Changes in the Orthodox church

Metropolitan Jonah, the evangelical convert who became the head of the Orthodox Church of America (one of several Eastern Orthodox denominations in the U.S.), has been ousted from his office.  The reason, reportedly, is his aggressive public stands against abortion, homosexuality, and other controversial moral issues.  (Metropolitan Jonah was one of the signatories of LCMS president Matt Harrison’s open letter opposing the Obamacare contraceptive/abortifacient mandate.)

I realize that Eastern Christianity is more quiescent on cultural issues than that of the West.  Metropolitian Jonah is being accused of being political, but I suspect that’s more on the other side, since far more Orthodox are Democrats than Republicans.  But then I read that part of the conflict has to do with a movement within the Orthodox Church, including some bishops, to change the teaching about sexual morality, including accepting same-sex marriage.

Now wait a minute.  One of the major arguments I keep hearing from advocates of swimming the Bosporus is that Orthodoxy never changes.  Has never changed.  Can’t change.  Has an uninterrupted universal doctrinal agreement among its members that goes back to the early church.  Can it be that Orthodox Christians have theological liberals among them just like other traditions?

Some people convert to Catholicism because of the glories of Medieval theology only to find in their local parish feminist nuns, leftist priests, and treacly guitar masses.  Or to Lutheranism only to find that the local congregation has sold out to the worst excesses of the church growth movement.  Such disillusioning experiences do not invalidate the conversion.  Inconsistencies, misbehavior, and doctrinal indifference do not mean that the underlying theology is necessarily wrong.   It does, though, perhaps prove the Lutheran distinction between the visible and the hidden church.  Though attacking that doctrine in favor of the notion that the church must be fully manifested in the visible institution is another major argument of both Catholics and Orthodox.

Covering warfare in a Byzantine maze — literally » GetReligion.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Dan Kempin

    Sola Scriptura. Sola.

    Not tradition
    Not authority
    Not liturgy
    Not cultural relevancy
    Not ANYTHING. That’s what “sola” means.

    “If you abide in My Word, you are truly my disciple.”

    (Which, by the way, also covers yesterday’s discussion on “sex and the single Christian.”)

  • Dan Kempin

    Sola Scriptura. Sola.

    Not tradition
    Not authority
    Not liturgy
    Not cultural relevancy
    Not ANYTHING. That’s what “sola” means.

    “If you abide in My Word, you are truly my disciple.”

    (Which, by the way, also covers yesterday’s discussion on “sex and the single Christian.”)

  • fws

    Dan @ 1
    +!

    Excerpts from the OCA Article. This is the second link Dr Veith provides. It is an “investigative expose” by a conservative orthodox member who maintains an online news letter. He has been orthodox for 10 years. His expose was mainly to expose which orthodox priests seem to favor being more liberal towards gays.

    Excerpts that stand out for a confessional Lutheran:

    ARGUMENTS AGAINST CHANGE: We need to remember that every church that has accepted a moral parity between homosexuality and heterosexuality has suffered precipitous decline. … Once a church adopts the homosexual agenda, people leave.
    The official teaching … is that any sexual expression other than heterosexual marriage is inherently disordered and sinful. … that will never change. …Who has the authority to [rewrite the marriage liturgical tradition]?

    ARGUMENTS FOR CHANGE: … Church’s biblical, patristic, liturgical and canonical sources … no universally consistent and accepted teaching on marriage as to its origin, purpose and goal. … prelapsarian or postlapsarian? …eternal or temporal? …dissoluble or indissoluble?… legal contract between free persons? Is it an accommodation to human passion – a form of legalized fornication – and therefore subordinate to monastic puritanism or … a sacrament of the Kingdom which leads to the salvation of spouses? Each question has been answered in two ways, yes and no.
    If the Church is going to respond to the legalization of same-sex marriage/union it seems that it should begin by considering how to minister to those same-sex couples who being legally married come with their children and knock on the doors of our parishes seeking Christ. Do we ignore them? Do we, prima facie,
    them away? Do we, under the rubric of repentance, encourage them to divorce and dismantle their family? Or, do we offer them, as we offer anyone desiring Christ, pastoral care, love and a spiritual home?
    Indeed, the Church has never sailed these uncharted waters. But our history teaches us that what is new need not compromise Christ who is the “same yesterday, today and forever.”

    Lutheran position on marriage:
    Both prelapsarian and post lapsarian:therefore NOTHING to do with the Image of God, which is alone faith in Christ.
    STRICTLY temporal.
    Indissoluble.
    A Legal (God sanctioned) contract between free persons
    The only biblical form of sexual self control commanded.
    A vocation equal to, not subordiate to churchly vocations.
    NOT a sacrament. NO eternal consequences except death.

  • fws

    Dan @ 1
    +!

    Excerpts from the OCA Article. This is the second link Dr Veith provides. It is an “investigative expose” by a conservative orthodox member who maintains an online news letter. He has been orthodox for 10 years. His expose was mainly to expose which orthodox priests seem to favor being more liberal towards gays.

    Excerpts that stand out for a confessional Lutheran:

    ARGUMENTS AGAINST CHANGE: We need to remember that every church that has accepted a moral parity between homosexuality and heterosexuality has suffered precipitous decline. … Once a church adopts the homosexual agenda, people leave.
    The official teaching … is that any sexual expression other than heterosexual marriage is inherently disordered and sinful. … that will never change. …Who has the authority to [rewrite the marriage liturgical tradition]?

    ARGUMENTS FOR CHANGE: … Church’s biblical, patristic, liturgical and canonical sources … no universally consistent and accepted teaching on marriage as to its origin, purpose and goal. … prelapsarian or postlapsarian? …eternal or temporal? …dissoluble or indissoluble?… legal contract between free persons? Is it an accommodation to human passion – a form of legalized fornication – and therefore subordinate to monastic puritanism or … a sacrament of the Kingdom which leads to the salvation of spouses? Each question has been answered in two ways, yes and no.
    If the Church is going to respond to the legalization of same-sex marriage/union it seems that it should begin by considering how to minister to those same-sex couples who being legally married come with their children and knock on the doors of our parishes seeking Christ. Do we ignore them? Do we, prima facie,
    them away? Do we, under the rubric of repentance, encourage them to divorce and dismantle their family? Or, do we offer them, as we offer anyone desiring Christ, pastoral care, love and a spiritual home?
    Indeed, the Church has never sailed these uncharted waters. But our history teaches us that what is new need not compromise Christ who is the “same yesterday, today and forever.”

    Lutheran position on marriage:
    Both prelapsarian and post lapsarian:therefore NOTHING to do with the Image of God, which is alone faith in Christ.
    STRICTLY temporal.
    Indissoluble.
    A Legal (God sanctioned) contract between free persons
    The only biblical form of sexual self control commanded.
    A vocation equal to, not subordiate to churchly vocations.
    NOT a sacrament. NO eternal consequences except death.

  • fws

    Get Religion Tmatt article. Money quote:

    One more point: Voices on both sides are going to speak, at length, about Metropolitan JONAH’s self-confessed failures as an administrator. At some point, reporters will have to face a crucial question (should ecclesiastical or secular court proceedings come to past): What do the OCA’s own canon laws say about the events, the actual OCA synod and Metropolitan Council meetings, that led to Metropolitan JONAH’s fall?

  • fws

    Get Religion Tmatt article. Money quote:

    One more point: Voices on both sides are going to speak, at length, about Metropolitan JONAH’s self-confessed failures as an administrator. At some point, reporters will have to face a crucial question (should ecclesiastical or secular court proceedings come to past): What do the OCA’s own canon laws say about the events, the actual OCA synod and Metropolitan Council meetings, that led to Metropolitan JONAH’s fall?

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    I have come to the conclusion based upon church history that the first step toward the decline of any church is a rejection (no matter how big or small) of the authority and sufficiency of the Scriptures. When that happens, what follows is a drift-sometimes gradual, sometimes drastic-away from the gospel, the law, and ultimately the faith itself.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    I have come to the conclusion based upon church history that the first step toward the decline of any church is a rejection (no matter how big or small) of the authority and sufficiency of the Scriptures. When that happens, what follows is a drift-sometimes gradual, sometimes drastic-away from the gospel, the law, and ultimately the faith itself.

  • fws

    J Dean @ 4

    Amen! That was precisely what led to Adam’s fall isn’t it?

    Some Lutherans are suggesting that a return to Thomist Natural Law is the needed response to homosexuality and sanctity of life issues. Why? The Word is not sufficient!

    The Apology in the Lutheran Confessions is a direct attack upon Thomist Scholasticism, of which Thomist Natural Law is an organic and inseparable and foundational part. And so Thomist Natural Law is a direct attack upon Lutheranism at its core.

    How? It is a denial of Original Sin.
    The sound of the bell in the Apology should not be unrung.

    This would be like accepting church growth methods and thinking one can also retain orthdox doctrine

  • fws

    J Dean @ 4

    Amen! That was precisely what led to Adam’s fall isn’t it?

    Some Lutherans are suggesting that a return to Thomist Natural Law is the needed response to homosexuality and sanctity of life issues. Why? The Word is not sufficient!

    The Apology in the Lutheran Confessions is a direct attack upon Thomist Scholasticism, of which Thomist Natural Law is an organic and inseparable and foundational part. And so Thomist Natural Law is a direct attack upon Lutheranism at its core.

    How? It is a denial of Original Sin.
    The sound of the bell in the Apology should not be unrung.

    This would be like accepting church growth methods and thinking one can also retain orthdox doctrine

  • Sherry

    fws @ 5

    I’m sorry if this is a really ignorant question, but what is Thomist Natural Law?

  • Sherry

    fws @ 5

    I’m sorry if this is a really ignorant question, but what is Thomist Natural Law?

  • Sherry

    I just thought to google it so no need to answer – up to speed now :)

  • Sherry

    I just thought to google it so no need to answer – up to speed now :)

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Interesting.

    How many times was Athanasius kicked to the curb by the “popular people” in his time?

    Metropolitan contra mundum?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Interesting.

    How many times was Athanasius kicked to the curb by the “popular people” in his time?

    Metropolitan contra mundum?

  • fws

    Sherry @ 6

    The western church had largely followed platonic philosophy and adapted it to theology for centuries. Then a crisis happened, there was a clash with men attracted to Aristotelian philosophy. St Thomas was an able and good father of the Church who resolved this crisis by systematizing Christian theology by “baptizing” or adapting Aristotelian philosophy to biblical church doctrine in is wonderful book “Summa Theologica”. St Thomas (whom I love) was the founder of the school of thought called the Scholastic Movement in western christendom.
    As a result, Aristotelian philosophy became so dominant in western thinking (even to this day) that it is like the water that all theologians and philosophers were fish within. I am saying that Aristotelian thought was so pervasive that it was simply the unquestioned aprior assumption for everyone.
    Until the Lutherans.

    Scholasticism teaches that the Image of God was not completely lost in the fall. The faint embers of the Image of God are found in the Law in man’s conscience and reason. And reason can further know the objective content to this Law in the Decal0g and the Divine Design observed in God’s creation. This Law in Decalog and Natural Law St Thomas declares is the revelation of the Mind of God.

    The path to the restoration of the Image of God is conformity, by reason and enabling grace of the Holy Spirit to the Decalog and Natural Law. The Telos or End Purpose of man is to be reconformed to the good-ness revealed by the Divine Law.

    Lutherans, in the Augsburg Confessions attacked this system at it’s very foundations. How. They said that the Image of God was COMPLETELY lost in the fall. How? The fall was where Adam lost faith in Christ/God Alone, apart from works, that was the very essence and substance of his Image of God and was also his sinlessness and righteousness and what constituted his perfect knowledge of God.

    Lutherans oppose Thomist Natural Law precisely because Thomist Natural Law denies that the Image of God was totally lost.
    To deny that the Image of God was lost is to deny Original Sin.
    To deny Original Sin is ultimately to deny the need for Christ to overcome and end sin.

  • fws

    Sherry @ 6

    The western church had largely followed platonic philosophy and adapted it to theology for centuries. Then a crisis happened, there was a clash with men attracted to Aristotelian philosophy. St Thomas was an able and good father of the Church who resolved this crisis by systematizing Christian theology by “baptizing” or adapting Aristotelian philosophy to biblical church doctrine in is wonderful book “Summa Theologica”. St Thomas (whom I love) was the founder of the school of thought called the Scholastic Movement in western christendom.
    As a result, Aristotelian philosophy became so dominant in western thinking (even to this day) that it is like the water that all theologians and philosophers were fish within. I am saying that Aristotelian thought was so pervasive that it was simply the unquestioned aprior assumption for everyone.
    Until the Lutherans.

    Scholasticism teaches that the Image of God was not completely lost in the fall. The faint embers of the Image of God are found in the Law in man’s conscience and reason. And reason can further know the objective content to this Law in the Decal0g and the Divine Design observed in God’s creation. This Law in Decalog and Natural Law St Thomas declares is the revelation of the Mind of God.

    The path to the restoration of the Image of God is conformity, by reason and enabling grace of the Holy Spirit to the Decalog and Natural Law. The Telos or End Purpose of man is to be reconformed to the good-ness revealed by the Divine Law.

    Lutherans, in the Augsburg Confessions attacked this system at it’s very foundations. How. They said that the Image of God was COMPLETELY lost in the fall. How? The fall was where Adam lost faith in Christ/God Alone, apart from works, that was the very essence and substance of his Image of God and was also his sinlessness and righteousness and what constituted his perfect knowledge of God.

    Lutherans oppose Thomist Natural Law precisely because Thomist Natural Law denies that the Image of God was totally lost.
    To deny that the Image of God was lost is to deny Original Sin.
    To deny Original Sin is ultimately to deny the need for Christ to overcome and end sin.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    fws, how is that different from Pelagianism? or is it a milder form?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    fws, how is that different from Pelagianism? or is it a milder form?

  • fws

    sg @ 10

    Wow gal. That is brilliant.
    That is precisely the charge that the Lutherans aimed at the Thomist Scholastics in the Apology.

    Lutheran’s call the Roman errors Semi-Pelagianism.
    Why?
    They are saved from flat-out Pelagianism by still following St Augustine to some extent.
    John Calvin is the foremost disciple in history of St Augustine, including on predestination. Calvin is also a neo or semi scholastic.

    The difference is that Calvin places enabling grace AFTER Justification as a result of it, and relabels it “sanctification”.

    The Scholastics place enabling grace before justification, and as preparation and meriting of justification. Whenever a Thomist hears the word “faith” they translate and understand “faith perfected by love”.

    Calvinists have the same problem. They confuse Grace that is alone Christ’s work, with grace that is the infusion of the HSs power into us. Grace as something that enables . That is why they use the word “sanctification” to describe the christian life. The idea is that enabling grace purifying us and that is what we are to look for as proof that we have signs of Life in us.

    Lutherans use the word Repentence to describe the Christian life. The idea is the christian life is about his death. Full. Stop. Life is alone unseen faith in the Works of Another.

    The Apology untangled this error, which is not easy to untangle, with the Distinction of Law and Gospel by means of first fixing the doctrine of Original Sin. Original Sin consisted of Adams loss of faith alone in God’s Word and Work, and trust in something else.

  • fws

    sg @ 10

    Wow gal. That is brilliant.
    That is precisely the charge that the Lutherans aimed at the Thomist Scholastics in the Apology.

    Lutheran’s call the Roman errors Semi-Pelagianism.
    Why?
    They are saved from flat-out Pelagianism by still following St Augustine to some extent.
    John Calvin is the foremost disciple in history of St Augustine, including on predestination. Calvin is also a neo or semi scholastic.

    The difference is that Calvin places enabling grace AFTER Justification as a result of it, and relabels it “sanctification”.

    The Scholastics place enabling grace before justification, and as preparation and meriting of justification. Whenever a Thomist hears the word “faith” they translate and understand “faith perfected by love”.

    Calvinists have the same problem. They confuse Grace that is alone Christ’s work, with grace that is the infusion of the HSs power into us. Grace as something that enables . That is why they use the word “sanctification” to describe the christian life. The idea is that enabling grace purifying us and that is what we are to look for as proof that we have signs of Life in us.

    Lutherans use the word Repentence to describe the Christian life. The idea is the christian life is about his death. Full. Stop. Life is alone unseen faith in the Works of Another.

    The Apology untangled this error, which is not easy to untangle, with the Distinction of Law and Gospel by means of first fixing the doctrine of Original Sin. Original Sin consisted of Adams loss of faith alone in God’s Word and Work, and trust in something else.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    “But then I read that part of the conflict has to do with a movement within the Orthodox Church, including some bishops, to change the teaching about sexual morality, including accepting same-sex marriage.

    Now wait a minute. One of the major arguments I keep hearing from advocates of swimming the Bosporus is that Orthodoxy never changes. Has never changed. Can’t change. Has an uninterrupted universal doctrinal agreement among its members that goes back to the early church. Can it be that Orthodox Christians have theological liberals among them just like other traditions?”

    Dr. Veith, your response mirrored mine almost exactly the same.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    “But then I read that part of the conflict has to do with a movement within the Orthodox Church, including some bishops, to change the teaching about sexual morality, including accepting same-sex marriage.

    Now wait a minute. One of the major arguments I keep hearing from advocates of swimming the Bosporus is that Orthodoxy never changes. Has never changed. Can’t change. Has an uninterrupted universal doctrinal agreement among its members that goes back to the early church. Can it be that Orthodox Christians have theological liberals among them just like other traditions?”

    Dr. Veith, your response mirrored mine almost exactly the same.

  • Sherry

    Thanks fws,
    That is very interesting. When I have more time this winter, I will have to study some of this. I can see being familiar with early church history and philosophy would be very beneficial. (unlike where I have come from in the past 30 years, where they want to ignore history and keep reinventing their own reality). Any good book suggestions?

  • Sherry

    Thanks fws,
    That is very interesting. When I have more time this winter, I will have to study some of this. I can see being familiar with early church history and philosophy would be very beneficial. (unlike where I have come from in the past 30 years, where they want to ignore history and keep reinventing their own reality). Any good book suggestions?

  • Gabriel Borlean

    FWS, I second Sherry. Thanks for the concise, and well-done unpacked explanation. I can see so much of the EO Christian theology in the Thomist and RCC teachings. (never loosing the image of God, teaching of “theosis”).

    Had this image about the nature of the believer after being re-generated (via Word & Sacrament): still a sinner but walking in the power/godly-works of the Holy Spirit, dying to self, looking at Jesus as perfector of the Faith, following God’s Word in the midst of the communion of saints (communio sanctorum).

    When we walk thru mud (such as in extreme running races), there is no such thing as half-clean, 15% improved less-dirty. We all have the tangible effects of our sinful flesh in our lives … some are enlightened to see the need for a Savior and repent/confess, others decide they can take care of themselves without Christ.

  • Gabriel Borlean

    FWS, I second Sherry. Thanks for the concise, and well-done unpacked explanation. I can see so much of the EO Christian theology in the Thomist and RCC teachings. (never loosing the image of God, teaching of “theosis”).

    Had this image about the nature of the believer after being re-generated (via Word & Sacrament): still a sinner but walking in the power/godly-works of the Holy Spirit, dying to self, looking at Jesus as perfector of the Faith, following God’s Word in the midst of the communion of saints (communio sanctorum).

    When we walk thru mud (such as in extreme running races), there is no such thing as half-clean, 15% improved less-dirty. We all have the tangible effects of our sinful flesh in our lives … some are enlightened to see the need for a Savior and repent/confess, others decide they can take care of themselves without Christ.

  • fws

    Gabriel.
    Luther’s 95 theses was still full of RC junk, but one thing is golden there. “The christian life is one of continual repentence.” Luther never wavered from that:

    “the faith of which we speak exists in repentance, i.e., it is conceived in the terrors of conscience, which feels the wrath of God against our sins,and seeks the remission of sins, and to be freed from sin. And in such terrors and other afflictions this faith ought to grow and be strengthened. ”
    http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_5_love.php#para21

    Wherefore, [such faith] it cannot exist in those who live according to the flesh who are delighted by their own lusts and obey them. (ibid)

    [Only a true believer can know and experience] how the remission of sins occurs, and how, in the judgment of God and terrors of conscience, trust in works is driven out of us.
    http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_4_justification.php#para20

  • fws

    Gabriel.
    Luther’s 95 theses was still full of RC junk, but one thing is golden there. “The christian life is one of continual repentence.” Luther never wavered from that:

    “the faith of which we speak exists in repentance, i.e., it is conceived in the terrors of conscience, which feels the wrath of God against our sins,and seeks the remission of sins, and to be freed from sin. And in such terrors and other afflictions this faith ought to grow and be strengthened. ”
    http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_5_love.php#para21

    Wherefore, [such faith] it cannot exist in those who live according to the flesh who are delighted by their own lusts and obey them. (ibid)

    [Only a true believer can know and experience] how the remission of sins occurs, and how, in the judgment of God and terrors of conscience, trust in works is driven out of us.
    http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_4_justification.php#para20

  • SKPeterson

    Frank – Do you ever go to Jack Kilcrease’s blog? I think you’d appreciate some of his latest posts – from an article or book he’s working on. Aquinas v. Chemnitz on Christology.

    http://jackkilcrease.blogspot.com/

  • SKPeterson

    Frank – Do you ever go to Jack Kilcrease’s blog? I think you’d appreciate some of his latest posts – from an article or book he’s working on. Aquinas v. Chemnitz on Christology.

    http://jackkilcrease.blogspot.com/

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    but one thing is golden there. “The christian life is one of continual repentence.”

    Bravo.

    I went to my son’s confirmation retreat and there were many presentations on different salient topics, but not repentance. So, I asked when we would get to the “R” word. They kind of looked at me and asked what it was but my son just grinned, because he had heard it so much and he knew what the “R” word was.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    but one thing is golden there. “The christian life is one of continual repentence.”

    Bravo.

    I went to my son’s confirmation retreat and there were many presentations on different salient topics, but not repentance. So, I asked when we would get to the “R” word. They kind of looked at me and asked what it was but my son just grinned, because he had heard it so much and he knew what the “R” word was.

  • fws

    sg @ 17

    Preach it sister!
    REAL Lutherans use the word repentence to describe the christian life.
    Baptism is nothing other than Repentence Luther tells us in the Large Catechism.
    Repentence is terror and sorrow over sin.
    It is the desire tp be free of sin and have it end.
    Repentence is not complete until it ends in faith , alone, in the works of Another.
    Then we ARE free of sin, death and the power of the devil.

    Lutherans have fallen into the bad habit of using the word Sanctification to describe the Christian life.
    But this implies skipping over romans 7 to romans 8.

    The life of a christian is totally Romans 7 in ALL we see.
    The Life of a christian is totally Romans 8 alone in Christ, apart from what we can see and are able to do.
    This is the outline of a life of continual repentence.

  • fws

    sg @ 17

    Preach it sister!
    REAL Lutherans use the word repentence to describe the christian life.
    Baptism is nothing other than Repentence Luther tells us in the Large Catechism.
    Repentence is terror and sorrow over sin.
    It is the desire tp be free of sin and have it end.
    Repentence is not complete until it ends in faith , alone, in the works of Another.
    Then we ARE free of sin, death and the power of the devil.

    Lutherans have fallen into the bad habit of using the word Sanctification to describe the Christian life.
    But this implies skipping over romans 7 to romans 8.

    The life of a christian is totally Romans 7 in ALL we see.
    The Life of a christian is totally Romans 8 alone in Christ, apart from what we can see and are able to do.
    This is the outline of a life of continual repentence.

  • fws

    sk @ 16

    I will take a look . Thanks.

  • fws

    sk @ 16

    I will take a look . Thanks.

  • fws

    skp @ 16

    I have read/skimmed Kilcrease back to around the beginning of 2011.
    a) He is brilliant. He knows it. He knows lots of stuff.
    b) It would be nice to see him draw more from the Confessions.
    No. It would be nice to see him draw ANY opinions from the Confesssions.
    c) There is lots of stuff there. It sort of looks like an extremely more scholarly version of the “Intrepid Lutheran” website. Lots of “stuff”. I am not all that interested in philosophy or theology. If I were a hobbyist, maybe this would be THE site for me. I am more interested in the pastoral implications of “stuff”. But heck, that’s just me.
    d) I have NO doubt that if I ever got into some debate with this man he would totally annihilate me. He gots intellectual firepower goin on.

    I was looking for something on natural law or original sin. Natural Law is pretty much St Thomas creation. Some influential Lutherans think we should reembrace the man. Kilcrease works at …. “Aquinas College”. Uh… it would be great for him to weigh in here.

    I found this in august 2011 about Hodge and federal theology. What a muddle. It is like Apology II and FC I simply don’t exist!

    In The Bondage of the Will, [Luther] acknowledge the mysterious nature of original sin. [!!]
    Human beings are in a sense fated to sin by the sin of Adam.

    Sin is the lack of faith in Christ. He seems to define sin in the Aquinan sense of what we do, or the Roman definition of concupiscence.

    This is inexplicable , since the law (at least when it comes to inter-human relationships) mandates that people suffer only for their own misdeeds.

    The Apology deals with this. This again implies the RC idea that Original sin is an inherited debt (“the son of a slave is a slave”).

    Being subject to original sin, humans are subject to divine wrath. From perspective of our limited minds this makes no sense and doesn’t really seem very fair.

    Apology: Original sin is the absence of faith in God, and the vicious ‘anti-faith’ that buckles trust in anything BUT God. It is more than assignment of blame (“doesn’t seem fair”). It is bondage.

    What this all suggests is that God is capable of acting in ways that seem to us to be irrational and which are in fact beyond the law.

    It is beyond reason. Only God’s Word can terrify us by removing the Veil of Moses that says fairness is about doing or not doing.

    The law cannot account for the mystery [!!] of original sin or the depth of divine wrath. [It is this fact] …that should make us despair in our reason and our legal schemes for trying to control God with our works.

    Apology: It is not the Law not being able to demystify why original sin makes God angry that drives us to despair. It is that the Law makes God agree with the judgement of the Law. It removes the veil of Moses is how that happens.

    The law is God’s will for us, but he himself is not bound to act in accordance with the law.

    Ahem. The revelation of God’s Will for us is alone Christ. God does act in accordance with his Word, including the Law. Imagine how it could be otherwise!

    If he was, he would not be able to send a savior to enter into the law on our behalf. We would need to merit it on our side first before he acted, but that is not what happened.

    Ahem.
    This man needs to read less Aquinas and more of the Apology which is addressed specifically to the disciples of St Thomas.

  • fws

    skp @ 16

    I have read/skimmed Kilcrease back to around the beginning of 2011.
    a) He is brilliant. He knows it. He knows lots of stuff.
    b) It would be nice to see him draw more from the Confessions.
    No. It would be nice to see him draw ANY opinions from the Confesssions.
    c) There is lots of stuff there. It sort of looks like an extremely more scholarly version of the “Intrepid Lutheran” website. Lots of “stuff”. I am not all that interested in philosophy or theology. If I were a hobbyist, maybe this would be THE site for me. I am more interested in the pastoral implications of “stuff”. But heck, that’s just me.
    d) I have NO doubt that if I ever got into some debate with this man he would totally annihilate me. He gots intellectual firepower goin on.

    I was looking for something on natural law or original sin. Natural Law is pretty much St Thomas creation. Some influential Lutherans think we should reembrace the man. Kilcrease works at …. “Aquinas College”. Uh… it would be great for him to weigh in here.

    I found this in august 2011 about Hodge and federal theology. What a muddle. It is like Apology II and FC I simply don’t exist!

    In The Bondage of the Will, [Luther] acknowledge the mysterious nature of original sin. [!!]
    Human beings are in a sense fated to sin by the sin of Adam.

    Sin is the lack of faith in Christ. He seems to define sin in the Aquinan sense of what we do, or the Roman definition of concupiscence.

    This is inexplicable , since the law (at least when it comes to inter-human relationships) mandates that people suffer only for their own misdeeds.

    The Apology deals with this. This again implies the RC idea that Original sin is an inherited debt (“the son of a slave is a slave”).

    Being subject to original sin, humans are subject to divine wrath. From perspective of our limited minds this makes no sense and doesn’t really seem very fair.

    Apology: Original sin is the absence of faith in God, and the vicious ‘anti-faith’ that buckles trust in anything BUT God. It is more than assignment of blame (“doesn’t seem fair”). It is bondage.

    What this all suggests is that God is capable of acting in ways that seem to us to be irrational and which are in fact beyond the law.

    It is beyond reason. Only God’s Word can terrify us by removing the Veil of Moses that says fairness is about doing or not doing.

    The law cannot account for the mystery [!!] of original sin or the depth of divine wrath. [It is this fact] …that should make us despair in our reason and our legal schemes for trying to control God with our works.

    Apology: It is not the Law not being able to demystify why original sin makes God angry that drives us to despair. It is that the Law makes God agree with the judgement of the Law. It removes the veil of Moses is how that happens.

    The law is God’s will for us, but he himself is not bound to act in accordance with the law.

    Ahem. The revelation of God’s Will for us is alone Christ. God does act in accordance with his Word, including the Law. Imagine how it could be otherwise!

    If he was, he would not be able to send a savior to enter into the law on our behalf. We would need to merit it on our side first before he acted, but that is not what happened.

    Ahem.
    This man needs to read less Aquinas and more of the Apology which is addressed specifically to the disciples of St Thomas.

  • fws

    errata

    It is that the Law makes MAN agree with the judgement of the Law AS TO WHAT IS MISSING IN HIS HEART. It removes the veil of Moses is how that happens.

  • fws

    errata

    It is that the Law makes MAN agree with the judgement of the Law AS TO WHAT IS MISSING IN HIS HEART. It removes the veil of Moses is how that happens.

  • fws

    skp @ 16

    This man I am thinking knows the Heavenly Doctor St Aquinas intimately I am seeing.
    There are LCMS men like Robert Baker muscularly pushing for Lutherans to kiss and make up with St Thomas.
    I have seen that Kilcrease is not shy of controversy.
    He has not weighed in on any of this stuff.
    Should I draw conclusions from that and what he seems to lack in his understanding of original sin?

    I can’t believe I am calling out a man so far much more learned than I am on this most foundational Lutheran doctrine.
    I conclude that I must be completely wrong here.

  • fws

    skp @ 16

    This man I am thinking knows the Heavenly Doctor St Aquinas intimately I am seeing.
    There are LCMS men like Robert Baker muscularly pushing for Lutherans to kiss and make up with St Thomas.
    I have seen that Kilcrease is not shy of controversy.
    He has not weighed in on any of this stuff.
    Should I draw conclusions from that and what he seems to lack in his understanding of original sin?

    I can’t believe I am calling out a man so far much more learned than I am on this most foundational Lutheran doctrine.
    I conclude that I must be completely wrong here.

  • SKPeterson

    Frank – I don’t think Kilcrease would have an issue with what you are saying. I suppose most of it has to do with looking at specific topics – so various writings may or may not be more germane to addressing the issue. Thus, looking at Christology, he goes to a comparison of Aquinas and Chemnitz. Why? Well, Chemnitz is the most thorough demolition of Aquinian theology that we Lutherans possess. Chemnitz’s Loci and The Two Natures may be viewed as the rigorous theological and philosophical extrapolation of the full import of the BoC. Remember, the BoC is a lay document for all its theological heft. When the Lutherans got down to the nitty gritty of addressing Roman objections, Chemnitz dropped the Loci (which I haven’t read except in 50,000 ft summary form) on them. Kilcrease also appears to be drawing out the implications of the differences between Aquinas and Chemnitz deriving from postions articulated by Chemnitz in The Two Natures. I would encourage you to send him an email with your questions or concerns. I’m sure he’d respond as time allows.

  • SKPeterson

    Frank – I don’t think Kilcrease would have an issue with what you are saying. I suppose most of it has to do with looking at specific topics – so various writings may or may not be more germane to addressing the issue. Thus, looking at Christology, he goes to a comparison of Aquinas and Chemnitz. Why? Well, Chemnitz is the most thorough demolition of Aquinian theology that we Lutherans possess. Chemnitz’s Loci and The Two Natures may be viewed as the rigorous theological and philosophical extrapolation of the full import of the BoC. Remember, the BoC is a lay document for all its theological heft. When the Lutherans got down to the nitty gritty of addressing Roman objections, Chemnitz dropped the Loci (which I haven’t read except in 50,000 ft summary form) on them. Kilcrease also appears to be drawing out the implications of the differences between Aquinas and Chemnitz deriving from postions articulated by Chemnitz in The Two Natures. I would encourage you to send him an email with your questions or concerns. I’m sure he’d respond as time allows.

  • KH

    I’m Orthodox. Yes, the OCA has been known as moderately liberal. The Antiochian Orthodox are even more liberal, but in Orthodoxy the term “liberal” had been defined as those Orthodox who are “westernized” in their liturgical traditions and too ecumenical by the standards of conservative Orthodox (mainly Russian and Old calender Greek Orthodox). However, if the OCA has thrown out its metropolitan in order to embrace the general cultural decline in morals (such as abortion, homosexuality etc) as many other churches are doing, then something really has gone very wrong. I have heard recently that the OCA is losing many of its followers because of its drift towards liberalism. It’s like what’s happening in Catholicism with its pitched battles between radical liberals and conservatives over the same issues (Protestants as well). It’s a disturbing trend in all the churches–no one should feel too proud. And Yes, there is a very conservative, really unchanging, Orthodoxy–but the OCA and the Antiochians were never such. Since nearly all the posters weighing in here are Protestants, and some of them proudly thumping their chests (the just me and my Bible crowd) and gloating over what’s happened to the OCA–beware. What’s happening are the degraded times we live in. Your children are swimming in it, drinking the kool-aid. Perhaps your church may be safe for the moment, but wait a few years and see much the depraved culture will subvert it. So far, I’m seen very little that’s encouraging from the Protestants or Catholics to stand effectively against the depravity and halt the decline of Christianity–I wish things were otherwise. It makes me very sad.

  • KH

    I’m Orthodox. Yes, the OCA has been known as moderately liberal. The Antiochian Orthodox are even more liberal, but in Orthodoxy the term “liberal” had been defined as those Orthodox who are “westernized” in their liturgical traditions and too ecumenical by the standards of conservative Orthodox (mainly Russian and Old calender Greek Orthodox). However, if the OCA has thrown out its metropolitan in order to embrace the general cultural decline in morals (such as abortion, homosexuality etc) as many other churches are doing, then something really has gone very wrong. I have heard recently that the OCA is losing many of its followers because of its drift towards liberalism. It’s like what’s happening in Catholicism with its pitched battles between radical liberals and conservatives over the same issues (Protestants as well). It’s a disturbing trend in all the churches–no one should feel too proud. And Yes, there is a very conservative, really unchanging, Orthodoxy–but the OCA and the Antiochians were never such. Since nearly all the posters weighing in here are Protestants, and some of them proudly thumping their chests (the just me and my Bible crowd) and gloating over what’s happened to the OCA–beware. What’s happening are the degraded times we live in. Your children are swimming in it, drinking the kool-aid. Perhaps your church may be safe for the moment, but wait a few years and see much the depraved culture will subvert it. So far, I’m seen very little that’s encouraging from the Protestants or Catholics to stand effectively against the depravity and halt the decline of Christianity–I wish things were otherwise. It makes me very sad.

  • Scott

    True story, in a rather long conversation, I had a Protestant pastor (Reformed), tell me once that any church based on the Bible, like all Protestant denominations are, is far better than a church based on tradition/authority like the Orthodox, even if the Orthodox tradition provides the correct interpretation of the Holy Scriptures.

  • Scott

    True story, in a rather long conversation, I had a Protestant pastor (Reformed), tell me once that any church based on the Bible, like all Protestant denominations are, is far better than a church based on tradition/authority like the Orthodox, even if the Orthodox tradition provides the correct interpretation of the Holy Scriptures.

  • fws

    skp @ 16

    http://jackkilcrease.blogspot.com.br/2011/10/image-of-god-and-coram-relationships.html

    Here Kilcrease seems to miss that the Apology identifies the Image of God as Faith alone in Christ alone.

    Instead he identifies the Image of God with the Law and also the righeousness of the Law rather than the Righeousness that is alone by faith. See how the Thomists attack the Augustana in art II by saying that the lack of faith is actual rather than original sin. This is to place sin as breaking the law rather than being about, alone, faith. He , at best, is not clear. He needs to be.
    “that which is not of faith is sin”.
    This says that the opposite of sin is not goodness or lack of believing as something we can do even. The opposite of sin is alone faith in Christ.

    I think he doesn’t get it. I am gonna keep googling and hope I am wrong.

  • fws

    skp @ 16

    http://jackkilcrease.blogspot.com.br/2011/10/image-of-god-and-coram-relationships.html

    Here Kilcrease seems to miss that the Apology identifies the Image of God as Faith alone in Christ alone.

    Instead he identifies the Image of God with the Law and also the righeousness of the Law rather than the Righeousness that is alone by faith. See how the Thomists attack the Augustana in art II by saying that the lack of faith is actual rather than original sin. This is to place sin as breaking the law rather than being about, alone, faith. He , at best, is not clear. He needs to be.
    “that which is not of faith is sin”.
    This says that the opposite of sin is not goodness or lack of believing as something we can do even. The opposite of sin is alone faith in Christ.

    I think he doesn’t get it. I am gonna keep googling and hope I am wrong.

  • michael

    For another inside opinion of what’s going on, please read this:

    http://holyresurrection.areavoices.com/2012/07/11/head-bishop-of-the-orthodox-church-in-america-resigns/

    Especially important : there have been commenters and bloggers online who have tried to color the resignation as a political maneuver by a left-leaning synod. That is simply a false characterization. For example, our very own bishop, Bishop Matthias holds to conservative religious values and was present at the last anti-abortion march in D.C. this past January.

    While there are people within Orthodoxy (even bishops and priests) who have liberal theological positions, dogma and praxis have not changed for Orthodoxy and that’s the reason people convert. If you go to a “liberal” Orthodox parish, the liturgy might be trimmed more than traditional parishes (still gonna be over an hour), but it will otherwise be exactly like a traditional parish’s liturgy (same Creed, same prayers, just some litanies or psalms might be taken out), no church-growth nonsense, no clown masses. Unlike Protestantism, theology and praxis are not up to anyone’s whims.

    “Has an uninterrupted universal doctrinal agreement among its members that goes back to the early church” When people within Orthodoxy disagree with its teachings, that just means they’re wrong, that doesn’t negate Orthodoxy’s belief that is is the Church.

  • michael

    For another inside opinion of what’s going on, please read this:

    http://holyresurrection.areavoices.com/2012/07/11/head-bishop-of-the-orthodox-church-in-america-resigns/

    Especially important : there have been commenters and bloggers online who have tried to color the resignation as a political maneuver by a left-leaning synod. That is simply a false characterization. For example, our very own bishop, Bishop Matthias holds to conservative religious values and was present at the last anti-abortion march in D.C. this past January.

    While there are people within Orthodoxy (even bishops and priests) who have liberal theological positions, dogma and praxis have not changed for Orthodoxy and that’s the reason people convert. If you go to a “liberal” Orthodox parish, the liturgy might be trimmed more than traditional parishes (still gonna be over an hour), but it will otherwise be exactly like a traditional parish’s liturgy (same Creed, same prayers, just some litanies or psalms might be taken out), no church-growth nonsense, no clown masses. Unlike Protestantism, theology and praxis are not up to anyone’s whims.

    “Has an uninterrupted universal doctrinal agreement among its members that goes back to the early church” When people within Orthodoxy disagree with its teachings, that just means they’re wrong, that doesn’t negate Orthodoxy’s belief that is is the Church.

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    It appears that few Orthodox folks read this blog. That’s too bad, because Dr. Veith does a fine job.

    Dr. Veith, you wrote: “Now wait a minute. One of the major arguments I keep hearing from advocates of swimming the Bosporus is that Orthodoxy never changes. Has never changed. Can’t change. Has an uninterrupted universal doctrinal agreement among its members that goes back to the early church. Can it be that Orthodox Christians have theological liberals among them just like other traditions?”

    First of all, the presence of ‘theological liberals’ is not inconsistent with never changing doctrinally. Surely you’ve watched the Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner cartoons. Wile E. Coyote is present in every cartoon. But he never wins. Never.

    Further, the Orthodox Church does not condemn all change. To cite but one example: after the (formerly Lutheran) Grand Duchess Elizabeth was martyred by the Bolsheviks, she was enrolled in the ranks of the saints. That’s change, of a sort.

    One thing that makes the Church different from my experience in Lutheran days, is that no hierarch or theologian is allowed to tinker with the *liturgy.* And if/when they try, the people reject such innovation. Immediately. Loudly. Clearly. Similarly, when most Eastern hierarchs returned after the Council of Florence, having declared union with the papacy, the Orthodox people rejected the union and the offending hierarchs.

    Second, unlike Lutheran*ism* and Catholic*ism*, the Orthodox Church is not an *ism*. It is the Body of Christ, an organically linked body of local, trans-parish entities in communion fellowship with each other. That is why even if one particular trans-parish entity (say, the OCA, since it’s under discussion–though let it be noted that I’m not saying that’s happened or will happen) should fall away from the faith, it would have no impact whatsoever on the Orthodox Church. (It’s already happened before, all the way back in 1054.)

    Khomiakov noted, with regard to the Russian Tsar, “We think that the sovereign, being free and a man like any other man, can fall into error and that if, God forbid, such a misfortune should happen in spite of the constant prayers of the Church, then the Emperor does not lose his right to the obedience of his subjects in temporal matters; nor does the Church sustain any injury whatever to her glory and fullness, since her Head never changes. In a case like this the only thing that would happen is that there would be one less Christian in her bosom.” The same could be said for an entire trans-parish entity.

    I might also note that, when schisms have arisen in the Orthodox Church, as happened after the overthrow of the Tsar, over time, as a living organic entity, the schisms are healed. The ROCOR and Patriarchal parishes split over political issues in ’20s Russia. Several years ago the breach was completely healed, and intercommunion completely restored.

    I grieve at recent events in the OCA. But they affect my faith not one whit–and that, without any need to refer to a “hidden” (invisible) church.

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    It appears that few Orthodox folks read this blog. That’s too bad, because Dr. Veith does a fine job.

    Dr. Veith, you wrote: “Now wait a minute. One of the major arguments I keep hearing from advocates of swimming the Bosporus is that Orthodoxy never changes. Has never changed. Can’t change. Has an uninterrupted universal doctrinal agreement among its members that goes back to the early church. Can it be that Orthodox Christians have theological liberals among them just like other traditions?”

    First of all, the presence of ‘theological liberals’ is not inconsistent with never changing doctrinally. Surely you’ve watched the Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner cartoons. Wile E. Coyote is present in every cartoon. But he never wins. Never.

    Further, the Orthodox Church does not condemn all change. To cite but one example: after the (formerly Lutheran) Grand Duchess Elizabeth was martyred by the Bolsheviks, she was enrolled in the ranks of the saints. That’s change, of a sort.

    One thing that makes the Church different from my experience in Lutheran days, is that no hierarch or theologian is allowed to tinker with the *liturgy.* And if/when they try, the people reject such innovation. Immediately. Loudly. Clearly. Similarly, when most Eastern hierarchs returned after the Council of Florence, having declared union with the papacy, the Orthodox people rejected the union and the offending hierarchs.

    Second, unlike Lutheran*ism* and Catholic*ism*, the Orthodox Church is not an *ism*. It is the Body of Christ, an organically linked body of local, trans-parish entities in communion fellowship with each other. That is why even if one particular trans-parish entity (say, the OCA, since it’s under discussion–though let it be noted that I’m not saying that’s happened or will happen) should fall away from the faith, it would have no impact whatsoever on the Orthodox Church. (It’s already happened before, all the way back in 1054.)

    Khomiakov noted, with regard to the Russian Tsar, “We think that the sovereign, being free and a man like any other man, can fall into error and that if, God forbid, such a misfortune should happen in spite of the constant prayers of the Church, then the Emperor does not lose his right to the obedience of his subjects in temporal matters; nor does the Church sustain any injury whatever to her glory and fullness, since her Head never changes. In a case like this the only thing that would happen is that there would be one less Christian in her bosom.” The same could be said for an entire trans-parish entity.

    I might also note that, when schisms have arisen in the Orthodox Church, as happened after the overthrow of the Tsar, over time, as a living organic entity, the schisms are healed. The ROCOR and Patriarchal parishes split over political issues in ’20s Russia. Several years ago the breach was completely healed, and intercommunion completely restored.

    I grieve at recent events in the OCA. But they affect my faith not one whit–and that, without any need to refer to a “hidden” (invisible) church.

  • michael

    sorry, I kept changing the last paragraph, so it doesn’t quite make sense.
    Basically, “universal doctrinal agreement” isn’t correct because the Orthodox Church doesn’t teach that everyone believes the exact same thing and that is the reason why Orthodoxy is the Church. Orthodoxy is the Church because everything that it teaches is correct. whether or not people adhere to it is their own issue….

  • michael

    sorry, I kept changing the last paragraph, so it doesn’t quite make sense.
    Basically, “universal doctrinal agreement” isn’t correct because the Orthodox Church doesn’t teach that everyone believes the exact same thing and that is the reason why Orthodoxy is the Church. Orthodoxy is the Church because everything that it teaches is correct. whether or not people adhere to it is their own issue….

  • fws

    skp
    Your post hit my email but not here yet.
    Yes I noticed he throws Chemnitz and Aquinas mercilessly. Sometimes I am overly critical. (You can take the boy out of the WELS but not the WELS outta the by….)
    This may be one of those cases. I am not encouraged by what he wrote about horton and “coram deo” but, like I said, his encyclopedic knowledge and intelligence should intimidate anybody who has common sense.

    I read on one blog, that Kilcrease is a critic of Robert Baker who seems to be the main person pushing for the embrace of Thomist Natural Law. But no details as to why.

    Your advice is good and christian SKP. I will seek him out.

  • fws

    skp
    Your post hit my email but not here yet.
    Yes I noticed he throws Chemnitz and Aquinas mercilessly. Sometimes I am overly critical. (You can take the boy out of the WELS but not the WELS outta the by….)
    This may be one of those cases. I am not encouraged by what he wrote about horton and “coram deo” but, like I said, his encyclopedic knowledge and intelligence should intimidate anybody who has common sense.

    I read on one blog, that Kilcrease is a critic of Robert Baker who seems to be the main person pushing for the embrace of Thomist Natural Law. But no details as to why.

    Your advice is good and christian SKP. I will seek him out.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Didn’t Aquinas believe the will of man was fallen but the intellect was not?

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Didn’t Aquinas believe the will of man was fallen but the intellect was not?

  • SKPeterson

    michael @ 29 – Rome makes the same argument. I’ve heard numerous bishops and priests say things like “The Church has one voice on this issue. Whether our parishioners adhere to it is another issue entirely.”

    What Dr. Veith is saying by using the term “universal doctrinal agreement” is not that every member of the Orthodox communion agrees explicitly with the teaching of the church, but that the communion of Orthodoxy holds to the same doctrines across the communion. That may not be correct, but it is something quite close to what Fr. Hogg describes @ 28.

    Fr. Hogg – your dismissal of Lutherans and Roman Catholics as “isms” is a fine bit of Orthodox rhetorical reduction*ism.* We have the organic Body of Christ in the West and the organic Body of Christ in the East, along with the organic Body of Christ in the Church of the (further) East.

  • SKPeterson

    michael @ 29 – Rome makes the same argument. I’ve heard numerous bishops and priests say things like “The Church has one voice on this issue. Whether our parishioners adhere to it is another issue entirely.”

    What Dr. Veith is saying by using the term “universal doctrinal agreement” is not that every member of the Orthodox communion agrees explicitly with the teaching of the church, but that the communion of Orthodoxy holds to the same doctrines across the communion. That may not be correct, but it is something quite close to what Fr. Hogg describes @ 28.

    Fr. Hogg – your dismissal of Lutherans and Roman Catholics as “isms” is a fine bit of Orthodox rhetorical reduction*ism.* We have the organic Body of Christ in the West and the organic Body of Christ in the East, along with the organic Body of Christ in the Church of the (further) East.

  • fws

    J Dean @ 31

    St Thomas believed that the conscience (internal law) is fallen. Reason? Not so much. So God was obligated to reissue the Divine Law in the Decalog. Reason is to seek the Mind of God written in the Decalog and Natural Law. The Law is the revelation of the Mind and Image of God. Man’s Telos (soteriological purpose) is to conform to that Mind and so achieve “flourishing”. The Holy Spirit enables us to work towards this and so merit grace.

    Lutherans:
    Whatever exists in man both before and after the fall is part of the “natural man” that cannot recieve the things of God nor truly know him.
    Whatever the Image of God is must be what existed before the fall and no longer does. Therefore that could not be reason, will, etc.

  • fws

    J Dean @ 31

    St Thomas believed that the conscience (internal law) is fallen. Reason? Not so much. So God was obligated to reissue the Divine Law in the Decalog. Reason is to seek the Mind of God written in the Decalog and Natural Law. The Law is the revelation of the Mind and Image of God. Man’s Telos (soteriological purpose) is to conform to that Mind and so achieve “flourishing”. The Holy Spirit enables us to work towards this and so merit grace.

    Lutherans:
    Whatever exists in man both before and after the fall is part of the “natural man” that cannot recieve the things of God nor truly know him.
    Whatever the Image of God is must be what existed before the fall and no longer does. Therefore that could not be reason, will, etc.

  • LC

    I have a question for Fr. Hogg.

    How do Orthodox view Lutherans? Do they acknowledge them as Christians? Or are we on the same level, say, as Mormons? I understand that the Orthodox believe that they are the Una Sancta, but what exactly do you believe about other people who also believe that Christ is true God, who died and rose for them, yet are not Orthodox? I certainly believe that Orthodox are Christians, but I’m not sure if they would say the same thing about me, a Lutheran.

    Thank you for your answer! And my prayers go out to you and your fellow Orthodox during this difficult time.

  • LC

    I have a question for Fr. Hogg.

    How do Orthodox view Lutherans? Do they acknowledge them as Christians? Or are we on the same level, say, as Mormons? I understand that the Orthodox believe that they are the Una Sancta, but what exactly do you believe about other people who also believe that Christ is true God, who died and rose for them, yet are not Orthodox? I certainly believe that Orthodox are Christians, but I’m not sure if they would say the same thing about me, a Lutheran.

    Thank you for your answer! And my prayers go out to you and your fellow Orthodox during this difficult time.

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    Mr. Peterson@32– when I used the isms, I was merely highlighting words used by Dr. Veith himself: “Some people convert to Catholicism because of the glories of Medieval theology only to find in their local parish feminist nuns, leftist priests, and treacly guitar masses. Or to Lutheranism only to find that the local congregation has sold out to the worst excesses of the church growth movement.”

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    Mr. Peterson@32– when I used the isms, I was merely highlighting words used by Dr. Veith himself: “Some people convert to Catholicism because of the glories of Medieval theology only to find in their local parish feminist nuns, leftist priests, and treacly guitar masses. Or to Lutheranism only to find that the local congregation has sold out to the worst excesses of the church growth movement.”

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    Thanks for the kind words, LC. I’ve often been asked that question. I think it’s fair to say that we (Orthodox) judge *bodies* (e.g. Lutheran, Reformed etc.) as “not Church”…while at the same time scrupulously avoiding judging persons in those bodies (or *any* persons, for that matter), as to whether they are Christians or not. Only Christ gets to make that judgment, not me. If someone who happens to belong to a Lutheran body tells me he is a Christian, I have no reason to question him on that. But ultimately, whether for him or for me, what matters is who will *Christ* identify as his on the Last Day. May he have mercy on me, the sinner!

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    Thanks for the kind words, LC. I’ve often been asked that question. I think it’s fair to say that we (Orthodox) judge *bodies* (e.g. Lutheran, Reformed etc.) as “not Church”…while at the same time scrupulously avoiding judging persons in those bodies (or *any* persons, for that matter), as to whether they are Christians or not. Only Christ gets to make that judgment, not me. If someone who happens to belong to a Lutheran body tells me he is a Christian, I have no reason to question him on that. But ultimately, whether for him or for me, what matters is who will *Christ* identify as his on the Last Day. May he have mercy on me, the sinner!

  • LC

    But how is it that you can say that you aren’t sure if I’m in the Church, when Christ Himself has cleansed me through the sacrament of Holy Baptism (Ephesians 5:26), and promised to me that I will be united with Him in a resurrection like His, as it says in Romans 6?

  • LC

    But how is it that you can say that you aren’t sure if I’m in the Church, when Christ Himself has cleansed me through the sacrament of Holy Baptism (Ephesians 5:26), and promised to me that I will be united with Him in a resurrection like His, as it says in Romans 6?

  • LC

    Sorry for derailing this thread. No more questions after that one, I promise.

  • LC

    Sorry for derailing this thread. No more questions after that one, I promise.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Ok, I think I need to comment on this thread. For one, I’m Lutheran. For another, I have Orthodox friends, good ones. And I’ve been interacting with Orthodox folks online for almost a decade. And at one stage, I was even tempted by Orthodoxy. It was an exposition of Alexander Schmemann’s work on the Eucharist that convinced me of the Real Presence, and precipitated my journey out of Calvinism, into Lutheranism. Instead of swimming the Bhosporus, I swam the Rhine….

    So, thus establishing my credentials :) , let me give my observations:

    1. Orthodoxy in north america is divided between the “Ethnics” and the Converts. The latter dominate the OCA and the Antiochenes. Now this continent has had a strong history of religious enthusiasm. And for searchers and theology geeks, especially ones tempted by “authenticity”, there are two great attractions. Rome, and Orthodoxy. But Rome is too familiar, given the very large number of ethnic Roman Catholics, as well as English-speaking Roman Catholics (via the Irish etc.). The ethnic Orthodox are either Greek or Russian, and comparatively, in the minority. Also, Orthodoxy has a strong aura of age, of being ancient. and it is “weird enough” to feel extreme. Thus, it attracts the enthusiast with that particular bend. But few speak Greek or Russian, and thus the OCA & AOCANA has a large population of extreme enthusiasts. It is quite funny – these folks are often more Orthodox than the ethnics, what with massive beards, flowing robes and all that – and I’m not speaking of the clergy! Unstable denominational politics can thus be expected….

    As to the objection to chest thumping earlier (#24) – yes, some on this list did that a bit too much, forgetting that amongst the Protestants, ‘liberal theology’ and the absence of both orthodoxy and orthopraxy is not exactly unknown.

    But, whereas I myself am strongly pro-liturgy, appreciating that our Lutheran liturgy comes from Chrysostom’s liturgy, I would also caution against the idea that simply because something is old, it is right or better. We must be very careful to not exchange new error for ancient error…

    Does this happen in Orthodoxy? Sure. One thing that put me off in major way was the strong Platonism – yes, and it expresses itself as asceticism gone overboard. In some aspects it almost reminds one of Hindu fakirs…, and yes, I’ve seen the Orthodox themselves make that connection.

    But of course what attracts many to Orthodoxy is the absence of constant “innovation”. I disdain the tendency to be constantly innovating for the sake of innovating. But in line with what I said earlier – my argument is that it is exactly the same thing that drives some to be ever innovating, and others to the Emergent Church, that drives yet others to swim the Bhosporus.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Ok, I think I need to comment on this thread. For one, I’m Lutheran. For another, I have Orthodox friends, good ones. And I’ve been interacting with Orthodox folks online for almost a decade. And at one stage, I was even tempted by Orthodoxy. It was an exposition of Alexander Schmemann’s work on the Eucharist that convinced me of the Real Presence, and precipitated my journey out of Calvinism, into Lutheranism. Instead of swimming the Bhosporus, I swam the Rhine….

    So, thus establishing my credentials :) , let me give my observations:

    1. Orthodoxy in north america is divided between the “Ethnics” and the Converts. The latter dominate the OCA and the Antiochenes. Now this continent has had a strong history of religious enthusiasm. And for searchers and theology geeks, especially ones tempted by “authenticity”, there are two great attractions. Rome, and Orthodoxy. But Rome is too familiar, given the very large number of ethnic Roman Catholics, as well as English-speaking Roman Catholics (via the Irish etc.). The ethnic Orthodox are either Greek or Russian, and comparatively, in the minority. Also, Orthodoxy has a strong aura of age, of being ancient. and it is “weird enough” to feel extreme. Thus, it attracts the enthusiast with that particular bend. But few speak Greek or Russian, and thus the OCA & AOCANA has a large population of extreme enthusiasts. It is quite funny – these folks are often more Orthodox than the ethnics, what with massive beards, flowing robes and all that – and I’m not speaking of the clergy! Unstable denominational politics can thus be expected….

    As to the objection to chest thumping earlier (#24) – yes, some on this list did that a bit too much, forgetting that amongst the Protestants, ‘liberal theology’ and the absence of both orthodoxy and orthopraxy is not exactly unknown.

    But, whereas I myself am strongly pro-liturgy, appreciating that our Lutheran liturgy comes from Chrysostom’s liturgy, I would also caution against the idea that simply because something is old, it is right or better. We must be very careful to not exchange new error for ancient error…

    Does this happen in Orthodoxy? Sure. One thing that put me off in major way was the strong Platonism – yes, and it expresses itself as asceticism gone overboard. In some aspects it almost reminds one of Hindu fakirs…, and yes, I’ve seen the Orthodox themselves make that connection.

