 15:3-4 - For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,

Historians believe this was the first creed of the early church, probably written within 5 years of the Crucifixion possibly within months. The two Bishops deny what Paul and the earliest Church creed considered of first importance.

1 John 3:21 - Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God;

1 Corinthians 1:27 - But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong

Offline TheTrisagion

  • The cat is back and its better than ever!
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 12,674
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian
I think probably the part your having the most difficulty understanding between Protestants and Orthodox (and Catholics for that matter) is the concept that Protestants believe that the Church is only comprised of saved people and saved people exclusively make up the Church. This is not the belief of the Orthodox. Just like not all of Christ's disciples were saved, the same can be said for the Church. Judas was given the opportunity and forsook it. Those in the Church, from laity to Patriarch can do the same. Also, Christ states to the disciples if one is doing works in His name, do not forbid him. There may be those outside of the Church that for whatever reason are not joined to it. This does not automatically condemn them to hell. God alone is the Judge and rules in such matters. We do not speculate on who may be saved outside of the Church.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2015, 07:32:03 PM by TheTrisagion »
Guys! They're not intercoursing. It's just an unfortunate angle.

Offline Happy Lutheran

  • Servant of Christ
  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 308
I think probably the part your having the most difficulty understanding between Protestants and Orthodox (and Catholics for that matter) is the concept that Protestants believe that the Church is only comprised of saved people and saved people exclusively make up the Church. This is not the belief of the Orthodox. Just like not all of Christ's disciples were saved, the same can be said for the Church. Judas was given the opportunity and forsook it. Those in the Church, from laity to Patriarch can do the same.

Thanks for the deeper explanation in the other post. You touched on it there and summarized well one of the fundamental differences. The word church in the Greek is ecclesia. The definition of ecclesia is the assembly, or those called out from Athens to be the assembly. The church is the called out assembly, which could be interchangeable with the elect, or the sheep. I don't think you can reasonably force a hierarchy of patriarchs etc. to the definition of the word. The fundamental passage that explains the ecclesia is Matthew 16:16-18

Matthew 16:16-18 -Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.  And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

The ecclesia are those whom the Father blesses and reveals himself to and they confess this truth. How can an unbeliever be a member of the ecclesia? Unbelievers are not blessed in a way that the truth of Christ has been revealed to them. How can a true believer not be a member of the ecclesia? It doesn't make any logical sense. There are not goats in the ecclesia nor are there sheep outside of it. This is why none could snatch them from the Fathers hand, the gates of hell can not prevail, none can make a charge against God's elect.

Quote
Also, Christ states to the disciples if one is doing works in His name, do not forbid him. There may be those outside of the Church that for whatever reason are not joined to it. This does not automatically condemn them to hell. God alone is the Judge and rules in such matters. We do not speculate on who may be saved outside of the Church.

I respect this.
1 Corinthians 1:27 - But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong

Offline PeterTheAleut

  • The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
  • Moderator
  • Hypatos
  • *****
  • Posts: 35,068
  • Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
I think probably the part your having the most difficulty understanding between Protestants and Orthodox (and Catholics for that matter) is the concept that Protestants believe that the Church is only comprised of saved people and saved people exclusively make up the Church. This is not the belief of the Orthodox. Just like not all of Christ's disciples were saved, the same can be said for the Church. Judas was given the opportunity and forsook it. Those in the Church, from laity to Patriarch can do the same.

Thanks for the deeper explanation in the other post. You touched on it there and summarized well one of the fundamental differences. The word church in the Greek is ecclesia. The definition of ecclesia is the assembly, or those called out from Athens to be the assembly. The church is the called out assembly, which could be interchangeable with the elect, or the sheep. I don't think you can reasonably force a hierarchy of patriarchs etc. to the definition of the word. The fundamental passage that explains the ecclesia is Matthew 16:16-18

Matthew 16:16-18 -Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.  And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

The ecclesia are those whom the Father blesses and reveals himself to and they confess this truth. How can an unbeliever be a member of the ecclesia? Unbelievers are not blessed in a way that the truth of Christ has been revealed to them. How can a true believer not be a member of the ecclesia? It doesn't make any logical sense. There are not goats in the ecclesia nor are there sheep outside of it. This is why none could snatch them from the Fathers hand, the gates of hell can not prevail, none can make a charge against God's elect.

