OrthodoxChristianity.net
December 18, 2014, 11:42:54 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1 2 »  All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Dispensationalism: Heresy or Harmless Theory?  (Read 15736 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Linus7
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,780



« on: February 25, 2003, 08:27:45 PM »

Dispensationalism, the eschatological scheme invented by John Nelson Darby and the Plymouth Brethren in 19th-century England, has taken American Evangelicalism by storm. It has done so largely through the popularity of books like Hal LIndsey's The Late Great Planet Earth and Tim LaHaye's Left Behind series.

It dominates the notes in so-called "Study Bibles" like the famous (or infamous) Scofield Reference Bible, The Ryrie Study Bible, and others.

I personally believe that Dispensationalism is rank heresy with all sorts of serious implications for the "Christianity" developed from it.

What do you think?

Let's discuss it.

If you don't know what it is, you may want to learn about it so you can be forearmed against those who will attempt to spread its doctrines.
Logged

The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true faith and in no way to deviate from the established doctrine of the Fathers.
- Pope St. Hormisdas
Frobie
Quasi Vero Monaco
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 633


Rublev's Trinity


WWW
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2003, 08:30:51 PM »

In my opinion, it denies the weight and existence of sin in our shattered lives. Very harmful to the soul and the Body of Christ.

Logged
prodromos
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Posts: 1,463

Sydney, Australia


« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2003, 03:01:45 AM »

My opinion? Any word longer than ten characters ending with 'ism' can't be good. I have enough trouble understanding the smaller words let alone something like this.

John (demonstrating his complete and utter ignorance)
Logged
Brigid of Kildare
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 280



« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2003, 07:26:14 AM »

Linus,

I hadn't even heard of the word myself before now. I think it is something we should be informed about as it seems to be such a feature of evangelical Christianity. God knows I am struggling to acquire an Orthodox mindset, but trying to fathom this stuff is next to impossible for me. It's a completely alien way of thinking to me. I found this definition useful though:

2. What is Dispensationalism?
Dispensationalism is a form of premillennialism originating among the Plymouth Brethren in the early 1830's. The father of dispensationalism, John Nelson Darby, educated as a lawyer and ordained Anglican priest, was one of the chief founders of the Plymouth Brethren movement, which arose in reaction against the perceived empty formalism of the Church of England. To the Brethren the true "invisible" church was to come out of the apostate "visible" Church, rejecting such forms as priesthood and sacraments.

 Dispensational theology centers upon the concept of God's dealings with mankind being divided into (usually) seven distinct economies or "dispensations", in which man is tested as to his obedience to the will of God as revealed under each dispensation.

 Dispensationalists see God as pursuing two distinct purposes throughout history, one related to an earthly goal and an earthly people (the Jews), the other to heavenly goals and a heavenly people (the church).1

 Dispensationalists believe that in the Old Testament God promised the Jewish people an earthly kingdom ruled by Messiah ben David, and that when Christ came He offered this prophesied kingdom to the Jews. When the Jews of the time rejected Christ and the earthly kingdom, the promise was postponed, and the "mystery form" of the kingdom - the church - was established.

 The church, according to dispensational doctrine, was unforeseen in the Old Testament and constitutes a "parenthesis" in God's plan for Israel. In the future, the distinction between Jew and Gentile will be reestablished and will continue throughout all eternity.

The "parenthesis", or church age, will end at the rapture when Christ comes invisibly to take all believers (excepting OT saints) to heaven to celebrate the "marriage feast of the Lamb" with Christ for a period of seven years.2

 God's program for the Jews then resumes with the tribulation, Antichrist, bowls of wrath, 144,000 Jews preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and Armageddon. Then, the Second (third, if you count the preTrib rapture) Coming, the instantaneous conversion of the entire nation of Israel, the resurrection of the Tribulation and Old Testament saints, and the "sheep and goats" judgment. The "goats" will be cast into hell, the "sheep" and the believing Jews will enter the millennium in natural human bodies, marrying, reproducing, and dying. The "mystery church" and the resurrected Tribulation and Old Testament saints will live in the heavenly Jerusalem suspended above the earthly city. This millennium will be a time of great peace and prosperity, with Christ ruling on David's throne. After 1,000 yrs. Satan will be released from the chain with which he had been bound at the beginning of the millennium and many of the children born to the "sheep" and the Israelites will follow him in revolt against Christ. The King will again destroy His enemies, followed by another resurrection of the righteous, another resurrection of the unrighteous, a final judgment, and at last the New Heavens and the New Earth.

