This debate started here: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,57159.msg1100958.html#msg1100958
I will respond to a few of Drake's points, but do not have the time to write a detailed analysis....
Fr. John W. Morris
“I will respond to a few of Drake’s points”
>>>Why not all of them?
“but do not have the time to write a detailed analysis.”
>>>You get paid to talk about religion and you don’t have time? I gave up my scholarship from school, both opportunities to have a career and a family, which cost me my health and every friend I have had since I was a child over these issues of religion. I live in borderline poverty and have been for 13 years though I have been forced to work two jobs most of this time. Yet, I found the time to study every last stich of your religion though I didn’t believe it. And yet you don’t have time?
“He makes a great deal of comments in the New Testament that in “later times,” many will fall away from the truth. He adjective “later” means just that “later” not immediately, but in the distant future.”
>>> Acts 20:29 states clearly that the apostasy would arise among Paul’s disciples.
“Instead, he claims that the very people who learned the Gospel from the Apostles fell away. As an historian, I find that claim incredible. Men like Sts. Ignatius of Antioch, Clement or Rome who actually heard the Apostles, or St. Irenaeus of Lyons who learned from St. Polycarp, who learned from the Apostle John have much more credibility than someone like John Calvin who lived 1,400 years later and had no contact with the Apostles.”
>>>I know you Christians hate the Bible but this is incredible.
“I do not think that he really understands Orthodox theology because he does not present an accurate statement of what we believe.”
>>>I know your religion better than you know yourself. Debate me formally on whatever forum you like. I would love to publicly humiliate you for all to see.
“Part of the problem is that he is cannot get past the fact that we do not use the same language as Calvinists.”
>>>Oh yeah, that was why I wrote my almost 800 page Systematic Theology comparing language in Eastern Orthodoxy and Calvinism the whole way through.
“For example, although we do not use the Anselmic language of penal substitution”
>>>I don’t either but how you justify your doctrine of hell without some type of juridical language and divine retribution remains IMPOSSIBLE.
“or vicarious atonement, that does not mean that we do not believe that Christ died for our sins on the cross.”
>>>It just means that his humanity was a universal and thus eternal and thus not consubstantial with any human person.
“The difference is that we put the Cross in its proper context of the Incarnation and the Resurrection. The Cross is only part of Christ’s saving work which began with the Incarnation and ended with the Ascension. In Christ. God assumed all that is human”
>>>See, there you go. Messiah was not all that is human. He was a male not a female. He was a Hebrew not a Greek. He was not huperousia as much as you want him to be.
“to deify humanity and reunite us to Him. That is why St. Gregory the Theologian wrote, “That which is not assumed is not healed.”
>>>Which assumes the problem with man is his ontology, not his activity or tendency. You conflate all these categories because you are just as enslaved to Neoplatonism as the Romanists are.
“The problem with the doctrine of the vicarious atonement is that it is based on a partial view of salvation which is confined to the forgiveness of sins, and does not understand that God not only declares the believer righteous, God also makes the believer righteous.”
>>>Which assumes that righteousness refers to the genus of being. That it is a being and not the activity of a being. You are still laboring under Occam sir.
“There is a judicial aspect to salvation, but it is only one aspect, not the totality of salvation, which includes deification.”
>>>Asserting it is not justifying it. You are using ad hoc reasoning.
“Drake makes the point that in the New Testament the titles “presbyter” literally elder, and “eposkopos,” overseerer or Bishop are used interchangeably. That is correct. However, the New Testament was written while the Apostles were still alive. Drake does not consider what happened when they began to die. We know from the example of St. Matthias, and historical documents such as the writings of St. Ignatius of Antioch, St. Clement of Rome, and St. Irenaeus of Lyons that when the Apostles realized that Christ was not coming again during their lifetime, that they appointed successors, who were called Bishops to distinguish them from the Presbyters. Thus, although it is only hinted at in the New Testament, we know from the history of the Church that the Apostles left the leadership of the Church in the hands of Bishops who acted as their successors. The Apostles acted as Bishops over the Churches they founded. For example in Acts 14:23, refers to the ordination of priests for the Churches they founded by Sts. Paul and Barnabas; “And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they believed.” The Greek word translaed “appointed” really means ordained, and “elders” is “presbyters” which is the source of our English word Priests.”
>>>The problem is Deut. 4:1-3, 12:29-32, does not allow innovation like that. The Bible teaches the regulative principle.
“He fails to understand that there is a difference between forbidding to marry and placing restrictions on when one may marry.”
>>>A person must get married at a specific time. Deny the massive evidence I presented that marriage was prohibited by your tradition if breaking the 9th command is your thing.
“There is no prohibition of marriage in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Indeed, unless one wishes to be a monastic, it celibacy is strongly discouraged among the parish clergy. However a man must marry before he undertakes the sacred office of the Priesthood. (actually Diaconate) Here Drake is twisting words instead of honestly dealing with the issue.”
>>>You replied to not a single quotation or reference from my writings and I am not being honest?
“There is a difference between fasting for a time and forbidding eating certain foods. Our Lord, Himself spoke of fasting. In Matthew 6:16, Christ says, “When you fast…” He does not say, “If you fast,” but “When you fast,” because fasting is a part of the Christian life. Besides the citation from Acts 14, there are several references to fasting among the earliest Christians in the Book of Acts.”
