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Why Orthodox do not believe in the penal satifaction theory...

ozgeorge

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welkodox said:
Orthodoxy is the love of Christ and clearly is different than the rest because it isn't centered in pride.
One of the most ironic statements I have come across in a while.
Is this the best you can do welkodox? Yet another snide one-liner? And this time, a one-liner which writes off the entire Apostolic Tradition? I really don't think you are listening to other people. Rather than immediately biting their finger, why don't you look where they are pointing?
 

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ozgeorge said:
I agree. It was a case of deceiving the deceiver. And in the Orthodox Church, we commemorate this on Holy Saturday:

"Today Hades cries out groaning:
I should not have accepted the Man born of Mary.
He came and destroyed my power.
He shattered the gates of brass.
As God. He raised the souls I had held captive.

"Today Hades cries out groaning:
my power has been abolished;
I have received a mortal, as one of the mortals;
but this One, I am completely powerless to contain;
with Him, I have lost all those over which I have ruled. 
For ages I had held them dead;
but behold, He raises them up all.'"
George,

During Holy Week I listened carefully to all the hymns and prayers. The theme which was very clear was that Christ came to destroy death and heal us.  I don't remember singing any hymns about the wrath of God or His demand for Divine Justice. I have always been taught that there is no official catechism of the Orthodox Church because regular attendance of the  Liturgical services provide our catechism.
 

Tzimis

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lubeltri said:
What an ironic statement!

If you could refrain from creating straw men of "Western" theology, we might have a discussion here. But since you and several others persist in the stereotypes, it's time I left this thread. I feel very, very blessed that I don't have to deal with this kind of strident and very (IMO) uncatholic Anti-doxy on a daily basis. Part of what kept me from entering Orthodoxy, I'm afraid to say, was this incessant refrain I heard from many that "we're not like them." It didn't seem like there was a place in Orthodoxy for a Westerner like me---or at least, many Orthodox don't want it that way.
Hay pal. It was you who posted a strawman as a counter to my post. In other words you want us to sweep our theology under the rug and accept you as is. Good luck.
 

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But to be fair, both Catholics and Orthodox fudge the truth when it comes to Church history, so it's really both sides that need to step up to the plate here. Easterners can sometimes have an anti-western bias, but both sides often have an anti-early-church bias. Division is convenient to bring up when it makes your group look better, but usually the countless divisions in the early Church--some including hundreds of clergy and millions of people--are left alongside the road, ignored. I've seen the timeline of which you are speaking, and if they were as critical of eastern history (e.g., all the breakoffs mentioned by Ireneaus, split after the so-called 3rd ecumenical council, after so-called 4th ecumenical council, etc.) it would have been a lot more honest. But like I said, both sides ignore what doesn't make them look good. (For an example of Catholic bias--or lack of real research--when in the middle of a debate/discussion with Protestants, I've yet to hear a Catholic admit that Jerome rejected the deuterocanonical books from his canon, but I hear lots about how the Church supposedly settled the issue before Jerome's translation... in other words, everyone says that which makes them look good).
 

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minasoliman said:
Dear Lubeltri or Papist,

What is the RC view of "infinite sin?"  I never found anything in their catechism about it. 
I don't really know, actually. I've only heard the phrase in Protestant circles. I'd have to do some real research on it (Googling it was utterly fruitless) or ask somebody more knowledgeable than me.
 

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Asteriktos said:
But to be fair, both Catholics and Orthodox fudge the truth when it comes to Church history, so it's really both sides that need to step up to the plate here. Easterners can sometimes have an anti-western bias, but both sides often have an anti-early-church bias. Division is convenient to bring up when it makes your group look better, but usually the countless divisions in the early Church--some including hundreds of clergy and millions of people--are left alongside the road, ignored. I've seen the timeline of which you are speaking, and if they were as critical of eastern history (e.g., all the breakoffs mentioned by Ireneaus, split after the so-called 3rd ecumenical council, after so-called 4th ecumenical council, etc.) it would have been a lot more honest. But like I said, both sides ignore what doesn't make them look good. (For an example of Catholic bias--or lack of real research--when in the middle of a debate/discussion with Protestants, I've yet to hear a Catholic admit that Jerome rejected the deuterocanonical books from his canon, but I hear lots about how the Church supposedly settled the issue before Jerome's translation... in other words, everyone says that which makes them look good).
You are correct. The Church spoke the final word on the deuterocanonicals only at Trent. But I do know what you are talking about---some Catholics I know like to tell Protestants that the Church "wrote your Bible" and leave it at that, self-satisfied.

(Regarding the timeline, I love how it shows the monolithic Orthodox line punctuated with dates like 1794: Orthodox missionaries arrive in Alaska and 1988: 1,000 years of Orthodox Christianity in Russia while the Western spider web of lines is punctuated with dates showing the Crusades and other upheavals. The line labeled the "Protestant Church" was also amusing.)

Now I will take my leave, until I get an answer for Mina's question.
 

ozgeorge

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Asteriktos said:
everyone says that which makes them look good.
That's probably true, but I'm not sure I understand your point about how the schisms in the early Church not being mentioned constitutes an "early church bias" by anyone. Are you talking abut doctrinal disputes which did not result in schism? If so, I'd say these started with St. Paul's dispute with St. Peter over the gentile question. I don't think anyone has avoided looking at doctrinal disputes- this thread certainly hasn't. Nor do I think that schism is "not mentioned" in order to "look good", in fact, I'd say the opposite is true- schism and anathemizing heresy is how the Church has always defined her doctrines, and she has always used heresy as a way of defining what she holds true as compared to what she holds to be false.
 

