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Chalcedonians and non-Chalcedonians


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#221 Vasilis Kirikos

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Posted 18 October 2005 - 02:22 AM

Re: '"our venerable father Vasilis Kirikos are you quite well?I am so glade to read your posts and your opinion in any thread"

My dear loving and sweet Theopesta Dem, I am well in my body so far as I know. Thank you for asking. Today I attended another funeral. This has been number ?? more than I care to count in the past 8 weeks of family and friends who have died. . The one today was for a friend who was also the husband of a relative; only 57 years old. He was an overeater and had decided to have buriatric or gastric bypass surgery. The next evening after the surgery he became unconscious and 6 days later passed away for no apparent reason!! Several of us were in the ICU standing by his bed when he passed. I am very angry and have begun to really question things concerning this existence. That is why I ask for your prayers; and do you know what? I am certain that at least some of you are praying for me because I do feel better. Thank you!

BTW; if you are overweight and are considering buriatric surgery, do yourself a favor..... DON'T DO IT!! From what I have seen such surgery is little more than murder. Doctors are willing to take the risk because all the risk is on you, the patient!! You sign the papers that you understand it's risky; the doctors get rich and you may die and the doctors go to the bank with no worry of being sued because you signed a paper that said you knew the risks involved!! But the doctor is taking NO RISK! NONE! SO WHAT DOES HE/SHE CARE SO LONG AS HE/SHE GETS PAID! AND THAT IS THE BOTTOM LINE! MONEY! There are other ways to get help. I recently learned about "Overeaters anonymous" (oa) and I've heard they are wonderful and truly help people. You see, the problem is NOT food; the problem is in the mind!! So stay out of surgery if you are overweight and are looking for an easy way out....SURGERY IS NOT IT!! SURGERY IS TOO RISKY AND YOU MAY DIE FROM GASTRIC BYPASS OR BURIATRIC SURGERY! There are other ways to get help other than surgery that do work and OVEREATERS ANONYMOUS (oa) IS ONE OF THEM! VISIT: http://www.oa.org/index.htm THEY WILL HELP YOU !! Please pray for me. Thank you, Vasilis

#222 Guest_Michael Howard Lake

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Posted 18 October 2005 - 05:40 PM

My dearest Brothers and Sisters,

Apropos of Mr. Steenberg's admonition that we endeavor to conduct a “dialogue about Chalcedonian and non-Chalcedonian Christologies in a context that (a) does not mention Chalcedon or another council; (b) does not mention St Cyril, St John, or other ancient sources by explicit name or reference; © does not quote or mention modern theologians,” I thought I, one who is far from being a theologian in any sense of the word, would toss out an attempt at doing as Brother Matthew suggests. Here it goes:

I assume, since we are Christians, that all here are in agreement: we are one person composed of body and soul (soma & psyche). From time to time, we may speak of ourselves as unitary or multiple, however, as need arises. I mean that if we focus on our bodies' ailments, we are not therefore leaving out the fact that we are "ensouled" beings. In fact, many illnesses of the body stem from illnesses of the soul. Likewise, concerns about the state of the soul itself can be addressed through various somatic treatments, like fasting, abstinence, or almsgiving. We are therefore composite creatures, the duality of body and soul subsumed in our essential oneness, which is, if you will, a “hylomorphic” nature.

Now the question arises as to how we should figure this dyadic unity in words. Even the expression I just used, “dyadic unity,” may stir some controversy since I am neither a trained philosopher nor a theologian and I will be called to account for what these words mean. What happens if one of my readers should focus just on the word “dyadic” and accuses me of being a dualist? How do I answer if another reader thrusts the word “unity” at me and calls me a monist? What words best express what is essentially a mystery, a nature that is both dual and monadic.