    But of course what attracts many to Orthodoxy is the absence of constant “innovation”. I disdain the tendency to be constantly innovating for the sake of innovating. But in line with what I said earlier – my argument is that it is exactly the same thing that drives some to be ever innovating, and others to the Emergent Church, that drives yet others to swim the Bhosporus.

  • fws

    KK @ 39

    That sounds about like my own experience.

    I had a pastor a long time ago, who was flirting with Orthodoxy.

    Some wise men sent him over to Russia for him to explore it over there and see the REAL deal in mother Russia, and not the “makeover” of orthodoxy in the USA.

    He was completely cured of the urge.

  • fws

    KK @ 39

    That sounds about like my own experience.

    I had a pastor a long time ago, who was flirting with Orthodoxy.

    Some wise men sent him over to Russia for him to explore it over there and see the REAL deal in mother Russia, and not the “makeover” of orthodoxy in the USA.

    He was completely cured of the urge.

  • fws

    skp @ 16

    Here is my most recent outline of Apology art II on the Image of God and Original Sin. Article II is really a sylogism:

    Apology Art II contains this Sylogism :

    Major Premise:
    15] “Original sin is the absence of original righteousness”

    Minor Premise:
    15B] …But what is righteousness? …[the Thomists] do not explain what original righteousness is…16] .in the Scriptures, righteousness comprises …the first table of the Decalog…17] … concerning faith…
    20] And Paul shows in the Epistles to the Ephesians 5:9, and Colossians 3:10, that the image of God is the knowledge of God, righteousness, and truth. 21] Nor does Longobard fear to say that [this] original righteousness is the very likeness to God which God implanted in man.

    Conclusion:
    “To be without the fear of God, to be without faith, is [Original] guilt[Sin].” 2]…since the Fall of Adam all men … can have …no true faith in God.
    26] …original sin,…[is] not being able to believe God.
    31]… the intelligent reader will readily be able to decide that to be …without faith … [in God is Original Sin].

    Additional Assertion of Fact:
    35] … [This] Original sin [lack of faith in God] remains after Baptism.
    http://bookofconcord.org/defense_2_originalsin.php

    I think this is my best effort so far at outlining Ap art II
    I learn something every time I try.

  • fws

    skp @ 16

    Here is my most recent outline of Apology art II on the Image of God and Original Sin. Article II is really a sylogism:

    Apology Art II contains this Sylogism :

    Major Premise:
    15] “Original sin is the absence of original righteousness”

    Minor Premise:
    15B] …But what is righteousness? …[the Thomists] do not explain what original righteousness is…16] .in the Scriptures, righteousness comprises …the first table of the Decalog…17] … concerning faith…
    20] And Paul shows in the Epistles to the Ephesians 5:9, and Colossians 3:10, that the image of God is the knowledge of God, righteousness, and truth. 21] Nor does Longobard fear to say that [this] original righteousness is the very likeness to God which God implanted in man.

    Conclusion:
    “To be without the fear of God, to be without faith, is [Original] guilt[Sin].” 2]…since the Fall of Adam all men … can have …no true faith in God.
    26] …original sin,…[is] not being able to believe God.
    31]… the intelligent reader will readily be able to decide that to be …without faith … [in God is Original Sin].

    Additional Assertion of Fact:
    35] … [This] Original sin [lack of faith in God] remains after Baptism.
    http://bookofconcord.org/defense_2_originalsin.php

    I think this is my best effort so far at outlining Ap art II
    I learn something every time I try.

  • Scott

    I converted from Lutheranism to the Orthodox Church because of the lack of Platonic influence within the Orthodox Church.
    http://ancientfaith.com/specials/episodes/what_is_faith_plato_nietzsche_and_christ

  • Scott

    I converted from Lutheranism to the Orthodox Church because of the lack of Platonic influence within the Orthodox Church.
    http://ancientfaith.com/specials/episodes/what_is_faith_plato_nietzsche_and_christ

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Scott, exchanging Plato with Potinus is hardly a dramatic move :)

    Ironically, I find Plato useful, but we have to know his limitations. That is where Ockham and the nominalists, Aristotle’s great, great grandchildren, come in useful.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Scott, exchanging Plato with Potinus is hardly a dramatic move :)

    Ironically, I find Plato useful, but we have to know his limitations. That is where Ockham and the nominalists, Aristotle’s great, great grandchildren, come in useful.

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    LC@37,

    It is simply not my business to judge the spiritual status of individual persons from other religious communities. That is God’s job. It is the business of every Orthodox believer to judge other religious communities. And priests are called on, in their role as priests, to make judgments–but never to judge a person’s condition with God. That judgment is reserved to God alone, not to others and not even to the person himself.

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    LC@37,

    It is simply not my business to judge the spiritual status of individual persons from other religious communities. That is God’s job. It is the business of every Orthodox believer to judge other religious communities. And priests are called on, in their role as priests, to make judgments–but never to judge a person’s condition with God. That judgment is reserved to God alone, not to others and not even to the person himself.

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    Klasie @39–You did a “1″ without a “2″! :-)

    The Lutheran liturgy, as I understand it, did not come from the liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. Rather, it came from the western (Roman) liturgy. One of the earliest nudges, for me, was reading Peter Fraenkel’s “Testimonia Patrum.” The author showed the importance of the early Lutherans’ appeal to the east, and to the principle of “no new teachings.”

    I don’t want this to degenerate into an online debate; let me merely make the observation that no cool and candid observer could agree that the Augustana’s boast, “In doctrine and in ceremonies we have done nothing new, against the Scriptures or the Catholic Church,” remains true. Five hundred years has a way of clarifying things.

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    Klasie @39–You did a “1″ without a “2″! :-)

    The Lutheran liturgy, as I understand it, did not come from the liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. Rather, it came from the western (Roman) liturgy. One of the earliest nudges, for me, was reading Peter Fraenkel’s “Testimonia Patrum.” The author showed the importance of the early Lutherans’ appeal to the east, and to the principle of “no new teachings.”

    I don’t want this to degenerate into an online debate; let me merely make the observation that no cool and candid observer could agree that the Augustana’s boast, “In doctrine and in ceremonies we have done nothing new, against the Scriptures or the Catholic Church,” remains true. Five hundred years has a way of clarifying things.

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    fws@40.

    Hey, that’s a good way to proceed. I think if I run across any Orthodox tempted by Lutheranism, I’ll just send them off to Germany.

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    fws@40.

    Hey, that’s a good way to proceed. I think if I run across any Orthodox tempted by Lutheranism, I’ll just send them off to Germany.

  • SKPeterson

    LC @ 42 and KK @ 43 – Lutherans are more Augustinian in tradition, which does set us outside the East to some extent, but not entirely so. Now, that would have to be taken into context with Augustine being something of a Neo-Platonist, which makes him more Plotinian. Now, interestingly, LC objects to the Platonic influence in Lutheranism, but at least in the West, it came down to Plotinus Platonism or the revamped Aristotelianism of Thomas Aquinas. The Romans largely jettisoned Plotinus or severly mediated him through the Neo-Aristotelian viewpoint of Aquinas. The Lutherans went back to more of a Plotinian understanding. Now, the questions would be: Is this Plotinus/Augustine v. Aristotle/Aquinas divide even relevant in the East? I would argue that yes, it is. We just need to put up the right sparring partners. It may be that for Rome and Alexandria (the true beating heart of true Orthodoxy, unless you’re a splintering Antiochian – being as that the West used to only recognize the Archbishop of Alexandria as the Pope of the East – you’ve lost him, so your legitimacy is entirely in question here in the West. ;)) it is Plotinus/Augustine v. Plotinus/Gregory Nazianzen or Basil or Xrysostom or Athanasius. Xrysostom would be great – Lutherans love Xrysostom; but do we love him for the same reasons? Same goes for Athanasius. Moreover, Augustine was heavily influenced by Ambrose – who was influenced by Athanasius, and who was also in regular (as regular as anything was during the collapse of the Empire) conversation (in Greek!) with Basil the Great! That is awesome stuff. Between Lutherans and Orthodox we would essentially be moving back to the era of the great councils of the 4th through 7th centuries, when everyone was still largely on the same page and Rome went off the rails with the wholesale adoption of Aquinian Aristotelianism.

    Besides the big stumbling block between Lutherans and the Orthodox 400 years ago was the Filioque. No agreement there – no need for further conversation on the part of the East. So we haven’t been talking much for the last several centuries. That is sad, and probably won’t be settled until the Holy Spirit proceeds from both the Father and the Son on the last day.

  • SKPeterson

    LC @ 42 and KK @ 43 – Lutherans are more Augustinian in tradition, which does set us outside the East to some extent, but not entirely so. Now, that would have to be taken into context with Augustine being something of a Neo-Platonist, which makes him more Plotinian. Now, interestingly, LC objects to the Platonic influence in Lutheranism, but at least in the West, it came down to Plotinus Platonism or the revamped Aristotelianism of Thomas Aquinas. The Romans largely jettisoned Plotinus or severly mediated him through the Neo-Aristotelian viewpoint of Aquinas. The Lutherans went back to more of a Plotinian understanding. Now, the questions would be: Is this Plotinus/Augustine v. Aristotle/Aquinas divide even relevant in the East? I would argue that yes, it is. We just need to put up the right sparring partners. It may be that for Rome and Alexandria (the true beating heart of true Orthodoxy, unless you’re a splintering Antiochian – being as that the West used to only recognize the Archbishop of Alexandria as the Pope of the East – you’ve lost him, so your legitimacy is entirely in question here in the West. ;)) it is Plotinus/Augustine v. Plotinus/Gregory Nazianzen or Basil or Xrysostom or Athanasius. Xrysostom would be great – Lutherans love Xrysostom; but do we love him for the same reasons? Same goes for Athanasius. Moreover, Augustine was heavily influenced by Ambrose – who was influenced by Athanasius, and who was also in regular (as regular as anything was during the collapse of the Empire) conversation (in Greek!) with Basil the Great! That is awesome stuff. Between Lutherans and Orthodox we would essentially be moving back to the era of the great councils of the 4th through 7th centuries, when everyone was still largely on the same page and Rome went off the rails with the wholesale adoption of Aquinian Aristotelianism.

    Besides the big stumbling block between Lutherans and the Orthodox 400 years ago was the Filioque. No agreement there – no need for further conversation on the part of the East. So we haven’t been talking much for the last several centuries. That is sad, and probably won’t be settled until the Holy Spirit proceeds from both the Father and the Son on the last day.

  • SKPeterson

    S/B “… and before Rome went off the rails…” @47.

  • SKPeterson

    S/B “… and before Rome went off the rails…” @47.

  • fws

    scott @42

    so that begs a question doesn’t it? what is the platonicn influence in lutheranism?

  • fws

    scott @42

    so that begs a question doesn’t it? what is the platonicn influence in lutheranism?

  • fws

    pastor hogg @ 46

    Well now. you judge church bodies.
    What is VISIBLE.
    So a visit to the volga would require those rules eh?

    A visit to Germany would require Lutheran rules
    Augustana VII and VIII
    And for Lutherans that is a great comfort.
    It is why we
    A) recognize both the organization and individuals of Orthodoxy as the church of God, and
    B) why we would NEVER have someone doubt whether or not they were a part of that Churxh.
    C) It is B that makes me so grateful to NOT be Orthodox, Your comment at 44 is satanic. God had judged the world in Christ and your post implies that it is not possible for an individual to know , with any certainty, what that judgement is. It is precisely that certainty that makes one a Christian.

  • fws

    pastor hogg @ 46

    Well now. you judge church bodies.
    What is VISIBLE.
    So a visit to the volga would require those rules eh?

    A visit to Germany would require Lutheran rules
    Augustana VII and VIII
    And for Lutherans that is a great comfort.
    It is why we
    A) recognize both the organization and individuals of Orthodoxy as the church of God, and
    B) why we would NEVER have someone doubt whether or not they were a part of that Churxh.
    C) It is B that makes me so grateful to NOT be Orthodox, Your comment at 44 is satanic. God had judged the world in Christ and your post implies that it is not possible for an individual to know , with any certainty, what that judgement is. It is precisely that certainty that makes one a Christian.

  • fws

    sk @ 47

    dang. that was awesome.

  • fws

    sk @ 47

    dang. that was awesome.

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    fws@50

    I don’t plan to engage you for long; firehoses put out an impressive volume of water, but sprinklers are more useful for growing plants. Having said that, let me note two things:

    1) After 70 years of the fiercest persecution, besides Islam, that the Church has ever known, the Church in Russia is rapidly being restored to her former good condition. Churches are being restored, monasteries are growing stronger, and martyrs such as Fr. Daniel Sysoev are being crowned. Were it not for the church in Russia, and the Russian state, the poor Christians in Syria would have been overwhelmed by now.

    2) As to the matter of judging salvation, one’s own or that of others, I defer to the Apostle Paul:

    “3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. 4 For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. 5 Therefore *do not pronounce judgment before the time*, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.”

    “…that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. 12 *Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect*, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, *I do not consider that I have made it my own.* But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.”

    Careful readers will note the eschatological orientation of these texts from St. Paul. Nor is this altogether dissimilar from the Augustana’s (or is it the Apology?–I’ve forgotten) claim that when the Lutherans speak of being justified by faith, the faith to which they refer “exists only in the terrors of conscience.”

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    fws@50

    I don’t plan to engage you for long; firehoses put out an impressive volume of water, but sprinklers are more useful for growing plants. Having said that, let me note two things:

    1) After 70 years of the fiercest persecution, besides Islam, that the Church has ever known, the Church in Russia is rapidly being restored to her former good condition. Churches are being restored, monasteries are growing stronger, and martyrs such as Fr. Daniel Sysoev are being crowned. Were it not for the church in Russia, and the Russian state, the poor Christians in Syria would have been overwhelmed by now.

    2) As to the matter of judging salvation, one’s own or that of others, I defer to the Apostle Paul:

    “3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. 4 For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. 5 Therefore *do not pronounce judgment before the time*, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.”

    “…that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. 12 *Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect*, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, *I do not consider that I have made it my own.* But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.”

    Careful readers will note the eschatological orientation of these texts from St. Paul. Nor is this altogether dissimilar from the Augustana’s (or is it the Apology?–I’ve forgotten) claim that when the Lutherans speak of being justified by faith, the faith to which they refer “exists only in the terrors of conscience.”

  • Scott

    FWS @49 …no you beg the wrong question. the actual question to which you might beg for an answer would be “why can’t I find any area within Protestantism that hasn’t been baptized by Platonism.”

  • Scott

    FWS @49 …no you beg the wrong question. the actual question to which you might beg for an answer would be “why can’t I find any area within Protestantism that hasn’t been baptized by Platonism.”

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Interesting discussion, folks, and I am learning things (the mark of good discussions). Thanks to you Orthodox who have been weighing in. KH, we certainly must not gloat at the problems in the OCA. Protestants, Catholics, evangelicals, and Lutherans most definitely have problems with liberal theology and liberal morality, as this blog is constantly complaining. Many of us had assumed that Orthodoxy provides a haven from all of that, so it’s revealing and a sad sign of the times that even Orthodox churches have some of the same battles.

    Klasie, your observations that Orthodoxy in America is split between “ethnic” and “convert” factions explains a lot. I suspect part of Metropolitan Jonah’s problem is that he seems to be manifesting the evangelical culture warrior zeal (which fits his pre-orthodox background), which runs against the grain of the ethnic part of the church (which, like most immigrant groups that try to keep their own culture, including their religious culture, is mostly Democratic).

    Fr. Hogg, thanks very much for your input and explanations. One question, not at all to argue but just as part of my quest to understand: You concede that an individual who is not part of the Orthodox communion may be a Christian. (Well, you refuse to judge, but that seems to hold out a possibility that he might be.) If there is such a person, isn’t he in some sense a member of Christ’s church? How can there not be a true Christian–baptized, believing, faithful– who is not also engrafted into Christ’s Body? If that’s possible, doesn’t it get us into the realm of the hidden/invisible (I’ve been told the first term is more Lutheran, preserving the tangibility of this church, though it is not always recognized) church known only to God? When you say that only God knows who is a true believer, isn’t that too an admission of the hidden church? Or the liberals and other false believers in Orthodox churches who never win–they are members of Orthodox congregations, and yet they are cut-off from Christ and thus are not part of the true church known by God. So how does Orthodoxy treat this?

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Interesting discussion, folks, and I am learning things (the mark of good discussions). Thanks to you Orthodox who have been weighing in. KH, we certainly must not gloat at the problems in the OCA. Protestants, Catholics, evangelicals, and Lutherans most definitely have problems with liberal theology and liberal morality, as this blog is constantly complaining. Many of us had assumed that Orthodoxy provides a haven from all of that, so it’s revealing and a sad sign of the times that even Orthodox churches have some of the same battles.

    Klasie, your observations that Orthodoxy in America is split between “ethnic” and “convert” factions explains a lot. I suspect part of Metropolitan Jonah’s problem is that he seems to be manifesting the evangelical culture warrior zeal (which fits his pre-orthodox background), which runs against the grain of the ethnic part of the church (which, like most immigrant groups that try to keep their own culture, including their religious culture, is mostly Democratic).

    Fr. Hogg, thanks very much for your input and explanations. One question, not at all to argue but just as part of my quest to understand: You concede that an individual who is not part of the Orthodox communion may be a Christian. (Well, you refuse to judge, but that seems to hold out a possibility that he might be.) If there is such a person, isn’t he in some sense a member of Christ’s church? How can there not be a true Christian–baptized, believing, faithful– who is not also engrafted into Christ’s Body? If that’s possible, doesn’t it get us into the realm of the hidden/invisible (I’ve been told the first term is more Lutheran, preserving the tangibility of this church, though it is not always recognized) church known only to God? When you say that only God knows who is a true believer, isn’t that too an admission of the hidden church? Or the liberals and other false believers in Orthodox churches who never win–they are members of Orthodox congregations, and yet they are cut-off from Christ and thus are not part of the true church known by God. So how does Orthodoxy treat this?

  • petdib

    I was under the impression that Luther appealed to natural law when the Sabbatarian Anabaptists taught that the church should be fully reformed and keep a Saturday Sabbath in accordance with the Ten Commandments ( as well as abusing them as judaizers,etc. ).

  • petdib

    I was under the impression that Luther appealed to natural law when the Sabbatarian Anabaptists taught that the church should be fully reformed and keep a Saturday Sabbath in accordance with the Ten Commandments ( as well as abusing them as judaizers,etc. ).

  • fws

    dr veith @ 54

    Excellent dear doctor. You succeeded in framing the exact question I am certain that the rest of us Lutherans have and were struggling to put into words.

    And we have some former Lutherans who are not Orthodox to answer that question as they see it.

    What could be nicer?

    to all the eastern christian believers here: welcome! and please forgive me for any comments that seemed rude or impolite.

  • fws

    dr veith @ 54

    Excellent dear doctor. You succeeded in framing the exact question I am certain that the rest of us Lutherans have and were struggling to put into words.

    And we have some former Lutherans who are not Orthodox to answer that question as they see it.

    What could be nicer?

    to all the eastern christian believers here: welcome! and please forgive me for any comments that seemed rude or impolite.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    SKP – good points. I was more pointing out that rejecting Plato, only to embrace Plotinus, and make that a major reason for conversion, is a bit strange.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    SKP – good points. I was more pointing out that rejecting Plato, only to embrace Plotinus, and make that a major reason for conversion, is a bit strange.

  • KH

    Dr. Veith–when a person within an Orthodox congregation demonstrates that he is not a true believer, he will usually leave quickly on his own accord to follow his inclinations or he is confronted by the clergy about his beliefs. Tolstoy was a case in point. He was the New Ager of his time and his beliefs were condemned by the Orthodox church. He is NOT considered a member of the Orthodox church to this day. In dealing with gross sin within the Orthodox church, I can cite one example from 2004 that occurred in a suburb north of Moscow. There a priest of the Moscow Patriarchate (which had, in the Communist era, ordained many unworthy men to this office) had married two gay men in his parish. Almost instantly, the man was defrocked and kicked out of the Church (along with the gays) and bulldozers were sent to demolish the church building where this desecration occurred. Then it was burnt to ashes. That’s how seriously they took this matter. Recently the gay movement in Russia has been attacking and demonstrating against the Orthodox Church for its anti-gay stand, so the homosexual agenda is attacking all churches everywhere.

    In the Orthodox church overall, there are church jurisdictions (like the OCA and the Antiochians) that the other jurisdictions don’t have communion with for theological reasons. These splits had occurred during the era after the Bolshevik revolution, which caused a lot of turmoil in the Russian Orthodox church. Likewise with the Greeks after the Communist revolution there in the late 40s-early 50s.

    Like the Catholic church, the Orthodox believe in apostolic succession as constituting the authority of the Church. A proper apostolic succession is necessary for the transmission of the Sacraments, particularly the Eucharist. So a church that has not apostolic succession is considered outside of the Church proper and has no valid sacraments, although the members of that church can be staunch believers in Christ. We don’t call them non-Christians; just Christians without a Church and the sacraments.

  • KH

    Dr. Veith–when a person within an Orthodox congregation demonstrates that he is not a true believer, he will usually leave quickly on his own accord to follow his inclinations or he is confronted by the clergy about his beliefs. Tolstoy was a case in point. He was the New Ager of his time and his beliefs were condemned by the Orthodox church. He is NOT considered a member of the Orthodox church to this day. In dealing with gross sin within the Orthodox church, I can cite one example from 2004 that occurred in a suburb north of Moscow. There a priest of the Moscow Patriarchate (which had, in the Communist era, ordained many unworthy men to this office) had married two gay men in his parish. Almost instantly, the man was defrocked and kicked out of the Church (along with the gays) and bulldozers were sent to demolish the church building where this desecration occurred. Then it was burnt to ashes. That’s how seriously they took this matter. Recently the gay movement in Russia has been attacking and demonstrating against the Orthodox Church for its anti-gay stand, so the homosexual agenda is attacking all churches everywhere.

    In the Orthodox church overall, there are church jurisdictions (like the OCA and the Antiochians) that the other jurisdictions don’t have communion with for theological reasons. These splits had occurred during the era after the Bolshevik revolution, which caused a lot of turmoil in the Russian Orthodox church. Likewise with the Greeks after the Communist revolution there in the late 40s-early 50s.

    Like the Catholic church, the Orthodox believe in apostolic succession as constituting the authority of the Church. A proper apostolic succession is necessary for the transmission of the Sacraments, particularly the Eucharist. So a church that has not apostolic succession is considered outside of the Church proper and has no valid sacraments, although the members of that church can be staunch believers in Christ. We don’t call them non-Christians; just Christians without a Church and the sacraments.

  • fws

    kh @ 58

    Almost instantly, the man was defrocked and kicked out of the Church (along with the gays) and bulldozers were sent to demolish the church building where this desecration occurred. Then it was burnt to ashes.

    buldozers. demolish. Not good enough! Burn to ashes.
    One problem that betrays your lack of TRUE spiritual dedication

    The gays and their priest?
    They were let go! You call that serious??!! You are just pretenders! You orthodox have strayed. In the past you would have made sure that the priest and the gays remained in the church you bulldozed and burned. You too have surrendered to liberalism it seems.

    So a church that has not apostolic succession is considered outside of the Church proper and has no valid sacraments, although the members of that church can be staunch believers in Christ. We don’t call them non-Christians; just Christians without a Church and the sacraments.

    So one can be a staunch believer in Christ with NO church and NO sacraments.

    Interesting.

    You have just informed us, that in your opinion, which you claim to be that of THE one and only church, there is therefore NO need, whatsoever, for what you call the “Orthodox Church. “

  • fws

    kh @ 58

    Almost instantly, the man was defrocked and kicked out of the Church (along with the gays) and bulldozers were sent to demolish the church building where this desecration occurred. Then it was burnt to ashes.

    buldozers. demolish. Not good enough! Burn to ashes.
    One problem that betrays your lack of TRUE spiritual dedication

    The gays and their priest?
    They were let go! You call that serious??!! You are just pretenders! You orthodox have strayed. In the past you would have made sure that the priest and the gays remained in the church you bulldozed and burned. You too have surrendered to liberalism it seems.

    So a church that has not apostolic succession is considered outside of the Church proper and has no valid sacraments, although the members of that church can be staunch believers in Christ. We don’t call them non-Christians; just Christians without a Church and the sacraments.

    So one can be a staunch believer in Christ with NO church and NO sacraments.

    Interesting.

    You have just informed us, that in your opinion, which you claim to be that of THE one and only church, there is therefore NO need, whatsoever, for what you call the “Orthodox Church. “

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    Dr. Veith@54,

    You’ll note that your question begins with “if.” But that requires me to make a judgment, albeit hypothetical. I’m quite comfortable leaving the judgment of people’s souls in the hands of the Lord, who is good and loves mankind.

    The problem you’re discussing shows itself especially in the reception of converts. For many years, in most jurisdictions, those who have been baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity have been received by chrismation by oikonomia. St. Elizabeth the New Martyr, as mentioned earlier, was baptized Lutheran. We believe that the grace of the Holy Spirit, who always supplies what is lacking, will do so in such cases. However, as Protestant bodies increasingly abandon the Holy Trinity, more and more converts will simply be baptized. Note: this too won’t be a judgment of the individual person, but of the body to which they belonged.

    As to the “visible/hidden” issue, Pieper (the standard LCMS theologian) has no hesitance in using “invisible.” In his discussion of the church’s attributes, he adds “invisible” to the “one, holy, catholic and apostolic” of the Nicene Creed–even putting it first!

    The whole distinction (visible/invisible) is rooted in the theology of St. Augustine. The Church honors him as a saint, but has not bought into his theology holos bolos.

    Thanks, again, for a fine blog!

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    Dr. Veith@54,

    You’ll note that your question begins with “if.” But that requires me to make a judgment, albeit hypothetical. I’m quite comfortable leaving the judgment of people’s souls in the hands of the Lord, who is good and loves mankind.

    The problem you’re discussing shows itself especially in the reception of converts. For many years, in most jurisdictions, those who have been baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity have been received by chrismation by oikonomia. St. Elizabeth the New Martyr, as mentioned earlier, was baptized Lutheran. We believe that the grace of the Holy Spirit, who always supplies what is lacking, will do so in such cases. However, as Protestant bodies increasingly abandon the Holy Trinity, more and more converts will simply be baptized. Note: this too won’t be a judgment of the individual person, but of the body to which they belonged.

    As to the “visible/hidden” issue, Pieper (the standard LCMS theologian) has no hesitance in using “invisible.” In his discussion of the church’s attributes, he adds “invisible” to the “one, holy, catholic and apostolic” of the Nicene Creed–even putting it first!

    The whole distinction (visible/invisible) is rooted in the theology of St. Augustine. The Church honors him as a saint, but has not bought into his theology holos bolos.

    Thanks, again, for a fine blog!

  • fws

    hogg @ 60

    “The whole distinction (visible/invisible) is rooted in the theology of St. Augustine”

    This is not true. Ap VII and VIII is the confessional sedaes. this is about a Law and Gospel and two kingdoms distinction. the Church consists of two kingdoms. I dont have time to lay this out but will respond later.

  • fws

    hogg @ 60

    “The whole distinction (visible/invisible) is rooted in the theology of St. Augustine”

    This is not true. Ap VII and VIII is the confessional sedaes. this is about a Law and Gospel and two kingdoms distinction. the Church consists of two kingdoms. I dont have time to lay this out but will respond later.

  • reg

    BTW, apropos of an exchange we had earlier in the week in another thread, to all you Lutherans I think the comment stream following this article in Christianity Today ( http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2012/julyweb-only/greear-ask-jesus-into-your-heart.html?paging=off) is badly in need of your input on Law and Grace. I missed seeing your prospective included. It is clear that most commenters and the author are not terribly clear on the Law and Gospel distinction.

  • reg

    BTW, apropos of an exchange we had earlier in the week in another thread, to all you Lutherans I think the comment stream following this article in Christianity Today ( http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2012/julyweb-only/greear-ask-jesus-into-your-heart.html?paging=off) is badly in need of your input on Law and Grace. I missed seeing your prospective included. It is clear that most commenters and the author are not terribly clear on the Law and Gospel distinction.

  • KH

    fws–

    Your last comment made no sense.

    No apologies that the Orthodox abhor gay marriage. We are NOT obliged to nurture within our fold a group of people who insist on cultivating and spreading deeply sinful self-delusions, such as homosexuality. People are thrown out for adultery and other destructive behavior if they do not repent and persist in it. Read I Corinthians.

    No apologies for the fact that we have valid apostolic succession and valid sacraments. That’s the way it is and has always been. Those outside of this may be called Christians after a fashion, but we see that most base their doctrine and practice of Christianity from their private interpretations and opinions that are very often outside of the Church interpretations of doctrine and practice through the centuries. That some of these groups do adhere to the Nicene Creed shows at least the bare minimum of Christian belief. Yes, one can be a staunch believer in Christ without being either Catholic or Orthodox–the excellent Puritans come to mind. But they had no valid sacraments–just a fervency that ran to seed after a few generations. So yes, on the basis of the Nicene Creed, we can accept those outside the Church as Christians, but they deny themselves the benefits of the Church. How often have I heard them say (even on this blog) that they have no need for the Church, (and by that statement evidence no understanding of it either). So be it. Let them go their own way and we see where it so often leads them–just to more and more spiritual fragmentation and general decline.

  • KH

    fws–

    Your last comment made no sense.

    No apologies that the Orthodox abhor gay marriage. We are NOT obliged to nurture within our fold a group of people who insist on cultivating and spreading deeply sinful self-delusions, such as homosexuality. People are thrown out for adultery and other destructive behavior if they do not repent and persist in it. Read I Corinthians.

    No apologies for the fact that we have valid apostolic succession and valid sacraments. That’s the way it is and has always been. Those outside of this may be called Christians after a fashion, but we see that most base their doctrine and practice of Christianity from their private interpretations and opinions that are very often outside of the Church interpretations of doctrine and practice through the centuries. That some of these groups do adhere to the Nicene Creed shows at least the bare minimum of Christian belief. Yes, one can be a staunch believer in Christ without being either Catholic or Orthodox–the excellent Puritans come to mind. But they had no valid sacraments–just a fervency that ran to seed after a few generations. So yes, on the basis of the Nicene Creed, we can accept those outside the Church as Christians, but they deny themselves the benefits of the Church. How often have I heard them say (even on this blog) that they have no need for the Church, (and by that statement evidence no understanding of it either). So be it. Let them go their own way and we see where it so often leads them–just to more and more spiritual fragmentation and general decline.

  • SKPeterson

    KK@57 – Yeah. I was simply expounding on your point. I don’t really understand the complaint against Plato, especially as you note by embracing Plotinus as an alternative. It’s like saying you don’t like Marx, but Engels is a great alternative. Moreover, I don’t think there is a massive Platonic influence in large swaths of the Western Church; it is mostly Aquinian-mediated Aristotelianism in both Rome and most of the Reformed bodies.

    Theologically there are a lot of commonalities between Alexandria and Wittenberg. There are also serious differences that make the Filioque trivial.

  • SKPeterson

    KK@57 – Yeah. I was simply expounding on your point. I don’t really understand the complaint against Plato, especially as you note by embracing Plotinus as an alternative. It’s like saying you don’t like Marx, but Engels is a great alternative. Moreover, I don’t think there is a massive Platonic influence in large swaths of the Western Church; it is mostly Aquinian-mediated Aristotelianism in both Rome and most of the Reformed bodies.

    Theologically there are a lot of commonalities between Alexandria and Wittenberg. There are also serious differences that make the Filioque trivial.

  • fws

    KH @ 63

    “”Your last comment made no sense.”
    I am not so surprised you didn’t get it.

    “That some of these groups do adhere to the Nicene Creed shows at least the bare minimum of Christian belief.”

    KH. I don’t know how else to say this so I will just say it. You would not recognize your hubris if it came and slapped you in the face. “Nicene Creed is the bare minimum of Christian belief. ” UNbelievable.

    It would be really swell if the orthodoxish concentrated more on that bare minimum. The world and christianity would not miss all the “stuff” you think is value added.

  • fws

    KH @ 63

    “”Your last comment made no sense.”
    I am not so surprised you didn’t get it.

    “That some of these groups do adhere to the Nicene Creed shows at least the bare minimum of Christian belief.”

    KH. I don’t know how else to say this so I will just say it. You would not recognize your hubris if it came and slapped you in the face. “Nicene Creed is the bare minimum of Christian belief. ” UNbelievable.

    It would be really swell if the orthodoxish concentrated more on that bare minimum. The world and christianity would not miss all the “stuff” you think is value added.

  • fws

    reg @ 62

    I am confused as to what you are apologizing about from another thread reg. Except for not comin outta the closet as a Lutheran ;)

  • fws

    reg @ 62

    I am confused as to what you are apologizing about from another thread reg. Except for not comin outta the closet as a Lutheran ;)

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    SKP – ditto on everything you said. With the possible exception of some parts of Anglicanism, Lutheranism is the most Orthodox-like Protestantism (if I can use the word thus). Therefore we are well aware of the differences.

    And good observation about Plato/Plotinus in the east.

    Allow me to make an observation about why I like Lutheranism so much, warts and all (apart from theological issues): It is the most realistic form of Christianity. Not a lot of intellectual pretense like the calvinists, emotionalism like the evangelicals, or mystic and purist pretense like Rome ans especially the East. Let me sum it up thus:

    I’m a bastard. You’re a bastard. Christ cane to save bastards like us, and gave us means of grace – baptism, the Eucharist etc. Now let’s have a beer and celebrate. :)

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    SKP – ditto on everything you said. With the possible exception of some parts of Anglicanism, Lutheranism is the most Orthodox-like Protestantism (if I can use the word thus). Therefore we are well aware of the differences.

    And good observation about Plato/Plotinus in the east.

    Allow me to make an observation about why I like Lutheranism so much, warts and all (apart from theological issues): It is the most realistic form of Christianity. Not a lot of intellectual pretense like the calvinists, emotionalism like the evangelicals, or mystic and purist pretense like Rome ans especially the East. Let me sum it up thus:

    I’m a bastard. You’re a bastard. Christ cane to save bastards like us, and gave us means of grace – baptism, the Eucharist etc. Now let’s have a beer and celebrate. :)

  • SKPeterson

    KK @ 67 – Prost!

  • SKPeterson

    KK @ 67 – Prost!

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    Klasie@67

    Your remarks do serve as a useful reminder of how Lutheranism flows from an Augustinian notion of original sin. Interesting. Perhaps worth a blog post of its own.

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    Klasie@67

    Your remarks do serve as a useful reminder of how Lutheranism flows from an Augustinian notion of original sin. Interesting. Perhaps worth a blog post of its own.

  • SKPeterson

    Fr. Hogg @ 69 – I think you ‘re right. It comes down in many ways to different anthropologies, or emphases in anthropology.

  • SKPeterson

    Fr. Hogg @ 69 – I think you ‘re right. It comes down in many ways to different anthropologies, or emphases in anthropology.

  • fws

    fr hogg @ 69

    Not quite.

    Augustine did not view concupiscence as original sin. he fused the aristotelian categories of desire with “natural” appetites and called that “concupiscence”. And because appetites are obviously natural and part of what it means to be human, then concupiscence was not Original Sin but rather a consequence of it’s corrosive power upon being human.
    Calvin is the uberdisciple of Augustine. He followed this tack following his spiritual mentor the late Melancthon.

    The early Luther was augustinian. At first he agreed with this view. Then he found St Paul and left Augustine behind. And so original sin becomes all about faith and includes a redefinition of augustines concupiscence as well.

    Original sin is not an inherited burden, debt or birth defect. Nor is it lust or what we do. Lust and what we do with our appetites is Augustines definition of concupiscence. Nor is it even….a propensity or disposition to sin. That would be too passive an idea as to sin. It would not implicate us or make us personally guilty as to original sin. And we are guilty as hell!

    For Lutherans, Original sin is an emptying of the heart of true faith, and the filling of the heart with not just a propensity to sin, but a virulent and viscous desire, an “anti-faith”, if you will, to trust in anything at all that is not God or his Will.

    In short: Lutherans redefine Augustinian concupiscence.
    We uncouple natural appetites from the definition. and define and reassign the word to be the equivalent of Aristotelian desire.
    We assign ” natural appetites” to a category called Divine Ordinances that is an amoral category that includes the sex drive and other biological and physical forces of nature.

    Natural appetites are fanned into flame by [redefined] concupiscence and this results in the symptom of Original Sin called actual sinning.

    Lutherans say that Original sin, which is the lost of faith+concupiscence (unruled desire)
    is the total loss of the Image of God.
    So the restoration of faith is exactly also the restoration of the Image of God.

    I would be willing to bet big dollars fr Hogg that this is not something you believed when you were Lutheran even as you do not believe it now.

    You left Lutheranism thinking that you knew what it was.
    I suspect , from reading you here, that was not really the case.

  • fws

    fr hogg @ 69

    Not quite.

    Augustine did not view concupiscence as original sin. he fused the aristotelian categories of desire with “natural” appetites and called that “concupiscence”. And because appetites are obviously natural and part of what it means to be human, then concupiscence was not Original Sin but rather a consequence of it’s corrosive power upon being human.
    Calvin is the uberdisciple of Augustine. He followed this tack following his spiritual mentor the late Melancthon.

    The early Luther was augustinian. At first he agreed with this view. Then he found St Paul and left Augustine behind. And so original sin becomes all about faith and includes a redefinition of augustines concupiscence as well.

    Original sin is not an inherited burden, debt or birth defect. Nor is it lust or what we do. Lust and what we do with our appetites is Augustines definition of concupiscence. Nor is it even….a propensity or disposition to sin. That would be too passive an idea as to sin. It would not implicate us or make us personally guilty as to original sin. And we are guilty as hell!

    For Lutherans, Original sin is an emptying of the heart of true faith, and the filling of the heart with not just a propensity to sin, but a virulent and viscous desire, an “anti-faith”, if you will, to trust in anything at all that is not God or his Will.

    In short: Lutherans redefine Augustinian concupiscence.
    We uncouple natural appetites from the definition. and define and reassign the word to be the equivalent of Aristotelian desire.
    We assign ” natural appetites” to a category called Divine Ordinances that is an amoral category that includes the sex drive and other biological and physical forces of nature.

    Natural appetites are fanned into flame by [redefined] concupiscence and this results in the symptom of Original Sin called actual sinning.

    Lutherans say that Original sin, which is the lost of faith+concupiscence (unruled desire)
    is the total loss of the Image of God.
    So the restoration of faith is exactly also the restoration of the Image of God.

    I would be willing to bet big dollars fr Hogg that this is not something you believed when you were Lutheran even as you do not believe it now.

    You left Lutheranism thinking that you knew what it was.
    I suspect , from reading you here, that was not really the case.

  • KH

    fws–

    Try to be less uptight and reactionary and do some homework.

    Your previous remarks to me … how was I understand them except as enraged splutterings? Of course, they made no sense.

    The Nicene Creed IS the bare minimum STATEMENT of Christian belief. That’s why it was devised. Short and sweet, but it well defines Christianity. It cleared the air of the pseudo-Christian clutter, which is still used today to determine who is Christian and who is not.

    Of course, the Church from the beginning was a SACRAMENTAL and APOSTOLIC institution and remains so to this day through both Catholic and Orthodox church. But otherwise, Protestantism has NO Eucharist (the most important sacrament) and is incapable of having a Eucharist because it is non-apostolic (someone truly authorized to administer the Eucharist). That would include Lutherans and Anglicans who have no proper apostolic succession. It was broken during the Reformation and England’s severance from Rome. Is this idea so foreign to you? It’s been discussed for centuries by both sacramental Christians and non-sacramental Christians. How did you miss this? The so-called Lord’s Supper of the typical Protestant church (like Baptists, Presbyterians etc) has symbolic value only, but no Real Presence (hope you know what that means). That’s Protestantism’s huge disadvantage and its lack of apostolic succession is a big vulnerability. Is this idea so far out of your experience? Try questioning your own religious paradigm just a little.

    As i said before, this much can be recognized about Protestantism: some Protestant denominations do adhere to the Nicene Creed, whereas some do not. Those who do can be accepted as Christian; those who do not are questionable and probably heretical. Simple like that. Yes, the Nicene Creed is a very good barometer to test the bare minimum of Christian belief, to test the position of whoever you’re talking to. If I know so-and-so the Baptist or Presbyterian or whatever adheres to the Nicene Creed, I know there’s one small patch of ground we have in common, if nothing else. What you call “value-added” frills is actually the pith and marrow of Christianity, if only you’d look into it. Or has your rage over this made that so impossible for you to do?

  • KH

    fws–

    Try to be less uptight and reactionary and do some homework.

    Your previous remarks to me … how was I understand them except as enraged splutterings? Of course, they made no sense.

    The Nicene Creed IS the bare minimum STATEMENT of Christian belief. That’s why it was devised. Short and sweet, but it well defines Christianity. It cleared the air of the pseudo-Christian clutter, which is still used today to determine who is Christian and who is not.

    Of course, the Church from the beginning was a SACRAMENTAL and APOSTOLIC institution and remains so to this day through both Catholic and Orthodox church. But otherwise, Protestantism has NO Eucharist (the most important sacrament) and is incapable of having a Eucharist because it is non-apostolic (someone truly authorized to administer the Eucharist). That would include Lutherans and Anglicans who have no proper apostolic succession. It was broken during the Reformation and England’s severance from Rome. Is this idea so foreign to you? It’s been discussed for centuries by both sacramental Christians and non-sacramental Christians. How did you miss this? The so-called Lord’s Supper of the typical Protestant church (like Baptists, Presbyterians etc) has symbolic value only, but no Real Presence (hope you know what that means). That’s Protestantism’s huge disadvantage and its lack of apostolic succession is a big vulnerability. Is this idea so far out of your experience? Try questioning your own religious paradigm just a little.

    As i said before, this much can be recognized about Protestantism: some Protestant denominations do adhere to the Nicene Creed, whereas some do not. Those who do can be accepted as Christian; those who do not are questionable and probably heretical. Simple like that. Yes, the Nicene Creed is a very good barometer to test the bare minimum of Christian belief, to test the position of whoever you’re talking to. If I know so-and-so the Baptist or Presbyterian or whatever adheres to the Nicene Creed, I know there’s one small patch of ground we have in common, if nothing else. What you call “value-added” frills is actually the pith and marrow of Christianity, if only you’d look into it. Or has your rage over this made that so impossible for you to do?

  • fws

    kh @ 72

    “[your] uptight…reactionary… enraged splutterings… rage..make no sense…”

    followed by….

    “lutherans are incapable of having a eucharist…is this idea so foreign to you?!… how did you miss this… hope you know what that means….try questioning your own religious paradymn just a little (like you do your own I suppose)…[fill in the blank] is a big [theological] vulnerability and disadvantage…. is this so far outside your experience…simple like that…. if only you’d look into it. or has your rage over this made that so impossible for you to do”

    Uh… impressive.
    Yup.

    “how was I to understand your comments [as otherwise].”

    It is called reading comprehension , grammar, and syntax.
    Its not me throwing out emotional words. dude.

    You are representative of the typical posture of orthodoxyism I may assume?

  • fws

    kh @ 72

    “[your] uptight…reactionary… enraged splutterings… rage..make no sense…”

    followed by….

    “lutherans are incapable of having a eucharist…is this idea so foreign to you?!… how did you miss this… hope you know what that means….try questioning your own religious paradymn just a little (like you do your own I suppose)…[fill in the blank] is a big [theological] vulnerability and disadvantage…. is this so far outside your experience…simple like that…. if only you’d look into it. or has your rage over this made that so impossible for you to do”

    Uh… impressive.
    Yup.

    “how was I to understand your comments [as otherwise].”

    It is called reading comprehension , grammar, and syntax.
    Its not me throwing out emotional words. dude.

    You are representative of the typical posture of orthodoxyism I may assume?

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    fws:

    I am satisfied with my Lutheran theological bona fides, having earned an M.Div. from CTS/Ft. Wayne in 1982, taught Systematic Theology for 7 years, and serving as a Lutheran parish pastor for 22.5 years. Along the way, I worked in Mediaeval scholasticism, and earned a Ph.D. in philosophy.

    You?

    Best,

    Fr. Gregory

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    fws:

    I am satisfied with my Lutheran theological bona fides, having earned an M.Div. from CTS/Ft. Wayne in 1982, taught Systematic Theology for 7 years, and serving as a Lutheran parish pastor for 22.5 years. Along the way, I worked in Mediaeval scholasticism, and earned a Ph.D. in philosophy.

    You?

    Best,

    Fr. Gregory

  • SKPeterson

    KH 1 – fws 1.

    KH scored on the Nicene Creed. It, along with the Apostle’s are the closest to a minimum standard that exists. From them we can identify every sort of heresy, past and present.

    Oddly though for KH, neither creed says anything about Apostolic Succession and the validity of the Sacraments. Here, KH loses and fws gets the point. KH appears to hold to a view that the Eucharist is invalidated if there is some disruption in the Apostolic Succession, implying that such status is the validating component, and not the Trinity’s. Who makes the Sacraments valid, God or Man?

  • SKPeterson

    KH 1 – fws 1.

    KH scored on the Nicene Creed. It, along with the Apostle’s are the closest to a minimum standard that exists. From them we can identify every sort of heresy, past and present.

    Oddly though for KH, neither creed says anything about Apostolic Succession and the validity of the Sacraments. Here, KH loses and fws gets the point. KH appears to hold to a view that the Eucharist is invalidated if there is some disruption in the Apostolic Succession, implying that such status is the validating component, and not the Trinity’s. Who makes the Sacraments valid, God or Man?

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Surely, Fr. Hogg, the sacraments you presided over during all that time were not invalid, were they?

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Surely, Fr. Hogg, the sacraments you presided over during all that time were not invalid, were they?

  • LC

    If Protestant sacraments have no validity, then Orthodox ought to just come out and say that all Protestants are damned. It would be cruel to teach otherwise.

    And if Protestant sacraments have no validity, then why don’t Orthodox baptize every Protestant convert to Orthodoxy? If the Protestants have no valid sacraments, then their Protestant baptism didn’t count.

  • LC

    If Protestant sacraments have no validity, then Orthodox ought to just come out and say that all Protestants are damned. It would be cruel to teach otherwise.

    And if Protestant sacraments have no validity, then why don’t Orthodox baptize every Protestant convert to Orthodoxy? If the Protestants have no valid sacraments, then their Protestant baptism didn’t count.

  • fws

    Pastor Hogg @ 74

    I am satisfied with my Lutheran theological bona fides, having earned an M.Div. from CTS/Ft. Wayne in 1982, taught Systematic Theology for 7 years, and serving as a Lutheran parish pastor for 22.5 years. Along the way, I worked in Mediaeval scholasticism, and earned a Ph.D. in philosophy.

    You?

    That is, sincerely, quite impressive Father Hogg. I would be interested in what you think of my analysis of medieval theology and the Apology art II. Is this a point of view that ever crossed your radar? Did you formerly hold to the teaching that the Image of God is Faith alone in Christ and that the total loss of faith is the essence of Original Sin?

    Me?

    I am just an fading old homosexual living in Brasil. One foot towards death and the other resting on a banana peel. My life seems pretty devoid of the goodness that you are able to boast of in just a few elegant words. And no I am not referring to my sex life here when I say “devoid”.
    I wish I qualified to move on from trusting alone in Christ alone for my Righeousness. But I am sorta stuck. Dog eating crumbs from the Master’s table. That sorta thing. I don’t like that. But it is what it is. I try constantly to do better. I am terrified at what I see in all I do, and I want to flee that and have an end to it. I don’t come even distantly close to your righteousness Father Hogg. I mean that in the most sincere way you can image please understand.

    I disagree SKP on the Nicene Creed. It is not me who gets points. The problem is that I don’t have any points at all. And because of this obvious fact, there is not only no need to move on from the Basic in that Creed Who is Christ to what glitters romantically or intellectually in Orthodoxyism. It would be a peril to do so.

    Reading all you Orthodox men scares the crap outta me If your vision is right, there is simply no place in God’s Church for people like me . I am so very happy to be Lutheran.

  • fws

    Pastor Hogg @ 74

    I am satisfied with my Lutheran theological bona fides, having earned an M.Div. from CTS/Ft. Wayne in 1982, taught Systematic Theology for 7 years, and serving as a Lutheran parish pastor for 22.5 years. Along the way, I worked in Mediaeval scholasticism, and earned a Ph.D. in philosophy.

    You?

    That is, sincerely, quite impressive Father Hogg. I would be interested in what you think of my analysis of medieval theology and the Apology art II. Is this a point of view that ever crossed your radar? Did you formerly hold to the teaching that the Image of God is Faith alone in Christ and that the total loss of faith is the essence of Original Sin?

    Me?

    I am just an fading old homosexual living in Brasil. One foot towards death and the other resting on a banana peel. My life seems pretty devoid of the goodness that you are able to boast of in just a few elegant words. And no I am not referring to my sex life here when I say “devoid”.
    I wish I qualified to move on from trusting alone in Christ alone for my Righeousness. But I am sorta stuck. Dog eating crumbs from the Master’s table. That sorta thing. I don’t like that. But it is what it is. I try constantly to do better. I am terrified at what I see in all I do, and I want to flee that and have an end to it. I don’t come even distantly close to your righteousness Father Hogg. I mean that in the most sincere way you can image please understand.

    I disagree SKP on the Nicene Creed. It is not me who gets points. The problem is that I don’t have any points at all. And because of this obvious fact, there is not only no need to move on from the Basic in that Creed Who is Christ to what glitters romantically or intellectually in Orthodoxyism. It would be a peril to do so.

    Reading all you Orthodox men scares the crap outta me If your vision is right, there is simply no place in God’s Church for people like me . I am so very happy to be Lutheran.

  • LC

    Also, how is the Orthodox/Catholic view of the sacraments not Donatism?

  • LC

    Also, how is the Orthodox/Catholic view of the sacraments not Donatism?

  • fws

    LC @ 77

    I think that one of the Orthodoxyism men in a previous post says that they are now “starting” to rebaptize converts from other “christian” sects.

    That would be consistent at least.
    And it is also scary.
    It redefines orthodoxyism as sectarianism on stearoids.

  • fws

    LC @ 77

    I think that one of the Orthodoxyism men in a previous post says that they are now “starting” to rebaptize converts from other “christian” sects.

    That would be consistent at least.
    And it is also scary.
    It redefines orthodoxyism as sectarianism on stearoids.

  • LC

    Right, but I took Fr. Hogg’s statement to mean that they only baptize Protestants who don’t baptize with the Trinitarian invocation. For instance, some whacko United Methodists baptize in the name of “Mother, Daughter, and life-giving womb”. Of course, that is plainly heretical and not according to Christ’s institution, so that would not be a valid baptism.

    But if a Protestant was baptized in the name of the Trinity, then the Orthodox simply chrismate them. Why? Either the Protestant baptism delivers what is promised, or it doesn’t. There are no other options.

  • LC

    Right, but I took Fr. Hogg’s statement to mean that they only baptize Protestants who don’t baptize with the Trinitarian invocation. For instance, some whacko United Methodists baptize in the name of “Mother, Daughter, and life-giving womb”. Of course, that is plainly heretical and not according to Christ’s institution, so that would not be a valid baptism.

    But if a Protestant was baptized in the name of the Trinity, then the Orthodox simply chrismate them. Why? Either the Protestant baptism delivers what is promised, or it doesn’t. There are no other options.

  • fws

    LC @ 81

    From the posts here LC I am not sure they really care about such details. The attitude seems to be “WE are the one true and only church. And there will be no discussion or argument on this point.”

    The problem is not that they make a positive assertion of truth. That part is good. The hubris is in not even feeling the need to present persuasive evidence on a predominantly Lutheran site. Christ and faith? Meh. The Nicene Creed is the “bare minimum”. There is soooo much more! And that “more” is SOOOO much more important and compelling and is why orthodoxyISM is true. Why is it true? Because we say it is. No we are not talking about that basic Nicene Creed stuff. We are talking about something vastly more important than anything there. We are talking about who has Authority. And it is not you! nah-na-na-na-nah!

    Then we are treated to an example of how righeously rigorous they. They not only bulldoze (!) a church (!!!), the feel the need to also cremate what is left (just to be REALLY sure they fulfilled all righteousness) , that was “contaminated” by a pastor performing a gay marriage.

    I can visualize the bishop personally calling the local buldozer rental lot, and maybe personally driving the dozer. He would be dressed in a black gown with huge cross and the hat like you see them when they go to Wendy’s for a wendyburger. And the beard. Need the facial hair.

    Then after the buldozing … hmmm. maybe we should burn whats left just to make sure?

    Yeah! That’s it!

    Lets bring the local ortodoxyISM youth group , set a nice fire, and make some smores and chant some orthodoxyISM camp songs! It will be fun!

    This stuff is just too wierd. It serves no one. It is spiritual navel gazing that is useless. There are souls who need Christ. This aint cuttin it. This is the worst form of an ISM I could think of.

    I disagree with SKP that Lutheranism bears alot of resemblance to orthodoxyISM. At least the Romans have the good grace to be full of works of service. They aren’t boasting about buldozing and torching houses of worship. Yikes!

  • fws

    LC @ 81

    From the posts here LC I am not sure they really care about such details. The attitude seems to be “WE are the one true and only church. And there will be no discussion or argument on this point.”

    The problem is not that they make a positive assertion of truth. That part is good. The hubris is in not even feeling the need to present persuasive evidence on a predominantly Lutheran site. Christ and faith? Meh. The Nicene Creed is the “bare minimum”. There is soooo much more! And that “more” is SOOOO much more important and compelling and is why orthodoxyISM is true. Why is it true? Because we say it is. No we are not talking about that basic Nicene Creed stuff. We are talking about something vastly more important than anything there. We are talking about who has Authority. And it is not you! nah-na-na-na-nah!

    Then we are treated to an example of how righeously rigorous they. They not only bulldoze (!) a church (!!!), the feel the need to also cremate what is left (just to be REALLY sure they fulfilled all righteousness) , that was “contaminated” by a pastor performing a gay marriage.

    I can visualize the bishop personally calling the local buldozer rental lot, and maybe personally driving the dozer. He would be dressed in a black gown with huge cross and the hat like you see them when they go to Wendy’s for a wendyburger. And the beard. Need the facial hair.

    Then after the buldozing … hmmm. maybe we should burn whats left just to make sure?

    Yeah! That’s it!

    Lets bring the local ortodoxyISM youth group , set a nice fire, and make some smores and chant some orthodoxyISM camp songs! It will be fun!

    This stuff is just too wierd. It serves no one. It is spiritual navel gazing that is useless. There are souls who need Christ. This aint cuttin it. This is the worst form of an ISM I could think of.

    I disagree with SKP that Lutheranism bears alot of resemblance to orthodoxyISM. At least the Romans have the good grace to be full of works of service. They aren’t boasting about buldozing and torching houses of worship. Yikes!

  • Tom Hering

    Frank, I think we have another pyramids story here. Sort of. Seems the church, the Chapel of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God in the city of Nizhny Novgorod, was scheduled to be demolished anyways – to make way for a new structure.

    A spokesman for the Nizhny Novgorod Patriarchate told the London paper, “The chapel was dismantled because it is no longer needed.” But, he admitted, according to the Telegraph, the “marriage” may have “sped up the process.”

    http://www.wnd.com/2003/10/21199/

  • Tom Hering

    Frank, I think we have another pyramids story here. Sort of. Seems the church, the Chapel of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God in the city of Nizhny Novgorod, was scheduled to be demolished anyways – to make way for a new structure.

    A spokesman for the Nizhny Novgorod Patriarchate told the London paper, “The chapel was dismantled because it is no longer needed.” But, he admitted, according to the Telegraph, the “marriage” may have “sped up the process.”

    http://www.wnd.com/2003/10/21199/

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    fws @78,

    I gave my Lutheran bona fides because you wrote, “I would be willing to bet big dollars fr Hogg that this is not something you believed when you were Lutheran even as you do not believe it now.

    You left Lutheranism thinking that you knew what it was.
    I suspect , from reading you here, that was not really the case.”

    So…it was a response to your calling them into question. It’s certainly not boasting of any goodness.

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    fws @78,

    I gave my Lutheran bona fides because you wrote, “I would be willing to bet big dollars fr Hogg that this is not something you believed when you were Lutheran even as you do not believe it now.

    You left Lutheranism thinking that you knew what it was.
    I suspect , from reading you here, that was not really the case.”

    So…it was a response to your calling them into question. It’s certainly not boasting of any goodness.

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    Dr. Veith,

    The ‘valid/invalid’ distinction is not normally a part of Orthodox discussions that I’ve seen. Most Orthodox are content to live with the following 3 statements:

    1. The sects (like Lutheranism) are not Church.
    2. The mysteries (including Baptism)are acts of the Church.
    3. In certain specific cases, we need not baptize those who come to the Church from religious backgrounds which baptize in the name of the Holy Trinity in water. (Such calls are always the Bishop’s to make, not the priest’s.)

    These three statements do not appear to be logically consistent. Oh, well. How was it that Luther referred to reason?

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    Dr. Veith,

    The ‘valid/invalid’ distinction is not normally a part of Orthodox discussions that I’ve seen. Most Orthodox are content to live with the following 3 statements:

    1. The sects (like Lutheranism) are not Church.
    2. The mysteries (including Baptism)are acts of the Church.
    3. In certain specific cases, we need not baptize those who come to the Church from religious backgrounds which baptize in the name of the Holy Trinity in water. (Such calls are always the Bishop’s to make, not the priest’s.)