Quote
Also, Christ states to the disciples if one is doing works in His name, do not forbid him. There may be those outside of the Church that for whatever reason are not joined to it. This does not automatically condemn them to hell. God alone is the Judge and rules in such matters. We do not speculate on who may be saved outside of the Church.

I respect this.
And yet the New Testament was all about giving structure to that ecclesia.
Not all who wander are lost.

Offline katherineofdixie

  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 3,717
I think probably the part your having the most difficulty understanding between Protestants and Orthodox (and Catholics for that matter) is the concept that Protestants believe that the Church is only comprised of saved people and saved people exclusively make up the Church. This is not the belief of the Orthodox. Just like not all of Christ's disciples were saved, the same can be said for the Church. Judas was given the opportunity and forsook it. Those in the Church, from laity to Patriarch can do the same.

Thanks for the deeper explanation in the other post. You touched on it there and summarized well one of the fundamental differences. The word church in the Greek is ecclesia. The definition of ecclesia is the assembly, or those called out from Athens to be the assembly. The church is the called out assembly, which could be interchangeable with the elect, or the sheep. I don't think you can reasonably force a hierarchy of patriarchs etc. to the definition of the word. The fundamental passage that explains the ecclesia is Matthew 16:16-18

Matthew 16:16-18 -Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.  And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

The ecclesia are those whom the Father blesses and reveals himself to and they confess this truth. How can an unbeliever be a member of the ecclesia? Unbelievers are not blessed in a way that the truth of Christ has been revealed to them. How can a true believer not be a member of the ecclesia? It doesn't make any logical sense. There are not goats in the ecclesia nor are there sheep outside of it. This is why none could snatch them from the Fathers hand, the gates of hell can not prevail, none can make a charge against God's elect.

Quote
Also, Christ states to the disciples if one is doing works in His name, do not forbid him. There may be those outside of the Church that for whatever reason are not joined to it. This does not automatically condemn them to hell. God alone is the Judge and rules in such matters. We do not speculate on who may be saved outside of the Church.

I respect this.


Please explain how the Jerusalem Council, headed by St. James, the bishops appointed by St. Paul and even St. Ignatius fit into your personal interpretation.
"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom

Offline TheTrisagion

  • The cat is back and its better than ever!
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 12,674
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian
I think probably the part your having the most difficulty understanding between Protestants and Orthodox (and Catholics for that matter) is the concept that Protestants believe that the Church is only comprised of saved people and saved people exclusively make up the Church. This is not the belief of the Orthodox. Just like not all of Christ's disciples were saved, the same can be said for the Church. Judas was given the opportunity and forsook it. Those in the Church, from laity to Patriarch can do the same.

Thanks for the deeper explanation in the other post. You touched on it there and summarized well one of the fundamental differences. The word church in the Greek is ecclesia. The definition of ecclesia is the assembly, or those called out from Athens to be the assembly. The church is the called out assembly, which could be interchangeable with the elect, or the sheep. I don't think you can reasonably force a hierarchy of patriarchs etc. to the definition of the word. The fundamental passage that explains the ecclesia is Matthew 16:16-18

Matthew 16:16-18 -Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.  And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

The ecclesia are those whom the Father blesses and reveals himself to and they confess this truth. How can an unbeliever be a member of the ecclesia? Unbelievers are not blessed in a way that the truth of Christ has been revealed to them. How can a true believer not be a member of the ecclesia? It doesn't make any logical sense. There are not goats in the ecclesia nor are there sheep outside of it. This is why none could snatch them from the Fathers hand, the gates of hell can not prevail, none can make a charge against God's elect.

