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Offline Alpha60

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Books which mischaracterize Oriental Orthodoxy
« on: November 16, 2017, 10:25:51 PM »
The Oriental Church was, until the past few decades, routinely and indeed, I suspect almost unwittingly, slandered in the West by various authors influenced by or adhering to Roman Catholic prejudices.

I want to create a thread for members to index those books whose depiction of Oriental Orthodoxy is unhelpful.  Books like "The Lesser Eastern Churches" by Adrian Fortescue, which, although in its rather insensitive title, claims to refer to our churches as "Lesser" relative to the Byzantines, nonetheless contains innumerable historical errors and also appalling factual errors, presented in a surly manner, for instance, on Pp. 338, wherein Fortescue pains himself to reassure potentially scandalized Western Chalcedonian readers that St. Ignatius was "Most assuredly not a Monophysite."  That we would agree enthusiastically with this sentiment is not even mentioned, as one might well expect from a work which categorizes the entire Oriental church as Monophysite, when of course as is now established bona fide Monophysitism has been extinct since the demise of the dreadful Tritheist offshoots of Eutyches.

It is very important for Christians to not be misled by inaccurate or misdirected polemics of the past on the veritable eve of reunion between the Eastern and Oriental communions; even Fortescue documents numerous instances where the dichotomy between the two was blurred or non-existant, or even betwern the Oriental Orthodox and the "Nestorian" Assyrians of the Church of the East, with whom we share so much, the Church of the East having been it would seem not the uniformly Nestorian body that is described in the academic litetature, but rather, a single complex church with rival, overlapping and in some cases, undifferentiated or reconciled episcopates, so that the restoration of (physical) communication between the Church of India and the Syriac Patriarch of Antioch in the 18th century in absolutely no sense represented any kind of conversion (to Oriental Orthodoxy) the Indian church, ostensibly a part of the "Nestorian" Church of the East according to some incompetent scholars of the past two centuries, and still prevailing as a sort of urban legend even in more recent and generally competent scholarly discussions of the same. 

Rather, as we now know, the Church of the East in India at least was predominantly Orthodox according to the Christology of Sts. Cyril and Severus, although the existence of factions committed to the Christological model of Mar Babai the Great is probable (and I believe these factions, more or less, comprise the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church).

~

So, from this premise, which books have you found particularly unhelpful in learning about the Oriental Church?  I myself have had a lot of problems with over-simplification of historical details in a great many Western books, so the reliability ot nearly everything written about us has in my experience been a matter of some frustration.  It is endlesdly annoying to me to see the Oriental Orthodox church denied as Orthodox, with Western scholars on numerous occasions imposing bright line dichotomies which almost invariably prove to be sources of confusion, at best, and at worst, more intrinsically misleading.
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Offline Alpha60

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Re: Books which mischaracterize Oriental Orthodoxy
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2017, 10:44:52 PM »
I should I think hasten to add that the most odious screed I have encountered concerning the Oriental Church is to be found in "Creeds of Christiandom," a formidable, imperious, and at times Pietistic to the point of being surly, encyclopedia of Christian "denominations," which simply writes us off as failed ecclesia that are of no value to Christendom other than as mission fields ripe for enlightened western Protestant missionaries, preferrably good solid low church reformed Anglicans, to re-evangelize. 

This same horrid treatment is given to the Assyrian Church of the East, which is lumped together with us, as one might expect, in a disagreeably short chapter which comes across as a sort of appendix to the article on Eastern Orthodoxy (which is also very unfairly critical of our beloved EO brethren, in a disdainful, scornful, condescending sort of way, although at least the book stops short of implying the Eastern Orthodox to be apostate, which seems to be its opinion of the Oriental Orthodox and the Assyrians).
« Last Edit: November 16, 2017, 10:45:13 PM by Alpha60 »
"It is logical that the actions of the human race over time will lead to its destruction.  I, Alpha 60, am merely the agent of this destruction."

- The computer Alpha 60, from Alphaville (1964) by Jean Luc Godard, the obvious inspiration for HAL-9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

This signature is not intended to offend any user, nor the relatives of Discovery 1 deputy commander Dr. Frank Poole,  and crew members Dr. Victor Kaminsky, Dr. Jack Kimball, and Dr. Charles Hunter.

Offline ZackShenouda439

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Re: Books which mischaracterize Oriental Orthodoxy
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2017, 11:23:28 PM »
Yes, it's annoying how wide-spread this slander on Oriental Orthodoxy is.

For example this book for instance has this line "and the Copts insisted on adopting the dogma of one divine nature for Christ"

https://books.google.com/books?id=rukHhGrQfHkC&pg=PA102&lpg=PA102&dq=%22and+the+Copts+insisted+on+adopting+the+dogma+of+one+divine+nature+for+Christ%22&source=bl&ots=PV3wIRqLBR&sig=8z0rfCscXoeRVwWid04q5eD-xTs&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiFuO7E0cTXAhVDKyYKHX4_DF4Q6AEIJjAA#v=onepage&q=%22and%20the%20Copts%20insisted%20on%20adopting%20the%20dogma%20of%20one%20divine%20nature%20for%20Christ%22&f=false

The claim that oriental orthodox insisted on adopting the dogma of "one divine nature" is a unsubstantiated claim based on nothing & can be easily refuted by showing what's documented in primary sources.Such a claim is so wrong that it can only be accurately characterized as slander.

In the end of the day the truth remains & lies eventually crumble. We even see St.Dioscorus saying this in the in the minutes of the council of Chalcedon:

 "Dioscorus the most devout bishop of Alexandria said: ‘The minutes will reveal the truth.'

and indeed, the minutes will reveal the truth.

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Re: Books which mischaracterize Oriental Orthodoxy
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2017, 11:33:30 PM »
You don't need anymore books.
Learn meditation.

Offline augustin717

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Re: Books which mischaracterize Oriental Orthodoxy
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2017, 02:21:10 AM »
The Spiritual Meadow by John Moschus is full of anecdotes of Severians converting to the Catholic Church or visions of them in hell. Not the most balanced assessment of Oriental Orthodoxy .
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Offline ZackShenouda439

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Re: Books which mischaracterize Oriental Orthodoxy
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2017, 03:15:47 AM »
This piece on "The History of Religion in Egypt: Ancient, Coptic Christianity & Islam”

claims this
"dissension would persist for 150 years, until most Copts seceded from the main body of Christianity because of the decision of the Council of Chalcedon that Christ had a dual nature, human and divine. Copts maintain that Christ has one single, divine nature (monophysitism) "
https://cmes.arizona.edu/sites/cmes.arizona.edu/files/2c.%20History%20of%20Religion%20-%20powerpoint_0.pdf

Where are they getting this from? “ one single, divine nature ” is not what Copts maintain and is not what Dioscorus confessed in the council of Chalcedon. The minutes show Dioscorus confessing this:

 Dioscorus the most devout bishop of Alexandria said: ‘Clearly Flavian was deposed for this reason, that he spoke of two natures after the union. But I have quotations from the holy fathers Athanasius, Gregory and Cyril saying in numerous passages that one should not speak of two natures after the union but of one incarnate nature of the Word.I am being cast out together with the fathers. I stand by the doctrines of the fathers, and do not transgress in any respect. And I have these quotations not indiscriminately or in a haphazard form but in books. As all have asked, I too request that the rest be read.’

 Dioscorus the most devout bishop of Alexandria said: ‘I accept “from two [natures]”; I do not accept “two”. I am com-pelled to speak brashly: my soul is at stake.’

Dioscorus the most devout bishop of Alexandria said: ‘We speak of neither confusion nor division nor change. Anathema to whoever speaks of confusion or change or mixture.’

If this is monophysitism than I guess by that standard, Cyril is also a monophysite:

" Given that we understand this, we do no harm to that concurrence into union when we say that it took place out of two natures. After the union has occurred, however, we do not divide the natures from one another, nor do we sever the one and indivisible into two sons, but we say that there is One Son, and as the holy Fathers have stated: One Incarnate Nature of The Word.”

"This is why the two are no longer two, but through both of them the one living creature is rendered complete.”

