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Comparative / Apologetic Literature for the Dyo and Mia view of Saint Cyril?

LivenotoneviL

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Before I - God willing - become a catechumen in the Eastern Orthodox Church, while I briefly touched upon the controversies of Miaphysitism and Dyophysitism, I seriously want to - for a time being - inquire into Oriental Orthodoxy before I make the vows so to speak to become a Chalcedonian Orthodox member - if God permits me (although who knows - I might scare away converts if I join, so God knows whats best).

But anyways, I briefly touched upon the debates and found the perceived sticking point - and I may be ignorant on this point, which is why I want to research it further - is the question of the Tome of Leo. Specifically, it seems that what is unacceptable for the Oriental Orthodox - if there are in fact contradictions between the Christologies - is the idea that the Two Natures could function independently of one another, which they see as Nestorian.

I dismissed the controversies for the time being when I read a fragment of Saint Cyril's commentary on John - Book 8 of his commentary - where Saint Cyril, in similar fashion to how I've interpreted Saint Leo, describes the function of the Divine Nature restricting the human nature in the Garden of Gethsemane - that it was the human nature which made Christ want His Father to take away the cup, but it was the Divine Nature which overcame it and said "nope, I'm going through with this," which I interpreted as "good enough for me."

http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/cyril_on_john_08_book8.htm
(27, 28)

I found that if Saint Cyril interprets Christ how I read the Tome of Leo, well, then, the question became "who is in the moral wrong," which I briefly concluded and said "Chalcedonian is for me" when I read about Saint Flavian being killed after the "robber" (in quotations to not offend the Oriental) Council of Ephesus under Pope Dioscorsus was concluded, supposedly on the orders of Pope Dioscorsus, and concluding with the logic that if there was nothing dogmatically wrong, then the majority of Churches excommunicating one Alexandrian Patriarch in Chalcedon must conclude that the Chalcedonian Churches are true.



However, I feel like I may have rushed through things too quickly, and I want to study both perspectives more immensely before I convert, for I don't want to play the game of Communion hopping, and 2 years down the line decide "Oh wait, the Orientals are right! Gotta start from square 1 again!" And go through the process of telling my priest that I'm leaving, and be in this state of not receiving the Sacraments AGAIN.

So, with that tangent out of the way, could someone lead me to some affordable resources that could educate me further about the Dyophysite vs. Miaphysite perspective, lest I choose the wrong Church (I'm using the word lest, dang it)? Particularly, maybe some good Dyophysite and Miaphysite argumentation, taking Saint Cyril as the backbone?
 

LivenotoneviL

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So, is everyone on this forum who is Oriental just indifferent to the issue?
 

WPM

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looks like holier than thou Christian pretending to have knowledge about the church
 

Iconodule

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Mor Ephrem said:
LivenotoneviL said:
So, is everyone on this forum who is Oriental just indifferent to the issue?
They could also be employed.
The question is, can one simultaneously energize as "at work" and as "internet apologist", without division, mixture, or confusion? 
 

LivenotoneviL

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WPM said:
looks like holier than thou Christian pretending to have knowledge about the church
I'm "holier than thou?"
Do you have any suggestions at how I could improve this behavior - could you point to some of my posts?

Also, I'm outside the Church, which means I'm pretty much condemned.
 

LivenotoneviL

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Mor Ephrem said:
LivenotoneviL said:
So, is everyone on this forum who is Oriental just indifferent to the issue?
They could also be employed.
What, everybody doesn't have enough free time to discuss theology on the Internet? Which is CLEARLY a priority over getting things to survive or prayer?

I know I'm compulsive when I say this, but it seems, on average, around 25 views of a post in Oriental Orthodox discussion, there is at least one post,  - but here, there has been around 60 views, and there are no posts - and I didn't want to start a conversation about something dense, I just want some good book recommendations for the purposes of the possibility of looking into Oriental Orthodoxy, which I wouldn't think would take that long to do - just give me some titles and authors, or perhaps some Amazon links.
 

LivenotoneviL

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That's a valid response. Fair enough, but despite some emotional (fleshly) missings of the Roman Catholic Church, I think I'm set on Eastern Orthodoxy for now. I would prefer to suffer a lot now than suffer quite a bit now, and then suffer just as much if I have to give up Eastern Orthodoxy for another church.

