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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Trust and Respect

Trust and respect are very important things. Today, I have learned a lesson in that area. If you are like me, and pretty much put your thoughts online, then you will have to learn that you have to keep private e-mail conversations private. For once you break that trust, it is hard to get it back.

If you are going to post e-mail conversations on your blog. You will have to have the other person's permission to do so.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Introduction to the Bible

Supplemental Lesson A, as seen from the website:

"We have a mid week supplemental lesson from Jeannie today with helpful information about the "Christian" and "Gnostic" apocryphal books and why they were rejected by the Church."

Play Online


Direct link

Supplemental Lesson B, as seen from the Website:
"In this 2nd supplemental lesson, Jeannie continues her teaching on the apocryphal books - in particular the Gnostic gospels."

Play Online


Direct link

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Franks and Western & Eastern Orthodoxy

The Title on google is different. It's named "United Eastern and Western Orthodox Church", but the video is mostly about the Franks, the addition to the Nicene creed, the 8th council, and Saint Augustine.

She makes a few mistakes, but it's mostly in the details. I wouldn't go about the issue in the same way. And the whole Hebrew vs Greek thing is faulty, especially when one looks at the details. Both the bi, and tri composite view of man were used on both sides. One can see its use in the ante-nicene era as well. Plus, both sides point the finger at the other in regards to "greek philosophy". The truth is, we all made use of some greek philosophers. So using greek philosophers isn't bad in and of itself, for christianity has to baptize pagan cultures whereever she goes......we do this when we translate the scripures in other languages. So I wouldn't of taken that route, plus I would of tried to be more accurate.....well, as accurate as possible. But a good portion of what she said is true. It just gets tricky when you look at some of the details.

She makes it seem as if the west didn't use the extra words in the creed before the Frankish King imposed it. various regions of the west embraced it before then. I don't know, I guess she didn't have the time to worry about details.

I just know that on the Internet, and in the blog world. You have to be on your toes, because you will be challenged quickly if somebody thinks your wrong.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Christ The Redeemer Of Our Nature

As seen from the Podcast "Christ the Eternal Kalimat"

As seen from the website:
"Fr. Daniel continues his study of the Gospel of John with an examination of John the Baptist and putting on Christ in Baptism."

Play online:


Direct link:


Orthodox Baptism

The title of the google vid said "Orthodox Baptism in Holy Spirit", at the end of the video it said "Orthodox Baptism in water & the Holy Spirit", but the first 7 minutes of the video deals with the Roman split from the East, and a few common Augustinian beliefs between some forms of classical Protestantism with Roman Catholicism. After that she begins to talk about the issue of Orthodox Baptism. However, she doesn't stay on the topic long. She moves on to talk about her Testimony or journy as a Roman Catholic nun (I think...I could be wrong about the nun thing), to Word of Faith Charismatic, to Eastern Orthodox. Most of the video is about her journy.

Eventhough she touched on "Orthodox Baptism", the theme of the video seemed to be about "Gnosticism" and it's influence in certain circles......for she talks about that all throughout the video. So maybe the title should of been different.


The Canon part 4

Introduction to the Bible - Lesson 12: from the podcast "Search the Scriptures".

As seen from the webpage:
"Jeannie provides an explanation of why it is so important to study the canon of Scripture and to hold the line on what the Church has approved."

Play online:


Direct link:

Friday, August 22, 2008

Generation Orthodox Podcast - Bible Study Night

As seen from the webpage:
"It’s hot in SoCal so the Generation Orthodox Crew moves from the Icon New Media Network Studio (Which has no AC) to Jacob’s Living Room. The Show gets a nice bible study feel sitting around on couches and bean bags. The discussion this week goes deep into the idea of the place suffering has in the Christian faith. Listen in to hear what everybody has to say."