‘In respect of the elements from which is the one and only Son and Lord Jesus Christ, as we accept them in thought, we say that two natures have been united, but after the union, when the division into two has now been removed, we believe that the nature of the Son is one’.

but then again, it's not really surprising considering Cyril was accused of the same thing:

"But since certain people are trying to implicate us with the opinions of Apollinaris, saying: ‘If you maintain that the Word of God the Father incarnated and made man is One Son in a strict and compact union, perhaps you imagine or have come to think that some mixture or blending or confusion occurred between the Word and the body, even a transformation of the body into the nature of Godhead? We are fully aware of such implications and we refute such a slander when we say that the Word of God, in an incomprehensible manner, beyond description, united to himself a body animated with a rational soul, and came forth as man from a woman, not becoming what we are by any transformation of nature but rather by a gracious economy. For he wished to become man without casting off his natural being as God, and even when he descended into our limitations, and put on the form of the slave, even so he remained in the transcendent condition of the Godhead and in his natural state as Lord."
« Last Edit: November 17, 2017, 03:23:12 AM by ZackShenouda439 »

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Books which mischaracterize Oriental Orthodoxy
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2017, 03:53:02 AM »
Quote
Where are they getting this from? “ one single, divine nature ”

History is written by the victors. It's the strawman that the Chalcedonian side came to use on the other and since the Catholic Church and the orthodox Protestants are all Chalcedonian...

Beyond that, researching the OO seems to not be a huge interest in the West historically, so few people ever bother to correct misconceptions.
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Re: Books which mischaracterize Oriental Orthodoxy
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2017, 04:00:08 AM »
Specific complaints about the book by Fr. John McGuckin?

Offline Alpha60

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Re: Books which mischaracterize Oriental Orthodoxy
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2017, 06:35:52 AM »
The Spiritual Meadow by John Moschus is full of anecdotes of Severians converting to the Catholic Church or visions of them in hell. Not the most balanced assessment of Oriental Orthodoxy .

Wow.  That would represent the extreme end of the sort of material I had in mind.   

Could you describe the subject matter and content of The Spiritual Meadow?

One area btw where even many of the otherwise-better quality books regarding the Oriental churhc in my posession have rather dropped thr ball is Ethiopia.  I don't know of many whose descriptions regarding the "exotic" Ethiopian church who does not at least some extent play on this obscurity, and those that do get carried away with the excitement of this supposed exotic branch of Christianity (I think actually rather less exotic when you consider the Ehiopians are the second largest EO/OO national church after the Russian Orthodox Church and ahead of the Romanians, or the combined total, IIRC, of Greeks and Bulgarians) tend to ignore the intense piety and traditionalism of the Ethiopian church in favor of silly articles about "liturgical dance" (really aliturgical since it is not in the Anaphora), the round shape of some Ethiopian churches, the presupposed influence of extra books in both the Narrow and Broad Testament, as if the EOTC somehow read 1 Enoch in a literalist, Sola Scriptura way, and held its text above contradictory Scripture that is in fact of greater importance).
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Re: Books which mischaracterize Oriental Orthodoxy
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2017, 12:11:02 PM »
The Spiritual Meadow by John Moschus is full of anecdotes of Severians converting to the Catholic Church or visions of them in hell. Not the most balanced assessment of Oriental Orthodoxy .

What's a meadow without weeds?  :)
How this relates to the coming Antichrist? I don't know...

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Offline RobS

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Re: Books which mischaracterize Oriental Orthodoxy
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2017, 03:03:48 PM »
Specific complaints about the book by Fr. John McGuckin?
What book? His newest tome on the 1000 Christian year history?

Lol does Fr. John ever stop writing?
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Re: Books which mischaracterize Oriental Orthodoxy
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2017, 03:21:27 PM »
Specific complaints about the book by Fr. John McGuckin?
What book? His newest tome on the 1000 Christian year history?

Lol does Fr. John ever stop writing?

Saint Cyril of Alexandria and the Christological Controversy

I remember at least one non-Chalcedonian member of the board complaining about it, but I don't remember what exactly the complaints were or who made them. Figured this was a good time to ask whether there are any legit criticisms of it or not.

Offline augustin717

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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Books which mischaracterize Oriental Orthodoxy
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2017, 07:39:12 PM »
Specific complaints about the book by Fr. John McGuckin?

1. The writer Edward Oakes in Orthodoxy Today makes a criticism of this book:
Quote
Here Cyril was certainly bolder than the Latin theologians, but the lack of theological daring in Latin Christology has somewhat slanted McGuckin's interpretation of Pope Leo I, whose famous Tome was read out before the assembled bishops at Chalcedon to unanimous acclaim: "Peter has spoken through Leo!" The standard Western account of that episode claims for Rome a balance of approach lacking in the more disputatious Greek theologians, who were still too besotted by the neo-Platonic speculations common in the East. McGuckin disagrees. He points out, rightly, that the bishops not only accepted Leo's intervention as the voice of Peter but went on to say, "So also did Cyril teach." (Cyril had died seven years before Chalcedon.) According to McGuckin, the bishops accepted Leo because, and only because, he taught the same thing as Cyril, who alone was the test for Christological orthodoxy. McGuckin also makes the much more radical claim that the decree of Chalcedon was meant as a deliberative corrective to Leo's Tome.

This thesis will not stand up to scrutiny. The decree the Eastern bishops supported clearly represented a middle passage between the extremes of Antioch and Alexandria. Cyril had favored the term "hypostasis" to denote the union of divine and human in Jesus, while the Antiochenes preferred "person." Chalcedon used both terms. Similarly, Cyril generally spoke of a hypostatic union "from" two natures, whereas Leo and the Antiochenes insisted on the union taking place "in" two natures--and that is the formulation Chalcedon chose. Finally, we know that the Alexandrians themselves detected these "concessions" to Antiochene theology because Cyril's more hotheaded successors (Eutyches and Dioscorus, primarily) actively rejected the Council.
http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles5/OakesMcGuckin.php
According to Oakes, Fr. McGuckin is saying that Cyril was the test for Leo's Orthodoxy at Chalcedon and that Chalcedon was meant as a corrective to Leo.

Oakes is responding that Chalcedon cut a middle path because it sees the union in the person and in the hypostasis. Plus, it is not making a "corrective" to Leo, because it accepts that Christ is in two natures.

Oakes says that Fr. McGuckin describes the Antiochene school of thought this way:
Quote
In reaction to Apollinaris, theologians from Antioch claimed that since both God and human beings are possessed of their own subject-centers, the same must hold of Jesus: the Logos of God and the human soul of Jesus must sit separately behind the "mask" (the original meaning of "person") of the divine-human actor.
Where do the Antiochians say that Jesus had two separate "souls"? This seems to be McGuckin's own reading of Theodore Mopsuestia and Nestorius, which he then extrapolates onto the Antiochians as a whole (eg. John of Antioch and Theodoret). If the Antiochians had clearly proposed that Jesus had either two souls or two separate subject centers, I am skeptical that Cyril would have reunited with them as teaching the same exact thing.

2. Malene Kjaer's essay takes an antiChalcedonian OO POV and she criticizes Fr. McGuckin for supposedly ignoring what she sees as a contradiction between Cyril's teaching of a union of two natures and Chalcedon's teaching of Christ being in two natures. She writes that it
Quote
seems quite evident that the council of Chalcedon did not understand [the union of natures] this way, however, the Definition still contains almost all of Cyril’s concepts of the incarnation. And since the Tome of Leo, with which Cyril’s documents were merged into the Definition, was widely disputed as irreconcilable with Cyril’s stress on the union, it might be possible to regard the council as being coherent with the Christology of Cyril. McGuckin argues that this is the case. He states that the affirmation of the enduring identity of the two natures, was safeguarded by use of the adverbs that Cyril himself used in his letter to Succenus: “The adverbs of Cyril they had in mind were that the two natures endured in the one Christ: unchangeably, undividedly, and unconfusedly.”
53
Moreover McGuckin states that the key sentence of Leo, in two natures, was inserted in a sea of Cyrilline citations which all represented Cyril’s writings. In this way he understands the Definition as aligned with the Christology of Cyril from the entire context of the Definition, thus seeming to ignore the very un-Cyrilline statement of ‘in’ two natures. The question that has to be asked is whether McGuckin is right, and the Definition actually represents the ‘real’ Christology of Cyril as it is presented in this paper, or if it rather represents the Christological compromises from the middle-period?
http://www.academia.edu/30029391/THE_CHRISTOLOGY_OF_ST._CYRIL_OF_ALEXANDRIA_AND_THE_REPRESENTATION_OF_CYRILLINE_CHRISTOLOGY_IN_THE_CHALCEDONIAN_DEFINITION.pdf

She suggests that it represents what she sees to be Cyril's "compromises", as she earlier wrote:
Quote
What we find in these writings [by Cyril] from the ‘middle-period’ is a Christology different from the one appearing in the Nestorian controversy and in
On the Unity of Christ.
That is, she imagines that Cyril changed his position from a supposedly antidyophysite one to a different, compromised position.