However, I will not question those who have far more experience than I do.
 

LivenotoneviL

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However, if this is true, for those who are reading this - thank you for your compassion.
 

Ainnir

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Remind me whether you live near any parishes (either EO or OO)?
 

LivenotoneviL

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While at home, I live in Cleveland, Ohio, where there is a ton of Eastern and Oriental Orthodox parishes. Although right now I am at Indiana University Bloomington doing an intensive Russian language program. This is my last week, and I was thinking maybe one Sunday when I get back (I have like two weeks before I have to go back to school), shooting an email to either the Coptic parish or the Armenian parish that is close by. The Armenian parish is about 40 min away, while there is a Coptic that is like 10 min away, so the Coptic is far more likely, given my means of transport, even though the Armenian tradition, for obvious reasons, is of more interest to me (despite traditions not being more important than Christ).
 

LivenotoneviL

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For the EO, In the West side of Cleveland, there's an OCA Church I usually attend, a Greek Orthodox Church, and then a Macedonian Orthodox Church (which I obviously won't go to). There's also - I think - a Ukrainian Orthodox Church near me, but it's hard to find information about it, and even my own priest at University is unfamiliar with that parish. In Cleveland, there's pretty much everything - Russian (ROCOR and OCA), Greek, Serbian, Ukrainian, Antiochian, Carpatho-Russian, etc.
 

Ainnir

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Well going and being is a really good start to learning about a jurisdiction!  I remember now you've mentioned the OCA before; I'm glad you have a semi-regular parish.  I can't help you settle the debate in your mind, unfortunately.  I have noticed that learning about the OO jurisdictions requires a bit more legwork, and I don't think there's anything like an OO version of The Orthodox Church.  There are some resources stickies on this board; I'm not sure whether you've exhausted those.  It may come to simply praying about.  :)
 

Mor Ephrem

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LivenotoneviL said:
While at home, I live in Cleveland, Ohio...
When I lived in that area, I’d attend the Indian parish (now in Macedonia, OH) and the Armenian parish.  I recommend both wholeheartedly, each has a great priest. 

I never made it to the Coptic parishes in Cleveland or Pittsburgh (just the monastery in Warren), but I love Copts, so I’m sure they won’t disappoint.
 

LivenotoneviL

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Mor Ephrem said:
LivenotoneviL said:
While at home, I live in Cleveland, Ohio...
When I lived in that area, I’d attend the Indian parish (now in Macedonia, OH) and the Armenian parish.  I recommend both wholeheartedly, each has a great priest. 

I never made it to the Coptic parishes in Cleveland or Pittsburgh (just the monastery in Warren), but I love Copts, so I’m sure they won’t disappoint.
It's funny you mention that specific Indian parish - at the University I attend, we have an Indian student who will sometimes attend the OCA parish I go to, whose home parish is that specific parish.
 

peterfarrington

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I've written a lot. Most of it is on the internet. Or you could consider my book Orthodox Christology...

http://www.stgeorgeministry.com/books-published-father-peter-farrington/
 

LivenotoneviL

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It's kind of difficult to exactly pin down, and due to translations (physis vs ousia for example) it's harder to pin down.

If we're talking "ouisia" it essentially means (as I understand it) something along the lines of "your essence." It's what you are, what your function is, etc. For example, a human nature involves eating, physically existing, dying, suffering, sleeping, having skin, two natural eyes, two natural feet, being one sex or the other, etc., while the Divine Nature (God's Nature) is none of that and is incomprehensible to those who solely possess a human nature.
 

LivenotoneviL

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Oh...my....

I think I may have to regret my naitivity - because unlike the question of Papal Infallibility, it's clear we have a problem with the question of "who is telling the Truth."

It seems that the Oriental Orthodox have a biased interpretation of history, in which Chalcedon approved the Letter of Ibas, and Pope Leo was guilty by association with the Nestorians, who were exonerated in their wretched Nestorian 3 Chapters. Their evidence is a Syriac recollection of events, and the fact that the Western Church broke communion after the 5th Council. Also, Chalcedon would justify Dioscorsus's excommunication of Leo and Flavian.

while the Eastern Orthodox ALSO have a biased interpretation, in which Chalcedon was a response to despose Dioscorsus, who murdered Flavian and wanted to prevent Eutyches from being exonerated in his wretched Monophysitism (after Dioscorsus refused to investigate Eutyches - and surprise, Eutyches was still a monophysite) and that Chalcedon, while ambiguous, did not want to exonerate the theology of Ibas, whose writings were Nestorian, but at the same time, they didn't do anything about it. The evidence is Justinian's historical record.

