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Chalcedonians and non-Chalcedonians


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#41 Guest_Athanasius Abdullah

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 11:45 AM

Dearest to Christ theopesta dem,

Peace and Blessings be with you:

With all due respect to you, I believe my view of the Scriptures is perfectly Orthodox. That such a view is grounded in the writings of Origen, St Augustine, and St John Chrysostom; and that any contrary view is lacking in credible patristic tradition (as far as I know), is sufficient enough for me to affirm its Orthodoxy.

Furthermore, Origen’s allegorical approach to the Scriptures was not a reflection of his particular personalilty; the allegorical approach was a reflection of the line of thought established by and predominant at the school of Alexandria, which the Coptic Orthodox Church represents till this day – you will find such interpretation in the works of other great Alexandrian figures such as St Clement, and the great St Cyril.

In IC XC
-Athanasius


#42 Guest_Athanasius Abdullah

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 12:46 PM

Dearest to Christ leandros

Peace and blessings be with you:

Let me take you out of your wonder, as I am the original writer of my former post, which I had also posted in OC.net in the past. My reply is not the outcome of laziness.


I have sinned, forgive me.

As for the monophysite label, that you find insulting, I am not using the term according to the Arian doctrine, but according to the declaration of Coptic Pope Shenouda III, Patriarch of the See of St. Mark :
"By one Nature", we mean a real union. This does not involve mingling as of wheat and barely, nor confusion as of wine and water or milk and tea. Moreover, no change occurred as in the case of chemical reaction. For example carbon dioxide consists of carbon and oxygen, and the nature of both changes when they are combined; each loses its properties which distinguished it before the unity. In contrast, no change occurred in the Divine or Human nature as a result of their unity. Furthermore, unity between the two natures occurred without transmutation. Thus, neither did the Divine nature transmute to the human nature, nor did the human nature, transmute to the Divine nature. The Divine nature did not mix with the human nature nor mingle with it, but it was a unity that led to Oneness of Nature.
...
Likewise, the nature of the Incarnate Logos is One Nature, having all the Divine characteristics and all the human as well."


Sir, let me ask you this; since the above declaration by His Holiness is one that was essentially made by the great champion of Christology St Cyril himself, who affirmed all the above Christological precepts re-affirmed by His Holiness: a) That there was union of the two natures of Christ, without mingling, without confusion, without transmutation, and without alteration, and b) that the nature (physis) of God the Logos Incarnate is One (mia) – would you therefore have a problem with labelling St Cyril a monophysite as well? If so, then you are being neither honest nor consistent regarding this matter.

I understand the difference between the word 'mono' and the word 'mia': While the word mono implies that Christ's nature is singular both of its origin and of His realization, the word mia implies that Christ's nature while being dual of its origin, it ends up single as of His realization.


I’m glad you understand the difference. It is one analogous to the distinctive implications between the Hebrew words for “One”: yachid and echad; for whilst the former is applied in a sense of strict singularity, the latter is applied in a composite sense with regards to compound unities. I will take it therefore, that in understanding the fallacy and dishonesty in the monophysite title, that you will discontinue its usage, and we can continue this dialogue. Thank you in advance.

The difference between us is that we, Chalcedonains, declare in Christ a hypostatical union of human nature and Divine nature, in the context of unification of created and non-created natures. The end result of this unification is that Christ's nature is singular double. It is singular because it's a unification that hypostatically is expressed by ONE person, and it's double because created human nature and uncreated divine nature has nothing in common and they can not mixed in any way and they remain TWO.

On the other hand you, non-Chalcedonians, declare that in Christ "The Divine nature did not mix with the human nature nor mingle with it, but it was a unity that led to Oneness of Nature"


Hmm if this is another pre-prepared article, I think it needs to be edited and revised. You start off by implicitly presenting the Chalcedonian position (as you have stated it), as if it is in contradiction to the non-Chalcedonian position (as you have stated it). This you do, when you employ the clause “The differences between us is that we….” in order to introduce the Chalcedonian position, followed by the clause “On the other hand….” To introduce your conception of the non-Chalcedonian position.

Let me confirm for you, that we non-Chalcedonians would have absolutely no problem with the Chalcedonian position as you have presented it, nor would we have a problem affirming it in the language you have employed. However, we would have a problem affirming it in exclusion to certain qualifications that need to be made.

You claim that Christ’s nature is a singular double – in other words a composite unity – and this is exactly the miaphysite position. You then go on to explain that according to the Chalcedonian conception, the “singular” aspect of, i.e. the "Oneness" aspect of Christ’s nature, is according to the fact that the hypostatic union is “expressed by one person”. Though one of the emphases made by the Cyrillian formula concerning “The One Nature of God the Logos Incarnate” is indeed that His unity is expressed through one person, it is not the only emphasis.