Is someone who is struggling with their faith vacillating between being in the Church or not depending on the level of their belief on a particular day? Salvation is not something that we have now, it is something that we strive for throughout our life. Just because there are those that will not attain salvation within the Church does not mean the gate of hell have prevailed. At the great and fearful judgment, God will separate those who are the sheep and those who are the goats. Even those who are being judged are surprised by God's decision. The righteous as why they are saved and God tells them it is for the good works that they did to the least of the brethren. Likewise, the evil ask why they are being judged and God tells them it is because they neglected good deeds. We cannot be snatched from the Father's hand, but He does not prevent us from leaving on our own accord.
Guys! They're not intercoursing. It's just an unfortunate angle.

Offline Happy Lutheran

  • Servant of Christ
  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 308

Please explain how the Jerusalem Council, headed by St. James, the bishops appointed by St. Paul and even St. Ignatius fit into your personal interpretation.

After the shut down for the weekend and moving on to other topics elsewhere I don't wish to go in circles anymore but how Scripture lays out how the ecclesia functions is not in dispute. The question is when there is disagreement what is the final source? The Orthodox is the ecclesia and the disbelievers among them are not. Same with any church.
1 Corinthians 1:27 - But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong

Offline PeterTheAleut

  • The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
  • Moderator
  • Hypatos
  • *****
  • Posts: 35,068
  • Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America

Please explain how the Jerusalem Council, headed by St. James, the bishops appointed by St. Paul and even St. Ignatius fit into your personal interpretation.

After the shut down for the weekend and moving on to other topics elsewhere I don't wish to go in circles anymore but how Scripture lays out how the ecclesia functions is not in dispute.
That's also not what Katherine's question is about. Her question, AISI, is this: How does the Council of Acts 15 fit into your definition of what the Church IS?
Not all who wander are lost.

Offline katherineofdixie

  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 3,717
After the shut down for the weekend and moving on to other topics elsewhere I don't wish to go in circles anymore but how Scripture lays out how the ecclesia functions is not in dispute. The question is when there is disagreement what is the final source? The Orthodox is the ecclesia and the disbelievers among them are not. Same with any church.

It's Bright Week and I don't feel particularly like arguing, but I will say, with sincerity and no snarkiness, speaking the truth in love, that you really don't have a particularly good understanding of the Orthodox Church, despite our best efforts. I for one apologize that I have not been able to effectively communicate the Orthodox theological pov on these matters.
"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom

Offline Happy Lutheran

  • Servant of Christ
  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 308

That's also not what Katherine's question is about. Her question, AISI, is this: How does the Council of Acts 15 fit into your definition of what the Church IS?

The Apostles and elders gathered to discuss a disagreement, they ended up in agreement and I agree that's what Churches do. I'm not making any kind of case of "me and my Bible by myself" argument. What we are talking about is where do we go when their is schism? Rome says the Pope, Protestants say the Scripture and I still don't have a logical answer from Orthodoxy. It was Orthodoxy (Catholic) that started the schisms (sometimes by the whole geography of East and West), if there were no schisms the true church (not just true believers) the Holy Spirit guides would make sense. Did Rome, OO, Assyrians thwart the Holy Spirit? There would be no need to discuss who has authority if there were no schisms.

I'll let you have last word again if you like. I would thank you all for being civil but I'm not trying to convert and my free time I'm debating another issue elsewhere right now. Until next time.
1 Corinthians 1:27 - But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong

Offline katherineofdixie

  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 3,717
What we are talking about is where do we go when their is schism? Rome says the Pope, Protestants say the Scripture and I still don't have a logical answer from Orthodoxy.

Actually I think we did answer, early on, IIRC. The final authority is the Church and its Holy Tradition, which encompasses Scripture, the Councils, the Fathers, the hymnology, praxis etc. - the whole ball of wax. Or, to paraphrase St. Vincent of Lerins: what the Church has historically believed, preached, taught and practiced "at all times and in all places."

