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Souls, immortality and eternity


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#101 Owen Jones

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Posted 10 September 2004 - 10:43 PM

There is nothing wrong with employing logical syllogisms in theological reasoning. What this recent thread does show, however, is a particular problem in Roman Catholic thought, even among very brilliant, well-read RC's. It is grounded in a kind of medieval philosophical fundamentalism in which every tenet of theology had to conform to Aristotle's teachings in the physical sciences. This hardening of theological symbols into scientific proofs was disastrous, because physical scientists have proven many of Aristotle's material science to be mistaken. In fact, this debate was so heated even in Thomas's own day that it led to major theological battles. Generally speaking, the Thomistic arguments won out, leading to the disaster known as "the Enlightenment," in which all Roman Catholic thought was called into question by a combination of Newtonian physics and Kant's Critique of Pure Reason.

Sadly, even brilliant, well-read Roman CAtholics are unfamiliar with the 1,000 years of intellectual history of their own Church. When one does not make allowances for mystery, the unknowable, but also the development of the aesthetic basis of theological reasoning, one must become a fundamentalist in order to preserve theological truth, and therefore of necessity must adopt an unscientific and defensive posture intellectually. Obviously, Christian theology cannot stand against the physical sciences. They cannot contradict each other. So bad science, and bad philosophy produces bad theology.


#102 Guest_W. Lindsay Wheeler

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Posted 11 September 2004 - 07:52 PM

Like Mr. Owen, what scientific achievements of science, medicine, physics, biology ever came out of the Orthodox world? NOOOOTHING. It was precisely the writings of Aristotle that produced Galileo and Newton and Copercunicus. All of them launched their intellectual investigations from a starting point of Aristotle.

Maybe you should read The Closing of the Western Mind, The Rise of Faith and the Fall of Resaon by Charles Freeman where the Orthodox church closed the philosophical schools in Athens. If there is ever a mark of irrationalism, that is it.

Let's not forget what faith is----Faith is a certainity of things not seen. So Faith is a type of KNOWLEDGE.

Sorry, The Classical Greeks never thought themselves Eastern!!!!! They though themselves the first Westerners ever so different from the effeminate barbarians of the EAST. Classical Greeks saw that they were very different from other people. Every Classical Scholar, esp. Edith Hamilton, saw them as the first Westerners. NOT Easterners. Plato and Aristotle were not Easterners. Their thought is masculine not feminine, not eastern. Eastern thought is feminine and syncretic. Western thought is Logical, masculine and in Black and White.

Socialism and communism are syncretic thought of the east. Hinduism is syncretic. Western Christianity is opposite of that.


When Apostolos Makrakis writes his tome of Orthodox theology he makes no reference at all to Socrates or Aristotle. He wants to make a "new" philosophy. Whenever someone divorces from the foundation, like the enlightenment which produces the French Revolution. A tearing down of the Old Order. That is not Greek thought.

If you think that Christianity is an "Eastern" thing, I believe you are sadly mistaken.

The HS prevented ST. Paul from going east and made him go WEST.


#103 Owen Jones

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Posted 11 September 2004 - 08:32 PM

On the other hand, if one is a Platonist, one cannot possibly be a Roman Catholic!!!! Which just shows that this thread has become an exercise in }reductio ad absurdum.

It's true that there is a mythology circulating that Orthodox Christianity is an "Eastern" religion, and that there is something fundamentally wrong with "Western" thought. It's best to avoid trendy cant such as this.

I think I will sign on a Roman Catholic site and begin to chastise them all for the sack of Constantinople!!!!}


#104 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 11 September 2004 - 09:33 PM

Well, now that the brilliant Mr. Wheeler has shown us the error of our ways, perhaps he can complete our journey to enlightenment by explaining to us WHICH Western Christianity he is referring to, that we may all rush over to join?