3. Fr. Vereschak, an EO, says Fr. McGuckin sees Theodoret as taking a "Neo-Antiochian" position that incorporates Cyril's theology:
Quote
I am presently reading a book called Theodoret of Cyrus by Istvan Pasztori-Kupan. The book consists of a basic but extensive introduction on Thedoret and also quite a few of his theological writings.

I have to say that having read this book has made me reassess my understanding of our Orthodox theology. For a number of years I have seen the profound influence of St Cyril. But now I also see that we have been influenced by the Antiochian tradition; especially as for example Theodoret's strong insistence on the full integrity of Christ's humanity though without sin. I was also surprised that Theodoret uses concepts that we see in St Cyril when it comes to the Divine unity of the person of Christ; the word 'appropriates' for example is used to refer to the relation of Christ's divinity to His humanity. Of course though we should keep in mind that those like Fr John McGuckin say, probably fairlly, that Theodoret's position is neo-Antiochian; ie he is taking or referring to several of St Cyril's most positive insights concerning the unity of the Person of Christ; this in a sense helps Theodoret to better explain the Christological context of His human nature which is still very much emphasized.
http://www.monachos.net/conversation/topic/3974-where-did-saint-athanasius-and-cyril-say-that-jesus-has-two-natures/

4. Ash Ibrahim wrote:
Quote
"Cyril is happy,” Fr. John McGuckin explains, “to accept the notion of ‘two natures’ but feels that this needs qualification if it is to avoid a tendency towards the kind of separatism that has been advocated by Nestorius. He wishes to speak of a concurrence to unity ‘from two natures’ but does not posit a union that abides ‘in two natures’. For Cyril, to abide in two natures means to abide in an ‘un-united’ condition that can only be theoretically applied before the incarnation takes place; the incarnation itself is the resolution to union of the two natures” (Saint Cyril of Alexandria and the Christological Controversy, p. 355, n. 6).
https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/orthodoxyandheterodoxy/2016/04/12/chalcedonian-orthodoxy-non-chalcedonian-heterodoxy/

I doubt that Cyril did not posit Christ's union as being"in" two natures, because I found three different quotes where he says Christ is in both natures or suggests that there are two natures in Christ.

Further, where does Cyril say " to abide in two natures means to abide in an ‘un-united’ condition that can only be theoretically applied before the incarnation takes place"? This seems to be Fr. McGuckin's own reading of Cyril's thought. How could Christ be theoretically un-united "in two natures" even before the incarnation even took place?
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Re: Books which mischaracterize Oriental Orthodoxy
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2017, 08:08:32 PM »
You don't need anymore books.
e-books, negro.
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Re: Books which mischaracterize Oriental Orthodoxy
« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2017, 08:34:44 PM »
Quote from: Rakovsky
How could Christ be theoretically un-united "in two natures" even before the incarnation even took place?

When He's considered just as a pure theoretical concept. "Take one human nature from Column A and one divine nature from Column B, put em together..."

Maybe it can be compared to genus and species. A house cat is Felis catus. But it is not a union of Felis and catus even though those are both true descriptors of what that cat is. In practical reality, the house cat is just a house cat.

When we speak of Felis and catus, we are saying true things about the cat, in the abstract as compared to, say, horses and lizards. But we are not really describing it as being a union of its genus and its species. There's no realm of the taxonomic universal in which clouds of Felis and catus are floating around waiting to be connected to an individual kitten.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2017, 08:36:07 PM by Volnutt »
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Re: Books which mischaracterize Oriental Orthodoxy
« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2017, 08:45:37 PM »
I'm allowed to say negro twice.
To my shame, I may have been very drunk when I wrote this.

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Re: Books which mischaracterize Oriental Orthodoxy
« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2017, 08:54:27 PM »
Well, I'm trying to read Nestorius's "Bazaar". It's not short, I haven't finished it yet, but I haven't tried reading it as a devotional, either.
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Re: Books which mischaracterize Oriental Orthodoxy
« Reply #18 on: November 17, 2017, 09:02:37 PM »
Quote from: Rakovsky
How could Christ be theoretically un-united "in two natures" even before the incarnation even took place?

When He's considered just as a pure theoretical concept. "Take one human nature from Column A and one divine nature from Column B, put em together..."

Maybe it can be compared to genus and species. A house cat is Felis catus. But it is not a union of Felis and catus even though those are both true descriptors of what that cat is. In practical reality, the house cat is just a house cat.

When we speak of Felis and catus, we are saying true things about the cat, in the abstract as compared to, say, horses and lizards. But we are not really describing it as being a union of its genus and its species. There's no realm of the taxonomic universal in which clouds of Felis and catus are floating around waiting to be connected to an individual kitten.
Thanks for writing back. I don't find Cyril anywhere saying that already before the union Christ is even theoretically already in un-united two natures.

If a person "Take ones human nature from Column A and one divine nature from Column B, and puts/ em together...", then the object is not in those two natures before he puts them together.

The object is only in those two natures after they are put together.

A cat is in both its genus and species only after, and not before, the cat's existence in both categories. To say otherwise would be totally illogical.
The ocean, infinite to men, and the worlds beyond it, are directed by the same ordinances of the Lord. ~ I Clement 20

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Re: Books which mischaracterize Oriental Orthodoxy
« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2017, 09:27:10 PM »
Quote from: Rakovsky
How could Christ be theoretically un-united "in two natures" even before the incarnation even took place?

When He's considered just as a pure theoretical concept. "Take one human nature from Column A and one divine nature from Column B, put em together..."

Maybe it can be compared to genus and species. A house cat is Felis catus. But it is not a union of Felis and catus even though those are both true descriptors of what that cat is. In practical reality, the house cat is just a house cat.

When we speak of Felis and catus, we are saying true things about the cat, in the abstract as compared to, say, horses and lizards. But we are not really describing it as being a union of its genus and its species. There's no realm of the taxonomic universal in which clouds of Felis and catus are floating around waiting to be connected to an individual kitten.
Thanks for writing back. I don't find Cyril anywhere saying that already before the union Christ is even theoretically already in un-united two natures.

If a person "Take ones human nature from Column A and one divine nature from Column B, and puts/ em together...", then the object is not in those two natures before he puts them together.

The object is only in those two natures after they are put together.

A cat is in both its genus and species only after, and not before, the cat's existence in both categories. To say otherwise would be totally illogical.
This guy.
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Offline ZackShenouda439

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Re: Books which mischaracterize Oriental Orthodoxy
« Reply #20 on: November 17, 2017, 09:52:37 PM »
Quote from: Rakovsky
How could Christ be theoretically un-united "in two natures" even before the incarnation even took place?

When He's considered just as a pure theoretical concept. "Take one human nature from Column A and one divine nature from Column B, put em together..."

Maybe it can be compared to genus and species. A house cat is Felis catus. But it is not a union of Felis and catus even though those are both true descriptors of what that cat is. In practical reality, the house cat is just a house cat.

When we speak of Felis and catus, we are saying true things about the cat, in the abstract as compared to, say, horses and lizards. But we are not really describing it as being a union of its genus and its species. There's no realm of the taxonomic universal in which clouds of Felis and catus are floating around waiting to be connected to an individual kitten.
Thanks for writing back. I don't find Cyril anywhere saying that already before the union Christ is even theoretically already in un-united two natures.