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The statement that "The Orthodox Church is not based on pride" is a prideful statement.  The irony is right there, and it is not a matter of snideness.  It is simply a matter of pointing out the obvious.  It's like saying "I am incredibly humble".  It is simply given a further level of irony when juxtaposed with this thread.

At its heart to me, this thread is simply an illustration of a kind of mindset that has taken an unfortunate hold in many places.  lubeltri righly calls it the anti mindset.  It's not only standing in opposition to the west, it becomes ironically again something that stands in opposition to the past of the church itself.  So when it's said "we have no catechisms" or "you will not find the satisfaction theory in their writings" how can we not but appear but absurd when it turns out these things are absolutely true.  Yet there is a desire to press on with an obstinate refusal to deal with the reality of what is there.  Whether this is to make Orthodoxy attractive to converts as the "church that opposes that other church", or is a way to further retreat in to our own Orthodox shell and ignore everyone else is beyond me.

I will say I'm thankful my real world experiences in the church are in almost all cases absolutely nothing like what I read online.
 

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welkodox said:
So when it's said "we have no catechisms" or "you will not find the satisfaction theory in their writings" how can we not but appear but absurd when it turns out these things are absolutely true. 
Christ is Risen!

Andrew,

There are various catechisms written by a variety of Orthodox but there is no one "official" catechism for the Orthodox church. If you don't believe me go and try to find it. By the way, I looked at the catechism of Greek priest you provided and I could not find any official endorsement by any synod for it. It appears to be his own work. Our liturgical texts and hymns provide us with our catechism. It had to be that way because the Fathers of the church did not want the illiterate to be ignorant of the faith. We (laity) are the royal priesthood and the guardian of the faith.  These services are the voice of the church. If you listen carefully, you will absorb the teachings of our church over time. Then you will be able to discern the truth from the fads you fear.
 

ozgeorge

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welkodox said:
I will say I'm thankful my real world experiences in the church are in almost all cases absolutely nothing like what I read online.
That's fine. But you're just going to have to accept the fact that in 40 years as an Orthodox Christian, I have never come across any reference in any Liturgical Service to the "satisfaction" view of redemption. That's my real world experience.
 

welkodox

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Tamara said:
There are various catechisms written by a variety of Orthodox but there is no one "official" catechism for the Orthodox church. If you don't believe me go and try to find it.
One that I have quoted from in this thread is the Longer Catechism of St. Philaret of Moscow that bears the following statement

"Examined and Approved by the Most Holy Governing Synod, and Published for the Use of Schools, and of all Orthodox Christians, by Order of His Imperial Majesty. (Moscow, at the Synodical Press, 1830.)"

http://www.pravoslavieto.com/docs/eng/Orthodox_Catechism_of_Philaret.htm

While technically you may be correct that for instance this was not put out by the entire church, do you suppose the faith of the Romanian Church is different than what was approved of by the Holy Synod of the Russian Church?

The one thing that does approach a catechism covering all churches are the Acts and Decrees 1672 Synod of Jerusalem.  http://catholicity.elcore.net/ConfessionOfDositheus.html  It was described IIRC by Metropolitan Kallistos in his book "The Orthodox Church" as the most important post schism Pan Orthodox synod.  It's acts and decrees very much resemble what a catechism is intended to do, although not in the simplified Q&A format of a true catechism.  The real point is it is an authoritative statement on the faith.

By the way, I looked at the catechism of Greek priest you provided and I could not find any official endorsement by any synod for it. It appears to be his own work.
Similar then to the work that was the nexus of this thread, although it seems with contradictory propositions.

Our liturgical texts and hymns provide us with our catechism.
While I would never discount the importance of the liturgy as the living expression of the church, I don't think we would be so naive as to assume they are the only deposit of faith or our only tool for learning about it.  That is why catechisms and other materials have been and will be produced.

If you listen carefully, you will absorb the teachings of our church over time. Then you will be able to discern the truth from the fads you fear.
It's interesting, because when I read these words I detect a rather patronizing tone.  Oh well, such is the Internet.

I have indeed listened to and participated in the divine services, though I haven't limited myself to comprehending the faith based on them.  This is an interesting point, because I think some people do assume others such as their children will pick up the faith almost through osmosis, and take no active interest in looking at it more deeply.  That I believe is a mistake.

The fads I fear are the re-invention of Orthodoxy as the alternative to the western church, which much of what I'm reading is further evidence of.  Considering I don't think I've quoted a writing newer than the 19th century, I hope one thing it would appear I am not doing is following a fad.  It would seem to me critically examining the claims being made about what the Orthodox church has actually said in the past is counter to the current fads.

ozgeorge

That's fine. But you're just going to have to accept the fact that in 40 years as an Orthodox Christian, I have never come across any reference in any Liturgical Service to the "satisfaction" view of redemption. That's my real world experience.
Which I wouldn't argue with.  Looking in the writings from the past do bring to light that some church fathers and theologians view this as a legitimate aspect of the Atonement however.  One would not even need to be Orthodox at all to recognize this.

We claim to be a church consistent with the past, and I have seen Orthodox Christians rather pridefully tell Catholics they have not stayed consistent.  Yet here we are, with people people ignoring our past or writing things in flat contradiction of them.  We need to be honest and come to terms with where we aren't consistent - whether it's the Atonement, Primacy, Original Sin or contraception.  Burying our heads and living in denial will not work.
 

ozgeorge

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welkodox said:
We claim to be a church consistent with the past, and I have seen Orthodox Christians rather pridefully tell Catholics they have not stayed consistent.  Yet here we are, with people people ignoring our past or writing things in flat contradiction of them.  We need to be honest and come to terms with where we aren't consistent - whether it's the Atonement, Primacy, Original Sin or contraception.  Burying our heads and living in denial will not work.
Welkodox, by this argument, in order to be "consistent", the Orthodox Church should accept apokatastasis as an "Orthodox doctrine" since St. Gregory of Nyssa (whom no one could say is not a Father of the Church) stated that the fire of hell is purifying and therefore not eternal in On the Soul and the Resurrection and in the Catechetical Oration.
 