    These three statements do not appear to be logically consistent. Oh, well. How was it that Luther referred to reason?

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    LC, you wrote: “If Protestant sacraments have no validity, then Orthodox ought to just come out and say that all Protestants are damned. It would be cruel to teach otherwise.”

    As I mentioned to Dr V, we don’t tend to operate with the valid/invalid distinction so prominent in the west. Furthermore, if Orthodox refuse to judge any individual, how much more will we refuse to judge an entire group of people? We judge bodies and teachings. Not people.

    It doesn’t seem fair to call us cruel because we don’t use the same categories as you do. Use them if you like. Not me, thanks.

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    LC, you wrote: “If Protestant sacraments have no validity, then Orthodox ought to just come out and say that all Protestants are damned. It would be cruel to teach otherwise.”

    As I mentioned to Dr V, we don’t tend to operate with the valid/invalid distinction so prominent in the west. Furthermore, if Orthodox refuse to judge any individual, how much more will we refuse to judge an entire group of people? We judge bodies and teachings. Not people.

    It doesn’t seem fair to call us cruel because we don’t use the same categories as you do. Use them if you like. Not me, thanks.

  • LC

    I used to be Baptist before I became Lutheran. So a lot of conversations with my Baptist friends center around the differences in our beliefs about the sacraments. It would be wrong and even cruel of me to tell them what they believe about those things is OK. So I tell them that they’re wrong and I don’t mince words. That’s all I meant.

    It seems that I can never get a straight answer on any doctrinal question out of any Orthodox, beyond that they are the Church. This thread seems to be no different. ::shrug::

  • LC

    I used to be Baptist before I became Lutheran. So a lot of conversations with my Baptist friends center around the differences in our beliefs about the sacraments. It would be wrong and even cruel of me to tell them what they believe about those things is OK. So I tell them that they’re wrong and I don’t mince words. That’s all I meant.

    It seems that I can never get a straight answer on any doctrinal question out of any Orthodox, beyond that they are the Church. This thread seems to be no different. ::shrug::

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    LC:

    I never said that what Lutherans believe is ok. I said I don’t judge people.

    Don’t you think that if Rome and the Orthodox appear to you to be Donatist–remember, now, we and Rome are the guys that rejected Donatism–that maybe you don’t know what Donatism is?

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    LC:

    I never said that what Lutherans believe is ok. I said I don’t judge people.

    Don’t you think that if Rome and the Orthodox appear to you to be Donatist–remember, now, we and Rome are the guys that rejected Donatism–that maybe you don’t know what Donatism is?

  • Tom Hering

    In certain specific cases, we need not baptize those who come to the Church from religious backgrounds which baptize in the name of the Holy Trinity in water.

    But what if a man has the kavorka – the lure of the animal? Does this mean his baptism wasn’t done right, and must be done over? And do you offer any kind of an express conversion? I ask because Orthodoxy appeals to me. I think it’s the hats. Your hats convey that solemn religious look I want in a faith. Very pious. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    In certain specific cases, we need not baptize those who come to the Church from religious backgrounds which baptize in the name of the Holy Trinity in water.

    But what if a man has the kavorka – the lure of the animal? Does this mean his baptism wasn’t done right, and must be done over? And do you offer any kind of an express conversion? I ask because Orthodoxy appeals to me. I think it’s the hats. Your hats convey that solemn religious look I want in a faith. Very pious. :-D

  • LC

    That’s certainly a possibility. Go ahead and explain, then.

  • LC

    That’s certainly a possibility. Go ahead and explain, then.

  • fws

    tom @ 89

    Yeah. I get that Tom. I dig those hats too.

    And I respect that those who practice orthodoxyISM have the courage to be seen at wendy’s ordering their wendy triple burger dressed like that, acting like there is absolutely nothing about them that should call attention to them.

    It reminds me of the way the Village People used to dress to do their disco routine.

  • fws

    tom @ 89

    Yeah. I get that Tom. I dig those hats too.

    And I respect that those who practice orthodoxyISM have the courage to be seen at wendy’s ordering their wendy triple burger dressed like that, acting like there is absolutely nothing about them that should call attention to them.

    It reminds me of the way the Village People used to dress to do their disco routine.

  • KH

    The protestants do seem to be very stuck in interpreting things in a rigid either-or position and usually take the worst-case scenario interpretations. Wonder why that is. I agree with Fr. Hogg in his statement: “we don’t tend to operate with the valid/invalid distinction so prominent in the west. Furthermore, if Orthodox refuse to judge any individual, how much more will we refuse to judge an entire group of people? We judge bodies and teachings. Not people.” That’s why I tried to discuss where Orthodoxy and Catholicism can meet the Protestant on one level–the Nicene Creed. But it all went right over the heads of fws and LC because they were so very busy gnashing their teeth.

    Neither fws or LC really read my posts. Or understood anything in the least. And it’s obvious they don’t understand sacramental theology. What a pity–they miss out on so much. Maybe they should start with reading John chapter 6 and meditate on that. Instead, they just got ugly, juvenile and hateful and they think that kind of irrationality makes an argument. So no point at all to respond further to these two who have “issues” of another sort.

    As for the Orthodox parish church that was demolished because of the desecrating gay marriage performed in it, the fact of its desecration was reported as the reason for its demolishing by an Orthodox magazine. I trust their story more than the secular media, nearly all of which–globally– has a definite bias towards the gay agenda. The media regularly spins such stories quite differently to avoid offending the gay movement. (Their concern for accuracy is based on dollars and cents they might lose by reporting the truth). So they would certainly minimize the issue of desecration.

    Gay marriage is a outright desecration of the sacrament of marriage, and by extension, it is an indirect attack on the existence of the Church and its teachings. It is a heinous lie, a delusion subverting or being politically forced upon the churches whether they like it or not. Both the Old and New Testaments are unequivocal in condemning homosexuality, but somehow these teachings have been forgotten and this corruption has crept into many churches of all denominations and has ruined many. What next? How much lower and bestial can this culture go before God says “Enough!”?

    Just today i heard on a Protestant radio network how evangelical military chaplains are being forced to perform gay marriages at military chapels–or they can expect to tender their resignations if they refuse. One Protestant chaplain said he had objected to performing a gay marriage because it would desecrate the chapel. So even Protestants have a residual notion of the sacred and sacred space, and certainly most conservatives ones know what’s decent in performing the sacrament of marriage. So where does fws and LC get off with their righteous indignation about what happened to a Orthodox parish church where an actual desecration had occurred? An Orthodox temple is a SACRED SPACE (do you two understand that concept) and when it’s defiled, it must be cleansed thoroughly. The Russians handled it correctly. No apologies necessary.

  • KH

    The protestants do seem to be very stuck in interpreting things in a rigid either-or position and usually take the worst-case scenario interpretations. Wonder why that is. I agree with Fr. Hogg in his statement: “we don’t tend to operate with the valid/invalid distinction so prominent in the west. Furthermore, if Orthodox refuse to judge any individual, how much more will we refuse to judge an entire group of people? We judge bodies and teachings. Not people.” That’s why I tried to discuss where Orthodoxy and Catholicism can meet the Protestant on one level–the Nicene Creed. But it all went right over the heads of fws and LC because they were so very busy gnashing their teeth.

    Neither fws or LC really read my posts. Or understood anything in the least. And it’s obvious they don’t understand sacramental theology. What a pity–they miss out on so much. Maybe they should start with reading John chapter 6 and meditate on that. Instead, they just got ugly, juvenile and hateful and they think that kind of irrationality makes an argument. So no point at all to respond further to these two who have “issues” of another sort.

    As for the Orthodox parish church that was demolished because of the desecrating gay marriage performed in it, the fact of its desecration was reported as the reason for its demolishing by an Orthodox magazine. I trust their story more than the secular media, nearly all of which–globally– has a definite bias towards the gay agenda. The media regularly spins such stories quite differently to avoid offending the gay movement. (Their concern for accuracy is based on dollars and cents they might lose by reporting the truth). So they would certainly minimize the issue of desecration.

    Gay marriage is a outright desecration of the sacrament of marriage, and by extension, it is an indirect attack on the existence of the Church and its teachings. It is a heinous lie, a delusion subverting or being politically forced upon the churches whether they like it or not. Both the Old and New Testaments are unequivocal in condemning homosexuality, but somehow these teachings have been forgotten and this corruption has crept into many churches of all denominations and has ruined many. What next? How much lower and bestial can this culture go before God says “Enough!”?

    Just today i heard on a Protestant radio network how evangelical military chaplains are being forced to perform gay marriages at military chapels–or they can expect to tender their resignations if they refuse. One Protestant chaplain said he had objected to performing a gay marriage because it would desecrate the chapel. So even Protestants have a residual notion of the sacred and sacred space, and certainly most conservatives ones know what’s decent in performing the sacrament of marriage. So where does fws and LC get off with their righteous indignation about what happened to a Orthodox parish church where an actual desecration had occurred? An Orthodox temple is a SACRED SPACE (do you two understand that concept) and when it’s defiled, it must be cleansed thoroughly. The Russians handled it correctly. No apologies necessary.

  • LC

    “But it all went right over the heads of fws and LC because they were so very busy gnashing their teeth.”

    Sorry, where did I gnash my teeth? I’m only asking questions because I’m trying to understand. My apologies if I came off angry, because I’m not.

    “Neither fws or LC really read my posts.”

    Well, I’m sorry that I’ve misunderstood you.

    “So where does fws and LC get off with their righteous indignation about what happened to a Orthodox parish church where an actual desecration had occurred?”

    I never spoke about this issue.

    Anyway, KH, the only reason I’m asking questions is, quite frankly, I’ve been wrong before. I used to be a Baptist, for heaven’s sake. Used to deny the Real Presence. I’m only beginning to understand the gravity of that sin. I’m terrified that I may hold other doctrinal falsehoods. So, I’m only trying to learn a bit more about where others are coming from. Peace.

  • LC

    “But it all went right over the heads of fws and LC because they were so very busy gnashing their teeth.”

    Sorry, where did I gnash my teeth? I’m only asking questions because I’m trying to understand. My apologies if I came off angry, because I’m not.

    “Neither fws or LC really read my posts.”

    Well, I’m sorry that I’ve misunderstood you.

    “So where does fws and LC get off with their righteous indignation about what happened to a Orthodox parish church where an actual desecration had occurred?”

    I never spoke about this issue.

    Anyway, KH, the only reason I’m asking questions is, quite frankly, I’ve been wrong before. I used to be a Baptist, for heaven’s sake. Used to deny the Real Presence. I’m only beginning to understand the gravity of that sin. I’m terrified that I may hold other doctrinal falsehoods. So, I’m only trying to learn a bit more about where others are coming from. Peace.

  • BW

    Well, a baptism is either valid or invalid. It either is or it isn’t. I get the idea of mystery in the sacraments, but clearly there are boundaries in Orthodox theology. If Lutherans don’t have the sacraments, how can the baptisms be valid? Maybe the Orthodox can say they don’t know if the Lutherans have valid sacraments or not, and so don’t rebaptize them but leave it up to the mercy of God?

  • BW

    Well, a baptism is either valid or invalid. It either is or it isn’t. I get the idea of mystery in the sacraments, but clearly there are boundaries in Orthodox theology. If Lutherans don’t have the sacraments, how can the baptisms be valid? Maybe the Orthodox can say they don’t know if the Lutherans have valid sacraments or not, and so don’t rebaptize them but leave it up to the mercy of God?

  • LC

    Precisely, BW. KH, that’s where I was coming from.

  • LC

    Precisely, BW. KH, that’s where I was coming from.

  • LC

    KH, maybe you ought to try to understand something from my perspective. When you go around saying that I don’t have valid sacraments, and the Bible clearly teaches that through the sacraments we have forgiveness of sins and salvation, I hear that I don’t have forgiveness of sins and salvation. It really is that simple. Of course, that’s terrifying. So that’s why I ask questions.

  • LC

    KH, maybe you ought to try to understand something from my perspective. When you go around saying that I don’t have valid sacraments, and the Bible clearly teaches that through the sacraments we have forgiveness of sins and salvation, I hear that I don’t have forgiveness of sins and salvation. It really is that simple. Of course, that’s terrifying. So that’s why I ask questions.

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    LC, when you say, “Go ahead, then,” I assume you’re inviting me to explain how the Orthodox Church is not Donatist. Is that right?

    According to Jaroslav Pelikan, “…the central doctrinal question was: What is the causal connection between grace and perfection, or between the unity of the church and the holiness of the church?” The Donatists held that clergy who had betrayed the church under persecution should be removed, and that “he moral pollution of the church’s bishops by the mortal sin of apostasy invalidated the ordinations they performed, canceled the efficacy of the baptism administered by their clergy, deprived the church of its requisite holiness, and thereby brought on the fall of the church.” (Christian Tradition 1.309)

    We do not believe that the mysteries are rendered null and void by the personal sinfulness of the celebrant. “Thank God!” says my parish. :-) Hence, we are not Donatists.

    We do believe that (1) the mysteries are acts of the Church, and that (2) Lutheranism (for example) is not Church, but also, (3) at the bishop’s discretion, do not require Lutherans who come to the Church to be baptized. As I mentioned earlier, these three things are logically inconsistent. But they are warranted, for now.

    Orthodoxy teaches a man to think historically and contextually. A Protestant coming to the Church is not so much a man turning from paganism to the Church, as he is a man turning from an inadequate and partial grasp of the faith to a complete one. That is why, very often in current practice, we do not require baptism.

    But the day is coming, and quickly at that, when most Protestant bodies are lapsing into paganism and the complete denial of the Holy Trinity. (Such, I would argue, is an inevitable result of the filioque–but that’s another story for another time.) Hence, going forward I am confident that more and more, we will simply baptize those who come from Protestant bodies.

    I hope this is helpful. I mean no offense.

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    LC, when you say, “Go ahead, then,” I assume you’re inviting me to explain how the Orthodox Church is not Donatist. Is that right?

    According to Jaroslav Pelikan, “…the central doctrinal question was: What is the causal connection between grace and perfection, or between the unity of the church and the holiness of the church?” The Donatists held that clergy who had betrayed the church under persecution should be removed, and that “he moral pollution of the church’s bishops by the mortal sin of apostasy invalidated the ordinations they performed, canceled the efficacy of the baptism administered by their clergy, deprived the church of its requisite holiness, and thereby brought on the fall of the church.” (Christian Tradition 1.309)

    We do not believe that the mysteries are rendered null and void by the personal sinfulness of the celebrant. “Thank God!” says my parish. :-) Hence, we are not Donatists.

    We do believe that (1) the mysteries are acts of the Church, and that (2) Lutheranism (for example) is not Church, but also, (3) at the bishop’s discretion, do not require Lutherans who come to the Church to be baptized. As I mentioned earlier, these three things are logically inconsistent. But they are warranted, for now.

    Orthodoxy teaches a man to think historically and contextually. A Protestant coming to the Church is not so much a man turning from paganism to the Church, as he is a man turning from an inadequate and partial grasp of the faith to a complete one. That is why, very often in current practice, we do not require baptism.

    But the day is coming, and quickly at that, when most Protestant bodies are lapsing into paganism and the complete denial of the Holy Trinity. (Such, I would argue, is an inevitable result of the filioque–but that’s another story for another time.) Hence, going forward I am confident that more and more, we will simply baptize those who come from Protestant bodies.

    I hope this is helpful. I mean no offense.

  • Tom Hering

    As for the Orthodox parish church that was demolished because of the desecrating gay marriage performed in it, the fact of its desecration was reported as the reason for its demolishing by an Orthodox magazine. I trust their story more than the secular media, nearly all of which–globally– has a definite bias towards the gay agenda. The media regularly spins such stories quite differently to avoid offending the gay movement. (Their concern for accuracy is based on dollars and cents they might lose by reporting the truth). So they would certainly minimize the issue of desecration.

    I would think a pro-gay secular media would play up the desecration angle, in order to make the anti-gay Orthodox look bad in the eyes of a pro-gay secular readership. Isn’t that the motive you believe the media has?

  • Tom Hering

    As for the Orthodox parish church that was demolished because of the desecrating gay marriage performed in it, the fact of its desecration was reported as the reason for its demolishing by an Orthodox magazine. I trust their story more than the secular media, nearly all of which–globally– has a definite bias towards the gay agenda. The media regularly spins such stories quite differently to avoid offending the gay movement. (Their concern for accuracy is based on dollars and cents they might lose by reporting the truth). So they would certainly minimize the issue of desecration.

    I would think a pro-gay secular media would play up the desecration angle, in order to make the anti-gay Orthodox look bad in the eyes of a pro-gay secular readership. Isn’t that the motive you believe the media has?

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    Mr. Hering–you aren’t, by any chance, of a crimson hue?
    :-)

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    Mr. Hering–you aren’t, by any chance, of a crimson hue?
    :-)

  • Tom Hering

    Mr. Hering–you aren’t, by any chance, of a crimson hue?

    Judge for yourself when I appear at the foot of your bed. Around midnight. Tonight. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    Mr. Hering–you aren’t, by any chance, of a crimson hue?

    Judge for yourself when I appear at the foot of your bed. Around midnight. Tonight. :-D

  • LC

    Thanks, Fr. Hogg. That was helpful. Peace to you.

  • LC

    Thanks, Fr. Hogg. That was helpful. Peace to you.

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    LC,

    I can understand the existential terror you might feel.

    As I examined the Orthodox faith, for years, I held on to that passage from St. Paul: “Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.” (Phi 3:15-16 NAS)

    I prayed, “Lord, if I am not in the Church now, please make it plain to me.” And he did. After the 9/11 Yankee Stadium service, I tried to get our circuit to talk about it. It was divided. So I kept saying, “Brethren, we’re church–we need be of one mind.” I am forever indebted to the brother pastor who said, “That’s your problem, Robb. You think the Missouri Synod is church. We’re not church. We’re a corporation!” It hit me in the gut. But I went to the next synodical convention as a delegate. Within 30 minutes it was clear to me. That brother pastor was right. My prayer quickly changed to, “Help me get out of here and to the Church!”

    I would not tell any Lutheran that he must come to the Church. To do so is not an easy task. But I would tell him that, if he wants to stay a Lutheran, let him be a Lutheran in deed and not simply in name. I tried. I fought against abuses like plastic shot-glass communion, and lay absolution. I was a doctrinal reviewer for the newest hymnal. When I reviewed the order of baptism, I rejected it because, I said, it omitted the exorcism found in Luther’s rite (which was a central line of demarcation between the Lutherans and the Reformed). My review was overturned on appeal because, it was said, “Luther’s baptismal rite has *no normative significance* for the Lutheran rite of baptism.”

    So–if you want to be Lutheran, go for it. Go all the way. I have a great deal of respect for such men and women.

    Forgive me, Dr. Veith, for getting so personal on this topic. I truly don’t seek to convert anyone; just to explain how it is I got where I am today. And thank you for the forum.

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    LC,

    I can understand the existential terror you might feel.

    As I examined the Orthodox faith, for years, I held on to that passage from St. Paul: “Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.” (Phi 3:15-16 NAS)

    I prayed, “Lord, if I am not in the Church now, please make it plain to me.” And he did. After the 9/11 Yankee Stadium service, I tried to get our circuit to talk about it. It was divided. So I kept saying, “Brethren, we’re church–we need be of one mind.” I am forever indebted to the brother pastor who said, “That’s your problem, Robb. You think the Missouri Synod is church. We’re not church. We’re a corporation!” It hit me in the gut. But I went to the next synodical convention as a delegate. Within 30 minutes it was clear to me. That brother pastor was right. My prayer quickly changed to, “Help me get out of here and to the Church!”

    I would not tell any Lutheran that he must come to the Church. To do so is not an easy task. But I would tell him that, if he wants to stay a Lutheran, let him be a Lutheran in deed and not simply in name. I tried. I fought against abuses like plastic shot-glass communion, and lay absolution. I was a doctrinal reviewer for the newest hymnal. When I reviewed the order of baptism, I rejected it because, I said, it omitted the exorcism found in Luther’s rite (which was a central line of demarcation between the Lutherans and the Reformed). My review was overturned on appeal because, it was said, “Luther’s baptismal rite has *no normative significance* for the Lutheran rite of baptism.”

    So–if you want to be Lutheran, go for it. Go all the way. I have a great deal of respect for such men and women.

    Forgive me, Dr. Veith, for getting so personal on this topic. I truly don’t seek to convert anyone; just to explain how it is I got where I am today. And thank you for the forum.

  • Tom Hering

    Fr. Hogg, your brother pastor was quite right that the Missouri Synod – any synod, for that matter – isn’t Church. I wonder if you understood what he meant, apart from the “corporation” slam?

  • Tom Hering

    Fr. Hogg, your brother pastor was quite right that the Missouri Synod – any synod, for that matter – isn’t Church. I wonder if you understood what he meant, apart from the “corporation” slam?

  • SKPeterson

    Fr. Hogg @ 102 and tom @ 103 – Neither the LCMS nor any of the branches of Orthodoxy or Rome or the Anglicans are the “Church”. They are communions within The Church.

    From other forums it has been alleged that Fr. Hogg’s differences originally grew out of dissatisfaction with the lack of ecclesial superstructure. His adherence to Orthodox theology flows from his desire to adhere to an hierarchy. It’s why some Lutherans go to Rome, as well. But, those hierarchies are no sure defense against error. In fact, they can work to further and advance error; that has been the Lutheran contention over and against Rome for the last 500 years. The Romans have bent over backwards to deny this to such an extent that they have become semi-Pelagian in direct contravention of their own condemnations of Pelagius.

    I came out of the LCA, which came out of the Augustana Synod, which was the American expression of the Church of Sweden. The Church of Sweden has the apostolic succession – the Pope doesn’t get to decide who has it or who doesn’t. Neither does the Metropolitan of Constantinople. Yet, one has to only examine the course of the Church of Sweden over the last 40 or 50 years to see that apostolic succession doesn’t mean squat in relation to the preservation and promulgation of orthodox theology, doctrinal purity or transmission of the true faith. The Church of Sweden has, to its damnable disgrace, turned the notion of Apostolic Succession on its ear and is using it to advance doctrines and practices antithetical to the historic faith of not just Lutheranism, but all of Christianity, East, West and In Between.

    In short, slavish devotion to Apostolic Succession is an inadequate defense against heterodoxy, and simply saying over and over ad nauseum that “We are in (doctrinal/sacramental) continuity with the Church of the Apostles” is wholly lacking in any convincing manner. It is so, because people like Fr. Hogg wish it to be so, not because it is so. Orthodoxy is rife with the same sinful stuff as the rest of us beggars, and it even occupies the thrones of the Metropolitans. Those who hold up the notion of Apostolic Succession as the sign of a valid Church are perilously close to a blind and willful idolatry.

  • SKPeterson

    Fr. Hogg @ 102 and tom @ 103 – Neither the LCMS nor any of the branches of Orthodoxy or Rome or the Anglicans are the “Church”. They are communions within The Church.

    From other forums it has been alleged that Fr. Hogg’s differences originally grew out of dissatisfaction with the lack of ecclesial superstructure. His adherence to Orthodox theology flows from his desire to adhere to an hierarchy. It’s why some Lutherans go to Rome, as well. But, those hierarchies are no sure defense against error. In fact, they can work to further and advance error; that has been the Lutheran contention over and against Rome for the last 500 years. The Romans have bent over backwards to deny this to such an extent that they have become semi-Pelagian in direct contravention of their own condemnations of Pelagius.

    I came out of the LCA, which came out of the Augustana Synod, which was the American expression of the Church of Sweden. The Church of Sweden has the apostolic succession – the Pope doesn’t get to decide who has it or who doesn’t. Neither does the Metropolitan of Constantinople. Yet, one has to only examine the course of the Church of Sweden over the last 40 or 50 years to see that apostolic succession doesn’t mean squat in relation to the preservation and promulgation of orthodox theology, doctrinal purity or transmission of the true faith. The Church of Sweden has, to its damnable disgrace, turned the notion of Apostolic Succession on its ear and is using it to advance doctrines and practices antithetical to the historic faith of not just Lutheranism, but all of Christianity, East, West and In Between.

    In short, slavish devotion to Apostolic Succession is an inadequate defense against heterodoxy, and simply saying over and over ad nauseum that “We are in (doctrinal/sacramental) continuity with the Church of the Apostles” is wholly lacking in any convincing manner. It is so, because people like Fr. Hogg wish it to be so, not because it is so. Orthodoxy is rife with the same sinful stuff as the rest of us beggars, and it even occupies the thrones of the Metropolitans. Those who hold up the notion of Apostolic Succession as the sign of a valid Church are perilously close to a blind and willful idolatry.

  • reg

    I have some questions for our Orthodox brethren:
    1. Where in the Bible do you believe there is any support for the claim of “apostolic succession” you and Rome make? And does the intervening corruption of a bishop break that claim of succession ?;
    2. Where is the Bible do you find any basis for a New Testament Church (i.e., the physical building) to be deemed sacred ground which can be desacrated? This smacks of idolatry to my Baptist ears. It seems one step removed from “do not eat and do not touch” and have the “appearance of godliness”, but nothing more.
    3. How can you like Rome call your pastors “father” when Jesus specifically instructs Christian’s not to do so? Matthew 23:9. If we only have one mediator, Christ Jesus, per Scripture, where does the notion of a human mediator, a priest, find a basis in Scripture?
    If the answer to these questions is that it comes from “tradition” and “church doctrine” then pray tell, does that mean that these trump clear scriptural command?

  • reg

    I have some questions for our Orthodox brethren:
    1. Where in the Bible do you believe there is any support for the claim of “apostolic succession” you and Rome make? And does the intervening corruption of a bishop break that claim of succession ?;
    2. Where is the Bible do you find any basis for a New Testament Church (i.e., the physical building) to be deemed sacred ground which can be desacrated? This smacks of idolatry to my Baptist ears. It seems one step removed from “do not eat and do not touch” and have the “appearance of godliness”, but nothing more.
    3. How can you like Rome call your pastors “father” when Jesus specifically instructs Christian’s not to do so? Matthew 23:9. If we only have one mediator, Christ Jesus, per Scripture, where does the notion of a human mediator, a priest, find a basis in Scripture?
    If the answer to these questions is that it comes from “tradition” and “church doctrine” then pray tell, does that mean that these trump clear scriptural command?

  • Joanne

    Jesus, your mother and your brothers are outside asking for you. Who are my mother and my brothers, but those of you who hear my word and keep it. Who did Jesus admonish, Mary or Martha. Martha was busy doing her duty as the hostess; Mary sat at Jesus feet listening to every word. She who listens to my word is she who is approved by me.

    Does the authority go with the person or the Word. Are the successors of the Apostles those that hear and keep their word, or those with an earthly connection to them. I laid my hands on you but you do not follow my word. Didn’t all the heretical eastern bishops at the several councils, all have apostolic succession? What good did it do them with the wrong word, the wrong teaching.

    When did apostolic succession ever keep false teaching from ravaging the church. It’s a lovely tradition and symbol, but has no authority from the Word and has no effect on keeping the word pure. With the wave of a hand you demolished all the apostolic succession of the Bishops among the Anglicans, as you no doubt would the Lutherans in Scandinavia. And yet they all claim the same physical reality you do as regards the laying on of hands.

    And, if England lost its apostolic “authority” when it broke with Rome, according to your thinking, wouldn’t Rome have lost it’s apostolic authority when it broke from the ‘real’ church in the East 500 years earlier. Have you told the Pope, is he shivering in extential terror over it as he sits on the bodies of Peter and Paul.

    Or was it the East that lost it’s apostolic authority when it broke with Rome? I get all that Eastern discord jumbled like a plate of spahgetti.

    Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. I and my Word are the authority of the church on earth. Whereever I am and my Word, there is the authority. The German Lutherans in Luther.s lifetime did have the opportunity to ordain and install bishops at Merseburg, at Naumberg, at Meissen, etc. They did and then they didn’t. In searching God’s word they couldn’t find that the role of the overseer was one of organizational power, but of a more senior pastor to junior pastor role.

    It is our role to find the truest physical church on earth, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Why he lead you to the fake unity of Eastern Orthodoxy, instead of to the WELS, which does believe in corporation as church, only the Spirit knows. But there is no more unity in the East that anywhere else in the church. Satan is picking your church apart as surely as he is attaking our church everyday.

    Without state support, the church in Russia would be nothing but a heap of ruins. The Russian church is making the Russian government pay for and rebuild every church property that communism damaged. That day will pass. Whereever there is no political/government support for Eastern Orthodoxy, there is simply a jumble of churches just like in Syria and American.

    But we all believe the same thing. You don’t believe anything, Orthodoxy is a church of doing, not thinking. You know more of what you don’t know (apophatic) than what you are will to say you know. “Oh we don’t really know who is really in the church and really saved; only God knows.

    And the politics in Orthodoxy is brutal. What’s happening now among the OCA happened back among the Greeks when Archbishop Iakovos died. The New Yorkers hated his replacement and agitated till they drove him out. And I know many who hated Iakovos, but would never tell me why. A visceral hatred unlike anything I’d seen amoung us.

    Without a Tsar or an Imperor, Orthodoxy falls apart into warring political factions.

    Oh, and while I’m allowing myself this delicious rant, Orthodoxy is the source of both monasticism and Maryolotry. Things again with no basis in the authority of Jesus and his word. “into all the world, baptising and teaching them all that I have taught you.” The church which most closely follows Christ teaching and teaches it is the most authorized church, because of that word.

    Who is my mother and and who are my brothers?

  • Joanne

    Jesus, your mother and your brothers are outside asking for you. Who are my mother and my brothers, but those of you who hear my word and keep it. Who did Jesus admonish, Mary or Martha. Martha was busy doing her duty as the hostess; Mary sat at Jesus feet listening to every word. She who listens to my word is she who is approved by me.

    Does the authority go with the person or the Word. Are the successors of the Apostles those that hear and keep their word, or those with an earthly connection to them. I laid my hands on you but you do not follow my word. Didn’t all the heretical eastern bishops at the several councils, all have apostolic succession? What good did it do them with the wrong word, the wrong teaching.

    When did apostolic succession ever keep false teaching from ravaging the church. It’s a lovely tradition and symbol, but has no authority from the Word and has no effect on keeping the word pure. With the wave of a hand you demolished all the apostolic succession of the Bishops among the Anglicans, as you no doubt would the Lutherans in Scandinavia. And yet they all claim the same physical reality you do as regards the laying on of hands.

    And, if England lost its apostolic “authority” when it broke with Rome, according to your thinking, wouldn’t Rome have lost it’s apostolic authority when it broke from the ‘real’ church in the East 500 years earlier. Have you told the Pope, is he shivering in extential terror over it as he sits on the bodies of Peter and Paul.

    Or was it the East that lost it’s apostolic authority when it broke with Rome? I get all that Eastern discord jumbled like a plate of spahgetti.

    Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. I and my Word are the authority of the church on earth. Whereever I am and my Word, there is the authority. The German Lutherans in Luther.s lifetime did have the opportunity to ordain and install bishops at Merseburg, at Naumberg, at Meissen, etc. They did and then they didn’t. In searching God’s word they couldn’t find that the role of the overseer was one of organizational power, but of a more senior pastor to junior pastor role.

    It is our role to find the truest physical church on earth, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Why he lead you to the fake unity of Eastern Orthodoxy, instead of to the WELS, which does believe in corporation as church, only the Spirit knows. But there is no more unity in the East that anywhere else in the church. Satan is picking your church apart as surely as he is attaking our church everyday.

    Without state support, the church in Russia would be nothing but a heap of ruins. The Russian church is making the Russian government pay for and rebuild every church property that communism damaged. That day will pass. Whereever there is no political/government support for Eastern Orthodoxy, there is simply a jumble of churches just like in Syria and American.

    But we all believe the same thing. You don’t believe anything, Orthodoxy is a church of doing, not thinking. You know more of what you don’t know (apophatic) than what you are will to say you know. “Oh we don’t really know who is really in the church and really saved; only God knows.

    And the politics in Orthodoxy is brutal. What’s happening now among the OCA happened back among the Greeks when Archbishop Iakovos died. The New Yorkers hated his replacement and agitated till they drove him out. And I know many who hated Iakovos, but would never tell me why. A visceral hatred unlike anything I’d seen amoung us.

    Without a Tsar or an Imperor, Orthodoxy falls apart into warring political factions.

    Oh, and while I’m allowing myself this delicious rant, Orthodoxy is the source of both monasticism and Maryolotry. Things again with no basis in the authority of Jesus and his word. “into all the world, baptising and teaching them all that I have taught you.” The church which most closely follows Christ teaching and teaches it is the most authorized church, because of that word.

    Who is my mother and and who are my brothers?

  • Fws

    Reg @ 105

    +1

    Hogg @ 99

    Tom has never been a cardinal. The pope knows better than to do that. That’s what you meant right? Just because he likes funny hats doesnt mean he’s sold out to the Antichrist.

  • Fws

    Reg @ 105

    +1

    Hogg @ 99

    Tom has never been a cardinal. The pope knows better than to do that. That’s what you meant right? Just because he likes funny hats doesnt mean he’s sold out to the Antichrist.

  • Fws

    Joanne @ 106

    Girl you are the gift that just keeps on giving.

  • Fws

    Joanne @ 106

    Girl you are the gift that just keeps on giving.

  • Michael

    I can sorta answer some questions.
    1 Corinthians 4 14 I am writing this not to shame you but to warn you as my dear children. 15 Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel
    St. Paul was the spiritual father of the Corinithians and he calls himself such.

    You all call your biological dads “father” and think that doesn’t go against what Jesus said, even though he clearly said call NO MAN father, so obviously you nuance what Jesus said and so does St. Paul and so do Orthodox.

    1 Timothy 3:15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth
    Here St. Paul calls the Church, not the Bible the pillar and foundation of the truth.
    That doesn’t quite answer your question about apostolic succession, but it does answer why we look at the Church for guidance on the faith and not just the Bible.

    St. Irenaeus who knew St. Polycarp who knew St. John the Evangelist wrote in the 2nd century about apostolic succession and that this was the practice of all Christians in the 2nd century. This was how Christians knew where the correct teaching was as opposed to the gnostics who could not claim their teaching to be traced to anyone connected with the apostles. He listed Rome and the Churches in Asia as specific examples for their apostolic succession. No, this isn’t a Bible reference, but if Christianity was so corrupted 3 generations out, none of us have any hope of figuring out how it is supposed to be practiced 50 plus generations removed from the Apostles. You just have to admit to being religious archaeologists who are content with your theory on how Christianity was practiced. You can point to the Bible and think you understand it correctly, but even the gnostics did this.

    St. Irenaeus stated very nicely that the scriptures are like mosaic pebbles and if you don’t know how to arrange them, you can make a fox instead of a king. You can take the same passages and make them say whatever you want, which is why you need apostolic tradition to show you how the pieces are supposed to fit.

    Honestly, it’s a question of authority. For Orthodox, our authority for understanding the apostles are their successors-St. Ignatius of Antioch (who said where the bishop is there is the Church), St. Polycarp, St. Irenaeus.

    For Protestants, their authority for understanding the apostles are people who came 1500-2000 years later, Luther, Calvin, Wesley, Bell, Piper.

    Before you rant that I didn’t use the Bible for everything, just re-read this one more time and try to understand why I didn’t.

  • Michael

    I can sorta answer some questions.
    1 Corinthians 4 14 I am writing this not to shame you but to warn you as my dear children. 15 Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel
    St. Paul was the spiritual father of the Corinithians and he calls himself such.

    You all call your biological dads “father” and think that doesn’t go against what Jesus said, even though he clearly said call NO MAN father, so obviously you nuance what Jesus said and so does St. Paul and so do Orthodox.

    1 Timothy 3:15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth
    Here St. Paul calls the Church, not the Bible the pillar and foundation of the truth.
    That doesn’t quite answer your question about apostolic succession, but it does answer why we look at the Church for guidance on the faith and not just the Bible.

    St. Irenaeus who knew St. Polycarp who knew St. John the Evangelist wrote in the 2nd century about apostolic succession and that this was the practice of all Christians in the 2nd century. This was how Christians knew where the correct teaching was as opposed to the gnostics who could not claim their teaching to be traced to anyone connected with the apostles. He listed Rome and the Churches in Asia as specific examples for their apostolic succession. No, this isn’t a Bible reference, but if Christianity was so corrupted 3 generations out, none of us have any hope of figuring out how it is supposed to be practiced 50 plus generations removed from the Apostles. You just have to admit to being religious archaeologists who are content with your theory on how Christianity was practiced. You can point to the Bible and think you understand it correctly, but even the gnostics did this.

    St. Irenaeus stated very nicely that the scriptures are like mosaic pebbles and if you don’t know how to arrange them, you can make a fox instead of a king. You can take the same passages and make them say whatever you want, which is why you need apostolic tradition to show you how the pieces are supposed to fit.

    Honestly, it’s a question of authority. For Orthodox, our authority for understanding the apostles are their successors-St. Ignatius of Antioch (who said where the bishop is there is the Church), St. Polycarp, St. Irenaeus.

    For Protestants, their authority for understanding the apostles are people who came 1500-2000 years later, Luther, Calvin, Wesley, Bell, Piper.

    Before you rant that I didn’t use the Bible for everything, just re-read this one more time and try to understand why I didn’t.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com John

    You are all going to hell. The only Truly True Church is the Armenian Orthodox Church. Կեցցե Արորդիների սուրբ Էջմիածին!

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com John

    You are all going to hell. The only Truly True Church is the Armenian Orthodox Church. Կեցցե Արորդիների սուրբ Էջմիածին!

  • Michael

    so part of the reason I didn’t use Bible quotations was because I didn’t have them all handy. Part was to explain why apostolic tradition matters anyway.

    Ephesians 4 19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.

    Acts 14 23 Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.

    Tim 2:16
    For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. St. Paul talking to St. Timothy

    1 Tim 4
    Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.

    elder=Presbyteros, presbyter

  • Michael

    so part of the reason I didn’t use Bible quotations was because I didn’t have them all handy. Part was to explain why apostolic tradition matters anyway.

    Ephesians 4 19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.

    Acts 14 23 Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.

    Tim 2:16
    For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. St. Paul talking to St. Timothy

    1 Tim 4
    Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.

    elder=Presbyteros, presbyter

  • SKPeterson

    Michael @ 109 – Your statement “For Protestants, their authority for understanding the apostles are people who came 1500-2000 years later, Luther, Calvin, Wesley, Bell, Piper” is patently false. First off, maybe the Wesleyans follow Wesley expressly, I don’t know; Orthodox are far more Wesleyan than Lutherans, so you tell me. For Lutherans, we don’t “follow” Luther; he’s not the source of authority. Scripture is the source of authority, the norming norm. With that said, Lutherans do not jettison the history of the Church handed down by the Apostles; we didn’t just wake up in 1525, the Lutherans were there in 152, as well. This is all very well laid out in Werner Elert’s “Eucharist and Church Fellowship in the First Four Centuries”. Suffice it to say, it is nowhere near to being as neat and clean as you indicate, which I suspect you know. You made a reference of the connection from John to Polycarp. We could also mention the link from Paul to Clement. But after that it gets pretty murky. Timothy was in Ephesus, Titus in Crete. Then we have Tertullian, Irenaeus, Ambrose, Augustine, Xrysostom, Basil, Athanasius and many others. All of whom contribute to the continuity of the theological stream that is Lutheranism. Our history as a confession is not, and cannot be, separate from the history of the Church.

    Finally, lumping Lutherans in with Bell or Piper is like me saying that Rasputin is the sine qua non of all Orthodox priests – the epitome of what every priest, archimandrite and metropolitan aspires to.

  • SKPeterson

    Michael @ 109 – Your statement “For Protestants, their authority for understanding the apostles are people who came 1500-2000 years later, Luther, Calvin, Wesley, Bell, Piper” is patently false. First off, maybe the Wesleyans follow Wesley expressly, I don’t know; Orthodox are far more Wesleyan than Lutherans, so you tell me. For Lutherans, we don’t “follow” Luther; he’s not the source of authority. Scripture is the source of authority, the norming norm. With that said, Lutherans do not jettison the history of the Church handed down by the Apostles; we didn’t just wake up in 1525, the Lutherans were there in 152, as well. This is all very well laid out in Werner Elert’s “Eucharist and Church Fellowship in the First Four Centuries”. Suffice it to say, it is nowhere near to being as neat and clean as you indicate, which I suspect you know. You made a reference of the connection from John to Polycarp. We could also mention the link from Paul to Clement. But after that it gets pretty murky. Timothy was in Ephesus, Titus in Crete. Then we have Tertullian, Irenaeus, Ambrose, Augustine, Xrysostom, Basil, Athanasius and many others. All of whom contribute to the continuity of the theological stream that is Lutheranism. Our history as a confession is not, and cannot be, separate from the history of the Church.

    Finally, lumping Lutherans in with Bell or Piper is like me saying that Rasputin is the sine qua non of all Orthodox priests – the epitome of what every priest, archimandrite and metropolitan aspires to.

  • Michael

    @SK
    No, I will believe Lutherans follow Luther until you can show me that you believe Sts. Athanasius, Chrysostom, Basil, Augustine etc. were more correct in their theology than Luther was.
    They were all totally fine with monasticism, praying to saints , praying for the dead. Or if they didn’t happen to talk about one of those in particular, they definitely were in communion with those who did and did not break communion with them.
    Athanasius had a different view of the atonement than Luther. Lutherans follow Luther’s views. Even an LC-MS pastor concluded that Athanasius’s view was different from Luther’s after reading On the Incarnation.

    But yes, I agree, Luther should not be in the same category as Bell and Piper.

  • Michael

    @SK
    No, I will believe Lutherans follow Luther until you can show me that you believe Sts. Athanasius, Chrysostom, Basil, Augustine etc. were more correct in their theology than Luther was.
    They were all totally fine with monasticism, praying to saints , praying for the dead. Or if they didn’t happen to talk about one of those in particular, they definitely were in communion with those who did and did not break communion with them.
    Athanasius had a different view of the atonement than Luther. Lutherans follow Luther’s views. Even an LC-MS pastor concluded that Athanasius’s view was different from Luther’s after reading On the Incarnation.

    But yes, I agree, Luther should not be in the same category as Bell and Piper.

  • Michael

    @Sk
    sorry. my original point was to just answer some questions someone asked and then I got polemical with your response.
    you don’t have to respond.
    my usefulness to this thread has probably ended.

  • Michael

    @Sk
    sorry. my original point was to just answer some questions someone asked and then I got polemical with your response.
    you don’t have to respond.
    my usefulness to this thread has probably ended.

  • BW

    Michael,

    Please don’t forget the history of the Lutheran Reformation. Please don’t forget that the Lutherans wanted to continue the discussion with Charles V and the Roman Catholic side and they were told the Roman Confutation was the final response and the Lutherans needed to accept it. The Lutherans tried to present the Apology to the Emperor, but that didn’t go anywhere.

    I only say this because many times I see statements like “Luther went off and formed his own personal church,” which is a gross abuse of history. The Lutheran Reformers were trying to work within the system.

  • BW

    Michael,

    Please don’t forget the history of the Lutheran Reformation. Please don’t forget that the Lutherans wanted to continue the discussion with Charles V and the Roman Catholic side and they were told the Roman Confutation was the final response and the Lutherans needed to accept it. The Lutherans tried to present the Apology to the Emperor, but that didn’t go anywhere.

    I only say this because many times I see statements like “Luther went off and formed his own personal church,” which is a gross abuse of history. The Lutheran Reformers were trying to work within the system.

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    SKPeterson@104, you wrote:

    “Fr. Hogg @ 102 and tom @ 103 – Neither the LCMS nor any of the branches of Orthodoxy or Rome or the Anglicans are the “Church”. They are communions within The Church. ”

    There’s the problem. The Church does not have communion*s*. The Church is a communion. Your theory, of communion*s*, was addressed by Paul in 1 Corinthians 1.

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    SKPeterson@104, you wrote:

    “Fr. Hogg @ 102 and tom @ 103 – Neither the LCMS nor any of the branches of Orthodoxy or Rome or the Anglicans are the “Church”. They are communions within The Church. ”

    There’s the problem. The Church does not have communion*s*. The Church is a communion. Your theory, of communion*s*, was addressed by Paul in 1 Corinthians 1.

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    I like what one priest says about bishops. I’m paraphrasing what I’ve heard. He says that when he was an Anglican, he struggled with the question of whether bishops were of the esse or the bene esse of the church. Having observed them, he says, they are clearly not of the bene esse–so they must be of the esse! :-)

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    I like what one priest says about bishops. I’m paraphrasing what I’ve heard. He says that when he was an Anglican, he struggled with the question of whether bishops were of the esse or the bene esse of the church. Having observed them, he says, they are clearly not of the bene esse–so they must be of the esse! :-)

  • Michael

    My final comment on this thread.
    @BW
    I never said Luther set off to form his own personal church. I just said Protestants look to him for how to understand the scriptures and I’ll explain:
    so you guys say scripture is your norm. But why is Luther out of all post-apostolic theologians past and present the most correct about the scriptures? You guys have some bones to pick with St. Athanasius (like how much he liked monasticism and his views of the atonement) and St. Augustine (venerating relics among other things) and St. Basil (praying for the dead) but none theologically with Luther (except his early stuff which he repudiated, like double predestination, not liking St. James’ epistle).

    It’s really hard for me to think you guys don’t follow Luther, you follow the Bible, when you agree with everything Luther has to say about the Bible, even when he disagrees with the saints listed above and others.

    That’s why I talked about authority. Our authority for understanding the Bible is the apostles and their successors (like Sts. Athanasius, Basil, etc). Not every saint is correct all the time, but where there is convergence, we can have confidence in what they say (for instance, only a handful of saints believe everyone will be saved, so we don’t teach that.) For me (so, I know this is NOT how you see it), you disregard the apostles’ successors if they disagree with you or Luther. So you place yourself (or Luther) in authority for how to understand the Bible.
    I know you see it as “well, they are wrong, the Bible doesn’t say that, the Bible is the authority”

    But I can’t see it that way and I have a hard time understanding how you guys do.

    ok.

  • Michael

    My final comment on this thread.
    @BW
    I never said Luther set off to form his own personal church. I just said Protestants look to him for how to understand the scriptures and I’ll explain:
    so you guys say scripture is your norm. But why is Luther out of all post-apostolic theologians past and present the most correct about the scriptures? You guys have some bones to pick with St. Athanasius (like how much he liked monasticism and his views of the atonement) and St. Augustine (venerating relics among other things) and St. Basil (praying for the dead) but none theologically with Luther (except his early stuff which he repudiated, like double predestination, not liking St. James’ epistle).

    It’s really hard for me to think you guys don’t follow Luther, you follow the Bible, when you agree with everything Luther has to say about the Bible, even when he disagrees with the saints listed above and others.

    That’s why I talked about authority. Our authority for understanding the Bible is the apostles and their successors (like Sts. Athanasius, Basil, etc). Not every saint is correct all the time, but where there is convergence, we can have confidence in what they say (for instance, only a handful of saints believe everyone will be saved, so we don’t teach that.) For me (so, I know this is NOT how you see it), you disregard the apostles’ successors if they disagree with you or Luther. So you place yourself (or Luther) in authority for how to understand the Bible.
    I know you see it as “well, they are wrong, the Bible doesn’t say that, the Bible is the authority”

    But I can’t see it that way and I have a hard time understanding how you guys do.

    ok.

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    Reg (@105), you wrote: “If the answer to these questions is that it comes from “tradition” and “church doctrine” then pray tell, does that mean that these trump clear scriptural command?”

    Well, Reg, you’re a Baptist, so I suppose you say that clear Scripture rejects that Communion is Christ’s body and blood. Lutherans say that clear Scripture teaches it. There are tens of thousands of ecclesial bodies, none of which agree with each other’s teaching, but all of whom claim to base their teachings on the “clear Scriptures.” What’s lost in this thinking is the fact that “clear” is a relational term. A thing x is clear to person y under conditions z. There is no such thing as clear in itself.

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    Reg (@105), you wrote: “If the answer to these questions is that it comes from “tradition” and “church doctrine” then pray tell, does that mean that these trump clear scriptural command?”

    Well, Reg, you’re a Baptist, so I suppose you say that clear Scripture rejects that Communion is Christ’s body and blood. Lutherans say that clear Scripture teaches it. There are tens of thousands of ecclesial bodies, none of which agree with each other’s teaching, but all of whom claim to base their teachings on the “clear Scriptures.” What’s lost in this thinking is the fact that “clear” is a relational term. A thing x is clear to person y under conditions z. There is no such thing as clear in itself.

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    Joanne,

    Just so we’re clear. For the Orthodox, ‘apostolic succession’ means BOTH being in a line of teachers traceable to the apostles AND preserving the faith which was delivered once for all to the saints. No Orthodox makes a claim that the mere succession of teachers, without faithfulness to the teachings, is apostolic succession.

    Rome has the line of teachers, but has changed the teaching. The Protestants have also lost the line of teachers though, at least in the Lutheran case, they sought to claim that they preserved the teachings. Hence the Augustana’s claim that “in doctrine and in ceremonies, we have accepted nothing against Holy Scripture or the Catholic Church” (btw, please note the placement of the “and” and the “or”)–a claim which is manifestly false now, whether or not it was when it was written.

    But at least for me, this thread is nearing the end of its useful life. I wish all my Lutheran friends well insofar as they genuinely seek to live as Lutherans–not in mere lip service, but striving to restore in deed and in truth, that body described in the Lutheran Confessions.

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    Joanne,

    Just so we’re clear. For the Orthodox, ‘apostolic succession’ means BOTH being in a line of teachers traceable to the apostles AND preserving the faith which was delivered once for all to the saints. No Orthodox makes a claim that the mere succession of teachers, without faithfulness to the teachings, is apostolic succession.

    Rome has the line of teachers, but has changed the teaching. The Protestants have also lost the line of teachers though, at least in the Lutheran case, they sought to claim that they preserved the teachings. Hence the Augustana’s claim that “in doctrine and in ceremonies, we have accepted nothing against Holy Scripture or the Catholic Church” (btw, please note the placement of the “and” and the “or”)–a claim which is manifestly false now, whether or not it was when it was written.

    But at least for me, this thread is nearing the end of its useful life. I wish all my Lutheran friends well insofar as they genuinely seek to live as Lutherans–not in mere lip service, but striving to restore in deed and in truth, that body described in the Lutheran Confessions.

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    LC and Dr. Veith–

    I especially appreciated our exchange. Thank you!

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    LC and Dr. Veith–

    I especially appreciated our exchange. Thank you!

  • reg

    @119,so were the early Orthodox correct when they rejected Revelation, but included the Apocrypha as Scripture or was their teaching correct later when they accepted Revelation and had a more attenuated view of the Apocrypha. If so I am tempted to adapt an old legal no-no in cross-examination and ask: Were they wrong before or wrong after? Either way the notion of the Church as ultimate interpreter of scripture becomes problematic.

  • reg

    @119,so were the early Orthodox correct when they rejected Revelation, but included the Apocrypha as Scripture or was their teaching correct later when they accepted Revelation and had a more attenuated view of the Apocrypha. If so I am tempted to adapt an old legal no-no in cross-examination and ask: Were they wrong before or wrong after? Either way the notion of the Church as ultimate interpreter of scripture becomes problematic.

  • http://www.forthelifeoftheworld.com Adam S. N.

    This article was funny.

    Thanks for writing another piece that mischaracterizes both Orthodoxy, and most of its proponents.

    I always get a kick out of the strawmen.

  • http://www.forthelifeoftheworld.com Adam S. N.

    This article was funny.

    Thanks for writing another piece that mischaracterizes both Orthodoxy, and most of its proponents.

    I always get a kick out of the strawmen.

  • Tom Hering

    It’s okay with me if the Orthodox want to see themselves as the Only True Church. It’s really kind of yawn-inducing. (Still diggin’ the hats though.)

  • Tom Hering

    It’s okay with me if the Orthodox want to see themselves as the Only True Church. It’s really kind of yawn-inducing. (Still diggin’ the hats though.)

  • http://thecharitablesteward.wordpress.com David Rockett

    From my study the past two yrs I suspect most Orthodox would humbly & readily admit their Church(es) are far from perfect & have ample share of sin/sinners to deal with…privately w/grace over time…not publically.

    Sadly, I wonder what we’d think if our Orthodox friends all forwarded public Link on FB of every problem/tiff in the blog-rummermill about our Presbyterian & Reformed Churches? Yeah, that…”do unto others…” thing. Sorry, but this post looks embarassingly like a cheap shot…to ‘score points’…of dubious value for the Christian Church at large.

    (also cannot help but notice tremendous ignorance and confusion here about what Orthodoxy is and what/why they believe it. it would serve many well to read carefully and learn the basics of Orthodoxy (from Orthodox themselves!) rather than parrot what they’ve seen/hear from the rumor mill. i have found orthodoxbridge.com very measured and helpful, written by a kind reformed convert to Orthodoxy name Robert Arakaki…there is their archives link for your reading and edification: http://orthodoxbridge.com/archive/)

  • http://thecharitablesteward.wordpress.com David Rockett

    From my study the past two yrs I suspect most Orthodox would humbly & readily admit their Church(es) are far from perfect & have ample share of sin/sinners to deal with…privately w/grace over time…not publically.

    Sadly, I wonder what we’d think if our Orthodox friends all forwarded public Link on FB of every problem/tiff in the blog-rummermill about our Presbyterian & Reformed Churches? Yeah, that…”do unto others…” thing. Sorry, but this post looks embarassingly like a cheap shot…to ‘score points’…of dubious value for the Christian Church at large.

    (also cannot help but notice tremendous ignorance and confusion here about what Orthodoxy is and what/why they believe it. it would serve many well to read carefully and learn the basics of Orthodoxy (from Orthodox themselves!) rather than parrot what they’ve seen/hear from the rumor mill. i have found orthodoxbridge.com very measured and helpful, written by a kind reformed convert to Orthodoxy name Robert Arakaki…there is their archives link for your reading and edification: http://orthodoxbridge.com/archive/)

  • Stephen

    Derrida was once characterized by Michel Foucault as deliberately obscure and a kind of philosophical terrorist because his texts were unreadable, effectively exchanging obscurity for a real argument for truth, and when someone challenged this very obscurity he claimed they didn’t understand him.

    Without saying exactly why, it seems that according to the Orthodox, no one can actually be assured of their salvation. Terrifying enough. And yet they claim to be the one, true church, apart from which there is, I assume, no hope.

    Whatever . . . lots of insinuating and precious little light. Funny, because the Byzantines based their theology on illuminating truth – that which is closer to light is higher and “more true” would be one way of putting it. Hence the fascination in art with glittering gold tiles.

    From this conversation I think I have a much better sense now of why there is a fetishizing of icons among the Orthodox. It not only explains the static aesthetic, it’s a kind of possessiveness. The Spirit is infused in the very physical things they make with their own hands (and minds) apart from the command of Christ. The sacerdotal is extremely appealing to the ego. Like burning to ashes the remains of a desecrated church, one’s level of devotion is what seems in ascendancy over the Word and sound teaching. Or perhaps that is the teaching.

    “Funny thing about humility, as soon as you know you’re being humble, you’re no longer humble.” – T-Bone Burnett

  • Stephen

    Derrida was once characterized by Michel Foucault as deliberately obscure and a kind of philosophical terrorist because his texts were unreadable, effectively exchanging obscurity for a real argument for truth, and when someone challenged this very obscurity he claimed they didn’t understand him.

    Without saying exactly why, it seems that according to the Orthodox, no one can actually be assured of their salvation. Terrifying enough. And yet they claim to be the one, true church, apart from which there is, I assume, no hope.

    Whatever . . . lots of insinuating and precious little light. Funny, because the Byzantines based their theology on illuminating truth – that which is closer to light is higher and “more true” would be one way of putting it. Hence the fascination in art with glittering gold tiles.

    From this conversation I think I have a much better sense now of why there is a fetishizing of icons among the Orthodox. It not only explains the static aesthetic, it’s a kind of possessiveness. The Spirit is infused in the very physical things they make with their own hands (and minds) apart from the command of Christ. The sacerdotal is extremely appealing to the ego. Like burning to ashes the remains of a desecrated church, one’s level of devotion is what seems in ascendancy over the Word and sound teaching. Or perhaps that is the teaching.

    “Funny thing about humility, as soon as you know you’re being humble, you’re no longer humble.” – T-Bone Burnett

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    David, i have been following Orthodox news and folks for some years now.

    Shall we talk about the fraud and embezzelement at Mt Athos?

    The deplorable treatment by Fr Oliver Herbel at the hands of Metropolitan Phillip of the AOCNA?

    How things in Moscow are moving towards being a tool for Russian nationalism, Putin style?

    A lot of these have to do with autocratic leadership. Lack of accountability.

    But there are also other things – a very educated (PhD) Russian said in my presence that one should keep a woman’s wedding veil, because it has healing powers for the children – like Elijah’s coat or something. In many aspects, orthodoxy has fallen for talismannic religion, and the people know no better.

    Sure, there are problems in Lutheranism as well – it is not my intention to say we good, orthodoxy bad. It is my intention to say that if we want to discuss theological differences, debate doctrine etc., a certain amount of respect is in order, and that blanket statements should be left out. Fault finding is easy. But it will serve us much better to actually discuss/debate the important issues, than to indulge in the silly triumphalisms of those that suffer a severe case of convertitis.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    David, i have been following Orthodox news and folks for some years now.

