Author Topic: Orthodox Fundamentalism, 1hour battle to the death!  (Read 320 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Gunnarr

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,942
Orthodox Fundamentalism, 1hour battle to the death!
« on: July 14, 2015, 07:03:59 PM »
DING DING DING

Calling all Forumites! A great battle has taken place on the subject of "Orthodox Fundamentalism"!

One one side of the ring, we have:

---

Professor Dr George E Demacopolous of Fordham University, who this year wrote a piece on the GOARCH Blog condemning Orthodox Fundamentalists as "extremists" and "idolaters". I don't know much else about him, except for he spoke at the Conference at the Academy of Volos, about "Neo-Patristic Synthesis or Post-Patristic Theology. The Quest of Contextual Theology in Orthodoxy"

This conference was criticized by some Bishops in Greece, and a counter conference was held.

---

On the other side of the ring:

Father John Whiteford

... I don't know who he is. I am sorry. I recognize only the name from people talking about him here and there on the forum.

---

Without further ado, the battle!


LINK TO THE GREAT BATTLE

http://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/aftoday/orthodox_fundamentalism_what_is_it_and_does_it_exist


(I would write down a transcript, but not sure that is allowed)
« Last Edit: July 14, 2015, 07:05:00 PM by Gunnarr »
I am a demonic servant! Beware!

Offline biro

  • Site Supporter
  • Hoplitarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 17,362
Re: Orthodox Fundamentalism, 1hour battle to the death!
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2015, 07:07:37 PM »
This could be good. I'm getting popcorn.  :laugh:

Offline Gunnarr

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,942
Re: Orthodox Fundamentalism, 1hour battle to the death!
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2015, 08:18:49 PM »
Just going to write down some random quotes that I find interesting:

Host (To George Demacopolous):

But your not saying you disagree with the idea that Christianity is under siege in general by secular modernity?

George: Uhm... (pause) I don't think, I don't think I would put it that way. I think a lot of people fear secularism, a lot of people see secularism as a threat to the Church and the survival of the Church. Secularism is its own kind of religion, right, and to think about it otherwise is to make a kind of great mistake. There has always been religious alternatives to Orthodox Christianity. There was never an age, I would argue, that was less dangerous to the church than our own. I think it is really wrong I think of the contemporary setting as being a greater threat to the Church than anything the Church had experienced in the past. I think what people get confused is that they attribute the problem is secularism when I would argue it is not. I think what is different today is people feel threatened because we cannot control rapid communication. We cannot insulate our children from hearing things that offer different ideas in a way that we could in the past. So there is no way to stop the flow of alternative vision, but that is precisely what the fundamentalists wants to do, they want to shut out all other possible other options rather than engaging them.

---

Later, Father Whiteford:

"I think it is pretty safe to say that Christianity is under siege by modernity because there is a world view that has become predominant that is anti-Christian. But I don't know many people that would say we should just not engage that perspective and put our head in the sand. There probably are some people out there that say that and call themselves Orthodox but I'm sure they are a pretty small minority.

(you can see the disagreement)

---
later
Host to George:

I am sure you are in the know of this information, we have recently seen a Pew Research Poll that first one in 2008, a recent 2014 published 2015, many knowledgeable observers within Orthodoxy agree the most corrosive and destructive trends in the Church today,in  the Orthodox Church today, are the influences of Secularism in which I mean adopting the values and behaviors of this world versus the abiding values of the Kingdom of God. And Classic Liberalism. And I'm not talking about the politics of the Democratic Party or anything like that, but the values which came from the Enlightenment. And my question is would you disagree that the some of what you might describe as fundamentalism are reactions against drifting trends which some see even within the Orthodox Church towards a more liberal/secular approach, and an attempt to reemphasize the Patristic teachings and practices of the Holy Orthodox Faith?

Response from George:

Well, hah hah, thats a big question. Let me start by pointing out I think you and others are making a rather significant leap here. The Pew studies did not assign any reasons for decline of Church participation. It simply chronicled them. I think a lot of people are simply assuming that the decline is related to secularism. But more to your actual question, right, is um secularism giving rise to fundamentalist attitudes? I think that the fear of secularism gives rise to fundamentalist attitudes. I don't know that secularism itself does, but I don't think that secularism is the biggest threat to the Church today. In fact, I don't think there is anything about the present age that is any more challenging than anything that has come before.