You're not alone, btw, this seems to be a difficult concept for most Protestants to wrap their heads around.

(p.s. the difficulty with saying Scripture is the final authority on its own without the context of the Church is that Scripture is always interpreted, filtered through our own personal lens, our culture, education, experiences etc. - that's just the way it is. For example, is the final authority on, say, the Real Presence, the interpretation held by Catholics, Orthodox, Episcopalians and Lutherans or the final authority of Baptists and evangelicals?)
"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom

Offline Happy Lutheran

  • Servant of Christ
  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 308

Actually I think we did answer, early on, IIRC. The final authority is the Church and its Holy Tradition, which encompasses Scripture, the Councils, the Fathers, the hymnology, praxis etc. - the whole ball of wax. Or, to paraphrase St. Vincent of Lerins: what the Church has historically believed, preached, taught and practiced "at all times and in all places."

You're not alone, btw, this seems to be a difficult concept for most Protestants to wrap their heads around.

I think I understand what you're saying, just not sure my head wraps around the logic of it, maybe some day.

Quote
For example, is the final authority on, say, the Real Presence, the interpretation held by Catholics, Orthodox, Episcopalians and Lutherans or the final authority of Baptists and evangelicals?)

I actually spend quite a bit more time debating Protestants than Catholics/Orthodox. If Protestants want to change the meaning of "is" with "represents" they have to explain it. The issue I like debating them most is baptism since there are so many clear passages they have to reject.

Thanks again, talk to you guys soon.
1 Corinthians 1:27 - But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong

Offline byhisgrace

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 495
  • Faith: Evangelodox

Actually I think we did answer, early on, IIRC. The final authority is the Church and its Holy Tradition, which encompasses Scripture, the Councils, the Fathers, the hymnology, praxis etc. - the whole ball of wax. Or, to paraphrase St. Vincent of Lerins: what the Church has historically believed, preached, taught and practiced "at all times and in all places."

You're not alone, btw, this seems to be a difficult concept for most Protestants to wrap their heads around.

I think I understand what you're saying, just not sure my head wraps around the logic of it, maybe some day.

Quote
For example, is the final authority on, say, the Real Presence, the interpretation held by Catholics, Orthodox, Episcopalians and Lutherans or the final authority of Baptists and evangelicals?)

I actually spend quite a bit more time debating Protestants than Catholics/Orthodox. If Protestants want to change the meaning of "is" with "represents" they have to explain it. The issue I like debating them most is baptism since there are so many clear passages they have to reject.

Thanks again, talk to you guys soon.
For me, I came to accept baptismal regeneration and real presence after realizing two things:
1. The Christians of the 2nd century (if not also the first) unambiguously taught it.
2. The Bible appears to attribute some sort of saving power to baptism, EVERYTIME baptism is mentioned. I played a lot of mental gymnastics with the words, context, and what not, until I came to conclude that I cannot justify my non-sacramental belief.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2015, 03:21:08 PM by byhisgrace »
Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.

Offline biro

  • Site Supporter
  • Hoplitarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 17,327

Actually I think we did answer, early on, IIRC. The final authority is the Church and its Holy Tradition, which encompasses Scripture, the Councils, the Fathers, the hymnology, praxis etc. - the whole ball of wax. Or, to paraphrase St. Vincent of Lerins: what the Church has historically believed, preached, taught and practiced "at all times and in all places."

You're not alone, btw, this seems to be a difficult concept for most Protestants to wrap their heads around.

I think I understand what you're saying, just not sure my head wraps around the logic of it, maybe some day.

Quote
For example, is the final authority on, say, the Real Presence, the interpretation held by Catholics, Orthodox, Episcopalians and Lutherans or the final authority of Baptists and evangelicals?)

I actually spend quite a bit more time debating Protestants than Catholics/Orthodox. If Protestants want to change the meaning of "is" with "represents" they have to explain it. The issue I like debating them most is baptism since there are so many clear passages they have to reject.