So here, Brother Matthew, is where we falter and reach out for an historical crutch to sustain us in our deliberations. We must examine the historical usage of such words as “nature” and “hypostasis” to decide the limits of each word’s meanings and to determine what meanings we should ascribe to them today. But most of all, we must discover for ourselves how these words can guide at least an intellectual apprehension as we consider a mystery even greater than humanity’s hylomorphism, namely the mystery of the God-man, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

From the beginning of the Christological “debate” (a polite term for what it actually became), the composite unity of humanity has provided both sides of the issue an analogy for representing Christ’s twofold oneness. It would seem that the argument has really swirled about whether the word “nature” or the word “hypostasis” better expresses the mystery of Christ’s Godmanhood. The tradition of the Byzantines (whether from the Fifth or Sixth Century matters not) is that Nestorius and Eutyches had both gone too far, emphasizing either Christ’s Divine oneness or His dual nature. At the present time, however, both sides of this controversy agree that the mystery of Christ’s true nature transcends our meager concepts of both unity and duality and thus deserves some special language to do honor to a reality we may only approach with fear and trembling.

Just as with the example of human hylomorphism above, do we make Christ’s two energies alien to one another if we speak of His human sufferings as well as of His impassible Godhead? In other words, do such verbal formulas bespeak an almost Nestorian parallelism between the two aspects of Christ’s oneness (a kind of Deus utens corporem)? But if we counter and say that without the unity of Christ’s nature as the Incarnate God, none of His sufferings would be of eternal consequence, would we be veering off into a Eutychian form of Apollonarian Docetism? No, I think it is possible to accept both approaches to the mystery and not be inconsistent. There is no contradiction to focus on Christ’s dual nature or on His oneness as needed in discussions of dogma and salvation economy.

Well, Matthew, how did I do? It is perhaps beyond me even to approach answering the chief issue between the Chalcedonians and “Non-” (there must be a better word—radical Cyrilians, perhaps?). We are perhaps reduced to historical arguments if we try to wrestle with the terms “hypostasis” and “nature” in this debate. I hope someone better versed than I will pick up the torch from here and venture into that danger-fraught divide.

If I have erred in anything I have written, please correct me with charity, for indeed I “know not what” I do. And also please pray for me, a sinner who pretends to theology.

Your brother in IHC XPC,

Michael

#223 Guest_Michael Howard Lake

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Posted 18 October 2005 - 05:44 PM

My dearest Brothers and Sisters,

Apropos of Mr. Steenberg's admonition that we endeavor to conduct a “dialogue about Chalcedonian and non-Chalcedonian Christologies in a context that (a) does not mention Chalcedon or another council; (b) does not mention St Cyril, St John, or other ancient sources by explicit name or reference; © does not quote or mention modern theologians,” I thought I, one who is far from being a theologian in any sense of the word, would toss out an attempt at doing as Brother Matthew suggests. Here it goes:

I assume, since we are Christians, that all here are in agreement: we are one person composed of body and soul (soma & psyche). From time to time, we may speak of ourselves as unitary or multiple, however, as need arises. I mean that if we focus on our bodies' ailments, we are not therefore leaving out the fact that we are "ensouled" beings. In fact, many illnesses of the body stem from illnesses of the soul. Likewise, concerns about the state of the soul itself can be addressed through various somatic treatments, like fasting, abstinence, or almsgiving. We are therefore composite creatures, the duality of body and soul subsumed in our essential oneness, which is, if you will, a “hylomorphic” nature.

Now the question arises as to how we should figure this dyadic unity in words. Even the expression I just used, “dyadic unity,” may stir some controversy since I am neither a trained philosopher nor a theologian and I will be called to account for what these words mean. What happens if one of my readers should focus just on the word “dyadic” and accuses me of being a dualist? How do I answer if another reader thrusts the word “unity” at me and calls me a monist? What words best express what is essentially a mystery, a nature that is both dual and monadic?}

So here, Brother Matthew, is where we falter and reach out for an historical crutch to sustain us in our deliberations. We must examine the historical usage of such words as “nature” and “hypostasis” to decide the limits of each word’s meanings and to determine what meanings we should ascribe to them today. But most of all, we must discover for ourselves how these words can guide at least an intellectual apprehension as we consider a mystery even greater than humanity’s hylomorphism, namely the mystery of the God-man, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