 Although premillennial thought has been recorded in the early church, dispensational theology and its pursuant eschatology are new, as even the father of the system admitted -

"I think we ought to have something more of direct testimony as to the lord's coming, and its bearing also on the state of the church: ordinarily, it would not be well to have it so clear, as it frightens people. We must pursue it steadily; it works like leaven, and its fruit is by no means seen yet; I do not mean leaven as ill, but the thoughts are new, and people's minds work on them, and all the old habits are against their feelings - all the gain of situation, and every worldly motive; we must not be surprised at its effect being slow on the mass, the ordinary instruments of acting upon others having been trained in most opposite habits." - LETTERS OF J.N.D., vol.1 pg.25-26

The new doctrine was widely accepted in America, due to popular prophetic meetings such as the Niagara Bible Conferences. C.I. Scofield promulgated dispensational thought in his Scofield Reference Bible. Dispensational Bible institutes by the hundreds have sprung up across the continent - notably Moody Bible Institute and Dallas Theological Seminary. Media evangelists such as Jerry Fallwell, Pat Robertson, Jack Van Impe, and Hal Lindsey popularize dispensational eschatology today. Most likely you have heard these doctrines taught over Christian radio programs, and yes, from your own church's pulpit, though probably no one defined the theological system as dispensationalism nor the origination as Darby circa 1832.

Dispensationalism A Return to Biblical Theologyor Pseudo Christian Cult
http://www.frii.com/~gosplow/disp2.html

Sounds like there is plenty in this dispensationalist novelty to challenge Orthodox thinking.

Brigid
Logged

Bríd Naomhtha, Mhuire na nGaeil, Guí Orainn
Linus7
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,780



« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2003, 01:46:29 PM »

Brigid -

Great post.

Oh, there's plenty wrong with Dispensationalism, all right.

Take for example the crzay spin it puts on the "Sheep and Goats" judgment of Matthew 25:31-46.

All Christians before Darby read that passage as referring to the Last Judgment at the end of time, as we Orthodox still do.

Dispensationalists say, "not so," however. They teach that Matthew 25:31-46 refers to a judgment of "nations" that occurs when Jesus returns, at the end of the so-called "Great Tribulation."

Whole nations will be judged based upon their treatment of the 144,000 Jews of the Tribulation.

Those who gave aid to the 144K will be saved. Those who failed to aid them or actively mistreated them will be damned.

Huh?

Since when has God judged entire nations rather than individuals?

Do Dispensationalists really believe that if the UK sends foreign aid to the "remnant of Israel" all the inhabitants of Great Britain will be saved, regardless of their faith or lack thereof?

What if the government of Bulgaria neglects this "remnant" of 144K? Will every last Bulgarian man, woman, and child be eternally damned, regardless of his or her faith?

How else can God judge nations as nations?

This is utter tripe!

The Dispensationalists had to come up with this contrived interpretation because otherwise Matthew 25:31-46 shatters their whole system (which it in fact does).

If Jesus resurrects and judges everyone on the LAST DAY, then there is no room for all the different resurrections and judgments that must take place for the millenial schemes of the Dispensationalists to work.

But Jesus said he will raise up ALL those who believe in Him on the LAST DAY (John 6:39-40,44,54), and that He will judge everyone on that same Day (John 12:48).

He did not say he would raise some of them up at a secret "Rapture" 1,007 years (the 7-year Tribulation + the millenium) before the Last Day.

What is really especially heretical about Dispensationalism is that each of its 7 Dispensations has a different plan of salvation!

It is amazing how this whole whacky scheme has wormed its way into Evangelical Protestantism.
Logged

The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true faith and in no way to deviate from the established doctrine of the Fathers.
- Pope St. Hormisdas
sinjinsmythe
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 737



« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2003, 09:59:31 PM »

Here is an interesting article that makes reference to this faulty Christian teaching and how it has harmed America.

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=28562
Logged

Life is just one disappointment after another.
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,489



« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2003, 10:12:00 PM »

I don't think the dispensationalism normally affirmed is heresy, I think it's just a case of bad hermeneutics. Mid-Acts Dispensationalism, on the other hand,  come very close to heresy. (one form of this dispensationalism, for example, says that a new dispensation began with the Apostle Paul in Acts 9--the dispensation of Grace--and that Paul's teaching was different than the teachings of Jesus and the 12 Apostles, who had taught salvation by works. Supposedly, when Israel didn't repent, God decided to go with grace instead, and therefore the teachings of the 12 and our Lord himself were valid only in the previous dispensation). But then, there's lots of "heresy" to go around (e.g., how many Protestants fall into neo-nestorianism regarding the theotokos?), I don't see any reason to choose dispensationalism in particular to single out. Better, IMO, to start with the heresies that have already been dealt with explicitly by the Church.
Logged
Oblio
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 454

The Pointless One !


WWW
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2003, 10:34:20 AM »

Quote
e.g., how many Protestants fall into neo-nestorianism regarding the theotokos?

Over on CBBS, I've had to take off my shoes to count  Wink
Logged
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,489



« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2003, 01:06:24 PM »

Think dispensationalism is bad? Look at what someone wrote at one of the message boards I participate at this morning:

Quote
"What if the Star Making Machines that the Astronomers

have discovered in space were God's earliest attempt

to Reproduce beings like Himself.

And Angels were the second attempt .

And mankind is the third ?"