Play online:

The MP3:

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Catechumen responds to Paul Negrut

As seen from his blog:

In Response to Paul Negrut

"While browsing Hank Hanegraaf's website, I decided to
do a search for the Orthodox Church and see what the site had to say about it.
Initially it was rather respectful of the Church...then I came across this
article by Paul Negrut, entitled Searching for the True Apostolic Church: What
Evangelicals Should Know about Eastern Orthodoxy and originally printed in
Hanegraaf's publication Christian Research Journal. What I read shocked me.

Negrut opens his article by citing the famous event where Peter
Gillquist, along with 2,000 followers from 17 different churches, embraced
Orthodoxy. It was proclaimed by many of them as a "coming home" to the apostolic
church. Taking a right turn, Negrut says to us that "one cannot avoid asking if
such statements are based on solid historical and theological arguments or if
this movement is yet another religious diversion."

I am curious as to
what this "religious diversion" is. Diversion from what? Is the Orthodox Church
comparable to Mormonism or Jehovah's Witnesses, who are drawing people away from
the true meaning of Christ? Perhaps Joel Kalvesmaki, editor of Dumbarton Oaks
Research Library and who wrote a response to the article, is right when he
asserts that the "growing number of converts to Orthodox Christianity from their
own ranks, Evangelicals have begun to publish to stave off the growing success
of a Christian tradition that, until recently, has generally been unknown."
However, I'm not particularly fond of conspiracy theories, and I don't think
this one article is proof of Protestant plan to turn people away from Orthodoxy
- I think it is simply an example of someone ignoring the real facts due to
stubborn thinking. I'm also not particularly fond of those with a "martyr's
complex" and don't want to make those reading this blog for the first time think
the Orthodox population has such an attitude.

In any case, Negrut's
article is full of misunderstandings and fallacies, which I'd like to go into in
detail by following his arguments point by point.


Negrut begins his critique of Orthodoxy by saying that,
contrary to popular belief, "Orthodoxy is not a monolithic bloc that shares a
unified tradition and church life." The term "Eastern Orthodoxy," Negrut
explains, "comprises all the Christian churches that separated at an early age
from the Western tradition (Rome) in order to follow one of the ancient
patriarchies (Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, and Constantinople)."

The problem here is that Negrut has his history completely reversed:
Eastern Christianity did not split from Rome - Rome split from the East! I spoke
about this in greater detail in
this entry, but I will summarize it

After the fall of the Roman Empire, Rome felt
isolated due to political separation between east and west, and gradually more
and more power was granted to the Roman Pope, who began to act more independent
of the other Churches. After conflicts of interest in the Balkans and Latin
versus Greek services, a Roman delegation excommunicated the entire Eastern
Church in the 11th century, thereby splitting west from east. The sacking of
Constantinople by Crusaders fulfilled the schism.This made me wonder if Negrut
had really read Gillquist's book, rather than glanced through a few pages or
read a couple of reviews for it. All of what I've just said is discussed from
pages 47-53 of Becoming Orthodox, with two pages dedicated to a map showing the
splits Christianity experienced from the crucifixion of Christ to the Anglican

To read the rest, go to his blog: In Response to Paul Negrut

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Differences in Sola Fide and Sola Scriptura

It's been years since I opened this book. I know some Reformed circles don't like what Keith A. Mathison had to say about Sola Scriptura, but I am posting some of what he said in this regard anyway. Mathison is a Protestant in the Reformed tradition. He missunderstands Eastern Orthodoxy, the Orthodox do believe God is our Authority as seen here by the evangelical scholar Daniel B. Clendenin:

""the Orthodox East has never been obsessed with a search for objective, clear, and formally definable criteria of truth, such as either the papal authority or the Reformed notion of sola scriptura." Meyendorff takes pains to clarify this extremely important point: "This lack in Orthodox ecclesiology of a clearly defined, precise and permanent criterion of Truth besides God Himself, Christ, and the Holy Spirit, is certainly one of the major contrasts between Orthodoxy and all classical Western ecclesiologies." [1]


