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Author Topic: Ephesus vs. Chalcedon  (Read 4671 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: January 23, 2005, 12:44:49 AM »

I am still learning on this subject so please forgive me if I am wrong.

St. Cyril of Alexandria believed in the "One incarnate nature of God the Word" and the Council of Ephesus affirmed his Christology.

Later on, the Council of Chalcedon accepted a modified Christology that defines Christ as having two natures united in one person, thus contradicting the Christology of Ephesus.

I do not like to use the word "heretic" lightly, but if pre-Chalcedonian Christianity is in agreement with the non-Chalcedonian Churches, wouldn't that make the Chalcedonian Churches "heretical" and not us?

Please remember that I consider neither the Oriental nor Eastern Churches as heretical.
It just seems that I am always on the deffensive on this issue but that need not be so, especially if history is on our side.

If I am guilty of heresy, I would like that to be proven as civilly as possible so that I may confess it.
However, from what I have learned so far concerning pre-Chalcedonian Christology, I am not heretical at all.

May peace be upon thee and with thy spirit.
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« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2005, 02:05:42 AM »

The issue is pretty much more complex than you can imagine. Why don't you ask for book recommendations from posters because given that you are a "beginner" you won't be able to figure it out in a few short posts; I know I wasn't.

One book you should really get is "Early Christian Doctrines" by J.N.D. Kelley.

Anastasios
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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2005, 05:41:42 PM »

After Liturgy today, I had a discussion with Father James and he explained how neither of our churches are heretical and that there recently was an Eastern Patriarch who acknowledged this and stated that there should be intercommunion between the Oriental and Eastern Orthodox Churches.

Furthermore, I would also like to clarify that it is the official position of the Oriental Orthodox Churches to accept Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholics for communion and that this is not just the rogue policy of my specific congregation.

Now for some more information to help with this discussion:

"Under the authority of the Eastern Roman Empire of Constantinople (as opposed to the western empire of Rome), the Patriarchs and Popes of Alexandria played leading roles in Christian theology. They were invited everywhere to speak about the Christian faith. Saint Cyril, Pope of Alexandria, was the head of the Ecumenical Council which was held in Ephesus in the year 430 A.D. It was said that the bishops of the Church of Alexandria did nothing but spend all their time in meetings. This leading role, however, did not fare well when politics started to intermingle with Church affairs. It all started when the Emperor Marcianus interfered with matters of faith in the Church. The response of Saint Dioscorus, the Pope of Alexandria who was later to be exiled, to this interference was clear: "You have nothing to do with the Church." These political motives became even more apparent in Chalcedony in 451, when the Coptic Church was unfairly accused of following the teachings of Eutyches, who believed in monophysitism. This doctrine maintains that the Lord Jesus Christ has only one nature, the divine, not two natures, the human as well as the divine.

The Coptic Church has never believed in monophysitism the way it was portrayed in the Council of Chalcedony! In that Council, monophysitism meant believing in one nature. Copts believe that the Lord is perfect in His divinity, and He is perfect in His humanity, but His divinity and His humanity were united in one nature called "the nature of the incarnate word", which was reiterated by Saint Cyril of Alexandria. Copts, thus, believe in two natures "human" and "divine" that are united in one "without mingling, without confusion, and without alteration" (from the declaration of faith at the end of the Coptic divine liturgy). These two natures "did not separate for a moment or the twinkling of an eye" (also from the declaration of faith at the end of the Coptic divine liturgy).

The Coptic Church was misunderstood in the 5th century at the Council of Chalcedony. Perhaps the Council understood the Church correctly, but they wanted to exile the Church, to isolate it and to abolish the Egyptian, independent Pope, who maintained that Church and State should be separate. Despite all of this, the Coptic Church has remained very strict and steadfast in its faith. Whether it was a conspiracy from the Western Churches to exile the Coptic Church as a punishment for its refusal to be politically influenced, or whether Pope Dioscorus didn't quite go the extra mile to make the point that Copts are not monophysite, the Coptic Church has always felt a mandate to reconcile "semantic" differences between all Christian Churches."
http://www.andrewfanous.com/CopticChurch
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« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2005, 05:41:42 PM »

http://www.andrewfanous.com/CopticChurch
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« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2005, 05:46:32 PM »

The Coptic Church does not admit Catholics to communion and in the Armenian Church it is up to pastoral discretion.  Furthermore, your information on your Church's policy, is that your priest's OPINION or is it Mor Barnabas and the Holy Synod's opinion?