Following St Cyril of Alexandria, St Severus of Antioch adopted the phrase of “The One Nature of God The Logos Incarnate”, and explained that the term physis in this context is not being employed in its essentialistic use (such that it is synonymous to ousia), as it is when it is being employed in reference to the human or divine nature of Christ. Rather, it is used in a sense to denote “a concrete particular in which the ousia is individuated” and as such is synonymous to the term hypostasis.

This is the result of inability to comprehend how is it possible to have one person to give hypostasis to two different natures at once. This is a logical argument that presupposes that the attributes of a personhood results as the outcome of his nature.


It seems you are setting up quite a confused straw man here. Our affirmation of the One Nature of Christ is not the result of some warped logic which entails that to affirm two natures per se entails the affirmation of two persons. The physis in mia physis, as I explained above, is employed in a differing context to when it is employed with reference to the divine and human essences (ousia/physis). The mia physis expression, according to the context in which the term physis is to be understood (in a sense such that it is synonymous to hypostasis) has three emphases according to St Severus of Antioch as stated by Fr. V.C Samuel in his article One Incarnate Nature of God the Word; one of which is: that “In becoming Incarnate, He individuated manhood in union with Himself and made it His very own”(pg. 87, Does Chalcedon Divide or Unite?).

It thus has implications regarding the nature of the hypostatic union itself. Therefore, it is after the union that it is essential to affirm the ultimate mia physis in order to emphasise that the One hypostasis of the Word before the union, did not become two hypostasis at the incarnation, but rather the humanity of Christ was en-hypostasized by the hypostasis of The Word, such that Christ was mia physis according to the state of His individual existence. The consequence of this is that the two essences which constitute His mia physis according to the hypostatic union, are inseparable, precisely because the existence of one physis (ousia) - the human, is dependent on such a union in the first place, due to its lacking hypostatic qualities in and of itself.

In IC XC
-Athanasius

#43 Guest_Athanasius Abdullah

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 12:54 PM

Dearest to Christ Fr. Raphael,

Peace and blessings be with you:

But how the Church is guided is another matter since as the Body of Christ the Holy Spirit works through its members overcoming all that is weak & even fallen.


I don’t think however, that the Holy Spirit imposes itself upon anyone or “part” of The Church to the extent that it restricts their free will. If a certain See possesses an unholy grudge against another see, or a certain figure for example has a personal agenda - wishing to exalt his particular authority and position, and thus consequently an unwarranted Church Council is enacted purely in the name of political and personal gain; why should we expect The Holy Spirit to prevent this? In my opinion, God merely made sure that regardless of the grave human error i.e. the abuse of the human aspect in “human-divine synergy” that would consequently ensue, that The Church would still indeed maintain His doctrinal truth, in one form or another. This I believe is what happened at the Council of Chalcedon.

So the Council of Chalcedon is an expression of how the Holy Spirit guides the Church in the fullness of Life & Truth.


Says who however? My Church as does your Church, claims to be the legitimate One Holy Universal and Apostolic Orthodox Church. It is your subjective position that the Holy Spirit motivated the events at Chalcedon such that it was a legitimate Ecumenical Council, and it is our subjective position that the Holy Spirit motivated our rejection of Chalcedon such that it was not a legitimate Ecumenical Council, regardless of whether it affirmed Orthodox doctrine according to the subjective intention of those who were responsible for it. How else can we determine who really got it right, apart from a retrospective analysis of historical facts?

Nothing can 'prove' that Christ's Life as offered within the Church through Her life- including Her Councils- is True except for this Life itself which is shared with all.


I’m sure the Roman Catholic can assert the same thing with regards to her councils which she considers ecumenically authoritative, including those which we as Orthodox reject. Try and empathize with the non-Chalcedonian position for a second, by regarding your own position towards the Roman Catholic councils which you do not consider legitimate. In a dialogue of this sort, one cannot just narrow mindedly assert arguments based upon the presupposed legitimacy of certain councils which the other party does not accept. There needs to be some objectivity; a standard by which we can determine the Ecumenicity of a council, and hence the validity of one party's claims concerning a particular council over and against the claims of another.

In IC XC
-Athanasius

#44 Guest_leandros

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 01:39 PM

Dear Athanasius Abdullah,

would you please complete the coptic christology dogma by answering to the question: why did Jesus died as a human being?

Thank you.


#45 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 02:43 PM

Dear Athanasius Abdullah,

Thank you for your kind & thought-provoking posts. This gets us to consider our Faith more closely.