"while in Orthodoxy no need for, or necessity of, such a security was ever felt for the simple reason that the living Truth is its own criterion." This, of course, is the exact point made by Khomiakov, that in Orthodoxy the criterion of truth is not external or dogmatic, a speaking to the church, but internal and pneumatic, a living Lord within the church.
Positively, we might say that the only ultimate theological criterion to which Orthodoxy appeals is the living presence of God himself, who safeguards the church and promises through his Spirit to lead us and guide us into all truth (John 14:25-26; 16:13). This was the pattern established by the original church in council at Jerusalem, which based its decisions on the charismatic criterion: "It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us" (Acts 15:28). Thus the Orthodox appeal to Irenaeus: "Where theChurch is, there is the Spirit of God; and where the Spirit of God is, there is the Church, and every kind of grace; but the Spirit is Truth."

So Mathison was wrong in that regard. I also believe he was wrong in regards to what he wants to believe about the classical Reformers and the "Reformed" position of Sola Scriptura. One can easily see this when John Calvin rejected Nicine Triniterianism for his noval view of the Asiety of the Son. We can also look at Reformed Christology vs Chalcedonian Christology. Reformed Christology has a tendency to be Nestorian and some internet calvinists don't seem to care that thier view is different from that of Chalcedon. He also attacks the anabaptist view of sola scriptura as "solo scripura". And he says that their view is wrong. Well, what right does he have to call their view of sola scriptura wrong? Are they not protestants too? And why should we take his word about the doctrine over theirs? What makes the Reformed better than the Anabaptists? But anyway, I agree with most of what he has to say here. I just feel that he doesn't want to admit that he has more in common with us than he would like to make known.

He says in his book:

"In the 1980s and early 1990s, a controversy erupted among
dispensationalists which came to be referred to as the Lordship Salvation
controversy. On one side of the debate were men such as Zane Hodges and Charles
Ryrie who taught a reductionistic doctrine of sola fide which absolutized the
word "alone" in the phrase "justification by faith alone" and removed it from
its overall theologicalcontext. Faith was reduced to little more than assent to
the truthfulness of certain biblical propositions. Repentance, sanctification,
submission to Christ's Lordship, Love, and perseverance were all said to be
unnecessary for salvation. Advocates of this position claimed that it was the
classical Reformation position taught by Martin Luther and John Clavin. On the
other side of the debate was John MacArthur who argued that these men were
clearly abandoning the Reformed doctrine of justification by faith alone. In
addition to the books written by the primary dispensationalist participants,
numerous Reformed theologians wrote books and articles criticizing this
alteration of the doctrine of sola fide. A heated theological controversy began
which continues in some circles even to this day.

Ironically, a similar
drastic alteration of the classical Reformation doctrine of sola scriptura has
occurred over the last 150 years, yet this has caused hardly a stir among the
theological heirs of the Reformation, who have usually been quick to notice any
threatening move against the Reformed doctrine of justification. So much time
and effort has been spent guarding the doctrine of sola fide against any
perversion or change that many do not seem to have noticed that the classical
and foundational Reformed doctrine of sola scriptura has been so altered that is
virtually unrecognizable. In its place Evangelicals have substitude an entirely
different doctrine. Douglas Jones has coined the term solo scriptura to refer to
this aberrant Evangelical version of sola scriptura. Mordern Evangelicalism has
done the same thing to solo scriptura that Hodges and Ryrie did to sola fide.
But unfortunately so little attention is paid to the doctrine of sola scriptura
today that even among trained theologians there is confusion and ambiguity when
the topic is raised. Contradictory not only among broadly Evangical authors but
among Reformed authors as well. In this chapter we shall examine this aberrant
modern Evangelical concept of solo Scriptura and explain why it is imperative
that the Evangelical church recognize it to be as dangerous as the distorted
concepts of sola fide that are prevalent in the Church today.