#105 Guest_matt

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Posted 12 September 2004 - 01:36 AM

Mr Wheeler,
It seems that it is now about time for you to admit that you would have preferred the Logos to become incarnate of a Greek Helen rather than a Jewish Mariam, since that was too non-western. Imagine the nerve of God to put His Son in such a jerkwater province! It’s no wonder he didn’t live past 30, since the Jews who were against him couldn’t really understand reality. And his poor disciples, always wondering about who is better than who rather than approaching the situation logically (something they had no use for). But thankfully ol’ St. Paul rescued Christianity from the backwards Jews, who don’t really show an aptitude for critical thought, by giving it to the westerners. I always had the suspicion that Hellenized-Paul was the real founder of Christianity. No way that Jews could have had a hand in it! You should really write a book about your newfound discoveries. And to think that scholars had debunked your thesis decades ago…Publishers should be knocking on your door.



#106 Gilbert Gandenberger

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Posted 12 September 2004 - 01:39 AM

Humility and peace, grace and wisdom. St. Thomas would not agree with much of what was written here. He believed firmly in the mystery of the reality of God. He knew and loved the great Fathers of our church.

As Father Averky would have said, I believe, too many words!


#107 M.C. Steenberg

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Posted 12 September 2004 - 06:38 PM

My friends,

Let us remember the commandment to love one another, both as in the mandates of Christ, and of this discussion forum. Posted Image

Brotherly love is more important than right knowledge. Please let us carry on our discussions in this light.

INXC, Matthew


#108 Guest_W. Lindsay Wheeler

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Posted 13 September 2004 - 05:33 PM

My viewpoint is that I like every church, Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox. There is a lot of pride in each church. This pride blinds us to our errors.

Jesus also confronted the Pharisees of his time. He had no compunction about harrassing and vilifing their uppitiness. He called them every name in the book. He expected better from them. He knocked them off their pedestals. He called his fellow brethren, "Your father is the devil". he called the Phonecian woman by inference a "dog". All Gentiles are dogs. I am a dog.

What is the will of Jesus? Jesus said, "That all may be one". The unity of christians is the paramount idea.

When the Orthodox attack Roman Catholicism, and it has many such problems, the Orthodox position is that all must conform to this apophatic theological system of the Orthodox to be valid. The eastern Orthodox demand, yes, demand that all must follow this system of theology.

I must point out to the millions of Protestant Christians and Roman Catholic Christians, the definition of immortality and eternity is not defined by your meaning and they will never accept en masse. It is a foreign thought process.

If this trend continues, there will be no ecumenism between Latin/Western Christianity and this "Eastern" Christianity.

It is not the Romans who are making it difficult it is the Orthodox with this byzantine thinking.

NO protestant or Catholic theologian would ever think that immortality now must be parsed into "Is it external or internal immortality?" That question is not asked. Does not need to be asked. Does not need to even exist. You are making it more difficult than it really is.

More than half the problem is misperceptions and wrong concepts. I have been reading classical works all my life and have never heard the Greeks called "Easterners". Yet, modern Greeks and the Greek Orthodox church and its theologians are busying calling themselves "eastern" as opposed to the stupid and idiot westerners and think that "eastern" is the way to go. I can't understand where or how they got this term if they read their classical works which they don't and so the misperception exists and has become a stumbling block.

Immortality and what it means is very simple Any person reading Genesis can get the meaning of it. Many protestant ministers do and preach correctly without this confusing apophatic theology. Common people understand their concepts and definition of immortality and the need for salvation in Jesus Christ.

And just so there is no confusion here again,

Let me point out the Book of Wisdom 2.23-24

"For God created man to be immortal, and made him to be an image of his own eternity. Nevertheless through envy of the devil came death into the world: and they that are of his side do find it."

The Greek is "aftharsia" which means immortal or incorruptible. "ftharsia" means mortal.

The Book of Wisdom is scripture and is the Word of God. It is also clear that immortality and eternity are different meanings for this writer. Our immortality is an image of God's eternity. If these words mean the same thing then either one of these words would have been used twice instead of once. God is eternal and Men are immortal. Angels are immortal. The trinity is eternal.





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