I think this one will take a lot of prayer to solve, unlike the mountain of Roman Catholicism which I'm still overcoming due to emotional sentiment (although I'm not gonna be Roman Catholic), but...oh my.......
 

Mor Ephrem

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LivenotoneviL said:
Oh...my....

...

but...oh my.......
Forget about theological and historical studies for a moment.  If you had to join a Church today--EO or OO--which would you choose? 
 

LivenotoneviL

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I don't think I could make that decision, not having been to an Oriental Liturgy before.

However, I will say that, if I had the choice between the two, without theology speaking, I'm more inclined to the Eastern Orthodox Church, but I'm more biased, being way more familiar with a lot more of their Saints, meeting the best Spiritual Father God could provide me - and in fact, during my first "confession" (without absolution, but discussion of the problems of my life), I thought as though Christ Himself was speaking through my Priest - it was really surreal. Moreover, meeting some of the best friends who have helped me be a better person, and who have lifted me up when I betrayed them to their faces - several times - and sent them through emotional roller-coasters, and meeting a pseudo-Godparent (I say "pseudo" because he's leaving for Seminary), who I've felt the Holy Spirit just listening to, and I feel as though - while I'm in college right now - I'm a part of the family of my home parish. Plus, it's really the Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom that has started my process of transforming who I am - I'm still quite far from holiness, but I'm not the same person I was three years ago.
 

LivenotoneviL

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However, I really don't want to make that decision purely based on emotions and experience, and even just my own perceptions of what is Holy. Were these experiences signs that God wants me to be Eastern Orthodox, or is Eastern Orthodoxy a stepping stone to Oriental Orthodoxy? After all, Roman Catholicism was a stepping stone to Eastern Orthodoxy, so how could I make such a judgment? Would I really even consider Oriental Orthodoxy, had it not been for Eastern Orthodoxy? I would laugh at the mere thought of going to an Armenian Parish three years ago.

But it will be hard to not venerate people like Saint Patrick, Saint Benedict, Saint John Chrysostom, etc., Saints whom I've known my entire life. But this is a selfish inclination, not a Holy one, as it's based on emotion and not reason.
 

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LivenotoneviL said:
I don't think I could make that decision, not having been to an Oriental Liturgy before.

However, I will say that, if I had the choice between the two, without theology speaking, I'm more inclined to the Eastern Orthodox Church, but I'm more biased, being way more familiar with a lot more of their Saints, meeting the best Spiritual Father God could provide me - and in fact, during my first "confession" (without absolution, but discussion of the problems of my life), I thought as though Christ Himself was speaking through my Priest - it was really surreal. Moreover, meeting some of the best friends who have helped me be a better person, and who have lifted me up when I betrayed them to their faces - several times - and sent them through emotional roller-coasters, and meeting a pseudo-Godparent (I say "pseudo" because he's leaving for Seminary), who I've felt the Holy Spirit just listening to, and I feel as though - while I'm in college right now - I'm a part of the family of my home parish. Plus, it's really the Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom that has started my process of transforming who I am - I'm still quite far from holiness, but I'm not the same person I was three years ago.
Then just convert to Eastern Orthodoxy and start living the life of the Church.  Grace will help you understand the rest.
 

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LivenotoneviL said:
But it will be hard to not venerate people like Saint Patrick, Saint Benedict, Saint John Chrysostom, etc., Saints whom I've known my entire life.
The only saint you’ve named who might not be venerated in our Church is St Benedict, and no one will stop you from venerating him privately.  I do.
 

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LivenotoneviL said:
It's kind of difficult to exactly pin down, and due to translations (physis vs ousia for example) it's harder to pin down.

If we're talking "ouisia" it essentially means (as I understand it) something along the lines of "your essence." It's what you are, what your function is, etc. For example, a human nature involves eating, physically existing, dying, suffering, sleeping, having skin, two natural eyes, two natural feet, being one sex or the other, etc., while the Divine Nature (God's Nature) is none of that and is incomprehensible to those who solely possess a human nature.
A lot of humans lack eyes, etc. And are still human, so it seems properties like eyes aren't necessary for being human. Does this mean they aren't essential to being human? Natural?
 