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ozgeorge said:
Welkodox, by this argument, in order to be "consistent", the Orthodox Church should accept apokatastasis as an "Orthodox doctrine" since St. Gregory of Nyssa (whom no one could say is not a Father of the Church) stated that the fire of hell is purifying and therefore not eternal in On the Soul and the Resurrection and in the Catechetical Oration.
I would agree if his view was:

Repeated in multiple other writings of church fathers.
Present in official encylicals or synodal statements.
In the official publications released by the church as as catechisms or other instruction in the faith.

Otherwise I think it's an apples and oranges comparison.  It would however I think be mistaken by the same token to say "no where in the writings of the Eastern Fathers is there support for the apokatastasis", because clearly there is.  Now, obviously that in and of itself does not prove anything other than somebody has articulated the belief.  Then you go look for the supporting evidence in the types of things I mentioned above.

That's what I mean about being consistent with the past.  I've seen people write on the Internet "Orthodoxy hasn't changed".  Yet we have changed, and are changing.  It's happening before our eyes.
 

ozgeorge

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welkodox said:
That's what I mean about being consistent with the past.  I've seen people write on the Internet "Orthodoxy hasn't changed".  Yet we have changed, and are changing.  It's happening before our eyes.
I've repeatedly quoted examples on various threads in this forum where the Orthodox Church has changed (my favourites include "Canon 101 of the 6th EC", usury, Deaconesses etc.). So why are you telling me this? Is it because you find it exasperating? If so, I can understand. But I hope you can understand that I find it exasperating to hear people on the internet claim to speak for the Orthodox Church and tell her what she should believe simply because the Fathers disagree on certain issues. The "daily dogmatic voice" of the Church is not the Internet; it's not even the writing of the Fathers who, as we know, have disagreed on issues. The daily dogmatic voice of the Orthodox Church is the daily cycle of her Liturgical Services where each prayer, ode, kontakion, troparion etc. is a mini homily. And there is nothing in this daily dogmatic voice of the Church which supports the notion of "penal satisfaction". And I don't just mean the Divine Liturgy, I mean the Triodion, Pentecostarion, Menaion, or any liturgical book. I can find references in the Liturgical Services to the dogmas about Icons, about the Two Natures, about the title "Theotokos", the Incarnation, the Divine Economia...etc..., but why would there not be any reference in the Liturgical Services to "penal satisfaction" if this truly were supposed to be an acceptable view of our redemption?
So, is this what you wish to change in the Orthodox Church? That she should start including the view of Penal Satisfaction in her liturgical services? You would have to accept that this would constitute a dogmatic change, similar to the current dispute over the "Moghila" prayer of absolution in the Mystery of Repentance adopted in the 18th century in Russia which now raises the question: "Do priests have the power to forgive sins on earth?"- Liturgically, Russian Churches say 'yes', and most non-Slavic ones say 'no'. So now, we have a doctrinal dispute.
But as I've repeatedly said on this thread and elsewhere, doctrinal disputes is how the Church comes to define the dogmas which she does clearly believe, and she does this by holding up the erroneous belief (heresy) as an example. Take the example of the Iconoclasm dispute: the only reason that there we are called "Iconodules" is because at one stage "Iconoclasts" came about and started spreading their ideas.
And yes, some people may lose the point of the dispute and turn it into a political "us" vs. "them" instead of Orthodoxy vs. heresy, but we should know that that is bound to happen somewhere along the line, and it shouldn't surprize us, but nor should it be allowed to draw our attention away from the real issue, which is the doctrine, no matter where the heresy which challenges it has come from- whether it has come from "us" or "them".
 

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I've read this thread with some amusement as it seems that the participants are now largely talking past one another.

This is what I see, with no names to protect the innocent.  This is, of course, an oversimplification, but it's what an outsider would see if he read this discussion.

Group One:  There is no writing from an Orthodox church father that supports any sort of Western notion of "atonement"

Group Two:  Yes there, here are examples.  And another thing, all this "East vs West" stuff is alot of bull.

Group One:  So, are you saying there is no East vs. West when it comes to theology?

Group Two:  No, I'm saying that one can find so-called "Western" theology in the writings of Eastern church fathers.  Here are some more examples.

Group One:  Well, all those writings don't equate everything that the church teaches.

Group Two:  Okay, but you still have to admit that if these ideas are present in the writings of Eastern fathers, then we can drop this East vs. West business.

Group One:  No, we can't.  You're not getting it.  Just because these things seem to show up (enter semantic discussion) in the writings of certain Fathers that doesn't mean that's what the church teaches.

Group Two:  But they're still present.  The Orthodox Church may downplay their importance and use other fathers writings to support that position, but they're still present.  Here are some examples from catechisms and the like.

Group One:  The Orthodox Church does not produce catechisms.  The Orthodox Church uses the liturgy to teach its faithful.

Group Two:  But catechisms do exist.

Group One:  But they're not official so they carry no weight.  There are NO liturgical writings to support an atonement theology.  It only comes up in Western theological and liturgical writings.

Group Two:  Well, some catechisms appear to be more official than others, like this one.  Since this church is in communion with the others, and supposedly believe the same things, they should hold true at least as an example of this atonement theology existing as a theologeouma (or however it is you spell it).  And we should still drop this silly East v. West thing.

Group One:  But I've never heard anything in the liturgy to support such a theory.  And I'm not anti-Western, I jsut don't like Western theology.