Today's challenges are very different from those of the pre-modern era, but they are no more threatening to the survival of the Church, as I said. From my perspective the biggest threat to the Orthodox Church now is the fact that we shifted the way we respond to the questions of our age. And to be frank what I mean is we basically refuse to respond at all. In the past the Saints of the days responded to the world of its day on its own terms. There was no question that was off limits. The fathers drew from the cultural resources that were at their disposal to demonstrate why an Orthodox confession of faith was the most rational of all possibilities. As its questions and challenges evolved so did the answers.

So I'll give you an example, right. So by the 5th century the Fathers came to realize the language of the Nicene Creed was no longer sufficient to respond to the Christological debates. So what did they do? They drew on non-Christian philosophical resources: Aristotle, Plato, the Stoics... to articulate new ways to the mystery of Christ's duel nature. They didn't throw out the Nicene Confession of Faith of course, but they transformed it so completely that we have interpreted it differently ever since. By contrast, today rather than engage and critique the challenges of our time, what the fundamentalist does is retreat to the false security that all questions are already answered.

Host: Hm. Father John, would you like to respond?

Father John:

Yes. I don't see a lot of people in the Orthodox world that are refusing to address the questions that are being raised by modernity. In fact there are a lot of people who are spending a lot of time trying to come up with ways to respond to it. Again I'm sure there is probably some Old-Calendarist somewhere in some cave that just tries to ignore everything and hopes it all goes away but I don't see that as the reality on the ground in the Orthodox Church today. The people in the time of the 5th century were using terminology and were speaking in ways that were meaningful for the people at the time but they weren't changing the faith in terms of its essence. They were articulating it. And we do that today too, we try to come up with new ways to explain things to people. But the goal is to try not to change the faith in any essential way when doing that because that is simply a simple matter of remaining faithful to the Orthodox Tradition.




--------

Ok I'm tired of typing now , just listen to it !

George is talking about the Academy of Volos now, and is bringing up the response. He is talking about this specifically from the Metropolitan Pavlos.

http://www.saintnicodemos.org/articles/postpatristictheology.php


in case you are wondering what he is talking about.

-------

I am a demonic servant! Beware!

Offline Justin Kissel

  • Protospatharios
  • ****************
  • Posts: 32,554
Re: Orthodox Fundamentalism, 1hour battle to the death!
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2015, 08:35:04 PM »
Quote
From my perspective the biggest threat to the Orthodox Church now is the fact that we shifted the way we respond to the questions of our age. And to be frank what I mean is we basically refuse to respond at all.

I don't know if it's the biggest, but it's refreshing to hear Prof. Demacopolous say it.

Offline nothing

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 564
Re: Orthodox Fundamentalism, 1hour battle to the death!
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2015, 10:32:59 PM »
Quote
From my perspective the biggest threat to the Orthodox Church now is the fact that we shifted the way we respond to the questions of our age. And to be frank what I mean is we basically refuse to respond at all.

I don't know if it's the biggest, but it's refreshing to hear Prof. Demacopolous say it.
I would make the argument that the OC can't.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2015, 10:33:13 PM by nothing »
“I’ve lived to bury my desires,
And see my dreams corrode with rust;
Now all that’s left are fruitless fires
That burn my empty heart to dust.”
― Alexander Pushkin

Online seekeroftruth777

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 463
  • O Most Holy Theotokos Pray For Us
  • Faith: Torn between E.O. and Coptic
  • Jurisdiction: I'm torn.. Pray for me!
Re: Orthodox Fundamentalism, 1hour battle to the death!
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2015, 10:40:00 PM »
wait has this been like a actual debate? I remember articles a while back but not a real debate. Where can I find this? sounds refreshing.
pray for the persecuted Christians in Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Syria, Occupied Palestine, Nigeria, Pakistan, Eriteria & Kosovo.

Lord Jesus Christ son of God have mercy on me a Sinner

Offline nothing

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 564
Re: Orthodox Fundamentalism, 1hour battle to the death!
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2015, 10:43:21 PM »
Quote
"I think it is pretty safe to say that Christianity is under siege by modernity because there is a world view that has become predominant that is anti-Christian. But I don't know many people that would say we should just not engage that perspective and put our head in the sand. There probably are some people out there that say that and call themselves Orthodox but I'm sure they are a pretty small minority.
Well atleast they are coming around to seeing my view on this. I've said as much about radical Muslims. Fundamentalism is always the last dying gasp of air, just look at the religious right in America. It's really only a matter of time. I do predict many doctrinal Christian churches are going to be in the minority soon enough.