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« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2005, 08:23:25 PM »

Furthermore, I would also like to clarify that it is the official position of the Oriental Orthodox Churches to accept Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholics for communion and that this is not just the rogue policy of my specific congregation.

Yeah, I'd like to know on whose authority this statement is made. 
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« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2005, 09:59:57 PM »



Yeah, I'd like to know on whose authority this statement is made.

Father Michael and Father James
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« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2005, 09:59:57 PM »

The Coptic Church does not admit Catholics to communion and in the Armenian Church it is up to pastoral discretion. Furthermore, your information on your Church's policy, is that your priest's OPINION or is it Mor Barnabas and the Holy Synod's opinion?

Anastasios

Father Michael and Father James speaking on behalf of what the official teaching of our Church is, and not their personal opinion.
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« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2005, 10:19:25 PM »



Father Michael and Father James speaking on behalf of what the official teaching of our Church is, and not their personal opinion.

You said this was the official position of "the Oriental Orthodox Churches", and not just the practice of your parish.  Yet, as far as I know, the only Church in our communion which would probably fit with your position is the Syrian Church: the Armenians seem to leave it to pastoral discretion, and the Copts and Ethiopians don't do it.  How, then, can it be the position of all the Churches?  I don't think Frs. Michael and James can speak for the whole Church on this.   

Secondly, I am not so sure what you describe is even the Indian position.  From my vantage point, our practice probably mirrors that of the Armenians.  I certainly do not think it is impossible, but I have no reason to believe you.   
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« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2005, 11:06:18 PM »

Could anyone please explain to me how Chalcedon does not contradict Ephesus?

If the Council of Ephesus agrees with the Christology of the Oriental Orthodox Churches, wouldn't that make the Chalcedonian Churches in error and not ours?

I honestly am not trying to cause a problem here, I just would like to know what everyone's opinion is on this.

May peace be upon thee and with thy spirit. 

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« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2005, 03:28:14 PM »

If anyone would like to share the truth on Ephesus and Chalcedon with me in as civil a way as possible, please either PM me or send an email to spokaneindependent@yahoo.com

May peace be upon thee and with thy spirit.
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« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2005, 03:41:36 PM »

No, you don't need to solicit private messages, really.  The fact of the matter is that as I have said most of us don't feel comfortable trying to explain all of this in a few messages in this thread. You need to actually go read books on the subject. If you can't buy them, you can get them from interlibrary loan. If you don't know how to do that, go to the librarian at your school, say "I want this book but it's not in our collection, can you please order it from interlibrary loan?" and they will do it.

Here are some books:

Council of Chalcedon Re-Examined by VS Samuel (from Oriental Orthodox point of view)
Council of Chalcedon by Sellers (Anglican perspective)
The Non-Chalcedonian Heretics by the Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies (traditionalist Eastern Orthodox perspective)
And I am sure everyone else can add some books to the list.

Anastasios
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« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2005, 03:55:05 PM »

Correction: the author of The Council of Chalcedon Re-examined is the Rev. Dr. V.C. Samuel, and not V.S. Samuel. 
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« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2005, 04:48:56 PM »

Do these books hold an anti-miaphysite bias?

I refuse to read any book whose title refers to us as "heretics".
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« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2005, 04:51:02 PM »

Do these books hold an anti-miaphysite bias?

Matthew, I just outlined the perspective of each book. You need to read many books from different perspectives to figure it out for yourself.

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« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2005, 04:54:52 PM »

Even an antagonistic and seemingly hateful perspective? Not that those books are of this nature.
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« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2005, 05:05:10 PM »

Even an antagonistic and seemingly hateful perspective? Not that those books are of this nature.

