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Offline rakovsky

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Reviews on The Orthodox Dilemma
« on: January 30, 2017, 03:22:49 AM »
These are some reviews of the book The Orthodox Dilemma, by the Orthodox Cognate Page. The book is devoted to achieving unity across self-identified Orthodox Churches.

Tamar Lomidze supports the book as expressing sincere searching for unity among orthodox. In the course of her review, she asks how far can ecumenical unity of orthodox be accepted, and she contrasts EO-OO relations that are going in a healing direction with some other relations that go in the opposite way:
Quote
how can Orthodox World embrace such an oath-breaker, a corrupt, immoral and politically biased person as anathematized Kievan "Patriarch" Filaret? Remember that he supported schisms in Bulgarian (1992) and Serbian (2006) Orthodox Churches instead of heal them! How can his dignity be recognized after these uncanonical and anti-Orthodox actions? Does his vision of the Church comply with the Holy Scripture and the Holy Tradition? In my opinion, Ukrainian situation is rather different from the EO-OO division, because the so-called UAOC and UOC-KP didn't inherit misunderstanding and schism historically, their believers and hierarchy behave deliberately and know exactly what they do.

She wants to see more discussion on whether EOs and OOs actually have the same theology:
Quote
At least in the case of Oriental Orthodox Churches he says that their faith is the same as of the Eastern Orthodox Churches. ... a reference to the 2014 declaration of the Joint Commission for the Dialogue between Eastern Orthodox Churches and Oriental Orthodox Churches can’t fully change my mind about this matter. And the mere feelings of believers can’t be referred to as a sufficient basis for such an assessment of faith as well.
http://ocpbooks.simplesite.com/421272268

George Joseph writes:
Quote
The strange and unbelievable experiences the author had in his attempted associations with Coptic Church, part and parcel of our oriental fraternity, point out to why Orthodoxy all these years happens to be a plaything with others. Oriental Orthodox and Byzantine or otherwise called Eastern Orthodox believe the same, but how strange, they cannot convince themselves that they believe the same! Efforts of L/L HG Dr. Paulose Mar Gregoriose or Late Fr Dr. V C Samuel are not taken up with any inborn urge for unity by other clergies of contemporary thought processes. Even what was advocated by Mar Chrysostom of Mira in 1979 seems to have been forgotten. Often, the purposes behind efforts to reconcile are not seemingly sincere that they are seen as a different category of ecumenism.
I don't know what he is talking about in bold.
Georgy said he will send me the book, which can clear up #1.

Next, G.Joseph writes:
Quote
The major stumbling block between Oriental and Eastern Orthodox Churches to come together seems to be a question; “Who is Christ”? And the answer lies in Christological interpretations where use of one particular word in one particular language when, perhaps, interpreted to other known languages could not perceive what was meant in its essence and the two groups of Orthodox Churches, having the very same faith, almost the very same rituals and exactly the very same attitudes to Christ, the redeemer fight each other. Can anyone find a more pathetic viewpoint in Christianity or even in humanity elsewhere? Do we deserve to be called followers of Christ? How much our ordinary laity is concerned over this? How far our ‘not so theologically mad clergy’ are bothered about this? Can’t we do something constructively on these? Fr Dr V C Samuel has redefined Chalcedon through his papers and both sides were very happy that they clapped their hands, but then?
I sympathize with what he is saying. However, as to his claim that the issue was "one particular word in one particular language when, perhaps, interpreted to other known languages".... EOs would commonly question that the issue was translation. The reason is that they were all basically using the same language, Greek, whereas there is not debate over the translation into Latin. Even in Coptic, the word is commonly transliterated as physis, or else the "divine nature" and "human nature" are translated in Coptic Bibles as "divinity" or "humanity" - exactly what Pope Leo's and Pat.Flavian's correspondence explained the two natures to be.