Thanks again, talk to you guys soon.
For me, I came to accept baptismal regeneration and real presence after realizing two things:
1. The Christians of the 2nd century (if not also the first) unambiguously taught it.
2. The Bible appears to attribute some sort of saving power to baptism, EVERYTIME baptism is mentioned. I played a lot of mental gymnastics with the words, context, and what not, until I came to conclude that I cannot justify my non-sacramental belief.

Good to hear.

Offline byhisgrace

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 495
  • Faith: Evangelodox
What we are talking about is where do we go when their is schism? Rome says the Pope, Protestants say the Scripture and I still don't have a logical answer from Orthodoxy.

Actually I think we did answer, early on, IIRC. The final authority is the Church and its Holy Tradition, which encompasses Scripture, the Councils, the Fathers, the hymnology, praxis etc. - the whole ball of wax. Or, to paraphrase St. Vincent of Lerins: what the Church has historically believed, preached, taught and practiced "at all times and in all places."

You're not alone, btw, this seems to be a difficult concept for most Protestants to wrap their heads around.

(p.s. the difficulty with saying Scripture is the final authority on its own without the context of the Church is that Scripture is always interpreted, filtered through our own personal lens, our culture, education, experiences etc. - that's just the way it is. For example, is the final authority on, say, the Real Presence, the interpretation held by Catholics, Orthodox, Episcopalians and Lutherans or the final authority of Baptists and evangelicals?)
The beauty I see in Orthodoxy, it seems, is that all components of the Church's traditions are of equal authority and are accountable to one another. There is no legalistic "final authority" mark to one component of the Church.
Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.

Offline katherineofdixie

  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 3,717
The beauty I see in Orthodoxy, it seems, is that all components of the Church's traditions are of equal authority and are accountable to one another. There is no legalistic "final authority" mark to one component of the Church.

By george, I think you've got it!  ;D
"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom

Offline Daedelus1138

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 668
The Lutherans and Reformed speak of Scriptures as the norma normans- the norming norm- not an autonomous authority (in the sense of Vatican I's Pope), but simply the norming norm of all doctrine in the Church.   In this respect, I'm not sure there is a huge difference between the Orthodox and the Lutherans.  Especially many Lutheran World Federation churches, such as the ELCA, which does not generally embrace a Biblicist hermeneutic familiar to evangelicals such as Baptists or non-denominational Christians.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2015, 09:00:58 PM by Daedelus1138 »

Offline sakura95

  • Resident Philosonoob
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,344
  • "I’m da mo’ freakin’ top madam"
  • Faith: Orthodox seeker
  • Jurisdiction: Deanery of Great Britain and Ireland
The Lutherans and Reformed speak of Scriptures as the norma normans- the norming norm- not an autonomous authority (in the sense of Vatican I's Pope), but simply the norming norm of all doctrine in the Church.   In this respect, I'm not sure there is a huge difference between the Orthodox and the Lutherans.  Especially many Lutheran World Federation churches, such as the ELCA, which does not generally embrace a Biblicist hermeneutic familiar to evangelicals such as Baptists or non-denominational Christians.

It's still the same Sola Scriptura from what I googled,
https://books.google.com.my/books?id=HyO5DtweTNYC&pg=PA113&lpg=PA113&dq=norming+norm&source=bl&ots=YkL2pEkv6i&sig=YLw8rRraI-RRTbPhg_lFNYqzXXs&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=norming%20norm&f=false

The source states that Scripture being the "norming norm" is that Scripture is authority whenever theological judgements are made. No other authority is above it.

Same source also states how Tradition is considered to be an authority but that it must agree with Scripture.