You are intentionally taking things in the most negative light and at face value.  Whenever you need to vote on an proposition/bond/etc. don't you try to read both sides of the argument before making up your mind?  Develop a thicker skin.  Aren't we told to turn the other cheek?
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« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2005, 05:12:44 PM »

Even an antagonistic and seemingly hateful perspective?

Yep.  Even then.  Wouldn't make much sense to believe something and not hear from the folks who say, "This is absolutely WRONG."  Look at their arguments.  Don't dismiss them right out of hand.  It was believing one side of a story for years that kept me Protestant, 'till I actually opened myself up to the possibility that what I believed might, JUST MIGHT be heresy.

Indeed it was.  And here I am.
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« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2005, 05:44:49 PM »

Yep. Even then. Wouldn't make much sense to believe something and not hear from the folks who say, "This is absolutely WRONG." Look at their arguments. Don't dismiss them right out of hand. It was believing one side of a story for years that kept me Protestant, 'till I actually opened myself up to the possibility that what I believed might, JUST MIGHT be heresy.

I couldn't agree more.  With regard to this specific matter, I think EO and OO ought to read plenty from both sides and at the very least have a better understanding of the issue.  That's what I'm trying to do (emphasis on "trying"), with the full resources of the seminary library at my disposal. 

The Non-Chalcedonian Heretics is an interesting title, to say the least.  It is good for a traditionalist EO position.  I haven't read it (though I own it--I lent it out to a friend writing his thesis), but having skimmed through it, I must say that I don't think it's good enough to convince anyone but the already convinced; perhaps upon a more thorough reading and study my opinion will change, we'll see.   
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« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2005, 05:58:38 PM »

Matthew,

I wouldn't recommend things that were hateful.

Anastasios
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« Reply #20 on: January 24, 2005, 06:02:15 PM »

Matthew and others,

Robert thought this post was in the Oriental Orthodox forum.  It was instead in Free for all. Therefore we discussed this and I removed his warning. You may continue to post on the Chalcedon issue in this thread as long as you read carefully what others are writing. We will get annoyed and start deleting posts if we see that someone responds to you and you ignore his post and write the same question again a few posts down. I know you are not trying intentionally to do this but at the same time we do have to play "clean up" and we are getting complaints.  Part of it is that like in a choir, all the voices need to be in harmony. If one voice sings too loudly it distracts.  You are welcome to post almost anything on this forum but be aware of the sheer volume of your posts and the repetitive nature of them, that's all we are asking.

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« Reply #21 on: January 24, 2005, 07:27:00 PM »

I still don't understand where brother Matthew makes these connections between the Oriental Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches.  We do not take them into communion.
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« Reply #22 on: January 24, 2005, 07:28:32 PM »

SaintShenouti,

I think the Indian Church's position is being assumed to be normative for your communion. I've tried to stress that it is local and not normative.

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« Reply #23 on: January 24, 2005, 07:55:01 PM »

Matthew and others,

Robert thought this post was in the Oriental Orthodox forum. It was instead in Free for all. Therefore we discussed this and I removed his warning.


Really? Thank you.  Grin
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« Reply #24 on: January 24, 2005, 07:56:33 PM »

SaintShenouti,

I think the Indian Church's position is being assumed to be normative for your communion. I've tried to stress that it is local and not normative.

Anastasios

But I asked Father Michael, Father James and Deacon Gabriel on what the official teaching of the Oriental Orthodox Churches are, but perhaps their knowledge is limited to the Malankara Church.
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« Reply #25 on: August 14, 2006, 11:50:51 PM »

The more I learn of Church history, the more I lean toward concluding that Chalcedon represents a triumph of Christological dogma. The confession of Chalcedon, properly understood, provides the firm middleground between the extremes of monophysitism and Nestorianism.