J.S. Hayward writes critically about the idea of the invisible church and against the idea of sharing communion without correctly reconciling in his book review. He mentions something I never heard of:
Quote

Roman ecumenism may have Protestantism somewhere in its sights, but the basic framing is that historic Churches [EOs, non-Chalcedonian ancient churches, RCs, "non-Ephesian" ancient Churches] are insiders who should restore communion without reconciliation, on the terms Protestant ecumenism would have it, while inclusion of Protestants may be desirable but they are outsiders to the family of historic Churches.

(I might comment briefly that I do not think it is right to regard Oriental Orthodox communions as being like Protestant denominations. There are a small number of non-Orthodox communions, and in fact, some of them like Novatians are treated with some sympathy in canon law. After the original break over a millennium ago, I am not aware of further fractures within the communities then established.

Next, he writes:
Quote
The book's basic proposition is essentially that all the communities claiming to be Orthodox should restore intercommunion without, as understood by Rome's historic Churches, a full and proper reconciliation. (And on the "There's room at the table" theme, I might remind you that the Evangelical Orthodox Church was received into the Orthodox Church as reconciled to become canonical. And I'd love to see other groups join them as well.) The only ecclesiastical body with "Orthodox" in its name that I am aware of that Mr. Alexander does not seek to include in Orthodox intercommunion is the Orthodox Presbyterian Church...

The argument, such as it went, was not to go over any of the fences in detail, but make brief assertions out of a presupposition that anathemas and closed communion (at least between what Rome calls "historic Churches") are insubstantial, not really speaking to us today, and resulting from confusion or sin rather than anything binding.

The author has put his heart in this, a point which is evident on almost every page. His sincerity is not up for grabs, nor his goodwill
http://ocpbooks.simplesite.com/421272827

Rt Rev. Chorbishop Dr. Mathew Vaidhyan concluded his review by saying:
Quote
Let us hope that the phrase “One Incarnate nature of God Word” adopted by St. Cyril of Alexandria to expound the correct understanding of the Person of Christ can unite the Oriental and Eastern Orthodox Churches. In Christ, divinity and humanity are inseparably and indivisibly united in one divine-human nature. The distinction between the divine and human are not annulled thereby, nor did the divine nature change into human or the human into divine.
http://ocpbooks.simplesite.com/421272827
I am not sure that this is a direct quote from Cyril. If it is, then EOs and OOs are already united in accepting this quote and in the phrase “One Incarnate nature of God Word”. OK, so what is the schism over? It's over a separate question, whether Christ also has two natures after the union.

So here is my question to the author, Georgy: If in fact this whole passage from Cyril can unite Orthodox Churches, then can the correct implication from the underlined part as to the disputed question also resolve the schism between Orthodox?



==========================
Note: This selection of reviews by me is not meant to be polemical. If I end up having a few exchanges of disagreement in a row with someone besides Georgy, I will move the discussion to the private section.
The ocean, impassable by men, and the world beyond it are directed by the same ordinances of the Master. ~ I Clement 20

Offline FinnJames

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Re: Reviews on The Orthodox Dilemma
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2017, 04:33:42 AM »
Just in case anybody else is wondering where to get the book itself, here's a link:
http://www.lulu.com/shop/http://www.lulu.com/shop/george-alexander/the-orthodox-dilemma/paperback/product-23026174.html

Offline rakovsky

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Re: Reviews on The Orthodox Dilemma
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2017, 03:28:04 PM »
Quote
A positive movement to reconcile the Eastern Orthodox & Oriental Orthodox Churches

Review by Rakovsky

Georgy Alexander’s book continues to prompt evaluation and move forward a positive movement to reconcile the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches. His thesis is that “Although due to cultural, linguistic and political influences, these churches tried to define Christological issues in different terminologies… they profess the same faith and doctrines pertaining to the person of Christ, who was truly God and truly man.” The problem he sees is that their terminologies “were not properly intelligible to each other at that time.” The thesis has appeal because it suggests that if we resolved issues of terminology, we could recognize basic orthodoxy in each other’s beliefs. G.Alexander has helped break the ground for a full analysis on whether this is the case. Such an analysis must be undertaken dispassionately, not based on a fear that one’s own terminology could be incorrect.