    Shall we talk about the fraud and embezzelement at Mt Athos?

    The deplorable treatment by Fr Oliver Herbel at the hands of Metropolitan Phillip of the AOCNA?

    How things in Moscow are moving towards being a tool for Russian nationalism, Putin style?

    A lot of these have to do with autocratic leadership. Lack of accountability.

    But there are also other things – a very educated (PhD) Russian said in my presence that one should keep a woman’s wedding veil, because it has healing powers for the children – like Elijah’s coat or something. In many aspects, orthodoxy has fallen for talismannic religion, and the people know no better.

    Sure, there are problems in Lutheranism as well – it is not my intention to say we good, orthodoxy bad. It is my intention to say that if we want to discuss theological differences, debate doctrine etc., a certain amount of respect is in order, and that blanket statements should be left out. Fault finding is easy. But it will serve us much better to actually discuss/debate the important issues, than to indulge in the silly triumphalisms of those that suffer a severe case of convertitis.

  • http://thecharitablesteward.wordpress.com David Rockett

    Klasie,
    As a Reformed Protestant, there was no call from me (or anyone I see commenting here) for “indulg[ing] in the silly triumphalisms of those that suffer a severe case of convertitis”. I did openly admit that, “most Orthodox would humbly & readily admit their Church(es) are far from perfect & have ample share of sin/sinners to deal with…privately w/grace over time…not publically.” So, I’ve no c clue where your charge(s) comes from.

    Unlike you, I did not, and will not review obvious problems various Lutheran communions have/are having…like you do the Orthodox, because as you say, “Fault finding is easy” as you demonstrate. Nevertheless brother, as the blog I referenced above does admirably, I’m happy to discuss any theological issue you might have, “with respect”. :-)
    in His tender mercies,
    david

  • http://thecharitablesteward.wordpress.com David Rockett

    Klasie,
    As a Reformed Protestant, there was no call from me (or anyone I see commenting here) for “indulg[ing] in the silly triumphalisms of those that suffer a severe case of convertitis”. I did openly admit that, “most Orthodox would humbly & readily admit their Church(es) are far from perfect & have ample share of sin/sinners to deal with…privately w/grace over time…not publically.” So, I’ve no c clue where your charge(s) comes from.

    Unlike you, I did not, and will not review obvious problems various Lutheran communions have/are having…like you do the Orthodox, because as you say, “Fault finding is easy” as you demonstrate. Nevertheless brother, as the blog I referenced above does admirably, I’m happy to discuss any theological issue you might have, “with respect”. :-)
    in His tender mercies,
    david

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    David, if I have a fault (not that I’m admitting to anything :) ), it is that I jump from the specific to the general without anybody realing that I’m doing it.

    I wasn”t charging you with anything per se – I was using your comment as a jumping off place to go after the “Orthodoxy is Valhalla, the rest is in Niflheim” theme that others displayed subtly or not-so-subtly earlier in the thread.

    Sorry ;)

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    David, if I have a fault (not that I’m admitting to anything :) ), it is that I jump from the specific to the general without anybody realing that I’m doing it.

    I wasn”t charging you with anything per se – I was using your comment as a jumping off place to go after the “Orthodoxy is Valhalla, the rest is in Niflheim” theme that others displayed subtly or not-so-subtly earlier in the thread.

    Sorry ;)

  • Scott

    To end all the speculation concerning why Metropolitan Jonah was asked to resign….nothing at all to do with liberal vs conservative or cradle vs convert:
    http://www.midwestdiocese.org/news_120716_1.html

  • Scott

    To end all the speculation concerning why Metropolitan Jonah was asked to resign….nothing at all to do with liberal vs conservative or cradle vs convert:
    http://www.midwestdiocese.org/news_120716_1.html

  • fws

    scott @ 130

    Thanks for providing that Scott. It sounds like the bishops are trying to deal with a situation in the most christian and honorable way possible. Often the most honorable men in a dispute are the ones who remain silent and simply accept false accusations without trying to publicly defend themselves.

    It would be interesting to compare the speculation as to culture wars etc, with what is being reported by the church itself as the real issues behind all this.

  • fws

    scott @ 130

    Thanks for providing that Scott. It sounds like the bishops are trying to deal with a situation in the most christian and honorable way possible. Often the most honorable men in a dispute are the ones who remain silent and simply accept false accusations without trying to publicly defend themselves.

    It would be interesting to compare the speculation as to culture wars etc, with what is being reported by the church itself as the real issues behind all this.

  • Scott

    Abbot Tryphon also wrote a helpful piece this morning entitled “Letting the Church be Put in Order”
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/All-Merciful-Saviour-Orthodox-Christian-Monastery/104578182913886?sk=wall
    and also here:
    http://www.morningoffering.blogspot.com

  • Scott

    Abbot Tryphon also wrote a helpful piece this morning entitled “Letting the Church be Put in Order”
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/All-Merciful-Saviour-Orthodox-Christian-Monastery/104578182913886?sk=wall
    and also here:
    http://www.morningoffering.blogspot.com

  • SKPeterson

    Scott – Thanks from me as well on the article. I agree with Frank that this appears to be the bishops taking proper care of their flock. Kudos to them all.

  • SKPeterson

    Scott – Thanks from me as well on the article. I agree with Frank that this appears to be the bishops taking proper care of their flock. Kudos to them all.

  • Grace

    Scott @ 130

    Thank you for providing the link. I have been following this discussion with much interest. I usually comment, but decided to read instead.

    Reg @ 105, asked a number of questions, perhaps I missed the answers, however I would be more than interested if anyone is up to the challenge.

  • Grace

    Scott @ 130

    Thank you for providing the link. I have been following this discussion with much interest. I usually comment, but decided to read instead.

    Reg @ 105, asked a number of questions, perhaps I missed the answers, however I would be more than interested if anyone is up to the challenge.

  • fws

    I took a look at the photo galery at the one site.
    I want to apologize for my comments about the hats, and showing up at Wendys. It was so wrong.

    I got it all crossed up. Faulty 56 year old memory. Forgive me.

    It was …. burger king….

    and the hats at dog on a stick ….

  • fws

    I took a look at the photo galery at the one site.
    I want to apologize for my comments about the hats, and showing up at Wendys. It was so wrong.

    I got it all crossed up. Faulty 56 year old memory. Forgive me.

    It was …. burger king….

    and the hats at dog on a stick ….

  • fws

    Hey. Turn about is fair play. Have fun with how we Luthruns dress as well if you like.

    You guys did it first.

    It took american popular culture till the 60s and 70s to catch on to the orthodoxyism hat thangy.

    Be proud.

  • fws

    Hey. Turn about is fair play. Have fun with how we Luthruns dress as well if you like.

    You guys did it first.

    It took american popular culture till the 60s and 70s to catch on to the orthodoxyism hat thangy.

    Be proud.

  • Scott

    reg @105 and Grace @ 134

    I cannot tell for certain if reg@105 is asking questions or making accusations and looking for debate. If you are sincerely interested to know the answers to the questions you asked, then I can suggest the following:

    1- concerning apostolic succession, I would recommend listening to all of these lectures:
    http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/ourlife/apostolic_succession

    http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/ourlife/answering_objections_to_apostolic_succession

    http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/illuminedheart/as_the_apostles_taught_how_orthodoxy_understands_apostolic_succession

    http://ancientfaith.com/specials/episode/will_no_one_rid_me_of_this_troublesome_priest

    2- concerning sacred spaces and buildings, I would recommend listening to this podcast:
    http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/ourlife/sacred_space

    3- concerning calling our priest Papa, or Father, I can recommend this podcast: Father Hopko as usual does a really nice job answering that particular question.
    http://ancientfaith.com/announcements/call_no_man_father

    4- reg said: “If the answer to these questions is that it comes from “tradition” and “church doctrine” then pray tell, does that mean that these trump clear scriptural command?”

    First, you must understand that we Orthodox do NOT believe in the Bible as an object of faith, as do Protestants. As the Creed states, we Orthodox believe in One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. We believe in the Church in the same way that we believe in one Triune God. The Church is an object of faith, the Holy Scriptures are not. The Church is united to the Incarnate,Resurrected, and Glorified God-Man, Jesus Christ and thus is Holy.

    Now, the Holy Scriptures, which are a witness to the things concerning Jesus Christ, were written and compiled and edited by the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, united to Jesus Christ and under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, so that “through their testimony all mankind might come to the knowledge of the truth and be united to Jesus Christ IN the Church. The Church, not the Bible, is the pillar and ground of the truth (1Tim 3:15). The Church, not the Bible, is the fullness of Him that filleth all in all (Eph 1:23).”

    There is a very real sense in which Protestantism has replaced the Church with the Bible, substituting the living and Incarnate Body of Christ with a text, albeit a divinely inspired text.

    Lastly, on this topic I would recommend these podcasts:
    http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/hopko/the_one_true_church

    http://ancientfaith.com/collections/sola_scriptura

    I would also recommend this light reading, all written by converts:

    The Way: What Every Protestant Should Know About the Orthodox Church
    http://www.amazon.com/Way-Protestant-Should-Orthodox-Catechism/dp/0964914123

    and

    Thirsting for God in a Land of Shallow Wells
    http://www.amazon.com/Thirsting-God-Land-Shallow-Wells/dp/1888212284

    and

    Surprised by Christ: My Journey from Judaism to Orthodox Christianity
    http://www.amazon.com/Surprised-Christ-Journey-Orthodox-Christianity/dp/1888212950

    My personal story: I had been Baptist, AOG, Reformed Heavy (RPCNA), Reformed Light(PCA), Lutheran (Misery Synod), and Episcopal, before I finally found what I was looking for; the Church united to the Ressurected, Glorified, Incarnate, God-Man Jesus Christ.

  • Scott

    reg @105 and Grace @ 134

    I cannot tell for certain if reg@105 is asking questions or making accusations and looking for debate. If you are sincerely interested to know the answers to the questions you asked, then I can suggest the following:

    1- concerning apostolic succession, I would recommend listening to all of these lectures:
    http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/ourlife/apostolic_succession

    http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/ourlife/answering_objections_to_apostolic_succession

    http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/illuminedheart/as_the_apostles_taught_how_orthodoxy_understands_apostolic_succession

    http://ancientfaith.com/specials/episode/will_no_one_rid_me_of_this_troublesome_priest

    2- concerning sacred spaces and buildings, I would recommend listening to this podcast:
    http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/ourlife/sacred_space

    3- concerning calling our priest Papa, or Father, I can recommend this podcast: Father Hopko as usual does a really nice job answering that particular question.
    http://ancientfaith.com/announcements/call_no_man_father

    4- reg said: “If the answer to these questions is that it comes from “tradition” and “church doctrine” then pray tell, does that mean that these trump clear scriptural command?”

    First, you must understand that we Orthodox do NOT believe in the Bible as an object of faith, as do Protestants. As the Creed states, we Orthodox believe in One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. We believe in the Church in the same way that we believe in one Triune God. The Church is an object of faith, the Holy Scriptures are not. The Church is united to the Incarnate,Resurrected, and Glorified God-Man, Jesus Christ and thus is Holy.

    Now, the Holy Scriptures, which are a witness to the things concerning Jesus Christ, were written and compiled and edited by the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, united to Jesus Christ and under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, so that “through their testimony all mankind might come to the knowledge of the truth and be united to Jesus Christ IN the Church. The Church, not the Bible, is the pillar and ground of the truth (1Tim 3:15). The Church, not the Bible, is the fullness of Him that filleth all in all (Eph 1:23).”

    There is a very real sense in which Protestantism has replaced the Church with the Bible, substituting the living and Incarnate Body of Christ with a text, albeit a divinely inspired text.

    Lastly, on this topic I would recommend these podcasts:
    http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/hopko/the_one_true_church

    http://ancientfaith.com/collections/sola_scriptura

    I would also recommend this light reading, all written by converts:

    The Way: What Every Protestant Should Know About the Orthodox Church
    http://www.amazon.com/Way-Protestant-Should-Orthodox-Catechism/dp/0964914123

    and

    Thirsting for God in a Land of Shallow Wells
    http://www.amazon.com/Thirsting-God-Land-Shallow-Wells/dp/1888212284

    and

    Surprised by Christ: My Journey from Judaism to Orthodox Christianity
    http://www.amazon.com/Surprised-Christ-Journey-Orthodox-Christianity/dp/1888212950

    My personal story: I had been Baptist, AOG, Reformed Heavy (RPCNA), Reformed Light(PCA), Lutheran (Misery Synod), and Episcopal, before I finally found what I was looking for; the Church united to the Ressurected, Glorified, Incarnate, God-Man Jesus Christ.

  • Grace

    Scott @ 137

    First of all – eleven (11) LINKS make no sense. I’m not a student Scott, I’ve been studying for years. When I am sent to a volume of LINKS, I know the individual doesn’t know his stuff – if he did, he could talk about it, rather then sending those in the discussion off to a load of LINKS!

    “Now, the Holy Scriptures, which are a witness to the things concerning Jesus Christ, were written and compiled and edited by the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, united to Jesus Christ and under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, so that “through their testimony all mankind might come to the knowledge of the truth and be united to Jesus Christ IN the Church.”

    You can stop right there – the Apostles by the HOLY Spirit were guided to write what the HOLY Spirit inspired to them.

    You believe that the Apostles needed to be “edited” by those who never knew Jesus, who never sat at HIS feet, watched with their own eyes, God the SON crucified for our sins? Or watched while Christ healed the sick, gave life to a dead Lazarus, the woman at the well? Sheading HIS blood so that we might have life through Salvation? – to a world who needed a Savior? Only those who witnessed these events or who were in close contact, meaning Luke and Mark, knew the details, not those who came later, who never saw Christ Jesus – AND those who chose “traditions” for whatever reason to circumvent the truth? “Traditions” aren’t Gospel, nor are they inspired, they are nothing but “traditions of men”

    If you read Acts 1, you will see clearly that the LORD Jesus Christ spent 40 days with HIS Apostles after HIS resurrection. Christ’s directives to them were HIS to direct them in giving out the Gospel, and therefore being led by the HOLY Spirit. Jesus did not need to be “edited” – the Apostles were led to write what we have in our Bible today. “Traditions” have nothing to do with the Gospel. They are the Roman Catholic dogma, which permeates some churches today, that’s why many leave. They see right through the fascade.

  • Grace

    Scott @ 137

    First of all – eleven (11) LINKS make no sense. I’m not a student Scott, I’ve been studying for years. When I am sent to a volume of LINKS, I know the individual doesn’t know his stuff – if he did, he could talk about it, rather then sending those in the discussion off to a load of LINKS!

    “Now, the Holy Scriptures, which are a witness to the things concerning Jesus Christ, were written and compiled and edited by the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, united to Jesus Christ and under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, so that “through their testimony all mankind might come to the knowledge of the truth and be united to Jesus Christ IN the Church.”

    You can stop right there – the Apostles by the HOLY Spirit were guided to write what the HOLY Spirit inspired to them.

    You believe that the Apostles needed to be “edited” by those who never knew Jesus, who never sat at HIS feet, watched with their own eyes, God the SON crucified for our sins? Or watched while Christ healed the sick, gave life to a dead Lazarus, the woman at the well? Sheading HIS blood so that we might have life through Salvation? – to a world who needed a Savior? Only those who witnessed these events or who were in close contact, meaning Luke and Mark, knew the details, not those who came later, who never saw Christ Jesus – AND those who chose “traditions” for whatever reason to circumvent the truth? “Traditions” aren’t Gospel, nor are they inspired, they are nothing but “traditions of men”

    If you read Acts 1, you will see clearly that the LORD Jesus Christ spent 40 days with HIS Apostles after HIS resurrection. Christ’s directives to them were HIS to direct them in giving out the Gospel, and therefore being led by the HOLY Spirit. Jesus did not need to be “edited” – the Apostles were led to write what we have in our Bible today. “Traditions” have nothing to do with the Gospel. They are the Roman Catholic dogma, which permeates some churches today, that’s why many leave. They see right through the fascade.

  • Grace

    Scott @ 137

    Scott, I’ve read your bio, according to your travels through denominations. Having said that, it in no way means you have reached the truth. The statement below proves you to be wrong. If it were not for Christ and the HOLY Scriptures, you wouldn’t have a belief to believe in.

    Without the Bible, relying on so called “tradition” the world would have nothing, nothing meaning, a false belief in our existence, our Salvation, the Grace of God, the Cross. If you believe that the Bible is a stumbling block, but “tradition” is better suited to leading the blind to Christ, you’re not only fooling yourself, you’re leading others astray.

    “There is a very real sense in which Protestantism has replaced the Church with the Bible, substituting the living and Incarnate Body of Christ with a text, albeit a divinely inspired text.

    Herein is the KEY to the difference that separates many of us.

    The Word of God, HIS HOLY Word, transcends and exists above and beyond what the church calls “tradition”. Nothing can replace the Bible.

    8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

    —This is most likely one of the most profound statements by Paul, directly pointing to Christ and no other, ESPECIALLY TRADITIONS—

    9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

    10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
    Colossians 2

  • Grace

    Scott @ 137

    Scott, I’ve read your bio, according to your travels through denominations. Having said that, it in no way means you have reached the truth. The statement below proves you to be wrong. If it were not for Christ and the HOLY Scriptures, you wouldn’t have a belief to believe in.

    Without the Bible, relying on so called “tradition” the world would have nothing, nothing meaning, a false belief in our existence, our Salvation, the Grace of God, the Cross. If you believe that the Bible is a stumbling block, but “tradition” is better suited to leading the blind to Christ, you’re not only fooling yourself, you’re leading others astray.

    “There is a very real sense in which Protestantism has replaced the Church with the Bible, substituting the living and Incarnate Body of Christ with a text, albeit a divinely inspired text.

    Herein is the KEY to the difference that separates many of us.

    The Word of God, HIS HOLY Word, transcends and exists above and beyond what the church calls “tradition”. Nothing can replace the Bible.

    8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

    —This is most likely one of the most profound statements by Paul, directly pointing to Christ and no other, ESPECIALLY TRADITIONS—

    9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

    10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
    Colossians 2

  • http://www.forthelifeoftheworld.com Adam S. N.

    Over-generalization.

    Straw-man.

    Ad hominem.

    It’s that simple.

  • http://www.forthelifeoftheworld.com Adam S. N.

    Over-generalization.

    Straw-man.

    Ad hominem.

    It’s that simple.

  • http://www.forthelifeoftheworld.com Adam S. N.

    No knowledgeable Orthodox Christian has ever argued that the everyone in the Church has had “universal doctrinal agreement.”

    Such a characterization of the claims of Holy Orthodoxy are absurd, and reveal either a lack of honesty, or knowledge.

    Furthermore the the Pan-Orthodox assembly of Bishops in North America have already spoken to this issue. There is a consensus on same-sex marriage, and nothing has changed.

    Pan-Orthodox Consensus on Same-Sex Unions – http://goo.gl/r6Hje
    Issued in 2003 by the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA), which was at the time the Pan-Orthodox representative body in the Americas.

    † Archbishop DEMETRIOS, Chairman
    Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

    † Metropolitan HERMAN
    Orthodox Church in America

    † Metropolitan PHILIP, Vice Chairman
    Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese

    † Archbishop NICOLAE
    Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America America and Canada

    † Metropolitan CHRISTOPHER, Secretary
    Serbian Orthodox Church in the USA and Canada

    † Metropolitan JOSEPH
    Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Church

    † Metropolitan NICHOLAS of Amissos, Treasurer
    Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese in the USA

    † Metropolitan CONSTANTINE
    Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the USA

    † Bishop ILIA of Philomelion
    Albanian Orthodox Diocese of America

  • http://www.forthelifeoftheworld.com Adam S. N.

    No knowledgeable Orthodox Christian has ever argued that the everyone in the Church has had “universal doctrinal agreement.”

    Such a characterization of the claims of Holy Orthodoxy are absurd, and reveal either a lack of honesty, or knowledge.

    Furthermore the the Pan-Orthodox assembly of Bishops in North America have already spoken to this issue. There is a consensus on same-sex marriage, and nothing has changed.

    Pan-Orthodox Consensus on Same-Sex Unions – http://goo.gl/r6Hje
    Issued in 2003 by the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA), which was at the time the Pan-Orthodox representative body in the Americas.

    † Archbishop DEMETRIOS, Chairman
    Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

    † Metropolitan HERMAN
    Orthodox Church in America

    † Metropolitan PHILIP, Vice Chairman
    Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese

    † Archbishop NICOLAE
    Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America America and Canada

    † Metropolitan CHRISTOPHER, Secretary
    Serbian Orthodox Church in the USA and Canada

    † Metropolitan JOSEPH
    Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Church

    † Metropolitan NICHOLAS of Amissos, Treasurer
    Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese in the USA

    † Metropolitan CONSTANTINE
    Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the USA

    † Bishop ILIA of Philomelion
    Albanian Orthodox Diocese of America

  • fws

    adam sn @ 141

    So the Orthodox disagree on lots of stuff and are far from doctrinal unity.
    But they all agree on the homos.

    What a way to brag.

  • fws

    adam sn @ 141

    So the Orthodox disagree on lots of stuff and are far from doctrinal unity.
    But they all agree on the homos.

    What a way to brag.

  • SKPeterson

    Scott @ 137 – I have a quibble with your assertion in #4. I will not speak for the Protestants, but for us Lutheran evangelical catholics. We do not hold to the Bible as an object of faith. That would be like saying an icon is your object of faith. We simply hold that God has revealed Himself in His word. Therefore it cannot be set aside even by tradition. Further, the Church is not an object of faith. It is the result of faith – the gathering of those who ny faith have been called by Christ. To place faith in Church, even as Body of Christ is to do exactly what you accuse the Protestants of regarding the Word. Effectively you are saying Body trumps Word, and that Protestants believe Word trumps Body. Lutherans say, you’re both wrong.

  • SKPeterson

    Scott @ 137 – I have a quibble with your assertion in #4. I will not speak for the Protestants, but for us Lutheran evangelical catholics. We do not hold to the Bible as an object of faith. That would be like saying an icon is your object of faith. We simply hold that God has revealed Himself in His word. Therefore it cannot be set aside even by tradition. Further, the Church is not an object of faith. It is the result of faith – the gathering of those who ny faith have been called by Christ. To place faith in Church, even as Body of Christ is to do exactly what you accuse the Protestants of regarding the Word. Effectively you are saying Body trumps Word, and that Protestants believe Word trumps Body. Lutherans say, you’re both wrong.

  • fws

    scott @ 137

    Aw now Scott. Dang it. You left the LCMS and are telling us you never learned what we taught.
    It’s never too late is it?

    First, you must understand that we Lutherans do NOT believe in the Bible as an object of faith, as do Protestants.
    As the Creed states, we Lutherans believe in One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.
    We Lutherans don’t believe in the Church in the same way that we believe in one Triune God.
    Jesus Christ is the only Object of faith, neither the church, nor the Holy Scriptures are not.
    The Communion of Saints is united to the Incarnate,Resurrected, and Glorified God-Man, Jesus Christ and thus is Holy.
    The Holy Catholic Church consists of both the communion of saints that is properly the church and also consists of hypocrites and those who seek to destroy the church and oppose God. The Antichrist is to be found inside this church. This Holy Catholic Church is scattered throughout the earth, it is not separated by nations, ethnicities, or sects (like the Orthodoxyists). It can be known by its marks. Wherever there is the Gospel preached and the sacraments administered, we can know with certainty that there is both the Holy Catholic Church and also therefore, the Communion of Saints hidden in, with and under it. (Augsburg Confessions and Apology VII and VIII). Therefore the Church is in no way a platonic concept.

    And this teaching of the Church in two kingdoms of earth, Holy Catholic Church as an earthly government as the new israel, consisting of true believers and hypocrites and governed by God through its Laws we know as doctrines and also in, with and under it, the invisible Communion of Saints where God rules invisibly in hearts by the Holy Spirit and the Indwelling Holy Trinity is of great comfort to faith. Why?
    We can know and be certain that even though it appears that the Church is governed by hypocrites and the very antichrist himself, that there yet must remain those 7000 who have not bent the knee to bail and so her sacraments and forgiveness are valid. How do we know this? Christ has promised it and has promised that the Word of God preached and in the sacraments is that same powerful creative Word that created the earth and will continue to create the Church.

    Now, the Holy Scriptures,are a witness to Jesus Christ, Full. Stop. And the Holy Church did not create the scriptures. It is the Scriptures which created the Church. It is the Holy Church which is created, washed and sanctified by Holy Baptism and the Holy Word of God. It is through this apostolic testimony found in the Word of God that men will come to Christ. It is the Gospel that is the power of God to salvation. That Gospel is to be found , alone , in the Church, but it is not the Church that is the power of God to salvation per se.

    Therefore it is the Apostolic testimony, which is the Gospel which is the pillar and ground of the truth (1Tim 3:15). The Church, not the Bible, is the fullness of Him that filleth all in all (Eph 1:23). It is upon this Foundation, the Gospel, upon which Christ has built and will continue to build his church and gates of hell, we are promised, will not prevail against it.

    There is a very real sense in which Orthodoxyism has replaced the Christ with the Church, mistaking the living and Incarnate Body of Christ for an earthly thing, that while instituted as an earthly government by God, much like Israel, is only to endure for an age and then will perish with the earth.

    But the Communion of Saints, every united to that true Israel of the OT, and to Adam, Abraham and all before Israel, will stand, united and together, before the throne of Glory and arrayed in white , together, at the last day.

  • fws

    scott @ 137

    Aw now Scott. Dang it. You left the LCMS and are telling us you never learned what we taught.
    It’s never too late is it?

    First, you must understand that we Lutherans do NOT believe in the Bible as an object of faith, as do Protestants.
    As the Creed states, we Lutherans believe in One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.
    We Lutherans don’t believe in the Church in the same way that we believe in one Triune God.
    Jesus Christ is the only Object of faith, neither the church, nor the Holy Scriptures are not.
    The Communion of Saints is united to the Incarnate,Resurrected, and Glorified God-Man, Jesus Christ and thus is Holy.
    The Holy Catholic Church consists of both the communion of saints that is properly the church and also consists of hypocrites and those who seek to destroy the church and oppose God. The Antichrist is to be found inside this church. This Holy Catholic Church is scattered throughout the earth, it is not separated by nations, ethnicities, or sects (like the Orthodoxyists). It can be known by its marks. Wherever there is the Gospel preached and the sacraments administered, we can know with certainty that there is both the Holy Catholic Church and also therefore, the Communion of Saints hidden in, with and under it. (Augsburg Confessions and Apology VII and VIII). Therefore the Church is in no way a platonic concept.

    And this teaching of the Church in two kingdoms of earth, Holy Catholic Church as an earthly government as the new israel, consisting of true believers and hypocrites and governed by God through its Laws we know as doctrines and also in, with and under it, the invisible Communion of Saints where God rules invisibly in hearts by the Holy Spirit and the Indwelling Holy Trinity is of great comfort to faith. Why?
    We can know and be certain that even though it appears that the Church is governed by hypocrites and the very antichrist himself, that there yet must remain those 7000 who have not bent the knee to bail and so her sacraments and forgiveness are valid. How do we know this? Christ has promised it and has promised that the Word of God preached and in the sacraments is that same powerful creative Word that created the earth and will continue to create the Church.

    Now, the Holy Scriptures,are a witness to Jesus Christ, Full. Stop. And the Holy Church did not create the scriptures. It is the Scriptures which created the Church. It is the Holy Church which is created, washed and sanctified by Holy Baptism and the Holy Word of God. It is through this apostolic testimony found in the Word of God that men will come to Christ. It is the Gospel that is the power of God to salvation. That Gospel is to be found , alone , in the Church, but it is not the Church that is the power of God to salvation per se.

    Therefore it is the Apostolic testimony, which is the Gospel which is the pillar and ground of the truth (1Tim 3:15). The Church, not the Bible, is the fullness of Him that filleth all in all (Eph 1:23). It is upon this Foundation, the Gospel, upon which Christ has built and will continue to build his church and gates of hell, we are promised, will not prevail against it.

    There is a very real sense in which Orthodoxyism has replaced the Christ with the Church, mistaking the living and Incarnate Body of Christ for an earthly thing, that while instituted as an earthly government by God, much like Israel, is only to endure for an age and then will perish with the earth.

    But the Communion of Saints, every united to that true Israel of the OT, and to Adam, Abraham and all before Israel, will stand, united and together, before the throne of Glory and arrayed in white , together, at the last day.

  • fws

    Scott @ 137

    Geez Louize! Scott says he was in the LCMS for as bit. It must have been a very SHORT bit. He is just full of misinformation.

    For the record:
    Lutherans do not have a problem calling their pastors fathers. It is not something we do regularly, but there is nothing wrong with that fine habit.

    Lutherans DO have a problem with calling pastors priests. Where is that idea to be found in that Apostolic Tradition called the Holy Scriptures and Words of Christ that are the purest form of Apostolic Tradition?
    All believers are priests. They are a royal priesthood. One is your Master, even Christ, ye are all brethren the Apostolic Tradition informs us.

  • fws

    Scott @ 137

    Geez Louize! Scott says he was in the LCMS for as bit. It must have been a very SHORT bit. He is just full of misinformation.

    For the record:
    Lutherans do not have a problem calling their pastors fathers. It is not something we do regularly, but there is nothing wrong with that fine habit.

    Lutherans DO have a problem with calling pastors priests. Where is that idea to be found in that Apostolic Tradition called the Holy Scriptures and Words of Christ that are the purest form of Apostolic Tradition?
    All believers are priests. They are a royal priesthood. One is your Master, even Christ, ye are all brethren the Apostolic Tradition informs us.

  • SKPeterson

    The problem with the use of “priest” also has to do with the position and authority Christ as Prophet, Priest and King. We don’t have any need for prophets – we have Christ. We don’t have any need for priests – we have Christ. What we do need are ministers – those who can, and do, provide for the ministrations of Christ’g gifts to His Body through Word and Sacrament.

    This carries over though into the Eucharist. The Romans hold that the celebration of the Eucharist is a recapitulation of the sacrifice of Jesus rather than the gift of gracious righteousness imparted by Christ’s Body and Blood. The Romans hold to that as well, but we Lutherans think they go to far with the altar sacrifice idea – the temple curtain has been torn, the sacrifices are done, Jesus now serves as Priest, so such actions are effectively emptied of real content and meaning, except that of human will and desire. I’ll confess complete ignorance on the Orthodox view of the Sacrament. I’ve read summaries (accuracy unknown) that indicate a sacrificial viewpoint, but it may be just that Lutherans would say “repentance, confession and forgiveness” and the Orthodox would wrap them all up and say “sacrifice.” Where we back off is saying that our repentance, confession and forgiveness creates a mystical union with the sacrifice of Christ. I think it goes to the directionality again – Lutherans will emphasize (over-emphasize to our critics ;)) that it is Christ that comes to us and that He is the one doing everything. There is no active component on our part, only a passive one. Christ acts, we receive. Christ dies, we benefit. We’re very, very close to the Orthodox it appears vis-a-vis Real Presence and mystery.

    I wonder how much of our differences arise from differences in meaning attached to words, the choice of different words to refer to the same things, embodied in differences in patterns of speech and practice over the last 1000 years. We talk past each other as much as we talk to each other, and when we do talk “to” each other it does tend to get rather accusatory on both sides. Although I personally have never, ever been accusatory or hostile to anyone in my life, much less this forum.

  • SKPeterson

    The problem with the use of “priest” also has to do with the position and authority Christ as Prophet, Priest and King. We don’t have any need for prophets – we have Christ. We don’t have any need for priests – we have Christ. What we do need are ministers – those who can, and do, provide for the ministrations of Christ’g gifts to His Body through Word and Sacrament.

    This carries over though into the Eucharist. The Romans hold that the celebration of the Eucharist is a recapitulation of the sacrifice of Jesus rather than the gift of gracious righteousness imparted by Christ’s Body and Blood. The Romans hold to that as well, but we Lutherans think they go to far with the altar sacrifice idea – the temple curtain has been torn, the sacrifices are done, Jesus now serves as Priest, so such actions are effectively emptied of real content and meaning, except that of human will and desire. I’ll confess complete ignorance on the Orthodox view of the Sacrament. I’ve read summaries (accuracy unknown) that indicate a sacrificial viewpoint, but it may be just that Lutherans would say “repentance, confession and forgiveness” and the Orthodox would wrap them all up and say “sacrifice.” Where we back off is saying that our repentance, confession and forgiveness creates a mystical union with the sacrifice of Christ. I think it goes to the directionality again – Lutherans will emphasize (over-emphasize to our critics ;)) that it is Christ that comes to us and that He is the one doing everything. There is no active component on our part, only a passive one. Christ acts, we receive. Christ dies, we benefit. We’re very, very close to the Orthodox it appears vis-a-vis Real Presence and mystery.

    I wonder how much of our differences arise from differences in meaning attached to words, the choice of different words to refer to the same things, embodied in differences in patterns of speech and practice over the last 1000 years. We talk past each other as much as we talk to each other, and when we do talk “to” each other it does tend to get rather accusatory on both sides. Although I personally have never, ever been accusatory or hostile to anyone in my life, much less this forum.

  • SKPeterson

    I should add that we Lutherans do not say that there isn’t some sort of mystical action in the Eucharist. I think we just conceive of it differently, perhaps. At the communion rail, we effectively join with the Body of Christ, past, present and future, the “cloud of witnesses” are there with us. The Eucharist is somewhat atemporal, which thereby precludes a repetition of the sacrifice, because we are caught up eternally in The Sacrifice of The Lamb on The Cross. I’m articulating this poorly, my apologies. It is a Mystery, after all.

  • SKPeterson

    I should add that we Lutherans do not say that there isn’t some sort of mystical action in the Eucharist. I think we just conceive of it differently, perhaps. At the communion rail, we effectively join with the Body of Christ, past, present and future, the “cloud of witnesses” are there with us. The Eucharist is somewhat atemporal, which thereby precludes a repetition of the sacrifice, because we are caught up eternally in The Sacrifice of The Lamb on The Cross. I’m articulating this poorly, my apologies. It is a Mystery, after all.

  • http://thecharitablesteward.wordpress.com David Rockett

    Brothers,
    I needn’t lecture anyone here that there’s right and wrong way to publicly note the problems of other Christian groups. Veith’s speculations were in poor taste — and FWIW — were dead wrong. There is no “off-limits” for any Christian group if done with grace and compassion….w/patience for the facts to reveal themselves.

    As it turns out, the Orthodox problem here had nothing whatsoever to do with a liberal/feminist/sodomite faction in Orthodoxy after all (which has repeatedly proven to be microscopic, inept and consistantly repudiated — kinda like Arianism/Nestorianism…) The problem had to do with Met. Jonah’s personal “ineptitude at leadership” (perhaps because they laid hands on an impressive & pious man far too soon — before leadership gifts were proven?) and his unwillingness to follow counsel in an alleged rape of a woman by another Priest. (perhaps he wanted to go slower than legal counsel, thinking the allegation false?) It’s all comming out…if we were patient enough to wait for the facts. I was saddened at Veith’s ill-temper speculation (gossip?) which turned out to be false. He is typically more measured, patient and tempered…I expected a higher nobility.

    But this all might serve as a warning for all Christians…Reformed and Lutherian included. Are Pastors/Secession zealous to quickly root out adulteries, divorce, criminal Fraud, pedophilia — always, of ALL their members — or just some? Does our zeal for justice apply equally to all men, even in our best Churches — or is there an obvious ‘respector-of-men’ all can easily see? Let us be patient, compassionate and slow to cast stones brothers…against all the communion of saints. Lord have mercy on us all,
    in His tender mercies,
    david

  • http://thecharitablesteward.wordpress.com David Rockett

    Brothers,
    I needn’t lecture anyone here that there’s right and wrong way to publicly note the problems of other Christian groups. Veith’s speculations were in poor taste — and FWIW — were dead wrong. There is no “off-limits” for any Christian group if done with grace and compassion….w/patience for the facts to reveal themselves.

    As it turns out, the Orthodox problem here had nothing whatsoever to do with a liberal/feminist/sodomite faction in Orthodoxy after all (which has repeatedly proven to be microscopic, inept and consistantly repudiated — kinda like Arianism/Nestorianism…) The problem had to do with Met. Jonah’s personal “ineptitude at leadership” (perhaps because they laid hands on an impressive & pious man far too soon — before leadership gifts were proven?) and his unwillingness to follow counsel in an alleged rape of a woman by another Priest. (perhaps he wanted to go slower than legal counsel, thinking the allegation false?) It’s all comming out…if we were patient enough to wait for the facts. I was saddened at Veith’s ill-temper speculation (gossip?) which turned out to be false. He is typically more measured, patient and tempered…I expected a higher nobility.

    But this all might serve as a warning for all Christians…Reformed and Lutherian included. Are Pastors/Secession zealous to quickly root out adulteries, divorce, criminal Fraud, pedophilia — always, of ALL their members — or just some? Does our zeal for justice apply equally to all men, even in our best Churches — or is there an obvious ‘respector-of-men’ all can easily see? Let us be patient, compassionate and slow to cast stones brothers…against all the communion of saints. Lord have mercy on us all,
    in His tender mercies,
    david

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    David, you know how the internet goes: Shoot first, and if you feel like it, ask questions later. One should not take people’s actions too seriously, even when they are being idiots (note to self: remember your own advice!).

    So, I agree in essence, but we should all exercise charity. Also, vigorous debate is not a bad thing….

    As to Veith’s “gossip”. I have often moaned at him about things he post – but it is as it is, and we can enjoy the site. He is pretty good at retracting things too.

    We are all sinners. Refer to my comment at #67.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    David, you know how the internet goes: Shoot first, and if you feel like it, ask questions later. One should not take people’s actions too seriously, even when they are being idiots (note to self: remember your own advice!).

    So, I agree in essence, but we should all exercise charity. Also, vigorous debate is not a bad thing….

    As to Veith’s “gossip”. I have often moaned at him about things he post – but it is as it is, and we can enjoy the site. He is pretty good at retracting things too.

    We are all sinners. Refer to my comment at #67.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    SKP @ #147 – nice summary of what happens at the altar rail. I tend to find that it is easier to talk about the Eucharist with the Orthodox, speaking as a Lutheran, than most other denominational groups, with the possible exception of some Anglicans.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    SKP @ #147 – nice summary of what happens at the altar rail. I tend to find that it is easier to talk about the Eucharist with the Orthodox, speaking as a Lutheran, than most other denominational groups, with the possible exception of some Anglicans.

  • SKPeterson

    KK @ 150 – I agree. I think we Lutherans come quite close to the Orthodox on the Eucharist (or rather, the Orthodox come quite close to us, to keep things in proper perspective ;)).

    Something is happening to us from God and between us as members of the OHCAC, but it’s not of us; it is entirely a God thing of which He makes us a part. And we’re not really sure how to adequately explain it – it is God’s doing and His mysterious provision. I think for us and the Orthodox we just take it without thinking too hard about it. We don’t try to rationalize it, either, by invoking transubstantiation a la Rome, or a spiritualized remembrance of the Reformed/Anabaptist crowd (apologies to the Reformed et al, as I have grossly oversimplified the variances in belief there).

    I would like to get a better grasp of the Orthodox notion of Eucharistic sacrifice, though. It doesn’t appear to be the same as Rome’s view, but that again could be simple choice of words, not a conceptual difference. It’s not expressly Lutheran either, but it’s also not not Lutheran. Stephen, Michael, Adam – any light to be shed?

  • SKPeterson

    KK @ 150 – I agree. I think we Lutherans come quite close to the Orthodox on the Eucharist (or rather, the Orthodox come quite close to us, to keep things in proper perspective ;)).

    Something is happening to us from God and between us as members of the OHCAC, but it’s not of us; it is entirely a God thing of which He makes us a part. And we’re not really sure how to adequately explain it – it is God’s doing and His mysterious provision. I think for us and the Orthodox we just take it without thinking too hard about it. We don’t try to rationalize it, either, by invoking transubstantiation a la Rome, or a spiritualized remembrance of the Reformed/Anabaptist crowd (apologies to the Reformed et al, as I have grossly oversimplified the variances in belief there).

    I would like to get a better grasp of the Orthodox notion of Eucharistic sacrifice, though. It doesn’t appear to be the same as Rome’s view, but that again could be simple choice of words, not a conceptual difference. It’s not expressly Lutheran either, but it’s also not not Lutheran. Stephen, Michael, Adam – any light to be shed?

  • SKPeterson

    Also, to fair to Veith – he was commenting on another article. To the extent that that article got the circumstances wrong and thereby drew false conclusions, I can understand the dudgeon of our Orthodox friends. However, I think his larger point stands, but it would be nice to have the Orthos comment more here in general, even on non-theological topics, so we can get a feel for their individual grooves. Besides, someone has to wade through fws’s posts, God knows us Lutherans won’t. (Hah, Frank!)

  • SKPeterson

    Also, to fair to Veith – he was commenting on another article. To the extent that that article got the circumstances wrong and thereby drew false conclusions, I can understand the dudgeon of our Orthodox friends. However, I think his larger point stands, but it would be nice to have the Orthos comment more here in general, even on non-theological topics, so we can get a feel for their individual grooves. Besides, someone has to wade through fws’s posts, God knows us Lutherans won’t. (Hah, Frank!)

  • Scott

    Grace @ 138
    “First of all – eleven (11) LINKS make no sense. I’m not a student Scott, I’ve been studying for years. When I am sent to a volume of LINKS, I know the individual doesn’t know his stuff – if he did, he could talk about it, rather then sending those in the discussion off to a load of LINKS!”

    Your are correct. I do know my stuff, therefore I sent you links so that you might more easily find the answers to your questions. My apologies.

  • Scott

    Grace @ 138
    “First of all – eleven (11) LINKS make no sense. I’m not a student Scott, I’ve been studying for years. When I am sent to a volume of LINKS, I know the individual doesn’t know his stuff – if he did, he could talk about it, rather then sending those in the discussion off to a load of LINKS!”

    Your are correct. I do know my stuff, therefore I sent you links so that you might more easily find the answers to your questions. My apologies.

  • Scott

    skpeterson@143 You seem like a very level headed chap, and would be easy to converse with, however I think your aptitudes and intelligence are well beyond my own. If you are curious to understand Orthodoxy, even if for no other reason than to just understand it, I would recommend the following blog…..http://orthodoxyandheterodoxy.org/ They would welcome your inputs.

    You might also enjoy reading any book from Kalistos Ware such as
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Orthodox-Way-Kallistos-Ware/dp/0913836583

    Now I will blather a bit, just to attempt to give a peak inside the presuppositions of the Orthodox Church. I will try to stay away from saying what I think Protestants/Lutherans believe.

    skpeterson@143 said:
    “We simply hold that God has revealed Himself in His word.”

    I think it correct to say that we Orthodox would say something more to the effect that God has revealed Himself is His Word, Jesus Christ. The Holy Scriptures however, are not the Word of God. We would think the Holy Scriptures are more accurately to be considered the words of God (or the “word of God” is ok too), and yes they are Holy. Yes, we might also say that the Holy Scriptures are a revelation of God in the sense that they are a witness to the things concerning Jesus Christ who is God revealed. I can’t remember after all these years, but I doubt that Lutherans would disagree.

    The Orthodox Church does not subscribe to any understanding of the Protestant/Lutheran doctrine of Sola Scriptura. I realize that there are competing definitions of Sola Scriptura amongst Protestants, and there may be one that fits more closely to an Orthodox understanding, I don’t know. So it is safest to say that as it is generally defined the Orthodox Church would of course not subscribe to the Protestant doctrine of Sola Scriptura. Instead to tweek that bit of Protestant/Lutheran phraseology, I think it correct to say that the Orthodox Church is something akin to “Sola Holy Tradition of the Church”. We do not think that the Holy Scriptures are separate from the Holy Tradition of the Church, but instead they are a part of it. We do not believe that the Holy Scriptures are in any way outside of the Church, or above the Church or beyond the Church; we do not believe that the Holy Scriptures are to be understood or interpreted in any way outside of that Holy Tradition that produced them.

    In a similar vein, Grace @138 proposed:
    “You can stop right there – the Apostles by the HOLY Spirit were guided to write what the HOLY Spirit inspired to them.”

    We Orthodox do not believe that the Holy Apostles were in any way outside of the Church, or above the Church, or over the Church, or beyond Church. The Holy Apostles (and others) as part of the Church, within the Church, wrote the New Testament for the Church. To say that it was not the Church that wrote the Scriptures, would be as we see it, somehow placing the Holy Apostles outside of or over and above the Church. Others, also within the Church and not outside of it, then complied the texts, preserved the texts, copied the texts, canonized the collection of texts, and yes even edited the text. All of it happened within the Church, within the Incarnate and Resurrected Body of Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit.

    Why does an edit of the text cause you such concern Grace @138? Would an edit of the text make the Holy Scriptures into something other than what you think they are?

    Now as I have said a good deal about the Holy Scriptures, that would sound to many Protestant ears, that Orthodox Christians do not hold the Holy Scriptures in high esteem, I should mention that we believe that the highest view of the Holy Scriptures would be to understand them and their place correctly. To make them something they are not, is not to have a high view of them.

    We read the Holy Scriptures daily. As a matter of fact, since we have the Church calendar with its associated lectionary, we are united in that we all have the exact same daily readings. During the Divine Liturgy the Gospel books are processed out and around the interior of the Church, we all bow to the Gospel books and later we each go forward and kiss the Holy Scriptures. I can’t remember how many Scriptures are read or sung during the Divine Liturgy, but it is significant. We have a reading during every service. Typically we read from an Epistle and from the Gospels. Many services we also read from the OT. The saying goes that there are old illiterate ladies in Georgia (the country) can’t read the Scriptures but know every word of it. The idea is that so much of the Holy Scriptures are read or sung or chanted during the services of the Church and these old ladies attend all the services, thus they have the entire Bible memorized. I believe it used to be that a candidate for Deacon had to have memorized the entire book of Psalms. I don’t know if that is still the case, but the point being, we think very highly of the Holy Scriptures.

    skpeterson@143
    “I wonder how much of our differences arise from differences in meaning attached to words, the choice of different words to refer to the same things, embodied in differences in patterns of speech and practice over the last 1000 years. We talk past each other as much as we talk to each other, and when we do talk “to” each other it does tend to get rather accusatory on both sides. ”

    You are dead on….absolutely correct. A few examples:

    For instance, “sin”. I think we define sin differently. We don’t even agree on sin! Generally the Orthodox see sin as missing the mark….falling short…not hitting the bullseye….tripping as we run the race. We do not generally understand sin in terms of breaking commands or incurring guilt.

    “Original sin” is another. We have no such concept. We do understand “the original sin” or “ancestral sin”. Typically the western doctrine of original sin includes the notion that Adam’s nature incurred some sort of guilt that was then passed down from generation to generation. The Roman church logically see that this sin nature cannot be passed onto Jesus, so they get rid of it via the immaculate conception. Protestants get rid of the sin nature in various ways, the most common being the idea that the sin nature is passed on via only the male of the species, therefore, since Jesus had no earthly father, he didn’t get the same nature as you and I. The Orthodox Church holds that Jesus had the exact same human nature as you and I, and yet he did not sin. As a matter of fact, we do not believe that humanity could have been saved if Jesus did not have the exact same nature as you and I.

    “Sacrifice” is another. We do not typically think of just the cross when we hear the words “the sacrifice of Christ”. Instead we think of His nativity and His childhood and His youth, His adult life spent in poverty and homelessness, living off the charity of others, as an outcast within a nation that was considered by it’s peers to be outcasts. We think of His whippings and beatings, we think of His voluntary ascension onto the Cross, and we also think of his willingness to go to Hades.

    “Heaven and Hell” that’s another. We don’t think in terms of places, but instead of states of existence.

    “Salvation” is another. I think it was John MacArthur that said something like “the good news of Easter is that God killed Jesus instead of us”. We don’t see salvation at all like that. We don’t think that God needed some sort of justice served. We don’t think that God received any type of satisfaction from the death of Jesus. Instead we see salvation exclusively in terms of the union of all humanity with God in Christ and the destruction of death. We believe that Jesus went to Hades and destroyed it. There is no longer a realm of the dead. Satan lost his power of the fear of death because death is no more. We believe that all mankind has been saved from death. All mankind will live forever in the presence of the Love of God. To some His Love will feel like light and warmth and peace and joy. To others, who hate Him, His Love will feel like a river of consuming fire.
    A nice piece on that topic can be found here:
    http://www.orthodoxpress.org/parish/river_of_fire.htm

    and Steve did a brief video with some theological shorthand here on the Orthodox view of Salvation:
    http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/stevethebuilder/love_wins_an_orthodox_view_of_salvation

    “Adam and Eve” there is another. We do not believe that Adam and Eve were perfect. We believe that they had the potential to become ever more like God for all eternity.

    “Church” well that’s obvious that we don’t see Church the same.

    “The Bible”….outside of what I have already stated above, we have more books…The Wisdom of Sirach is for sure worth your read…Jesus quotes from it several times…..and our Psalms has one more chapter.

    “Mary” ….we see Mary as the Theotokos, the Mother of God….the Ark of the New Covenant. Whereas the old ark carried manna, Aaron’s budding rod, and the ten commandments, Mary carried the Bread of Life, The Tree of Life, and The Word of God.

    We could probably go on and on.

  • Scott

    skpeterson@143 You seem like a very level headed chap, and would be easy to converse with, however I think your aptitudes and intelligence are well beyond my own. If you are curious to understand Orthodoxy, even if for no other reason than to just understand it, I would recommend the following blog…..http://orthodoxyandheterodoxy.org/ They would welcome your inputs.

    You might also enjoy reading any book from Kalistos Ware such as
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Orthodox-Way-Kallistos-Ware/dp/0913836583

    Now I will blather a bit, just to attempt to give a peak inside the presuppositions of the Orthodox Church. I will try to stay away from saying what I think Protestants/Lutherans believe.

    skpeterson@143 said:
    “We simply hold that God has revealed Himself in His word.”

    I think it correct to say that we Orthodox would say something more to the effect that God has revealed Himself is His Word, Jesus Christ. The Holy Scriptures however, are not the Word of God. We would think the Holy Scriptures are more accurately to be considered the words of God (or the “word of God” is ok too), and yes they are Holy. Yes, we might also say that the Holy Scriptures are a revelation of God in the sense that they are a witness to the things concerning Jesus Christ who is God revealed. I can’t remember after all these years, but I doubt that Lutherans would disagree.

    The Orthodox Church does not subscribe to any understanding of the Protestant/Lutheran doctrine of Sola Scriptura. I realize that there are competing definitions of Sola Scriptura amongst Protestants, and there may be one that fits more closely to an Orthodox understanding, I don’t know. So it is safest to say that as it is generally defined the Orthodox Church would of course not subscribe to the Protestant doctrine of Sola Scriptura. Instead to tweek that bit of Protestant/Lutheran phraseology, I think it correct to say that the Orthodox Church is something akin to “Sola Holy Tradition of the Church”. We do not think that the Holy Scriptures are separate from the Holy Tradition of the Church, but instead they are a part of it. We do not believe that the Holy Scriptures are in any way outside of the Church, or above the Church or beyond the Church; we do not believe that the Holy Scriptures are to be understood or interpreted in any way outside of that Holy Tradition that produced them.

    In a similar vein, Grace @138 proposed:
    “You can stop right there – the Apostles by the HOLY Spirit were guided to write what the HOLY Spirit inspired to them.”

    We Orthodox do not believe that the Holy Apostles were in any way outside of the Church, or above the Church, or over the Church, or beyond Church. The Holy Apostles (and others) as part of the Church, within the Church, wrote the New Testament for the Church. To say that it was not the Church that wrote the Scriptures, would be as we see it, somehow placing the Holy Apostles outside of or over and above the Church. Others, also within the Church and not outside of it, then complied the texts, preserved the texts, copied the texts, canonized the collection of texts, and yes even edited the text. All of it happened within the Church, within the Incarnate and Resurrected Body of Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit.

    Why does an edit of the text cause you such concern Grace @138? Would an edit of the text make the Holy Scriptures into something other than what you think they are?

    Now as I have said a good deal about the Holy Scriptures, that would sound to many Protestant ears, that Orthodox Christians do not hold the Holy Scriptures in high esteem, I should mention that we believe that the highest view of the Holy Scriptures would be to understand them and their place correctly. To make them something they are not, is not to have a high view of them.

    We read the Holy Scriptures daily. As a matter of fact, since we have the Church calendar with its associated lectionary, we are united in that we all have the exact same daily readings. During the Divine Liturgy the Gospel books are processed out and around the interior of the Church, we all bow to the Gospel books and later we each go forward and kiss the Holy Scriptures. I can’t remember how many Scriptures are read or sung during the Divine Liturgy, but it is significant. We have a reading during every service. Typically we read from an Epistle and from the Gospels. Many services we also read from the OT. The saying goes that there are old illiterate ladies in Georgia (the country) can’t read the Scriptures but know every word of it. The idea is that so much of the Holy Scriptures are read or sung or chanted during the services of the Church and these old ladies attend all the services, thus they have the entire Bible memorized. I believe it used to be that a candidate for Deacon had to have memorized the entire book of Psalms. I don’t know if that is still the case, but the point being, we think very highly of the Holy Scriptures.

    skpeterson@143
    “I wonder how much of our differences arise from differences in meaning attached to words, the choice of different words to refer to the same things, embodied in differences in patterns of speech and practice over the last 1000 years. We talk past each other as much as we talk to each other, and when we do talk “to” each other it does tend to get rather accusatory on both sides. ”

    You are dead on….absolutely correct. A few examples:

    For instance, “sin”. I think we define sin differently. We don’t even agree on sin! Generally the Orthodox see sin as missing the mark….falling short…not hitting the bullseye….tripping as we run the race. We do not generally understand sin in terms of breaking commands or incurring guilt.

    “Original sin” is another. We have no such concept. We do understand “the original sin” or “ancestral sin”. Typically the western doctrine of original sin includes the notion that Adam’s nature incurred some sort of guilt that was then passed down from generation to generation. The Roman church logically see that this sin nature cannot be passed onto Jesus, so they get rid of it via the immaculate conception. Protestants get rid of the sin nature in various ways, the most common being the idea that the sin nature is passed on via only the male of the species, therefore, since Jesus had no earthly father, he didn’t get the same nature as you and I. The Orthodox Church holds that Jesus had the exact same human nature as you and I, and yet he did not sin. As a matter of fact, we do not believe that humanity could have been saved if Jesus did not have the exact same nature as you and I.

    “Sacrifice” is another. We do not typically think of just the cross when we hear the words “the sacrifice of Christ”. Instead we think of His nativity and His childhood and His youth, His adult life spent in poverty and homelessness, living off the charity of others, as an outcast within a nation that was considered by it’s peers to be outcasts. We think of His whippings and beatings, we think of His voluntary ascension onto the Cross, and we also think of his willingness to go to Hades.

    “Heaven and Hell” that’s another. We don’t think in terms of places, but instead of states of existence.

    “Salvation” is another. I think it was John MacArthur that said something like “the good news of Easter is that God killed Jesus instead of us”. We don’t see salvation at all like that. We don’t think that God needed some sort of justice served. We don’t think that God received any type of satisfaction from the death of Jesus. Instead we see salvation exclusively in terms of the union of all humanity with God in Christ and the destruction of death. We believe that Jesus went to Hades and destroyed it. There is no longer a realm of the dead. Satan lost his power of the fear of death because death is no more. We believe that all mankind has been saved from death. All mankind will live forever in the presence of the Love of God. To some His Love will feel like light and warmth and peace and joy. To others, who hate Him, His Love will feel like a river of consuming fire.
    A nice piece on that topic can be found here:
    http://www.orthodoxpress.org/parish/river_of_fire.htm

    and Steve did a brief video with some theological shorthand here on the Orthodox view of Salvation:
    http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/stevethebuilder/love_wins_an_orthodox_view_of_salvation

    “Adam and Eve” there is another. We do not believe that Adam and Eve were perfect. We believe that they had the potential to become ever more like God for all eternity.

    “Church” well that’s obvious that we don’t see Church the same.

    “The Bible”….outside of what I have already stated above, we have more books…The Wisdom of Sirach is for sure worth your read…Jesus quotes from it several times…..and our Psalms has one more chapter.

    “Mary” ….we see Mary as the Theotokos, the Mother of God….the Ark of the New Covenant. Whereas the old ark carried manna, Aaron’s budding rod, and the ten commandments, Mary carried the Bread of Life, The Tree of Life, and The Word of God.

    We could probably go on and on.

  • Stephen

    SK

    I’m not sure if I can be much help. There is throughout the notion of theosis – deification. They add extra words to the sacrament not in scripture, a kind of invocation to God that he would make the elements into the body and blood of Christ. For me, this adds up to a kind of willing devotion, a feeling of sincerity, which sort of makes the promise secure rather than the plain word of Christ ALONE. It’s the aloneness of ALONE that seems missing and distinguishes Lutheran celebration of the Lord’s Supper from all others, including the Orthodox. Though they confess a similar sense of Christ’s presence and gift of grace, there is what seems like a greater emphasis on the sacrament as a sanctifying practice – hence theosis. Doing it makes you holy, in other words. While they maintain that it is mysterious, even mystical, it seems to lack the sense of in, with and under.