The Holy Spirit does not impose itself upon anyone against their free will. And for us this is precisely why we see the Council of Chalcedon as being 'Ecumenical'. As it says in the Acts of the Holy Apostles when the Apostles met in council at Jerusalem "it pleased the Holy Spirit & us." The Council of Chalcedon for us perfectly expresses the essence of the Christian faith based on the hope of salvation in Christ. If it did not express this in Orthodox fashion we could not say that this Council was inspired by the Holy Spirit or a real council- it certainly would never be considered Ecumenical, ie applying to the Universal Church concerning a matter central to Her doctrine. So it is from this that we say that Chalcedon was not a matter of unholy grudges or personal agendas.
You further wrote:

why should we expect The Holy Spirit to prevent this? In my opinion, God merely made sure that regardless of the grave human error i.e. the abuse of the human aspect in “human-divine synergy” that would consequently ensue, that The Church would still indeed maintain His doctrinal truth, in one form or another. This I believe is what happened at the Council of Chalcedon.


I notice that a number of times you have expressed things in this fashion as if the Orthodox Church could maintain its "doctrinal truth" while Chalcedon was the result of "grave human error." If Chalcedon had been judged later on by the mind of the Church to have been false then perhaps we could say such a thing. But the fact that we have proclaimed this council to be Ecumenical and indeed a marker of the Faith means that it is central to our Faith. In the Church there is an identical conformity between the Faith and the expression of Her true councils. Of course the Church must discern whether such councils were indeed true expression of the Faith- a council is not true just because it took place. It must conform to the Faith. In the case of Chalcedon though this is exactly what happened.

That Chalcedon is a perfect expression of the Orthodox Faith & thus central to it is not subjective. For that matter how can you maintain that your rejection of Chalcedon is subjective? By Orthodox standards you should maintain that you are defending a true and objective standard of the Faith.

This indeed is the criterion of the Faith- not "a retrospective analysis of historical facts"; for the interpretation of even those "facts" ultimately depends on our perspective- not in a subjective sense but as conforming to Orthodox vision.

The Roman Catholics should indeed assert a conformity between Faith & her councils just as you should about your own church. This is not "narrowminded" but simply the attempt at catholicity (by its Orthodox interpretation about the Church expressing the fullness of Faith).

Of course this all gets down to the ultimate criterion of the Faith. Discussing the theological vision that divides us is very important. But we need to understand that much of what we say does not 'prove' the Faith nor did the Holy Fathers intend their formulations in this way. Rather what they and the Councils convey is an expression of and witness to the Faith- not a 'proof' of it. So ultimately the criterion of the Faith comes down to whether what is being expressed conforms to an Orthodox understanding of salvation as given by Christ to His Church. When it comes to Chalcedon it is for this reason that we defend it so warmly. Not just in outward expression in words. Rather our words are a witness to the experience of Orthodox salvation in Christ through His Church which Chalcedon expresses and witnesses to.

In Christ- Fr Raphael

#46 Theopesta

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 04:00 PM

eulogete kure leandros in your post 54
we belive with the:
a hypostatical union of human nature and Divine nature, in the context of unification of created and non-created natures. The end result of this unification is that Christ's nature is singular double. It is singular because it's a unification that hypostatically is expressed by ONE person, and it's double because}} created human nature and uncreated divine nature has nothing in common and they can not mixed in any way and they remain TWO.
if you complete the pope book you will fnd that.
xairete}}


#47 Guest_leandros

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 05:49 PM

Dear Abdullah,

I have asked the question: whether Divine Personhood of the Word originates from natural Sonship with the Father, or it originates from Uncreated Personal relationship with the Father ?

I think that if you provide an answer to this question, then we will realise the significance of our disagreement.

You said:
"The consequence of this is that the two essences which constitute His mia physis according to the hypostatic union, are inseparable, precisely because the existence of one physis (ousia) - the human, is dependent on such a union in the first place, due to its lacking hypostatic qualities in and of itself."

This non-Chalcedonian doctrine is absolutely non acceptable by Orthodox Chalcedonians.

We, Chalcedonias, do not accept that to have a divine nature is a precondition for Christ as a Person to be the Son of the Father -in fact we believe the other way around, that His personal relationship of Sonship with the Father is the Cause of his Divine existence (not of a natural Sonship, for then we would have two Gods, a Father and His Son). In the same context we accept that His personal relationship of Sonship with the Father is the cause of his human existence as a Person, it is not the sideefect of having human nature.

In both cases the cause of existence for Christ as Son of the God,and as Son of the Man is the Father. Not as a natural cause that gives birth to the Son's nature, but as a cause of Personal existence. I repeat that we worship a Trinity of Persons and not a Trinity of Divine nature.