Alexander makes observations that show the need for a reasonable grassroots, logical re-evaluation of some Christological expressions. For example, there is a strongly growing trend today among E.Orthodox to reject the label of “Monophysites” for Oriental Orthodox when more and more E.Orthodox hear Oriental Orthodox teaching that Christ has divinity and humanity, and not only a divine nature. Alexander complains that “Many people still think that the Oriental Orthodox believe only in a single nature of Christ.” He also notes how a friend told him her experience that reflects “the sad reality and tragedy of Orthodox” relations: ...

http://ocpbooks.simplesite.com/421272827/4455024/posting/a-positive-movement-to-reconcile-the-eastern-orthodox-oriental-orthodox-churches
Click on the link for the rest of the review.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2017, 03:28:38 PM by rakovsky »
The ocean, impassable by men, and the world beyond it are directed by the same ordinances of the Master. ~ I Clement 20

Offline Opus118

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Re: Reviews on The Orthodox Dilemma
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2017, 09:48:42 PM »
These are some reviews of the book The Orthodox Dilemma, by the Orthodox Cognate Page. The book is devoted to achieving unity across self-identified Orthodox Churches.

Tamar Lomidze supports the book as expressing sincere searching for unity among orthodox. In the course of her review, she asks how far can ecumenical unity of orthodox be accepted, and she contrasts EO-OO relations that are going in a healing direction with some other relations that go in the opposite way:
Quote
how can Orthodox World embrace such an oath-breaker, a corrupt, immoral and politically biased person as anathematized Kievan "Patriarch" Filaret? Remember that he supported schisms in Bulgarian (1992) and Serbian (2006) Orthodox Churches instead of heal them! How can his dignity be recognized after these uncanonical and anti-Orthodox actions? Does his vision of the Church comply with the Holy Scripture and the Holy Tradition? In my opinion, Ukrainian situation is rather different from the EO-OO division, because the so-called UAOC and UOC-KP didn't inherit misunderstanding and schism historically, their believers and hierarchy behave deliberately and know exactly what they do.

She wants to see more discussion on whether EOs and OOs actually have the same theology:
Quote
At least in the case of Oriental Orthodox Churches he says that their faith is the same as of the Eastern Orthodox Churches. ... a reference to the 2014 declaration of the Joint Commission for the Dialogue between Eastern Orthodox Churches and Oriental Orthodox Churches can’t fully change my mind about this matter. And the mere feelings of believers can’t be referred to as a sufficient basis for such an assessment of faith as well.
http://ocpbooks.simplesite.com/421272268

George Joseph writes:
Quote
The strange and unbelievable experiences the author had in his attempted associations with Coptic Church, part and parcel of our oriental fraternity, point out to why Orthodoxy all these years happens to be a plaything with others. Oriental Orthodox and Byzantine or otherwise called Eastern Orthodox believe the same, but how strange, they cannot convince themselves that they believe the same! Efforts of L/L HG Dr. Paulose Mar Gregoriose or Late Fr Dr. V C Samuel are not taken up with any inborn urge for unity by other clergies of contemporary thought processes. Even what was advocated by Mar Chrysostom of Mira in 1979 seems to have been forgotten. Often, the purposes behind efforts to reconcile are not seemingly sincere that they are seen as a different category of ecumenism.
I don't know what he is talking about in bold.
Georgy said he will send me the book, which can clear up #1.