Evangelical Individualism

The modern
Evangelical version of solo scriptura is nothing more than a new version of
tradition 0. Instead of being defined as the sole infallible authority, the
Bible is said to be the "sole basis of authoruty." Tradition is not allowed in
any sense; the ecumenical creeds are virtually dismissed; and the Church is
denied any real authority. On the surface it would seem that this modern
Evangelical doctrine would have nothing in common with the Roman Catholic or
Eastern Orthodox doctrine of authority. But despite the very differences, the
modern Evangelical position shares one major flaw with both the Roman Catholic
and the Eastern Orthodox positions. Each results in autonomy. Each results in
final authority being placed somewhere other than God and His Word. Unlike the
Roman Catholic position and the Eastern Orthodox position, however, which
invariably result in the autonomy of the Church, the modern Evangelical position
inevitably results in the autonomy of the individual believer.

We have
already seen that there is a major difference between the concept of Scripture
and tradition taught by the Classical Reformers and the concept taught by the
Anabaptists and their heirs. The Anabaptist concept, here referred to as
Tradition 0, attempted to deny the authority of tradition in any real sense. The
Scriptures were considered not only the sole final and infallible authority, but
the only authority whatsoever. The Enlightenment added the philosophical
framework in which to comprehend this individualism. The individual reason was
elevated to the position of final authority. Appeals to antiquity and tradition
of any kind were ridiculed. In the early years of the United States, democratic
populism swept the people along in its fervor. The result is a modern American
Evangelicalism which has redefined sola scriptura in terms of secular
Enlightenment rationalism and rugged democratic individualism.

the best way to explain the fundamental problems with the modern Evangelical
version of solo scriptura would be through the use of an illustration to which
believers may be able to relate. Almost every Christian who has wrestled with
theological questions has encountered the problem of competing interpretations
of Scripture. If one asks a dispensationalist pastor, for example, why he
teaches premillennialism, the answer will be, "Because the Bibleteaches
premillennialism." If one asks the conservative Presbyterian pastor across the
street why he teaches amillennialism (or postmillennialism), the answer will
likely be, "Because that is what the Bible teaches." Each man will claim that
the other is in error, but by what ultimate authority do they typically make
such a judgment? Each man will claim that he bases his judgement on the
authority of the Bible, but since each man's interpretation is mutually
exclusive of the other's, both interpretations cannot be correct. How then do we
discern which interpretation is correct?

The typical modern Evangelical
solution to this problem is to tell the inquirer to examine the arguments on
both sides and decide which of them is closest to the teaching of Scripture. He
is told that this is what sola scriptura means-to individualy evaluate all
doctrines according to the only authority, the Scripture. Yet in reality, all
that occurs is that one Christian measures the scriptural interpreations of
other Christians against the standard of his own scriptural interpretation.
Rather than placing the final authority in scripture as it intends to do, this
concept of Scripture places the final authority in the reason and judgement of
each individual believer. The result is the relativism, subjectivism, and
theological chaos that we see in modern Evangelicalism today.
A fundamental
and self-evident truth that seems to be unconsciously overlooked by proponents
of the modern Evangelical version of solo scriptura is that no one is infallible
in his interpretation of Scripture. Each of us comes to the Scripture with
different presuppositions, blind spots, ignorance of important facts, and, most
importantly, sinfulness. Because of this we each read things into Scripture that
are not there and miss things in Scripture that are there. Unfortunately, a
large number of modern Evangelicals have followed in the footsteps of Alexander
Campbell (1788-1866), founder of the Disciples of Christ, who naively believed
he could come to Scripture with absolute no preconceived notions or biases. We
have already mentioned no preconceived notions or biases. We have already
mentioned Campbell's naive statement, "I have endeavored to read the Scriptures
as though no one had read them before me, and I am as much on my guard against
reading them today, through the medium of my own views yesterday, or a week ago,
as I am against being influenced by any foreign name, authority, or system
The same ideas were expressed by Lewis Sperry Chafer, the
extremely influential founder and first president of Dallas Theological
Seminary. Chafer believed that his lack of any theological training gave him the
ability to approach scriptural interpretation without bias. He said, "the very
fact that I did not study a prescribed course in theology made it possible for
me to approach the subject with an unprejudiced mind and to be concerned only
with what the Bible actually teaches." This, however, is simply impossible.
Unless one can escape the effects of sin, ignorance, and all previous learning,
one cannot read the Scripture without some bias and blind spots. This is a given
of the post-Fall human condition.