>>>Was it for the purpose of recoiling from the burden of physical constitution and for the purpose of penance? Nope.
“He accuses the Orthodox Church of being Gnostic. This is laughable.”
>>>I’m laughing at you not with you.
“Gnosticism taught that the material world is evil.”
>>>And that is why your monks fast to control their evil flesh with its desires for sex which brings the monk away from angelic celibacy.
“Orthodox bless the material world.”
>>>So why do you seek to escape the body at death? Why is celibacy better than marriage contrary to Gen. 2:18?
“We bless everything, our homes, our cars, our food, firetrucks, railroad, everything. Our worship is very physical.”
>>>So is Hinduism.
“Calvinism, on the other hand has no place for the blessing of the material world.”
>>> I’m no longer a Christian. I think all Christians are gnostics but maybe they don’t do it because it is superstitious nonsense that is not mentioned in the bible.
“The Sacraments are symbols and not real means of grace”
>>>First your sacraments are a laughing stock. They are inventions of heretics and anti-semites. Read Leviticus 23 and then seriously ask yourself how God could introduce a new feast without defining the timing of it. When is the Lord’s Supper supposed to be held again? How often? And how do you know? Second, even Calvinists believe that the Lord’s supper is a means of grace. You are thinking of Baptists.
“and the central act of worship is the sermon, which turns Christianity into an exercise of the mind or emotions.”
>>>That is hysterical. That was the way synagogue worship was performed for centuries.
“The model for the arrangement of a Calvinist Church is a medieval university lecture hall”
>>> I dealt with all your ridiculous lies when I was still a Christian:http://olivianus.thekingsparlor.com/the-regulative-principle/the-synagogue-and-the-regulative-principle-by-drake-shelton
“The truth is that Calvinism is Gnostic because it denies the sanctification of matter.”
>>>Could you show me from the bible why the physical world needs sanctifying?
“He dismisses free will and does not understand that although God knows how we will respond to the Gospel, that does not mean that He predestines some to salvation and some to damnation.”
>>>Asserting it is not proving it. Again you didn’t quote a single statement I made. You are arguing against a straw man. Foreknowledge is causal enough. And don’t even try to play the game where you conflate a formal with an efficient cause.
“This goes completely against the entire spirit of the Gospel which teaches again and again that Christ died for all.”
>>>Those in hell as well?
“Drake contradicts the words of St. Paul, who wrote that God, “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
>>>You are conflating a decree and a moral will.
“I Timothy 2:4. This verse alone demolishes the entire Calvinist system for if God desires that all be saved and there is no free will, one must assume that all are saved.”
>>>Playing games with the word free will.
“However, we know that not all are saved.”
>>>On your theology they are all saved at the level of nature.
“Since God desires that all be saved and all are not saved, it is obvious that God has given us the ability to accept or reject His offer of salvation.”
>>>Given? Not innate? Be careful father, you may becoming a Calvinist.
“In other words, free will. Calvinism with its denial of free will makes God into a sadistic monster who sends people to hell without giving them a chance to be saved.”
>>>Sadistic according to what standard?
“Such a God is not the God of love described in the New Testament.”
>>>Romans 9. One vessel for honor, another for dishonor.
“Drake accuses Orthodox of being Arians and Monophysites.”
>>>Quote me now Father don’t keep punching those straw men you keep putting up.
“Thus at the same time, we deny the divinity of Christ and teach that the divinity of Christ absorbed His humanity. That is obviously a major contradiction. Actually, if one studies Calvin, his Christology is highly defective. He has a strong tendency towards Nestorianism.”
>>>So? Calvin is not the measure of truth.
“He denies the deification of the human nature of Christ and the “Communication of Attributes,” both of which are important doctrines from the age of the Holy Fathers.”
>>>Because your Jesus is a pagan deity. An attribute of God is omnipresence. If the human nature of messiah shares divine attributes then the human nature is omnipresent and thus not consubstantial with any human person.
“Finally, Drake uses all sorts of philosophical language to discredit Orthodoxy. However, this simple verbiage that really has no meaning. He actually uses high language to hide the shallowness of his theology and basic misunderstanding of Orthodoxy. Calvinism has become the latest fad among American Evangelicals.”
>>Fascinating because most Eastern Orthodox people I know know that Calvinism is Augustine’s Theology. That is the stage from which traditional Orthodoxy has implicated Rome on the Filioque. You have just embarrassed yourself beyond repair Father. It is time to retire from the religion and apologetics gig. Time to find a new job.
“However, like all fads it lacks depth. Instead, Calvinism provides easy answers to complex questions and falsely relies on human reason to understand the mysteries of God.”
>>>How else can a human understand something?
“Calvinism also appeals to people because it tells them that they are special because God has chosen them for salvation out of the mass of sinful humanity. As Orthodox Christians know the worst sin of all is the sin of pride, a sin produced by Calvinism.”
>>>Total depravity, pride? Actually it is your Pelagian system that states that God chose you because of some intrinsic good in you. That is the pride.
“St. John Chrysostom.”
>>>This man was the hero of the Nazis with his Nine Homilies Against the Jews. He was a scumbag piece of filth.
Thank you for affirming just how bankrupt your religion is sir.
Alpha Judaizer over and out
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