(The format of the text is the author's own, not mine)
 
I've been participating on message boards with this fellow for 3 years, and have even talked via email a few times, so I can honestly say, unfortunately, that he's totally serious when he says this stuff.  Shocked

http://www.theologyonline.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&threadid=6281
Logged
Seraphim Reeves
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 450



WWW
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2003, 02:57:51 PM »

A few thoughts on the subject, if I may...

a) The arbitrary and strange eschatology of the dispensationalists reminds me of the convoluted cosmology of the gnostics (including the idea of some kind of privileged knowledge exempting it's possessors from the law of God).

b) Irregardless of what "evidences" dispensationalists rend from the Scriptures the whole system makes God seem extremely arbitrary.  Perhaps this is simply the Augustinian in me speaking, but there is so much inelegance in this system, that intuitively I cannot believe it has anything to do with God.

c) It should be quite obvious how this system of thought has influenced evangelical protestantism in it's support of Zionism and an at least latent support of Talmudism (without even wanting to consider how anti-Christian either of these things in fact is.)

d) While it is true that there is evidence (particularly in some of the early Fathers) that some early Christians understood the Apocalypse's "1000 years" in a literal manner, as another poster pointed out, none of them subscribed to this eschatology (complete with  the unchanging God arbitrarily changing His standards and expectations with time.)

e) Perhaps this is why in the early Church, there was some hesitancy in certain quarters to accept the authenticity/apostolicity of the Apocalypse of St.John (precisely because it lent itself to some strange eschatological views; though it seems the weirdest it got in the early Church, was the semi-common view that the "1000 years" were literal instead of allegorical, much like the rest of the Apocalypse is supposed to be understood.)  Of course, ultimately, the "canon of St.Vincent" prevailed.

Seraphim
Logged

Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,489



« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2003, 03:16:11 PM »

Quote
complete with  the unchanging God arbitrarily changing His standards and expectations with time

Do you know what the solution of an increasing number is? Claim that God does change. The Open View theology that is taking hold of many evangelicals is quite scary (although I think I read somewhere the other day the the Southern Baptists squashed the attempt to make this a tenable position in their church).

I'd like to add something for those Orthodox unfamiliar with dispensationalism. A lot of talk has gone on about eschatology within dispensationalistic thought on this thread. In my experiences with dispensationalists, though, eschatology is a rarely-discussed aspect of their belief system (though perhaps the types of fora I frequent has something to do with that... I tend to avoid the popular-level type fora, and have a genuine dislike for eschatological discussion)
Logged
Νεκτάριος
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,437



« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2003, 07:56:49 PM »

A good read for anybody interstested in dispensationalism is A Second Look at the Second Coming by T.L. Frazier.  It provides a good refutation of dispensationalism and a good look into the Orthodox understanding of the end times.
Logged
Linus7
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,780



« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2003, 11:02:04 PM »

I do believe Dispensationalism is heresy, and at least its chiliastic aspect has been dealt with explicitly by the Church. It was the Second Council, at Constantinople in 381, that rejected Chiliasm, which is of course the very heart of Dispensationalist eschatology.

Of course, I think Dispensationalism is the result of having a wrong-headed view of Christianity as a whole. It is merely one symptom of a much larger malady.

Dispensationalists see literal, fleshly Israel as the main actor in God's program, with the Church as a mere "parenthesis."

They also see the cross as something that "became necessary" only because the Jews rejected the kingdom offered them by Jesus. Had the Jews "accepted Jesus" at His first coming, say the Dispies, the cross would not have been needed!

They have literal Jews reinstituting temple sacrifices in the literal millenium following the second Second Coming of Christ (the first Second Coming having occurred at the Rapture).

Dispensationalists must posit several such "Second Comings," several bodily resurrections, and several "last" judgments.

Their system divides God's people into two distinct "kingdoms" and likewise arbitrarily carves up Scripture. Some parts of the Bible, we are told, apply to the Church. Other parts apply only to the 144,000 literal Jews of the "Great Tribulation."

For example, according to Dispenstionalists, the Sermon on the Mount does not apply to Christians during the Church Age or even to the people to whom Jesus was speaking, but only to the Jews of the Great Tribulation.

Huh?  Huh

Apparently the only ones who can tell which verses of Scripture apply to which groups are the Dispensationalists themselves.

If all this is not heresy, then what is?
« Last Edit: March 05, 2003, 11:07:46 PM by Linus7 » Logged

The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true faith and in no way to deviate from the established doctrine of the Fathers.
- Pope St. Hormisdas
Linus7
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,780



« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2003, 12:38:07 AM »

I happened to be in the Waldenbooks at my local mall Friday evening while my wife was clothes shopping. In the Religion section I saw a book called The Complete Book of Bible Prophecy, by a guy named Mark Hitchcock.

I don't normally look at such obviously Fundamentalist Protestant fare, but I was bored, so I thumbed through this one.

I was shocked by the incredible dishonesty of this book. Under a heading called The Early Church was Premillenial, the author cited a number of early Church Fathers and claimed they were Premillenialists.