    It’s almost an aesthetic that they have about it (so it seems) and aesthetics are very axiomatic let’s not forget. It implies rules and structures that make it what it is. There’s a lot more theater to it. Something is being performed, and though they would never call it sacrificial on our part (at least I don’t know that they would), it does seem that the devotional participation of the celebrant and the communicant have roles in the drama.

  • Stephen

    SK

    I’m not sure if I can be much help. There is throughout the notion of theosis – deification. They add extra words to the sacrament not in scripture, a kind of invocation to God that he would make the elements into the body and blood of Christ. For me, this adds up to a kind of willing devotion, a feeling of sincerity, which sort of makes the promise secure rather than the plain word of Christ ALONE. It’s the aloneness of ALONE that seems missing and distinguishes Lutheran celebration of the Lord’s Supper from all others, including the Orthodox. Though they confess a similar sense of Christ’s presence and gift of grace, there is what seems like a greater emphasis on the sacrament as a sanctifying practice – hence theosis. Doing it makes you holy, in other words. While they maintain that it is mysterious, even mystical, it seems to lack the sense of in, with and under.

    It’s almost an aesthetic that they have about it (so it seems) and aesthetics are very axiomatic let’s not forget. It implies rules and structures that make it what it is. There’s a lot more theater to it. Something is being performed, and though they would never call it sacrificial on our part (at least I don’t know that they would), it does seem that the devotional participation of the celebrant and the communicant have roles in the drama.

  • Grace

    Scott @153

    As you may have noticed, or maybe you didn’t – we discuss our beliefs, and give LINKS, but to substitute a discussion for a list of 11 LINKS isn’t beneficial.

    Your LINKS have not been read by me – Are you unable to have a discussion regarding “traditions of men” ? Or, do you need to discuss, with a LINK?

    I pointed to Scripture, and pointed to the Word of God, the inspired Word, Christ HIMSELF, not “tradition” which you hold dear, as you stated in @ 137 –

    ““There is a very real sense in which Protestantism has replaced the Church with the Bible, substituting the living and Incarnate Body of Christ with a text, albeit a divinely inspired text.”

    Which I answered @139. “Traditions” have been, the stumbling block both to the Roman Catholic Church, and those who follow their lead.

    Again @ 137 you stated:

    YOU WROTE: ““Now, the Holy Scriptures, which are a witness to the things concerning Jesus Christ, were written and compiled and edited by the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, united to Jesus Christ and under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, so that “through their testimony all mankind might come to the knowledge of the truth and be united to Jesus Christ IN the Church.”-
    -

    I answswered this statment @138 You believe that the Apostles needed to be “edited” by those who never knew Jesus, who never sat at HIS feet, watched with their own eyes, God the SON crucified for our sins? Or watched while Christ healed the sick, gave life to a dead Lazarus, the woman at the well? Sheading HIS blood so that we might have life through Salvation? – to a world who needed a Savior? Only those who witnessed these events or who were in close contact, meaning Luke and Mark, knew the details, not those who came later, who never saw Christ Jesus – AND those who chose “traditions” for whatever reason to circumvent the truth? “Traditions” aren’t Gospel, nor are they inspired, they are nothing but “traditions of men”

  • Grace

    Scott @153

    As you may have noticed, or maybe you didn’t – we discuss our beliefs, and give LINKS, but to substitute a discussion for a list of 11 LINKS isn’t beneficial.

    Your LINKS have not been read by me – Are you unable to have a discussion regarding “traditions of men” ? Or, do you need to discuss, with a LINK?

    I pointed to Scripture, and pointed to the Word of God, the inspired Word, Christ HIMSELF, not “tradition” which you hold dear, as you stated in @ 137 –

    ““There is a very real sense in which Protestantism has replaced the Church with the Bible, substituting the living and Incarnate Body of Christ with a text, albeit a divinely inspired text.”

    Which I answered @139. “Traditions” have been, the stumbling block both to the Roman Catholic Church, and those who follow their lead.

    Again @ 137 you stated:

    YOU WROTE: ““Now, the Holy Scriptures, which are a witness to the things concerning Jesus Christ, were written and compiled and edited by the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, united to Jesus Christ and under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, so that “through their testimony all mankind might come to the knowledge of the truth and be united to Jesus Christ IN the Church.”-
    -

    I answswered this statment @138 You believe that the Apostles needed to be “edited” by those who never knew Jesus, who never sat at HIS feet, watched with their own eyes, God the SON crucified for our sins? Or watched while Christ healed the sick, gave life to a dead Lazarus, the woman at the well? Sheading HIS blood so that we might have life through Salvation? – to a world who needed a Savior? Only those who witnessed these events or who were in close contact, meaning Luke and Mark, knew the details, not those who came later, who never saw Christ Jesus – AND those who chose “traditions” for whatever reason to circumvent the truth? “Traditions” aren’t Gospel, nor are they inspired, they are nothing but “traditions of men”

  • Stephen

    SK

    To add to what I was saying – the word that did not come to mind but seems to fit is “incantatory.” This seems in concert with the painting of icons, where the artist has a kind of scripted image and it is a devotional practice of painting it in a highly prescribed way imbues the icon with an element of that which is depicted. It feels to me more like magic, but that is perhaps not being very generous. Magic for me is about deception. Again, it is the Word ALONE which makes it so and nothing we do.

    I wonder what they would say about the administration of the sacraments by an unbelieving priest. My bet is that it would not be effective and need to be repeated in such cases as baptism. I notice that Dr. Veith did not get an answer to his question on this from the former Lutheran Fr. Hogg.

  • Stephen

    SK

    To add to what I was saying – the word that did not come to mind but seems to fit is “incantatory.” This seems in concert with the painting of icons, where the artist has a kind of scripted image and it is a devotional practice of painting it in a highly prescribed way imbues the icon with an element of that which is depicted. It feels to me more like magic, but that is perhaps not being very generous. Magic for me is about deception. Again, it is the Word ALONE which makes it so and nothing we do.

    I wonder what they would say about the administration of the sacraments by an unbelieving priest. My bet is that it would not be effective and need to be repeated in such cases as baptism. I notice that Dr. Veith did not get an answer to his question on this from the former Lutheran Fr. Hogg.

  • Scott

    I am sorry Grace ….@153 I totally mis-typed. I have a fairly severe vision related disorder and so typing and spell checking is not one of my strengths! I meant to say…Your are correct. I do NOT know my stuff, therefore I sent you links so that you might more easily find the answers to your questions.

    My apologies.

    I thought the NOT, but failed to type it. So accept my apologies for not typing the NOT and also for offending your sensibilities with links.

    Let me say again, just to be perfectly clear. You are correct. I do NOT know my stuff. I do NOT know my stuff. I do NOT know my stuff, and therefore I sent links.

    I hope that this apology is satisfactory and for your sake and the sake of others like you, I will now bow out of this blog. I do believe that I have one post awaiting moderation, so it may or may not appear after I post this.

    Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.

  • Scott

    I am sorry Grace ….@153 I totally mis-typed. I have a fairly severe vision related disorder and so typing and spell checking is not one of my strengths! I meant to say…Your are correct. I do NOT know my stuff, therefore I sent you links so that you might more easily find the answers to your questions.

    My apologies.

    I thought the NOT, but failed to type it. So accept my apologies for not typing the NOT and also for offending your sensibilities with links.

    Let me say again, just to be perfectly clear. You are correct. I do NOT know my stuff. I do NOT know my stuff. I do NOT know my stuff, and therefore I sent links.

    I hope that this apology is satisfactory and for your sake and the sake of others like you, I will now bow out of this blog. I do believe that I have one post awaiting moderation, so it may or may not appear after I post this.

    Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Scott – word of explanation: Grace is very, very much not a Lutheran – she is a member of Calvary Chapel, and very much on the evangelical side of things. Her views, on this blog, are her own, as is her specific style of interaction with folks.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Scott – word of explanation: Grace is very, very much not a Lutheran – she is a member of Calvary Chapel, and very much on the evangelical side of things. Her views, on this blog, are her own, as is her specific style of interaction with folks.

  • Stephen

    Here’s a link.

    http://oca.org/orthodoxy/the-orthodox-faith/worship/the-sacraments/holy-eucharist

    Different, but hard to get at. I can’t find the “extra” words they say that are a sort of beseeching of God to make the bread and wine into Christ. If you can untangle that stuff about real, symbol, mystical on this page, have at it. It seems to say that inasmuch as Christ is in all things, he is already in the bread and wine.

    Maybe all it is is different language for similar ideas. But . . .there is something there that sounds pantheistic, like this:

    “In the Orthodox view, all of reality—the world and man himself—is real to the extent that it is symbolical and mystical, to the extent that reality itself must reveal and manifest God to us. Thus, the eucharist in the Orthodox Church is understood to be the genuine Body and Blood of Christ precisely because bread and wine are the mysteries and symbols of God’s true and genuine presence and manifestation to us in Christ.”

    I get the sense that there is that movement away from darkness to light, impure to pure, or as Forde put it, vice to virtue. You don’t hear a lot of talk about faith.

  • Stephen

    Here’s a link.

    http://oca.org/orthodoxy/the-orthodox-faith/worship/the-sacraments/holy-eucharist

    Different, but hard to get at. I can’t find the “extra” words they say that are a sort of beseeching of God to make the bread and wine into Christ. If you can untangle that stuff about real, symbol, mystical on this page, have at it. It seems to say that inasmuch as Christ is in all things, he is already in the bread and wine.

    Maybe all it is is different language for similar ideas. But . . .there is something there that sounds pantheistic, like this:

    “In the Orthodox view, all of reality—the world and man himself—is real to the extent that it is symbolical and mystical, to the extent that reality itself must reveal and manifest God to us. Thus, the eucharist in the Orthodox Church is understood to be the genuine Body and Blood of Christ precisely because bread and wine are the mysteries and symbols of God’s true and genuine presence and manifestation to us in Christ.”

    I get the sense that there is that movement away from darkness to light, impure to pure, or as Forde put it, vice to virtue. You don’t hear a lot of talk about faith.

  • Stephen

    Hey, when can we talk about TomKat and Scientology. Or maybe the Higgs particle?

  • Stephen

    Hey, when can we talk about TomKat and Scientology. Or maybe the Higgs particle?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Stephen, you have probably seen this one, but as it refers to church, here goes anyway:

    The Higgs Boson walks into a church. The priest says “We do not allow Higgs Bosons in here!”

    The Higgs Boson says: “But without me how can you have mass?”

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Stephen, you have probably seen this one, but as it refers to church, here goes anyway:

    The Higgs Boson walks into a church. The priest says “We do not allow Higgs Bosons in here!”

    The Higgs Boson says: “But without me how can you have mass?”

  • Stephen

    That’s good!! Andy Scientology jokes?

  • Stephen

    That’s good!! Andy Scientology jokes?

  • Stephen

    that should be ANY . . .

  • Stephen

    that should be ANY . . .

  • Stephen

    Okay, so I got a book on Orthodoxy from the library just now (it’s next door to where I am right now). It’s used for adult education for those thinking of become Orthodox from Light and Life Publishing.Most of what I know comes from studying Byzantine art and culture, icons and icon painter (Rublev) a long time ago. So I need to brush up. Here’s a quote from “Introducing The Orthodox Church”:

    “The Eucharist (they like this term) is a personal encounter with the living Christ. This is where we meet him and invite him into our soul.”

    It goes on with lots of quotes from past saints to embellish things.

    “The Eucharist is a divine blood transfusion.” goes one idea. Of the half-dozen I perused, they all had a different array of references to various historical figures to explain Communion. One quote from a saint even suggests one cannot enter heaven without partaking in it. Here is the thread that seems relevant in a closing idea from the section on the Eucharist, which they call the highest sacrament , that it is like medicine (it even uses that term elsewhere).

    “If we allow Him to enter regularly through the Eucharist, He will transubstantiate and change our lives into the beautiful life of Jesus (Gal 2:20).”

    Another text said that Orthodox do not need to use terms like transubstantiation, yet there it is in this one. The section on Baptism has a lot in common with how Lutherans talk about it, though in ever more elaborate terms. But then when I got to the section on Chrismation (Confirmation) it said that this is where one actually receives the HS, it being one’s personal Pentecost and thus completing Baptism. So it is confusing. Lutherans say that in Baptism we receive the HS by virtue of the presence of the Word itself and that Baptism is completed in our earthly death.

    Some stuff to ponder.

  • Stephen

    Okay, so I got a book on Orthodoxy from the library just now (it’s next door to where I am right now). It’s used for adult education for those thinking of become Orthodox from Light and Life Publishing.Most of what I know comes from studying Byzantine art and culture, icons and icon painter (Rublev) a long time ago. So I need to brush up. Here’s a quote from “Introducing The Orthodox Church”:

    “The Eucharist (they like this term) is a personal encounter with the living Christ. This is where we meet him and invite him into our soul.”

    It goes on with lots of quotes from past saints to embellish things.

    “The Eucharist is a divine blood transfusion.” goes one idea. Of the half-dozen I perused, they all had a different array of references to various historical figures to explain Communion. One quote from a saint even suggests one cannot enter heaven without partaking in it. Here is the thread that seems relevant in a closing idea from the section on the Eucharist, which they call the highest sacrament , that it is like medicine (it even uses that term elsewhere).

    “If we allow Him to enter regularly through the Eucharist, He will transubstantiate and change our lives into the beautiful life of Jesus (Gal 2:20).”

    Another text said that Orthodox do not need to use terms like transubstantiation, yet there it is in this one. The section on Baptism has a lot in common with how Lutherans talk about it, though in ever more elaborate terms. But then when I got to the section on Chrismation (Confirmation) it said that this is where one actually receives the HS, it being one’s personal Pentecost and thus completing Baptism. So it is confusing. Lutherans say that in Baptism we receive the HS by virtue of the presence of the Word itself and that Baptism is completed in our earthly death.

    Some stuff to ponder.

  • Stephen

    SK @ 151

    Reading what you wrote, I think we state pretty clearly what that something is – the forgiveness of sins. It is explicit in the words. That is what is happening, and where there is the forgiveness of sins, there is life and salvation.

    So maybe one clear difference is the explicit verses the implicit. Reading this Orthodox stuff, there seems to be a lot about what is implied beyond the Word alone. For Lutherans, we have the Word of Christ (which is Christ) and so there is no need to say more. Even the terminology of real presence is problematic and is/was a capitulation to at least say something out side the plain word of scripture itself “about” the sacrament beyond the words on institution themselves, which for Lutherans are plain and straight-forward, depending only on believing and trust them ALONE. Again, it’s the alone thing.

  • Stephen

    SK @ 151

    Reading what you wrote, I think we state pretty clearly what that something is – the forgiveness of sins. It is explicit in the words. That is what is happening, and where there is the forgiveness of sins, there is life and salvation.

    So maybe one clear difference is the explicit verses the implicit. Reading this Orthodox stuff, there seems to be a lot about what is implied beyond the Word alone. For Lutherans, we have the Word of Christ (which is Christ) and so there is no need to say more. Even the terminology of real presence is problematic and is/was a capitulation to at least say something out side the plain word of scripture itself “about” the sacrament beyond the words on institution themselves, which for Lutherans are plain and straight-forward, depending only on believing and trust them ALONE. Again, it’s the alone thing.

  • SKPeterson

    Stephen – Thanks for the information. I know there’s been some discussion of theosis in Lutheran circles, but it’s been done mostly by the Finns, so it is pretty much inaccessible to us English speakers. In some ways it is the Orthodox conception of progressive sanctification. To the extent that that sanctification occurs in the process of the forgiveness of sins, then the two ideas may be quite close. I may also be reading onto Orthodoxy what my Lutheran eyes want to see.

    As to your quotes in 164, I know I’ve read Lutheran theologians or pastors who have said (or quoted an Orthodox father in agreement) that the Eucharist is medicine for sin-sick souls. As to the use of “transubstantiation” it could very well be that the Orthodox person is saying that we don’t need to worry about the transubstantiation of bread and wine into Body and Blood, but rather that Body and Blood will transform our substance to be like Christs: the concept of us dying to ourselves and living in the true life that is Christ. As you say, some things to ponder.

  • SKPeterson

    Stephen – Thanks for the information. I know there’s been some discussion of theosis in Lutheran circles, but it’s been done mostly by the Finns, so it is pretty much inaccessible to us English speakers. In some ways it is the Orthodox conception of progressive sanctification. To the extent that that sanctification occurs in the process of the forgiveness of sins, then the two ideas may be quite close. I may also be reading onto Orthodoxy what my Lutheran eyes want to see.

    As to your quotes in 164, I know I’ve read Lutheran theologians or pastors who have said (or quoted an Orthodox father in agreement) that the Eucharist is medicine for sin-sick souls. As to the use of “transubstantiation” it could very well be that the Orthodox person is saying that we don’t need to worry about the transubstantiation of bread and wine into Body and Blood, but rather that Body and Blood will transform our substance to be like Christs: the concept of us dying to ourselves and living in the true life that is Christ. As you say, some things to ponder.

  • SKPeterson

    Stephen @ 165 – I think that “Alone” may be where we and the Orthodox have our greatest stumbling block. We expect and trust that God’s promises are sufficient, and as such, His promises in the Eucharist are true. If, and we’re speculating here to some extent, the Orthodox add things to the Eucharist, my guess (wholly unfounded and probably wrong) is that it started out as some sort of creedal formulation to explain that bread and wine are Body and Blood. The invocation being a creedal statement of assurance to the congregants that they were receiving the true meal and not a fraud. Over time, the tradition insinuated itself into the ceremony so that it is now inextricably woven with the Eucharistic invocation itself. I don’t have a problem with that per se, but it does open it up for criticism as “magic.”

  • SKPeterson

    Stephen @ 165 – I think that “Alone” may be where we and the Orthodox have our greatest stumbling block. We expect and trust that God’s promises are sufficient, and as such, His promises in the Eucharist are true. If, and we’re speculating here to some extent, the Orthodox add things to the Eucharist, my guess (wholly unfounded and probably wrong) is that it started out as some sort of creedal formulation to explain that bread and wine are Body and Blood. The invocation being a creedal statement of assurance to the congregants that they were receiving the true meal and not a fraud. Over time, the tradition insinuated itself into the ceremony so that it is now inextricably woven with the Eucharistic invocation itself. I don’t have a problem with that per se, but it does open it up for criticism as “magic.”

  • Stephen

    SK

    I’m still searching for the actual language. It’s different than saying “welcome to the Lord’s table” or some of those sorts of things that we sometimes put in there. This is a liturgical addition to the Words of Institution that seem to add some needed insurance (like you suggest) on top of the scripture. And they make quite a fuss over the liturgies (plural) and being very prescriptive there. I can’t get over that this is a performance of some sort that actually incants the HS to effect the change. So the sense of order they have in the liturgy has being itself a kind of divine work (translation: law and gospel confusion) of real, effective significance whereas for us it is all about doing what is commanded and Christ alone – his word, his grace alone – is what “happens.”

    I’d still like to know if all those people communed by that former Lutheran pastor, Fr. Hogg, did or did not receive the sacrament in his mind. That would be very telling.

  • Stephen

    SK

    I’m still searching for the actual language. It’s different than saying “welcome to the Lord’s table” or some of those sorts of things that we sometimes put in there. This is a liturgical addition to the Words of Institution that seem to add some needed insurance (like you suggest) on top of the scripture. And they make quite a fuss over the liturgies (plural) and being very prescriptive there. I can’t get over that this is a performance of some sort that actually incants the HS to effect the change. So the sense of order they have in the liturgy has being itself a kind of divine work (translation: law and gospel confusion) of real, effective significance whereas for us it is all about doing what is commanded and Christ alone – his word, his grace alone – is what “happens.”

    I’d still like to know if all those people communed by that former Lutheran pastor, Fr. Hogg, did or did not receive the sacrament in his mind. That would be very telling.

  • LC

    Of all the concepts that I find most depressing about EO/RCC, the idea that sacraments delivered outside of their respective churches are not valid is the worst.

  • LC

    Of all the concepts that I find most depressing about EO/RCC, the idea that sacraments delivered outside of their respective churches are not valid is the worst.

  • fws

    sk @ 167

    Yes. Alone. But how do Lutherans express that?
    Apology art VII

    It is because the righteousness of faith is not a righteousness bound to certain traditions outward ceremonies of human ordinance as the righteousness of the Law was bound to the Mosaic ceremonies, because this righteousness of the heart is a matter that quickens the heart.

    To this quickening, human traditions, whether they be universal or particular, contribute nothing; neither are they effects of the Holy Ghost.

    These all fall into the same category as chastity, patience, the fear of God, love to one’s neighbor, and the works, of love.

    [These traditions] are outward and political ordinances, pertaining in no respect to righteousness of heart or the worship of God, which vary, according to the circumstances, for certain probable reasons, sometimes in one way, and at other times in another as in worldly governments one state has customs different from another.

    Likewise some Churches have excommunicated others because of such traditions, as the observance of Easter, pictures, and the like.

    Hence the ignorant have supposed that faith, or the righteousness of the heart before God, cannot exist and that no one can be a Christian without these observances.

    Some thought that human traditions were necessary services for meriting justification that without such human ordinances Christian holiness and faith are of no avail before God; also that no one can be a Christian unless he observe such traditions, although they are nothing but an outward regulation.

    And afterwards they disputed how it came to pass that God was worshiped with such variety, as though, indeed, these observances were acts of worship.

    It is pleasing to us that, for the sake of tranquillity unity and good order, universal rites be observed, just as also in the churches we willingly observe the order of the Mass, the Lord’s Day, and other more eminent festival days.

    And with a very grateful mind we embrace the profitable and ancient ordinances, especially since they contain a discipline by which it is profitable to educate and train the people and those who are ignorant the young people.

    34] But now we are not discussing the question whether it be of advantage to observe them on account of peace or bodily profit.

    Another matter is treated of.

    For the question at issue is, whether the observances of human traditions are acts of worship necessary for righteousness before God. This is the point to be judged in this controversy, and when this is decided, it can afterwards be judged whether to the true unity of the Church it is necessary that human traditions should everywhere be alike.

    For if human traditions be not acts of worship necessary for righteousness before God, it follows that also they can be righteous and be the sons of God who have not the traditions which have been received elsewhere. eg;., if the style of German clothing is not worship of God, necessary for righteousness before God, it follows that men can be righteous and sons of God and the Church of Christ, even though they use a costume that is not German, but French.

    35] Paul clearly teaches this to the Colossians 2:16-17: Let no man, therefore, judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy-day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days, which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. Likewise, 2:20-23 sqq.: If ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances (touch not; taste not; handle not; which all are to perish with the using), after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have, indeed, a show of wisdom in will-worship and humility.

    36] For the meaning is:
    Righteousness of the heart is a spiritual matter, quickening hearts.
    [Therefore ] it is evident that human traditions do not quicken hearts, and are not effects of the Holy Ghost. They fall into the same category as love to one’s neighbor, chastity, etc…. They are usages with regard to matters that pertain in no respect to the heart, which perish with the using, we must not believe that they are necessary for righteousness before God. They are nothing eternal; hence, they do not procure eternal life, but are an external bodily discipline, which does not change the heart.]And to the same effect he says, Rom. 14:17: The kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness 37] and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.

    They are not instruments through which God moves hearts to believe, as are the divinely given Word and Sacraments.

    The point at controversy is this: are human traditions be acts of worship necessary for righteousness before God?

    38] The adversaries say that universal traditions are to be observed because they are supposed to have been handed down by the apostles.

    What religious men they are!

    They wish that the rites derived from the apostles be retained; they do not wish the doctrine of the apostles to be retained….

    Therefore the will and advice of the apostles ought to be derived from their writings; it is not enough to mention their example.

    True worship is defined as faith in Jesus Christ. Alone.

  • fws

    sk @ 167

    Yes. Alone. But how do Lutherans express that?
    Apology art VII

    It is because the righteousness of faith is not a righteousness bound to certain traditions outward ceremonies of human ordinance as the righteousness of the Law was bound to the Mosaic ceremonies, because this righteousness of the heart is a matter that quickens the heart.

    To this quickening, human traditions, whether they be universal or particular, contribute nothing; neither are they effects of the Holy Ghost.

    These all fall into the same category as chastity, patience, the fear of God, love to one’s neighbor, and the works, of love.

    [These traditions] are outward and political ordinances, pertaining in no respect to righteousness of heart or the worship of God, which vary, according to the circumstances, for certain probable reasons, sometimes in one way, and at other times in another as in worldly governments one state has customs different from another.

    Likewise some Churches have excommunicated others because of such traditions, as the observance of Easter, pictures, and the like.

    Hence the ignorant have supposed that faith, or the righteousness of the heart before God, cannot exist and that no one can be a Christian without these observances.

    Some thought that human traditions were necessary services for meriting justification that without such human ordinances Christian holiness and faith are of no avail before God; also that no one can be a Christian unless he observe such traditions, although they are nothing but an outward regulation.

    And afterwards they disputed how it came to pass that God was worshiped with such variety, as though, indeed, these observances were acts of worship.

    It is pleasing to us that, for the sake of tranquillity unity and good order, universal rites be observed, just as also in the churches we willingly observe the order of the Mass, the Lord’s Day, and other more eminent festival days.

    And with a very grateful mind we embrace the profitable and ancient ordinances, especially since they contain a discipline by which it is profitable to educate and train the people and those who are ignorant the young people.

    34] But now we are not discussing the question whether it be of advantage to observe them on account of peace or bodily profit.

    Another matter is treated of.

    For the question at issue is, whether the observances of human traditions are acts of worship necessary for righteousness before God. This is the point to be judged in this controversy, and when this is decided, it can afterwards be judged whether to the true unity of the Church it is necessary that human traditions should everywhere be alike.

    For if human traditions be not acts of worship necessary for righteousness before God, it follows that also they can be righteous and be the sons of God who have not the traditions which have been received elsewhere. eg;., if the style of German clothing is not worship of God, necessary for righteousness before God, it follows that men can be righteous and sons of God and the Church of Christ, even though they use a costume that is not German, but French.

    35] Paul clearly teaches this to the Colossians 2:16-17: Let no man, therefore, judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy-day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days, which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. Likewise, 2:20-23 sqq.: If ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances (touch not; taste not; handle not; which all are to perish with the using), after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have, indeed, a show of wisdom in will-worship and humility.

    36] For the meaning is:
    Righteousness of the heart is a spiritual matter, quickening hearts.
    [Therefore ] it is evident that human traditions do not quicken hearts, and are not effects of the Holy Ghost. They fall into the same category as love to one’s neighbor, chastity, etc…. They are usages with regard to matters that pertain in no respect to the heart, which perish with the using, we must not believe that they are necessary for righteousness before God. They are nothing eternal; hence, they do not procure eternal life, but are an external bodily discipline, which does not change the heart.]And to the same effect he says, Rom. 14:17: The kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness 37] and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.

    They are not instruments through which God moves hearts to believe, as are the divinely given Word and Sacraments.

    The point at controversy is this: are human traditions be acts of worship necessary for righteousness before God?

    38] The adversaries say that universal traditions are to be observed because they are supposed to have been handed down by the apostles.

    What religious men they are!

    They wish that the rites derived from the apostles be retained; they do not wish the doctrine of the apostles to be retained….

    Therefore the will and advice of the apostles ought to be derived from their writings; it is not enough to mention their example.

    True worship is defined as faith in Jesus Christ. Alone.

  • fws

    To SKPeterson

    Yes, that was long. And I do hope you read it as a Lutheran. It directly applies to what the ordodoxyites are trying to assert right here in this post.

  • fws

    To SKPeterson

    Yes, that was long. And I do hope you read it as a Lutheran. It directly applies to what the ordodoxyites are trying to assert right here in this post.

  • fws

    SKPeterson

    I will repeat: The problem with the Orthodoxyite position is all about the hats!

  • fws

    SKPeterson

    I will repeat: The problem with the Orthodoxyite position is all about the hats!

  • http://thecharitablesteward.wordpress.com David Rockett

    As a Reformed Protestant, the best single resource for really understanding Orthodoxy for me has been the Blog written mostly by Robert Arakaki, a gentle Phd Hawaiian of Okinawan descent call OrthodoxBridge Blog at http://orthodoxbridge.com/archive/
    The articles are kind, thorough and the discussion is often lively. I see no reason for me to redo his arguments here…since he does it better than I could. But all the issues are there…Sola Scriptura (4Pts), The Biblical Basis for Tradition, Icons, Theosis, Sola Fedi…you name it, Robert has likely touched on it. If you are patient and thoughtful, you will learn much good stuff…and not agree with everything. So what. Caution: do not think you can grasp Orthodoxy with a simple quick-scan. It takes awhile for a Protestant to catch on. They are NOT Roman Catholics without a Pope. Indeed, many Orthodox believe Roman Catholicism is the parent that sired Protestantism! :-) Those who seek to understand well…long before they start arguing…will be rewarded. They have alot to offer.
    in His tender mercies,
    david
    http://orthodoxbridge.com/archive/

  • http://thecharitablesteward.wordpress.com David Rockett

    As a Reformed Protestant, the best single resource for really understanding Orthodoxy for me has been the Blog written mostly by Robert Arakaki, a gentle Phd Hawaiian of Okinawan descent call OrthodoxBridge Blog at http://orthodoxbridge.com/archive/
    The articles are kind, thorough and the discussion is often lively. I see no reason for me to redo his arguments here…since he does it better than I could. But all the issues are there…Sola Scriptura (4Pts), The Biblical Basis for Tradition, Icons, Theosis, Sola Fedi…you name it, Robert has likely touched on it. If you are patient and thoughtful, you will learn much good stuff…and not agree with everything. So what. Caution: do not think you can grasp Orthodoxy with a simple quick-scan. It takes awhile for a Protestant to catch on. They are NOT Roman Catholics without a Pope. Indeed, many Orthodox believe Roman Catholicism is the parent that sired Protestantism! :-) Those who seek to understand well…long before they start arguing…will be rewarded. They have alot to offer.
    in His tender mercies,
    david
    http://orthodoxbridge.com/archive/

  • http://www.forthelifeoftheworld.com Adam S. N.

    By the way, the Holy Synod has released a statement, and the resignation had nothing at all to do with the above allegations.

    It had to do with Metropolitan Jonah’s failure to deal with a problem priest, and his handling of certain legal matters.

    When all is said and done it appears that the reasons given for his resignation are quite honorable.

    Good luck next time fellas.

  • http://www.forthelifeoftheworld.com Adam S. N.

    By the way, the Holy Synod has released a statement, and the resignation had nothing at all to do with the above allegations.

    It had to do with Metropolitan Jonah’s failure to deal with a problem priest, and his handling of certain legal matters.

    When all is said and done it appears that the reasons given for his resignation are quite honorable.

    Good luck next time fellas.

  • Grace

    Scott @ 157

    No need to apologize. I am interested in peoples views, when aligned with Scripture. If they don’t match the Word of God, I cannot trust them.

    So much of what the Roman Church and the Eastern/Russian and Greek Orthodox believe is based on “traditions” – I cannot abide by their views, after years of study in the Bible, it is all man made.

  • Grace

    Scott @ 157

    No need to apologize. I am interested in peoples views, when aligned with Scripture. If they don’t match the Word of God, I cannot trust them.

    So much of what the Roman Church and the Eastern/Russian and Greek Orthodox believe is based on “traditions” – I cannot abide by their views, after years of study in the Bible, it is all man made.

  • Grace

    Adam S. N. @ 174

    Scott was kind enough to post the link @130 – which was very helpful indeed.
    http://www.midwestdiocese.org/news_120716_1.html

  • Grace

    Adam S. N. @ 174

    Scott was kind enough to post the link @130 – which was very helpful indeed.
    http://www.midwestdiocese.org/news_120716_1.html

  • http://thecharitablesteward.wordpress.com David Rockett

    Adam,
    You are right that Veith original speculations were false.

    But how we view the actions of the Snod are subject to whom you wish to give the benefit of the doubt. Of course do not know the specifics. For example, just what, specifically, did his rehab-counselor suggest Met. Jonah do? Take a drug(s)? We all might have rejected the counsel as a difference of opinion? And who knows when to go to the law with every alleged rape case? It’s a judgement call that is not always easy to say. While there are certainly risk by waiting…maybe Met. Jonah was more willing to give the Priest the benefit of the doubt than a jittery trigger-happy attorney trying to cover his bases?
    Perhaps Met. Jonah judged the allegation of rape spurious and without substance? We don’t know. These are judgement calls (as is
    “too much to drink & “alcholism”) that those who differ with us can write letters that make us look bad. But then, perhaps Met. Jonah is not a good administrator, and as a young impressive pious man was “laid hand on for leadership” too quickly. We don’t know. Any anyone can be second-guessed to death. Did the Snod follow that “do unto others…as they would have other…” thing again? Lord have mercy on us all.
    david

  • http://thecharitablesteward.wordpress.com David Rockett

    Adam,
    You are right that Veith original speculations were false.

    But how we view the actions of the Snod are subject to whom you wish to give the benefit of the doubt. Of course do not know the specifics. For example, just what, specifically, did his rehab-counselor suggest Met. Jonah do? Take a drug(s)? We all might have rejected the counsel as a difference of opinion? And who knows when to go to the law with every alleged rape case? It’s a judgement call that is not always easy to say. While there are certainly risk by waiting…maybe Met. Jonah was more willing to give the Priest the benefit of the doubt than a jittery trigger-happy attorney trying to cover his bases?
    Perhaps Met. Jonah judged the allegation of rape spurious and without substance? We don’t know. These are judgement calls (as is
    “too much to drink & “alcholism”) that those who differ with us can write letters that make us look bad. But then, perhaps Met. Jonah is not a good administrator, and as a young impressive pious man was “laid hand on for leadership” too quickly. We don’t know. Any anyone can be second-guessed to death. Did the Snod follow that “do unto others…as they would have other…” thing again? Lord have mercy on us all.
    david

  • Grace

    Thank you again Scott for posting the LINK @ 130.

    I hope you stay and continue to post. I’m sorry for being so hard on you – I could have used a softer touch.

  • Grace

    Thank you again Scott for posting the LINK @ 130.

    I hope you stay and continue to post. I’m sorry for being so hard on you – I could have used a softer touch.

  • Grace

    David @177

    Perhaps Met. Jonah judged the allegation of rape spurious and without substance? We don’t know. These are judgement calls (as is “too much to drink & “alcholism”) that those who differ with us can write letters that make us look bad.

    That’s the whole problem ‘you don’t know’ – there is a way to find out, to search for the truth. Every accusation of “rape” must be submitted to the authorities. They are far more qualified to investigate such allegations.

    That has been the problem within the RCC, and other churches/denominations – it should have been a lesson to all within the clery, no matter what station they have.

  • Grace

    David @177

    Perhaps Met. Jonah judged the allegation of rape spurious and without substance? We don’t know. These are judgement calls (as is “too much to drink & “alcholism”) that those who differ with us can write letters that make us look bad.

    That’s the whole problem ‘you don’t know’ – there is a way to find out, to search for the truth. Every accusation of “rape” must be submitted to the authorities. They are far more qualified to investigate such allegations.

    That has been the problem within the RCC, and other churches/denominations – it should have been a lesson to all within the clery, no matter what station they have.

  • SKPeterson

    Grace @ 179 – From the link Scott posted, it does appear that Met. Jonah was in the wrong and the bishops to recall him.

    Adam @ 174 – We’re not playing “Gotcha!” – just trying to better understand the ecclesiology of a different communion (despite Fr, Hogg’s protests that there is only one. True, there is only one Communion, we just have four communities that mostly practice closed communion, hence separate communions within the Communion. ;)) and how that plays out. In fact, we haven’t really been discussing the removal of Met. Jonah too much lately.

  • SKPeterson

    Grace @ 179 – From the link Scott posted, it does appear that Met. Jonah was in the wrong and the bishops to recall him.

    Adam @ 174 – We’re not playing “Gotcha!” – just trying to better understand the ecclesiology of a different communion (despite Fr, Hogg’s protests that there is only one. True, there is only one Communion, we just have four communities that mostly practice closed communion, hence separate communions within the Communion. ;)) and how that plays out. In fact, we haven’t really been discussing the removal of Met. Jonah too much lately.

  • http://thecharitablesteward.wordpress.com David Rockett

    Here’s just a taste from the last Blog post over at OrthodoxBridge:
    (I’d normally not quote so much…but it is so germane to this discussion…can’t help myself!)

    “Frankly, one reason Protestants regard Holy Tradition as a likely enemy is because they’ve been led to believe loving Holy Tradition equals hating the Bible! …Nor does Scripture itself assume all Tradition, the traditions of men, like the Pharisee tradition or worse yet, Roman Catholic tradition. Here is another simplistic fundamentalism that “would be laughable if not so tragic” situation. There are indeed traditions of men. The tradition of the Pharisees is certainly one man-made tradition.

    But there is also another Tradition hidden and obscured from most Protestants – in the Bible – commended to the Church by the Apostles themselves. A good place to start is with Robert’s Blog post here: ‘IF NOT SOLA SCRIPTURA THEN WHAT? The Biblical Basis for Holy Tradition.’ Here he patiently reviews all the biblical texts relating to holy tradition like:

    I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the traditions, just as I passed them on to you. (I Corinthians 11:2)

    Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care (I Timothy 6:20). What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you–guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. (II Timothy 1:13-14)

    In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the tradition you received from us. (II Thessalonians 3:6)

    There are many other passages of Scripture and Mr. Arakaki covers them all in a thorough but concise way most Protestants have never seen, much less seriously considered…”

    The author continues on to review the conversion testimony of Associate Professor Clark Carlton, Ph.D. pertaining to several observation about the place of Holy Tradition:

    “Among the books I read was The Vindication of Tradition by Yale historian Jaroslav Pelikan. [Life-long Lutheran scholar who converted to Orthodoxy at age 74, DER] In it Pelikan drew a distinction between the intellectual rediscovery of tradition and the existential recovery of tradition. In other words, there is a great difference between simply recognizing what has gone before and genuinely claiming it for oneself. I had discovered the Church of history, the wisdom of the Fathers, and the liturgy, but I had yet to come to grips with all that such a discovery entails.” (Carlton)

    “…Professor Carlton says, “I had discovered the Church of history, the wisdom of the Fathers, and the liturgy, but I had yet to come to grips with all that such a discovery entails.” But this is not all that confronted him. Professor Carlton continues:”

    “Actually, I would amend Pelikan’s formula slightly at this point, for a further distinction needs to be made. There is also a great difference between claiming tradition for oneself and being claimed by tradition. I, along with Webber (Evangelicals on the Canterbury Trail, Robert Webber) and the contributors to his book, was perfectly willing to claim the historic Church and the liturgy for my own understanding of Christianity. Yet, I was still in control! I, in true Protestant fashion, was judge and jury of what would and would not fit into my kind of Christianity. I was willing to claim the historic Church, but I had yet to recognize Her claim on me.”

    “Here Professor Carlton…gives us an excellent glimpse into the modern Protestant mind when it is forced to confront Church History and Holy Tradition.”

    “The Protestant Christian stands outside of history and Tradition. Regardless of its attractiveness to him, he observes from a safe distance. From outside he can lay selective claim to as many or as few elements of that traditions he wishes to taste and embrace. He is like a careful diner before a vast smorgasbord. He might like a bit of sacramental this, and a taste of liturgical that. Yet he will take his doctrinal cuisine from yet another table. Professor Carlton says,”

    “Yet, I was still in control! I, in true Protestant fashion, was judge and jury of what would and would not fit into my kind of Christianity. I was willing to claim the historic Church, but I had yet to recognize Her claim on me.”

    Recently, some Protestant scholars and pastors have been exposed to historical studies and critical scholarship. They have been compelled to adopt Tradition as Useful Tool. The result has been an eclectic hodgepodge in which they pick and choose as they like from the ancient church and try to blend it with the Reformed tradition. The results have often been interesting, but all too much like Professor Carlton above. They are yet in control of how Orthodox, Roman Catholic or Reformed their Churches shall be.

    Professor Carlton’s observation is striking. Can tradition have a claim upon a person? We might pause to ask how this is possible. We noted Adam’s passing on Truth via oral tradition did not bother Protestants much because they assume it was preserved from error by the providential guidance of the Holy Spirit. Here is our first hint, the unnoticeable introduction of a divine element into the passing on of Oral Tradition. If God Himself is managing, in ways we cannot see, the integrity of Oral Tradition, then those who like Moses end up writing it need not worry if they got it right. Scripture grows supernaturally, via the Holy Spirit, out of Oral Tradition.

    Holy Tradition is thus the substance of divine providence. It is the work of the Holy Spirit in history. This providence and history is of a nature that we at some point can no longer hold it at arm’s length and pick and choose what has a claim upon us. If Holy Tradition is the work of the Holy Spirit (Pentecost in the Church) then it cannot be so easily ignored or jettisoned like some cultural folk lore.”

    “Here, Holy Tradition is comprehended in a whole new light. With Pentecost as the cause, Holy Tradition changes everything. It never was merely the traditions of men. Indeed, the sure promise of Christ and the active presence of the Holy Spirit is our surety. If the Holy Spirit is the author and giver of Holy Tradition, then I am not only bound to embrace it – it has a sacred claim upon me. Like the law of God given through Moses was no take-what-you-want-of-it tradition of men, Holy Tradition is the gift of the Holy Spirit in history, our cherished joy, our wisdom and glory before the nations – and our duty to preserve and pass on!”

    “In sad contrast we saw recently in a Pentecost Blog where a Protestant scholar saw the Protestant view of Pentecost as BOBO theology: Blink-On, Blink-Off. The Holy Spirit comes and goes, for centuries at a time! History becomes practical Deism for hundreds if not a thousand years. Pentecost is thus series of temporary phenomena in Church History. The Holy Spirit is God with us, sometimes. Yet Christ promised He would never leave or forsake His Church, Bride and Body. By the Holy Spirit He is Emmanuel, God with us. This is why the Protestant view of Pentecost, as well as church history might be regarded as damnable.”

    Again…I’m sorry this was so long…but there’s much more you can read the whole thing here. http://orthodoxbridge.com/tradition-family-friend-or-foe/ The whole first part deals with the making of the Old & New Testament Canon.
    in His tender mercies,
    david

  • http://thecharitablesteward.wordpress.com David Rockett

    Here’s just a taste from the last Blog post over at OrthodoxBridge:
    (I’d normally not quote so much…but it is so germane to this discussion…can’t help myself!)

    “Frankly, one reason Protestants regard Holy Tradition as a likely enemy is because they’ve been led to believe loving Holy Tradition equals hating the Bible! …Nor does Scripture itself assume all Tradition, the traditions of men, like the Pharisee tradition or worse yet, Roman Catholic tradition. Here is another simplistic fundamentalism that “would be laughable if not so tragic” situation. There are indeed traditions of men. The tradition of the Pharisees is certainly one man-made tradition.

    But there is also another Tradition hidden and obscured from most Protestants – in the Bible – commended to the Church by the Apostles themselves. A good place to start is with Robert’s Blog post here: ‘IF NOT SOLA SCRIPTURA THEN WHAT? The Biblical Basis for Holy Tradition.’ Here he patiently reviews all the biblical texts relating to holy tradition like:

    I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the traditions, just as I passed them on to you. (I Corinthians 11:2)

    Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care (I Timothy 6:20). What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you–guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. (II Timothy 1:13-14)

    In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the tradition you received from us. (II Thessalonians 3:6)

    There are many other passages of Scripture and Mr. Arakaki covers them all in a thorough but concise way most Protestants have never seen, much less seriously considered…”

    The author continues on to review the conversion testimony of Associate Professor Clark Carlton, Ph.D. pertaining to several observation about the place of Holy Tradition:

    “Among the books I read was The Vindication of Tradition by Yale historian Jaroslav Pelikan. [Life-long Lutheran scholar who converted to Orthodoxy at age 74, DER] In it Pelikan drew a distinction between the intellectual rediscovery of tradition and the existential recovery of tradition. In other words, there is a great difference between simply recognizing what has gone before and genuinely claiming it for oneself. I had discovered the Church of history, the wisdom of the Fathers, and the liturgy, but I had yet to come to grips with all that such a discovery entails.” (Carlton)

    “…Professor Carlton says, “I had discovered the Church of history, the wisdom of the Fathers, and the liturgy, but I had yet to come to grips with all that such a discovery entails.” But this is not all that confronted him. Professor Carlton continues:”

    “Actually, I would amend Pelikan’s formula slightly at this point, for a further distinction needs to be made. There is also a great difference between claiming tradition for oneself and being claimed by tradition. I, along with Webber (Evangelicals on the Canterbury Trail, Robert Webber) and the contributors to his book, was perfectly willing to claim the historic Church and the liturgy for my own understanding of Christianity. Yet, I was still in control! I, in true Protestant fashion, was judge and jury of what would and would not fit into my kind of Christianity. I was willing to claim the historic Church, but I had yet to recognize Her claim on me.”

    “Here Professor Carlton…gives us an excellent glimpse into the modern Protestant mind when it is forced to confront Church History and Holy Tradition.”

    “The Protestant Christian stands outside of history and Tradition. Regardless of its attractiveness to him, he observes from a safe distance. From outside he can lay selective claim to as many or as few elements of that traditions he wishes to taste and embrace. He is like a careful diner before a vast smorgasbord. He might like a bit of sacramental this, and a taste of liturgical that. Yet he will take his doctrinal cuisine from yet another table. Professor Carlton says,”

    “Yet, I was still in control! I, in true Protestant fashion, was judge and jury of what would and would not fit into my kind of Christianity. I was willing to claim the historic Church, but I had yet to recognize Her claim on me.”

    Recently, some Protestant scholars and pastors have been exposed to historical studies and critical scholarship. They have been compelled to adopt Tradition as Useful Tool. The result has been an eclectic hodgepodge in which they pick and choose as they like from the ancient church and try to blend it with the Reformed tradition. The results have often been interesting, but all too much like Professor Carlton above. They are yet in control of how Orthodox, Roman Catholic or Reformed their Churches shall be.

    Professor Carlton’s observation is striking. Can tradition have a claim upon a person? We might pause to ask how this is possible. We noted Adam’s passing on Truth via oral tradition did not bother Protestants much because they assume it was preserved from error by the providential guidance of the Holy Spirit. Here is our first hint, the unnoticeable introduction of a divine element into the passing on of Oral Tradition. If God Himself is managing, in ways we cannot see, the integrity of Oral Tradition, then those who like Moses end up writing it need not worry if they got it right. Scripture grows supernaturally, via the Holy Spirit, out of Oral Tradition.

    Holy Tradition is thus the substance of divine providence. It is the work of the Holy Spirit in history. This providence and history is of a nature that we at some point can no longer hold it at arm’s length and pick and choose what has a claim upon us. If Holy Tradition is the work of the Holy Spirit (Pentecost in the Church) then it cannot be so easily ignored or jettisoned like some cultural folk lore.”

    “Here, Holy Tradition is comprehended in a whole new light. With Pentecost as the cause, Holy Tradition changes everything. It never was merely the traditions of men. Indeed, the sure promise of Christ and the active presence of the Holy Spirit is our surety. If the Holy Spirit is the author and giver of Holy Tradition, then I am not only bound to embrace it – it has a sacred claim upon me. Like the law of God given through Moses was no take-what-you-want-of-it tradition of men, Holy Tradition is the gift of the Holy Spirit in history, our cherished joy, our wisdom and glory before the nations – and our duty to preserve and pass on!”

    “In sad contrast we saw recently in a Pentecost Blog where a Protestant scholar saw the Protestant view of Pentecost as BOBO theology: Blink-On, Blink-Off. The Holy Spirit comes and goes, for centuries at a time! History becomes practical Deism for hundreds if not a thousand years. Pentecost is thus series of temporary phenomena in Church History. The Holy Spirit is God with us, sometimes. Yet Christ promised He would never leave or forsake His Church, Bride and Body. By the Holy Spirit He is Emmanuel, God with us. This is why the Protestant view of Pentecost, as well as church history might be regarded as damnable.”

    Again…I’m sorry this was so long…but there’s much more you can read the whole thing here. http://orthodoxbridge.com/tradition-family-friend-or-foe/ The whole first part deals with the making of the Old & New Testament Canon.
    in His tender mercies,
    david

  • http://thecharitablesteward.wordpress.com David Rockett

    Grace,
    That’d be my inclination too…report it all. But then I’d be curious as to why Met. Jonah didn’t want to. Maybe he had a good reason I’ve not thought of…maybe not?
    david

  • http://thecharitablesteward.wordpress.com David Rockett

    Grace,
    That’d be my inclination too…report it all. But then I’d be curious as to why Met. Jonah didn’t want to. Maybe he had a good reason I’ve not thought of…maybe not?
    david

  • SKPeterson

    Adam: High dudgeon alert! Flame thrower is on max.

    Adam – remember – we’re not the schismatics. You are. The Orthodox Church is the Mother of schism and heresy. Only one heresy arose out of the West – Pelagianism – which got stamped out by Augustine, who you guys aren’t very fond of. Probably because you often veer right into a semi-Pelagianism, if not some of you going right on into full-blown Pelagian heresy in the here and now, and then compounding it by having the gall to call us the schismatics. Think of every other heresy: Montanism, Nestorianism, Arianism, Apollinarianism, etc., etc. etc. was born, bred and often downright encouraged by factions within the Eastern church. How often did Antioch excommunicate Alexandria and vice versa? Are you an Antiochan Orthodox or Alexandrian – your communion is as historically riven by factionalism and division as we in the West. Get over it – you don’t get to claim the Church as yours. And us Lutherans, well WE are the true inheritors of the faith of the Apostles, which has been spurned by the Papacy, which has presumed to arrogate to itself powers and authority not given to it by Christ or the Apostles, and faith often lost and disregarded by the East. Mind you, I’m not saying your not a Christian, just that you are outside the true expression of the faith that is found in the Confessions.

    See how that works? I’ve just placed you Outside, leaving you to protest, “But, but, but, we have Apostolic Succession!” Which doesn’t mean a hill of beans when for a good portion of its history the Successors in the East actively taught, ordained, blessed and promulgated heresy upon heresy. Which had to be corrected from the West. We saved your bacon time and time again for almost a 1000 years. Sure, you may have recovered now, but the taint remains – you are no longer the pure expression of the Church, but a sad, insular remnant divorced from your bickering brothers in the West. We love you, but we sure wish you’d get over yourselves.

  • SKPeterson

    Adam: High dudgeon alert! Flame thrower is on max.

    Adam – remember – we’re not the schismatics. You are. The Orthodox Church is the Mother of schism and heresy. Only one heresy arose out of the West – Pelagianism – which got stamped out by Augustine, who you guys aren’t very fond of. Probably because you often veer right into a semi-Pelagianism, if not some of you going right on into full-blown Pelagian heresy in the here and now, and then compounding it by having the gall to call us the schismatics. Think of every other heresy: Montanism, Nestorianism, Arianism, Apollinarianism, etc., etc. etc. was born, bred and often downright encouraged by factions within the Eastern church. How often did Antioch excommunicate Alexandria and vice versa? Are you an Antiochan Orthodox or Alexandrian – your communion is as historically riven by factionalism and division as we in the West. Get over it – you don’t get to claim the Church as yours. And us Lutherans, well WE are the true inheritors of the faith of the Apostles, which has been spurned by the Papacy, which has presumed to arrogate to itself powers and authority not given to it by Christ or the Apostles, and faith often lost and disregarded by the East. Mind you, I’m not saying your not a Christian, just that you are outside the true expression of the faith that is found in the Confessions.

    See how that works? I’ve just placed you Outside, leaving you to protest, “But, but, but, we have Apostolic Succession!” Which doesn’t mean a hill of beans when for a good portion of its history the Successors in the East actively taught, ordained, blessed and promulgated heresy upon heresy. Which had to be corrected from the West. We saved your bacon time and time again for almost a 1000 years. Sure, you may have recovered now, but the taint remains – you are no longer the pure expression of the Church, but a sad, insular remnant divorced from your bickering brothers in the West. We love you, but we sure wish you’d get over yourselves.

  • SKPeterson

    And Adam – everything I just laid out can come right back down on the heads of us Lutherans. We are often lumped in with the rest of the Protestants, even though we are often at odds with them. We see ourselves as part of the Church Catholic and the true remnant of the Church in the West. Rome disagrees because we will not view him as being more than the Bishop of Rome, and that he obscures by his teaching the faith of the Apostles and ignores the valid traditions of the faith. Oh well.

  • SKPeterson

    And Adam – everything I just laid out can come right back down on the heads of us Lutherans. We are often lumped in with the rest of the Protestants, even though we are often at odds with them. We see ourselves as part of the Church Catholic and the true remnant of the Church in the West. Rome disagrees because we will not view him as being more than the Bishop of Rome, and that he obscures by his teaching the faith of the Apostles and ignores the valid traditions of the faith. Oh well.

  • Grace

    David @ 182

    You quoted Scripture, that’s good, what isn’t good, is what little man then chooses as “tradition” according to his choices.

    If the doctrine isn’t in the Word of God, it isn’t there – no need to quote Scripture to try and re-invent facts with “tradition” by a man who never laid eyes on the LORD Jesus Christ, but chose instead, to come up with a “tradition” -

  • Grace

    David @ 182

    You quoted Scripture, that’s good, what isn’t good, is what little man then chooses as “tradition” according to his choices.

    If the doctrine isn’t in the Word of God, it isn’t there – no need to quote Scripture to try and re-invent facts with “tradition” by a man who never laid eyes on the LORD Jesus Christ, but chose instead, to come up with a “tradition” -

  • Grace

    David @182

    What “traditions” was it, that you used with Scripture that the writer in all those passages was talking about – OR, are you guessing that what you have, from ‘church history’ as factual?

  • Grace

    David @182

    What “traditions” was it, that you used with Scripture that the writer in all those passages was talking about – OR, are you guessing that what you have, from ‘church history’ as factual?

  • Grace

    David @ 183

    YOU WROTE: “That’d be my inclination too…report it all. But then I’d be curious as to why Met. Jonah didn’t want to. Maybe he had a good reason I’ve not thought of…maybe not?”

    When a child or anyone says they are “raped” it’s not up to clergy to decide whether or not it’s a true accusation.

    There is no “good reason”

  • Grace

    David @ 183

    YOU WROTE: “That’d be my inclination too…report it all. But then I’d be curious as to why Met. Jonah didn’t want to. Maybe he had a good reason I’ve not thought of…maybe not?”

    When a child or anyone says they are “raped” it’s not up to clergy to decide whether or not it’s a true accusation.

    There is no “good reason”

  • valet

    skpeterson first time chiming in here. the other orthodox guy has a rather long post addressed to you and it seems more amiable no flame throwing see scott @154

  • valet

    skpeterson first time chiming in here. the other orthodox guy has a rather long post addressed to you and it seems more amiable no flame throwing see scott @154

  • Grace

    Valet @ 159

    YOU WROTE @159 : “skpeterson first time chiming in here. the other orthodox guy has a rather long post addressed to you and it seems more amiable no flame throwing see scott @154

    Scott @ 154 wrote: ““Mary” ….we see Mary as the Theotokos, the Mother of God….the Ark of the New Covenant. Whereas the old ark carried manna, Aaron’s budding rod, and the ten commandments, Mary carried the Bread of Life, The Tree of Life, and The Word of God.”

    Valet, Jesus is God the Son –

    Where do you find Ark of the New Covenant in the Bible?

    If you are referring to:

    And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.
    Revelation 11:19

    It has nothing to do with Mary’s womb.

  • Grace

    Valet @ 159

    YOU WROTE @159 : “skpeterson first time chiming in here. the other orthodox guy has a rather long post addressed to you and it seems more amiable no flame throwing see scott @154

    Scott @ 154 wrote: ““Mary” ….we see Mary as the Theotokos, the Mother of God….the Ark of the New Covenant. Whereas the old ark carried manna, Aaron’s budding rod, and the ten commandments, Mary carried the Bread of Life, The Tree of Life, and The Word of God.”

    Valet, Jesus is God the Son –

    Where do you find Ark of the New Covenant in the Bible?

    If you are referring to:

    And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.
    Revelation 11:19

    It has nothing to do with Mary’s womb.

  • Grace

    My post @ 190 should read:

    Valet @ 189

  • Grace

    My post @ 190 should read:

    Valet @ 189

  • Grace

    Mary was never sinless, the Word of God is explicit:

    For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
    Romans 3:23 – That includes Mary.

    ____Jesus was sinless ____

    For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
    2 Corinthians 5:21

    46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,

    47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

    Luke 1

    Mary needed a Savior just as everyone else, she knew this, that’s why she exclaimed “And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour

    God is the Savior to all who believe in HIM!

  • Grace

    Mary was never sinless, the Word of God is explicit:

    For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
    Romans 3:23 – That includes Mary.

    ____Jesus was sinless ____

    For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
    2 Corinthians 5:21

    46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,

    47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

    Luke 1

    Mary needed a Savior just as everyone else, she knew this, that’s why she exclaimed “And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour

    God is the Savior to all who believe in HIM!

  • http://www.forthelifeoftheworld.com Adam S. N.

    SK Peterson,

    >> “Only one heresy arose out of the West – Pelagianism – which got stamped out by Augustine, who you guys aren’t very fond of.”

    Wow, talk about an overgeneralization. The Orthodox Church isn’t about east, or west. It’s about orthodoxy. The Orthodox Church rejected Pelagianism, and ever other heresy including those developed in the west after the Great Schism. Furthermore, Augustin is a Saint among orthodox Christians. Trying to play the Orthodox off against St. Augustin is ridiculous.