Now this all looks quite close to how the Orthodox views Scripture and Tradition but the problem is,
a)Many of the stuff the Reformed and Lutherans believes are not in line with this Tradition as they defined(how Scripture is interpreted by the Church Fathers for example). An example of this is how the separation of justification and sanctification is not present in the Fathers, even St Augustine himself or Penal Substitutionary Atonement

b)It entails that we need not have to agree with how the Church during the age of the Councils read Scripture should aspects of them disagree with Lutheran and Reformed doctrine

c)Differences between the Reformed and Lutherans, justified by this use of "norming norm" of Scripture itself does not give us anyway of knowing who is right especially since Tradition is already taken out of the picture given how each side of the divide would simply shove them away on the basis of their disagreement with Scripture(as seen through Reformed or Lutheran eyes).
My Lord, My Lord, give my worthless soul the illumination of Wisdom in your mercy

Offline Nicene

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 630
I don't think the quotation from scripture concerning the Bereans actually works in favour of some one supporting sola scriptura and Martin Luther perhaps didn't think things through completely.

Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Acts 1711

What is the first thing the Berean Jews received when they learnt of the knowledge of Jesus Christ? It wasn't the scripture but it was Paul's and Silas' preaching concerning the word and Luke informs us they accepted with great eagerness. IN their mind they were caught up in the glory of this new teaching. They then went to the scripture, ie the old testament to see if what had been written in it conformed to Paul's teaching and found that it did. But was it purely objective? Was it subjecting the old testament to a ruthless hermeneutic of modern era? Or was it going into the old with the idea of Christ being there, that primarily convinced them in the end?

I think it's problematic to suggest the bereans tested by the Old testament alone. Would we then go on to suggest that the authority of the preaching of Paul concerning the Gospel is to be subjected to the Old testament? Obviously the preaching of Paul here is just as authoritative as anything found in the Old testament if not more so, otherwise we could not believe the new testament to be a document by which we judge doctrine by unless it was confirmed by the Old testament.

So were the Bereans reading the text of scripture purely and objectively and then just happened to find Christ in it? I don't think so. I like what Fr John Behr has to say that the scripture from the time of Christ was read through a Christocentric lense, when perhaps on a strict literal level it would be difficult to see Jesus Christ in the text naturally. What the preaching of Paul did for the Bereans is provide an interpretive Key to help them see Jesus Christ in the Old testament.  Without that initial preaching, the Bereans might have heard of Jesus some other way and might not have been convinced concerning the truth of Christ, but we know they had the Holy spirit accompanying them in this effort.

So if Martin Luther is correct, that the apostles appealed to the scripture as the validation of their preaching and teaching, all things are then to be submitted to the Old testament. This would impact our belief that the New testament itself is greater in authority and should be used for how we read the Old testament and not read the New in light of the Old. The Apostles in quoting the Scripture did not find their ultimate verification in the scripture but in the person of Jesus Christ himself, the understanding of who Jesus is in relation to the scripture. 

Ultimately this can apply to the New testament in some sense as well. The gnostics read the New testament not in the light of Christ, not according to an understanding of Jesus being a real man, born of a virgin, the messiah of the Jews, the salvation of all creation, but in the light of the idea of the world, the material world being beyond salvation. They did not have the hermeneutical keys necessary to even begin comprehending what John Was talking about when he said the word was made flesh.

Does the Sola scripturist deny that an outside understanding is in some ways necessary to read the scripture properly? Or can we by a rational method, devoid of any external appeals to tradition, the understanding of Christendom as a whole, always and with perfect clarity arrive at the truth of the scripture alone or if not that to a saving knowledge of Christ? If that is what is meant by sola scriptura of the magisterial reformation, not a rejection of tradition but the belief that the scripture more or less can stand on its own and defend Christian beliefs alone, then I would have to disagree on the former but not necessarily with the latter. The ultimate problem is we all approach the bible from a worldview, are we approaching it with the rule of faith which the church has always had? Or are we approaching hte scripture as an end unto itself without that rule of faith? If protestants approach the scripture with the idea that Jesus was a true man and the Son of God, without ever reading it, their interpretation of the text is going to be affected by that understanding. But if they do that, are they being sola scripturists? Shouldn't the bible be read on its own terms and not according to any pre ordained understanding concerning who Jesus and God is?
« Last Edit: July 24, 2015, 03:31:34 AM by Nicene »
Thank you.