I would like to hope that linguistic and cultural differences are what caused the schism, rather than a real disagreement over doctrine. Many Oriental Orthodox Christians, including some whom I have encountered, agree with Chalcedon in spirit, though without specifically endorsing its terminology.

The major stumbling block that I see in having Oriental Orthodoxy accept the entirety of the Seven Ecumenical Councils is how a people could accept a Council that they were not invited to in the first place. Hopefully, someday and somehow, the Oriental Churches will be able to bite the bullet, and rather than submitting to the will of the Byzantine or Roman Church, do what is best for world Orthodox unity.

We all know that seven is the Biblical number of completion; how fitting for there to be Seven Ecumenical Councils of the One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church?

Quote
433: St. Cyril explicitly accepts two natures after the hypostatic union in his "Epistle to John of Antioch" (the Agreements of 433):

"With regard to the Evangelical and Apostolic expressions concerning the Lord, we know that men who are skilled in theology make some of them common to the one Person, while they divide others between the two Natures, ascribing those that are fitting to God to Divinity of Christ, and those that are lowly to His Humanity. On reading these sacred utterances of Yours, and finding that we ourselves think along the same lines—for there is one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism—, we glorified God the Saviour of all" [John Karmiris, Dogmatic and Creedal Statements of the Orthodox Church, Vol. 1 [Athens:1960]. p. 154], quoted in The Non-Chalcedonian Heretics, p 11]
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/mono_history.aspx?print=ok

I no longer desire to use St. Cyril of Alexandria to advance a position in which he may not have actually believed. I am sorry to anyone who I have upset or offended relating to this topic in the past, present, and future.

Peace.

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« Reply #26 on: August 15, 2006, 06:39:22 AM »

Quote
The more I learn of Church history the more I lean toward concluding that Chalcedon represents a triumph of Christological dogma…

The problem with you Matthew in relation to most, if not all, issues you try to discuss and argue on this forum, is academic immaturity. You seem to be swayed very easily by dubious online sources. I am not trying to insult or demean you, but rather to encourage you to approach issues of concern or relevance to you more maturely, cautiously and academically.

So the question for now is, what is the source of your learning on Church history in the fourth/fifth centuries? As an Oriental Orthodox Christian, have you even read any of the mere two Oriental Orthodox textbooks published on the issue of Chalcedon in order to assist your making of a qualified judgment? One would think that if you wanted to formulate a serious conclusion on the matter of Chalcedon that you would at least start by considering the position of your own Church as eloquently and academically defended in the two textbooks in question.

Quote
We all know that seven is the Biblical number of completion; how fitting for there to be Seven Ecumenical Councils of the One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church?

 Undecided Yeah, well:

 “We all know that three is the Biblical number of totality (see The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries); how fitting for there to be Three Ecumenical Councils of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church?”

 Roll Eyes

Quote
I no longer desire to use St. Cyril of Alexandria to advance a position in which he may not have actually believed.

Statements like this prove the point I made above regarding your academic immaturity. You find a dubious online source (a polemically charged and undoubtedly biased online article), take it at face value, and then you draw your final judgment.

Had you done some proper research (by reading the books produced by your very own Church) you would have found that St. Cyril of Alexandria advocated His mia physis formula till the day he died. We have a number of post-433 letters and treatises of St. Cyril which evidence this.

As for the re-union formula that the author of the article in question appeals to, it’s a document that needs to be understood in context. Who wrote it? What purpose does it serve? What authority does it carry? What is it actually saying? The fact that it mentions “two natures” per se doesn’t mean anything; our Fathers obviously didn’t have a problem with the document in question, since they (particularly Sts. Dioscorus and Timothy) unequivocally praised and defended it. In fact the context in which the phrase “two natures” is made, if carefully read and considered, can be argued to be in support of the OO position as St. Severus argued 15 centuries ago.

P.S. Don’t bother trying to ask me specific questions in relation to any of the actual historical/theological issues relevant to the subject of Chalcedon. I have not responded to this thread to open discussion on the matter*, but only to make clear the fact that you need to get off the internet and start doing some serious study for a change.