Next, G.Joseph writes:
Quote
The major stumbling block between Oriental and Eastern Orthodox Churches to come together seems to be a question; “Who is Christ”? And the answer lies in Christological interpretations where use of one particular word in one particular language when, perhaps, interpreted to other known languages could not perceive what was meant in its essence and the two groups of Orthodox Churches, having the very same faith, almost the very same rituals and exactly the very same attitudes to Christ, the redeemer fight each other. Can anyone find a more pathetic viewpoint in Christianity or even in humanity elsewhere? Do we deserve to be called followers of Christ? How much our ordinary laity is concerned over this? How far our ‘not so theologically mad clergy’ are bothered about this? Can’t we do something constructively on these? Fr Dr V C Samuel has redefined Chalcedon through his papers and both sides were very happy that they clapped their hands, but then?
I sympathize with what he is saying. However, as to his claim that the issue was "one particular word in one particular language when, perhaps, interpreted to other known languages".... EOs would commonly question that the issue was translation. The reason is that they were all basically using the same language, Greek, whereas there is not debate over the translation into Latin. Even in Coptic, the word is commonly transliterated as physis, or else the "divine nature" and "human nature" are translated in Coptic Bibles as "divinity" or "humanity" - exactly what Pope Leo's and Pat.Flavian's correspondence explained the two natures to be.

J.S. Hayward writes critically about the idea of the invisible church and against the idea of sharing communion without correctly reconciling in his book review. He mentions something I never heard of:
Quote

Roman ecumenism may have Protestantism somewhere in its sights, but the basic framing is that historic Churches [EOs, non-Chalcedonian ancient churches, RCs, "non-Ephesian" ancient Churches] are insiders who should restore communion without reconciliation, on the terms Protestant ecumenism would have it, while inclusion of Protestants may be desirable but they are outsiders to the family of historic Churches.

(I might comment briefly that I do not think it is right to regard Oriental Orthodox communions as being like Protestant denominations. There are a small number of non-Orthodox communions, and in fact, some of them like Novatians are treated with some sympathy in canon law. After the original break over a millennium ago, I am not aware of further fractures within the communities then established.

Next, he writes:
Quote
The book's basic proposition is essentially that all the communities claiming to be Orthodox should restore intercommunion without, as understood by Rome's historic Churches, a full and proper reconciliation. (And on the "There's room at the table" theme, I might remind you that the Evangelical Orthodox Church was received into the Orthodox Church as reconciled to become canonical. And I'd love to see other groups join them as well.) The only ecclesiastical body with "Orthodox" in its name that I am aware of that Mr. Alexander does not seek to include in Orthodox intercommunion is the Orthodox Presbyterian Church...

The argument, such as it went, was not to go over any of the fences in detail, but make brief assertions out of a presupposition that anathemas and closed communion (at least between what Rome calls "historic Churches") are insubstantial, not really speaking to us today, and resulting from confusion or sin rather than anything binding.

The author has put his heart in this, a point which is evident on almost every page. His sincerity is not up for grabs, nor his goodwill
http://ocpbooks.simplesite.com/421272827

Rt Rev. Chorbishop Dr. Mathew Vaidhyan concluded his review by saying:
Quote
Let us hope that the phrase “One Incarnate nature of God Word” adopted by St. Cyril of Alexandria to expound the correct understanding of the Person of Christ can unite the Oriental and Eastern Orthodox Churches. In Christ, divinity and humanity are inseparably and indivisibly united in one divine-human nature. The distinction between the divine and human are not annulled thereby, nor did the divine nature change into human or the human into divine.
http://ocpbooks.simplesite.com/421272827
I am not sure that this is a direct quote from Cyril. If it is, then EOs and OOs are already united in accepting this quote and in the phrase “One Incarnate nature of God Word”. OK, so what is the schism over? It's over a separate question, whether Christ also has two natures after the union.

So here is my question to the author, Georgy: If in fact this whole passage from Cyril can unite Orthodox Churches, then can the correct implication from the underlined part as to the disputed question also resolve the schism between Orthodox?



==========================
Note: This selection of reviews by me is not meant to be polemical. If I end up having a few exchanges of disagreement in a row with someone besides Georgy, I will move the discussion to the private section.