    I have no interest in responding to the rest of your accusations. I’m quite comfortable having left the Reformed Faith after over 30 years for the Christian Faith once, for all, delivered to the saints. I’m well aware of your accusations, and I used to believe them myself.

    I was, however, willing to be corrected by the Fathers. And it is in them that I stand without shame, and without fear.

    Glory to God for all things!

  • http://www.forthelifeoftheworld.com Adam S. N.

    SK Peterson,

    >> “Only one heresy arose out of the West – Pelagianism – which got stamped out by Augustine, who you guys aren’t very fond of.”

    Wow, talk about an overgeneralization. The Orthodox Church isn’t about east, or west. It’s about orthodoxy. The Orthodox Church rejected Pelagianism, and ever other heresy including those developed in the west after the Great Schism. Furthermore, Augustin is a Saint among orthodox Christians. Trying to play the Orthodox off against St. Augustin is ridiculous.

    I have no interest in responding to the rest of your accusations. I’m quite comfortable having left the Reformed Faith after over 30 years for the Christian Faith once, for all, delivered to the saints. I’m well aware of your accusations, and I used to believe them myself.

    I was, however, willing to be corrected by the Fathers. And it is in them that I stand without shame, and without fear.

    Glory to God for all things!

  • Stephen

    This stuff about tradition is very germane for Lutherans I think as we wrestle with worship forms. The proof texts offered @ 182, however, do not indicate what David wants them to mean. These citations from Paul refer to tradition that is teaching – catechesis – and say nothing about liturgical forms. While it is true that liturgical forms perform great teaching role in the church, what we do know is that Paul did not prescribe particular orders for worship other than to pass on the Words of institution. He was much more interested in holding things together through preaching and teaching, and his admonitions to Timothy are in this vein. He does have specific instructions regarding how we are to live together, but worship – prayers and hymns is about all we get from St. Paul in terms of forms, forms which are, to one degree or another, cultural norms for the 1st. c.

    We can agree that good order is important to St. Paul though. Absolutely. And I think there are some things I think we could agree on at face value, such as the work of HS in history to shape these forms for our benefit in some kind of organic and inspired way. But there is more to it than that for the Orthodox. It is the forms themselves that insure the teaching. This is Japanese Tea Ceremony kind of stuff. Formalism elevated to the status of theological necessity. And I must admit it appeals to me. I have refused to go to communion in an LCMS church where the pastor monkeyed around a little too much with the Words of Institution. Did it matter? I couldn’t tell, my conscience was troubled by it, so I stayed put.

    These sorts of things seem to be the point of what Frank quotes in the Confessions about why it is good to maintain the customs of the church – things like good order and not introducing new ideas too hastily so as to confuse the laity about what really matters (hint: it’s not the forms themselves but what they deliver). Liturgy and order are good, important even, but they do not save or sanctify or justify in themselves. I don’t see the Orthodox making this law/gospel distinction. In fact, I seems they are pretty much saying that the forms are essential.

    From Wikipedia, a pretty good description of formalism in art:

    “In art theory, formalism is the concept that a work’s artistic value is entirely determined by its form—the way it is made, its purely visual aspects, and its medium. Formalism emphasizes compositional elements such as color, line, shape and texture rather than realism, context, and content. In visual art, formalism is a concept that posits that everything necessary to comprehending a work of art is contained within the work of art. The context for the work, including the reason for its creation, the historical background, and the life of the artist, is considered to be of secondary importance. Formalism is an approach to understanding art.”

    Pretty good description and also very appealing to moderns. Like I said, there is an aesthetic at work here. Or maybe it would be better to call it a hermeneutic of worship and liturgy.

    So, here is the above rewritten with some word changes/insertions (bracketed) and you get a sense of how much “Holy Tradition” means, or so would be what I’m interpreting to a large degree:

    In [Orthodox theology], formalism is the concept that a [liturgy's theological] value is entirely determined by its [given] form—the way it is [performed], its purely [methodological] aspects, and its [agency are its inherent meaning]. [Orthodox] Formalism emphasizes [structural] elements such as [arrangement, uniformity, codification, concentration, regulation] and [temperament] rather than realism, context [outside the liturgical form itself], and content. In [Orthodox theology], formalism is a concept that posits that everything necessary to comprehending [God] is contained within the [worship forms]. The context for [theology outside of worship], including the reason for its [usefulness], the [teaching], [such as] the [place of scripture], is considered to be of secondary importance. Formalism is an approach to [achieving theosis].

    Kind of hard to read, but it sort of works I think. this could also be extended to how they view the church – as a formation/creation of the HS in history that has its actual presence and shape preserved visibly in the Orthodox Church itself.

    It’s the hats.

  • Stephen

    This stuff about tradition is very germane for Lutherans I think as we wrestle with worship forms. The proof texts offered @ 182, however, do not indicate what David wants them to mean. These citations from Paul refer to tradition that is teaching – catechesis – and say nothing about liturgical forms. While it is true that liturgical forms perform great teaching role in the church, what we do know is that Paul did not prescribe particular orders for worship other than to pass on the Words of institution. He was much more interested in holding things together through preaching and teaching, and his admonitions to Timothy are in this vein. He does have specific instructions regarding how we are to live together, but worship – prayers and hymns is about all we get from St. Paul in terms of forms, forms which are, to one degree or another, cultural norms for the 1st. c.

    We can agree that good order is important to St. Paul though. Absolutely. And I think there are some things I think we could agree on at face value, such as the work of HS in history to shape these forms for our benefit in some kind of organic and inspired way. But there is more to it than that for the Orthodox. It is the forms themselves that insure the teaching. This is Japanese Tea Ceremony kind of stuff. Formalism elevated to the status of theological necessity. And I must admit it appeals to me. I have refused to go to communion in an LCMS church where the pastor monkeyed around a little too much with the Words of Institution. Did it matter? I couldn’t tell, my conscience was troubled by it, so I stayed put.

    These sorts of things seem to be the point of what Frank quotes in the Confessions about why it is good to maintain the customs of the church – things like good order and not introducing new ideas too hastily so as to confuse the laity about what really matters (hint: it’s not the forms themselves but what they deliver). Liturgy and order are good, important even, but they do not save or sanctify or justify in themselves. I don’t see the Orthodox making this law/gospel distinction. In fact, I seems they are pretty much saying that the forms are essential.

    From Wikipedia, a pretty good description of formalism in art:

    “In art theory, formalism is the concept that a work’s artistic value is entirely determined by its form—the way it is made, its purely visual aspects, and its medium. Formalism emphasizes compositional elements such as color, line, shape and texture rather than realism, context, and content. In visual art, formalism is a concept that posits that everything necessary to comprehending a work of art is contained within the work of art. The context for the work, including the reason for its creation, the historical background, and the life of the artist, is considered to be of secondary importance. Formalism is an approach to understanding art.”

    Pretty good description and also very appealing to moderns. Like I said, there is an aesthetic at work here. Or maybe it would be better to call it a hermeneutic of worship and liturgy.

    So, here is the above rewritten with some word changes/insertions (bracketed) and you get a sense of how much “Holy Tradition” means, or so would be what I’m interpreting to a large degree:

    In [Orthodox theology], formalism is the concept that a [liturgy's theological] value is entirely determined by its [given] form—the way it is [performed], its purely [methodological] aspects, and its [agency are its inherent meaning]. [Orthodox] Formalism emphasizes [structural] elements such as [arrangement, uniformity, codification, concentration, regulation] and [temperament] rather than realism, context [outside the liturgical form itself], and content. In [Orthodox theology], formalism is a concept that posits that everything necessary to comprehending [God] is contained within the [worship forms]. The context for [theology outside of worship], including the reason for its [usefulness], the [teaching], [such as] the [place of scripture], is considered to be of secondary importance. Formalism is an approach to [achieving theosis].

    Kind of hard to read, but it sort of works I think. this could also be extended to how they view the church – as a formation/creation of the HS in history that has its actual presence and shape preserved visibly in the Orthodox Church itself.

    It’s the hats.

  • fws

    The point at controversy is this: are human traditions be acts of worship necessary for righteousness before God?
    38] The[ eastern church] say that universal traditions are to be observed because they are supposed to have been handed down by the apostles.

    What religious men they are!

    They wish that the rites derived from the apostles be retained; they do not wish the doctrine of the apostles to be retained….
    Therefore the will and advice of the apostles ought to be derived from their writings; it is not enough to mention their example.

    True worship is defined as faith in Jesus Christ. Alone.

  • fws

    The point at controversy is this: are human traditions be acts of worship necessary for righteousness before God?
    38] The[ eastern church] say that universal traditions are to be observed because they are supposed to have been handed down by the apostles.

    What religious men they are!

    They wish that the rites derived from the apostles be retained; they do not wish the doctrine of the apostles to be retained….
    Therefore the will and advice of the apostles ought to be derived from their writings; it is not enough to mention their example.

    True worship is defined as faith in Jesus Christ. Alone.

  • fws

    The Lutheran problem with the eastern chuch keeps coming back to those hats….

  • fws

    The Lutheran problem with the eastern chuch keeps coming back to those hats….

  • fws

    stephen @ 194

    Orthodoxy=The Artstic Formalism Movement

    Would any of the orthodox brethren here care to disagree with that parallel? It sounds exactly like what the links say that Scott is posting. Would an orthodox be offended at that parallel?

    If so, why?

  • fws

    stephen @ 194

    Orthodoxy=The Artstic Formalism Movement

    Would any of the orthodox brethren here care to disagree with that parallel? It sounds exactly like what the links say that Scott is posting. Would an orthodox be offended at that parallel?

    If so, why?

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    SK@181, you wrote:

    “True, there is only one Communion, we just have four communities that mostly practice closed communion, hence separate communions within the Communion…”

    …and elsewhere you list those communions as LCMS, Rome, the Orthodox and the Anglicans.

    Set the others aside; just take the LCMS. Are we to understand that WELS is outside the LCMS ‘communion’? If not, then why don’t the LCMS and WELS commune? (In other words, what does a ‘communion’ mean if it doesn’t entail communing?) And if you ARE in the same communion as all other LCMS churches, then the open-communion practice of some of them is *your* practice…and the tossing of plastic individual cups into the trash, uncleansed, is your practice.

    The straw that broke the camel’s back, for me, was when I considered the existential implications of being in communion fellowship with such practices in the LCMS.

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    SK@181, you wrote:

    “True, there is only one Communion, we just have four communities that mostly practice closed communion, hence separate communions within the Communion…”

    …and elsewhere you list those communions as LCMS, Rome, the Orthodox and the Anglicans.

    Set the others aside; just take the LCMS. Are we to understand that WELS is outside the LCMS ‘communion’? If not, then why don’t the LCMS and WELS commune? (In other words, what does a ‘communion’ mean if it doesn’t entail communing?) And if you ARE in the same communion as all other LCMS churches, then the open-communion practice of some of them is *your* practice…and the tossing of plastic individual cups into the trash, uncleansed, is your practice.

    The straw that broke the camel’s back, for me, was when I considered the existential implications of being in communion fellowship with such practices in the LCMS.

  • SKPeterson

    Adam @ 193 – Precisely my point Adam. Orthodoxy isn’t about East or West, or Eastern Orthodox or Western Catholic. Orthodoxy is about the Church. What we are arguing about is what is the earthly expression of the Church.

    As you say, though, to God alone the glory!

  • SKPeterson

    Adam @ 193 – Precisely my point Adam. Orthodoxy isn’t about East or West, or Eastern Orthodox or Western Catholic. Orthodoxy is about the Church. What we are arguing about is what is the earthly expression of the Church.

    As you say, though, to God alone the glory!

  • SKPeterson

    Fr. Hogg – @ 198 – Your problem with Missouri then was a lack of orthopraxy, and an associated lack of will to enforce conformity to a desired rule or norm. I understand. I just don’t agree that jumping to the East corrects that problem. It does superficially, but the East has been far too inconsistent over its history to claim any lasting legitimacy in that regard.

    You ask if LCMS would commune with WELS. No. But neither did Alexandria commune with Antioch or Constantinople or Ephesus or Rome and all the variations in between for long periods of time. Perhaps there will be rapprochement with WELS, the ELS, TAALC and LCMS. Are you saying we should have the warmed over stale bread of the false ecumenism endemic in the ELCA? That would satisfy?

    As fws notes at 195 – you’ll jettison the theology and doctrine of the Fathers in order to be in a perceived uniformity of liturgical practice. How does that differ from Rome allowing any and every sort of questionable theology to run rampant as long as the occasional obeisance is made toward the throne of Peter? I suppose Rome’s great sin is not that their practices obscure the Gospel, but that they are not insistent enough on a uniform liturgy.

  • SKPeterson

    Fr. Hogg – @ 198 – Your problem with Missouri then was a lack of orthopraxy, and an associated lack of will to enforce conformity to a desired rule or norm. I understand. I just don’t agree that jumping to the East corrects that problem. It does superficially, but the East has been far too inconsistent over its history to claim any lasting legitimacy in that regard.

    You ask if LCMS would commune with WELS. No. But neither did Alexandria commune with Antioch or Constantinople or Ephesus or Rome and all the variations in between for long periods of time. Perhaps there will be rapprochement with WELS, the ELS, TAALC and LCMS. Are you saying we should have the warmed over stale bread of the false ecumenism endemic in the ELCA? That would satisfy?

    As fws notes at 195 – you’ll jettison the theology and doctrine of the Fathers in order to be in a perceived uniformity of liturgical practice. How does that differ from Rome allowing any and every sort of questionable theology to run rampant as long as the occasional obeisance is made toward the throne of Peter? I suppose Rome’s great sin is not that their practices obscure the Gospel, but that they are not insistent enough on a uniform liturgy.

  • SKPeterson

    Adam – I too have read the Fathers (not all of them mind you, but a good smattering from a good many) and I have found precious little to indicate that Lutheranism is not a valid expression of the true faith. Nor have I found any compelling argument that it is to be found in Eastern Orthodoxy, or that Eastern Orthodoxy is the valid expression of the Church. It just simply. is. not. so.

    By the way – my accusations still stand. You may ignore them, but you cannot hide behind “tradition” or the Fathers. They do not cover you. You can ignore history if you like, but that is a rather odd inconsistency if you want to hang your hat on tradition.

  • SKPeterson

    Adam – I too have read the Fathers (not all of them mind you, but a good smattering from a good many) and I have found precious little to indicate that Lutheranism is not a valid expression of the true faith. Nor have I found any compelling argument that it is to be found in Eastern Orthodoxy, or that Eastern Orthodoxy is the valid expression of the Church. It just simply. is. not. so.

    By the way – my accusations still stand. You may ignore them, but you cannot hide behind “tradition” or the Fathers. They do not cover you. You can ignore history if you like, but that is a rather odd inconsistency if you want to hang your hat on tradition.

  • SKPeterson

    valet – I read Scott’s post and it was welcome. Adam seems to drop by, throw a bomb and leave. I know I’m being overly harsh, or trying to draw some very hard lines, but that is because the Orthodox arguments here – leaving aside completely the issue with Met. Jonah, article accuracy, etc. – boil down to: 1)WE are the True Church. 2)YOU are not. 3)Why? Because WE say the Fathers said so. 4)YOU say, the Fathers did not say that and our Scriptural justification is weak, if not absent? See 1.

  • SKPeterson

    valet – I read Scott’s post and it was welcome. Adam seems to drop by, throw a bomb and leave. I know I’m being overly harsh, or trying to draw some very hard lines, but that is because the Orthodox arguments here – leaving aside completely the issue with Met. Jonah, article accuracy, etc. – boil down to: 1)WE are the True Church. 2)YOU are not. 3)Why? Because WE say the Fathers said so. 4)YOU say, the Fathers did not say that and our Scriptural justification is weak, if not absent? See 1.

  • valet

    skpeterson…..you have laid out the Orthodox “arguement” in a numerical sequence, can you now please lay out the Lutheran or Protestant “arguement” in a like numerical fashion…thank you

  • valet

    skpeterson…..you have laid out the Orthodox “arguement” in a numerical sequence, can you now please lay out the Lutheran or Protestant “arguement” in a like numerical fashion…thank you

  • SKPeterson

    Can’t speak for the Protestants valet, but I’ll give it a whack. And did I write “arguement”? Sheesh. Or is is just for argue-ing over ;)

    1) The Lutherans are part of the Church Catholic, perhaps best called Evangelical Catholics to distinguish ourselves from Roman, 2) Our Confessions are a clear and true exposition of the faith given in Scripture and handed down by the Fathers. 3) Where the Fathers are in accord with Scripture their teaching is acceptable and profitable for our use and learning. 4) Where their teachings diverge from the clear command of Scripture they are to be avoided – this does not diminish the valued contributions of the saints, but recognizes that all men are sinful and liable to err, even saints. 5) The Roman pontiff has arrogated to himself teachings, powers and authorities unwarranted by Scripture or the Apostles and made them theological tenets and norms to the point of repudiating the historic faith. 6) We hold to Sola Scriptura, Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Sola Christus: Scripture alone, grace alone, faith alone, Christ alone. Scripture is the norma normans by which even tradition must be weighed. Followed by Sola Deo Gloria – To God Alone the Glory.

    A start anyway.

  • SKPeterson

    Can’t speak for the Protestants valet, but I’ll give it a whack. And did I write “arguement”? Sheesh. Or is is just for argue-ing over ;)

    1) The Lutherans are part of the Church Catholic, perhaps best called Evangelical Catholics to distinguish ourselves from Roman, 2) Our Confessions are a clear and true exposition of the faith given in Scripture and handed down by the Fathers. 3) Where the Fathers are in accord with Scripture their teaching is acceptable and profitable for our use and learning. 4) Where their teachings diverge from the clear command of Scripture they are to be avoided – this does not diminish the valued contributions of the saints, but recognizes that all men are sinful and liable to err, even saints. 5) The Roman pontiff has arrogated to himself teachings, powers and authorities unwarranted by Scripture or the Apostles and made them theological tenets and norms to the point of repudiating the historic faith. 6) We hold to Sola Scriptura, Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Sola Christus: Scripture alone, grace alone, faith alone, Christ alone. Scripture is the norma normans by which even tradition must be weighed. Followed by Sola Deo Gloria – To God Alone the Glory.

    A start anyway.

  • fws

    SKPetersen @ 200

    To be clear , that was not FWS at 191. That was a quote from the Apology art VII/VIII. That gem of clarity was buried in a lengthier quote I posted here on this thread:

    http://www.geneveith.com/2012/07/13/changes-in-the-orthodox-church/#comment-156696

    So father Hogg, you are saying you traded in Lutheran Orthodoxy, for the orthopraxy of the eastern rite.

    You get big points for being honest.

  • fws

    SKPetersen @ 200

    To be clear , that was not FWS at 191. That was a quote from the Apology art VII/VIII. That gem of clarity was buried in a lengthier quote I posted here on this thread:

    http://www.geneveith.com/2012/07/13/changes-in-the-orthodox-church/#comment-156696

    So father Hogg, you are saying you traded in Lutheran Orthodoxy, for the orthopraxy of the eastern rite.

    You get big points for being honest.

  • Stephen

    Fr. Hogg,

    Can we get a simple yes or no answer to the question of the validity of all those baptisms and suppers you did while a Lutheran? Valid or not? It seems mercy would require you to do so for the sake of those who trusted in the office you were called to, if not repentance on your part for being so badly mistaken.

    And how then do you reconcile this with the need to be at peace with all people when you receive the gift of the Eucharist? Give us some insights into how seriously you take this “true church” position of Orthodoxy.

  • Stephen

    Fr. Hogg,

    Can we get a simple yes or no answer to the question of the validity of all those baptisms and suppers you did while a Lutheran? Valid or not? It seems mercy would require you to do so for the sake of those who trusted in the office you were called to, if not repentance on your part for being so badly mistaken.

    And how then do you reconcile this with the need to be at peace with all people when you receive the gift of the Eucharist? Give us some insights into how seriously you take this “true church” position of Orthodoxy.

  • fws

    SKP @ 201

    that is a rather odd inconsistency if you want to hang your hat on tradition

    See. SKP agrees with my analysis. Orthodoxy is about funny hats being necessary in order to be the one true church and salvation.
    But we can get those at Burger King and Dog on a Stick.

    http://www.geneveith.com/2012/07/13/changes-in-the-orthodox-church/#comment-156560

  • fws

    SKP @ 201

    that is a rather odd inconsistency if you want to hang your hat on tradition

    See. SKP agrees with my analysis. Orthodoxy is about funny hats being necessary in order to be the one true church and salvation.
    But we can get those at Burger King and Dog on a Stick.

    http://www.geneveith.com/2012/07/13/changes-in-the-orthodox-church/#comment-156560

  • Stephen

    And if there is some offense at the mocking tone in some of these posts, I’d ask “how would you take it if you were essentially told you aren’t a Christian?” It seems we are sort of like Mormons to the Orthodox. We keep making stuff up, or so goes the critique.

    Orthopraxy. That’s what it’s all about.

  • Stephen

    And if there is some offense at the mocking tone in some of these posts, I’d ask “how would you take it if you were essentially told you aren’t a Christian?” It seems we are sort of like Mormons to the Orthodox. We keep making stuff up, or so goes the critique.

    Orthopraxy. That’s what it’s all about.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    SKP – excellent analysis at #204.

    That is essentially the difference between the Orthodox, Rome, and Lutherans (+ a few Anglicans):

    The question is always, who is the final arbiter?

    For Lutherans, we say Scripture (as you say, it is the Norma Normans). That does not mean tradition, the Fathers, and the rest are worthless. They are of exceptionally high worth, but are subjected to the rule of Scripture. In fact, one could say, the Church defined Scripture, and is in turn defined by it. One could liken it, in the political realm, to Constitutional Democracy, or constitutional Monarchy – the Constitution has the final say (lets ignore the modern disregard and hubris for a moment).

    For the Orthodoxy, the people, the Church, the Fathers, praxis and Scripture are all part of Holy Tradition. Fine, but this has the pretense of a populist democracy, but where the dead guys get to vote as well. Except the dead guys themselves are only mediated through the words and praxis of the currently living. Essentially, this leaves the Church open to gradual evolution away from the foundation – and if anything, an evolved organisation could certainly point towards “Succession”. Populist democracy leaves itself open to domination….

    Rome resolved the issue by declaring the final arbiter to be the pope, but only when he speaks ex cathedra. Politically, he should be the benevolent dictator. But there are zero assurances that he is entirely divinely led -as history clearly shows (The Great Schism, anybody??).

    Of course, Protestants, as SKP uses the word, went a fourth way, some in trying to hold to Sola Scriptura, but ignoring the wisdom and the traditions of the church altogether: These are the Militia groups, the extreme libertarians, and the anarchists (someone once dubbed them as people who hold to solo Scriptura, instead of Sola Scriptura). Then you have the ones who chose their own little popes, or their own neo-traditions – Sects, Cults etc. – petty dictatorships & banana Republics. The you have the ones who do hold to a Constitutional Rule, but pervert the interpretation thereof (Calvinists, maybe) – these are like many modern politicians.

    I hope this helps those who argue about church authority and the various historical streams….

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    SKP – excellent analysis at #204.

    That is essentially the difference between the Orthodox, Rome, and Lutherans (+ a few Anglicans):

    The question is always, who is the final arbiter?

    For Lutherans, we say Scripture (as you say, it is the Norma Normans). That does not mean tradition, the Fathers, and the rest are worthless. They are of exceptionally high worth, but are subjected to the rule of Scripture. In fact, one could say, the Church defined Scripture, and is in turn defined by it. One could liken it, in the political realm, to Constitutional Democracy, or constitutional Monarchy – the Constitution has the final say (lets ignore the modern disregard and hubris for a moment).

    For the Orthodoxy, the people, the Church, the Fathers, praxis and Scripture are all part of Holy Tradition. Fine, but this has the pretense of a populist democracy, but where the dead guys get to vote as well. Except the dead guys themselves are only mediated through the words and praxis of the currently living. Essentially, this leaves the Church open to gradual evolution away from the foundation – and if anything, an evolved organisation could certainly point towards “Succession”. Populist democracy leaves itself open to domination….

    Rome resolved the issue by declaring the final arbiter to be the pope, but only when he speaks ex cathedra. Politically, he should be the benevolent dictator. But there are zero assurances that he is entirely divinely led -as history clearly shows (The Great Schism, anybody??).

    Of course, Protestants, as SKP uses the word, went a fourth way, some in trying to hold to Sola Scriptura, but ignoring the wisdom and the traditions of the church altogether: These are the Militia groups, the extreme libertarians, and the anarchists (someone once dubbed them as people who hold to solo Scriptura, instead of Sola Scriptura). Then you have the ones who chose their own little popes, or their own neo-traditions – Sects, Cults etc. – petty dictatorships & banana Republics. The you have the ones who do hold to a Constitutional Rule, but pervert the interpretation thereof (Calvinists, maybe) – these are like many modern politicians.

    I hope this helps those who argue about church authority and the various historical streams….

  • Stephen

    Great analogy KK.

    Along those lines, I’d like to know when this historical process that became Holy Tradition ceased and became canonical among the Orthodox. Or, if there is any value to the history of the church now in continuing to shape tradition, and if so, how does that work and on what grounds.

  • Stephen

    Great analogy KK.

    Along those lines, I’d like to know when this historical process that became Holy Tradition ceased and became canonical among the Orthodox. Or, if there is any value to the history of the church now in continuing to shape tradition, and if so, how does that work and on what grounds.

  • SKPeterson

    valet – Here’s a nice example of Lutherans and tradition:

    http://abc3miscellany.blogspot.com/2012/07/palanga-lutheran-church-dedication.html

    The architecture of the church is also reminiscent of the medieval Baltic/Scandinavian stavekirke design. Like this one from Sweden: http://www.flickr.com/photos/29368032@N07/6104019274/in/photostream/

  • SKPeterson

    valet – Here’s a nice example of Lutherans and tradition:

    http://abc3miscellany.blogspot.com/2012/07/palanga-lutheran-church-dedication.html

    The architecture of the church is also reminiscent of the medieval Baltic/Scandinavian stavekirke design. Like this one from Sweden: http://www.flickr.com/photos/29368032@N07/6104019274/in/photostream/

  • fws

    valet @ 203

    …can you now please lay out the Lutheran or Protestant “arguement” in a like numerical fashion…

    1)WE are the True Church.
    2)YOU are not.
    3)Why? Because WE say the Fathers said so.
    4)YOU say, the Fathers did not say that and our Scriptural justification is weak, if not absent?

    The Lutheran view of Tradition and Authority:

    1)God both before and after
    the Fall, has revealed the Gospel of Christ by giving His sure Word. God first appointed Adam, as it were, a
    bishop for his time. There is no doubt that God bestowed on
    him a divine testimony and authority, and gave him a very
    long life, to safeguard the purity of this Gospel message.
    2) Then, when this Gospel was horribly corrupted, God restored it through special revelations whiche he also explained more fully and made Abraham his authorized prophet.
    3) This too was corrupted. So God uses a new way. Through Mose God used writings, approved and confirmed by divine authority
    and testimony. Why? Tod establish the old, genuine and pure teaching of the patriarchs, new and special revelations might not always have to be sought and looked for.
    4)After Moses received this Word of God in writing, the church of Israel was a pillar of truth, because to them had been
    committed the oracles of God (Rom. 3 : 2). This fact did not give them authority toimpose upon the church from unwritten traditions as doginas for faith things other and different from those which had been written. If they departed from the commandments of God, this Scripture was to be a testimony (Deut. 3 1: 26). and canon, norm, and rule from which they were not to depart
    (Deut. 17 : 1 8-20).14
    5) The early church customarily brought the Holy Gospels into the midst ofn the synod, to remind the fathers with what means they were to fight in the councils against errors. That this was customarily done also in other disputations concerning religion Augustine tells us in his Letter No.163 .
    6)Constantine the Great, in person opened the Synod of Nicaea. He said: “It is the books of the evangelists and of the apostles,and the prophecies of the ancient prophets, which clearly instruct
    us what we are to decide concerning divine matters. Therefore let us take the solution of the questions from divinely
    inspired utterances.
    7) Rome and the East make these two arguments against these facts: 1. Scripture does not contain everything needed by
    the church for doctrine and life, therefore they must be greatly supplemented by oral tradition; 2. Scripture are not sufficiently clear, therefore the authority of the church is needed to interpret the Scripture.
    8) This goes against the claims that Christ and the Holy Apostles make for the Authority, perspescuity and sufficiency of Holy Scriptures.

  • fws

    valet @ 203

    …can you now please lay out the Lutheran or Protestant “arguement” in a like numerical fashion…

    1)WE are the True Church.
    2)YOU are not.
    3)Why? Because WE say the Fathers said so.
    4)YOU say, the Fathers did not say that and our Scriptural justification is weak, if not absent?

    The Lutheran view of Tradition and Authority:

    1)God both before and after
    the Fall, has revealed the Gospel of Christ by giving His sure Word. God first appointed Adam, as it were, a
    bishop for his time. There is no doubt that God bestowed on
    him a divine testimony and authority, and gave him a very
    long life, to safeguard the purity of this Gospel message.
    2) Then, when this Gospel was horribly corrupted, God restored it through special revelations whiche he also explained more fully and made Abraham his authorized prophet.
    3) This too was corrupted. So God uses a new way. Through Mose God used writings, approved and confirmed by divine authority
    and testimony. Why? Tod establish the old, genuine and pure teaching of the patriarchs, new and special revelations might not always have to be sought and looked for.
    4)After Moses received this Word of God in writing, the church of Israel was a pillar of truth, because to them had been
    committed the oracles of God (Rom. 3 : 2). This fact did not give them authority toimpose upon the church from unwritten traditions as doginas for faith things other and different from those which had been written. If they departed from the commandments of God, this Scripture was to be a testimony (Deut. 3 1: 26). and canon, norm, and rule from which they were not to depart
    (Deut. 17 : 1 8-20).14
    5) The early church customarily brought the Holy Gospels into the midst ofn the synod, to remind the fathers with what means they were to fight in the councils against errors. That this was customarily done also in other disputations concerning religion Augustine tells us in his Letter No.163 .
    6)Constantine the Great, in person opened the Synod of Nicaea. He said: “It is the books of the evangelists and of the apostles,and the prophecies of the ancient prophets, which clearly instruct
    us what we are to decide concerning divine matters. Therefore let us take the solution of the questions from divinely
    inspired utterances.
    7) Rome and the East make these two arguments against these facts: 1. Scripture does not contain everything needed by
    the church for doctrine and life, therefore they must be greatly supplemented by oral tradition; 2. Scripture are not sufficiently clear, therefore the authority of the church is needed to interpret the Scripture.
    8) This goes against the claims that Christ and the Holy Apostles make for the Authority, perspescuity and sufficiency of Holy Scriptures.

  • SKPeterson

    I find much that is attractive about Orthodoxy, but here is what I find galling about the Orthodox position and it derives from my point #5 @ 204. Here are the follow up points:

    1. The Lutherans have been excommunicated by the Romans.
    2. The Orthodox have been excommunicated by the Romans.
    3. The Lutherans do not recognize the Pope’s authority to do what he has done and as embodied in the Council of Trent.
    4. The Orthodox do not recognize the Pope’s authority to do what he has done and as embodied in the Council of Trent.
    5. The Orthodox declare that the excommunications pronounced upon them by Rome are invalid.
    6. Lutherans declare that the excommunications pronounced upon them by Rome are invalid.
    7. Lutherans hold to the faith once delivered by the Apostles.
    8.Orthodox hold to the faith once delivered by the Apostles.
    9. Orthodox hold to Tradition as on par with Scripture.
    10. Lutherans hold to Tradition as it conforms with Scripture.
    11. Lutherans are therefore schismatics.

  • SKPeterson

    I find much that is attractive about Orthodoxy, but here is what I find galling about the Orthodox position and it derives from my point #5 @ 204. Here are the follow up points:

    1. The Lutherans have been excommunicated by the Romans.
    2. The Orthodox have been excommunicated by the Romans.
    3. The Lutherans do not recognize the Pope’s authority to do what he has done and as embodied in the Council of Trent.
    4. The Orthodox do not recognize the Pope’s authority to do what he has done and as embodied in the Council of Trent.
    5. The Orthodox declare that the excommunications pronounced upon them by Rome are invalid.
    6. Lutherans declare that the excommunications pronounced upon them by Rome are invalid.
    7. Lutherans hold to the faith once delivered by the Apostles.
    8.Orthodox hold to the faith once delivered by the Apostles.
    9. Orthodox hold to Tradition as on par with Scripture.
    10. Lutherans hold to Tradition as it conforms with Scripture.
    11. Lutherans are therefore schismatics.

  • valet

    SKpeterson @204: I am not attempting to be contrary or contentious, I really and truely just want to accurately understand what you are saying.

    From what I see, it appears that you have really only stated a single argument. All your other points depend the accuracy of #2 in your list.

    “2) Our Confessions are a clear and true exposition of the faith given in Scripture and handed down by the Fathers.”

    If #2 is not correct, then Lutherans have no way to determine if #1,#3,#4,#5,#6 are true.

    So it seems that you might want to provide a reason for us to believe that Lutheran confessions are a clear and true exposition of the faith given in Scripture and handed down by the Fathers

  • valet

    SKpeterson @204: I am not attempting to be contrary or contentious, I really and truely just want to accurately understand what you are saying.

    From what I see, it appears that you have really only stated a single argument. All your other points depend the accuracy of #2 in your list.

    “2) Our Confessions are a clear and true exposition of the faith given in Scripture and handed down by the Fathers.”

    If #2 is not correct, then Lutherans have no way to determine if #1,#3,#4,#5,#6 are true.

    So it seems that you might want to provide a reason for us to believe that Lutheran confessions are a clear and true exposition of the faith given in Scripture and handed down by the Fathers

  • BW

    Valet @ 214,

    Where do they disagree with Scripture?

  • BW

    Valet @ 214,

    Where do they disagree with Scripture?

  • SKPeterson

    valet – you’d have to read them!:) Suffice it to say thst they are apretty exhaustive exegesis of Scripture coupled with supporting evidence from writings of various Fathers. bookofconcord.org has a free online version but it is an older translation and sometimes hard to follow. I encourage you to stick around as we often discuss it – and an Orthodox perspective would be welcome – though discussion can be heated, bombastic even.

  • SKPeterson

    valet – you’d have to read them!:) Suffice it to say thst they are apretty exhaustive exegesis of Scripture coupled with supporting evidence from writings of various Fathers. bookofconcord.org has a free online version but it is an older translation and sometimes hard to follow. I encourage you to stick around as we often discuss it – and an Orthodox perspective would be welcome – though discussion can be heated, bombastic even.

  • fws

    valet @ 214

    think of it this way. Jesus told us that the Prophets all testify about him.
    And he sent the Apostles, uniquely to testify to him. So we have 3 points of authority.
    Draw a straight arrow through those 3 points of Authority that Christ himself Authorizes (all authority was given to him).
    1) that arrow need to point, alone to him and his person and work.
    2) anything that does not line up with that arrow we can safely discard and risk nothing at all.
    3) So we rejoice when the church fathers (including Luther) line up, and quietly discard what doesnt line up as dross (including Luther and including that orthodox etc).

    So valet, I am curious too. We Lutherans do claim that our Confessions are A (not THE) correct exposition of Holy Scripture. What do you find there that disagrees with Holy Scripture?

  • fws

    valet @ 214

    think of it this way. Jesus told us that the Prophets all testify about him.
    And he sent the Apostles, uniquely to testify to him. So we have 3 points of authority.
    Draw a straight arrow through those 3 points of Authority that Christ himself Authorizes (all authority was given to him).
    1) that arrow need to point, alone to him and his person and work.
    2) anything that does not line up with that arrow we can safely discard and risk nothing at all.
    3) So we rejoice when the church fathers (including Luther) line up, and quietly discard what doesnt line up as dross (including Luther and including that orthodox etc).

    So valet, I am curious too. We Lutherans do claim that our Confessions are A (not THE) correct exposition of Holy Scripture. What do you find there that disagrees with Holy Scripture?

  • valet

    SKpeterson @216: again, I am not attempting to be contrary or contentious, however I am still not clear on this…so for the sake of my thick head, I will break it down into smaller chunks.

    From what I see, it appears that you have really only stated a single argument. All your other points depend the accuracy of #2 in your list.

    “2) Our Confessions are a clear and true exposition of the faith given in Scripture and handed down by the Fathers.”

    If #2 is not correct, then Lutherans have no way to determine if #1,#3,#4,#5,#6 are true.

    Am I correct?

  • valet

    SKpeterson @216: again, I am not attempting to be contrary or contentious, however I am still not clear on this…so for the sake of my thick head, I will break it down into smaller chunks.

    From what I see, it appears that you have really only stated a single argument. All your other points depend the accuracy of #2 in your list.

    “2) Our Confessions are a clear and true exposition of the faith given in Scripture and handed down by the Fathers.”

    If #2 is not correct, then Lutherans have no way to determine if #1,#3,#4,#5,#6 are true.

    Am I correct?

  • fws

    valet @ 218

    No.

    we dont claim that the Confessions are THE true exposition of Scriptures. We claim that they are a true exposition of scriptures.

  • fws

    valet @ 218

    No.

    we dont claim that the Confessions are THE true exposition of Scriptures. We claim that they are a true exposition of scriptures.

  • fws

    valet @ 218

    you seem to think that Lutherans view the confessions as some sort of paper magisterium or as a canon.

    We don’t

  • fws

    valet @ 218

    you seem to think that Lutherans view the confessions as some sort of paper magisterium or as a canon.

    We don’t

  • valet

    fws @219,220 …..dude, I really appreciate your answers, but if it is kosher with you, I would like to keep this thread about the 6 Lutheran arguments sort of flowing just betwixt SKP and myself. I think it will keep things simpler for me, as I try to gain an accurate understanding of Lutheranism.

    But in order for me to catch up more quickly, perhaps I could ask a question of you? I will just assume that you are fine with that and go ahead and ask right now.

    If I sneak a peak into my Bible at Acts chapter 2 and start around verse 37 and read to the end of that chapter, it describes an event where about 3,000 people were added to the church in a very short period of time. Am I correct ?

  • valet

    fws @219,220 …..dude, I really appreciate your answers, but if it is kosher with you, I would like to keep this thread about the 6 Lutheran arguments sort of flowing just betwixt SKP and myself. I think it will keep things simpler for me, as I try to gain an accurate understanding of Lutheranism.

    But in order for me to catch up more quickly, perhaps I could ask a question of you? I will just assume that you are fine with that and go ahead and ask right now.

    If I sneak a peak into my Bible at Acts chapter 2 and start around verse 37 and read to the end of that chapter, it describes an event where about 3,000 people were added to the church in a very short period of time. Am I correct ?

  • SKPeterson

    valet – Thick heads are what we specialize in here. We’re Lutherans after all. ;)

    As fws indicates @ 219, we don’t think the Confessions are the be all and end all, but that they are a true exposition of Scripture. We hold that what is contained therein does not conflict with Scripture and that the Confessions have ample support from various and sundry Fathers and saints of the Church.

    From the perspective of Orthodoxy, Lutherans draw much from Athanasius and from the Cappadocians. Xrystostom as well, but he was more preacher than theological expositor. Augustine and Ambrose are very much in evidence, but they aren’t big players in the East.

    Someone up previously (maybe Scott?) said that he had spoken with a Lutheran pastor and that this pastor told him that Luther and Athanasius disagreed about something. But, if it was in On the Incarnation, Luther might have had a quibble with some use of phrase or analogy used by Athanasius, but the theology contained therein is pretty much a basic building block of Lutheran Christology. Not that there hasn’t been some confusion in this regard. My guess is that Scott met someone who was confused.

    Here is a good take from Paul Hinlicky on how Lutherans stand in some place between East and West. There is a Western question, and Luther provides and Eastern answer. Interesting stuff.

    http://lutherantheology.wordpress.com/2010/02/03/christology-part-1/ and part 2 is here: http://lutherantheology.wordpress.com/2010/02/04/christology-part-2/

    and you can follow the trail from there.

  • SKPeterson

    valet – Thick heads are what we specialize in here. We’re Lutherans after all. ;)

    As fws indicates @ 219, we don’t think the Confessions are the be all and end all, but that they are a true exposition of Scripture. We hold that what is contained therein does not conflict with Scripture and that the Confessions have ample support from various and sundry Fathers and saints of the Church.

    From the perspective of Orthodoxy, Lutherans draw much from Athanasius and from the Cappadocians. Xrystostom as well, but he was more preacher than theological expositor. Augustine and Ambrose are very much in evidence, but they aren’t big players in the East.

    Someone up previously (maybe Scott?) said that he had spoken with a Lutheran pastor and that this pastor told him that Luther and Athanasius disagreed about something. But, if it was in On the Incarnation, Luther might have had a quibble with some use of phrase or analogy used by Athanasius, but the theology contained therein is pretty much a basic building block of Lutheran Christology. Not that there hasn’t been some confusion in this regard. My guess is that Scott met someone who was confused.

    Here is a good take from Paul Hinlicky on how Lutherans stand in some place between East and West. There is a Western question, and Luther provides and Eastern answer. Interesting stuff.

    http://lutherantheology.wordpress.com/2010/02/03/christology-part-1/ and part 2 is here: http://lutherantheology.wordpress.com/2010/02/04/christology-part-2/

    and you can follow the trail from there.

  • fws

    valet @ 221

    “Am I correct?”

    Lutheran answer: “IF you opinion agrees with the Holy Tradition of the Words of Christ and the Apostles found in Scripture, then yes.”

    For Lutherans the answer to your question must come, alone, from Holy Scriptures in matters of faith.

    Yes I know you are pushing for a different Norm and Authority. Why not just get to your point by simply stating it? “Am I right?” repeated over and over and…. indicates a certain darkness centered in that word “I” as the real and true authority. The pride of intellect and desire to win an argument after that creaturely desire.

  • fws

    valet @ 221

    “Am I correct?”

    Lutheran answer: “IF you opinion agrees with the Holy Tradition of the Words of Christ and the Apostles found in Scripture, then yes.”

    For Lutherans the answer to your question must come, alone, from Holy Scriptures in matters of faith.

    Yes I know you are pushing for a different Norm and Authority. Why not just get to your point by simply stating it? “Am I right?” repeated over and over and…. indicates a certain darkness centered in that word “I” as the real and true authority. The pride of intellect and desire to win an argument after that creaturely desire.

  • valet

    SKP @222 thank you. so now to my question, which was….

    If #2 is not correct, then Lutherans have no way to determine if #1,#3,#4,#5,#6 are true. Am I correct?

    I believe that you answered @222 that “No valet you are not correct”.

    Am I correct?

  • valet

    SKP @222 thank you. so now to my question, which was….

    If #2 is not correct, then Lutherans have no way to determine if #1,#3,#4,#5,#6 are true. Am I correct?

    I believe that you answered @222 that “No valet you are not correct”.

    Am I correct?

  • valet

    fws @223 thank you. just to make certain that I understood….

    If I sneak a peak into my Bible at Acts chapter 2 and start around verse 37 and read to the end of that chapter, it describes an event where about 3,000 people were added to the church in a very short period of time.

    What I meant to ask is just simply, were 3,000 people added to the church in a very short period of time, yes or no?

  • valet

    fws @223 thank you. just to make certain that I understood….

    If I sneak a peak into my Bible at Acts chapter 2 and start around verse 37 and read to the end of that chapter, it describes an event where about 3,000 people were added to the church in a very short period of time.

    What I meant to ask is just simply, were 3,000 people added to the church in a very short period of time, yes or no?

  • fws

    valet @ 224
    And especially to former Lutheran Seminary Professor Fr Hogg:

    Here is really the ONE difference we have with you:

    Lutherans teach that the soteriological and teleological end of ALL we can see and are able to do in the Holy Catholic Church is , alone, death.

    Lutherans seek their death in ALL they can see and do in church.
    Your sect seeks Life exactly there. That is what makes you a sect.

    Life? This is alone God’s work, that is found,alone, invisibly, in , with and under what we are commanded to do in church.

    This work that we do in church is to be kept as separate from the Work of God as the earth is from the furthest star.

    Our doing is ALL about our death. God is working this death in us precisely in all he commands us to do.
    God’s doing that is Life, is alone in the doings of Christ.

    Let me repeat this same fact in various ways so our Lutheran meaning is very clear:

    The movement sin to holiness is not the movement from vice to virtue, the carnal to the spiritual, the secular to the sacred, the profane to the transcendent.
    The movement from sin to holiness is , instead, the movement from true virtue that God demands on earth to alone faith, alone , in Christ, alone. Again:

    The Holy Catholic Church , and it’s rites and ceremonies exactly in the same way as those of any other earthly government: Romans 8 carnal righteousness , that God demands. It will perish and die eternally. Along with all who trust in such things for Life. Again:

    The Lutheran Confessions and the preaching of Law and Gospel: Romans 8 carnal righeousness that God demands, it pertains alone to this life and will end with it. Along with all who trust in such things for Life. Again:

    “That which is not of faith is sin” This means what I just said:
    The opposite of sin is not the good or the sacred.
    The opposite of sin is , alone , invisible faith, in Christ, alone.
    Apart from ALL we can see and do.
    Especially in church. Again:

    Stated theologically:
    The christian life=baptism=repentence.
    The christian life = death + resurrection in Christ alone.

    It’s the hats valet.
    They pertain alone to this life and will end with it.

  • fws

    valet @ 224
    And especially to former Lutheran Seminary Professor Fr Hogg:

    Here is really the ONE difference we have with you:

    Lutherans teach that the soteriological and teleological end of ALL we can see and are able to do in the Holy Catholic Church is , alone, death.

    Lutherans seek their death in ALL they can see and do in church.
    Your sect seeks Life exactly there. That is what makes you a sect.

    Life? This is alone God’s work, that is found,alone, invisibly, in , with and under what we are commanded to do in church.

    This work that we do in church is to be kept as separate from the Work of God as the earth is from the furthest star.

    Our doing is ALL about our death. God is working this death in us precisely in all he commands us to do.
    God’s doing that is Life, is alone in the doings of Christ.

    Let me repeat this same fact in various ways so our Lutheran meaning is very clear:

    The movement sin to holiness is not the movement from vice to virtue, the carnal to the spiritual, the secular to the sacred, the profane to the transcendent.
    The movement from sin to holiness is , instead, the movement from true virtue that God demands on earth to alone faith, alone , in Christ, alone. Again:

    The Holy Catholic Church , and it’s rites and ceremonies exactly in the same way as those of any other earthly government: Romans 8 carnal righteousness , that God demands. It will perish and die eternally. Along with all who trust in such things for Life. Again:

    The Lutheran Confessions and the preaching of Law and Gospel: Romans 8 carnal righeousness that God demands, it pertains alone to this life and will end with it. Along with all who trust in such things for Life. Again:

    “That which is not of faith is sin” This means what I just said:
    The opposite of sin is not the good or the sacred.
    The opposite of sin is , alone , invisible faith, in Christ, alone.
    Apart from ALL we can see and do.
    Especially in church. Again:

    Stated theologically:
    The christian life=baptism=repentence.
    The christian life = death + resurrection in Christ alone.

    It’s the hats valet.
    They pertain alone to this life and will end with it.

  • SKPeterson

    Let me see if I can get the ‘corrects’ in the correct order. ;)

    If #2 can be shown to be incorrect in light of Scripture, or where parts of the Confessions can be shown to incorrect, then Lutherans would not object to being corrected. Effectively, what we are saying is this: Scripture says A. Our Confessions say (a), which agrees with A, and is a part of A and is supported by (a.i.) through (a.x.) from the Fathers and the saints.

    So, if we are wrong, then it has to be from one of two or three standpoints: 1) We are not reading Scripture correctly. This must be followed by where, why and how it is wrong, and where, why and how it should be read. 2) (a) does agree with A. Again, this must be shown in light of Scripture. 3) (a.i.) through (a.x.) do not support (a) or your reading of A.

    So, argumentatively, it does hinge on #2. But, it also hinges on #2 being shown conclusively to be false from Scripture. Here, we would say that Tradition is informative, but not conclusive. Scripture is authoritative – i.e., the first interpreter of Scripture is Scripture. Scripture is the norming norm, and all else must be derived in conformity with that. Tradition is valid and helpful where and when it is in conformity with Scripture. Where it is not, it must be rejected, and where Scripture is silent, Tradition is adiaphora – not specifically required or binding, but probably a good practice to follow for good order in the Church, etc.

    Hopefully that makes sense.

    As to the 3000, (actually more, as it was 3000 men plus their families, so maybe 10,000, but definitely 3,000 at a minimum) Acts says that Peter preached and 3000 were baptized and brought into the faith. I think it says “that day”. So, it happened that day. And that is entirely realistic. There are places in Africa where 1000′s get baptized in a day, and 10′s of thousands over a week. Were you thinking it was spread out over a few days or something else?

  • SKPeterson

    Let me see if I can get the ‘corrects’ in the correct order. ;)

    If #2 can be shown to be incorrect in light of Scripture, or where parts of the Confessions can be shown to incorrect, then Lutherans would not object to being corrected. Effectively, what we are saying is this: Scripture says A. Our Confessions say (a), which agrees with A, and is a part of A and is supported by (a.i.) through (a.x.) from the Fathers and the saints.

    So, if we are wrong, then it has to be from one of two or three standpoints: 1) We are not reading Scripture correctly. This must be followed by where, why and how it is wrong, and where, why and how it should be read. 2) (a) does agree with A. Again, this must be shown in light of Scripture. 3) (a.i.) through (a.x.) do not support (a) or your reading of A.

    So, argumentatively, it does hinge on #2. But, it also hinges on #2 being shown conclusively to be false from Scripture. Here, we would say that Tradition is informative, but not conclusive. Scripture is authoritative – i.e., the first interpreter of Scripture is Scripture. Scripture is the norming norm, and all else must be derived in conformity with that. Tradition is valid and helpful where and when it is in conformity with Scripture. Where it is not, it must be rejected, and where Scripture is silent, Tradition is adiaphora – not specifically required or binding, but probably a good practice to follow for good order in the Church, etc.

    Hopefully that makes sense.

    As to the 3000, (actually more, as it was 3000 men plus their families, so maybe 10,000, but definitely 3,000 at a minimum) Acts says that Peter preached and 3000 were baptized and brought into the faith. I think it says “that day”. So, it happened that day. And that is entirely realistic. There are places in Africa where 1000′s get baptized in a day, and 10′s of thousands over a week. Were you thinking it was spread out over a few days or something else?

  • Stephen

    Sorry Frank . . . did you say alone? Do you mean just alone or alone alone? ;)

  • Stephen

    Sorry Frank . . . did you say alone? Do you mean just alone or alone alone? ;)

  • fws

    stephen @ 228

    No. I meant ALONE. My caplock was unstuck sorry.

    as in what constitutes our Innocence and sinlessness before God that is the Work, alone, ALONE, of Christ, alone, ALONE is to be thought of as being separate from all, ALL we are able to see, perceive, do, in both our inner powers and outward powers as far as the earth is from the most distant star.

    Our righeousness has NOTHING at all to do with those hats.

  • fws

    stephen @ 228

    No. I meant ALONE. My caplock was unstuck sorry.

    as in what constitutes our Innocence and sinlessness before God that is the Work, alone, ALONE, of Christ, alone, ALONE is to be thought of as being separate from all, ALL we are able to see, perceive, do, in both our inner powers and outward powers as far as the earth is from the most distant star.

    Our righeousness has NOTHING at all to do with those hats.

  • fws

    stephen @ 228

    That wasn’t clear enough was it?

    ALL we can see and are able to do in Church, including the Holy Liturgy, our baptising, our preaching of Law and Gospel, our confessing what the Nicene creed says and the Lutheran Confessions say are ALL the moral equivalent of a used tampon. Including funny hats.

    Lutherans here agree with Saint Isaiah here.

    ALL these things are ALL a carnal righteousness that ALL pertain, ALONE to this life, and will end with it. They ALL fall into the category of Romans 8 flesh.

    Faith ALONE in Christ ALONE is that Righteousness that will , ALONE endure forever.

  • fws

    stephen @ 228

    That wasn’t clear enough was it?

    ALL we can see and are able to do in Church, including the Holy Liturgy, our baptising, our preaching of Law and Gospel, our confessing what the Nicene creed says and the Lutheran Confessions say are ALL the moral equivalent of a used tampon. Including funny hats.

    Lutherans here agree with Saint Isaiah here.

    ALL these things are ALL a carnal righteousness that ALL pertain, ALONE to this life, and will end with it. They ALL fall into the category of Romans 8 flesh.

    Faith ALONE in Christ ALONE is that Righteousness that will , ALONE endure forever.

  • fws

    The Lutheran teachers did not manage to pierce the Veil that covered and still covers Father Hogg’s reason.

    Therefore Father Hogg abandoned that internal Worship that is to consume Life on the Tree that is where God’s has placed his Word and Promise and trust the Word that this ALONE is Life .
    This was alone Right-eous-ness for Adam before the fall and after:
    Christ alone is Life as union of the creator and the created.

    Instead he abandoned that external worship that was also prescibed to Adam before the fall and was to be his church.
    This was to trust God in his Word that Life cannot be authored in created things and so separate created from Author.
    He is not to separate creating Word from created things.
    He is to be creature and not creator.
    He is to reject that there is a Divine-like knowledge in created things that is needed to complete him as a creature.
    Faith alone is Divine Image. Nothing else need be added.

    He was not to think that the opposite of sin was a goodness and divine-like knowing and the ingestation of created something that must be added to that Image and Likeness that could be sustained alone by an eating of faith.

    Father Hogg traded in Life that is God’s Word located alone on the Tree, for some hidden mystery and knowing of good vs evil that is a separation of “profane” creation against sacred knowing.
    He looks for this distinction to be established in created things
    This is a Divine-like Knowledge that is beyond that Image that is faith alone and completes it by our act of ingesting what we can see and is tangible and calls to our Old Adam’s desires.

  • fws

    The Lutheran teachers did not manage to pierce the Veil that covered and still covers Father Hogg’s reason.

    Therefore Father Hogg abandoned that internal Worship that is to consume Life on the Tree that is where God’s has placed his Word and Promise and trust the Word that this ALONE is Life .
    This was alone Right-eous-ness for Adam before the fall and after:
    Christ alone is Life as union of the creator and the created.

    Instead he abandoned that external worship that was also prescibed to Adam before the fall and was to be his church.
    This was to trust God in his Word that Life cannot be authored in created things and so separate created from Author.
    He is not to separate creating Word from created things.
    He is to be creature and not creator.
    He is to reject that there is a Divine-like knowledge in created things that is needed to complete him as a creature.
    Faith alone is Divine Image. Nothing else need be added.

    He was not to think that the opposite of sin was a goodness and divine-like knowing and the ingestation of created something that must be added to that Image and Likeness that could be sustained alone by an eating of faith.

    Father Hogg traded in Life that is God’s Word located alone on the Tree, for some hidden mystery and knowing of good vs evil that is a separation of “profane” creation against sacred knowing.
    He looks for this distinction to be established in created things
    This is a Divine-like Knowledge that is beyond that Image that is faith alone and completes it by our act of ingesting what we can see and is tangible and calls to our Old Adam’s desires.

  • Stephen

    fws @ 231

    Mighty grave error that, eh?

  • Stephen

    fws @ 231

    Mighty grave error that, eh?

  • Stephen

    It seems to amount to worshipping worshipping.

  • Stephen

    It seems to amount to worshipping worshipping.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    FWS @ 231. Whereas there are some mysteries in the faith (The Real Presence, of a kind), the Orthodox do seem to revel in mystery multiplication Hence the mystic aura.

    As a good Lutheran, the only mystic aura I like is the one after 2 beers and half a bottle of wine….

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    FWS @ 231. Whereas there are some mysteries in the faith (The Real Presence, of a kind), the Orthodox do seem to revel in mystery multiplication Hence the mystic aura.

    As a good Lutheran, the only mystic aura I like is the one after 2 beers and half a bottle of wine….

  • fws

    Adams Theosis consisted of his passive creaturly trust in the Word of God and his ingesting of Life where God’s Word said it was to be found.
    It was to be innocently trusting as creature who’s theousis is entirely being worked by his Creator. There was no need for additional knowing.

    Adam’s external worship was the passive refraining from a creative doing and faith that his theousis could not be completed by anything in creation, no matter how pleasing to look at or good to ingest as a supplement to Life.

    Adams innocence, original right-eousness, and Divine Theousis in subtance was to be content as the passive created object of theousis as, alone, the work and workings of God, through the Divine fiat of a Word.

    Adam’s sin was to think he could do something to participate in this process using created things. His sin was to think there was something necessary to complete his Theousis beyond passive trust that was about doing and creating using created things. That there was a knowing that was necessary to add to trust in the Known.

    This is also the error of the eastern church insofar as they are not trusting , alone, in the Works of Another.

  • fws

    Adams Theosis consisted of his passive creaturly trust in the Word of God and his ingesting of Life where God’s Word said it was to be found.
    It was to be innocently trusting as creature who’s theousis is entirely being worked by his Creator. There was no need for additional knowing.

    Adam’s external worship was the passive refraining from a creative doing and faith that his theousis could not be completed by anything in creation, no matter how pleasing to look at or good to ingest as a supplement to Life.

    Adams innocence, original right-eousness, and Divine Theousis in subtance was to be content as the passive created object of theousis as, alone, the work and workings of God, through the Divine fiat of a Word.