Of course, I have read before that Papias, Justin Martyr, and Irenaeus held chiliastic views, but Hitchcock also added to his list St. Ignatius, St. Clement of Rome, and St. Polycarp!

Now I have read all of Ignatius, Clement, and Polycarp, and I have NEVER found anything they wrote that even remotely hints that they held chiliastic views. In fact, I do not recall that they had anything much to say about eschatology at all, Premillenial or otherwise.

Is Hitchcock a liar, or did he just fail to do his homework?

How could he claim that Ignatius, Clement, and Polycarp were Premillenialists without actually reading what they had to say?

The book's cover said that Hitchcock is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary.

Evidently DTS' standards of intellectual precision are none too high.
Logged

The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true faith and in no way to deviate from the established doctrine of the Fathers.
- Pope St. Hormisdas
Keble
All-Knowing Grand Wizard of Debunking
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 3,443



« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2003, 01:31:25 AM »

I'm basically of the opinion that "secret decoder ring" theology-- especially when it gets eschatological-- is something to avoid. Bu thn, that's an Anglican attitude.

Could someone explain what "neo-nestorianism" is and how it applies to Mary?
Logged
Mor Ephrem
"Mor is right, you are wrong."
Section Moderator
Stratopedarches
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 18,689


"And you shall call his name Jesus..."


WWW
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2003, 02:05:42 AM »

I'm guessing "Neo-Nestorianism" is just a name given to the tendency of some to refuse, for whatever reason, to acknowledge Mary as the Mother of God, but only the Mother of Jesus.
Logged

The Mor has spoken. Let his word endure unto the ages of ages.

Please, James, tell us more about women!
Mexican
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria
Posts: 489


« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2003, 04:20:24 AM »

Well, the Vatican had a great tryumph in its ecumenical aspirations. Now the nestorians accepted to call the Theotokos "Mother of Christ, Our God" Wink

About dispensationalism, it's blatant heresy that must be combated as well as its Protestant spirit.
Logged
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,489



« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2003, 12:14:06 PM »

When I used the term neo-nestorian I was indeed thinking of those protestants who (admittedly, ignorantly) affirm a heretical view by stating: "Mary is not the 'mother of God,' she is only the 'Mother of Jesus'". Certainly there are some Protestant theologians who understand these issues, but by-in-large, most protestants seem totally clueless about most of the historical doctrines (and, ironically, only hold to doctrines because it's tradition that's been handed down to them).

On an indirectly related note. I was in a Protestant book store browsing the other day, and eventually made my way over to what I guess you could call their history section (if a half dozen books constitutes a section... at least they had Eusebius though). One book was suppose to discuss the 100 most important events in Church history. Half the book deals with the last 400 years or so. What's more, the book skips half the Ecumenical Councils, but manages to mention insignificant pious acts of saints (acts that are certainly noteworthy, but were only included in such a summary of Church history because they seem to make stands against the 'institutional church'.)  Back to Neo-nestorianism, how can we expect your typical pew-warmer, and even your average protestant amateur (or net) "theologian" to know the correct teachings when their "history" and "theology" books don't mention these issues?

Justin

PS. When I speak of "Protestants" I mean of course a generalised group. I understand that some groups have a far better understanding that others. Lutheran and Anglican Churchmen in particular, when they don't fall into the liberal side of their Church, seem to be have a good understanding (insofar as one outside the Church can understand).
Logged
Monkey
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 74


Recovering Protestant


« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2003, 12:43:04 PM »

When I speak of "Protestants" I mean of course a generalised group. I understand that some groups have a far better understanding that others. Lutheran and Anglican Churchmen in particular, when they don't fall into the liberal side of their Church, seem to be have a good understanding (insofar as one outside the Church can understand).

Having experience in both the Lutheran and Anglican traditions, I will agree that they tend to better aware of history. Some of them will even admit their indebtedness to the Church. Of course, I have never met a Lutheran or Anglican dispensationist. They tend to be partial preterists and ammillennialist. (I think those are the correct terms).

Logged
Linus7
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,780



« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2003, 03:29:47 PM »

I was a Missouri Synod Lutheran. That denomination's official eschatology is amillenialism.

Many Reformed and Presbyterians are also amillenialists. In fact, Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing has some pretty good books on eschatology at www.prpbooks.com .

Don't read any of their other junk, just the eschatology.
Logged

The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true faith and in no way to deviate from the established doctrine of the Fathers.
- Pope St. Hormisdas
Keble
All-Knowing Grand Wizard of Debunking
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 3,443



« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2003, 06:34:18 PM »


Of course, I have never met a Lutheran or Anglican dispensationist. They tend to be partial preterists and ammillennialist. (I think those are the correct terms).


