Why don't you just call traditions that can change "customs," so as to avoid all the confusion that results from attributing to the word tradition two wholly different meanings?
Why don't we call them different things? Perhaps it's traditional we use those terms
Practically I agree with your point about things changing over time (though I would extend it further) Still, I know you are a huge fan of quoting Church Fathers, so could you quote some that mention this distinction? Thanks
Indeed I'm a big big fan of the Church Fathers.
There's a great source of bite-like gleanings that even the hectic and busy modernist can consume athttp://www.orthodox.net/gleanings/index.html
Also, I'm afraid you still haven't explained how you know which is the immutable Big T Tradition. Giving an example does not define the method for determining which is which, it only gives an example.
This is true. I have not. I would look to the Church Fathers to see what they determine as matters of dogma; but knowing that some things have already changed, viz. seating in church, I would assume/presume to guess that that is not a matter of dogma.
You say that the nature of the Trinity is the same now as then... how do you know for sure?
The answer to this is in parts. Irenaeus says that the fullness of teaching was given to the Apostles at Pentecost.
“For it is unlawful to assert that they preached before they possessed "perfect knowledgeÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦,"
Irenaeus - "Against Heresies" Book III.I.I http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-01/anf01-60.htm#P7297_1937859
(Irenaeus goes into some lengths to show how the truth was established through a particular line (Apostolic Succession) in order to argue against many of the bewildering heresies that popped up in his own day.)
I know from reading “St. Cyril of Alexandria: The Christological Controversy : Its History, Theology, and Texts” by John Anthony McGuckin (still haven't finished it) that when St. Cyril was faced with arguing against Nestorius he went to what had always been taught. This was agreed to by an Ecumenical Council. There was no appeal to 'compromise' between the respective camps. It was a matter of saying "This is what we have always taught".
I have no evidence for a change in teaching.
Perhaps I am just missing it though, if perhaps you are implying that Jesus had to teach something for it to be Tradition?
See above re: Pentecost. It is my belief that Holy Tradition is not man-made, but God-made.
But in that case, what about some of His teachings which the Orthodox Church doesn't follow exactly, like only allowing divorce in cases of adultery? How do you know that divorce is a matter of little-t tradition and not Big-T Tradition?
I don't have an answer in that regards the teaching of divorce. In fact I don't know much about what the Church Fathers say, even though I'm also reading "On Marriage and Family Life" by St. John Chrysostomon (I just haven't got up to any part on divorce - if there is some).