Group Two:  Okay, I believe that.  But the fact remains that this theory has been posited by Eastern fathers and therefore we should be honest and say that it does turn up in their writings, but the Church downplays these opinions in favor of others.

Group One:  But the Church doesn't say that.

And here we go again...

 

ozgeorge

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Thanks for your opinion Shultz, but I don't share it.
Schultz said:
but it's what an outsider would see if he read this discussion.
One should not presume to speak for an entire group of people. What exactly is "an outsider"? Someone who doesn't read all the discussion?
And as for "talking past each other", that's not been my experience at all.
 

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So, is this what you wish to change in the Orthodox Church? That she should start including the view of Penal Satisfaction in her liturgical services?
Red herring.  Nowhere have I said anything even approaching that.  I actually in this thread don't believe I've advocated any sort of change whatsoever.  I certainly haven't used the word penal at all.

The daily dogmatic voice of the Orthodox Church is the daily cycle of her Liturgical Services
Two questions then:

So the dogmatic voice of the church is found in all the liturgical services used, in both Western and Eastern Rites, correct?

When the services/typikon of the church change, does the theology of the church change?
 

ozgeorge

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welkodox said:
So the dogmatic voice of the church is found in all the liturgical services used, in both Western and Eastern Rites, correct?
To answer honestly: I'm not sure.
Personally, I'm not entirely happy with the method with which the Western Rite was introduced. I really think it should have taken place on a Pan-Orthodox level rather than the local level.

welkodox said:
When the services/typikon of the church change, does the theology of the church change?
No. The Services are changing all the time- just look at the current mess the Greek typicon for Orthros is in, and I've already mentioned the Moghila Absolution prayer, not to mention the fact that new services are constantly being written at the local level. But what I'm talking about is the Services, Hymns and Prayers which have stood the test of time and place. The Absolution Prayer of Arch. Peter Moghila has not stood the test of time and place, since it is not acceptable throughout the Church, and the same goes for the Greek revision of the the Typicon, since it is not acceptable throughout the Church. But there are dogmatic hymns etc, which the whole church accepts, and isn't this the acid test of St. Vincent of Lerins: universality, antiquity and consent?
 

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welkodox said:
One that I have quoted from in this thread is the Longer Catechism of St. Philaret of Moscow that bears the following statement

"Examined and Approved by the Most Holy Governing Synod, and Published for the Use of Schools, and of all Orthodox Christians, by Order of His Imperial Majesty. (Moscow, at the Synodical Press, 1830.)"

http://www.pravoslavieto.com/docs/eng/Orthodox_Catechism_of_Philaret.htm

While technically you may be correct that for instance this was not put out by the entire church, do you suppose the faith of the Romanian Church is different than what was approved of by the Holy Synod of the Russian Church?

The one thing that does approach a catechism covering all churches are the Acts and Decrees 1672 Synod of Jerusalem.  http://catholicity.elcore.net/ConfessionOfDositheus.html  It was described IIRC by Metropolitan Kallistos in his book "The Orthodox Church" as the most important post schism Pan Orthodox synod.  It's acts and decrees very much resemble what a catechism is intended to do, although not in the simplified Q&A format of a true catechism.  The real point is it is an authoritative statement on the faith.

Similar then to the work that was the nexus of this thread, although it seems with contradictory propositions.

While I would never discount the importance of the liturgy as the living expression of the church, I don't think we would be so naive as to assume they are the only deposit of faith or our only tool for learning about it.  That is why catechisms and other materials have been and will be produced.

It's interesting, because when I read these words I detect a rather patronizing tone.  Oh well, such is the Internet.

I have indeed listened to and participated in the divine services, though I haven't limited myself to comprehending the faith based on them.  This is an interesting point, because I think some people do assume others such as their children will pick up the faith almost through osmosis, and take no active interest in looking at it more deeply.  That I believe is a mistake.

The fads I fear are the re-invention of Orthodoxy as the alternative to the western church, which much of what I'm reading is further evidence of.  Considering I don't think I've quoted a writing newer than the 19th century, I hope one thing it would appear I am not doing is following a fad.  It would seem to me critically examining the claims being made about what the Orthodox church has actually said in the past is counter to the current fads.
No patronizing tone intended...this is not the best form of communication. I do believe the faith can be transmitted to my children by osmosis. Holy Week for us was one service following another. The boys served as altar boys in almost every service we attended. Questions do arise when we are at home because of what they have seen, heard or done during the various services. We discuss these questions and I answer them to the best of my ability or if I don't know the answer I ask our priest. They do attend Sunday School but I think it is more critical that they attend the services even if they still do not comprehend everything. Over time, the words of the prayers and hymns will become ingrained in their hearts.

 

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welkodox said:
Red herring.  Nowhere have I said anything even approaching that.  I actually in this thread don't believe I've advocated any sort of change whatsoever.  I certainly haven't used the word penal at all.
When you stated that you didn't understand the eastern theory's regarding the western atonement. You should have stopped there and tried to understand it. There not strawmen as others try and point out. Look into them before criticizing. If the reason for this debate is lack of knowledge regarding the eastern view. Than I suggest you look into it further before continuing.
 

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ozgeorge said:
To answer honestly: I'm not sure.
Personally, I'm not entirely happy with the method with which the Western Rite was introduced. I really think it should have taken place on a Pan-Orthodox level rather than the local level.
It has been blessed though for use by our bishops, so it would seem to me it would be hard to discount its validity; and therefore one could not discount its authority to represent Orthodox doctrine if one believes that the liturgy contains the substance of the faith.  Therefore, I can't see how one could say the "Eastern" or the "Western" view of the Atonement is either right or wrong.  Both are represented in the liturgies we use.