I think the "official" Anglican position is "We have no idea." (Of course, that tends to be the "official" Anglican answer to a lot of issues.)
Logged
Keble
All-Knowing Grand Wizard of Debunking
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 3,443



« Reply #21 on: April 04, 2003, 07:36:08 PM »

When I used the term neo-nestorian I was indeed thinking of those protestants who (admittedly, ignorantly) affirm a heretical view by stating: "Mary is not the 'mother of God,' she is only the 'Mother of Jesus'". Certainly there are some Protestant theologians who understand these issues, but by-in-large, most protestants seem totally clueless about most of the historical doctrines (and, ironically, only hold to doctrines because it's tradition that's been handed down to them).

Probably a lot of it is also overcompensation against RC mariology, which continues to be a hot issue. And I suspect the near total lack of Marian devotions means that most people approach the issue with a blank slate. Under the circumstances, Nestorianism is a natural mistake, especially fo the anti-intellectual.
Logged
Keble
All-Knowing Grand Wizard of Debunking
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 3,443



« Reply #22 on: April 04, 2003, 07:45:14 PM »

On an indirectly related note. I was in a Protestant book store browsing the other day, and eventually made my way over to what I guess you could call their history section (if a half dozen books constitutes a section... at least they had Eusebius though). One book was suppose to discuss the 100 most important events in Church history. Half the book deals with the last 400 years or so. What's more, the book skips half the Ecumenical Councils, but manages to mention insignificant pious acts of saints (acts that are certainly noteworthy, but were only included in such a summary of Church history because they seem to make stands against the 'institutional church'.

Well, to hear some Orthodox talk, nothing important has happened in the church in 400 years.  Grin

And you have to expect them to pass over a lot of the councils-- after all, the ones devoted to denouncing the iconoclasts (again  Smiley ) are, at best, unimportant to evangelicals, and nobody in the West recognizes Trullo.

More seriously, for most of the West the Eastern churches simply drop off the ecclesiastical radar for nearly a millenium. It's hardly a surprise that a hisory written for evangelicals would take such a perspective.
Logged
Linus7
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,780



« Reply #23 on: April 04, 2003, 08:26:46 PM »

I'm guessing "Neo-Nestorianism" is just a name given to the tendency of some to refuse, for whatever reason, to acknowledge Mary as the Mother of God, but only the Mother of Jesus.  

It is true that many Evangelical Protestants will refuse to call Mary "Mother of God" simply because they are afraid of sounding Catholic. Some of them do so because they have not really thought out the implications of the Incarnation. Most of them refuse because they wrongly believe that calling Mary Theotokos is affirming a belief that Mary is pre-existent.

Often, when pressed, they will ultimately admit that, yes, Mary is the Mother of God.

I have seen this myself in debating Evangelicals.

However, there are some who are truly thorough-going Nestorians.

I have a quote or two somewhere. I will try to dig them up and post them here.

Logged

The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true faith and in no way to deviate from the established doctrine of the Fathers.
- Pope St. Hormisdas
Keble
All-Knowing Grand Wizard of Debunking
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 3,443



« Reply #24 on: April 04, 2003, 10:04:18 PM »

It is true that many Evangelical Protestants will refuse to call Mary "Mother of God" simply because they are afraid of sounding Catholic. Some of them do so because they have not really thought out the implications of the Incarnation. Most of them refuse because they wrongly believe that calling Mary Theotokos is affirming a belief that Mary is pre-existent.

Perhaps sticking to the Greek term causes confusion. "Mother of God", to me, is a dangerous phrase; it's the kind of talk that has led the RCs into talking about things like "co-redemption". I've always wondered at the reluctance to translate Theotokos, since the translation is not only clear but avoids the notion that Mary somehow gives existence to God.
Logged
Linus7
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,780



« Reply #25 on: April 04, 2003, 10:11:04 PM »

It is true that many Evangelical Protestants will refuse to call Mary "Mother of God" simply because they are afraid of sounding Catholic. Some of them do so because they have not really thought out the implications of the Incarnation. Most of them refuse because they wrongly believe that calling Mary Theotokos is affirming a belief that Mary is pre-existent.

Perhaps sticking to the Greek term causes confusion. "Mother of God", to me, is a dangerous phrase; it's the kind of talk that has led the RCs into talking about things like "co-redemption". I've always wondered at the reluctance to translate Theotokos, since the translation is not only clear but avoids the notion that Mary somehow gives existence to God.


Keble -

I apologize for seeming always to disagree with you; I truly do not intend for that to happen; it's just the way things work out.

While I understand what you are saying, I must respectfully disagree.

I think avoiding the term Mother of God is dangerous.

It can lead to the impression that there was a time when Jesus was not fully divine or that He was not divine at all.

It also deprives our Benefactress of the full measure of honor she so richly deserves.

I believe it is absolutely wrong to compromise at all on this issue.

Mary is the Mother of God.
Logged

The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true faith and in no way to deviate from the established doctrine of the Fathers.
- Pope St. Hormisdas
Oblio
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 454

The Pointless One !


WWW
« Reply #26 on: April 04, 2003, 10:17:50 PM »

More honorable than the Cherubim,
And more Glorious beyond compare than the Seraphim,
Without defilement, you gave birth to God the Word.
True Theotokos
, we Magnify you !