    Adam’s sin was to think he could do something to participate in this process using created things. His sin was to think there was something necessary to complete his Theousis beyond passive trust that was about doing and creating using created things. That there was a knowing that was necessary to add to trust in the Known.

    This is also the error of the eastern church insofar as they are not trusting , alone, in the Works of Another.

  • fws

    And so, in sinful men, this Theosis is once again worked and restored by the fiat of a Word spoken.

    This happens when God sends a preacher to speak that Word. This is a physical thing sent. It is the arrival of the Holy Christian Church . But God’s Word tells us that is where we are to find and ingest Life.

    In Baptism God restores this Theousis that is faith in the creative Word of God. New Man again is content to be passive object of Theousis.. He can rest from seeing to create it by doing or by exercising power with created things.
    Baptism restores the same Theousis that was innocent Adams. There is nothing that can be added to it.
    Our external worship is to refrain from a doing that seeks Life.
    We seek a doing that leads , alone, to the death of Old Adam.
    This is a doing that is done in faith that Life requires nothing to be done.

  • fws

    And so, in sinful men, this Theosis is once again worked and restored by the fiat of a Word spoken.

    This happens when God sends a preacher to speak that Word. This is a physical thing sent. It is the arrival of the Holy Christian Church . But God’s Word tells us that is where we are to find and ingest Life.

    In Baptism God restores this Theousis that is faith in the creative Word of God. New Man again is content to be passive object of Theousis.. He can rest from seeing to create it by doing or by exercising power with created things.
    Baptism restores the same Theousis that was innocent Adams. There is nothing that can be added to it.
    Our external worship is to refrain from a doing that seeks Life.
    We seek a doing that leads , alone, to the death of Old Adam.
    This is a doing that is done in faith that Life requires nothing to be done.

  • fws

    All the doing of the object of Theousis content to be creature, are now freed to serve to creation. To tend to it and to till it and plant and trust in faith that it is for God to grow it.

    The mark of Godly Theousis is to be able to rest from the creative project of making and wearing better hats.
    It is to rest from religious rites and rituals and sacrificial doing and ….stuff…., that are useless in improving the creaturely fallen creation and doing works of mercy.

    Mercy is the opposite of what we earn by doing.

  • fws

    All the doing of the object of Theousis content to be creature, are now freed to serve to creation. To tend to it and to till it and plant and trust in faith that it is for God to grow it.

    The mark of Godly Theousis is to be able to rest from the creative project of making and wearing better hats.
    It is to rest from religious rites and rituals and sacrificial doing and ….stuff…., that are useless in improving the creaturely fallen creation and doing works of mercy.

    Mercy is the opposite of what we earn by doing.

  • fws

    True theousis is to unring the bell of the lie that there is a distinction between the profane that is God’s creation as the creaturely thing it is and to imagine that there is some sacred knowledge that separates the sacred from the profane imagining that this is to separate good from evil.

    whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
    the opposite of sin and evil is not goodness.
    The opposite of sin is faith alone in Christ alone.
    May God preserve the 7000 in orthodoxy who have not bent the knee …..

  • fws

    True theousis is to unring the bell of the lie that there is a distinction between the profane that is God’s creation as the creaturely thing it is and to imagine that there is some sacred knowledge that separates the sacred from the profane imagining that this is to separate good from evil.

    whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
    the opposite of sin and evil is not goodness.
    The opposite of sin is faith alone in Christ alone.
    May God preserve the 7000 in orthodoxy who have not bent the knee …..

  • fws

    So what is our basis , as Lutherans for speaking to the orthodoxyites as fellow believers?

    Holy Baptism. We trust God’s Word. We trust that Theousis has happened in all the Baptized. And we repeat that Word that is Christ to call the orthodox, and ourselves, back to that Baptism that is ALONE the source of Theousis that is Faith in that Word of God he has located in the earthly work that is Life only because it is hidden in the Works of Another.

    What a wretched faithless thing for the orthodox to not recognize this sacrament when not done by men with funny hats.

  • fws

    So what is our basis , as Lutherans for speaking to the orthodoxyites as fellow believers?

    Holy Baptism. We trust God’s Word. We trust that Theousis has happened in all the Baptized. And we repeat that Word that is Christ to call the orthodox, and ourselves, back to that Baptism that is ALONE the source of Theousis that is Faith in that Word of God he has located in the earthly work that is Life only because it is hidden in the Works of Another.

    What a wretched faithless thing for the orthodox to not recognize this sacrament when not done by men with funny hats.

  • valet

    SKP @227 thank you…a quick question

    you said:
    Scripture says A. Our Confessions say (a), which agrees with A, and is a part of A and is supported by (a.i.) through (a.x.) from the Fathers and the saints.

    How do you know that “Scripture says A”?

    Concerning the 3,000, I would like to wait and see if fws will answer that question, since I asked him about it first.

  • valet

    SKP @227 thank you…a quick question

    you said:
    Scripture says A. Our Confessions say (a), which agrees with A, and is a part of A and is supported by (a.i.) through (a.x.) from the Fathers and the saints.

    How do you know that “Scripture says A”?

    Concerning the 3,000, I would like to wait and see if fws will answer that question, since I asked him about it first.

  • fws

    valet @ 240

    You can accept SKPs answer as being my own answer to you.
    We Lutherans enjoy of level of agreement with the Apostolic Tradition.
    It makes responding as to what we believe much easier than the many links and hoops your sects seems to require and which still leaves lots of questions… er…. mysteries ! :)

  • fws

    valet @ 240

    You can accept SKPs answer as being my own answer to you.
    We Lutherans enjoy of level of agreement with the Apostolic Tradition.
    It makes responding as to what we believe much easier than the many links and hoops your sects seems to require and which still leaves lots of questions… er…. mysteries ! :)

  • fws

    Valet @ 240

    “How do you know that “Scripture says A”?”

    That would be the EXACTLY the same way we know what anything we read says Valet. It is called grammar, knowing historical context, etc.

  • fws

    Valet @ 240

    “How do you know that “Scripture says A”?”

    That would be the EXACTLY the same way we know what anything we read says Valet. It is called grammar, knowing historical context, etc.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Actually, you can turn around to Valet and ask – how do you know the Fathers say “A”?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Actually, you can turn around to Valet and ask – how do you know the Fathers say “A”?

  • fws

    Valet @ 204

    This is why traditional Lutheran education has always included the studies of classical latin, greek, usually classical German (to understand our Confessions better) and aslo even some Hebrew.

    This is not just to understand the languages, but also it is with the idea that one cannot really understand a culture if one is not conversant with the language. So Lutherans traditionally have their children learning these languages at an early age. I could read the NT in greek by age 19 and the Confessions in Latin and German by age 17. I was well on my way to being able to read the OT in Hebrew until I dropped outta that system at age 20.

    That background is to say what I, as a Lutheran meant by using grammar and historical context to know what the Biblical text says. We are pretty serious about that task.

  • fws

    Valet @ 204

    This is why traditional Lutheran education has always included the studies of classical latin, greek, usually classical German (to understand our Confessions better) and aslo even some Hebrew.

    This is not just to understand the languages, but also it is with the idea that one cannot really understand a culture if one is not conversant with the language. So Lutherans traditionally have their children learning these languages at an early age. I could read the NT in greek by age 19 and the Confessions in Latin and German by age 17. I was well on my way to being able to read the OT in Hebrew until I dropped outta that system at age 20.

    That background is to say what I, as a Lutheran meant by using grammar and historical context to know what the Biblical text says. We are pretty serious about that task.

  • valet

    SKP and fws….by fws’s statement @242, it seems that perhaps I misunderstood your meaning of the phrase “Scripture says A.” So please let me ask for clarification.

    You said:
    “Scripture says A.”

    By that, did you mean
    “Scripture has some words printed on the page which we shall refer to as A.”
    or
    “Scripture has a meaning and we shall refer to that meaning as A.”
    or
    something else entirely?

  • valet

    SKP and fws….by fws’s statement @242, it seems that perhaps I misunderstood your meaning of the phrase “Scripture says A.” So please let me ask for clarification.

    You said:
    “Scripture says A.”

    By that, did you mean
    “Scripture has some words printed on the page which we shall refer to as A.”
    or
    “Scripture has a meaning and we shall refer to that meaning as A.”
    or
    something else entirely?

  • fws

    KK @ 243

    Ah, I suspect that the answer would be “apostolic authority” in that the collective orthodox have some direct revelation from the HS that God does not bind , completely so, to the Word of God in it’s “incarnation” in the form of paper, ink, velum, grammar, etc. It sorta floats above it in some fashion. Throw in that word ‘mystery’ to obviate the need to explain or defend such a platonic position.

    It will be interesting if his answer looks alot different. I suspect this is the Thesis he is attempting to lay the ground work for…. Predictable is boring….

  • fws

    KK @ 243

    Ah, I suspect that the answer would be “apostolic authority” in that the collective orthodox have some direct revelation from the HS that God does not bind , completely so, to the Word of God in it’s “incarnation” in the form of paper, ink, velum, grammar, etc. It sorta floats above it in some fashion. Throw in that word ‘mystery’ to obviate the need to explain or defend such a platonic position.

    It will be interesting if his answer looks alot different. I suspect this is the Thesis he is attempting to lay the ground work for…. Predictable is boring….

  • fws

    Valet @ 245

    Something else. But not entirely.
    An inartfully framed question, will provide a frame which excludes the space required for the proper answer.

    We reject this:

    “Scripture has some words printed on the page , written in a grammatical and historical context,… and…… there is a meaning that is not to be found in those words understood in their grammatical and historical context .”

    Question for you valet: Do you also reject this as well?
    Why or why not? Discuss.

  • fws

    Valet @ 245

    Something else. But not entirely.
    An inartfully framed question, will provide a frame which excludes the space required for the proper answer.

    We reject this:

    “Scripture has some words printed on the page , written in a grammatical and historical context,… and…… there is a meaning that is not to be found in those words understood in their grammatical and historical context .”

    Question for you valet: Do you also reject this as well?
    Why or why not? Discuss.

  • valet

    fws@241 and KK@243

    You guys said:
    “… turn around to Valet and ask – how do you know the Fathers say “A”?….easier than the many links and hoops your sects seems to require and which still leaves lots of questions… er…. mysteries!”

    I have never stated that I am or am not Lutheran. I have never stated that I am or am not Orthodox. I have never stated that I am or am not of any affiliation. I might be a Muslim or a Mormon or a Jew or an atheist. But alas since my affiliation or lack of affiliation has no impact on the questions I am asking or the answers you are giving, I should like to keep it to myself.
    Thank you for your understanding.

  • valet

    fws@241 and KK@243

    You guys said:
    “… turn around to Valet and ask – how do you know the Fathers say “A”?….easier than the many links and hoops your sects seems to require and which still leaves lots of questions… er…. mysteries!”

    I have never stated that I am or am not Lutheran. I have never stated that I am or am not Orthodox. I have never stated that I am or am not of any affiliation. I might be a Muslim or a Mormon or a Jew or an atheist. But alas since my affiliation or lack of affiliation has no impact on the questions I am asking or the answers you are giving, I should like to keep it to myself.
    Thank you for your understanding.

  • fws

    KK

    It would be so much better for Valet to just jump to his Thesis and then present his proofs. It would be more respectful. And less full of ego.

    But he is working I guess to lay some logical bricks down and get us to agree to them, and then step back and the end and show us what needs to be constructed from those bricks.

    He probably assumes that Lutherans are protestants and read some method of building an argument against protestants that he thinks will do service with the Lutherans as well. Roman Catholics make the same ignorant mistake. It is such a big waste of time and egos.

  • fws

    KK

    It would be so much better for Valet to just jump to his Thesis and then present his proofs. It would be more respectful. And less full of ego.

    But he is working I guess to lay some logical bricks down and get us to agree to them, and then step back and the end and show us what needs to be constructed from those bricks.

    He probably assumes that Lutherans are protestants and read some method of building an argument against protestants that he thinks will do service with the Lutherans as well. Roman Catholics make the same ignorant mistake. It is such a big waste of time and egos.

  • kerner

    valet:

    The suspense is killing me. Let’s just assume that 3000 men, plus their families, were brought into the Church as recorded in the aforementioned passage of the Book of Acts.

    Then what?

  • kerner

    valet:

    The suspense is killing me. Let’s just assume that 3000 men, plus their families, were brought into the Church as recorded in the aforementioned passage of the Book of Acts.

    Then what?

  • fws

    valet @ 248

    I agree that the truth of a proposition does not depend upon who says it.
    You may assume, on the part of Lutherans, that your being open about your bias will prejudice us only in a way that is completely consistent with your bias.

    Our bias you can know in great detail here:
    http://www.bookofconcord.org.

    Do you suppose that lots of what you are asking is already asked and answered in that book? How would you know Valet?

    It would be helpful for you to provide the same courtesy in the same fashion. I would not need to be Lutheran to point you there would I ? ;)

  • fws

    valet @ 248

    I agree that the truth of a proposition does not depend upon who says it.
    You may assume, on the part of Lutherans, that your being open about your bias will prejudice us only in a way that is completely consistent with your bias.

    Our bias you can know in great detail here:
    http://www.bookofconcord.org.

    Do you suppose that lots of what you are asking is already asked and answered in that book? How would you know Valet?

    It would be helpful for you to provide the same courtesy in the same fashion. I would not need to be Lutheran to point you there would I ? ;)

  • SKPeterson

    Valet @ 245. Something of a both/and. Are the Psalms Hebrew poetry, or do they have meaning as prayer, as guides to what and how to pray, and do they point to Christ? Yes, yes, yes and yes.

    By understanding the different languages, their grammatical structure(s), the use of allusion, etc. all help to flesh out the meaning and intent behind the words on the page. That’s why we also like to have several translations, or at least have pastors who are comfortable in Hebrew and Koine, be familiar with Latin or Aramaic or Syriac; it improves the context and the depth of meaning.

    Now, I think I know where you’re going here. How do we know that how and what we read is true? That is the role of Tradition. The Fathers provide us a reliable guide. This is most certainly true. The Fathers do provide us a reliable guide, or rather guides, to the interpretation of Scripture. But, what do we do when some of the Fathers disagree? Accept both? Deny both? Maybe. What we need to do is weigh their interpretations against Scripture itself and see what may be found wanting. Is it perfect? No, because it is finite men, sainted or not, attempting to comprehend God as He has revealed Himself in Scripture. I can’t remember who said it, but one could spend one’s whole life reading the Scriptures and only scratch the surface of their full import and meaning.

    Careful though. You’re starting to sound like a particular serpent in a certain garden who was known to say “Did God really say …?” ;)

  • SKPeterson

    Valet @ 245. Something of a both/and. Are the Psalms Hebrew poetry, or do they have meaning as prayer, as guides to what and how to pray, and do they point to Christ? Yes, yes, yes and yes.

    By understanding the different languages, their grammatical structure(s), the use of allusion, etc. all help to flesh out the meaning and intent behind the words on the page. That’s why we also like to have several translations, or at least have pastors who are comfortable in Hebrew and Koine, be familiar with Latin or Aramaic or Syriac; it improves the context and the depth of meaning.

    Now, I think I know where you’re going here. How do we know that how and what we read is true? That is the role of Tradition. The Fathers provide us a reliable guide. This is most certainly true. The Fathers do provide us a reliable guide, or rather guides, to the interpretation of Scripture. But, what do we do when some of the Fathers disagree? Accept both? Deny both? Maybe. What we need to do is weigh their interpretations against Scripture itself and see what may be found wanting. Is it perfect? No, because it is finite men, sainted or not, attempting to comprehend God as He has revealed Himself in Scripture. I can’t remember who said it, but one could spend one’s whole life reading the Scriptures and only scratch the surface of their full import and meaning.

    Careful though. You’re starting to sound like a particular serpent in a certain garden who was known to say “Did God really say …?” ;)

  • valet

    fws …concerning the 3,000 brought into the church in one day. thank you for your answer.

    okay so I asked:
    were 3,000 people added to the church in a very short period of time, yes or no?

    And you replied via SKP:
    Yes, at least 3,000 and probably more were added to the church that day.

    Do I understand correctly that the Apostles were in the church, to which the 3,000 were added on that day?

  • valet

    fws …concerning the 3,000 brought into the church in one day. thank you for your answer.

    okay so I asked:
    were 3,000 people added to the church in a very short period of time, yes or no?

    And you replied via SKP:
    Yes, at least 3,000 and probably more were added to the church that day.

    Do I understand correctly that the Apostles were in the church, to which the 3,000 were added on that day?

  • fws

    valet @ 248

    “since my affiliation or lack of affiliation has no impact on the questions I am asking or the answers you are giving, I should like to keep it to myself.
    Thank you for your understanding.”

    Whatever valet.
    Just try to get to the punchline quickly.
    We know you are building to it brick by brick.

    lay the bricks a little faster please and try not to spread clever debate strategy on with a trowel if you can help it.

  • fws

    valet @ 248

    “since my affiliation or lack of affiliation has no impact on the questions I am asking or the answers you are giving, I should like to keep it to myself.
    Thank you for your understanding.”

    Whatever valet.
    Just try to get to the punchline quickly.
    We know you are building to it brick by brick.

    lay the bricks a little faster please and try not to spread clever debate strategy on with a trowel if you can help it.

  • fws

    valet @ 253

    ” the Apostles were in the church,”

    The text says that the apostles WERE, THE, church. Not alot of members at the time….. A physical church building… not in the words…just making sure we are clear on that….

    “to which the 3,000 were added on that day?”
    ok. here is a test of your reading comprehension! If you will allow me that comment as a polite one.
    SKP didn’t say that in his response did he?

  • fws

    valet @ 253

    ” the Apostles were in the church,”

    The text says that the apostles WERE, THE, church. Not alot of members at the time….. A physical church building… not in the words…just making sure we are clear on that….

    “to which the 3,000 were added on that day?”
    ok. here is a test of your reading comprehension! If you will allow me that comment as a polite one.
    SKP didn’t say that in his response did he?

  • fws

    Valet @ 253

    where in the text does it say that the Apostles were IN the church?

  • fws

    Valet @ 253

    where in the text does it say that the Apostles were IN the church?

  • SKPeterson

    And don’t mind fws, valet. He’s had a long day. He’s suspecting that you are trying to have us argue ourselves into a corner. Which is fine, we probably could which is probably why Lutherans think everyone else is a little weird, but lovable. It’s also why the Reformed never invite us to their “parties” – we don’t always play well with others, especially guys who deny Real Presence and efficacy of Baptism.

    But, just in case we do argue ourselves into the proverbial corner, we Lutherans have an out: paradox! It’s like Tradition, only better.

    Whew. That pretty much covers that.

  • SKPeterson

    And don’t mind fws, valet. He’s had a long day. He’s suspecting that you are trying to have us argue ourselves into a corner. Which is fine, we probably could which is probably why Lutherans think everyone else is a little weird, but lovable. It’s also why the Reformed never invite us to their “parties” – we don’t always play well with others, especially guys who deny Real Presence and efficacy of Baptism.

    But, just in case we do argue ourselves into the proverbial corner, we Lutherans have an out: paradox! It’s like Tradition, only better.

    Whew. That pretty much covers that.

  • fws

    valet @ 253

    I KNOW you are not going to insult us by making some point about a physical building that could not possibly have held 3000 plus the families of such men, so the text…….

    That would be a REALLY stupid way to prove that we need the orthodox bishops so we can understand that particular text…. so that cant be it… and it isn’t is it?

    So the point you are gonna make is what? I’m with Kerner now. I am waiting for you to pounce and make your brilliant point that catches us Lutherans short and without a worthy response.

  • fws

    valet @ 253

    I KNOW you are not going to insult us by making some point about a physical building that could not possibly have held 3000 plus the families of such men, so the text…….

    That would be a REALLY stupid way to prove that we need the orthodox bishops so we can understand that particular text…. so that cant be it… and it isn’t is it?

    So the point you are gonna make is what? I’m with Kerner now. I am waiting for you to pounce and make your brilliant point that catches us Lutherans short and without a worthy response.

  • Grace

    Valet @253

    YOU WROTE: “Do I understand correctly that the Apostles were in the church, to which the 3,000 were added on that day?”

    What is YOUR POINT – if you know Scripture, you wouldn’t ask such a question. Of course the Apostles were in the church, and so was Peter.

    What kind of game are you playing? Or are you playing professor as the rest play students?

    37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their hearts, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

    38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

    39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

    40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.

    41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

    42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

    Acts 2

  • Grace

    Valet @253

    YOU WROTE: “Do I understand correctly that the Apostles were in the church, to which the 3,000 were added on that day?”

    What is YOUR POINT – if you know Scripture, you wouldn’t ask such a question. Of course the Apostles were in the church, and so was Peter.

    What kind of game are you playing? Or are you playing professor as the rest play students?

    37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their hearts, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

    38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

    39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

    40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.

    41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

    42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

    Acts 2

  • fws

    SKP

    Thanks! As part of the Norwegian contingent of Lutheranism, being boxed into a corner logically by someone is a far to frequent event. I will remember that pair of ducks come back. Being a farm kid , and Norwegian, that makes perfect sense to me!

    The earth is not flat! My response: ” I KNOW that is wrong, and it has something to do with a pair of ducks!
    I suspect that this argument will leave my opponents speechless.

  • fws

    SKP

    Thanks! As part of the Norwegian contingent of Lutheranism, being boxed into a corner logically by someone is a far to frequent event. I will remember that pair of ducks come back. Being a farm kid , and Norwegian, that makes perfect sense to me!

    The earth is not flat! My response: ” I KNOW that is wrong, and it has something to do with a pair of ducks!
    I suspect that this argument will leave my opponents speechless.

  • Grace

    Valet @ 248

    “I have never stated that I am or am not Lutheran. I have never stated that I am or am not Orthodox. I have never stated that I am or am not of any affiliation. I might be a Muslim or a Mormon or a Jew or an atheist.”

    If you aren’t ashamed of who you are, then state it. The GAMES you’re playing are sophomoric.

  • Grace

    Valet @ 248

    “I have never stated that I am or am not Lutheran. I have never stated that I am or am not Orthodox. I have never stated that I am or am not of any affiliation. I might be a Muslim or a Mormon or a Jew or an atheist.”

    If you aren’t ashamed of who you are, then state it. The GAMES you’re playing are sophomoric.

  • fws

    Dang valet.

    You even had Grace on the edge of her seat. Almost.

    But Grace refuses to be argued with.
    If she wants your opinion she will give you one before she asks for it back.

    Unlike us LuthRuns.

  • fws

    Dang valet.

    You even had Grace on the edge of her seat. Almost.

    But Grace refuses to be argued with.
    If she wants your opinion she will give you one before she asks for it back.

    Unlike us LuthRuns.

  • SKPeterson

    Valet – Here’s the passage from the ESV:

    37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” 40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

    The Fellowship of the Believers

    42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe[e] came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

    Now if I took “there were added that day about three thousand souls” am I to understand that, oh maybe Matthew since he was a tax collector and maybe good at counting, they added up all the people? No. It simply means that 3000 people were baptized and believed in Jesus Christ. They were joined to the Church through the power of the Holy Spirit working through Word and water.

  • SKPeterson

    Valet – Here’s the passage from the ESV:

    37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” 40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

    The Fellowship of the Believers

    42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe[e] came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

    Now if I took “there were added that day about three thousand souls” am I to understand that, oh maybe Matthew since he was a tax collector and maybe good at counting, they added up all the people? No. It simply means that 3000 people were baptized and believed in Jesus Christ. They were joined to the Church through the power of the Holy Spirit working through Word and water.

  • fws

    SKP

    Are you swedish? My sainted Norwegian Scandaheuvian granny defined a Norwegian as a Dane knocking it’s brains out in the attempt to be transformed into a Swede. Sorta sounds like the orthodox concept of theousis to me…. Don’t get a big head.

    I am hoping Valet has something more clever than vs 49 that 3000+ could not all be gathering in the temple together…he shirley isn’t that stupid. His name is valet! As in….

    This must be some really powerful argument for Valet to keep us in suspense like this! What WILL it be?

  • fws

    SKP

    Are you swedish? My sainted Norwegian Scandaheuvian granny defined a Norwegian as a Dane knocking it’s brains out in the attempt to be transformed into a Swede. Sorta sounds like the orthodox concept of theousis to me…. Don’t get a big head.

    I am hoping Valet has something more clever than vs 49 that 3000+ could not all be gathering in the temple together…he shirley isn’t that stupid. His name is valet! As in….

    This must be some really powerful argument for Valet to keep us in suspense like this! What WILL it be?

  • valet

    I am sorry…to be clear, I don’t care about the number 3,000. I am fine with 3.14, or 3,000 or 3 million.

    ” 3000 people were baptized and believed in Jesus Christ. They were joined to the Church through the power of the Holy Spirit working through Word and water” Thank you SKP for this

    Now my question again is:

    Do I understand correctly that the Apostles were in (already joined to) the church, to which the 3,000 were joined to on that day?

    Grace says, “Yes” to my question.
    ” Of course the Apostles were in the church, and so was Peter.”
    Thank you Grace.

    So what does everyone else say?

    I will try to make it simpler…just copy and paste one of the following:

    Yes, the Apostles were in (already joined to) the church to which the 3000 were added.

    No, the Apostles were not in (not already joined to) the church to which the 3000 were added?

  • valet

    I am sorry…to be clear, I don’t care about the number 3,000. I am fine with 3.14, or 3,000 or 3 million.

    ” 3000 people were baptized and believed in Jesus Christ. They were joined to the Church through the power of the Holy Spirit working through Word and water” Thank you SKP for this

    Now my question again is:

    Do I understand correctly that the Apostles were in (already joined to) the church, to which the 3,000 were joined to on that day?

    Grace says, “Yes” to my question.
    ” Of course the Apostles were in the church, and so was Peter.”
    Thank you Grace.

    So what does everyone else say?

    I will try to make it simpler…just copy and paste one of the following:

    Yes, the Apostles were in (already joined to) the church to which the 3000 were added.

    No, the Apostles were not in (not already joined to) the church to which the 3000 were added?

  • Stephen

    Frank!!! Don’t scare him (her?) off! I love a good bible mystery.

    Oh valet? Valet?

  • Stephen

    Frank!!! Don’t scare him (her?) off! I love a good bible mystery.

    Oh valet? Valet?

  • Stephen

    AHA! It’s a trick! See, I told you it was about magic.

  • Stephen

    AHA! It’s a trick! See, I told you it was about magic.

  • Grace

    Valet,

    If you think using the word Church means a building, it doesn’t – it means those who are Believers in Christ., as the “Church”

    Church Strong’s Greek

    ekklēsía
    – properly, people called out from the world and to God, the outcome being the Church (the mystical body of Christ) – i.e. the universal (total) body of believers whom God calls out from the world and into His eternal kingdom.

  • Grace

    Valet,

    If you think using the word Church means a building, it doesn’t – it means those who are Believers in Christ., as the “Church”

    Church Strong’s Greek

    ekklēsía
    – properly, people called out from the world and to God, the outcome being the Church (the mystical body of Christ) – i.e. the universal (total) body of believers whom God calls out from the world and into His eternal kingdom.

  • BW

    I’m going to buzz in here because I’m curious and want to see what happens.

    “Yes, the Apostles were in (already joined to) the church to which the 3000 were added.”

  • BW

    I’m going to buzz in here because I’m curious and want to see what happens.

    “Yes, the Apostles were in (already joined to) the church to which the 3000 were added.”

  • fws

    valet

    Yes the apostles and peter were , already, in the Church, the Communion of Saints, by faith in Christ. Adam, seth, abraham, moses and also all of Israel (in the proper meaning of that word) were and are members of that same eternal Church.

    Caveat alert: Note I did not say that all these were in the Holy Catholic Church…

    I know that you asked for a nickel answer and I gave you a 50 buck answer.

    Ok. So?

  • fws

    valet

    Yes the apostles and peter were , already, in the Church, the Communion of Saints, by faith in Christ. Adam, seth, abraham, moses and also all of Israel (in the proper meaning of that word) were and are members of that same eternal Church.

    Caveat alert: Note I did not say that all these were in the Holy Catholic Church…

    I know that you asked for a nickel answer and I gave you a 50 buck answer.

    Ok. So?

  • fws

    Valet

    Keep in mind that for Lutherans Holy Catholic Church is not identical to Communion of Saints. And that important distinction, I predict, is what will make the difference between what you are about to present to us as to the eastern vs the Lutheran way of viewing things.

  • fws

    Valet

    Keep in mind that for Lutherans Holy Catholic Church is not identical to Communion of Saints. And that important distinction, I predict, is what will make the difference between what you are about to present to us as to the eastern vs the Lutheran way of viewing things.

  • fws

    We Lutherans call this the proper distinction of Law and Gospel in a modality called Two Kingdoms. Let’s see if I am right.

  • fws

    We Lutherans call this the proper distinction of Law and Gospel in a modality called Two Kingdoms. Let’s see if I am right.

  • valet

    fws…..is it possible for your to clarify your answer for me please…..

    were the Apostles and the 3000 on that day, in the Holy Catholic Church?
    or the Apostles and some of the 3000?
    or some of the Apostles and some of the 3000?
    or all the Apostles and possibly none of the 3000?
    or possibly none of the Apostles and none of the 3000?
    or we don’t know have any way of knowing was in and/or joined to the Holy Catholic Church on that day?
    or something else?

    If you are unable to clarify then that is okay too. thank you.

  • valet

    fws…..is it possible for your to clarify your answer for me please…..

    were the Apostles and the 3000 on that day, in the Holy Catholic Church?
    or the Apostles and some of the 3000?
    or some of the Apostles and some of the 3000?
    or all the Apostles and possibly none of the 3000?
    or possibly none of the Apostles and none of the 3000?
    or we don’t know have any way of knowing was in and/or joined to the Holy Catholic Church on that day?
    or something else?

    If you are unable to clarify then that is okay too. thank you.

  • valet

    thank you Stephen @266 who said :
    him (her?)

    I appreciate the fact that you noticed, that I did not reveal, if I am a him or a her or both or neither. And since it has no impact on my questions or your answers I will go ahead and just keep it to myself.

    Grace, I am not talking about a building. Thank you though for asking. That was thoughtful of you.

  • valet

    thank you Stephen @266 who said :
    him (her?)

    I appreciate the fact that you noticed, that I did not reveal, if I am a him or a her or both or neither. And since it has no impact on my questions or your answers I will go ahead and just keep it to myself.

    Grace, I am not talking about a building. Thank you though for asking. That was thoughtful of you.

  • fws

    valet @ 273

    Happy to clarify! Clarity is always better than mystery with respect to doctrine.
    Divine Mystery for a Lutheran is the the Truth hidden in plain sight.

    3000+ were DEFINATELY in the Communion of Saints just as I said. Israel was in the COS, but they were not in the HCC.
    Clarity? Can you connect dots Valet? I am sure you can!

  • fws

    valet @ 273

    Happy to clarify! Clarity is always better than mystery with respect to doctrine.
    Divine Mystery for a Lutheran is the the Truth hidden in plain sight.

    3000+ were DEFINATELY in the Communion of Saints just as I said. Israel was in the COS, but they were not in the HCC.
    Clarity? Can you connect dots Valet? I am sure you can!

  • fws

    valet @ 273
    The thief on the cross was and is in the COS but was not in the HCC. You (if you are one of the baptized) and I , are assumed to be in both the HCC and the COS. In the resurrection you and I will ONLY be in the COS. Why? The HCC will have ceased to exist!

    That should be MORE than enough clarity for ya mister or miss or transgendered whatever….

  • fws

    valet @ 273
    The thief on the cross was and is in the COS but was not in the HCC. You (if you are one of the baptized) and I , are assumed to be in both the HCC and the COS. In the resurrection you and I will ONLY be in the COS. Why? The HCC will have ceased to exist!

    That should be MORE than enough clarity for ya mister or miss or transgendered whatever….

  • fws

    valet @ 273

    “or we don’t know have any way of knowing was in and/or joined to the Holy Catholic Church on that day?”

    THE way we would know this today is to ask whether or not they had been baptized in the manner that Christ had commanded. This would be the question to have asked and answered that would establish the proper answer to this question.

  • fws

    valet @ 273

    “or we don’t know have any way of knowing was in and/or joined to the Holy Catholic Church on that day?”

    THE way we would know this today is to ask whether or not they had been baptized in the manner that Christ had commanded. This would be the question to have asked and answered that would establish the proper answer to this question.

  • SKPeterson

    I would argue a bit with Frank and say that they were in the OHACC – the One Holy Apostolic and Catholic Church, which is the Communion of Saints, including Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, etc. past, present and future. Those 3000+ are my brethren and sistren in the Church. I’m far more ecumenical than Frank, though.

    Even Grace is a member of the OHACC – I mean what would the Church be without Grace? In both senses.

    And Frank I am a Swede. Remember its the Finns you have to watch out for. They’re shapeshifters as my grandfather told me. And the Poles. They’re just so, so … Polish.

  • SKPeterson

    I would argue a bit with Frank and say that they were in the OHACC – the One Holy Apostolic and Catholic Church, which is the Communion of Saints, including Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, etc. past, present and future. Those 3000+ are my brethren and sistren in the Church. I’m far more ecumenical than Frank, though.

    Even Grace is a member of the OHACC – I mean what would the Church be without Grace? In both senses.

    And Frank I am a Swede. Remember its the Finns you have to watch out for. They’re shapeshifters as my grandfather told me. And the Poles. They’re just so, so … Polish.

  • Stephen

    Oooo . . . this is getting good. There’s a “wheat and tares” element that is behind all of this don’t forget. I’m more inclined to Frank’s position. I think the underlying premise of valet’s argument is or will have to do with the certainty of ones’ inclusion in the Church (capital C). fws answers this @ 277.

    SK @ 278 – how so? Explain the “which is” statement.

  • Stephen

    Oooo . . . this is getting good. There’s a “wheat and tares” element that is behind all of this don’t forget. I’m more inclined to Frank’s position. I think the underlying premise of valet’s argument is or will have to do with the certainty of ones’ inclusion in the Church (capital C). fws answers this @ 277.

    SK @ 278 – how so? Explain the “which is” statement.

  • fws

    SKP @ 278

    Not so fast.
    The Apology makes a distinction between the HCC and the COS.
    You do not. (See what Stephen says for your first hint…)

    Aw. I am not able to resist the urge to not by cryptic. Let me lay it out for ya SKP. Apology VII:

    1]…the wicked are not to be separated from the Church since John has compared the Church to a threshing-floor on which wheat and chaff are heaped together, Matt. 3:12, and Christ has compared it to a net in which 2] there are both good and bad fishes, Matt. 13:47

    3]…we [do not] separate the wicked and hypocrites from the outward fellowship of the Church, or that we deny efficacy to Sacraments administered by hypocrites or wicked men.

    3]…we grant that in this life hypocrites and wicked men have been mingled with the Church, and that they are members of the Church according to the outward fellowship of the signs of the Church, i.e., of Word, profession, and Sacraments, especially if they have not been excommunicated. 4] Neither are the Sacraments without efficacy for the reason that they are administered by wicked men; yea, we can even be right in using the Sacraments administered by wicked men. For Paul also predicts, 2 Thess. 2:4, that Antichrist will sit in the temple of God, i.e., he will rule and bear office in the Church. The wicked are dead members of this[ outward ]Church.

    [This outward fellowship which is] also the Church is defined by the article in the Creed which teaches us to believe that there is a holy Catholic Church. 8] The wicked indeed are not a holy Church.

    We hold, according to the Scriptures, that the Church, properly so called, is the Communion of Saints of those here and there in the world, who truly believe the Gospel of Christ, and have the Holy Ghost.

    29] But concerning this matter we have spoken with sufficient clearness in the Confession that we condemn the Donatists and Wyclifites, [and the orthodox as well!] who thought that men sinned when they received the Sacraments from the unworthy in the Church.

  • fws

    SKP @ 278

    Not so fast.
    The Apology makes a distinction between the HCC and the COS.
    You do not. (See what Stephen says for your first hint…)

    Aw. I am not able to resist the urge to not by cryptic. Let me lay it out for ya SKP. Apology VII:

    1]…the wicked are not to be separated from the Church since John has compared the Church to a threshing-floor on which wheat and chaff are heaped together, Matt. 3:12, and Christ has compared it to a net in which 2] there are both good and bad fishes, Matt. 13:47

    3]…we [do not] separate the wicked and hypocrites from the outward fellowship of the Church, or that we deny efficacy to Sacraments administered by hypocrites or wicked men.

    3]…we grant that in this life hypocrites and wicked men have been mingled with the Church, and that they are members of the Church according to the outward fellowship of the signs of the Church, i.e., of Word, profession, and Sacraments, especially if they have not been excommunicated. 4] Neither are the Sacraments without efficacy for the reason that they are administered by wicked men; yea, we can even be right in using the Sacraments administered by wicked men. For Paul also predicts, 2 Thess. 2:4, that Antichrist will sit in the temple of God, i.e., he will rule and bear office in the Church. The wicked are dead members of this[ outward ]Church.

    [This outward fellowship which is] also the Church is defined by the article in the Creed which teaches us to believe that there is a holy Catholic Church. 8] The wicked indeed are not a holy Church.

    We hold, according to the Scriptures, that the Church, properly so called, is the Communion of Saints of those here and there in the world, who truly believe the Gospel of Christ, and have the Holy Ghost.

    29] But concerning this matter we have spoken with sufficient clearness in the Confession that we condemn the Donatists and Wyclifites, [and the orthodox as well!] who thought that men sinned when they received the Sacraments from the unworthy in the Church.

  • SKPeterson

    Last part of 28. But I concede. My addition of One and Apostolic covers me.

  • SKPeterson

    Last part of 28. But I concede. My addition of One and Apostolic covers me.

  • Stephen

    valet, question for you.

    Would it be a sin for someone to decide who is wheat and who is chaff? Why or why not? In what way?

    Sorry, no cut and paste answers will be provided.

  • Stephen

    valet, question for you.

    Would it be a sin for someone to decide who is wheat and who is chaff? Why or why not? In what way?

    Sorry, no cut and paste answers will be provided.

  • fws

    SKP

    9] And this article has been presented for a necessary reason.

    The article of the Church Catholic or Universal, which is gathered together from every nation under the sun, is very comforting and highly necessary.

    We see the infinite dangers which threaten the destruction of the Church. In the Church itself, infinite is the multitude of the wicked who oppress it despise, bitterly hate, and most violently persecute the Word, as, e.g., the Turks, Mohammedans, other tyrants, heretics, etc.

    For this reason the true teaching and the Church are often so utterly suppressed and disappear, as if there were no Church, which has happened under the papacy; it often seems that the Church has completely perished.

    Therefore, in order that we may not despair, but may know that the Church will nevertheless remain until the end of the world,

    likewise that we may know that, however great the multitude of the wicked is, yet the Church which is Christ’s bride exists, and that Christ affords those gifts which He has promised to the Church, to forgive sins, to hear prayer, to give the Holy Ghost, this article in the Creed presents us these consolations.

    10] And it says Church Catholic, in order that we may not understand the Church to be an outward government [in the sense ] of certain nations, that the Church is like any other external polity, bound to this or that land, kingdom, or nation, as the Pope of Rome will say, but rather men scattered throughout the whole world here and there in the world, from the rising to the setting of the sun.

    In this outward government, are those who agree concerning the Gospel, and have the same Christ, the same Holy Ghost, and the same Sacraments, whether they have the same 11] or different human traditions.

    the wicked are in the Church only in name, not in fact;
    but that the good are in the Church both in fact and in name.

    [And this this distintion of the Two Kingdoms, of the HCC of the Kingdom of the Law and the COS of the Kingdom of Grace is thus made].

    13] And for this there are many reasons.

    If we will define the Church only as an outward polity of the good and wicked, men will not understand that the kingdom of Christ is righteousness of heart and the gift of the Holy Ghost . But men will [then] judge that it is only the outward observance of certain forms of worship and rites.

    14] Likewise, what difference will there be between the people of the Law and the Church if the Church is an outward polity?

    13] For it is necessary to understand what it is that principally makes us members, and that, living members, of the Church. [We must understand ]that the kingdom of Christ is spiritual, as nevertheless it is; that therein Christ inwardly rules, strengthens, and comforts hearts, and imparts the Holy Ghost and various spiritual gifts.

    But Paul distinguishes the Church from the people of the Law thus, that the Church is a spiritual people, i.e., that it has been distinguished from the heathen not by civil rites not in the polity and civil affairs, but that it is the true people of God, regenerated by the Holy Ghost.

    Among the people of the Law, apart from the promise of Christ, also the carnal seed all those who by nature were born Jews and Abraham’s seed had promises concerning corporeal things, of government, etc.

    And because of these even the wicked among them were called the people of God, because God had separated this carnal seed from other nations by certain outward ordinances and promises; and yet, 15] these wicked persons did not please God. But the Gospel which is preached in the Church brings not merely the shadow of eternal things, but the eternal things themselves, the Holy Ghost and righteousness, by which we are righteous before God.

    http://bookofconcord.org/defense_6_church.php

    Thesis: Every article in the Book of Concord exists to demonstrate to us how every error in the Church can be resolved by a proper distinction of Law and Gospel, that is, by the application of the Lutheran doctrine of the Two Kingdoms.

    This is an example of that Thesis at work.

  • fws

    SKP

    9] And this article has been presented for a necessary reason.

    The article of the Church Catholic or Universal, which is gathered together from every nation under the sun, is very comforting and highly necessary.

    We see the infinite dangers which threaten the destruction of the Church. In the Church itself, infinite is the multitude of the wicked who oppress it despise, bitterly hate, and most violently persecute the Word, as, e.g., the Turks, Mohammedans, other tyrants, heretics, etc.

    For this reason the true teaching and the Church are often so utterly suppressed and disappear, as if there were no Church, which has happened under the papacy; it often seems that the Church has completely perished.

    Therefore, in order that we may not despair, but may know that the Church will nevertheless remain until the end of the world,

    likewise that we may know that, however great the multitude of the wicked is, yet the Church which is Christ’s bride exists, and that Christ affords those gifts which He has promised to the Church, to forgive sins, to hear prayer, to give the Holy Ghost, this article in the Creed presents us these consolations.

    10] And it says Church Catholic, in order that we may not understand the Church to be an outward government [in the sense ] of certain nations, that the Church is like any other external polity, bound to this or that land, kingdom, or nation, as the Pope of Rome will say, but rather men scattered throughout the whole world here and there in the world, from the rising to the setting of the sun.

    In this outward government, are those who agree concerning the Gospel, and have the same Christ, the same Holy Ghost, and the same Sacraments, whether they have the same 11] or different human traditions.

    the wicked are in the Church only in name, not in fact;
    but that the good are in the Church both in fact and in name.

    [And this this distintion of the Two Kingdoms, of the HCC of the Kingdom of the Law and the COS of the Kingdom of Grace is thus made].

    13] And for this there are many reasons.

    If we will define the Church only as an outward polity of the good and wicked, men will not understand that the kingdom of Christ is righteousness of heart and the gift of the Holy Ghost . But men will [then] judge that it is only the outward observance of certain forms of worship and rites.

    14] Likewise, what difference will there be between the people of the Law and the Church if the Church is an outward polity?

    13] For it is necessary to understand what it is that principally makes us members, and that, living members, of the Church. [We must understand ]that the kingdom of Christ is spiritual, as nevertheless it is; that therein Christ inwardly rules, strengthens, and comforts hearts, and imparts the Holy Ghost and various spiritual gifts.

    But Paul distinguishes the Church from the people of the Law thus, that the Church is a spiritual people, i.e., that it has been distinguished from the heathen not by civil rites not in the polity and civil affairs, but that it is the true people of God, regenerated by the Holy Ghost.

    Among the people of the Law, apart from the promise of Christ, also the carnal seed all those who by nature were born Jews and Abraham’s seed had promises concerning corporeal things, of government, etc.

    And because of these even the wicked among them were called the people of God, because God had separated this carnal seed from other nations by certain outward ordinances and promises; and yet, 15] these wicked persons did not please God. But the Gospel which is preached in the Church brings not merely the shadow of eternal things, but the eternal things themselves, the Holy Ghost and righteousness, by which we are righteous before God.

    http://bookofconcord.org/defense_6_church.php

    Thesis: Every article in the Book of Concord exists to demonstrate to us how every error in the Church can be resolved by a proper distinction of Law and Gospel, that is, by the application of the Lutheran doctrine of the Two Kingdoms.

    This is an example of that Thesis at work.

  • fws

    skp @ 281

    No. You are not properly distinguishing Law and Gospel SKP. You are mixing the two. But to see that you need to see that the Doctrine of the Two Kingdoms is really just another form of Law Gospel distinction and nothing but.

    Two Kingdoms is almost always taught as a distinction between the Civil ordo and the ordo of the Church. And this is really what Rome and Geneva teach. It is to make a false distinction between the secular and the sacred, between civil and church. This is a violation of Law and Gospel Distinction in the form of Two Kingdoms.

    The HCC is part of the Earthly Kingdom. It is a government like any other government.

  • fws

    skp @ 281

    No. You are not properly distinguishing Law and Gospel SKP. You are mixing the two. But to see that you need to see that the Doctrine of the Two Kingdoms is really just another form of Law Gospel distinction and nothing but.

    Two Kingdoms is almost always taught as a distinction between the Civil ordo and the ordo of the Church. And this is really what Rome and Geneva teach. It is to make a false distinction between the secular and the sacred, between civil and church. This is a violation of Law and Gospel Distinction in the form of Two Kingdoms.

    The HCC is part of the Earthly Kingdom. It is a government like any other government.

  • fws

    SKP

    my email is fwsonnek@gmail.com

    Send me an email and I will return with Apology VII/VIII in a slightly modified format.

    I have rearranged the paragraphs without changing even one single word of the article from the original latin and german. I follow the translation found on bookofconcord.org

    This rearrangement makes the content and intent of the article come alive and become very apparent.

  • fws

    SKP

    my email is fwsonnek@gmail.com

    Send me an email and I will return with Apology VII/VIII in a slightly modified format.

    I have rearranged the paragraphs without changing even one single word of the article from the original latin and german. I follow the translation found on bookofconcord.org

    This rearrangement makes the content and intent of the article come alive and become very apparent.

  • fws

    SKP

    when you read apology VII as I have reworked it, what I am saying here will instantly make more sense to you as to how it applies to the orthodox.

  • fws

    SKP

    when you read apology VII as I have reworked it, what I am saying here will instantly make more sense to you as to how it applies to the orthodox.

  • Grace

    fws @286

    “when you read apology VII as I have reworked it, what I am saying here will instantly make more sense to you as to how it applies to the orthodox.”

    That’s the problem, you “rework” many things, including the Word of God -

  • Grace

    fws @286

    “when you read apology VII as I have reworked it, what I am saying here will instantly make more sense to you as to how it applies to the orthodox.”

    That’s the problem, you “rework” many things, including the Word of God -

  • fws

    Grace @ 287

    And your problem is that you dont seem to be aware that your righeousness is the moral equivalent of a used tampon.

    And so demonstrate less respect and common courtesy than most pagans have the good sense to reflect.

    You might consider reworking your mouth to reflect what the Word of God says.

  • fws

    Grace @ 287

    And your problem is that you dont seem to be aware that your righeousness is the moral equivalent of a used tampon.

    And so demonstrate less respect and common courtesy than most pagans have the good sense to reflect.

    You might consider reworking your mouth to reflect what the Word of God says.

  • Grace

    fws,

    YOO WROTE: “You might consider reworking your mouth to reflect what the Word of God says.”

    Read Romans 1 for YOURSELF!

    Posted fws @ 37 on February 20, 2012 – –
    On Thoughts on homosexuality not being genetic

    “I do not believe that homosexuality, per se, is a sin.”
    http://www.geneveith.com/2012/02/16/thoughts-on-homosexuality-not-being-genetic/#comment-142493

  • Grace

    fws,

    YOO WROTE: “You might consider reworking your mouth to reflect what the Word of God says.”

    Read Romans 1 for YOURSELF!

    Posted fws @ 37 on February 20, 2012 – –
    On Thoughts on homosexuality not being genetic

    “I do not believe that homosexuality, per se, is a sin.”
    http://www.geneveith.com/2012/02/16/thoughts-on-homosexuality-not-being-genetic/#comment-142493

  • fws

    skp @ 281

    Radical Thesis: Every article in the Book of Concord, including the catechisms, is intended and purposed at showing us how all doctrine and practice is clarified by the Proper Distinction of Law and Gospel ( Two Kingdoms in it’s casuistic modality).

    The Confessions are not a list of doctrines in the form of a paper Magisterium. That would be the function of Trent and the Reformed Confessions. The Lutheran Confessions are instead a demonstration and example of how to do theology.

    To see this clearly, one must rediscover the fact that Two Kingdoms is a modality of Law and Gospel distinction and only that.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctrine_of_the_two_kingdoms

  • fws

    skp @ 281

    Radical Thesis: Every article in the Book of Concord, including the catechisms, is intended and purposed at showing us how all doctrine and practice is clarified by the Proper Distinction of Law and Gospel ( Two Kingdoms in it’s casuistic modality).

    The Confessions are not a list of doctrines in the form of a paper Magisterium. That would be the function of Trent and the Reformed Confessions. The Lutheran Confessions are instead a demonstration and example of how to do theology.

    To see this clearly, one must rediscover the fact that Two Kingdoms is a modality of Law and Gospel distinction and only that.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctrine_of_the_two_kingdoms

  • fws

    grace @ 289

    You made my point.

  • fws

    grace @ 289

    You made my point.

  • fws

    valet @ 273

    You may also take the extensive quotation that I posted as my direct answer to your question even though I did not write a word of it.

    you can find the full text here:

    bookofconcord.org

  • fws

    valet @ 273

    You may also take the extensive quotation that I posted as my direct answer to your question even though I did not write a word of it.

    you can find the full text here:

    bookofconcord.org

  • Grace

    fws,

    You don’t have a point to make, that’s your problem!

  • Grace

    fws,

    You don’t have a point to make, that’s your problem!

  • fws

    In the Apostles Creed, the communion of saints, seems to be added [after the Holy Catholic Church] in order to explain what the Church signifies, namely, the congregation of saints, who have with each other the fellowship of the same Gospel or doctrine who confess one Gospel, have the same knowledge of Christ and of the same Holy Ghost, who renews, sanctifies, and governs their hearts

    Likewise some Churches have excommunicated others because of such traditions, as the observance of Easter, pictures, and the like. Hence the ignorant have supposed that faith, or the righteousness of the heart before God, cannot exist and that no one can be a Christian without these observances.

    32] Neither were the reasons trifling why we presented this article. …

    Some thought that human traditions were necessary services for meriting justification that without such human ordinances Christian holiness and faith are of no avail before God; also that no one can be a Christian unless he observe such traditions, although they are nothing but an outward regulation.

    And afterwards they disputed how it came to pass that God was worshiped with such variety, as though, indeed, these observances were acts of worship.

    33] But just as the dissimilar length of day and night does not injure the unity of the Church, so we believe that the true unity of the Church is not injured by dissimilar rites instituted by men;
    It is pleasing to us that, for the sake of tranquillity unity and good order, universal rites be observed, just as also in the churches we willingly observe the order of the Mass, the Lord’s Day, and other more eminent festival days.

    And with a very grateful mind we embrace the profitable and ancient ordinances, especially since they contain a discipline by which it is profitable to educate and train the people and those who are ignorant the young people.

    34] But now we are not discussing the question whether it be of advantage to observe them on account of peace or bodily profit.
    Another matter is treated of.

    For the question at issue is, whether the observances of human traditions are acts of worship necessary for righteousness before God. This is the point to be judged in this controversy, and when this is decided, it can afterwards be judged whether to the true unity of the Church it is necessary that human traditions should everywhere be alike.

    For if human traditions be not acts of worship necessary for righteousness before God, it follows that also they can be righteous and be the sons of God who have not the traditions which have been received elsewhere.

    eg;., if the style of German clothing is not worship of God, necessary for righteousness before God, it follows that men can be righteous and sons of God and the Church of Christ, even though they use a costume that is not German, but French.

    The point at controversy is this: are human traditions be acts of worship necessary for righteousness before God?

    38] The adversaries say that universal traditions are to be observed because they are supposed to have been handed down by the apostles. What religious men they are! They wish that the rites derived from the apostles be retained; they do not wish the doctrine of the apostles to be retained…. Therefore the will and advice of the apostles ought to be derived from their writings; it is not enough to mention their example.

    35] Paul clearly teaches this to the Colossians 2:16-17: Let no man, therefore, judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy-day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days, which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. Likewise, 2:20-23 sqq.: If ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances (touch not; taste not; handle not; which all are to perish with the using), after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have, indeed, a show of wisdom in will-worship and humility.

    36] the meaning is this:

    Righteousness of the heart is a spiritual matter, quickening hearts.
    [Therefore ] it is evident that human traditions do not quicken hearts, and are not effects of the Holy Ghost. They fall into the same category as love to one’s neighbor, chastity, etc….

    They are usages with regard to matters that pertain in no respect to the heart, which perish with the using, we must not believe that they are necessary for righteousness before God.

    They are nothing eternal; hence, they do not procure eternal life, but are an external bodily discipline, which does not change the heart.]

    And to the same effect he says, Rom. 14:17: The kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness 37] and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.

    They are not instruments through which God moves hearts to believe, as are the divinely given Word and Sacraments.

  • fws

    In the Apostles Creed, the communion of saints, seems to be added [after the Holy Catholic Church] in order to explain what the Church signifies, namely, the congregation of saints, who have with each other the fellowship of the same Gospel or doctrine who confess one Gospel, have the same knowledge of Christ and of the same Holy Ghost, who renews, sanctifies, and governs their hearts

    Likewise some Churches have excommunicated others because of such traditions, as the observance of Easter, pictures, and the like. Hence the ignorant have supposed that faith, or the righteousness of the heart before God, cannot exist and that no one can be a Christian without these observances.

    32] Neither were the reasons trifling why we presented this article. …

    Some thought that human traditions were necessary services for meriting justification that without such human ordinances Christian holiness and faith are of no avail before God; also that no one can be a Christian unless he observe such traditions, although they are nothing but an outward regulation.

    And afterwards they disputed how it came to pass that God was worshiped with such variety, as though, indeed, these observances were acts of worship.

    33] But just as the dissimilar length of day and night does not injure the unity of the Church, so we believe that the true unity of the Church is not injured by dissimilar rites instituted by men;
    It is pleasing to us that, for the sake of tranquillity unity and good order, universal rites be observed, just as also in the churches we willingly observe the order of the Mass, the Lord’s Day, and other more eminent festival days.

    And with a very grateful mind we embrace the profitable and ancient ordinances, especially since they contain a discipline by which it is profitable to educate and train the people and those who are ignorant the young people.

    34] But now we are not discussing the question whether it be of advantage to observe them on account of peace or bodily profit.
    Another matter is treated of.

    For the question at issue is, whether the observances of human traditions are acts of worship necessary for righteousness before God. This is the point to be judged in this controversy, and when this is decided, it can afterwards be judged whether to the true unity of the Church it is necessary that human traditions should everywhere be alike.

    For if human traditions be not acts of worship necessary for righteousness before God, it follows that also they can be righteous and be the sons of God who have not the traditions which have been received elsewhere.

    eg;., if the style of German clothing is not worship of God, necessary for righteousness before God, it follows that men can be righteous and sons of God and the Church of Christ, even though they use a costume that is not German, but French.

    The point at controversy is this: are human traditions be acts of worship necessary for righteousness before God?

    38] The adversaries say that universal traditions are to be observed because they are supposed to have been handed down by the apostles. What religious men they are! They wish that the rites derived from the apostles be retained; they do not wish the doctrine of the apostles to be retained…. Therefore the will and advice of the apostles ought to be derived from their writings; it is not enough to mention their example.

    35] Paul clearly teaches this to the Colossians 2:16-17: Let no man, therefore, judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy-day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days, which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. Likewise, 2:20-23 sqq.: If ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances (touch not; taste not; handle not; which all are to perish with the using), after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have, indeed, a show of wisdom in will-worship and humility.

    36] the meaning is this:

    Righteousness of the heart is a spiritual matter, quickening hearts.
    [Therefore ] it is evident that human traditions do not quicken hearts, and are not effects of the Holy Ghost. They fall into the same category as love to one’s neighbor, chastity, etc….

    They are usages with regard to matters that pertain in no respect to the heart, which perish with the using, we must not believe that they are necessary for righteousness before God.

    They are nothing eternal; hence, they do not procure eternal life, but are an external bodily discipline, which does not change the heart.]

    And to the same effect he says, Rom. 14:17: The kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness 37] and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.

    They are not instruments through which God moves hearts to believe, as are the divinely given Word and Sacraments.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Please, Grace (@293), these people are trying to have an actual conversation, if you don’t mind. Isn’t there an old thread you can go type in bold in?

    Anyhow, I think the idea of serialized blog comments is interesting, but so far, it isn’t really playing out. Can we cut to the chase? I just slogged through way too many comments, only to find that, several days later, we still haven’t gotten to the point. Is this like a Zen koan thing?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Please, Grace (@293), these people are trying to have an actual conversation, if you don’t mind. Isn’t there an old thread you can go type in bold in?

    Anyhow, I think the idea of serialized blog comments is interesting, but so far, it isn’t really playing out. Can we cut to the chase? I just slogged through way too many comments, only to find that, several days later, we still haven’t gotten to the point. Is this like a Zen koan thing?