From the beginning of the Christological “debate” (a polite term for what it actually became), the composite unity of humanity has provided both sides of the issue an analogy for representing Christ’s twofold oneness. It would seem that the argument has really swirled about whether the word “nature” or the word “hypostasis” better expresses the mystery of Christ’s Godmanhood. The tradition of the Byzantines (whether from the Fifth or Sixth Century matters not) is that Nestorius and Eutyches had both gone too far, emphasizing either Christ’s Divine oneness or His dual nature. At the present time, however, both sides of this controversy agree that the mystery of Christ’s true nature transcends our meager concepts of both unity and duality and thus deserves some special language to do honor to a reality we may only approach with fear and trembling.

Just as with the example of human hylomorphism above, do we make Christ’s two energies alien to one another if we speak of His human sufferings as well as of His impassible Godhead? In other words, do such verbal formulas bespeak an almost Nestorian parallelism between the two aspects of Christ’s oneness (a kind of Deus utens corporem)? But if we counter and say that without the unity of Christ’s nature as the Incarnate God, none of His sufferings would be of eternal consequence, would we be veering off into a Eutychian form of Apollonarian Docetism? No, I think it is possible to accept both approaches to the mystery and not be inconsistent. There is no contradiction to focus on Christ’s dual nature or on His oneness as needed in discussions of dogma and salvation economy.

Well, Matthew, how did I do? It is perhaps beyond me even to approach answering the chief issue between the Chalcedonians and “Non-” (there must be a better word—radical Cyrilians, perhaps?). We are perhaps reduced to historical arguments if we try to wrestle with the terms “hypostasis” and “nature” in this debate. I hope someone better versed than I will pick up the torch from here and venture into that danger-fraught divide.

If I have erred in anything I have written, please correct me with charity, for indeed I “know not what” I do. And also please pray for me, a sinner who pretends to theology.

Your brother in IHC XPC,

Michael

#224 Guest_Athanasius Abdullah

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Posted 19 October 2005 - 11:23 AM

Dearest to Christ Vasilis Kirikos,

Peace, blessings, and comfort be with you:

May the intercessions of the Holy Theotokos and the Archangels, and the prayers of all the saints and martyrs, be presented before the Throne of the merciful and compassionate God on your behalf.

May He repose the soul of your friend in the bosom of our holy fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; may He sustain the soul of your friend in green pasture, by the waters of rest in the paradise of joy - that place out of which all grief, sorrow and groaning have fled away in the light of His holy saints.

In IC XC
-Athanasius


#225 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 19 October 2005 - 12:41 PM

Matthew S wrote:

'Politics' have been part of ecclesial reality from the very first; they are not unique to the fifth century. We've a far more extensive record of them there, due at least in part to the fact that people kept better notes and we have more perspectives preserved (one wonders what the discussions at Nicaea were actually like). But ideas that certain individuals and groups misunderstood and misrepresented other individuals and groups, is not unique to Chalcedon, nor Ephesus. Nor does it invalidate theological discussions that may arise out of what in fact are genuine misrepresentations. This is particularly valid with reference to Chalcedon, which regularly is accused of being 'unfair' in spirit and act. There may be elements of truth to that; but what is often not raised in such discussions is the actual theological articulation engaged in by that council, and its reception beyond the immediate realm of situational influence.


and it seems Matthew is trying to make the same point again when he writes:

None would suggest here a de-historicising of theological discourse, or the desireability of trying to articulate doctrine without resource to the voice of the fathers; but in the specific context of this dialogue, which so often turns to differing perceptions of history and those fathers, it is helpful at times to focus on the heart of the matter.