Offline JamesR

  • Virginal Chicano Blood
  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 6,640
  • 1951-2015 Memory Eternal Uncle Roy--40 Days of Mourning.
  • Faith: Misotheistic Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church *of* America
My problem isn't necessarily with Sola Scriptura itself, but Sola Scriptura isolated from its proper context. A trend I've noticed among many Americans, pop-historians, and yes, Protestants, is a complete disregard for philology. In other words, they assume that a text can be interpreted as-is through our own 21st century lens opposed to actually trying to understand it through the lens of its authors, recipients, context, history, and the other multitude of factors that could shape your interpretation of it. This is the same sort of thinking that undermines homosexual literature with its pop-history claims that Abraham Lincoln, David & Jonathan, and pretty much every historically significant person was gay, just because they are reading their own 21st century ideals about romance and relationships into a history, time, and context where such ideals could have been completely different.

So the question I would ask, and the criticism I would raise, is how did Protestants go from Sola Scriptura to isolating the Scriptures from their rightful context? Because I do more or less believe that most of the essentials of Christianity could be derived from the Scripture alone. But that's assuming that the Scripture is interpreted through the lens of its proper context within the Church. Happy Lutheran is right in quoting the Fathers:

Quote
"This seal have thou ever on thy mind; which now by way of summary has been touched on in its heads, and if the Lord grant, shall hereafter be set forth according to our power, with Scripture proofs. For concerning the divine and sacred Mysteries of the Faith, we ought not to deliver even the most casual remark without the Holy Scriptures: nor be drawn aside by mere probabilities and the artifices of argument. Do not then believe me because I tell thee these things, unless thou receive from the Holy Scriptures the proof of what is set forth: for this salvation, which is of our faith, is not by ingenious reasonings, but by proof from the Holy Scriptures."

St. Cyril of Jerusalem

"The generality of men still fluctuate in their opinions about this, which are as erroneous as they are numerous. As for ourselves, if the Gentile philosophy, which deals methodically with all these points, were really adequate for a demonstration, it would certainly be superfluous to add a discussion on the soul to those speculations. But while the latter proceeded, on the subject of the soul, as far in the direction of supposed consequences as the thinker pleased, we are not entitled to such license, I mean that of affirming what we please; we make the Holy Scriptures the rule and the measure of every tenet; we necessarily fix our eyes upon that, and approve that alone which may be made to harmonize with the intention of those writings."

St. Gregory of Nyssa

"The holy and inspired Scriptures are fully sufficient for the proclamation of the truth"

St. Athanasius

"They say that we are to understand the things concerning Paradise not as they are written but in a different way. But when Scripture wants to teach us something like that, it interprets itself and does not permit the hearer to err".

St. John Chrysostom

"We are not content simply because this is the tradition of the Fathers. What is important is that the Fathers followed the meaning of the Scripture."

St. Basil the Great

I do not believe that these quotes support Sola Scriptura. I believe he is extrapolating. But that's not the point. For the sake of argument let's assume it is true and that the Fathers did support Sola Scriptura. How do you jump from Sola Scriptura to let's isolate Scripture from its very context? It would seem counterintuitive--the very context that would allow us to interpret the Scripture alone properly would ironically be denied by the same doctrine that tried to safeguard against heresy and personal interpretation. In other words, even if the Fathers asserted Sola Scriptura, they would have asserted it within the context of the Church and it would have been through the lens of the Church--the Scriptures' true historical context--that they would have interpreted them through.

But advocates of Sola Scriptura don't just do this. Hence the extrapolating. They set up a dichotomy between the Scriptures and the Scriptures' rightful context. It isn't just Scripture alone but Scripture isolated from her context. A case can be made for the former but the latter is preposterous, and I'm not sure where the jump comes from. Again, Happy Lutheran touched upon this issue with:

Quote
The church fathers used Scripture not tradition to refute early heresies.