This naive belief in the ability to
escape one' own noetic and spiritual limitations led Cambell and his modern
Evangelical heirs to discount any use of secondary authorities. The Church, the
creeds, and the teachings of the early fathers were all considered quaint at
best. The discarding of the creeds is a common feature of the modern Evangelical
notion of solo scriptura. It is so pervasive that one may find it even in the
writings of prominent Reformed theologians. For example, in a recently published
and well-received Reformed systematic theology text, Robert Reymond laments the
fact that most Reformed Christians adhere to the Triniterian orthodoxy expressed
in the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed. He openly calls for an abandonment of
the Nicen Trinitarian concept in favor of a different Trinitarian concept. One
cannot help but wonder how this is any different than the Unitarians rejection
of creedal orthodoxy. They call for the rejection of one aspect of Nicene
Trinitarianism while Reymond calls for the rejection of another. Why is one
considered heretical and the other published by a major Evangelical publishing

An important point that must be kept in mind is observed by the
Great nineteenth-century Princeton theologian Samuel Miller. He noted that the
most zealous oppnents of creeds "have been those who held corrupt opinions."
This is still the case today. The one common feature found in many published
defenses of heretical doctrines aimed at Evangelical readers is the staunch
advocacy of the modern Evangelical notion of solo scriptura with its concomitant
rejection of the subordinate authority of the ecumenical creeds. the first goal
of these authors is to convince the reader that sola scriptura means solo
scriptura. In other words, their first goal is to convince readers that there
are no binding doctrinal boundaries within Christianity.

In his defense
of annihilationism, for example, Edward Fudge states that Scripture, "is the
only unquestionable or binding source of doctrine on this or any subject." He
adds that the individual should weigh the scriptural interpretations of other
uninspired and fallible Christians against Scripture. He does not explain how
the Christian is to escape his own uninspired fallibility. The doctrinal
boundaries of Christians orthodoxy are cast aside as being historically
conditioned and relative. Of course, Fudge fails to note that his interpretation
is as historically conditioned and relative as any that he criticizes.

Another heresy that has been widely promoted with assistance of the
modern Evangelical version of solo scriptura is hyper preterism or pantelism.
While there are numerous internal squabbles over details, in general advocates
of this doctrine insist that JEsus Christ returned in A.D. 70 at the destruction
of Jerusalem and that at that time sin and death were destroyed, the Adamic
curse was lifted, Satan was cast into the lake of fire, the rapture and general
resurrection occurred, the final judgment occurred, mourning and crying and pain
were done away with, and the eternal state began. The proponents of Pantelism
are even more vocal in their rejection of orthodox Christian doctrinal
boundaries than Fudge. Ed Stevens, for example, writes,

"Even if the
creeds were to clearly and definitively stand against the preterist view (which
they don't), it would not be an overwhelming problem since they have no real
authority anyway. They are no more authoritative than our best opinions today,
but they are valued because of their antiquity."

This is a hallmark of
the doctrine of solo scriptura, and it is a position that the classical
Reformers adamently rejected. Stevens continues elsewhere,

"We must not
take the creeds any more seriously than we do the writings and opinions of men
like Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, the Westminister Assembly, Campbell, Rushdoony, or
C.S. Lewis."