No. The Services are changing all the time- just look at the current mess the Greek typicon for Orthros is in, and I've already mentioned the Moghila Absolution prayer, not to mention the fact that new services are constantly being written at the local level. But what I'm talking about is the Services, Hymns and Prayers which have stood the test of time and place. The Absolution Prayer of Arch. Peter Moghila has not stood the test of time and place, since it is not acceptable throughout the Church, and the same goes for the Greek revision of the the Typicon, since it is not acceptable throughout the Church. But there are dogmatic hymns etc, which the whole church accepts, and isn't this the acid test of St. Vincent of Lerins: universality, antiquity and consent?
Here I think again is simply another issue with falling back and saying the services are the source of authoritative teaching.  Many hymns are quite ancient, but the oldest (Phos Hilarion I believe) is probably from the second century.  Pretty much everything else was added over time, especially the hymnology which grew in length and complexity.  It seems to me there must be a deposit of faith that preceded and therefore necessarily underlies its expression in the liturgy.  So the question becomes what is it, and where can we point to?  If not the church fathers, or the catechisms, or the councils or synods, then what?  The Catholics have the Magisterium and the Protestants the Bible.  What is our source of authoritative teaching?

I think the other danger in saying the essential substance of the faith is bound up in the liturgy is all too readily apparent in the split within the Russian church over the Nikonian reforms.
 

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George

Basically what I meant was, when people ignore the schisms in the early Church, while pointing out divisions among other groups, they are biased in that they ignore the fact that their own church has had break off groups. To hear some Catholic and Orthodox apologists speak (and I heard it a lot in chat rooms), you'd think that--with an exception or two like that whole Photius thing--everyone was together as one happy family until circa 1054. And then everyone was generally fine (as two seperate bodies) until the early 16th century. Why not just be honest, and admit that there were probably major divisions in every century, some of which ended in reconciliation, and some of which are still dividing Christianity today? The bias is in seeing history as people would like it to be, rather than for what it was. I certainly don't claim to be free from bias, I'm just saying.
 

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Ozgeorge:
Whether you like it or not, East and West are in Schism- and not just any schism, but one which has come to be called "The Great Schism".... But the reality is (much as you seem to wish to deny it) is that the Church is no longer One in East and West.
The Great Schism is correctly used in reference to events that happened in Europe surrounding the period of the Avignon Papacy. The use for the schism between Constantinople in Rome is secondary (noting, it wasn't a schism with the Orthodox til later - much later. Antioch did not until much later, Alexandria not until the sack of Constantinople. As for 'the West' - the West is One in the Church, and has been for quite awhile. Us Western Orthodox are in the Church again, like it or not. The problem is not that some are pretending no differences between Rome and Orthodoxy, but in that some are smearing all Westerners with Rome's errors, as well as the fallacy that the schism was over issues that did not develop until much later. Again - the Roman schism was really only two matters: papal jurisdiction and the filioque.

Demetrios G.
Nobody is bashing the west. I have just displayed some differences between there theology's. Your taking it to personal. You stated that Anselm isn't the west. But yet your sticking to your guns that it can be Incorporated into the eastern church.
I should take it personal - you just again accused me and mine of something we don't hold to; and that is bearing false witness. We are Westerners, we do not hold to Anselm's views and *never have*. I never stated anything about 'incorporating' Anselm's views into the 'eastern church'. I did note, however, that ideas such as 'ransom', 'atonement' are present in Orthodoxy from the beginning - in the Scriptures, Liturgies, and Church Fathers. Again - the West does not, and never had a single theology (in illustration, read this FAQ by a non-Thomistic Traditional Catholic : http://www.cheetah.net/~ccoulomb/ultra-realism.html .) What I, and others, are objecting to is not correcting Anselm's errors (and he had them), but in the constant attributing of his errors and guilt to 'the West' or 'converts'. Noting, us Westerners wouldn't be converts if we didn't think Anselm was in error. Anselm is not the West, nor does he represent the West or Western theology.

welkodox/ozgeorge:
So the dogmatic voice of the church is found in all the liturgical services used, in both Western and Eastern Rites, correct?
To answer honestly: I'm not sure.
Personally, I'm not entirely happy with the method with which the Western Rite was introduced. I really think it should have taken place on a Pan-Orthodox level rather than the local level.
Our theology says yes. The method that Western rite was introduced by *was* Pan-Orthodox - not only in its Apostolic origins (which it has), but also later. Even Constantinople approved it in 1881 (all other Patriarchates have as well.) The rite hasn't been 'reintroduced into' the Church, but parts of the West brought back into union. Besides, the use of the Western liturgical tradition overlaps - it has continuity in the Orthodox Church (thanks especially to the Russian Old Believers.) There also seems to be an implied charge here (false) that Western liturgy is somehow 'Anselmian' or 'Thomistic' (It isn't. We've got our texts from before the schism through to today, older in fact than the oldest 'Byzantine' texts. With some of our rights, we know that no more than 6 words had changed in the whole rite since the time before the Schism. As for the Byzantine rite - it was entirely introduced on the local level, rather than the Pan-Orthodox level. Never in history was it done the same way, and was locally foisted on the Antiochians by Balsamon (Met. Phillip understands this.) At least some of us were taught in catechism that the Orthodox Church *is* local, as St. Ignatius taught. The whole church exists in the laity and clergy gathered around their bishop. So, the local church is where things should occur. "Pan-Orthodox" was first tried about 1050 - by Rome, see what happened there? ;)
 

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welkodox said:
It has been blessed though for use by our bishops,
But which of the many heresies which have shaken the Orthodox Church over her history has not originally been blessed by Bishops? And liturgically, the Nikonian reforms in Russia changed the liturgy of an entire local Church in order to bring it more into conformity with the rest of the Church.