  • Grace

    tODD

    “Is this like a Zen koan thing?”

    tODD, you’ll be fine, just keep up the “jig” thing, as you have on the other thread, follow me around, as you usually do..

    POOR tODD!

  • Grace

    tODD

    “Is this like a Zen koan thing?”

    tODD, you’ll be fine, just keep up the “jig” thing, as you have on the other thread, follow me around, as you usually do..

    POOR tODD!

  • SKPeterson

    Todd – We are trying in our own small way to recapitulate Lutheran – Orthodox talks over the last 500 years.

  • SKPeterson

    Todd – We are trying in our own small way to recapitulate Lutheran – Orthodox talks over the last 500 years.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I kinda wish Grace would recapitulate Lutheran-Calvary Chapel talks over the last 50 years. Is that wrong?

    Anyhow, Grace, you know you don’t have to actually type “POOR tODD!” anymore, right? I mentally insert it at the end of all your posts now. And have for quite some time.

    Valet! Valet! Where art thou, Valet!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I kinda wish Grace would recapitulate Lutheran-Calvary Chapel talks over the last 50 years. Is that wrong?

    Anyhow, Grace, you know you don’t have to actually type “POOR tODD!” anymore, right? I mentally insert it at the end of all your posts now. And have for quite some time.

    Valet! Valet! Where art thou, Valet!

  • Grace

    SKPeterson @ 278 and now 279

    YOU WROTE @ : “Even Grace is a member of the OHACC – I mean what would the Church be without Grace? In both senses.”

    It’s those types of comments that distract and detract from the discussion. You might give that some thought, before you sound off.

  • Grace

    SKPeterson @ 278 and now 279

    YOU WROTE @ : “Even Grace is a member of the OHACC – I mean what would the Church be without Grace? In both senses.”

    It’s those types of comments that distract and detract from the discussion. You might give that some thought, before you sound off.

  • Grace

    tODD #298

    YOU WROTE: “I kinda wish Grace would recapitulate Lutheran-Calvary Chapel talks over the last 50 years. Is that wrong?”

    Yes, I just bet you would!

  • Grace

    tODD #298

    YOU WROTE: “I kinda wish Grace would recapitulate Lutheran-Calvary Chapel talks over the last 50 years. Is that wrong?”

    Yes, I just bet you would!

  • SKPeterson

    Ferank – Here’s what I was thinking of when I equated OHACC with the Communion of Saints: Church Militant and Church Triumphant, together.

    Luther says it here:

    “The communion of saints.” This is of one piece with the preceding ["the holy catholic church"]. Formerly it was not in the creed. When you hear the word “church,” understand that it means group [Haufe], as we say in German, the Wittenberg group or congregation [Gemeine], that is, an holy, Christian group, assembly, or, in German, the holy, common church, and it is a word that should not be called “communion” [Gemeinschaft], but rather “a congregation” eine Gemeine. Someone wanted to explain the first term, “catholic church” [and added the words] communio sanctorum, which in German means a congregation of saints, that is, a congregation made up only of saints. “Christian church” and “congregation of saints” are one and the same thing.

    – Luther, “Sermons on the Catechism,” 1528. From Martin Luther: Selections from his Writings.

  • SKPeterson

    Ferank – Here’s what I was thinking of when I equated OHACC with the Communion of Saints: Church Militant and Church Triumphant, together.

    Luther says it here:

    “The communion of saints.” This is of one piece with the preceding ["the holy catholic church"]. Formerly it was not in the creed. When you hear the word “church,” understand that it means group [Haufe], as we say in German, the Wittenberg group or congregation [Gemeine], that is, an holy, Christian group, assembly, or, in German, the holy, common church, and it is a word that should not be called “communion” [Gemeinschaft], but rather “a congregation” eine Gemeine. Someone wanted to explain the first term, “catholic church” [and added the words] communio sanctorum, which in German means a congregation of saints, that is, a congregation made up only of saints. “Christian church” and “congregation of saints” are one and the same thing.

    – Luther, “Sermons on the Catechism,” 1528. From Martin Luther: Selections from his Writings.

  • fws

    SKPeterson @301
    I was raised in the WELS. This is exactly how they teach this. In fact my pastor taught me to recite the creed pushing those two words as close together as possible. They hinge all of their doctrine on church and ministry on this blurring.

    And they are wrong.

    Luther was wrong in 1528 (when he wrote the catechisms), and he changed his mind. And he remained with his new opinion of 1530 until he died. How can I be certain of this?

    1) He took a public oath to that effect in the form of the Augustana and it’s Apology. His private writings are truly Lutheran to the extent they illuminate the Confessions. Chemnitz demonstrates how we are to use him in this way in frequently quoting him in the FC to support the doctrine he is merely repeating and applying from the Apology.

    2) Every article of the BofC is consciously intended by their writers to be a demonstration of clarity in doctrine by the application of Law and Gospel. often in it’s modality called Two Kingdoms.

    3) But why it is really important to see this distinction is this: Ap VII VIII is a most excellent article in which to see just how useful the Two Kingdoms modality of Law and Gospel is to rightly divide the Word of God and scatter the darkness. HCC=visible church COS=invisible church. Ponder deeply the relationship between these two things. This pattern will be repeated in each and every article of the BofC.

    Cf Luther on Baptism in the Small Catechism. What does Baptism “works,delivers from and gives” Gospel!
    What is it that Baptism “signifies” (predicates)? Drowning of Old Adam by Contrition and Repentence and rising up. This is exactly to go to Church and cling to the Word of God and so to suffer God in this way to work true repentence in our hearts (FC art II).

    This is the Christian Life itself described as Law (Old Adam ) and Gospel (New Man). Luther in the Large Catechism says that Baptism is nothing other than Repentence.

    You will not find in the Confessions the word Sanctification as a category. It is a term used only in passing. You WILL find the word Repentence used in the Confessions to describe the Christian Life. Why? This is a Law and Gospel distinction!

    It is this very distinction that is used in the FC resolve a false and calvinistic neo-scholastic view of Sanctification that had invaded the ELC. FC I describes the Old Adam, of the Believer! Art II tells us that Justification that is faith IN the believer and his New Man is ALL the Words doing. Man’s part? Show up in church!
    Art III-V repeat Law/Gospel Two Kingdom distinction.

    Art VI New Man (believer insofar as he is regenerated) vs Old Adam which still clings to us , who , ALONE is the ONLY reason we need a Third Use.
    Art VI repeats Art IV of the Apology. and identifies the 3rd use as what is found in Art V.
    This is where Christ himself takes the Law into his own hands to terrify our New Man at the sight of our sins.

    Every. single. article. of. the. Lutheran. Confessions. is intentioned to be a hands on demonstration of how to do Law/Gospel aka Two Kingdoms.

    It is not a magisterium. Did you see how AP VIIs two kingdoms distinction clarified the EO errors? ALL of them?

    I feel blest to be a Lutheran.

  • fws

    SKPeterson @301
    I was raised in the WELS. This is exactly how they teach this. In fact my pastor taught me to recite the creed pushing those two words as close together as possible. They hinge all of their doctrine on church and ministry on this blurring.

    And they are wrong.

    Luther was wrong in 1528 (when he wrote the catechisms), and he changed his mind. And he remained with his new opinion of 1530 until he died. How can I be certain of this?

    1) He took a public oath to that effect in the form of the Augustana and it’s Apology. His private writings are truly Lutheran to the extent they illuminate the Confessions. Chemnitz demonstrates how we are to use him in this way in frequently quoting him in the FC to support the doctrine he is merely repeating and applying from the Apology.

    2) Every article of the BofC is consciously intended by their writers to be a demonstration of clarity in doctrine by the application of Law and Gospel. often in it’s modality called Two Kingdoms.

    3) But why it is really important to see this distinction is this: Ap VII VIII is a most excellent article in which to see just how useful the Two Kingdoms modality of Law and Gospel is to rightly divide the Word of God and scatter the darkness. HCC=visible church COS=invisible church. Ponder deeply the relationship between these two things. This pattern will be repeated in each and every article of the BofC.

    Cf Luther on Baptism in the Small Catechism. What does Baptism “works,delivers from and gives” Gospel!
    What is it that Baptism “signifies” (predicates)? Drowning of Old Adam by Contrition and Repentence and rising up. This is exactly to go to Church and cling to the Word of God and so to suffer God in this way to work true repentence in our hearts (FC art II).

    This is the Christian Life itself described as Law (Old Adam ) and Gospel (New Man). Luther in the Large Catechism says that Baptism is nothing other than Repentence.

    You will not find in the Confessions the word Sanctification as a category. It is a term used only in passing. You WILL find the word Repentence used in the Confessions to describe the Christian Life. Why? This is a Law and Gospel distinction!

    It is this very distinction that is used in the FC resolve a false and calvinistic neo-scholastic view of Sanctification that had invaded the ELC. FC I describes the Old Adam, of the Believer! Art II tells us that Justification that is faith IN the believer and his New Man is ALL the Words doing. Man’s part? Show up in church!
    Art III-V repeat Law/Gospel Two Kingdom distinction.

    Art VI New Man (believer insofar as he is regenerated) vs Old Adam which still clings to us , who , ALONE is the ONLY reason we need a Third Use.
    Art VI repeats Art IV of the Apology. and identifies the 3rd use as what is found in Art V.
    This is where Christ himself takes the Law into his own hands to terrify our New Man at the sight of our sins.

    Every. single. article. of. the. Lutheran. Confessions. is intentioned to be a hands on demonstration of how to do Law/Gospel aka Two Kingdoms.

    It is not a magisterium. Did you see how AP VIIs two kingdoms distinction clarified the EO errors? ALL of them?

    I feel blest to be a Lutheran.

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    Somewhere way back in this thread (or should it, rather, be called ‘tangle’?) :-) someone asked what I thought the churchly acts I performed as a Lutheran minister were. Were they valid, or not?

    Let me ask of all Lutherans here:

    When what you say is the blood of Christ is distributed in plastic disposable cups,
    and those cups are then tossed, uncleansed, into the trash,
    is that the blood of Christ you’re tossing into the trash?

    Now some of you are doubtless receptionists, and will say, “No; it’s only the blood of Christ in the act of sacramental drinking.”
    Others of you are consecrationists, and will see the problem.
    Yet all of you (Lutherans) are in one communion fellowship.

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    Somewhere way back in this thread (or should it, rather, be called ‘tangle’?) :-) someone asked what I thought the churchly acts I performed as a Lutheran minister were. Were they valid, or not?

    Let me ask of all Lutherans here:

    When what you say is the blood of Christ is distributed in plastic disposable cups,
    and those cups are then tossed, uncleansed, into the trash,
    is that the blood of Christ you’re tossing into the trash?

    Now some of you are doubtless receptionists, and will say, “No; it’s only the blood of Christ in the act of sacramental drinking.”
    Others of you are consecrationists, and will see the problem.
    Yet all of you (Lutherans) are in one communion fellowship.

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    My answer to the question, btw, is “I don’t know.” I will leave it to God’s judgment.

    I can live with that.

    And, I hope, so can you.

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    My answer to the question, btw, is “I don’t know.” I will leave it to God’s judgment.

    I can live with that.

    And, I hope, so can you.

  • fws

    Fr Hogg @ 304

    “My answer to the question, btw, is “I don’t know.” I will leave it to God’s judgment.”

    When you were a Lutheran pastor, you would have pointed someone to their baptism , regardless of the sect they belonged to, as a certain and sure assurance that that person was one of God’s Elect. now… “I don’t know.”

    That terrifies my conscience Fr Hogg at least as much, if not more so, than the heinous abuse of the vessels used for the Blessed and Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. It is criminal for a Shepherd of the Lord’s flock to breed such uncertaintly in a terrified conscience.

    Lord have mercy on us all for our lack of faithfulness!

  • fws

    Fr Hogg @ 304

    “My answer to the question, btw, is “I don’t know.” I will leave it to God’s judgment.”

    When you were a Lutheran pastor, you would have pointed someone to their baptism , regardless of the sect they belonged to, as a certain and sure assurance that that person was one of God’s Elect. now… “I don’t know.”

    That terrifies my conscience Fr Hogg at least as much, if not more so, than the heinous abuse of the vessels used for the Blessed and Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. It is criminal for a Shepherd of the Lord’s flock to breed such uncertaintly in a terrified conscience.

    Lord have mercy on us all for our lack of faithfulness!

  • fws

    Fr Hogg @ 304

    “By the way”.
    ” I can live with that”. ” I hope you can too”

    It doesnt matter what YOU can live with. It isn’t all about you.

  • fws

    Fr Hogg @ 304

    “By the way”.
    ” I can live with that”. ” I hope you can too”

    It doesnt matter what YOU can live with. It isn’t all about you.

  • kerner

    Actually, Fr. Hogg, I can live with your answer as well; I don’t know myself. But I was about to ask you this question:

    When you Orthodox distribute what you call the Blood of Christ in a metal chalice, and when you wash that chalice and some molecule of what was in the chalice, however small, goes down the drain of the sink, have you just thrown the Blood of Christ into a sewer?

    But I assume that your answer would be the same: You don’t know.

    But would it make a difference if you did know?

    But you still haven’t answered the question, which is not whether the Blood of Christ went into the trash. The question is whether the Blood of Christ went into all those Lutherans to which you ministered for all those years.

    Will we receive an answer? Or is I don’t know the answer to that question too?

  • kerner

    Actually, Fr. Hogg, I can live with your answer as well; I don’t know myself. But I was about to ask you this question:

    When you Orthodox distribute what you call the Blood of Christ in a metal chalice, and when you wash that chalice and some molecule of what was in the chalice, however small, goes down the drain of the sink, have you just thrown the Blood of Christ into a sewer?

    But I assume that your answer would be the same: You don’t know.

    But would it make a difference if you did know?

    But you still haven’t answered the question, which is not whether the Blood of Christ went into the trash. The question is whether the Blood of Christ went into all those Lutherans to which you ministered for all those years.

    Will we receive an answer? Or is I don’t know the answer to that question too?

  • kerner

    By the way, I notice valet has been content to never make his point while we schismatics argue among ourselves. Ah the inscrutible subtlety of the East!

    I’m sorry, but the invocation of eastern thought reminds me of this:

  • kerner

    By the way, I notice valet has been content to never make his point while we schismatics argue among ourselves. Ah the inscrutible subtlety of the East!

    I’m sorry, but the invocation of eastern thought reminds me of this:

  • fws

    Fr Hogg @ 304

    I reject that word receptionist by the way. Why? It misdirects.

    It calls our attention from the questions that really matter most.

    And it directs our attention to questions about things that pertain alone to our earthly existence and will perish with it.

    And so it results in a pastor who turns is life upside down focussed upon things that will perish, and so, abandons the Godly task of ministering to a terrified conscience with the absolute certainty that only the Holy Gospel outside of us, and for us, can provide.

  • fws

    Fr Hogg @ 304

    I reject that word receptionist by the way. Why? It misdirects.

    It calls our attention from the questions that really matter most.

    And it directs our attention to questions about things that pertain alone to our earthly existence and will perish with it.

    And so it results in a pastor who turns is life upside down focussed upon things that will perish, and so, abandons the Godly task of ministering to a terrified conscience with the absolute certainty that only the Holy Gospel outside of us, and for us, can provide.

  • fws

    What a tragedy and solemn warning to repentence you are providing to us Father Hogg as an object lesson.

  • fws

    What a tragedy and solemn warning to repentence you are providing to us Father Hogg as an object lesson.

  • SKPeterson

    Frank:

    Of the One Invisible Christian Church it is said in the 7th Article of the Augsburg Confession: “Also they teach that One Holy Church is to continue forever. The Church is the congregation of all saints.” (Trigl., p.47.) — From Franz Pieper.

    Articles VII and VIII as follows: “The Church properly is the congregation of saints and true believers.”

    Luther from 1541 “Against Hanswurst”:

    “Thus we have proved that we are the true, ancient church, one body and one communion of saints with the holy, universal, Christian church.”

  • SKPeterson

    Frank:

    Of the One Invisible Christian Church it is said in the 7th Article of the Augsburg Confession: “Also they teach that One Holy Church is to continue forever. The Church is the congregation of all saints.” (Trigl., p.47.) — From Franz Pieper.

    Articles VII and VIII as follows: “The Church properly is the congregation of saints and true believers.”

    Luther from 1541 “Against Hanswurst”:

    “Thus we have proved that we are the true, ancient church, one body and one communion of saints with the holy, universal, Christian church.”

  • SKPeterson

    Fr. Hogg – Do you use the intinction form? Or the bread mixed with wine served by spoon?

  • SKPeterson

    Fr. Hogg – Do you use the intinction form? Or the bread mixed with wine served by spoon?

  • kerner

    valet:

    If you ever DO decide to make a point, The Large Catechism says of the Holy Catholic Church, The Communion of Saints:

    “47] The Creed denominates the holy Christian Church, communionem sanctorum, a communion of saints; for both expressions, taken together, are identical.”

    And

    “51] But this is the meaning and substance of this addition: I believe that there is upon earth a little holy group and congregation of pure saints, under one head, even Christ, called together by the Holy Ghost in one faith, one mind, and understanding, with manifold gifts, yet agreeing in love, without sects or schisms. 52] I am also a part and member of the same, a sharer and joint owner of all the goods it possesses, brought to it and incorporated into it by the Holy Ghost by having heard and continuing to hear the Word of God, which is the beginning of entering it. For formerly, before we had attained to this, we were altogether of the devil, knowing nothing of God and of Christ. 53] Thus, until the last day, the Holy Ghost abides with the holy congregation or Christendom, by means of which He fetches us to Christ and which He employs to teach and preach to us the Word, whereby He works and promotes sanctification, causing it [this community] daily to grow and become strong in the faith and its fruits which He produces. ”

    LC, Apostles’ Creed, 47, 51-53

    And yes, I believe that the Apostles were in it at the time the 3000 were joined to it.

    If you have a pooint to make, I look forward to reading it.

  • kerner

    valet:

    If you ever DO decide to make a point, The Large Catechism says of the Holy Catholic Church, The Communion of Saints:

    “47] The Creed denominates the holy Christian Church, communionem sanctorum, a communion of saints; for both expressions, taken together, are identical.”

    And

    “51] But this is the meaning and substance of this addition: I believe that there is upon earth a little holy group and congregation of pure saints, under one head, even Christ, called together by the Holy Ghost in one faith, one mind, and understanding, with manifold gifts, yet agreeing in love, without sects or schisms. 52] I am also a part and member of the same, a sharer and joint owner of all the goods it possesses, brought to it and incorporated into it by the Holy Ghost by having heard and continuing to hear the Word of God, which is the beginning of entering it. For formerly, before we had attained to this, we were altogether of the devil, knowing nothing of God and of Christ. 53] Thus, until the last day, the Holy Ghost abides with the holy congregation or Christendom, by means of which He fetches us to Christ and which He employs to teach and preach to us the Word, whereby He works and promotes sanctification, causing it [this community] daily to grow and become strong in the faith and its fruits which He produces. ”

    LC, Apostles’ Creed, 47, 51-53

    And yes, I believe that the Apostles were in it at the time the 3000 were joined to it.

    If you have a pooint to make, I look forward to reading it.

  • SKPeterson

    Here’s a good question: When did the Church start? At Pentecost? At the Last Supper? At Cana? When Jesus called Peter, James and John? When Jesus visited the temple at 12? At his dedication? In Bethlehem? At the exile? With Solomon and the temple? When David brought the Ark into Jerusalem? When Joshua led the people into Canaan? When Moses led the people out of Egypt? With Abraham and the sacrifice of Isaac? With Adam?

  • SKPeterson

    Here’s a good question: When did the Church start? At Pentecost? At the Last Supper? At Cana? When Jesus called Peter, James and John? When Jesus visited the temple at 12? At his dedication? In Bethlehem? At the exile? With Solomon and the temple? When David brought the Ark into Jerusalem? When Joshua led the people into Canaan? When Moses led the people out of Egypt? With Abraham and the sacrifice of Isaac? With Adam?

  • SKPeterson

    Since I forgot to put it in the list, the Church obviously began with Noah after the Flood.

  • SKPeterson

    Since I forgot to put it in the list, the Church obviously began with Noah after the Flood.

  • fws

    skp @ 311

    The article of the [visible, external] Church Catholic or Universal, [in the Apostle's Creed] which is gathered together from every nation under the sun, is very comforting and highly necessary.

    In the Church itself, infinite is the multitude of the wicked who oppress it despise, bitterly hate, and most violently persecute the Word, 3]… hypocrites and wicked men have been mingled with the Church, and that they are members of the Church according to the outward fellowship of the signs of the Church, i.e., of Word, profession, and Sacraments, [eg ELCA] …Paul also predicts, 2 Thess. 2:4, that Antichrist will sit in the temple of God, i.e., he will rule and bear office in the Church.
    For this reason the true teaching and the Church are often so utterly suppressed and disappear, as if there were no Church, which has happened under the papacy; it often seems that the Church has completely perished.

    The wicked are dead members of this[ outward ]Church.

    Therefore

    ,

    in order that we may not despair, but may know that the Church will nevertheless remain until the end of the world, likewise that we may know that, however great the multitude of the wicked is, yet the Church which is Christ’s bride exists, and that Christ affords those gifts which He has promised to the Church, to forgive sins, to hear prayer, to give the Holy Ghost, this article in the Creed presents us these consolations.

    10] And it says Church Catholic, in order that we may not understand the Church to be an outward government [in the sense ] of certain nations, that the Church is like any other external polity, bound to this or that land, kingdom, or nation, as the Pope of Rome will say, but rather men scattered throughout the whole world here and there in the world, from the rising to the setting of the sun.
    In this outward government, are those who agree concerning the Gospel, and have the same Christ, the same Holy Ghost, and the same Sacraments, whether they have the same 11] or different human traditions.

    12] Although, therefore, hypocrites and wicked men are members of this true Church according to outward rites titles and offices,

    yet when the Church is defined, it is necessary to define that which is the living body of Christ, and which is in name and in fact the Church which is called the body of Christ, and has fellowship … in outward signs, but not only in outward signs, but has gifts in the heart, namely, the Holy Ghost and faith.

    If we will define the Church ONLY only as an outward polity [which is saying we DO define it, importantly, as an outward polity too!], of the good and wicked, men will not understand that the kingdom of Christ is righteousness of heart and the gift of the Holy Ghost .

    In the Apostles Creed, the communion of saints, seems to be added [after the Holy Catholic Church] in order to explain what the [Visible Holy Catholic] Church signifies, namely, the congregation of saints, who have with each other the fellowship of the same Gospel or doctrine who confess one Gospel, have the same knowledge of Christ and of the same Holy Ghost, who renews, sanctifies, and governs their hearts.

    SKP: Why not read this as it is intended? The Thomists are accusing the Augustana of making the Church a platonic concept What was their response?

    Is it not a Law and Gospel distinction? Why do they feel it important to speak of the Church in BOTH senses? In that broad (law+gospel) AND narrow (gospel only) sense?

    What IS it that YOU are arguing for? That the Apology, the interpretation of the Augustana , disagrees with the Augustana? With Luther?

    Yes I know this is not exactly the form in which you were taught. So. What. Deal with the text honestly. Dare to be Confessional Lutherans.

  • fws

    skp @ 311

    The article of the [visible, external] Church Catholic or Universal, [in the Apostle's Creed] which is gathered together from every nation under the sun, is very comforting and highly necessary.

    In the Church itself, infinite is the multitude of the wicked who oppress it despise, bitterly hate, and most violently persecute the Word, 3]… hypocrites and wicked men have been mingled with the Church, and that they are members of the Church according to the outward fellowship of the signs of the Church, i.e., of Word, profession, and Sacraments, [eg ELCA] …Paul also predicts, 2 Thess. 2:4, that Antichrist will sit in the temple of God, i.e., he will rule and bear office in the Church.
    For this reason the true teaching and the Church are often so utterly suppressed and disappear, as if there were no Church, which has happened under the papacy; it often seems that the Church has completely perished.

    The wicked are dead members of this[ outward ]Church.

    Therefore

    ,

    in order that we may not despair, but may know that the Church will nevertheless remain until the end of the world, likewise that we may know that, however great the multitude of the wicked is, yet the Church which is Christ’s bride exists, and that Christ affords those gifts which He has promised to the Church, to forgive sins, to hear prayer, to give the Holy Ghost, this article in the Creed presents us these consolations.

    10] And it says Church Catholic, in order that we may not understand the Church to be an outward government [in the sense ] of certain nations, that the Church is like any other external polity, bound to this or that land, kingdom, or nation, as the Pope of Rome will say, but rather men scattered throughout the whole world here and there in the world, from the rising to the setting of the sun.
    In this outward government, are those who agree concerning the Gospel, and have the same Christ, the same Holy Ghost, and the same Sacraments, whether they have the same 11] or different human traditions.

    12] Although, therefore, hypocrites and wicked men are members of this true Church according to outward rites titles and offices,

    yet when the Church is defined, it is necessary to define that which is the living body of Christ, and which is in name and in fact the Church which is called the body of Christ, and has fellowship … in outward signs, but not only in outward signs, but has gifts in the heart, namely, the Holy Ghost and faith.

    If we will define the Church ONLY only as an outward polity [which is saying we DO define it, importantly, as an outward polity too!], of the good and wicked, men will not understand that the kingdom of Christ is righteousness of heart and the gift of the Holy Ghost .

    In the Apostles Creed, the communion of saints, seems to be added [after the Holy Catholic Church] in order to explain what the [Visible Holy Catholic] Church signifies, namely, the congregation of saints, who have with each other the fellowship of the same Gospel or doctrine who confess one Gospel, have the same knowledge of Christ and of the same Holy Ghost, who renews, sanctifies, and governs their hearts.

    SKP: Why not read this as it is intended? The Thomists are accusing the Augustana of making the Church a platonic concept What was their response?

    Is it not a Law and Gospel distinction? Why do they feel it important to speak of the Church in BOTH senses? In that broad (law+gospel) AND narrow (gospel only) sense?

    What IS it that YOU are arguing for? That the Apology, the interpretation of the Augustana , disagrees with the Augustana? With Luther?

    Yes I know this is not exactly the form in which you were taught. So. What. Deal with the text honestly. Dare to be Confessional Lutherans.

  • fws

    skp @ 315

    No SKP. The Church and it’s outward and inward forms of worship were Divinely instituted before even marriage in the garden of Eden. Faith alone in Christ alone was that internal worship just as now. The external worship, just as now, was to refrain from eating of the tree.

    This was to trust the Word of God and not seek Life in created things but rather where the Word of God tells us to find Life.

  • fws

    skp @ 315

    No SKP. The Church and it’s outward and inward forms of worship were Divinely instituted before even marriage in the garden of Eden. Faith alone in Christ alone was that internal worship just as now. The external worship, just as now, was to refrain from eating of the tree.

    This was to trust the Word of God and not seek Life in created things but rather where the Word of God tells us to find Life.

  • fws

    Kerner @315

    You are not making the Law and Gospel distinction here.
    Works and faith.

    God has commanded is to baptize and teach.
    This is Law. this is what we can see and do.
    These are the Laws of the Visible church as an earthly government.
    Apology VII identifies this as the HCC in the Creed.

    Then , in with and under this, is the Communion of Saints. This is exactly what Luther describes in your quote. the Holy Catholic Church consists of true believers and fake believers. It is Holy however only because of the believers in it. But you cant see the COS. You see only external rites and ceremonies that are all LAW. this is the administration of word and sacraments.

    Note this:
    The Administration of Word and Sacrament is a CARNAL righeousness that pertains to this earthly life alone , and so will perish with it. This is romans 8 flesh!

    In the same exact way you need to apply this same law and gospel distinction to your own person. You are Old Adam and new man. God deals with you as a believer only according to the New Man within you. Yet the word “believer ” includes both.
    Furthermore, the Existence of New Man is purely an article of faith. You cant see it. ALL you see is Old Adam.

  • fws

    Kerner @315

    You are not making the Law and Gospel distinction here.
    Works and faith.

    God has commanded is to baptize and teach.
    This is Law. this is what we can see and do.
    These are the Laws of the Visible church as an earthly government.
    Apology VII identifies this as the HCC in the Creed.

    Then , in with and under this, is the Communion of Saints. This is exactly what Luther describes in your quote. the Holy Catholic Church consists of true believers and fake believers. It is Holy however only because of the believers in it. But you cant see the COS. You see only external rites and ceremonies that are all LAW. this is the administration of word and sacraments.

    Note this:
    The Administration of Word and Sacrament is a CARNAL righeousness that pertains to this earthly life alone , and so will perish with it. This is romans 8 flesh!

    In the same exact way you need to apply this same law and gospel distinction to your own person. You are Old Adam and new man. God deals with you as a believer only according to the New Man within you. Yet the word “believer ” includes both.
    Furthermore, the Existence of New Man is purely an article of faith. You cant see it. ALL you see is Old Adam.

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    kerner, you asked:

    “When you Orthodox distribute what you call the Blood of Christ in a metal chalice, and when you wash that chalice and some molecule of what was in the chalice, however small, goes down the drain of the sink, have you just thrown the Blood of Christ into a sewer?”

    We do not wash the chalice in a sink. The deacons (or priest, if no deacon is present), consumes the holy gifts after the Liturgy is over. When the holy gifts have been completely consumed, the chalice is cleansed with hot water and a little wine. So what you ask about, never happens.

    Now, can you answer my question, about something which *routinely* happens? Thank you.

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    kerner, you asked:

    “When you Orthodox distribute what you call the Blood of Christ in a metal chalice, and when you wash that chalice and some molecule of what was in the chalice, however small, goes down the drain of the sink, have you just thrown the Blood of Christ into a sewer?”

    We do not wash the chalice in a sink. The deacons (or priest, if no deacon is present), consumes the holy gifts after the Liturgy is over. When the holy gifts have been completely consumed, the chalice is cleansed with hot water and a little wine. So what you ask about, never happens.

    Now, can you answer my question, about something which *routinely* happens? Thank you.

  • fws

    skp @ 315

    To say that the church was not founded before the Fall is to say that Adam’s prefall righeousness and the Image of God in him was different , in some sense, than that same righeousness and Image of God that is restored to us in Baptism.

    In Baptism the Image of God and Original Righeousness are precisely what is restored to us.
    Faith in Christ, apart from works was righteousness before the fall, is righteousness after the fall, and will be the same righeousness for eternity.

    Righteousness is eternally defined as faith in the Word and Works of Another.
    “That which is not of faith is sin”
    The opposite of original sin was not not original goodness.
    The opposite of original sin is original faith in Christ for righteousness.

    Stated another way:

    Adam’s Robe of Righteousness was Christ before the fall, Christ after the fall and Christ in his resurrrection.

    The Righeousness of Faith that is Christ is not a dispensational righeousness!

  • fws

    skp @ 315

    To say that the church was not founded before the Fall is to say that Adam’s prefall righeousness and the Image of God in him was different , in some sense, than that same righeousness and Image of God that is restored to us in Baptism.

    In Baptism the Image of God and Original Righeousness are precisely what is restored to us.
    Faith in Christ, apart from works was righteousness before the fall, is righteousness after the fall, and will be the same righeousness for eternity.

    Righteousness is eternally defined as faith in the Word and Works of Another.
    “That which is not of faith is sin”
    The opposite of original sin was not not original goodness.
    The opposite of original sin is original faith in Christ for righteousness.

    Stated another way:

    Adam’s Robe of Righteousness was Christ before the fall, Christ after the fall and Christ in his resurrrection.

    The Righeousness of Faith that is Christ is not a dispensational righeousness!

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    fws @309

    The term ‘receptionist’ is a commonly used term in Lutheran theological circles.

    And if my “I don’t know” terrifies your conscience, I don’t know why that would be. You are a Lutheran, I take it. And Lutheran teaching explicitly says that the validity and efficaciousness of a sacrament do not depend on the personal worthiness or the personal belief of the minister.

    Now, back to the question. What is put into the trash on a weekly basis in many Lutheran parishes?

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    fws @309

    The term ‘receptionist’ is a commonly used term in Lutheran theological circles.

    And if my “I don’t know” terrifies your conscience, I don’t know why that would be. You are a Lutheran, I take it. And Lutheran teaching explicitly says that the validity and efficaciousness of a sacrament do not depend on the personal worthiness or the personal belief of the minister.

    Now, back to the question. What is put into the trash on a weekly basis in many Lutheran parishes?

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    SKPeterson@312:

    We distribute the sacred gifts to the laity by means of a spoon. A cloth is placed beneath the communicant’s mouth so as to prevent the falling of the gifts to the floor.

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    SKPeterson@312:

    We distribute the sacred gifts to the laity by means of a spoon. A cloth is placed beneath the communicant’s mouth so as to prevent the falling of the gifts to the floor.

  • fws

    fr hogg @ 303

    The FC refers to the wittenberg Concord on this precise point. The Wittenberg Concord points to the “usus”.

    The Wittenberg Concord points to and Lutheran practice is to fully consume the host. Not reserve it. Not debate when host is or is not body and blood. There is therefore no dispute as to receptionism in the Evangelical Church. And the very word “receptionism” indicates a very skewed confusion of Law and Gospel. I am sorry that this was and is apparently not clear to you as a former seminary professor. That is telling eh?

    The point is to recognize, in the reception, that the Body and Blood is for ME for the forgiveness of sins. THIS is the entire purpose and point that our dear Lord Jesus intends.

    So father Hogg: “. Was the supper the forgiveness of sins when you distributed it to your parishioners as a Lutheran pastor? “Response: “by the way.. I dont really know. That’s not a problem for me. I hope it’s not a problem for you (insert smiley face here).”

    That answer and it’s very casual form, is scandalous. It should shock and terrify consciences.

    Regardless: The practice you describe should shock one’s conscience. In the same way placing a crucifix in a jar of urine, using a crucifix as a doormat to wipe ones feet, or using a bible as a convenient coaster for ones glass of soda.

    Yet the argument of receptionism destracts from the more important questions. And for you, those more important questions are… um…. “I don’t know. I can live with that. ” and you offer that comment with the most casual “oh. by the way.”

    This sense of proportion and relative importance sort of seems like a rearranging of deck chairs on the Titannic. That should shock one’s conscience more than anything.

  • fws

    fr hogg @ 303

    The FC refers to the wittenberg Concord on this precise point. The Wittenberg Concord points to the “usus”.

    The Wittenberg Concord points to and Lutheran practice is to fully consume the host. Not reserve it. Not debate when host is or is not body and blood. There is therefore no dispute as to receptionism in the Evangelical Church. And the very word “receptionism” indicates a very skewed confusion of Law and Gospel. I am sorry that this was and is apparently not clear to you as a former seminary professor. That is telling eh?

    The point is to recognize, in the reception, that the Body and Blood is for ME for the forgiveness of sins. THIS is the entire purpose and point that our dear Lord Jesus intends.

    So father Hogg: “. Was the supper the forgiveness of sins when you distributed it to your parishioners as a Lutheran pastor? “Response: “by the way.. I dont really know. That’s not a problem for me. I hope it’s not a problem for you (insert smiley face here).”

    That answer and it’s very casual form, is scandalous. It should shock and terrify consciences.

    Regardless: The practice you describe should shock one’s conscience. In the same way placing a crucifix in a jar of urine, using a crucifix as a doormat to wipe ones feet, or using a bible as a convenient coaster for ones glass of soda.

    Yet the argument of receptionism destracts from the more important questions. And for you, those more important questions are… um…. “I don’t know. I can live with that. ” and you offer that comment with the most casual “oh. by the way.”

    This sense of proportion and relative importance sort of seems like a rearranging of deck chairs on the Titannic. That should shock one’s conscience more than anything.

  • fws

    fr hogg @ 321

    there are lots of things said and done in Lutheran circles. We are no more immune to sin and false doctrine and stupidity than your sect is. So?

    What is said in the Wittenberg Concord is referred to as the Lutheran teaching on this by the FofC. Therefore there should be no controversy about this among Lutherans. You know well that what makes something Lutheran is conformity to the Confessions.

    On a personal note fr Hogg, I know that following your conscience and moving to your current sect had to have cost a terrible price financially and emotionally etc. I am deeply sorry that you had to go through all that. I am saddened and repentent wherever my fellow Lutherans failed to show you love respect mercy and kindness in any of that dear brother in Christ.

  • fws

    fr hogg @ 321

    there are lots of things said and done in Lutheran circles. We are no more immune to sin and false doctrine and stupidity than your sect is. So?

    What is said in the Wittenberg Concord is referred to as the Lutheran teaching on this by the FofC. Therefore there should be no controversy about this among Lutherans. You know well that what makes something Lutheran is conformity to the Confessions.

    On a personal note fr Hogg, I know that following your conscience and moving to your current sect had to have cost a terrible price financially and emotionally etc. I am deeply sorry that you had to go through all that. I am saddened and repentent wherever my fellow Lutherans failed to show you love respect mercy and kindness in any of that dear brother in Christ.

  • fws

    And as a Lutheran Christian , father Hogg, you know that I have the great confort, priviledge and blessing of being ordered to recognize you as a dear brother in Christ according to your baptism.

    I am sorry you can no longer participate in this same joy.

  • fws

    And as a Lutheran Christian , father Hogg, you know that I have the great confort, priviledge and blessing of being ordered to recognize you as a dear brother in Christ according to your baptism.

    I am sorry you can no longer participate in this same joy.

  • fws

    fr hogg @ 322

    would there be doubt as to the efficacy of the Blessed and Most Holy Sacrament if an orthodox priest effected the distribution with a common cup and individual wafers as the Lutheran traditional practice is?

  • fws

    fr hogg @ 322

    would there be doubt as to the efficacy of the Blessed and Most Holy Sacrament if an orthodox priest effected the distribution with a common cup and individual wafers as the Lutheran traditional practice is?

  • fws

    fr hogg @ 322

    Do you suppose Christ distributed the Blessed Sacrament to the Holy Apostles with a spoon placing a knapkin underneath? What did he, as the Officiant, do with the remaining bread and wine after the first last supper?

    Does it matter? Why?
    Does it matter more than the question as to the certaintly of what is being received? Why? Why not?
    Would Christ want you to cast doubt in the minds of your former communicants when you were a Lutheran pastor as to a) the validity of their Holy Baptism, and b) what they received in the Blessed Sacrament?

    So you want us to focus on what it is that is in those dixie cups (I know… sadness… ) rather than those other questions. Doesnt that seem just a tad warped?

  • fws

    fr hogg @ 322

    Do you suppose Christ distributed the Blessed Sacrament to the Holy Apostles with a spoon placing a knapkin underneath? What did he, as the Officiant, do with the remaining bread and wine after the first last supper?

    Does it matter? Why?
    Does it matter more than the question as to the certaintly of what is being received? Why? Why not?
    Would Christ want you to cast doubt in the minds of your former communicants when you were a Lutheran pastor as to a) the validity of their Holy Baptism, and b) what they received in the Blessed Sacrament?

    So you want us to focus on what it is that is in those dixie cups (I know… sadness… ) rather than those other questions. Doesnt that seem just a tad warped?

  • fws

    Kerner and SKP.

    I am pointing out something in the Apology that seems to ask us to maybe return to an earlier way off teaching about the Church.
    Your response is to prooftext the catechism, and even the Augustana that the Apology is the interpretation of to simply not need to deal with what I have presented.

    And what is that: That the Church, in ALL we can see and do pertains alone to this earthly existence and will end with it.

    “where two or three are gathered in my Name” is NOT to describe the Una Sancta this means. It is to describe an earthly government with that word “government” having the same force as the word used in “us government”.

    And in with and under that two or three gathered, ONLY when we add the visible marks…as in . “gathered around word and sacrament” we are to be certain that the Una Sancta IS there.

    futhermore: this is to be believed even if ALL we can see in that gathering appears to be apostacy.

    So this is the answer to Fr Hogg. The visible church IS a form of government and … NOTHING more than that. There is NOTHING more sacred or holy about a synodical administration or a pastor administering word and sacrament than any other vocation of rulership, be it parents or the IRS. It would not have jarred him to hear the church compared to a corporation if he had kept the proper distinction of Law and Gospel straight.

  • fws

    Kerner and SKP.

    I am pointing out something in the Apology that seems to ask us to maybe return to an earlier way off teaching about the Church.
    Your response is to prooftext the catechism, and even the Augustana that the Apology is the interpretation of to simply not need to deal with what I have presented.

    And what is that: That the Church, in ALL we can see and do pertains alone to this earthly existence and will end with it.

    “where two or three are gathered in my Name” is NOT to describe the Una Sancta this means. It is to describe an earthly government with that word “government” having the same force as the word used in “us government”.

    And in with and under that two or three gathered, ONLY when we add the visible marks…as in . “gathered around word and sacrament” we are to be certain that the Una Sancta IS there.

    futhermore: this is to be believed even if ALL we can see in that gathering appears to be apostacy.

    So this is the answer to Fr Hogg. The visible church IS a form of government and … NOTHING more than that. There is NOTHING more sacred or holy about a synodical administration or a pastor administering word and sacrament than any other vocation of rulership, be it parents or the IRS. It would not have jarred him to hear the church compared to a corporation if he had kept the proper distinction of Law and Gospel straight.

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    fws,

    Have you read Edward Peters’ dissertation on the meaning of the word ‘usus’?

    Have you read Pieper on the Lord’s Supper?

    To speak more generally, I guess I find it difficult to have a discussion on topics such as these without knowing your theological bona fides–the education, teachers and texts which have shaped your understanding.

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    fws,

    Have you read Edward Peters’ dissertation on the meaning of the word ‘usus’?

    Have you read Pieper on the Lord’s Supper?

    To speak more generally, I guess I find it difficult to have a discussion on topics such as these without knowing your theological bona fides–the education, teachers and texts which have shaped your understanding.

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    fws,

    Some time ago I said,

    “I don’t plan to engage you for long; firehoses put out an impressive volume of water, but sprinklers are more useful for growing plants.”

    What’s happened here since then has only served to confirm my original view.

    Best,

    Fr. Gregory

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    fws,

    Some time ago I said,

    “I don’t plan to engage you for long; firehoses put out an impressive volume of water, but sprinklers are more useful for growing plants.”

    What’s happened here since then has only served to confirm my original view.

    Best,

    Fr. Gregory

  • fws

    Hogg @ 329

    I have studied our Lutheran Confessions since age 17 in the original latin and german texts. I am familiar with the historical contexts of those documents including a careful study of the Thomist Aristotelianism that is the intended audience for the Apology.
    I am 56 years old now. So that is a while.

    That is to study what is Lutheran. I would reject whatever Pieper says, without the slightest hesitation, where he departs from the Confessions. That would be to honor his wishes. I am not seeing where he departs from the Confessions in any way, but it has been a few years since I read his excellent Dogmatics.

    In our kind of discussion, and with other Lutherans, I would appeal exclusively to our Confessions. There is more than enough good material there. And that text has the additional virtue of truly delimiting what is Lutheran and what is not.

    As I said, the Confessions refer to and endorse the Witteberg Concord. And that concord is clear as to the usus. Do you disagree with that analysis dear pastor Hogg?

  • fws

    Hogg @ 329

    I have studied our Lutheran Confessions since age 17 in the original latin and german texts. I am familiar with the historical contexts of those documents including a careful study of the Thomist Aristotelianism that is the intended audience for the Apology.
    I am 56 years old now. So that is a while.

    That is to study what is Lutheran. I would reject whatever Pieper says, without the slightest hesitation, where he departs from the Confessions. That would be to honor his wishes. I am not seeing where he departs from the Confessions in any way, but it has been a few years since I read his excellent Dogmatics.

    In our kind of discussion, and with other Lutherans, I would appeal exclusively to our Confessions. There is more than enough good material there. And that text has the additional virtue of truly delimiting what is Lutheran and what is not.

    As I said, the Confessions refer to and endorse the Witteberg Concord. And that concord is clear as to the usus. Do you disagree with that analysis dear pastor Hogg?

  • SKPeterson

    fws – Hold off a little bit, and let Fr. Hogg have some time to answer. Your rapid firing here today – it’s hard to take it all in and respond adequately to any response.

    What you are getting at in your comments on the Church is the notion of now, but not yet. Church militant, Church triumphant. Church visible, Church invisible. Moreover, it appears the distinction of which you speak may have arisen because of a particular line of attack from Rome. Lutherans were arguing (apparently from an earlier strand within Roman tradition itself, but I can’t find anything more clear that isn’t chock full of Latin and/or German beyond my weak understanding) for what came to be known as the “invisible” Church, though that word wasn’t always used. The Romans countered that “invisible” = “imaginary” and, so, false. The Lutherans then began to distinguish a visible and invisible and the intermingling of both. It has an interesting parallel in Christology in the Two Natures. (And I think it provides a good analogy for what you are trying to articulate. You be the judge.) The Eastern take our theology of Church and say it is effectively a Nestorian view. We say it is effectively dyophisite. In turn we look at the East and say they’re being Eutychian.

  • SKPeterson

    fws – Hold off a little bit, and let Fr. Hogg have some time to answer. Your rapid firing here today – it’s hard to take it all in and respond adequately to any response.

    What you are getting at in your comments on the Church is the notion of now, but not yet. Church militant, Church triumphant. Church visible, Church invisible. Moreover, it appears the distinction of which you speak may have arisen because of a particular line of attack from Rome. Lutherans were arguing (apparently from an earlier strand within Roman tradition itself, but I can’t find anything more clear that isn’t chock full of Latin and/or German beyond my weak understanding) for what came to be known as the “invisible” Church, though that word wasn’t always used. The Romans countered that “invisible” = “imaginary” and, so, false. The Lutherans then began to distinguish a visible and invisible and the intermingling of both. It has an interesting parallel in Christology in the Two Natures. (And I think it provides a good analogy for what you are trying to articulate. You be the judge.) The Eastern take our theology of Church and say it is effectively a Nestorian view. We say it is effectively dyophisite. In turn we look at the East and say they’re being Eutychian.

  • fws

    skp @ 332

    I think your angle of approach is wrong so you will land in the wrong place.
    I suggest it is simpler than that.
    Law and Gospel distinction. Aim for that.
    You are looking for something more complicated.
    Not earlier strand of history. Law and Gospel distinction.
    Is Not: “now/notyet” HCC and COS are both now.
    Is: Old Adam vs New Man… Law and Gospel! Two Kingdoms!

    Law and Gospel. Two Kingdoms. Law and Gospel. Two Kingdoms.
    Old Adam vs New Man old Adam vs New Man.
    Not two natures of Christ. Is: two natures in man.

    Earthly Kingdom: Old Adam and the Law=Romans 8 flesh=Holy Catholic Church=ALL we can see and do in church, this includes administration of Word and Sacraments. All pertains, alone to this earthly existence and will perish with it, along with all who seek Life there.

    Heavenly Kingdom of Faith and New Man=romans 8 spirit=Communion of Saints=the Word in with and under all we can see and do. Faith alone in the Works of Another.

    This is the precise opposite of “intermingling”. Luther: we are to separate the earthly and heavenly kingdoms as far as the earth is from the heavens. We are to separate Law and Gospel as far as east is from the west. We are to separate HCC from the COS as far as heaven is from earth.

    Precisely as New Man is invisibly in, with and under, the Old Adam in the Believer the COS is invisibly , in with and under the HCC. That is the parallel SKP

    This is not something I am presenting. This is what is presented in Apology VII. try reading the text just as I have quoted it without reading into it what you think you might know….. i am not being snyde. that is not an easy thing to do actually. We read the confessions with the lenses of modern lutheranism. Often that obscures the intended meaning.

    This idea and distinction is fully in the Luther and catechetical texts you quote but not as explicitly. It was sharpened and brought in to focus in the Apology. That is what controversy can help with as St Paul says.

  • fws

    skp @ 332

    I think your angle of approach is wrong so you will land in the wrong place.
    I suggest it is simpler than that.
    Law and Gospel distinction. Aim for that.
    You are looking for something more complicated.
    Not earlier strand of history. Law and Gospel distinction.
    Is Not: “now/notyet” HCC and COS are both now.
    Is: Old Adam vs New Man… Law and Gospel! Two Kingdoms!

    Law and Gospel. Two Kingdoms. Law and Gospel. Two Kingdoms.
    Old Adam vs New Man old Adam vs New Man.
    Not two natures of Christ. Is: two natures in man.

    Earthly Kingdom: Old Adam and the Law=Romans 8 flesh=Holy Catholic Church=ALL we can see and do in church, this includes administration of Word and Sacraments. All pertains, alone to this earthly existence and will perish with it, along with all who seek Life there.

    Heavenly Kingdom of Faith and New Man=romans 8 spirit=Communion of Saints=the Word in with and under all we can see and do. Faith alone in the Works of Another.

    This is the precise opposite of “intermingling”. Luther: we are to separate the earthly and heavenly kingdoms as far as the earth is from the heavens. We are to separate Law and Gospel as far as east is from the west. We are to separate HCC from the COS as far as heaven is from earth.

    Precisely as New Man is invisibly in, with and under, the Old Adam in the Believer the COS is invisibly , in with and under the HCC. That is the parallel SKP

    This is not something I am presenting. This is what is presented in Apology VII. try reading the text just as I have quoted it without reading into it what you think you might know….. i am not being snyde. that is not an easy thing to do actually. We read the confessions with the lenses of modern lutheranism. Often that obscures the intended meaning.

    This idea and distinction is fully in the Luther and catechetical texts you quote but not as explicitly. It was sharpened and brought in to focus in the Apology. That is what controversy can help with as St Paul says.

  • kerner

    Fr. Hogg @319:

    I take you at your word, and forgive my ignorance of Eastern practice. But what you are saying is that the priest drinks whatever remains (as best he can) and then cleanses the chalice with hot water and wine. Perhaps you don’t throw the cleansing hot water and wine into a sink, but I would be interested in knowing what you actually do with it. It now occurs to me that you may drink that too, but I am interested to know.

    But, while you may try to consume all the remains of the sacrament by this method, I doubt that you actually consume every molecule. Like the small plastic cups, I strongly suspect that some residue remains, else why cleanse the chalice at all? If I am correct, the distinction between you and us is one of degree. While you may be throwing less of the Blood of Christ in the trash, sewer or on the ground, or wipe it with a rag, or even allow it to evaporate into the air. If you so dispose of even one molecule of Christs blood in such a way you aren’t really so different from us.

    anyway, I did answer your question. I do not know, and leave it to God, just like you.

  • kerner

    Fr. Hogg @319:

    I take you at your word, and forgive my ignorance of Eastern practice. But what you are saying is that the priest drinks whatever remains (as best he can) and then cleanses the chalice with hot water and wine. Perhaps you don’t throw the cleansing hot water and wine into a sink, but I would be interested in knowing what you actually do with it. It now occurs to me that you may drink that too, but I am interested to know.

    But, while you may try to consume all the remains of the sacrament by this method, I doubt that you actually consume every molecule. Like the small plastic cups, I strongly suspect that some residue remains, else why cleanse the chalice at all? If I am correct, the distinction between you and us is one of degree. While you may be throwing less of the Blood of Christ in the trash, sewer or on the ground, or wipe it with a rag, or even allow it to evaporate into the air. If you so dispose of even one molecule of Christs blood in such a way you aren’t really so different from us.

    anyway, I did answer your question. I do not know, and leave it to God, just like you.

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    Kerner,

    Sorry for any vagueness. We consume the hot water and wine by which we cleanse the chalice. We even wash off the diskos (paten) with hot water and pour that into the chalice too, to be consumed.

    I cannot speculate as to what might happen on a molecular level, since the senses I was given by God cannot perceive things on a molecular level.

    Priests who handle the holy gifts carelessly are subject to serious ecclesiastical discipline.

    But it strikes me that there’s all the difference in the world between the person who, despite his best efforts, against his will, accidentally handles the sacred gifts improperly (though he is guilty of an offense, of course),
    and the person who intentionally and willfully continues to throw the sacred gifts into the trash.

    Just as there’s all the difference in the world between the shut-in and the delinquent member.

    Best,

    Fr. Gregory

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    Kerner,

    Sorry for any vagueness. We consume the hot water and wine by which we cleanse the chalice. We even wash off the diskos (paten) with hot water and pour that into the chalice too, to be consumed.

    I cannot speculate as to what might happen on a molecular level, since the senses I was given by God cannot perceive things on a molecular level.

    Priests who handle the holy gifts carelessly are subject to serious ecclesiastical discipline.

    But it strikes me that there’s all the difference in the world between the person who, despite his best efforts, against his will, accidentally handles the sacred gifts improperly (though he is guilty of an offense, of course),
    and the person who intentionally and willfully continues to throw the sacred gifts into the trash.

    Just as there’s all the difference in the world between the shut-in and the delinquent member.

    Best,

    Fr. Gregory

  • kerner

    Maybe, but it is kind of a legalistic approach to the sacrament, which is pure Gospel, isn’t it? I mean, what if you spill some of the Body and Blood of Christ onto the cloth? Don’t you have to wash the cloth, or throw it away? And there is also the fact of what happens to everything we, as humans, eat and drink, isn’t there? It all biodegrades back into the same ecosystem one way or another.

    I understand your desire to treat the sacrament with reverence, but I fear you may be unable to see the forest for the trees.

  • kerner

    Maybe, but it is kind of a legalistic approach to the sacrament, which is pure Gospel, isn’t it? I mean, what if you spill some of the Body and Blood of Christ onto the cloth? Don’t you have to wash the cloth, or throw it away? And there is also the fact of what happens to everything we, as humans, eat and drink, isn’t there? It all biodegrades back into the same ecosystem one way or another.

    I understand your desire to treat the sacrament with reverence, but I fear you may be unable to see the forest for the trees.

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    Kerner,

    Everything we do with the Eucharist flows out of the conviction that it is the very body and blood of Christ.

    Such, even, was Luther’s view–who, when he was old and spilled the chalice, licked up the floor with his tongue and then gave instructions that the wood from the floor was to be burned.

    Besides, in the case of earthly food we change it into our bodies; in the case of the Eucharist, it changes us into Christ’s body.

    Best,

    Fr. Gregory

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    Kerner,

    Everything we do with the Eucharist flows out of the conviction that it is the very body and blood of Christ.

    Such, even, was Luther’s view–who, when he was old and spilled the chalice, licked up the floor with his tongue and then gave instructions that the wood from the floor was to be burned.

    Besides, in the case of earthly food we change it into our bodies; in the case of the Eucharist, it changes us into Christ’s body.

    Best,

    Fr. Gregory

  • kerner

    “Everything we do with the Eucharist flows out of the conviction that it is the very body and blood of Christ.”

    Well, I’m with you there at least.

    And best to you too.

  • kerner

    “Everything we do with the Eucharist flows out of the conviction that it is the very body and blood of Christ.”

    Well, I’m with you there at least.

    And best to you too.

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    Thank you, my friend. And best to you as well!

    Fr. Gregory

  • Fr. Gregory Hogg

    Thank you, my friend. And best to you as well!

    Fr. Gregory

  • kerner

    fws:

    Actually, Frank, I think I understand your point, and I don’t think I disagree with you (although I may not have said enough to have hitherto convinced you of that).

    I agree that all ecclesiastical governments are basically not different from any other government: i.e. part of the left hand kingdom. Which is also to say that I agree with whoever it was that told Fr. Hogg that the LCMS is not “the Church” but a corporation. The difference between Fr. Hogg and me is that I believe the same is true of the Eastern Orthodox Church, and certainly true of the Roman Catholic Church. Which is to say that I don’t believe that any such organization can rightly claim to be “the Church” in the sense that we, as Lutherans, mean it. Clearly, Fr. Hogg, and all Eastern Orthodoxy disagree with me, and they must follow their consciences.

    But, wherever 2 or more gather together around the Word and sacraments we DO find “the Church”. Not in the organization which facilitates the gathering of the 2 or more, but in the fact of them being gathered by the Holy Spirit and not by anyone else’s reason or strength.

    The Large Catechism discusses this distinction and the fact that some of the meaning of this doctrine is confused by the common usage of the German language. Using the word “church” to mean human organization as well as “the Church” was aparently as big a problem in 16th Century German as it is in modern English. The LC article on the Apostles’ Creed spells it out pretty well.

  • kerner

    fws:

    Actually, Frank, I think I understand your point, and I don’t think I disagree with you (although I may not have said enough to have hitherto convinced you of that).

    I agree that all ecclesiastical governments are basically not different from any other government: i.e. part of the left hand kingdom. Which is also to say that I agree with whoever it was that told Fr. Hogg that the LCMS is not “the Church” but a corporation. The difference between Fr. Hogg and me is that I believe the same is true of the Eastern Orthodox Church, and certainly true of the Roman Catholic Church. Which is to say that I don’t believe that any such organization can rightly claim to be “the Church” in the sense that we, as Lutherans, mean it. Clearly, Fr. Hogg, and all Eastern Orthodoxy disagree with me, and they must follow their consciences.

    But, wherever 2 or more gather together around the Word and sacraments we DO find “the Church”. Not in the organization which facilitates the gathering of the 2 or more, but in the fact of them being gathered by the Holy Spirit and not by anyone else’s reason or strength.

    The Large Catechism discusses this distinction and the fact that some of the meaning of this doctrine is confused by the common usage of the German language. Using the word “church” to mean human organization as well as “the Church” was aparently as big a problem in 16th Century German as it is in modern English. The LC article on the Apostles’ Creed spells it out pretty well.


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