Let me use an example of the Chalcedonian doctrine by introducing it in a human analogy:

There was once a Father that had a Son in a peaceful land, of Joy and Happiness. The will of the Father was for the Son to become a General that would fight evil in a spiritual war that an army of people was giving without success in another country, even if he was to die for that noble cause. The Son accepted his Father's will and he left his Father's land to join the army and to assume the Generalship. He gave a victorious combat against the evil one and he saved human army from the slavery, but he died doing it.

Now, in this example there is ONE person that participates in two living realities, one being the Sonship and the other being the Generalship. In this context, both the Sonship and the Generalship are given hypostasis by the same person, and THERE IS NONE THAT IS LACKING HYPOSTATIC QUALITIES IN AND OF ITSELF. The Generalship is not en-hypostasized by the hypostasis of the Son, the Generalship IS HYPOSTATIC by the person who is the General.

To say that the Generalship "lacks hypostatic qualities in and of itself" and that is "dependent" from the Sonship, and that the Generalship "was en-hypostasized by the hypostasis" of the Son, is like saying that the Sonship became a General. It's an im-personalization of the General.There is no dependence of Generalship to Sonship. There is a dependence of both of them on the existence of the Person that lives them as realities.

The Generalship is a created reality which was realized as a result of an action of will, and the Sonship is uncreated in the context that it was given to the Son by his Father - because there was not a time when the Son had not own the Sonship. They are at the same time BOTH autonomous, self justified, all complete and self-hypostatical as they are manifested by ONE person that lives them ontologicaly.

I think this example makes clear why the Chalcedonian Orthodoxy is not accepting the non-Chalceconian doctrine: we find no dependence of human nature on the divine nature. Nevertheless, We find both of them to be dependent from the personal -not physical- Sonship relation of the Son with the Father.

We, Chalcedonias, declare that it is a Person that hypostasizes the human nature of Christ - it is not His Sonship. The same Person hypostatizes the Divine nature of Christ - it is not His Sonship. This person on both cases is THE SAME ONE and He is Jesus.

This is our faith:
"Following the holy Fathers we teach with one voice that the Son [of God] and our Lord Jesus Christ is to be confessed as one and the same [Person], that he is perfect in Godhead and perfect in manhood, very God and very man, of a reasonable soul and [human] body consisting, consubstantial with the Father as touching his Godhead, and consubstantial with us as touching his manhood; made in all things like unto us, sin only excepted; begotten of his Father before the worlds according to his Godhead; but in these last days for us men and for our salvation born [into the world] of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God according to his manhood. This one and the same Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son [of God] must be confessed to be in two natures, unconfusedly, immutably, indivisibly, inseparably [united], and that without the distinction of natures being taken away by such union, but rather the peculiar property of each nature being preserved and being united in one Person and subsistence, not separated or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son and only-begotten, God the Word, our Lord Jesus Christ, as the Prophets of old time have spoken concerning him, and as the Lord Jesus Christ hath taught us, and as the Creed of the Fathers hath delivered to us."

By confessing that "...he is perfect in Godhead and perfect in manhood, very God and very man ... consubstantial with the Father as touching his Godhead, and consubstantial with us as touching his manhood... but rather the peculiar property of each nature being preserved and being united in one Person and subsistence, not separated or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son and only-begotten, God the Word, our Lord Jesus Christ..." we emphasize that neither of Christ's natures lack of hypostatic qualities in and of itself. That they are both perfect, not depended on anything, not lacking anything, standing by themselves in perfection and completeness and having "as a peculiar property of each nature being preserved and being united in one Person and subsistence not separated or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son and only-begotten, God the Word, our Lord Jesus Christ."

To put it in one simple sentence:
The Sonship in Christ is hypostatic by the person who is the Son, the humanship in Christ is hypostatic by the person who is the human, in both cases this Person is Jesus. (likewise the son who became general in the example above)


#48 Guest_leandros

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 06:05 PM

Dear theopesta dem,

Thank you for your testimony of faith.

By reading your posts I realise that your prayers are being accepted by God.

Like you, I think also that we are praying in the same God.

I have read the book of your pope, and I shall read it again, since you ask.

I have one question to ask you: is it possible for your priest to practise holy liturgy in case there is nobody else in the church?

I asked this because I have heard that a Coptic priest can not perform liturgy just for himself and that must be at least one more person present in the church.

Thank you for your advise.


#49 Theopesta

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 06:34 PM

I think what the problem if no one present in the church, and the preist pray the mass.
if I am monk not nun I will be happy to make that every day.
if the preist make the liturgy alone and continue the people one day will come as they know their is a conestant time for mass never changed,
and the preist will be honest..