*I have in fact already addressed the issues surrounding the re-union formula extensively elsewhere in this forum in any event.
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« Reply #27 on: August 15, 2006, 08:31:08 AM »


This thread will probably get moved to the private folder as it is now opening the door for debating Chalcedon, but if it dies out on its own peacefully or doesn't go beyond assessing Matthew's methodology I suppose we'll let it stay put.

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« Reply #28 on: August 15, 2006, 08:31:30 AM »

The problem with you Matthew in relation to most, if not all, issues you try to discuss and argue on this forum, is academic immaturity.

As someone baptized in the Greek Church and raised in the Roman Church, I am compelled to believe in the Confession of Chalcedon. I may be entirely wrong in doing so, but it feels natural to me.
I've been able to keep this quiet for quite some time out of my hostility and anger toward the Byzantine and Roman Churches in persecuting the Oriental Orthodox. Every time that I have argued against Chalcedon, it has been against the unjust treatment and persecution of the Oriental Orthodox in its aftermath and, essentially, not against its particular Christology.  I do not want to feel angry or hostile anymore. Without the barriers of culture and language, the mistaking of Chalcedon as Nestorian could have hopefully been avoided.

So the question for now is, what is the source of your learning on Church history in the fourth/fifth centuries?

The Orthodox Christian Information Center, goarch.org, The Catechism of the Catholic Church and other Catholic sources, encyclopedias, discussions with EO and OO clergymen, written doctrinal explanations by clergymen of both Orthodox faith traditions, etc.

As an Oriental Orthodox Christian, have you even read any of the mere two Oriental Orthodox textbooks published on the issue of Chalcedon in order to assist your making of a qualified judgment?

I have not. Where may I find these textbooks?

One would think that if you wanted to formulate a serious conclusion on the matter of Chalcedon that you would at least start by considering the position of your own Church as eloquently and academically defended in the two textbooks in question.

Every member of my own Church who I have discussed with on this issue states that the differences between EO and OO are entirely cultural and semantical. If that is true, there should be no substantive difference that would prevent Oriental Orthodoxy from accepting Chalcedon.

You find a dubious online source (a polemically charged and undoubtedly biased online article), take it at face value, and then you draw your final judgment.

As you can see, I kept the quote and ignored the article. What matters to me is what St. Cyril actually taught and believed. I cannot be certain that if he were alive during Chalcedon that he would have denied its confession of faith.

Had you done some proper research (by reading the books produced by your very own Church) you would have found that St. Cyril of Alexandria advocated His mia physis formula till the day he died.

At the same time, did he deny dua physis as a legitimate Christological formula?

We are told time and time again not to be too clinging to a particular Father of the Church, given that Orthodox theology is determined by consensus. How could there be an exception related to the Confession of Chalcedon?

Peace.
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« Reply #29 on: August 15, 2006, 08:57:11 AM »

Quote
As someone baptized in the Greek Church and raised in the Roman Church, I am compelled to believe in the Confession of Chalcedon. I may be entirely wrong in doing so, but it feels natural to me.
Every time that I have argued against Chalcedon, it has been against the unjust treatment and persecution of the Oriental Orthodox in its aftermath and, essentially, not against its particular Christology.

The question is “what is Chalcedonian Christology”? You haven’t even read OO works on the subject to make a qualified judgment as to what it actually is that you are claiming to believe.

Quote
The Orthodox Christian Information Center, goarch.org, The Catechism of the Catholic Church and other Catholic sources, encyclopedias, discussions with EO and OO clergymen, written doctrinal explanations by clergymen of both Orthodox faith traditions, etc.


Please see:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1401016448/104-8854245-2517521?v=glance&n=283155

http://www.narek.com/store/product.php?productid=18724

Quote
If that is true, there should be no substantive difference that would prevent Oriental Orthodoxy from accepting Chalcedon.

Please read the books I have linked you to above.

Quote
What matters to me is what St. Cyril actually taught

Please read the books I have linked you to above.

Quote
At the same time, did he deny dua physis as a legitimate Christological formula?