Did you understand the CJS Hayward's review? I got lost. He writes kind of like me with asides that do not seem relevant to the issue. His prose is also better than mine here (this forum), but I am writing conversationally and what I write is often not important. However, when I write a review, I take the time (usually two-three weeks) to be concise and correct as possible which involves critiquing myself during the last draft which has sometimes resulted in the opposite assessment. Reviewing the works of others whose livelihood depends on a fair assessment is an extremely important responsibility thatI would hope no one would take lightly.

« Last Edit: February 25, 2017, 09:49:46 PM by Opus118 »
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Reviews on The Orthodox Dilemma
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2017, 10:59:40 PM »
Did you understand the CJS Hayward's review? I got lost.
Yes I understood it.
If you tell me where you got lost I can show you what he means.
The ocean, impassable by men, and the world beyond it are directed by the same ordinances of the Master. ~ I Clement 20

Offline theorthodoxchurch

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Re: Reviews on The Orthodox Dilemma
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2017, 08:01:47 AM »
Sorry for the late reply. I was preoccupied with the second edition of my work.
The Orthodox Dilemma is not a full scale theological work. Am not smart enough to analyse high level theological disputes.
My major concern is that we need to be 'dialogical' between various Orthodox families and this can bring a lot of change.
This work is form my personal view point, life experiences combined with theology church administration and many other things.
You will have a clear idea once the full second edition is out. 
georgy

Offline rakovsky

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Re: Reviews on The Orthodox Dilemma
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2017, 04:19:12 PM »
I like how you are working to reunite the churches.

One of the needed factors is that people put aside animosities and instead have a shared goal of reuniting and dispassionately reviewing theological issues.

Peace.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2017, 04:28:05 PM by rakovsky »
The ocean, impassable by men, and the world beyond it are directed by the same ordinances of the Master. ~ I Clement 20

Offline Vanhyo

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Re: Reviews on The Orthodox Dilemma
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2017, 03:44:18 AM »
There are two major problems

Their apostolic succession comes from people who were themselves suspended and had no authority to ordain.

They don't simply believe in one nature, they also confess one will and energy.

A unity with them is a suicide, once we start question the holy fathers and the ecumenical councils it's a formula for disaster.

Rakovsky, you need to drop this madness/obssession of yours and return to sound orthodoxy.

Such polemics, especially toward Oriental Orthodoxy, are not allowed in the general fora. I am giving you 20% of warning.
Dominika, section moderator
« Last Edit: March 24, 2017, 03:47:12 PM by Dominika »

Offline rakovsky

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Re: Reviews on The Orthodox Dilemma
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2017, 08:55:54 AM »
There are two major problems

Their apostolic succession comes from people who were themselves suspended and had no authority to ordain.

They don't simply believe in one nature, they also confess one will and energy.

A unity with them is a suicide, once we start question the holy fathers and the ecumenical councils it's a formula for disaster.

Rakovsky, you need to drop this madness/obssession of yours and return to sound orthodoxy.
I invite you to continue the discussion here:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,71145.new.html#new
The ocean, impassable by men, and the world beyond it are directed by the same ordinances of the Master. ~ I Clement 20

Offline theorthodoxchurch

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Re: Reviews on The Orthodox Dilemma
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2017, 01:18:15 PM »
New Comments and Reviews

"The Orthodox Dilemma is an extraordinary piece of work" - Comments by Fr Paul Sushil - Pakistani Priest of Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate).
http://ocpbooks.simplesite.com/421272827/4661713/posting/the-orthodox-dilemma-is-an-extraordinary-piece-of-work-comments-by-fr-paul-sushil

The 'Orthodox Dilemma' is a timely and well-researched book - Brief review by Rev. Dr. Henry G. Covert (United Church of Christ)
http://ocpbooks.simplesite.com/421272827/4681169/posting/the-orthodox-dilemma-is-a-timely-and-well-researched-book

georgy