#50 Theopesta

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 06:46 PM

please Mr. leandros
what is the differance between the two exprestion:
{whether Divine Personhood of the Word originates from natural Sonship with the Father, or it originates from Uncreated Personal relationship with the Father ? }
I feel the two is the same but I am not a knowledagable theologian,
the book of H.H page 21:
line no. 7 from down about the hypostatic union

also, I study the hypostatic union as specifc topic in the theological institute but in arabic with greek exprestions.


#51 Theopesta

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 07:46 PM

the explaintion Mr. leandros in post 58:
is the same as we study in the institute, may the diferance in language but the extract of explaintion is our faith

it is a Person that hypostasizes the human nature of Christ - it is not His Sonship. The same Person hypostatizes the Divine nature of Christ - it is not His Sonship. This person on both cases is THE SAME ONE and He is Jesus

my understand about the human nature that it has its special hypostatic qualities as all humans and it is present in the same time of the union in the womb of theotokos, Christ is complete human, this human nature become his own till now.

the humanity of christ present in the same time of union without differance in time, so we say his humanity is specialiazed to the logos in union,
his humanity not present before the union, the time of incarnation is the very same time of union.
christ take complete hypostasis of human as it is true incarnation with true effective redemption to all parts of human nature: its flesh, its soul, its mind, its heart as St. Gregory the theologian say.
the incarnated logos has 2 birth :
1- one before age eternal according to his divinity from the father (cause or begetting diety) by begetting out of time no firest and second in this begettig, it is continous eternal begeting.
2- the other birth is in the time in the incarnation according to flesh from the all purety theotokos.
the unity between the trinty is unity of ousia between 3 hypostasis.

all the above is the extract of ecumanical lessons of the coptic higher institute.
I hope to know what the differance between we and your holy orthodox people.
thanks}

#52 Theopesta

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 07:53 PM

again I read carefully all your post 58 Mr. and brother leandros it is the same faith of the coptic church, I cannot find any thing differ. any thing out that will be nestorian or apolinarian

#53 Guest_Athanasius Abdullah

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 08:00 PM

Dearest to Christ leandros,

Peace and blessings be with you:

I have asked the question: whether Divine Personhood of the Word originates from natural Sonship with the Father, or it originates from Uncreated Personal relationship with the Father ?


To be perfectly honest with you, I fail to understand how this relates at all to the Christological issues that we are dealing with, which is why I initiall ignored it. However, if you really insist on its relevance to this discussion, I shall gladly answer it for you.

Answer: Clearly the latter…

This non-Chalcedonian doctrine is absolutely non acceptable by Orthodox Chalcedonians.

We, Chalcedonias, do not accept that to have a divine nature is a precondition for Christ as a Person to be the Son of the Father


Slow down sir...for you are obviously reading wild things into my statement which simply do not exist - with all due respect. I honestly have no idea how you managed to extract that interpretation from my statement – for it had absolutely nothing to do with the personhood of Christ in the first place; you are way off my friend. Let’s have a look at my statement once more:

I said:

"The consequence of this is that the two essences which constitute His mia physis according to the hypostatic union, are inseparable, precisely because the existence of one physis (ousia) - the human, is dependent on such a union in the first place, due to its lacking hypostatic qualities in and of itself." (bold emphasis your own)


This obviously has NOTHING to do with anything that you have taken it to mean. I am simply speaking about the non-selfsubsistence of the human nature of Christ, according to the fact that its subsistence is dependent on the hypostatic union. That is all...This is not in contradiction to Chalcedonian line of thought, for St John of Damascus himself taught this same principle when he declared that the humanity of Christ was en-hypostasized by the hypostasis of The Word:

“The human nature according to Severus is not “hypostatic” but was rather considered along with Leontius of Byzantium and John of Damascus ‘hypostatiszd’, received to the unity of the hypostasis of The Word” (Zambolotsy, 'Christology of Severus of Antioch', page 377)


In IC XC
-Athanasius

#54 Guest_leandros

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 10:25 PM

Dear theopesta dem,

The difference in the question is in how we realize the Sonship of Christ.

If we say "the Divine Personhood of the Word originates from natural Sonship with the Father", then we mean that the Sonship is the result of the natural relationship between entities of the same nature and it is a self identified realization of a relation - like in the case of human father and son.