welkodox said:
Here I think again is simply another issue with falling back and saying the services are the source of authoritative teaching.  Many hymns are quite ancient, but the oldest (Phos Hilarion I believe) is probably from the second century.  Pretty much everything else was added over time, especially the hymnology which grew in length and complexity.  It seems to me there must be a deposit of faith that preceded and therefore necessarily underlies its expression in the liturgy.  So the question becomes what is it, and where can we point to?  If not the church fathers, or the catechisms, or the councils or synods, then what?  The Catholics have the Magisterium and the Protestants the Bible.  What is our source of authoritative teaching?
And if we look at the earliest "deposit of faith" you mention- (i.e., the Bible) then what is the "deposit of faith" from whence it came?...and we can continue towards what appears to be reductio ad absurdum, but the fact of the matter is that the only way the Church can know the truth about  anything metaphysical is because God has revealed it. So either the Church Universal is being guided by the Holy Spirit, or she is not; either the Living Tradition of the Church Universal is the Apostolic Tradition, or it is not.

welkodox said:
I think the other danger in saying the essential substance of the faith is bound up in the liturgy is all too readily apparent in the split within the Russian church over the Nikonian reforms.
And again, this is why we need to stop simply looking locally, and start thinking globally, and apply St. Vincent of Lerins' "acid test": universality, antiquity, and consent.
 

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If you apply universality, you aren't going to get Byzantine rite - which is why St. Vincent's statement refers to dogma, not to liturgy. (St. Vincent of Lerins, of course, being a Westerner.)
 

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Aristibule said:
If you apply universality, you aren't going to get Byzantine rite
That depends where you think the Church was after the great Schism. And "Byzantine Rite" is not the only rite in the Church apart from "Western Rite".

Aristibule said:
which is why St. Vincent's statement refers to dogma, not to liturgy.
And if you follow the train of thought, the point is that Liturgy refers to dogma.

Aristibule said:
(St. Vincent of Lerins, of course, being a Westerner.)
And the point being? Perhaps you missed this post:
ozgeorge said:
Please feel free to accuse me of something openly rather than make "general" comments.
Now let me say something openly to you:
Whether you like it or not, East and West are in Schism- and not just any schism, but one which has come to be called "The Great Schism". Nowhere have I suggested that the Church prior to the Great Schism was not one. Nowhere have I suggested that when the Church was one that Orthodoxy was not maintained in the West. But the reality is (much as you seem to wish to deny it) is that the Church is no longer One in East and West.
So despite your snide comments, and despite your's and aristibule's attempts to rest your arguments on the fact that the Western part of the Church was once Orthodox (which no one is arguing, so I fail to see your point in setting up a straw man about it- unless of course, you don't have a better point, which I suspect may be the case), and despite the futile attempts to suggest that the East did not maintain Orthodoxy as "evidenced" by the Nestorians and other heresies which were anathemised and have schismed from the Orthodox Church (which if you think about it about it, makes about as much sense as stating that the existence of Lutheranism "proves" the unorthodoxy of the Roman Catholic Church).......Despite all this, and despite the attempts to suggest that my belief that the Orthodox Church is the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church is phyletism simply because, post schism, this Church existed only in the "East" (which includes more countries than any of us will probably ever visit in our lifetime, so to suggest that it is "phyletism" which literally means "tribalism" is laughable)....despite all this rudeness, false accusation, misrepresentation, these moot points...not once have I ever said anything "anti-convert" or even "anti-west", I simply pointed out the differences, and stated my belief that the Orthodox Church is the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church- and I've said before, that if you disagree with me, that's fine, I respect that. But don't you ever dare to suggest that my belief is based solely on a form of "phyletism".
 

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welkodox said:
The one thing that does approach a catechism covering all churches are the Acts and Decrees 1672 Synod of Jerusalem.  http://catholicity.elcore.net/ConfessionOfDositheus.html  It was described IIRC by Metropolitan Kallistos in his book "The Orthodox Church" as the most important post schism Pan Orthodox synod.  It's acts and decrees very much resemble what a catechism is intended to do, although not in the simplified Q&A format of a true catechism.  The real point is it is an authoritative statement on the faith.
Bishop Kallistos Ware
Orthodox Church

"The doctrinal decisions of an Ecumenical Council cannot be revised or corrected, but must be accepted in toto; but the Church has often been selective in its treatment of the acts of Local Councils: in the case of the seventeenth century Councils, for example, their statements of faith have in part been received by the whole Orthodox Church, but in part set aside or corrected."[the Confession of Dositheus was one of these]



"In the seventeenth century a number of Orthodox writers
 

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ozgeorge said:
That depends where you think the Church was after the great Schism. And "Byzantine Rite" is not the only rite in the Church apart from "Western Rite".
Quite. The East Syrian rite is and has been in use again in the Eastern Orthodox Church for nearly 120 years. After the Roman schism, West Syrian rite continued as well as the majority rite of the Antiochian church (and existed as well after Balsamon tried to stamp it out, up until possibly as late as the 17th c.) There are enough differences as well between the modern Greek rite, modern Slavic rite, and the Old Rite of the Russians. It is sectarian to single one out as normative and the others as deficient.

And if you follow the train of thought, the point is that Liturgy refers to dogma.
But still, St. Vincent was not referring to liturgy - it isn't in his 'train of thought', though it might be in the minds of some here. I don't follow that train of thought either, but I do follow St. Vincent's.

And the point being? Perhaps you missed this post:
The point being in my reply to that post, so - not missed, but replied to.
 