If a person "Take ones human nature from Column A and one divine nature from Column B, and puts/ em together...", then the object is not in those two natures before he puts them together.

The object is only in those two natures after they are put together.

A cat is in both its genus and species only after, and not before, the cat's existence in both categories. To say otherwise would be totally illogical.

Cyril united with the 5th century Antiochians based on the formula of reunion,

‘There has occurred a union of two natures’,

And as as Richard Price has mentioned:

"The demand by the synod that Eutyches should affirm two natures after the union breached the terms of the accord of 433, since the Formula of Reunion was ambiguous on this point: it stated, ‘There has occurred a union of two natures’, which left it ambiguous whether after the union there are two natures or one.”

 "of two natures" in 433 has a ambiguous interpretation that doesn't lend to the exclusivity of “in two natures” used at Chalcedon.

So, you can’t take the formula of reunion with the folks in 433 to be a indicator of Cyril’s acceptance of “in two natures” exclusivity at chalcedon.

 Why was “of two natures” not used in Chalcedon, if they were truly committed to the 433? Interpretation aside, Cyril didn’t agree to “in two natures” terminology in 433, and this is why you don’t see “in two natures” outlined in 433.


I myself have a hard time believing that Cyril would conceding to "in two natures" terminology, since he spent a significant part of his career debating certain people who favored that terminology. Why would he concede to the terminology that was favored by Nestorius, Theodoret & Theodore et al? Even the definition of Chalcedon at 451 specifically didn't include the hypostatic union. I have a hard time believing that Cyril would accept that.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2017, 09:58:57 PM by ZackShenouda439 »

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Re: Books which mischaracterize Oriental Orthodoxy
« Reply #21 on: November 17, 2017, 10:16:07 PM »
I'm allowed to say negro twice.

No, you're not.  Back on time out. 

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How this relates to the coming Antichrist? I don't know...

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Offline ZackShenouda439

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Re: Books which mischaracterize Oriental Orthodoxy
« Reply #22 on: November 17, 2017, 10:48:37 PM »
Quote from: Rakovsky
How could Christ be theoretically un-united "in two natures" even before the incarnation even took place?

When He's considered just as a pure theoretical concept. "Take one human nature from Column A and one divine nature from Column B, put em together..."

Maybe it can be compared to genus and species. A house cat is Felis catus. But it is not a union of Felis and catus even though those are both true descriptors of what that cat is. In practical reality, the house cat is just a house cat.

When we speak of Felis and catus, we are saying true things about the cat, in the abstract as compared to, say, horses and lizards. But we are not really describing it as being a union of its genus and its species. There's no realm of the taxonomic universal in which clouds of Felis and catus are floating around waiting to be connected to an individual kitten.
Thanks for writing back. I don't find Cyril anywhere saying that already before the union Christ is even theoretically already in un-united two natures.

If a person "Take ones human nature from Column A and one divine nature from Column B, and puts/ em together...", then the object is not in those two natures before he puts them together.

The object is only in those two natures after they are put together.

A cat is in both its genus and species only after, and not before, the cat's existence in both categories. To say otherwise would be totally illogical.

Don't you see how this action below in quotes can be perceived by Dioscorus as suspicious? The original draft had "from two natures" but the committee at Chalcedon went to great lengths to replace it with "in two natures"? Why would the committee do that? Why would they exclude "from two natures" terminology here? Where is the pressure to replace "from" with "in" coming from? Could it be that theodoret was on the committee & "from" didn't satisfy Theodoret?  Maybe.

"The amending committee was obliged to assert a continuing duality in Christ, but the formula it used to do so – ‘acknowledged in two natures’ (replacing the ‘from two natures’ of the draft) "
« Last Edit: November 17, 2017, 10:49:34 PM by ZackShenouda439 »

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Books which mischaracterize Oriental Orthodoxy
« Reply #23 on: November 17, 2017, 10:50:10 PM »
Quote from: Rakovsky
How could Christ be theoretically un-united "in two natures" even before the incarnation even took place?

When He's considered just as a pure theoretical concept. "Take one human nature from Column A and one divine nature from Column B, put em together..."

Maybe it can be compared to genus and species. A house cat is Felis catus. But it is not a union of Felis and catus even though those are both true descriptors of what that cat is. In practical reality, the house cat is just a house cat.

When we speak of Felis and catus, we are saying true things about the cat, in the abstract as compared to, say, horses and lizards. But we are not really describing it as being a union of its genus and its species. There's no realm of the taxonomic universal in which clouds of Felis and catus are floating around waiting to be connected to an individual kitten.
Thanks for writing back. I don't find Cyril anywhere saying that already before the union Christ is even theoretically already in un-united two natures.

If a person "Take ones human nature from Column A and one divine nature from Column B, and puts/ em together...", then the object is not in those two natures before he puts them together.

The object is only in those two natures after they are put together.

A cat is in both its genus and species only after, and not before, the cat's existence in both categories. To say otherwise would be totally illogical.

Right, a cat before it exists is nothing. But the idea of a cat in our minds is both Felus and catus. But Felus and catus are just thought categories, ways of organizing certain features and qualities. House cats as we know them in reality, exist as sum totals of Felus and catus.

In a similar way, Christ before His Incarnation is God only, but we can still "imagine" Him as a combination of the list of traits that make up God (making allowances for apophaticism, of course) and Man. But when we are talking about the actually Incarnate Christ, "Human" and "Divine" are revealed for the mental abstractions that they really are. We are faced only with the really existing One Person.

So, depending on how you look at it, "in two natures" and "from two natures," both work. To me though, "from" seems more logical and recognizes that actually existing things and beings are not the same as the pale words and concepts we have about them. Maybe I'm being too deconstructionist, though.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2017, 10:51:39 PM by Volnutt »
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Books which mischaracterize Oriental Orthodoxy
« Reply #24 on: November 17, 2017, 10:56:52 PM »
Quote from: Rakovsky
How could Christ be theoretically un-united "in two natures" even before the incarnation even took place?

When He's considered just as a pure theoretical concept. "Take one human nature from Column A and one divine nature from Column B, put em together..."

Maybe it can be compared to genus and species. A house cat is Felis catus. But it is not a union of Felis and catus even though those are both true descriptors of what that cat is. In practical reality, the house cat is just a house cat.

When we speak of Felis and catus, we are saying true things about the cat, in the abstract as compared to, say, horses and lizards. But we are not really describing it as being a union of its genus and its species. There's no realm of the taxonomic universal in which clouds of Felis and catus are floating around waiting to be connected to an individual kitten.
Thanks for writing back. I don't find Cyril anywhere saying that already before the union Christ is even theoretically already in un-united two natures.

If a person "Take ones human nature from Column A and one divine nature from Column B, and puts/ em together...", then the object is not in those two natures before he puts them together.

The object is only in those two natures after they are put together.

A cat is in both its genus and species only after, and not before, the cat's existence in both categories. To say otherwise would be totally illogical.

Don't you see how this action below in quotes can be perceived by Dioscorus as suspicious? The original draft had "from two natures" but the committee at Chalcedon went to great lengths to replace it with "in two natures"? Why would the committee do that? Why would they exclude "from two natures" terminology here? Where is the pressure to replace "from" with "in" coming from? Could it be that theodoret was on the committee & "from" didn't satisfy Theodoret?  Maybe.

"The amending committee was obliged to assert a continuing duality in Christ, but the formula it used to do so – ‘acknowledged in two natures’ (replacing the ‘from two natures’ of the draft) "

Definitely. I think the pressure was coming from all sides, though. Part of this is no doubt the political rivalry between Alexandria and Antioch. Dioscorus was afraid of sounding Nestorian. Leo was likely also afraid of sounding Eutychian.
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Akathist Hymn- Glory to God for All Things

Offline ZackShenouda439

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Re: Books which mischaracterize Oriental Orthodoxy
« Reply #25 on: November 17, 2017, 11:17:42 PM »
Yea, I agree with that.For sure there was pressure from all sides & both sides were trying to avoid sounding like certain individuals. I don't think pope Leo understood the error of Eutyches though. there is no primary writings or primary statements of Eutyches claiming that christs humanity was swallowed up by his divinity. Euyches was accused of this of course, but there is no proof that he in fact affirmed that the humanity was swallowed up by divinity. when we examined the minutes Flavian's synod, what we noticed was that Eutyches failed to affirm christ's dual consubstantiality.