The unqualified phrase dua physis was never a Christological formula; you don't even know what you're talking about man. In the Reunion Formula that St. Cyril assented to, the phrase "two natures" is not being employed as a Christological formula. What the Formula is in fact saying, is that "two natures" may be spoken of in theological contemplation. This is a point that has been argued by the OO since time immemorial.

Again, please read the books I have linked you to above.

Quote
We are told time and time again not to be too clinging to a particular Father of the Church

This is not about clinging to a particular Church Father, but rather giving due attention to the Father who presided over the Third Ecumenical Council, and whose Christology was dogmatised by that Council.

Quote
given that Orthodox theology is determined by consensus.

See above.

Quote
How could there be an exception related to the Confession of Chalcedon?

Given the OO position, the proponents of Chalcedon challenged the consensus reached at Ephesus, and by virtue of the OO dissent to the Council, failed to represent consensus opinion.
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« Reply #30 on: August 15, 2006, 09:10:01 AM »

The question is “what is Chalcedonian Christology”?

Quote
We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach men to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood;

truly God and truly man, of a reasonable [rational] soul and body;

consubstantial [co-essential] with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the Manhood;

in all things like unto us, without sin;

begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, and in these latter days, for us and for our salvation, born of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, according to the Manhood;

one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably;

the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person and one Subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and only begotten, God the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ;

as the prophets from the beginning [have declared] concerning Him, and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself has taught us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers has handed down to us.

There is nothing within the confession itself of which I would find disagreement.


Thank you for the recommendations.

Given the OO position, the proponents of Chalcedon challenged the consensus reached at Ephesus, and by virtue of the OO dissent to the Council, failed to represent consensus opinion.

It can be argued that Ephesus was a response to Nestorianism, and provided what was necessary at that time, and that later on, the Christological dogma was more fully developed against both Nestorias and Eutyches in Chalcedon. We do not know what St. Cyril's position would have been had he been alive during the Fourth Ecumenical Council.

I think that in such a discussion, we must realize the trivial nature of what we are saying. Ultimately, we are speaking of matters that the human mind cannot fully comprehend. Whatever language we use is only what the human tonge is able to speak. It is out of humility that I would be willing to accept Chalcedon, for the sake of final and total Orthodox Christian unity.

Peace.
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« Reply #31 on: August 15, 2006, 09:39:00 AM »

Matthew,

When I asked you, “what is Chalcedonian Christology?”, it wasn’t because I am ignorant of what is written in the Chalcedonian Confession of Faith (which I have in fact read many times, I assure you). My question concerns how the creed is to be objectively interpreted. Given that the substantial basis of your research has involved contemporary Chalcedonian works, it is not suprising that you would read the Chalcedonian creed today and not think much of it, for you would be naturally and subconsciously inclined to interpret and understand that creed in the manner popularised by the sources you are acquainted with.

The books I have recommended above explore the implications of the wording and content of the creed within its immediate historical context however. In other words, they endeavour to interpret Chalcedon objectively.

Quote
It can be argued that Ephesus was a response to Nestorianism, and provided what was necessary at that time, and that later on, the Christological dogma was more fully developed against both Nestorias and Eutyches in Chalcedon.

The idea that Ephesus eradicated the Nestorian problem, and that Chalcedon was thus simply taking the next logical step by dealing with the other extreme and hence establishing a middle-path, is the product of historical revisionism. The fact of the matter is that Nestorianism was till a major problem in the Church at the time and that subsequent to St. Cyril’s death, an anti-Cyrillian crypto-Nestorian movement (which upheld Chalcedon as a source of authority — a historical fact) had challenged all that Ephesus sought to achieve.

Quote
I think that in such a discussion, we must realize the trivial nature of what we are saying.

Correction: I think that in such discussion, we must realise the trivial nature of what you are saying in consideration of the fact your research has been one-sided and that a substantial portion of it has been based on dubious online resources.