As Matthew says while we do not disown the historical fundamentally we are dealing with an ecclesiological and theological issue here. In any case extreme historicising often overlooks the fact that humans act historically over deeper issues- in effect 'historicising' seems to be part of a larger secular effort to pull everything out of its ecclesiological framework and perspective. In effect we are engaging in human reason pulled out of it proper context within the Body of Christ. The only result of this can be falling into passionate or emotional interpretations rather than seeing through the Mind of the Church.

The issue we are trying to deal with is fundamentally theological and ecclesiological. Every time we fall from trying to see in this manner we fall into the very error the Church tries to defend Herself against in its Ecumenical pronouncements. Perhaps that is why when discussions do not proceed along the level of fundamentals they become like listening to a scratched record where the needle keeps coming back to repeating the same point over & over again without coming to an ultimate issue.

In Christ- Fr Raphael

#226 Guest_Athanasius Abdullah

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Posted 19 October 2005 - 01:23 PM

Dearest to Christ Leandros,

Peace and blessings be with you: In continuation of my response:

According to Chalcedonian Church the phrase “two natures only in contemplation” was used by St Cyril against Nestorius, who predicated a real disunion of natures of Christ, with separate distinct hypostasis for each nature. The Chalcedonian Church does not interpret this phrase as a negation of the reality of “two natures” but she interpret it as a negation of self hypostatization of the human nature, because after the hypostatical union in Christ “of two natures”, the Word is the unique hypostasis “in two natures”, and we use two names for the same Person, that is, Son of Man and Son of God, only in contemplation.


The OO Church has never denied the continuing dynamic reality of Christ’s divinity and humanity; what was at issue was the manner in which they are appropriately to be expressed. At the time of Chalcedon the Churchs' ears were still very sensitive to the piercing scream of Nestorian expressions and manners of speaking about Christ’s essences; regardless of the whole controversy surrounding Eutyches, Nestorianism was nonetheless still the only real and imminent threat. The rejection of “in two natures” was a rejection of the notion that Christ’s divinity and humanity constituted two metaphysical grounds of being underlying the ‘prosopic union’ of Nestorius.

The Chalcedonian Church is using the term ‘ONE (composite) hypostasis’ and she reject the term “ONE (composite) nature”. Explaining this, the Greek Orthodox Professor of Theology Panayiotis Christou explains:


I agree with everything Professor Panayiotis Christou has stated, however, I fail to see how you draw the conclusion that “one nature” is to be rejected for “one hypostasis” from the passage quoted. I furthermore fail to comprehend how it is you can make such a statement, when in our previous discussion you admit the employment of “one nature” by St Cyril, and you even quoted St John of Damascus to justify and explain the Orthodoxy of such an expression.

In IC XC
-Athanasius

#227 Guest_Athanasius Abdullah

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Posted 19 October 2005 - 01:33 PM

Dearest to Christ M.C. Steenberg,

Peace and blessings be with you:

I would personally have no problem submitting to your request; although undergoing theological dialogue in the manner you suggest i.e. disconnected from historical reality and interpretation, does not serve my specific personal interests in this discussion, which ultimately relate back to ecclesiastical issues i.e. the status of councils and figures anathematized etc.

Theoretically speaking, recognition of a present unity in faith – that could theoretically be ascertained without reference to historical figures or events - should alone suffice in establishing re-intercommunion; however, this does not seem to be a practical reality in consideration of the aforementioned ecclesiastical obstacles.

I would be more than happy to consider your suggestion nonetheless, and shall - upon my next visit - set out my own Christological statement of faith in representation of the OO position, without reference to historical persons or events. I will attempt to address all issues surrounding the Incarnation as possible, and will be sure to clearly define all my terms and expressions such as not to implicitly impute a presumed historical connotation upon them.