In this context I, as a human, can not define my sonship relation with my father as a personal relationship. My sonship is a given fact which has been provided to me according to my father's will to beget me, by having a common nature with him, which is for my father an original nature and for me an inherited nature. (Of course, in humans there is a long chain of ancestors, but we will constrain our analysis in a generation). In this context I can relate with my father into whatever personal relationship I like or even in no personal relationship at all and I will always be his son. This is the case of created personhood: I have the ability to become a person as long as I inherit, from my natural sonship with my father, a natural delimitation that permits me to become a person, regardless of the existence of personal relationship with him. This naturally given -non personal- relationship with my father makes me realize the otherness in a violent/ obligatory realization of my sonship. I have to admit that I am not my father, that I am some other PERSON of the same nature that is defined by my sonship. Therefore, I can say that I posses my personhood, myself alone, but it is depended on my natural sonship with my father.

This is the case of humans and such a personhood refers to created persons, and does not stand for Christ as we will see below.

If we say, "the Divine Personhood of the Word originates from Uncreated Personal relationship with the Father", then we mean that while we do not know anything about the natural affiliation between the Son and The Father, as long as the Divine Nature is incomprehensible and non-experience-able. nevertheless we have been informed by the Son and by the Father and by the Spirit that they hold such Uncreated Personal relationships with each other, that have been originated by the Father. Father begets the Son and emits the Spirit before time. As we know Father, Son and Spirit are Persons. They relate to each other in a personal uncreated way of life that we call Holy Trinity. This way of Life is united in the Monarchy of the Father, in the way that He is the only non-caused Person, forasmuch as the Son and the Spirit have as cause the Father.

So we end up realizing and relating with Persons, such as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, without having a natural realisation of otherness. The Personhoods of the Devine Persons of the Son and of the Holy Spirit originate from Uncreated Personal relations with the Father. The only non-caused Devine Person is the Father.

The uncreated Personal way of Trinity life leave no room for natural diversification or separation or differentiation, it defines a single simple nature. We declare a 'homoousion' Trinity (having the identical nature) that is defined as such by the uncreated Personhoods of the Trinity Persons. This uncreated reality is an oxymoron/paradox because we provide a logical proposition of different Persons that are not defined by a distinguishable nature. While not having a natural way to realize the natural Otherness of the other Person, they are able to distinguish their Personal identities in a Divine way of Life.

In this context the Divine Personhood of the Word originates from Uncreated Personal relationship with the Father.

This is of great significance in the Chalcedonian doctrine, because in this context there is no need to specify a divine natural necessity in Christ as we know Him to be Jesus, as there is no such a necessity as we know Him to be Word/Logos. We do not associate Divinity of Jesus with his divine nature, but with His Uncreated Personal relation with the Father.

As the divine nature of His is not the origin of His Divine Personhood, likewise the human nature of His is neither the origin of His human Personhood.

The Chalcedonian theology is a projection of the theology of the Ecumenical Synod A(325 ac), and of Ecumenical Synod B(381 ac) and of Ecumenical Synod C(431 ac). All these synods actually have declared this one Truth of our faith in different occasions:

COUNCIL OF NICAE A: This council declared that the word is homo-ousios with the father (having identical nature with the father). [His Personhood originates from His personal relation of Sonship with the Father, a Sonship that is in its nature incomprehensible.]

COUNCIL OF CONSTANTINOPLE: This council declared the consubstantiality and coeternity of the three divine persons against the Sabellians, Anomoeans, Arians and Pneumatomachi, who thought that the divinity was divided into several natures. This council condemned the heresy of Macedonius by clearly defining the divinity of the Holy Ghost: He is not created like the angels no matter how high an order is attributed to such a "creature". [This synod included the Holy Spirit having the same Personhood originated from His Relation with the Father]

COUNCIL OF EPHESUS: this council condemned the heresy of Nestorius by clearly defining the Divine maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Nestorious have said that the Personhood has its origin from the nature, so from two natures should have originated two persons. [This Council's statement was clear that Jesus does not originate his Personhood from his natural affiliations,for that Nestorius was wrong, and this resolution was in line with both Nikaia & Constantinople]

COUNCIL OF CHALCEDON : This Counsil declared that, saying that Jesus has mia-physis combined from divine and human nature is wrong as long as this is another false doctrine of relating Christ's Personhood with his nature. By this council's resolution Jesus as a Person is not the result of diversification between other human natures. He is like all other humans. He can have a human nature like everybody else, and He remains the human Person that He is as the Divine Person, because human and Devine are referring to natures, but the Person that lives this distinct natures is One. We call Him Logos, or Christ, Or Jesus but he is One. He is not a split Personality, but a Single Personality that lives indecomposable into two Split realities.

Likewise First and Second and Third Council, so the Fourth Council also declared the same Truth of our Faith that Divine Personhood of the Word originates from Uncreated Personal relationship with the Father.

You see all four Councils, actually all Councils, are facing this one question, and they provide the answer in the same context: We believe and we worship and we relate in person with a Trinity of Divine Persons, while we provide no knowledge and we hold no experience on the issue of the nature of Their way of Life.