Crucial stuff this is !  Within lies the Mystery of our redemption.
Logged
Keble
All-Knowing Grand Wizard of Debunking
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 3,443



« Reply #27 on: April 04, 2003, 10:31:51 PM »

More honorable than the Cherubim,
And more Glorious beyond compare than the Seraphim,
Without defilement, you gave birth to God the Word.
True Theotokos
, we Magnify you !


Crucial stuff this is !  Within lies the Mystery of our redemption.

O higher than the Cherubim,
More Glorious than the Seraphim,
Thou bearer of th'eternal word,
Most Gracious, magnify the Lord.

That's the Anglican version. I'm still puzzled as to the reluctance to translate the Greek.....
Logged
Linus7
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,780



« Reply #28 on: April 04, 2003, 10:43:14 PM »

More honorable than the Cherubim,
And more Glorious beyond compare than the Seraphim,
Without defilement, you gave birth to God the Word.
True Theotokos
, we Magnify you !


Crucial stuff this is !  Within lies the Mystery of our redemption.

O higher than the Cherubim,
More Glorious than the Seraphim,
Thou bearer of th'eternal word,
Most Gracious, magnify the Lord.

That's the Anglican version. I'm still puzzled as to the reluctance to translate the Greek.....


Well, because in English we call those who actually bear children their mothers.

Thus the "bearer of the eternal Word" would be the same thing as the "mother of the eternal Word," i.e., the Mother of God.

I think Mother of God is a correct and legitimate translation of Theotokos.
Logged

The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true faith and in no way to deviate from the established doctrine of the Fathers.
- Pope St. Hormisdas
Oblio
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 454

The Pointless One !


WWW
« Reply #29 on: April 04, 2003, 10:52:26 PM »

Quote
True Theotokos, we Magnify you !

Quote
Most Gracious, magnify the Lord.

I'm puzzled as to the difference in this line WRT to the object of magnification.  Any thoughts ?
Logged
Linus7
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,780



« Reply #30 on: April 04, 2003, 10:57:46 PM »

Quote
True Theotokos, we Magnify you !

Quote
Most Gracious, magnify the Lord.

I'm puzzled as to the difference in this line WRT to the object of magnification.  Any thoughts ?

Seems to be an attempt to "Protestantize" the veneration of the Blessed Virgin.

I wonder why we would need to instruct her to "magnify the Lord."

And what is wrong with "True Theotokos, we Magnify you !" ?
Logged

The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true faith and in no way to deviate from the established doctrine of the Fathers.
- Pope St. Hormisdas
Keble
All-Knowing Grand Wizard of Debunking
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 3,443



« Reply #31 on: April 04, 2003, 11:05:51 PM »

While I understand what you are saying, I must respectfully disagree.

I think avoiding the term Mother of God is dangerous.

It can lead to the impression that there was a time when Jesus was not fully divine or that He was not divine at all.

It also deprives our Benefactress of the full measure of honor she so richly deserves.

I believe it is absolutely wrong to compromise at all on this issue.

Mary is the Mother of God.

OK, the problem is this-- what does "Mother" mean in that sentence?

If it means that Mary is the mother of Jesus' divine nature in the same way that Hera was said to be the mother of some of the Greek Gods, I cannot agree. The divine nature of Jesus is preexistent and is not dependent upon Mary.

I'm also failing to see how insisting upon the conciliar language-- and rejecting all others-- counts as compromise. "Mother of God" is not an accurate translation of "Theotokos". The problem with saying it is that, to avoid heretical misunderstandings, you are then immediately forced to include all the rest of the Chalcedonian formula anyway, because of the huge multiplicity of meanings that the word "mother" has in English.

I would also hasten to add that one's language within one's own tradition (and therefore in worship) can be used with greater freedom than when one is interacting with outsiders. If you want to say "Mother of God" in church, I won't have a problem with that as long as I am convinced that you understand the Chalcedonian formula and mean "mother" here as a synonym for "Theotokos". But if you are talking to an evangelical-- or for that matter, the average layman of any church, even your own-- I don't think the shared undersanding of the Formula can be taken for granted. (Speaking to a fundamentalist, it can assumed to be absent.) Intuiive understandings of "mother" in this wise (at least among English-speakers) are likely to be wrong, because they are likely to read "Mary is the Mother of God" as "Mary begot the undivided Godhead". And then, if they are resisting compromise, they will tell you that this is what you mean by the phrase, and the whole thing stands at an impasse. "No compromise" then means "I will defend my own speech even if it means confirming another in his heresy"-- I don't think this is what Jesus had in mind.

Get them to understand the Chalcedonian formula, and then you may say "Mother of God" at length.
Logged
Keble
All-Knowing Grand Wizard of Debunking
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 3,443



« Reply #32 on: April 04, 2003, 11:14:31 PM »

Quote
True Theotokos, we Magnify you !