Also, would like to include, what makes Dioscorus & Severus distinct from Eutyches in this regard, is they both explicitly affirmed Christ's dual consubstantiality.

"...They have banished [and anathemized] from the hope of Christians those who do not confess God the Word to be consubstantial with the Father, because He became consubstantial with man, taking flesh, although He remained unchangeably what He was before..."  Dioscorus of Alexandria

"...[Christ] became incarnate of [the Virgin] without variation, in flesh which is of our nature, endowed with a living, rational, intelligent soul, and became perfectly man, while he remained what he is, God; in order to do away the offence of our father Adam, and deliver and restore the lost one, according to the riches of his great mercy." - Severus of Antioch
« Last Edit: November 17, 2017, 11:19:05 PM by ZackShenouda439 »

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Re: Books which mischaracterize Oriental Orthodoxy
« Reply #26 on: November 17, 2017, 11:50:41 PM »
Quote from: Rakovsky
How could Christ be theoretically un-united "in two natures" even before the incarnation even took place?

When He's considered just as a pure theoretical concept. "Take one human nature from Column A and one divine nature from Column B, put em together..."

Maybe it can be compared to genus and species. A house cat is Felis catus. But it is not a union of Felis and catus even though those are both true descriptors of what that cat is. In practical reality, the house cat is just a house cat.

When we speak of Felis and catus, we are saying true things about the cat, in the abstract as compared to, say, horses and lizards. But we are not really describing it as being a union of its genus and its species. There's no realm of the taxonomic universal in which clouds of Felis and catus are floating around waiting to be connected to an individual kitten.
Thanks for writing back. I don't find Cyril anywhere saying that already before the union Christ is even theoretically already in un-united two natures.

If a person "Take ones human nature from Column A and one divine nature from Column B, and puts/ em together...", then the object is not in those two natures before he puts them together.

The object is only in those two natures after they are put together.

A cat is in both its genus and species only after, and not before, the cat's existence in both categories. To say otherwise would be totally illogical.

Right, a cat before it exists is nothing. But the idea of a cat in our minds is both Felus and catus. But Felus and catus are just thought categories, ways of organizing certain features and qualities. House cats as we know them in reality, exist as sum totals of Felus and catus.

In a similar way, Christ before His Incarnation is God only, but we can still "imagine" Him as a combination of the list of traits that make up God (making allowances for apophaticism, of course) and Man. But when we are talking about the actually Incarnate Christ, "Human" and "Divine" are revealed for the mental abstractions that they really are. We are faced only with the really existing One Person.

So, depending on how you look at it, "in two natures" and "from two natures," both work. To me though, "from" seems more logical and recognizes that actually existing things and beings are not the same as the pale words and concepts we have about them. Maybe I'm being too deconstructionist, though.

The joining of a cat into the two categories is not dependent on a given event- it's inherent in the definition of a cat. You can think of a cat as being " in the two categories before it's a cat" only if you are speaking of a cat that does not yet exist.

With Christ's union of the two natures, the idea of Christ being in the natures is dependent on the incarnation, an event that has already occurred. How can it make any sense to say that "Christ had or was in both natures already before the union"?

How can we living after the incarnation even theorize of Christ having or being in both natures before that incarnation?
« Last Edit: November 17, 2017, 11:56:12 PM by rakovsky »
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Re: Books which mischaracterize Oriental Orthodoxy
« Reply #27 on: November 18, 2017, 12:13:40 AM »
Quote from: Rakovsky
How could Christ be theoretically un-united "in two natures" even before the incarnation even took place?

When He's considered just as a pure theoretical concept. "Take one human nature from Column A and one divine nature from Column B, put em together..."

Maybe it can be compared to genus and species. A house cat is Felis catus. But it is not a union of Felis and catus even though those are both true descriptors of what that cat is. In practical reality, the house cat is just a house cat.

When we speak of Felis and catus, we are saying true things about the cat, in the abstract as compared to, say, horses and lizards. But we are not really describing it as being a union of its genus and its species. There's no realm of the taxonomic universal in which clouds of Felis and catus are floating around waiting to be connected to an individual kitten.
Thanks for writing back. I don't find Cyril anywhere saying that already before the union Christ is even theoretically already in un-united two natures.

If a person "Take ones human nature from Column A and one divine nature from Column B, and puts/ em together...", then the object is not in those two natures before he puts them together.

The object is only in those two natures after they are put together.

A cat is in both its genus and species only after, and not before, the cat's existence in both categories. To say otherwise would be totally illogical.

Right, a cat before it exists is nothing. But the idea of a cat in our minds is both Felus and catus. But Felus and catus are just thought categories, ways of organizing certain features and qualities. House cats as we know them in reality, exist as sum totals of Felus and catus.

In a similar way, Christ before His Incarnation is God only, but we can still "imagine" Him as a combination of the list of traits that make up God (making allowances for apophaticism, of course) and Man. But when we are talking about the actually Incarnate Christ, "Human" and "Divine" are revealed for the mental abstractions that they really are. We are faced only with the really existing One Person.

So, depending on how you look at it, "in two natures" and "from two natures," both work. To me though, "from" seems more logical and recognizes that actually existing things and beings are not the same as the pale words and concepts we have about them. Maybe I'm being too deconstructionist, though.

The joining of a cat into the two categories is not dependent on a given event- it's inherent in the definition of a cat. You can think of a cat as being " in the two categories before it's a cat" only if you are speaking of a cat that does not yet exist.

With Christ's union of the two natures, the idea of Christ being in the natures is dependent on the incarnation, an event that has already occurred. How can it make any sense to say that "Christ had or was in both natures already before the union"?

How can we living after the incarnation even theorize of Christ having or being in both natures before that incarnation?

I think you're getting too hung up on the "before" language. He wasn't in both natures before the Incarnation (though the Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world). It's only an abstract concept, a thought experiment. And that's all that separating genus from species in a cat really is, too. A cat has all the qualities of both the abstract concepts of "Felus" and "catus" in one unified being, just as Christ has all the qualities of both the abstract concepts of God and Man in one unified Being.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2017, 12:24:42 AM by Volnutt »
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Re: Books which mischaracterize Oriental Orthodoxy
« Reply #28 on: November 18, 2017, 12:19:43 AM »
Quote from: Rakovsky
How could Christ be theoretically un-united "in two natures" even before the incarnation even took place?

When He's considered just as a pure theoretical concept. "Take one human nature from Column A and one divine nature from Column B, put em together..."

Maybe it can be compared to genus and species. A house cat is Felis catus. But it is not a union of Felis and catus even though those are both true descriptors of what that cat is. In practical reality, the house cat is just a house cat.

When we speak of Felis and catus, we are saying true things about the cat, in the abstract as compared to, say, horses and lizards. But we are not really describing it as being a union of its genus and its species. There's no realm of the taxonomic universal in which clouds of Felis and catus are floating around waiting to be connected to an individual kitten.
Thanks for writing back. I don't find Cyril anywhere saying that already before the union Christ is even theoretically already in un-united two natures.

If a person "Take ones human nature from Column A and one divine nature from Column B, and puts/ em together...", then the object is not in those two natures before he puts them together.

The object is only in those two natures after they are put together.

A cat is in both its genus and species only after, and not before, the cat's existence in both categories. To say otherwise would be totally illogical.

Right, a cat before it exists is nothing. But the idea of a cat in our minds is both Felus and catus. But Felus and catus are just thought categories, ways of organizing certain features and qualities. House cats as we know them in reality, exist as sum totals of Felus and catus.

In a similar way, Christ before His Incarnation is God only, but we can still "imagine" Him as a combination of the list of traits that make up God (making allowances for apophaticism, of course) and Man. But when we are talking about the actually Incarnate Christ, "Human" and "Divine" are revealed for the mental abstractions that they really are. We are faced only with the really existing One Person.