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Aristibule said:
it isn't in his 'train of thought',
"All of our liturgical hymns are instructive, profound and sublime. They contain the whole of our theology and moral teaching, give us Christian consolation and instill in us a fear of the Judgment. He who listens to them attentively has no need of other books on the Faith."
St Theophan the Recluse

"In my view, liturgical texts are for Orthodox Christians an incontestable doctrinal authority, whose theological irreproachability is second only to Scripture. Liturgical texts are not simply the works of outstanding theologians and poets, but also the fruits of the prayerful experience of those who have attained sanctity and theosis. The theological authority of liturgical texts is, in my opinion, even higher than that of the works of the Fathers of the Church, for not everything in the works of the latter is of equal theological value and not everything has been accepted by the fullness of the Church. Liturgical texts, on the other hand, have been accepted by the whole Church as a 'rule of faith' (kanon pisteos), for they have been read and sung everywhere in Orthodox churches over many centuries. Throughout this time, any erroneous ideas foreign to Orthodoxy that might have crept in either through misunderstanding or oversight were eliminated by Church Tradition itself, leaving only pure and authoritative doctrine clothed by the poetic forms of the Church’s hymns.'
Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev

Source: http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/12/1.aspx
 

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Well, I put a query to the experts on the EWTN Q&A website about "infinite sin."

welkodox said:
I've seen people write on the Internet "Orthodoxy hasn't changed".  Yet we have changed, and are changing.  It's happening before our eyes.
From the aforementioned brochure:

Orthodoxy is undivided and unchanged. If one could "drop" into an Orthodox worship service in any century or culture, they would be able to recognize and enter into the worship. If one asked an doctrinal question, they would have exactly the same answer in any century, any place. Truth does not change."

(on the timeline) "Today: Orthodox Church unchanged"

"The structure, teachings and worship of the New Testament Church remains unchanged in the Orthodox Church."

"Worldwide Orthodoxy is divided only adminstratively by region and culture. Doctrinally and in practice each church is identical and in full communion with each other."

 

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welkodox said:
Therefore, I can't see how one could say the "Eastern" or the "Western" view of the Atonement is either right or wrong.  Both are represented in the liturgies we use.
As they are in the Catholic liturgy and theology too. Neither is right or wrong (though dividing them into two neat halves is! I still have yet to see someone address the wide diversity of atonement views in the "West").
 

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lubeltri said:
I still have yet to see someone address the wide diversity of atonement views in the "West".
And I still have to see a better argument from you against the Orthodox Church other than a pamphlet produced by some group I've never come across and probably aren't in Communion with, but hey......who's counting? ;)
 

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Tamara said:
Bishop Kallistos Ware
Orthodox Church

"The doctrinal decisions of an Ecumenical Council cannot be revised or corrected, but must be accepted in toto; but the Church has often been selective in its treatment of the acts of Local Councils: in the case of the seventeenth century Councils, for example, their statements of faith have in part been received by the whole Orthodox Church, but in part set aside or corrected."[the Confession of Dositheus was one of these]



"In the seventeenth century a number of Orthodox writers
He does say parts were accepted by the whole church, and parts were not.  He doesn't specify which council of the two however or which part, but based on this quote earlier in the book

On the whole, however, the Confession of Dositheus is less Latin than that of Moghila, and must certainly be regarded as a document of primary importance in the history of modern Orthodox theology.
I would guess it is more likely the Confession of St. Petro Mohyla is the one with parts set aside.  In any case, I only quoted one thing from the Confession of Dositheus.

I'm glad at least that we've arrived at the point where we can drop the western/eastern distinction and look to the Western and Eastern liturgical expressions of Orthodoxy as normative for the faith.
 

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Aristibule said:
Demetrios G.
I should take it personal - you just again accused me and mine of something we don't hold to; and that is bearing false witness. We are Westerners, we do not hold to Anselm's views and *never have*. I never stated anything about 'incorporating' Anselm's views into the 'eastern church'. I did note, however, that ideas such as 'ransom', 'atonement' are present in Orthodoxy from the beginning - in the Scriptures, Liturgies, and Church Fathers. Again - the West does not, and never had a single theology (in illustration, read this FAQ by a non-Thomistic Traditional Catholic : http://www.cheetah.net/~ccoulomb/ultra-realism.html .) What I, and others, are objecting to is not correcting Anselm's errors (and he had them), but in the constant attributing of his errors and guilt to 'the West' or 'converts'. Noting, us Westerners wouldn't be converts if we didn't think Anselm was in error. Anselm is not the West, nor does he represent the West or Western theology.
The penal satisfaction theory isn't 'Western', though it is an error of focus and emphasis based upon language and understandings that *do* exist in the Orthodox Tradition (Scriptures and Patristics.) I'd like to be able to stop repeating it - but the West *never* has been entirely Thomistic, nor entirely Anselmian.
You can call me a sinner. Don't worry I have thick skin. Just don't call me a heretic. Well here is your post. Your post clearly states that it exists in the orthodox tradition. May I ask you where?
 

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ozgeorge said:
And I still have to see a better argument from you against the Orthodox Church other than a pamphlet produced by some group I've never come across and probably aren't in Communion with, but hey......who's counting? ;)
The brochure was only providing an example of common Anti-dox thinking. It was not directly related to the subject of this thread. (It's from an OCA church---the EP is not in Communion with the OCA?)

And my debate here is not about what represents "true" Orthodoxy (I'll leave that to you and Welkodox; for me, it is already represented by the Catholic Church, where no Atonement theory is dogmatized unlike in Orthodoxy---or, as Welkodox would insist, in your characterization of it), but only about correcting the common and plainly silly stereotypes so many Orthodox construct of "Western" Atonement theology. I think I have already done that.