Quote
Most Gracious, magnify the Lord.

I'm puzzled as to the difference in this line WRT to the object of magnification.  Any thoughts ?

Seems to be an attempt to "Protestantize" the veneration of the Blessed Virgin.

I wonder why we would need to instruct her to "magnify the Lord."

And what is wrong with "True Theotokos, we Magnify you !" ?

Well, speaking as a scripture-worshipping Protestant  Wink I would note that the Anglican version is scriptural, and the Orthodox version is not. Also, in the larger context of the hymn, it is addressed to the Trinity-- the hymn as a whole invokes all the company of heaven and hewhole Church in praise of the Lord God (this is just verse 2 out of 4).
Logged
Frobie
Quasi Vero Monaco
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 633


Rublev's Trinity


WWW
« Reply #33 on: April 04, 2003, 11:23:41 PM »

And the Orthodox Church is scriptural and the Anglican Church is not.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2003, 11:24:26 PM by Frobisher » Logged
Keble
All-Knowing Grand Wizard of Debunking
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 3,443



« Reply #34 on: April 04, 2003, 11:32:16 PM »


Well, because in English we call those who actually bear children their mothers.

Thus the "bearer of the eternal Word" would be the same thing as the "mother of the eternal Word," i.e., the Mother of God.

I think Mother of God is a correct and legitimate translation of Theotokos.

The problem is that we call a lot of other people "Mother" too. There are mothers who do not bear their children-- some have adopted them, and some have had heir children borne by others. "Theotokos" has buried within it the obsolete (and wrong) biological notion that the father plants the seed in the mother, and that she in turn is merely the place in which it grows. In this understanding, "bearer" and "mother" are closer in meaning.

But modern people know that this theory happens to be wrong. In normal biological motherhood, half the genetics and all of the rest are provided by the mother. Therefore, the default understanding ofthis, applied to the Incarnation, is that Mary provides "half" and the Holy Spirit provides "the other half". I think this can be worked around, but to do so you have to be very specific about which senses of "mother" you mean, and which senses you don't.
Logged
Oblio
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 454

The Pointless One !


WWW
« Reply #35 on: April 05, 2003, 12:00:18 AM »

Quote
But modern people know that this theory happens to be wrong. In normal biological motherhood, half the genetics and all of the rest are provided by the mother. Therefore, the default understanding ofthis, applied to the Incarnation, is that Mary provides "half" and the Holy Spirit provides "the other half".

But the Theotokos did provide that which made Christ fully man, which is part of the essential nature of Christ in order to effect our Salvation.  God, through the Holy Spirit did not just use the Theotokos for a vessel, He was Incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary.

Over at TBTSNBN (The Board That Shall Not Be Named) this is extrapolated by some to it's heretical conclusion that God could have made Christ born of a cow and we would still be saved.  Shocked
Logged
Keble
All-Knowing Grand Wizard of Debunking
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 3,443



« Reply #36 on: April 05, 2003, 08:33:44 AM »

But the Theotokos did provide that which made Christ fully man, which is part of the essential nature of Christ in order to effect our Salvation.  God, through the Holy Spirit did not just use the Theotokos for a vessel, He was Incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary.

Over at TBTSNBN (The Board That Shall Not Be Named) this is extrapolated by some to it's heretical conclusion that God could have made Christ born of a cow and we would still be saved.  Shocked

I can't say I think much of this "Holy Cow" theory.

But you are about to commit yourself to having an answer to "Where does Jesus' Y chromosome come from?" if you aren't careful.
Logged
Keble
All-Knowing Grand Wizard of Debunking
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 3,443



« Reply #37 on: April 05, 2003, 09:31:14 AM »

And the Orthodox Church is scriptural and the Anglican Church is not.

You can say that, but in scripture it is Mary who magnifies the Lord.

And you're taking my remark too deadly seriously.
Logged
Frobie
Quasi Vero Monaco
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 633


Rublev's Trinity


WWW
« Reply #38 on: April 05, 2003, 02:31:20 PM »

You come in here and tell us how we should run things. You don't think I wouldn't get a little ticked off, would you? But basically, the spirit of your remark is how we're wrong and you're right because you follow "scripture" or you're not "authoritarian," which the Anglican Church clearly was. It's getting to be a tired act, Keble. You may enjoy your Anglican faith all you want, and I respect your right to do that. But don't use it to put down the Orthodox and Catholics. We had a guy (yes, that guy!) a half a year ago tell us all about how great Catholicism was, but in reality he was using that as a dagger to put down the "divided" and "not with it" Orthodox. It was  divisive and un-Christian. I hope you will not do the same.

Matthew
« Last Edit: April 05, 2003, 03:33:06 PM by Frobisher » Logged
Keble
All-Knowing Grand Wizard of Debunking
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 3,443



« Reply #39 on: April 05, 2003, 10:14:31 PM »

You come in here and tell us how we should run things. You don't think I wouldn't get a little ticked off, would you? But basically, the spirit of your remark is how we're wrong and you're right because you follow "scripture" or you're not "authoritarian," which the Anglican Church clearly was.