So, depending on how you look at it, "in two natures" and "from two natures," both work. To me though, "from" seems more logical and recognizes that actually existing things and beings are not the same as the pale words and concepts we have about them. Maybe I'm being too deconstructionist, though.

The joining of a cat into the two categories is not dependent on a given event- it's inherent in the definition of a cat. You can think of a cat as being " in the two categories before it's a cat" only if you are speaking of a cat that does not yet exist.

With Christ's union of the two natures, the idea of Christ being in the natures is dependent on the incarnation, an event that has already occurred. How can it make any sense to say that "Christ had or was in both natures already before the union"?

How can we living after the incarnation even theorize of Christ having or being in both natures before that incarnation?

Yes, but if we're talking about the Christ that we actually experience (outside of vague speculation about OT theophanies and the like) , the one who revealed the Father to us in the first place, we're talking about the Incarnate Christ. Being somehow both Man and God is inherent in that definition of Him and is the whole point of the Chalcedon discussion. The Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world, after all.
It makes sense to speak of a cat as being in two categories before it's existence only in the sense that we exist before the cat does.

Such a situation does not exist with Christ, as we do not exist before he does. Thus there is no sense or situation in which Christ was in both natures already before he incarnated.
The ocean, infinite to men, and the worlds beyond it, are directed by the same ordinances of the Lord. ~ I Clement 20

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Re: Books which mischaracterize Oriental Orthodoxy
« Reply #29 on: November 18, 2017, 12:20:41 AM »
Quote from: Rakovsky
How could Christ be theoretically un-united "in two natures" even before the incarnation even took place?

When He's considered just as a pure theoretical concept. "Take one human nature from Column A and one divine nature from Column B, put em together..."

Maybe it can be compared to genus and species. A house cat is Felis catus. But it is not a union of Felis and catus even though those are both true descriptors of what that cat is. In practical reality, the house cat is just a house cat.

When we speak of Felis and catus, we are saying true things about the cat, in the abstract as compared to, say, horses and lizards. But we are not really describing it as being a union of its genus and its species. There's no realm of the taxonomic universal in which clouds of Felis and catus are floating around waiting to be connected to an individual kitten.
Thanks for writing back. I don't find Cyril anywhere saying that already before the union Christ is even theoretically already in un-united two natures.

If a person "Take ones human nature from Column A and one divine nature from Column B, and puts/ em together...", then the object is not in those two natures before he puts them together.

The object is only in those two natures after they are put together.

A cat is in both its genus and species only after, and not before, the cat's existence in both categories. To say otherwise would be totally illogical.

Right, a cat before it exists is nothing. But the idea of a cat in our minds is both Felus and catus. But Felus and catus are just thought categories, ways of organizing certain features and qualities. House cats as we know them in reality, exist as sum totals of Felus and catus.

In a similar way, Christ before His Incarnation is God only, but we can still "imagine" Him as a combination of the list of traits that make up God (making allowances for apophaticism, of course) and Man. But when we are talking about the actually Incarnate Christ, "Human" and "Divine" are revealed for the mental abstractions that they really are. We are faced only with the really existing One Person.

So, depending on how you look at it, "in two natures" and "from two natures," both work. To me though, "from" seems more logical and recognizes that actually existing things and beings are not the same as the pale words and concepts we have about them. Maybe I'm being too deconstructionist, though.

The joining of a cat into the two categories is not dependent on a given event- it's inherent in the definition of a cat. You can think of a cat as being " in the two categories before it's a cat" only if you are speaking of a cat that does not yet exist.

With Christ's union of the two natures, the idea of Christ being in the natures is dependent on the incarnation, an event that has already occurred. How can it make any sense to say that "Christ had or was in both natures already before the union"?

How can we living after the incarnation even theorize of Christ having or being in both natures before that incarnation?

To be clear, "from two natures" is used in the context with the understanding that the incarnation already took place. to say "from two natures" is NOT to say "that Christ's humanity preexisted." what is understood is that before the Incarnation, the Word had no flesh. but at the moment of the Incarnation, the Word took flesh and became man.

Because if the Word was man before the incarnation, He could not become man at the moment of incarnation, and the Virgin cannot be called the Mother of God, and at the same time, His humanity wouldn't have been like us in all things (aside from sin of course), and therefore, He can never be consubstantial to us,... and if this is true, than the whole reason of our salvation fails.

 This is why is the incarnation is significant.

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Books which mischaracterize Oriental Orthodoxy
« Reply #30 on: November 18, 2017, 12:27:20 AM »
Quote from: Rakovsky
How could Christ be theoretically un-united "in two natures" even before the incarnation even took place?

When He's considered just as a pure theoretical concept. "Take one human nature from Column A and one divine nature from Column B, put em together..."

Maybe it can be compared to genus and species. A house cat is Felis catus. But it is not a union of Felis and catus even though those are both true descriptors of what that cat is. In practical reality, the house cat is just a house cat.

When we speak of Felis and catus, we are saying true things about the cat, in the abstract as compared to, say, horses and lizards. But we are not really describing it as being a union of its genus and its species. There's no realm of the taxonomic universal in which clouds of Felis and catus are floating around waiting to be connected to an individual kitten.
Thanks for writing back. I don't find Cyril anywhere saying that already before the union Christ is even theoretically already in un-united two natures.

If a person "Take ones human nature from Column A and one divine nature from Column B, and puts/ em together...", then the object is not in those two natures before he puts them together.

The object is only in those two natures after they are put together.

A cat is in both its genus and species only after, and not before, the cat's existence in both categories. To say otherwise would be totally illogical.

Right, a cat before it exists is nothing. But the idea of a cat in our minds is both Felus and catus. But Felus and catus are just thought categories, ways of organizing certain features and qualities. House cats as we know them in reality, exist as sum totals of Felus and catus.

In a similar way, Christ before His Incarnation is God only, but we can still "imagine" Him as a combination of the list of traits that make up God (making allowances for apophaticism, of course) and Man. But when we are talking about the actually Incarnate Christ, "Human" and "Divine" are revealed for the mental abstractions that they really are. We are faced only with the really existing One Person.

So, depending on how you look at it, "in two natures" and "from two natures," both work. To me though, "from" seems more logical and recognizes that actually existing things and beings are not the same as the pale words and concepts we have about them. Maybe I'm being too deconstructionist, though.

The joining of a cat into the two categories is not dependent on a given event- it's inherent in the definition of a cat. You can think of a cat as being " in the two categories before it's a cat" only if you are speaking of a cat that does not yet exist.

With Christ's union of the two natures, the idea of Christ being in the natures is dependent on the incarnation, an event that has already occurred. How can it make any sense to say that "Christ had or was in both natures already before the union"?

How can we living after the incarnation even theorize of Christ having or being in both natures before that incarnation?

Yes, but if we're talking about the Christ that we actually experience (outside of vague speculation about OT theophanies and the like) , the one who revealed the Father to us in the first place, we're talking about the Incarnate Christ. Being somehow both Man and God is inherent in that definition of Him and is the whole point of the Chalcedon discussion. The Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world, after all.
It makes sense to speak of a cat as being in two categories before it's existence only in the sense that we exist before the cat does.

Such a situation does not exist with Christ, as we do not exist before he does. Thus there is no sense or situation in which Christ was in both natures already before he incarnated.

Sorry, you got in before I made some edits to that post. I'll quote it here:

I think you're getting too hung up on the "before" language. He wasn't in both natures before the Incarnation (though the Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world). It's only an abstract concept, a thought experiment. And that's all that separating genus from species in a cat really is, too. A cat has all the qualities of both the abstract concepts of "Felus" and "catus" in one unified being, just as Christ has all the qualities of both the abstract concepts of God and Man in one unified Being.

As for our pre-existence, we as a species existed before the Word took on Flesh. I don't see why that shouldn't be enough.
Quote
The breath of Thine Holy Spirit inspires artists, poets and scientists. The power of Thy supreme knowledge makes them prophets and interpreters of Thy laws, who reveal the depths of Thy creative wisdom. Their works speak unwittingly of Thee. How great art Thou in Thy creation! How great art Thou in man!
Akathist Hymn- Glory to God for All Things

Offline ZackShenouda439

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Re: Books which mischaracterize Oriental Orthodoxy
« Reply #31 on: November 18, 2017, 03:07:32 AM »
Quote from: Rakovsky
How could Christ be theoretically un-united "in two natures" even before the incarnation even took place?