In IC XC
-Athanasius


#228 Guest_Athanasius Abdullah

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Posted 19 October 2005 - 01:37 PM

Dearest to Christ Fr Raphael Vereshack,

Peace and blessings be with you:

Since the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches are coming from differing ecclesiastical perspectives, and hence there exists disagreement with respect to the interpretation of history through the “Mind of the Church”, how do you suggest reasonable and fair dialogue between both our churches on matters such as Chalcedon be carried out, if not by “historicizing” – i.e. abandoning those presuppositions that are not mutually accepted (i.e. those deemed axiomatic by the “mind” of each respective church), affirming what is common, and thence seeking to come to an honest, objective, and academic conclusion on the matter?

If this is not possible, then all discourse and dialogue between our two churches is superfluous in my opinion.

In IC XC
-Athanasius


#229 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 19 October 2005 - 02:06 PM

Dear Athanasius,

I would suggest we stick to Christology.

Once again it would be silly to deny the historical role in what divided us- but as I suggested before I think we go astray in interpretation when the theological reasons behind the history are left out.

The historical outside of the context of the theology of the Church can easily become something that is just subjective & arbitrary and in some sense can end up contradicting the very point it is trying to make- that there are real & substantial issues at hand.

Remember that modern historicising is based on the understanding that human action is based only on autonomous human action while Church history always reflects how action proceeds from trying to follow (or reject) Christ's Truth. In a sense this goes to the very heart of the issue we are discussing- is the language of Chalcedon fundamental to the an Orthodox understanding of the Faith.

In Christ- Fr Raphael

#230 Guest_Athanasius Abdullah

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Posted 19 October 2005 - 07:56 PM

Dearest to Christ M.C. Steenberg, Fr. Raphael Vereshack, Leandros, Mr. Howard, et al.

Peace and blessings be with you all:

Since this particular thread is quite general and seems to have covered a wide-range of issues, I have created a new thread in pursuing this new line of discussion proposed by M.C. Steenberg, for the sake of conveniance:

http://www.monachos....html?1129751552

I hope that is not a problem,

In IC XC
-Athanasius


#231 Theopesta

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Posted 21 October 2005 - 01:41 PM

If you please could I express about my faith according to my mind understand --but I can accept more understanding if any one wish to clarify more to me what I need to understand:

1- I belive with one GOD in three hypostasis without any seperation but in the same time their is : the father the son the holy spirit (not 3 names for one person, also, not 3 seperated persons as in case of men). the father: is the fountain of the divinty --unoriginated or monoarchy. the son: is eternal and everlasting continous emmision (originated) from the father by generation --gennhsis. the holy spirit: is eternal and everlasting continous emmision (originated) from the father by ekporeusis or procession

2- god plan to the redemption of men from the way of the eternal death through the incarnation of the LOGOS the reason who originally all creation are created by him.

3- before incarnation GOD not posses a real flesh although he creat every flesh by hos holy hand

4- the time of the incarnation is the same time humanity which specialised to the LOGOS to complete his plan in incarnation economy formed before this very time this human not present it is present in the moment of the incarnation, i.e christ not take human person he take human nature and mde it specialise to his person. from this time the distinction between the humanity and divinty in thought alone by subtle thought and contemplation. the result is one person or one hypostasis contain in him all the activity, the wills and the desires of two nature as in the hypostatic untion each nature remains and keeps its complete qualities in harmony with each other after union. it we say composite nature this mean smell of change in something may happen to make the composite one from two as in chemicals ... the upright faith consist of two parts never seperated: in reality of existence there is two nature but in the mode of the existence it is miaphysis. as the two natures remain and exist and persist in one subsistance or one hypostasis we say miaphysis of incanated GOD

5- as the christ is one hypostasis so: he is son of god and son of man what we say "denominations exchange or interchange of nicknames". this my poor language I hope I am not offend any one with my mistaken. also I will learn with correcting.

many thanks

#232 Guest_katya the nurse-aid

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Posted 22 October 2005 - 01:53 AM

If we mixed water and oil and put this mixed in the jar...what will be that main which is hold it tree toghter...the jar, water do no not mixed with oil, yet if it is in the jar they are the one mixed, but remained in their substance...and they cannot exist without jar, cannot be together...in this case 3 is the 1....





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