The discussion/debate regarding the OCA's Autocephaly and recognition by other churches has been given its own thread: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,11433.0.html - Questions and whatnot regarding the OCA's Autocephaly - Cleveland, GM
 

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lubeltri said:
The brochure was only providing an example of common Anti-dox thinking. It was not directly related to the subject of this thread. (It's from an OCA church---the EP is not in Communion with the OCA?)

And my debate here is not about what represents "true" Orthodoxy (I'll leave that to you and Welkodox; for me, it is already represented by the Catholic Church, where no Atonement theory is dogmatized unlike in Orthodoxy---or, as Welkodox would insist, in your characterization of it), but only about correcting the common and plainly silly stereotypes so many Orthodox construct of "Western" Atonement theology. I think I have already done that.
Ya, I think my 5 year old daughter can come up with a better drawing of a straw man!
 

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ozgeorge said:
St Theophan the Recluse

Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev
Lets see - St. Vincent is 5th c. France, St. Theophan in 19th c. Russia. Bp. Hilarion (Alfeyev) 21st. c. Russian. You gotta take a huge leap across time and space to see a "train of thought" there. Again, St. Vincent's universality isn't speaking of liturgics (he sure isn't speaking of Byzantine rite, something St. Vincent never would have seen or even been aware of, especially not what we know of as Byzantine rite. IIRC, our oldest Byzantine liturgical texts are 10th c.) What St. Theophan says is true, of course - its just the 'Vincentian Canon' isn't referring to the same thing.

Also, as Lubeltri said - " I still have yet to see someone address the wide diversity of atonement views in the "West")." Except I'm asking it as a faithful and catechized Orthodox Christian. (Or for that matter, what is dogma in Orthodoxy - and what else is allowed as theological opinion, eh?)

Demetrios G:
Your post clearly states that it exists in the orthodox tradition. May I ask you where?
The Gospel according to St. Matthew (20:28), The Gospel according to St. Mark (10:45), the Apocalypse of St. John (5:9), The First Epistle to St. Timothy (2:6) - ie "ransom", there is one example of the language existing in Orthodoxy. You can find a full discussion of some of these same topics in "Orthodox Dogmatic Theology" by Fr. Michael Pomazansky (he describes the real fault with the 'Anselmian theory' as the "The figurative expressions of the Apostles were accepted ... in their literal and overly narrow sense, and ... interpreted as a "satisfaction". This one-sided interpretation of Redemption became the reigning one in Latin theology.... The term "satisfaction" has been used in Russian Orthodox theology, but in a changed form: "the satisfaction of God's righteousness." That is true for most other terms and ideas comprising that particular view in Roman Catholic theology. That is the balance in our Orthodox theology - no reason to deny the language, or that we use the language in our theology: we do. However, it isn't the same as the viewpoint expressed by the Anselmian school. Fr. Michael also notes (correctly) that many Protestants believe quite differently (even to the point of error) against the same theory being criticized in the OP.

What I don't know, and would like to know - where did this movement start that attempts to purge Orthodoxy of any sense of 'blood', 'ransom', 'atonement', 'sacrifice', 'substitution'?
 

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Aristibule said:
Lets see - St. Vincent is 5th c. France, St. Theophan in 19th c. Russia. Bp. Hilarion (Alfeyev) 21st. c. Russian. You gotta take a huge leap across time and space to see a "train of thought" there. Again, St. Vincent's universality isn't speaking of liturgics (he sure isn't speaking of Byzantine rite, something St. Vincent never would have seen or even been aware of, especially not what we know of as Byzantine rite. IIRC, our oldest Byzantine liturgical texts are 10th c.) What St. Theophan says is true, of course - its just the 'Vincentian Canon' isn't referring to the same thing.

Also, as Lubeltri said - " I still have yet to see someone address the wide diversity of atonement views in the "West")." Except I'm asking it as a faithful and catechized Orthodox Christian. (Or for that matter, what is dogma in Orthodoxy - and what else is allowed as theological opinion, eh?)

Demetrios G:
The Gospel according to St. Matthew (20:28), The Gospel according to St. Mark (10:45), the Apocalypse of St. John (5:9), The First Epistle to St. Timothy (2:6) - ie "ransom", there is one example of the language existing in Orthodoxy. You can find a full discussion of some of these same topics in "Orthodox Dogmatic Theology" by Fr. Michael Pomazansky (he describes the real fault with the 'Anselmian theory' as the "The figurative expressions of the Apostles were accepted ... in their literal and overly narrow sense, and ... interpreted as a "satisfaction". This one-sided interpretation of Redemption became the reigning one in Latin theology.... The term "satisfaction" has been used in Russian Orthodox theology, but in a changed form: "the satisfaction of God's righteousness." That is true for most other terms and ideas comprising that particular view in Roman Catholic theology. That is the balance in our Orthodox theology - no reason to deny the language, or that we use the language in our theology: we do. However, it isn't the same as the viewpoint expressed by the Anselmian school. Fr. Michael also notes (correctly) that many Protestants believe quite differently (even to the point of error) against the same theory being criticized in the OP.

What I don't know, and would like to know - where did this movement start that attempts to purge Orthodoxy of any sense of 'blood', 'ransom', 'atonement', 'sacrifice', 'substitution'?
I have tried to explain it earlier in the thread. Go back and reread my posts. It's an ontological issue. We have dogma regarding our creation. I don't believe it's up to me to do your homework for you. Those terms you posted have to be put into context.
 

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Yes, I read what you posted - but still the fact remains that those terms exist to be placed in context. They do exist, and are part of Orthodox theology (especially Russian Orthodox theology.) I don't believe its up to me to do your homework either - and it is a bit tiring to have to explain my position repeatedly while you accuse us of holding to the Anselmian view.
 
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