When He's considered just as a pure theoretical concept. "Take one human nature from Column A and one divine nature from Column B, put em together..."

Maybe it can be compared to genus and species. A house cat is Felis catus. But it is not a union of Felis and catus even though those are both true descriptors of what that cat is. In practical reality, the house cat is just a house cat.

When we speak of Felis and catus, we are saying true things about the cat, in the abstract as compared to, say, horses and lizards. But we are not really describing it as being a union of its genus and its species. There's no realm of the taxonomic universal in which clouds of Felis and catus are floating around waiting to be connected to an individual kitten.
Thanks for writing back. I don't find Cyril anywhere saying that already before the union Christ is even theoretically already in un-united two natures.

If a person "Take ones human nature from Column A and one divine nature from Column B, and puts/ em together...", then the object is not in those two natures before he puts them together.

The object is only in those two natures after they are put together.

A cat is in both its genus and species only after, and not before, the cat's existence in both categories. To say otherwise would be totally illogical.

Yup, I don't find Cyril speaking about "un-united two natures"  either. but he does speak of one after the union.

‘In respect of the elements from which is the one and only Son and Lord Jesus Christ, as we accept them in thought, we say that two natures have been united, but after the union, when the division into two has now been removed, we believe that the nature of the Son is one’.

Also,I encourage you to take a look at Cyril’s defense of communicatio idiomatum here.To understand Cyril's christology, it's very important to understand this
 

"He is spoken of as begotten also according to the flesh from a woman, not as though his divine nature received the beginning of its existence in the holy Virgin ...; but since for us and for our salvation he united manhood to himself hypostatically and came forth from a woman, he is for this reason said to have been born in the flesh. ... He is said to have undergone fleshly birth, as making his own the birth of his own flesh. So too we say that he both suffered and rose again, not as though God the Word suffered in his own nature either blows or the piercing of the nails or the other wounds (for the divine is impassible because it is also incorporeal); but since it was the body that had become his own that suffered, he himself again is said to have suffered these things for us, for the impassible one was in the suffering body ... So again, when his flesh was raised, the resurrection is spoken of as his, not as though he fell into corruption (God forbid!), but because again his own body was raised."


Offline ZackShenouda439

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Re: Books which mischaracterize Oriental Orthodoxy
« Reply #32 on: November 18, 2017, 03:44:51 AM »
Specific complaints about the book by Fr. John McGuckin?

1. The writer Edward Oakes in Orthodoxy Today makes a criticism of this book:
Quote
Here Cyril was certainly bolder than the Latin theologians, but the lack of theological daring in Latin Christology has somewhat slanted McGuckin's interpretation of Pope Leo I, whose famous Tome was read out before the assembled bishops at Chalcedon to unanimous acclaim: "Peter has spoken through Leo!" The standard Western account of that episode claims for Rome a balance of approach lacking in the more disputatious Greek theologians, who were still too besotted by the neo-Platonic speculations common in the East. McGuckin disagrees. He points out, rightly, that the bishops not only accepted Leo's intervention as the voice of Peter but went on to say, "So also did Cyril teach." (Cyril had died seven years before Chalcedon.) According to McGuckin, the bishops accepted Leo because, and only because, he taught the same thing as Cyril, who alone was the test for Christological orthodoxy. McGuckin also makes the much more radical claim that the decree of Chalcedon was meant as a deliberative corrective to Leo's Tome.

This thesis will not stand up to scrutiny. The decree the Eastern bishops supported clearly represented a middle passage between the extremes of Antioch and Alexandria. Cyril had favored the term "hypostasis" to denote the union of divine and human in Jesus, while the Antiochenes preferred "person." Chalcedon used both terms. Similarly, Cyril generally spoke of a hypostatic union "from" two natures, whereas Leo and the Antiochenes insisted on the union taking place "in" two natures--and that is the formulation Chalcedon chose. Finally, we know that the Alexandrians themselves detected these "concessions" to Antiochene theology because Cyril's more hotheaded successors (Eutyches and Dioscorus, primarily) actively rejected the Council.
http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles5/OakesMcGuckin.php
According to Oakes, Fr. McGuckin is saying that Cyril was the test for Leo's Orthodoxy at Chalcedon and that Chalcedon was meant as a corrective to Leo.

Oakes is responding that Chalcedon cut a middle path because it sees the union in the person and in the hypostasis. Plus, it is not making a "corrective" to Leo, because it accepts that Christ is in two natures.

Oakes says that Fr. McGuckin describes the Antiochene school of thought this way:
Quote
In reaction to Apollinaris, theologians from Antioch claimed that since both God and human beings are possessed of their own subject-centers, the same must hold of Jesus: the Logos of God and the human soul of Jesus must sit separately behind the "mask" (the original meaning of "person") of the divine-human actor.
Where do the Antiochians say that Jesus had two separate "souls"? This seems to be McGuckin's own reading of Theodore Mopsuestia and Nestorius, which he then extrapolates onto the Antiochians as a whole (eg. John of Antioch and Theodoret). If the Antiochians had clearly proposed that Jesus had either two souls or two separate subject centers, I am skeptical that Cyril would have reunited with them as teaching the same exact thing.

2. Malene Kjaer's essay takes an antiChalcedonian OO POV and she criticizes Fr. McGuckin for supposedly ignoring what she sees as a contradiction between Cyril's teaching of a union of two natures and Chalcedon's teaching of Christ being in two natures. She writes that it
Quote
seems quite evident that the council of Chalcedon did not understand [the union of natures] this way, however, the Definition still contains almost all of Cyril’s concepts of the incarnation. And since the Tome of Leo, with which Cyril’s documents were merged into the Definition, was widely disputed as irreconcilable with Cyril’s stress on the union, it might be possible to regard the council as being coherent with the Christology of Cyril. McGuckin argues that this is the case. He states that the affirmation of the enduring identity of the two natures, was safeguarded by use of the adverbs that Cyril himself used in his letter to Succenus: “The adverbs of Cyril they had in mind were that the two natures endured in the one Christ: unchangeably, undividedly, and unconfusedly.”
53
Moreover McGuckin states that the key sentence of Leo, in two natures, was inserted in a sea of Cyrilline citations which all represented Cyril’s writings. In this way he understands the Definition as aligned with the Christology of Cyril from the entire context of the Definition, thus seeming to ignore the very un-Cyrilline statement of ‘in’ two natures. The question that has to be asked is whether McGuckin is right, and the Definition actually represents the ‘real’ Christology of Cyril as it is presented in this paper, or if it rather represents the Christological compromises from the middle-period?
http://www.academia.edu/30029391/THE_CHRISTOLOGY_OF_ST._CYRIL_OF_ALEXANDRIA_AND_THE_REPRESENTATION_OF_CYRILLINE_CHRISTOLOGY_IN_THE_CHALCEDONIAN_DEFINITION.pdf

She suggests that it represents what she sees to be Cyril's "compromises", as she earlier wrote:
Quote
What we find in these writings [by Cyril] from the ‘middle-period’ is a Christology different from the one appearing in the Nestorian controversy and in
On the Unity of Christ.
That is, she imagines that Cyril changed his position from a supposedly antidyophysite one to a different, compromised position.

3. Fr. Vereschak, an EO, says Fr. McGuckin sees Theodoret as taking a "Neo-Antiochian" position that incorporates Cyril's theology:
Quote
I am presently reading a book called Theodoret of Cyrus by Istvan Pasztori-Kupan. The book consists of a basic but extensive introduction on Thedoret and also quite a few of his theological writings.

