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)
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.
in case you are wondering what he is talking about.