Here we see the clear rejection of scriptural based
structures of authority. The authority of those who rule in the Church is
rejected by placing the decisions of an ecumenical council of ministers on the
same level as the words of any individual. This is certainly the democratic way
of doing things, and it is as American as apple pie, but it is not Christian. If
what Mr. Stevens writes is true, then Christians should not take theNicene
doctrine of the Trinity any more seriously than we take some idiosyncratic
doctrine of Alexander Campbell or C.S. Lewis. If this doctrine of solo scriptura
and all that it entails is true, then the Church has no more right or authority
to declare Arianism a heresy than Cornelius Van Til would have to
authoritatively declare classical apologetics a heresy. Orthodoxy and heresy
would necessarily be an individualistic and subjective determination. Another
Pantelist, John Noe, claims that this rejection of the authority of the
ecumenical creeds "is what the doctrine of sola scriptura is all about." As we
have demonstrated, this is manifestly untrue of the classical Reformed doctrine
of sola scriptura." The doctrine of Scripture being espoused by these men is a
doctrine of Scripture that is based upon anabaptist individualism, Enlightenment
rationalism, and democratic populism. It is a doctrine of Scripture divorced
from its Christian context."

Mathison seems to deny the view that the Holy Spirit will guide the Body into all Truth. Those(Protestants) in whom he calls holding to "tradition 0" at least believe in the Holy Spirit guiding somebody. I wonder if Mathison is a cessationist? If so then this would explain the lack of "Charisma", in his view. Also differences in the doctrine of sola fide is not unique to dispensationalists. The Reformed camp have their own fued in this regard with Norman Sheperd and those that follow his lead. The former Prespyterian now Roman Catholic scholar and apologist Scott Hahn, noticed a difference between Lutherians and the Reformed in regards to the doctrine of "sola fide". We already know the difference between the Lutherians and Reformed in regards to Sola Sciptura when it comes to the "Regulative principle", as seen here "Theological Issues -Lutherian vs Reformed". The calvinists(and Reformed) over at Holycultureradio argued over this very issue some years ago when Phatcatholic was ready to debate one of them in regards to this issue. One of the Reformed tried to use Mathison's arguement until another Reformed came in and told everyone that the Reformed wasn't in agreement over this issue. At first it seemed that those who once sided with Mathison's perspective slowly switch sides to the other Reformed view. The one that Mathision tried to argue against. The debate never really jumped off because no one wanted to debate Phatcat after Ricky's first defence. As seen here "Debate with "Ricky" on Sola Scriptura: Parts One, Two, Three, and Four. I'm cool with both Ricky and Phatcat, but I just wanted everyone to know that "protestantism" has more than one interpretation of what "sola scriptura" means. The same is true for "sola fide".

Related links:

Lordship salvation vs nonLordship salvation view

The different kinds of Calvinists I've noticed throughout the years

A responce to a new christian in regards to the Trinity

A review of Mathison's book by a Roman Catholic (on a different blog):

Greg Krehbiel's Review of Keith Mathison's The Shape of Sola Scriptura

A discussion between Mathison and Sungenis:

The dialog

A review from James White's blog:

Solo Scriptura? Tradition 0?

A review by Touchstone:

Loose Canon

Wiki link:
Sola scriptura


[1]page 106-107,[2] page 107, from the book "Eastern Orthodox Christianity: A western perspective" by Daniel B. Clendenin. Baker Academic 1994, 2003

[3] pages 237-244 by Keith A. Mathision, in the book "The shape of Sola Scriptura". Canon Press 2001
Monday, August 18, 2008

Barnabas Powell's Journy

This is from the Journey’s to Orthodoxy podcast.