I have to say that having read this book has made me reassess my understanding of our Orthodox theology. For a number of years I have seen the profound influence of St Cyril. But now I also see that we have been influenced by the Antiochian tradition; especially as for example Theodoret's strong insistence on the full integrity of Christ's humanity though without sin. I was also surprised that Theodoret uses concepts that we see in St Cyril when it comes to the Divine unity of the person of Christ; the word 'appropriates' for example is used to refer to the relation of Christ's divinity to His humanity. Of course though we should keep in mind that those like Fr John McGuckin say, probably fairlly, that Theodoret's position is neo-Antiochian; ie he is taking or referring to several of St Cyril's most positive insights concerning the unity of the Person of Christ; this in a sense helps Theodoret to better explain the Christological context of His human nature which is still very much emphasized.
http://www.monachos.net/conversation/topic/3974-where-did-saint-athanasius-and-cyril-say-that-jesus-has-two-natures/

4. Ash Ibrahim wrote:
Quote
"Cyril is happy,” Fr. John McGuckin explains, “to accept the notion of ‘two natures’ but feels that this needs qualification if it is to avoid a tendency towards the kind of separatism that has been advocated by Nestorius. He wishes to speak of a concurrence to unity ‘from two natures’ but does not posit a union that abides ‘in two natures’. For Cyril, to abide in two natures means to abide in an ‘un-united’ condition that can only be theoretically applied before the incarnation takes place; the incarnation itself is the resolution to union of the two natures” (Saint Cyril of Alexandria and the Christological Controversy, p. 355, n. 6).
https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/orthodoxyandheterodoxy/2016/04/12/chalcedonian-orthodoxy-non-chalcedonian-heterodoxy/

I doubt that Cyril did not posit Christ's union as being"in" two natures, because I found three different quotes where he says Christ is in both natures or suggests that there are two natures in Christ.

Further, where does Cyril say " to abide in two natures means to abide in an ‘un-united’ condition that can only be theoretically applied before the incarnation takes place"? This seems to be Fr. McGuckin's own reading of Cyril's thought. How could Christ be theoretically un-united "in two natures" even before the incarnation even took place?

I'd like to know  Fr. Vereschak's thoughts on Theodoret's christology represented in Eranistes http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/27033.htm
 This is the most mature form of his christology written in 447. In my mind, if you can't confess "God the Word suffered in the flesh", than you don't have a Orthodox Christology. If you insist that Christ suffered in the flesh but fail to confess the same thing about God the Word, than you don't have a Orthodox Christology.

Insisting on only "Christ suffered in the flesh" is similar to Nestorius insisting on Christotokos("mother of christ"). If we truly believe that Christ is God, than we should have no issues confessing that God the Word suffered in the flesh and that the Virgin is the Mother of God. 

Eran.— The Apostle proves the general resurrection by means of the Lord's resurrection, and it is clear that in this case also what died and rose was a body. For he would never have attempted to prove the general resurrection by its means unless there had been some relation between the substance of the one and the other. I shall never consent to apply the passion to the human nature alone. It seems agreeable to my view to say that God the Word died in the flesh.

Orth.— We have frequently shown that what is naturally immortal can in no way die. If then He died He was not immortal; and what perils lie in the blasphemy of the words.

Eran.— He is by nature immortal, but He became man and suffered.

Orth.— Therefore He underwent change, for how otherwise could He being immortal submit to death? But we have agreed that the substance of the Trinity is immutable. Having therefore a nature superior to change, He by no means shared death.

Eran.— The divine Peter says Christ has suffered for us in the flesh.

Orth.— This agrees with what we have said, for we have learned the rule of dogmas from the divine Scripture.

Eran.— How then can you deny that God the Word suffered in the flesh?

Orth.— Because we have not found this expression in the divine Scripture.

Eran.— But I have just quoted you the utterance of the great Peter.

Orth.— You seem to ignore the distinction of the terms.

Eran.— What terms? Do you not regard the Lord Christ as God the Word?

Orth.— The term Christ in the case of our Lord and Saviour signifies the incarnate Word the Immanuel, God with us, both God and man, but the term God the Word so said signifies the simple nature before the world, superior to time, and incorporeal. Wherefore the Holy Ghost that spoke through the holy Apostles nowhere attributes passion or death to this name

Offline ZackShenouda439

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Re: Books which mischaracterize Oriental Orthodoxy
« Reply #33 on: November 18, 2017, 02:34:56 PM »
The Oriental Church was, until the past few decades, routinely and indeed, I suspect almost unwittingly, slandered in the West by various authors influenced by or adhering to Roman Catholic prejudices.

I want to create a thread for members to index those books whose depiction of Oriental Orthodoxy is unhelpful.  Books like "The Lesser Eastern Churches" by Adrian Fortescue, which, although in its rather insensitive title, claims to refer to our churches as "Lesser" relative to the Byzantines, nonetheless contains innumerable historical errors and also appalling factual errors, presented in a surly manner, for instance, on Pp. 338, wherein Fortescue pains himself to reassure potentially scandalized Western Chalcedonian readers that St. Ignatius was "Most assuredly not a Monophysite."  That we would agree enthusiastically with this sentiment is not even mentioned, as one might well expect from a work which categorizes the entire Oriental church as Monophysite, when of course as is now established bona fide Monophysitism has been extinct since the demise of the dreadful Tritheist offshoots of Eutyches.

It is very important for Christians to not be misled by inaccurate or misdirected polemics of the past on the veritable eve of reunion between the Eastern and Oriental communions; even Fortescue documents numerous instances where the dichotomy between the two was blurred or non-existant, or even betwern the Oriental Orthodox and the "Nestorian" Assyrians of the Church of the East, with whom we share so much, the Church of the East having been it would seem not the uniformly Nestorian body that is described in the academic litetature, but rather, a single complex church with rival, overlapping and in some cases, undifferentiated or reconciled episcopates, so that the restoration of (physical) communication between the Church of India and the Syriac Patriarch of Antioch in the 18th century in absolutely no sense represented any kind of conversion (to Oriental Orthodoxy) the Indian church, ostensibly a part of the "Nestorian" Church of the East according to some incompetent scholars of the past two centuries, and still prevailing as a sort of urban legend even in more recent and generally competent scholarly discussions of the same. 

Rather, as we now know, the Church of the East in India at least was predominantly Orthodox according to the Christology of Sts. Cyril and Severus, although the existence of factions committed to the Christological model of Mar Babai the Great is probable (and I believe these factions, more or less, comprise the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church).

~

So, from this premise, which books have you found particularly unhelpful in learning about the Oriental Church?  I myself have had a lot of problems with over-simplification of historical details in a great many Western books, so the reliability ot nearly everything written about us has in my experience been a matter of some frustration.  It is endlesdly annoying to me to see the Oriental Orthodox church denied as Orthodox, with Western scholars on numerous occasions imposing bright line dichotomies which almost invariably prove to be sources of confusion, at best, and at worst, more intrinsically misleading.

“Nestorian” is technically a misnomer for COE I agree, but I view this label in textbooks to be equivalent to calling OO “Dioscoran” or" Severan.” What I mean here is just like OO Christology predates Dioscorus & Severus, COE Christology predates Nestorius. but at the same time, Dioscorus/Severus are considered saints in OO  & Nestorius is considered a saint in COE. Dioscorus/Severus viewed themselves as strict followers of Cyril in a similar way that Nestorius viewed himself to be a follower of Theodore of Mopsuestia.the status of Theodore of Mopsuestia for COE is akin to the status of Cyril of Alexandria for OO.

 Calling COE “Nestorian” is not the same as calling the OO “Eutychians”/"Monophysite" because OO have decisively condemned the teachings of Eutyches since the 5th century. Dioscorus condemned the teachings of Eutyches, by condemning those who rejected dual consubstantiality. Severus condemned Eutyches.  Eutyches was condemned formally by name in Ephesus 475. Eutyches was condemned again formally when the OO accepted the Henotikon in 482. OO have a history of condemning Eutyches & the unorthodox teachings attributed to monophysitism.  Can’t say the same about COE and Nestorius.
 
See what I mean? Labeling COE "Nestorian" in textbooks is akin to labeling the OO, "Dioscoran" in textbooks, but it’s not equivalent to labeling the OO monophysite or Eutychian. And of course, OO rarely get labeled "Dioscoran" in textbooks, they usually get called "monophysite" or "eutychian". Overall, I agree "Nestorian" is a misnomer for COE. I’d describe COE christology as “Classical Antiochene."