Although I have some quibbles with what George said, overall he made some points that parallel with my own opinions. The problem is I think the OC is inherently reactionary. I'm surprised more fundamentalist protestants in America haven't joined the OC.
“I’ve lived to bury my desires,
And see my dreams corrode with rust;
Now all that’s left are fruitless fires
That burn my empty heart to dust.”
― Alexander Pushkin

Offline TheTrisagion

  • The cat is back and its better than ever!
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 12,705
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Re: Orthodox Fundamentalism, 1hour battle to the death!
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2015, 10:58:21 PM »
wait has this been like a actual debate? I remember articles a while back but not a real debate. Where can I find this? sounds refreshing.
It is on Ancient Faith Radio.
Guys! They're not intercoursing. It's just an unfortunate angle.

Offline Orest

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,174
Re: Orthodox Fundamentalism, 1hour battle to the death!
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2015, 10:45:10 AM »
DING DING DING

Calling all Forumites! A great battle has taken place on the subject of "Orthodox Fundamentalism"!

One one side of the ring, we have:

---

Professor Dr George E Demacopolous of Fordham University, who this year wrote a piece on the GOARCH Blog condemning Orthodox Fundamentalists as "extremists" and "idolaters". I don't know much else about him, except for he spoke at the Conference at the Academy of Volos, about "Neo-Patristic Synthesis or Post-Patristic Theology. The Quest of Contextual Theology in Orthodoxy"

This conference was criticized by some Bishops in Greece, and a counter conference was held.

---

On the other side of the ring:

Father John Whiteford

... I don't know who he is. I am sorry. I recognize only the name from people talking about him here and there on the forum.

---

Without further ado, the battle!


LINK TO THE GREAT BATTLE

http://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/aftoday/orthodox_fundamentalism_what_is_it_and_does_it_exist


(I would write down a transcript, but not sure that is allowed)


Father John Whiteford is an Orthodox fundamentalist and lives in the Internet world.

Offline Jeffrey

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 63
Re: Orthodox Fundamentalism, 1hour battle to the death!
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2015, 04:05:40 PM »
My thought on starting this thread  was "none of the Above". 

Having read so far, this is a case when first instincts are best.

Offline Gunnarr

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,942
Re: Orthodox Fundamentalism, 1hour battle to the death!
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2015, 11:10:07 PM »
I am sorry that I called it a great battle, it is more a discussion of "Fundamentalism" with two divergent viewpoints. . But , if the two speakers did not have self restraint, I am sure it would be a battle!

Anyway,

I looked up and Fr. John Whiteford wrote this article now afterword:

http://fatherjohn.blogspot.com/2015/07/orthodox-fundamentalism-discussion-on.html

---

And for Dr. George, his twitter has this afterword:

At Fordham/OTSA conference, Peter Bouteneff of SVS said something significant about the rise of fundamentalism in American Orthodoxy.

The influx of social conservatives who are joining Orthodox Church might best be understood sociologically rather than theologically.

For some, the turn to Orthodoxy is more about seeking refuge from secular society than it is about actual theological teaching of the Church

---
I am a demonic servant! Beware!

Offline TheTrisagion

  • The cat is back and its better than ever!
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 12,705
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Re: Orthodox Fundamentalism, 1hour battle to the death!
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2015, 11:20:26 PM »

For some, the turn to Orthodoxy is more about seeking refuge from secular society than it is about actual theological teaching of the Church

---
I've heard this concern a number of times, but I don't buy it. If you are Joe Christian who is not happy with secular society or how his church isn't conservative enough, there are a million easier options to go with than Orthodoxy. Independent Baptists, Nondenominational Fundamentalist, Reformed Presbyterian, Reformed Episcopal, Traditionalist Catholic, etc. All of those would be a much easier transition for a western Christian than the massive paradigm shift that Orthodoxy requires.
Guys! They're not intercoursing. It's just an unfortunate angle.

Online Mor Ephrem

  • The Fourteenth Apostle and Judge of the Interwebs
  • Section Moderator
  • Protostrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 23,512
  • The Most Blessed Tikhon: Last Among Equals
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: But my heart belongs to Czech Lands
Re: Orthodox Fundamentalism, 1hour battle to the death!
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2015, 11:22:43 PM »

For some, the turn to Orthodoxy is more about seeking refuge from secular society than it is about actual theological teaching of the Church

---
I've heard this concern a number of times, but I don't buy it. If you are Joe Christian who is not happy with secular society or how his church isn't conservative enough, there are a million easier options to go with than Orthodoxy. Independent Baptists, Nondenominational Fundamentalist, Reformed Presbyterian, Reformed Episcopal, Traditionalist Catholic, etc. All of those would be a much easier transition for a western Christian than the massive paradigm shift that Orthodoxy requires.