"Clearly"? Clear to whom?

It was not I who brought up the alteration in the hymn; it was the Orthodox who did that. My remark about being a "scripture-worshipping Protestant" was sardonic (complete with smiley). Perhaps that's the reason John Athelstan Laurie Riley chose that version when he wrote his hymn, or perhaps not (he's been dead for half a century, so it's a little late to ask). As far as the hymn we sing is concerned, asking the Theotokos to praise the Godhead fits into the general theme of the hymn;

http://www.ccel.org/a/anonymous/eh1916/htm/h266.htm

praising her doesn't. I say that not as a theological comment, but as an observation on poetics. I regret seemingly having pushed one of your hot buttons, to where you for all intents threw down a gauntlet and challenged me to exegesis at dawn.

As for "Mother of God", again you are overreacting. My comment was my own opinion, and was a council of prudence, not a theological demand. I specifically disclaimed the latter.

You make insinuations about Anglican theology which are unfounded and untrue. Serge will be all too happy to tell you what a bunch of Latitudinarian slackers we actually are. The notion of an authoritarian Anglican theologian is totally laughable-- usually the complaint is that you can never pin them down to any paticular belief.

Christology happens to be one place where Orthodoxy and Anglicanism supposedly subscribe to the same principles. Hence it ought to be of value to converse on the matter. Instead, what I'm getting is a lot of dogmatic statements from people who aren't bishops, and a ton of overinterpretation of my remarks. It might actually be possible to get me to reconsider my doubts here, but combative presumption of the Church's authority is obviously futile as way of convincing me (I would already be Orthodox if it were sufficient, after all).

Quote
It's getting to be a tired act, Keble. You may enjoy your Anglican faith all you want, and I respect your right to do that.

But you don't respect it! As an Anglican I'm going to go and try on everyone else's theological clothes, as it were, to see if they fit. I'm going to look into Orthodox theology and practices and everything else, looking for spiritual value. And as an Anglican I'm not afraid of alterations where things don't seem to be quite right. This is not an "attack" on Orthodoxy. Respecting Anglicanism means that I don't have to fight every point to the death, or that I deny your legitimacy simply because there is a disagreement.

Quote
But don't use it to put down the Orthodox and Catholics.

I'm pretty sure the only substantive remark I've made about RC theology has been the remark about co-redemption. It is a tentative doctrine which I strongly suspect is objectionable to the Orthodox. That the Catholic church claims to be the "one true", in competition with the Orthodox church, is a matter of public record.

You seem to think that I wish to defend the supremacy of the Anglican Churches over the Orthodox. I do not, and certainly this is not the venue for doing so. If nothing else, there is one of me and dozens of potential opponents in such a contest; there is simply not enough time in the day for me to respond. Also, it would be rude to do so.
Logged
Linus7
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,780



« Reply #40 on: April 06, 2003, 12:18:12 AM »

Keble -

I've read your posts.

Jesus is one divine Person with two natures. He is God and Man undivided.

Mary did not give birth to a human nature; she gave birth to a person. The Person she gave birth to was and is God, as well as Man.

That makes her in every way the Mother of God.

It is a mistake to compromise on this or to fear to express ourselves in this way simply because we are afraid some Evangelical might misunderstand.

If we are too timid to call Mary the Mother of God, then the Evangelicals will definitely misunderstand what we mean by Theotokos.

All the discussion of who is or is not a mother is really irrelevant in this case. The biblical account and the rest of the Apostolic Tradition make it clear that Mary was Jesus' biological mother as well as His care-giving, nurturing mother.



Logged

The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true faith and in no way to deviate from the established doctrine of the Fathers.
- Pope St. Hormisdas
rakovsky
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 4,764



WWW
« Reply #41 on: July 15, 2010, 09:37:08 PM »

All:

I understand that Israel means the church in a spiritual sense because we are Jesus' spiritual offspring. Isaiah 53 talks about the Messiah's offspring, and it is hard for me to imagine that Jesus' spiritual offspring are only those who follow the Old Testament rituals.

I know that gentiles could become Jews and Israelites by conversion. Is the physical tribe of Israel any different from the Jews?


Did God promise the Promised Land by the Mediterranean to those called Jews?
Or did God only promise it to the physical tribe of Israel, or only to the spiritual tribe, which is the Church?

Thanks.
Logged
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Moderated
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 38,135



« Reply #42 on: July 15, 2010, 10:24:46 PM »

Heresy.
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 33,141


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #43 on: July 15, 2010, 10:56:01 PM »

Heresy.
How so?
Logged
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Moderated
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 38,135



« Reply #44 on: July 15, 2010, 11:10:20 PM »

Quote
Mat. 5:17 "Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them. 18 For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. 19 Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
Tags: heresy end times Theotokos nestorian nestorianism dispensationalism 
Pages: 1 2 »  All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.147 seconds with 73 queries.