#55 Theopesta

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 11:30 PM

this is the true faith on the trinity
Uncreated Personal relationships with each other

and the context:
the Divine Personhood of the Word originates from natural Sonship with the Father}
I think these words are fruits of the arianism we not say that never, and even when muslims condemen us saying: god not has a natural son.
we say to them: it is not a natural sonship as human generation, it is a spritual birth as the thougt in mind, the word in mouth, ray from light

I think the natural birth:
mean from the same ousia as continous eternal issue not according to the will of god ( I hope I give the exact correct word)
natural as it is without begining and eternal as the father
the bosom of the Father never empty from the son according to divinty.
natural as light from light.

the natural birth in human differ in:
1- the time between the presence of the father and his son
2- the father and son in humans seperated.
3- the son come with the will of the father.

at the end I can say it is natural Uncreated Personal relationship

#56 M.C. Steenberg

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 08:53 AM

Concerning the council at Chalcedon:

a) It was not Ecumenically motivated – it was not fighting a real heresy, rather it was based on a shaky and weak assumption concerning the heretical leanings of one sole figure; a simple-minded, old, and confused monk (Eutyches), who was certainly no immediate or real threat to the Church - even assuming that he did indeed ascribe to the monophysite heresy (of which till this day there stands no solid evidence against him). Ecumenicity is first and foremost an ontological quality pertaining to the life of the Church; Chalcedon divided the church; it was a council of schism, as opposed to a council of unity. Our rejection of the council seems to have been more ecumenically motivated than the instigation of the council itself; we feared its compromise of the Alexandrian Orthodox Christology that was established against Nestorius and set as the standard for Orthodoxy at Ephesus 431, at a time where Nestorianism was still the only real danger to the Church. Indeed, the historical reaction to Chalcedon of the Nestorian church and Nestorius, as well as the historical context regarding the significant and growing influence of Nestorianism (which was at the time still the ONLY real threat to the church), supports our very case.


Historically, this is to take a far too facile reading of the council, of the question of what constitutes heresy and threat, and of the history surrounding the whole era from the mid-420s onward.

Firstly: To claim that Chalcedon was 'not ecumenically motivated', nor a 'council of unity', but that deference should rather be paid in this regard to Ephesus in 431, is perhaps not fully to have read the history. Comments later, that 'It did not represent a legitimate member of the One Holy Universal and Apostolic Orthodox Church – The Coptic Church of Alexandria', only make this more clear.

The council of Ephesus was as far from a 'council of unity' as was possible: it was divisive and contentious from the outset. The local bishop launched the formalities with a royal welcome for one party (that of Cyril) and a complete refusal even to admit the other (Nestorius). While the majority of those in attendance in the early days of the meeting were Cyrilline in support, and Nestorius' hard-and-fast supporters were relatively few, there was a large group of bishops in the 'middle ground' that were subject to often quite rigorous and often subversive lobbying from both sides. When the council finally did meet in formal session (a fortnight later than planned, after intense strife in the city), Nestorius was neither present at the opening session, which condemned him, and that session was found to be chaired by none other than Cyril, his chief opponent.

Moreover, in the arena of lack of representation, while there may have been such of the Coptic Church of Alexandria at Chalcedon, at Ephesus a whole region of local churches was absent: that of 'the East', under chief representation of John of Antioch. The council under Cyril was started, held and concluded before the eastern party (who had far further to travel to get to Ephesus) had arrived (albeit very late), despite the fact that letters had been sent stating that they were on their way. So enraged were they on arrival to find that the 'ecumenical' council had taken place without their input, that a second council was held under John, condemning that held by Cyril. When later both councils were reported to the emperor, he simply condemned both councils and all parties involved -- i.e., the whole of the church. It was only some time later, after much lobbying, that the Cyrilline council was affirmed as imperially accepted.

I do not raise these points to challenge the ecumenical status or sacred character of the synod at Ephesus, nor its various doctrinal condemnations and acclamations. But to hold it up in counterpoint to Chalcedon as an 'ecumenically minded council of unity' is simply inaccurate and misrepresentative of both.

Secondly: To state rather emphatically that Eutyches was simply an 'old, and confused monk' who was 'certainly no immediate or real threat to the Church', and that Chalcedon was thus called to 'solve' a non-problem and deal with what was a non-heresy, is to take a desperately non-patristic approach to identifying and dealing with heretical teaching. Arius was an old man at the time he came into confrontation with bishop Alexander of Alexandria, and one who until he was challenged made no attempts whatsoever at gaining a 'following' to his beliefs. Moreover, after his condemnation, he simply disappears -- his direct, personal influence is among the most minimal of any personality known in the era. Yet he sparks, in a way, a theological debate that will last two centuries and engender twenty or thirty other groups in some way or another built upon suppositions believed to be his.