But would such people even bother shifting paradigms?
"Do not tempt the Mor thy Mod."

New thread topic.  Rate the sexual attractiveness of members of OC.net on a scale of 1-10.

Mor Ephrem: 11/10

Offline TheTrisagion

  • The cat is back and its better than ever!
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 12,705
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Re: Orthodox Fundamentalism, 1hour battle to the death!
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2015, 11:25:17 PM »

For some, the turn to Orthodoxy is more about seeking refuge from secular society than it is about actual theological teaching of the Church

---
I've heard this concern a number of times, but I don't buy it. If you are Joe Christian who is not happy with secular society or how his church isn't conservative enough, there are a million easier options to go with than Orthodoxy. Independent Baptists, Nondenominational Fundamentalist, Reformed Presbyterian, Reformed Episcopal, Traditionalist Catholic, etc. All of those would be a much easier transition for a western Christian than the massive paradigm shift that Orthodoxy requires.

But would such people even bother shifting paradigms?
If you come from a protestant background, you have to shift your paradigm if you are going to suddenly start venerating icons and singing hymns to the Theotokos. In almost all of protestantism, such things are considered idol worship. You aren't going to sudden jump to that just because you think Orthodoxy is some refuge from the secular word.
Guys! They're not intercoursing. It's just an unfortunate angle.

Online seekeroftruth777

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 463
  • O Most Holy Theotokos Pray For Us
  • Faith: Torn between E.O. and Coptic
  • Jurisdiction: I'm torn.. Pray for me!
Re: Orthodox Fundamentalism, 1hour battle to the death!
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2015, 11:26:26 PM »
I am sorry that I called it a great battle, it is more a discussion of "Fundamentalism" with two divergent viewpoints. . But , if the two speakers did not have self restraint, I am sure it would be a battle!

Anyway,

I looked up and Fr. John Whiteford wrote this article now afterword:

http://fatherjohn.blogspot.com/2015/07/orthodox-fundamentalism-discussion-on.html

---

And for Dr. George, his twitter has this afterword:

At Fordham/OTSA conference, Peter Bouteneff of SVS said something significant about the rise of fundamentalism in American Orthodoxy.

The influx of social conservatives who are joining Orthodox Church might best be understood sociologically rather than theologically.

For some, the turn to Orthodoxy is more about seeking refuge from secular society than it is about actual theological teaching of the Church

---

That quote maybe actually true as a Inquirer myself I can perfectly understand the nervousness about people coming into Orthodoxy because a certain number of them might be more like Culture warriors then knowing anything about Orthodox Theology and history. It something to be cautious about because lately I pick a trend in SoCon circles is that they are disappointed in what they perceive as the weakness of there Protestant/Baptist/Evangelical leaders and I herd some SoCon's mention how impressed they are with Orthodoxy stance on social issues not exactly it theology. As a Inquirer I'm starting to realize Orthodoxy is a way of life and not a Culture War Ideology so the fundamentalism is concerning. I can see why non-converts are concerned after all  :(
pray for the persecuted Christians in Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Syria, Occupied Palestine, Nigeria, Pakistan, Eriteria & Kosovo.

Lord Jesus Christ son of God have mercy on me a Sinner

Online Mor Ephrem

  • The Fourteenth Apostle and Judge of the Interwebs
  • Section Moderator
  • Protostrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 23,512
  • The Most Blessed Tikhon: Last Among Equals
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: But my heart belongs to Czech Lands
Re: Orthodox Fundamentalism, 1hour battle to the death!
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2015, 11:29:50 PM »

For some, the turn to Orthodoxy is more about seeking refuge from secular society than it is about actual theological teaching of the Church

---
I've heard this concern a number of times, but I don't buy it. If you are Joe Christian who is not happy with secular society or how his church isn't conservative enough, there are a million easier options to go with than Orthodoxy. Independent Baptists, Nondenominational Fundamentalist, Reformed Presbyterian, Reformed Episcopal, Traditionalist Catholic, etc. All of those would be a much easier transition for a western Christian than the massive paradigm shift that Orthodoxy requires.