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LivenotoneviL said:
I don't think I could make that decision, not having been to an Oriental Liturgy before.

However, I will say that, if I had the choice between the two, without theology speaking, I'm more inclined to the Eastern Orthodox Church, but I'm more biased, being way more familiar with a lot more of their Saints, meeting the best Spiritual Father God could provide me - and in fact, during my first "confession" (without absolution, but discussion of the problems of my life), I thought as though Christ Himself was speaking through my Priest - it was really surreal. Moreover, meeting some of the best friends who have helped me be a better person, and who have lifted me up when I betrayed them to their faces - several times - and sent them through emotional roller-coasters, and meeting a pseudo-Godparent (I say "pseudo" because he's leaving for Seminary), who I've felt the Holy Spirit just listening to, and I feel as though - while I'm in college right now - I'm a part of the family of my home parish. Plus, it's really the Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom that has started my process of transforming who I am - I'm still quite far from holiness, but I'm not the same person I was three years ago.

Become Eastern Orthodox. You only need to find a church where you feel at home and a Confessor to whom you can turn to for Confession and trust their advice. If you have that in the Eastern Orthodox church, then join, and find your salvation there. Both families, Oriental and Eastern, are each as Orthodox as the other, which is what you will find when you finally understand all this. The only question then remains where do YOU belong, and that question only you can answer. Once you make a decision, stick with it, and stay there for the rest of your life.

I had to make the move from Eastern to Oriental, because of the cultural barriers i experienced with the Greek Orthodox in my particular area, though i know sometimes people make the move from Oriental to Eastern for the exact same reasons. It just happened to be the direction i went, particularly.

However, having left the Eastern for the Oriental, i have never questioned any Eastern Orthodox dogma.... my reasons were purely cultural and practical. The Faith is almost entirely the same in both churches. So go where you feel Christ is calling you.

God bless your journey
 

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Isn't this idea antithetical to the Church Fathers?
 

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LivenotoneviL said:
Isn't this idea antithetical to the Church Fathers?
Read the re-union statements at Ecumenical gatherings from both EO and OO theologians - we both have almost theology, and the differences we do have are not enough to split over.

The split was over theology, yes, but i would say it was mainly poltiical. There was rivalries between Patriarchates, Constantinople wanting to move from being the 5th See in importance to the 2nd after Rome, Constantinople wanting to enforce its Orthodoxy on the East, Rome wanting to stamp it's authority on everyone else, and basically a lot of politics mixed in with the theology. Not to mention different parties had different definitions for the same words (like nature). So yes, the Fathers on both side defended their own positions.

But we, (or more accurately, the Bishops and Theologians on both sides) with the benefit of hindsight, have concluded there are no substantial differences between us.

So yes, both sides are completely Orthodox.
 

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Here is the list of statements from both sides:

https://orthodoxjointcommission.wordpress.com/
 

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Mor Ephrem said:
LivenotoneviL said:
Isn't this idea antithetical to the Church Fathers?
What idea?
He was referring to my previous post saying both Eastern and Oriental are fully Orthodox.
 

peterfarrington

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It's not as simple as you describe.

e.g. Flavian was alive long after Ephesus, so he could not have been murdered at Ephesus. And the non-OO scholar historian, Chadwick, suggests that it was Marcian and Pulcheria who disposed of him.

e.g. Eutyches was examined at Ephesus. We have the minutes. He was not allowed back into communion, nor his monks, until they had made an Orthodox confession and repudiated various errors.

e.g. Almost the whole of the West went out of communion with Constantinople when the Letter of Ibas was condemned because they were sure that it had been received. They were not anti-Chalcedonians. Indeed it could be said that all of the West and North-Africa believed the Letter of Ibas had been received at Chalcedon, so did the non-Chalcedonians, and so did the Eastern Christians. Indeed, no one doubted it had been received until Justinian came up with a way of dealing with what was a great embarrassment.

Did the non-Chalcedonians exhibit human weakness and sin, certainly. But these things you have mentioned are not simple either/or there is in fact a history which can be researched and a truth which can be discovered.
 
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