That Eutyches was a threat, in terms of the potency of heretical thought, has little to nothing to do with his personality, charisma or immediate influence -- it is a matter of implication of doctrine. And sufficient groups and individuals in the middle of the fourth century saw in the doctrines attributed to him, and in their logical outgrowth, a dangerous means of interpreting the decisions of Ephesus that needed correction. Prior to the summoning of the synod at Chalcedon, Eutyches had come under attack at Constantinople and Rome, as well as various other parts of the Christian world. In addition to the purely anti-Eutychian discussion, there was also the real need for a clarification of the reading of Ephesus, which despite having eventually been given imperial authority was still read with great suspicion in Rome; and despite Cyril's attempts at reconciliation with John of Antioch in 432-3, had not actually resulted in any sense of solidarity in the eastern parts of the empire. There was no possibility of Ephesus simply being left to stand on its own.

If one wishes critically to investigate and challenge the arguments of Chalcedon (which is a perfectly reasonable and acceptable thing to do: critically investigating the councils and the faith is an eminently 'patristic' endeavour), then what should be read and examined and challenged is the theology and thought of the council, not false claims of a history that sets it against the pattern of other, 'better' councils.

INXC, Matthew

#57 Theopesta

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 04:25 PM

although I am weak in thoughts and mind, and my expressions very weak. father Rafial deal paitiently with me and Brother leandros very angelic and senstive in his words with me many thanks.

Dr. M.S.

what should be read and examined and challenged is the theology and thought of the council, not false claims of a history that sets it against the pattern of other, 'better' councils


I feel it is a neutral enlightement mind, thanks . in between the same people one word may use with differant meaning according to each one.

#58 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 05:09 PM

Dear Athanasius Abdullah,
In your post you wrote:

Our Church’s position has always been that the free will of those at Chalcedon was abused for political and personal gain, in order to undermine the See of Alexandria rather than to promote Church unity, and as such it cannot be considered Ecumenical in the proper sense of the word...

Our rejection of the council [of Chalcedon]seems to have been more ecumenically motivated than the instigation of the council itself; we feared its compromise of the Alexandrian Orthodox Christology that was established against Nestorius and set as the standard for Orthodoxy at Ephesus 431, at a time where Nestorianism was still the only real danger to the Church.

It did not represent a legitimate member of the One Holy Universal and Apostolic Orthodox Church – The Coptic Church of Alexandria, nor did it consider our concerns that true Orthodox Christology was being compromised, but rather unjustly dismissed us.


Chalcedon is not a rejection of what is Alexandrian within the Church. One hears at times of Alexandrian vs Antiochian theology & spirituality. The terms 'Alexandrian' and 'Antiochian' can provide a helpful short-hand for tendencies within the Church but in reality both are usualy present to some degree & one rarely without something of the other. In this sense the Alexandrian has always been treasured by the Orthodox Church especially within Her mystical theology & monasticism. We highly venerate Sts Athanasios & Cyril of Alexandria (besides all of the other Egyptian fathers of monasticism). Now for us though Alexandria is illumined by Chalcedon & the latter anchors the Orthodox intent of the former. Put another way Sts Cyril of Alexandria & Leo Pope of Rome are not seen as representing opposing theologies even though the vocabulary they used to express themselves was different.

In Christ- Fr Raphael

PS: I do wish that someone here having that talent could discuss the issue of whether we are both making the same theological point using different words. Sometimes this appears so and other times it doesn't. I admit that with my limited theological understanding I am not able to resolve this crucial issue. Crucial because in many Orthodox parishes the Oriental Orthodox are now accepted at times as Orthodox without chrismation. From this discussion I think we can see that the confusion is furthered because the Oriental Orthodox are also not clear on whether they see us as Orthodox (eg do they allow their people to receive communion from us?).

#59 Theopesta

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 06:21 PM

Father Rafial:
when H.H. the alexandrian patriarch speak about you in his lectures he always says: our brethren the eastern orthodox make that...eg: anatheiazed origin which his thought appear from time to time.

2- the official opinions known from the hierarchs not from the young children.
3- we accept the baptism of you, and I know we will accept all sacraments after the anathema of the revenered fathers of both of us abolish from each part.
the firest and foremost thing we are youngs not suitable or knowledageble to any discussion.


#60 Theopesta

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 06:27 PM

Fr Raphael

we are both making the same theological point using different words


I am young and weak but I am sure when I compare my lectures with your words it is the same meanning. and our hierarch not say any thing anti eastern orthodox. forgive me for weak expressions




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