This statement assumes that there is a dichotomy between the Scripture and the Tradition. But the Church does not teach this. Rather, the Scripture itself is seen as being a component of the Holy Tradition which consists of the former as well as the canons, fathers, service texts, and other elements of the Church. The definition of the Holy Tradition would be the life of the Holy Spirit within the Church. See Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev's Orthodox Christianity books for reference, or even St. Paul's own statement. In that famous 2 Thessalonians 2:15 passage, he does not say to hold fast "to the tradition and the scripture," but to the tradition which he defines as consisting of Scripture as well as the oral. In other words, he did not believe in the dichotomy that Protestants erect between Scripture and Tradition, but like the Orthodox, saw the former as being a component of the latter.

So again, the question I would ask is how do you go from not only Scripture alone, but from isolating the Scripture alone from its very context within the Church? How and why did they erect a dichotomy between the Scriptures and her context as if they were two distinct and opposing things? And third, assuming that they disregard the Scriptures' original context within the Church, what makes them believe that their 21st century, biased lens is going to be any more accurate? How can you possibly in good faith read a modern context into an antiquated text?

Again, whereas Protestants see a dichotomy between Scripture and Tradition, I see the latter as being the very context by which we can properly interpret the Scriptures. So the problem isn't necessarily with Scripture alone, but how, in what context, and through what lens do we interpret them alone?

It seems preposterous to read them alone through any context, lens, and method other than the 2,000 year testimony of the Church which both wrote, compiled, and received them. The Fathers, even if we concede that they affirmed Sola Scriptura, certainly chose the way of the Church. So how do Protestants justify doing it through another route? And why should we trust theirs opposed to the Church? You see the Church as an obstacle, a dichotomy between Scripture and Tradition, but I see the Church as the proper context that helps me interpret the Scriptures alone in the proper way.
...Or it's just possible he's a mouthy young man on an internet forum.
In the infinite wisdom of God, James can be all three.

Offline Daedelus1138

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 668
So the question I would ask, and the criticism I would raise, is how did Protestants go from Sola Scriptura to isolating the Scriptures from their rightful context? 

That sort of religion could only happen in America with its pragmatic and individualistic culture.  From America it's a religious export to the rest of the world.

Quote
  How and why did they erect a dichotomy between the Scriptures and her context as if they were two distinct and opposing things? 

This goes back to the Protestant rejection of papal supremacy and implicit infallibility.

Quote
what makes them believe that their 21st century, biased lens is going to be any more accurate? How can you possibly in good faith read a modern context into an antiquated text? 

Because its better than the alternatives, which is to simply embrace some kind of infallibility of the pope or a bishop, regardless of how wrong they actually are. 

I don't see how appeal to Holy Tradition fixes the problem.  We live in a world where God lets bad things happen, where sin affects everything.  Why should religion be exempt from this influence?  Why should religion be exempt from this critique?  What wrong with Ecclessia Semper Reformanda- "the Church must always be reformed"?

Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 7,527
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Diocese of the South (OCA)
  What wrong with Ecclessia Semper Reformanda- "the Church must always be reformed"?

If that is true, what would the criteria for such reformation be? In the Orthodox Church we have three criteria spelled out in the Nicene Creed: holiness, catholicity and adherence to the Apostolic Church beliefs and praxis.

Offline TheTrisagion

  • The cat is back and its better than ever!
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 12,674
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian
So the question I would ask, and the criticism I would raise, is how did Protestants go from Sola Scriptura to isolating the Scriptures from their rightful context? 

That sort of religion could only happen in America with its pragmatic and individualistic culture.  From America it's a religious export to the rest of the world.

I don't know about that.  The anabaptists seemed to be doing just swell with that on their own long before they trotted across the pond.
Guys! They're not intercoursing. It's just an unfortunate angle.