Matthew, seriously, read the books I have recommended first and then re-open this discussion if you feel the need.
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« Reply #32 on: August 15, 2006, 12:42:58 PM »

My question concerns how the creed is to be objectively interpreted.

I would answer that it should be interpreted in the same way that it has been interpreted by the Fathers of the Church since Chalcedon. When I read the theologians of the Philokalia, I am not reading the words of divisive men who held to a Nestorian Christology in usurpation of a previous Council of the Church.

The idea that Ephesus eradicated the Nestorian problem, and that Chalcedon was thus simply taking the next logical step by dealing with the other extreme and hence establishing a middle-path

That is a conclusion that I arrived at on my own, in attempting to understand the reasons for a Fourth Ecumenical Council.

Correction: I think that in such discussion, we must realise the trivial nature of what you are saying in consideration of the fact your research has been one-sided and that a substantial portion of it has been based on dubious online resources.

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese website and the Catholic Encyclopedia are not what I would consider dubious, neither the opinions of EO and OO clergymen who I have spoken with on this issue.
Just as humanity is unable to experience the essence of God, but only His energies, we are unable to comprehend all the mysteries of Jesus' glorious incarnation. I know that Chalcedonianism can be misconstrued as Nestorian. However, the implications of miaphysitism can lead to monothelitism. Neither Christological formula is perfect, but one may be more reasonable than the other. That does not mean that one is inferior to the other or that either is heretical.

Peace.
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« Reply #33 on: August 18, 2006, 05:33:13 AM »

I would answer that it should be interpreted...

I am not here to debate you with respect to how Chalcedon should be interpreted. From my very first response to you, my aim has simply been to make you aware of the fact that there is an alternative interpretation to the historical Chalcedon that differs greatly from the one popularised by mainstream pro-Chalcedonian secondary sources, and to encourage you to engage with the relevant secondary sources produced by our (your) Church in order that you may make an informed judgment on the matter.

Quote
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese website and the Catholic Encyclopedia are not what I would consider dubious, neither the opinions of EO and OO clergymen who I have spoken with on this issue.


Having done a search on the goarch.org website for material on the Council of Chalcedon, I found nothing but articles with 2-3 paragraph general summaries of the event from an EO perspective. Hardly an academically substantial or objective basis for formulating proper judgment. With respect to the Catholic Encyclopedia, you can consider that source to be ridiculously out-dated and bias. As for your personal discourse with EO and OO clergymen, that means nothing to me really; that an opinion comes from the mouth of a priest does not automatically deem it academically reliable.
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« Reply #34 on: August 18, 2006, 07:08:29 AM »

From my very first response to you, my aim has simply been to make you aware of the fact that there is an alternative interpretation to the historical Chalcedon that differs greatly from the one popularised by mainstream pro-Chalcedonian secondary sources, and to encourage you to engage with the relevant secondary sources produced by our (your) Church in order that you may make an informed judgment on the matter.

I've read an Coptic Orthodox defense of miaphysitism several times, in which the Oriental Orthodox position is defended and Chalcedon is explained as an unnecessary political move on the part of the Bishop of Rome against Alexandria. But I've really had enough in concerning myself with the historicy surrounding the matter, including who excommunicated who. If there is nothing within the Confession of Chalcedon itself that is heterodox or heretical, there is no reason why the Oriental Orthodox Churches should not be able to accept it for the sake of Orthodox Christian unity.

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« Reply #35 on: August 18, 2006, 07:52:55 AM »

Matthew,

The issues in question are far more complicated than what you seek to reduce them to. I believe your inclination to dismiss the relevance of history ultimately results from your limited understanding of that very history (which may be expanded upon reading the books I have referred you to).
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« Reply #36 on: August 18, 2006, 07:59:10 AM »

What I am saying is that if there is nothing doctrinally incorrect with Chalcedon, there should have never been a schism in the first place.
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« Reply #37 on: August 18, 2006, 08:02:52 AM »

And what I am saying, is that you need to re-consider the presuppositions shaping your present judgments in light of further research. In fact, that is essentially all I have been saying since the first post, and I choose to say no more.
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