But would such people even bother shifting paradigms?
If you come from a protestant background, you have to shift your paradigm if you are going to suddenly start venerating icons and singing hymns to the Theotokos. In almost all of protestantism, such things are considered idol worship. You aren't going to sudden jump to that just because you think Orthodoxy is some refuge from the secular word.

Yeah, but then what about "Traditionalist Catholicism" would be easier than Orthodoxy?
"Do not tempt the Mor thy Mod."

New thread topic.  Rate the sexual attractiveness of members of OC.net on a scale of 1-10.

Mor Ephrem: 11/10

Online seekeroftruth777

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 463
  • O Most Holy Theotokos Pray For Us
  • Faith: Torn between E.O. and Coptic
  • Jurisdiction: I'm torn.. Pray for me!
Re: Orthodox Fundamentalism, 1hour battle to the death!
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2015, 11:39:12 PM »

For some, the turn to Orthodoxy is more about seeking refuge from secular society than it is about actual theological teaching of the Church

---
I've heard this concern a number of times, but I don't buy it. If you are Joe Christian who is not happy with secular society or how his church isn't conservative enough, there are a million easier options to go with than Orthodoxy. Independent Baptists, Nondenominational Fundamentalist, Reformed Presbyterian, Reformed Episcopal, Traditionalist Catholic, etc. All of those would be a much easier transition for a western Christian than the massive paradigm shift that Orthodoxy requires.

But would such people even bother shifting paradigms?
If you come from a protestant background, you have to shift your paradigm if you are going to suddenly start venerating icons and singing hymns to the Theotokos. In almost all of protestantism, such things are considered idol worship. You aren't going to sudden jump to that just because you think Orthodoxy is some refuge from the secular word.

Yeah, but then what about "Traditionalist Catholicism" would be easier than Orthodoxy?

Just a guess maybe amongst the more hyper Old calendar groups? Mainstream Orthodoxy? Idk the legalism & wanting to know everything and having everything defined perfectly can be hard to adjust away from for a traditionalist Catholic.
pray for the persecuted Christians in Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Syria, Occupied Palestine, Nigeria, Pakistan, Eriteria & Kosovo.

Lord Jesus Christ son of God have mercy on me a Sinner

Offline TheTrisagion

  • The cat is back and its better than ever!
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 12,705
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Re: Orthodox Fundamentalism, 1hour battle to the death!
« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2015, 08:37:02 AM »

For some, the turn to Orthodoxy is more about seeking refuge from secular society than it is about actual theological teaching of the Church

---
I've heard this concern a number of times, but I don't buy it. If you are Joe Christian who is not happy with secular society or how his church isn't conservative enough, there are a million easier options to go with than Orthodoxy. Independent Baptists, Nondenominational Fundamentalist, Reformed Presbyterian, Reformed Episcopal, Traditionalist Catholic, etc. All of those would be a much easier transition for a western Christian than the massive paradigm shift that Orthodoxy requires.

But would such people even bother shifting paradigms?
If you come from a protestant background, you have to shift your paradigm if you are going to suddenly start venerating icons and singing hymns to the Theotokos. In almost all of protestantism, such things are considered idol worship. You aren't going to sudden jump to that just because you think Orthodoxy is some refuge from the secular word.

Yeah, but then what about "Traditionalist Catholicism" would be easier than Orthodoxy?
I threw that one in for Catholics who might be dissatisfied with the current direction they see Pope Francis taking the RC church. Such a person would probably be more likely to just gravitate towards Traditionalist Catholicism as opposed to just leaving the whole thing all together and becoming Orthodox.
Guys! They're not intercoursing. It's just an unfortunate angle.

Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 7,527
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Diocese of the South (OCA)
Re: Orthodox Fundamentalism, 1hour battle to the death!
« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2015, 05:40:55 PM »
The problem is I think the OC is inherently reactionary.

Bravo! You have described the Christian Church very well indeed. Of course, to me that is a very good thing.

Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 7,527
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Diocese of the South (OCA)
Re: Orthodox Fundamentalism, 1hour battle to the death!
« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2015, 05:41:49 PM »
The winner and still the undisputed champion--Father John!!!

Offline Justin Kissel

  • Protospatharios
  • ****************
  • Posts: 32,554
Re: Orthodox Fundamentalism, 1hour battle to the death!
« Reply #20 on: July 17, 2015, 07:50:26 PM »
The winner and still the undisputed champion--Father John!!!

You two are as thick as curmudgeons you are