As seen from the website:
"Barnabas Powel Former Pentecostal Pastor - Journeys to Orthodoxy Podcast Journey’s to Orthodoxy an Orthodox Christian Podcast! Jacob Lee’s guest this week is Barnabas Powell, Jacob talks with Barnabas about his spiritual journey to the Orthodox Church. Barnabas spent many years as a Pentecostal Pastor. After coming to the Orthodox Church,"

Play online:



Death to the World meets The Dark Knight

As seen from the website:
"This week Marina talks about Death to the World and the trip they made to Cornerstone Christian Music festival, Turbos tells us how great the new Batman movie was (The Dark Knight) and that there is a particularly good ending.
Jacob, Turbo, Marina and Calee join in the conversation"

Play online:

Download mp3:


Frank Schaeffer speaks on the conflict

"Sidenote: I am not taking sides, and my heart goes out to both Russia and Georgia. If you want to donate to IOCC in the cause of relief aid to those who are in need in both, North and South Ossetia, and Georgia as a whole. Then go here"

"As Russia sees it, Bill Clinton turned the American Air
Force into air support for an Islamic revolution against the Orthodox world. The
attack against the Serbian homeland was an exercise of naiveté equivalent to
bombing Vatican City then wondering why Roman Catholics might be upset and stay
upset. Then George Bush decided it would be a good idea to place a missile
defense system in Poland, disregard Russia's advice and invade Iraq and further
insult and encircle the heart of the Eastern Orthodox world.

It takes a
special breed of a-historical American president who is steeped in the
Protestant idea of denominationalism; wherein Methodists, Presbyterians,
Southern Baptists etc., all do their thing and somehow get along, to so
thoroughly misunderstand the fact that Russia is reemerging first and foremost
as a country reconnecting with its Orthodox historical imperial roots. We just
have no concept of blood ties, soil and holy tradition in America. Since we
don't take tradition seriously we can't believe that anyone else does.

For us the bottom line is always expediency and "what works." But in
other parts of the world national pride is tied to a continuity of historic
tradition (as was just demonstrated so beautifully in the opening ceremonies at
the Beijing Olympics steeped as they were in Confucianism, and imperial

In Russia's case its public humiliation at the hands of the
United States, following the Cold War, could not have been designed better to
have produced the invasion of Georgia. What's going on is the slow-motion
counterattack of the Orthodox world against the West's latest crusade. Georgia
is just a symbol for the counter-punch to the modern version of the West's sack
of Constantinople in 1204.

Bill Clinton bombed Russia's closest and
oldest Orthodox ally into submission and did so to send a half-baked and
ill-conceived (utterly useless) message to the Islamic world that while we might
favor Israel 99% of the time, once in a while we would throw the Muslim world a
scrap. Note: America's actions in Serbia never were about halting ethnic
cleansing. If that had been our motivation the same president that was bombing
bridges in heart of Orthodox Europe while taking sides in a civil war, would
have bombed Rwanda then (and we'd be in Darfur now) and have stopped those
actual genocides. And now Russia is sending a message too, by attacking the
pro-Western Georgia. And, yes, Georgia is also an Orthodox country, but it too
is being used to send a message: we will hit back."

If you want to read the rest of the post, please go to the website.


Christ And The Holy Trinity

As seen from website:

"Fr. Daniel looks at creation in terms of the hypostases of the Holy Trinity."

Play Online:


Direct link:



The Canon part 3

This is Lesson 11 in Dr. Jeannie Constantinou's "Introduction to the Bible" series in her podcast "Search the Scriptures".

As seen from her website:
"Now that we have learned about the Old Testament canon, Jeannie turns her attention to the New Testament."

Play online:


Direct link:
Direct link

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A review of Robert Morey's book: part 2-b

A review and rejoinder of Chapter 2 in the book Is Eastern Orthodoxy Christian? continued:

Sidenote: These are my own personal oppionions, and do not necessarily represent the views of the Church.

For those that missed parts 1 and 2-a, go here: "A review of Robert Morey's book: part 1" and "A review of Robert Morey's book: part 2-a "

Morey miss understood what both Frank Schaeffer Jr. and the Metropolitan Bishop Kalistos Ware was saying on pages 27-31.

This is obvious from later pages when he totaly rejects the Eastern Orthodox terms of "the distinction between Essence & Energies" and the context in which we understand that, as well as the context in which the Orthodox understands the term "deification". He rejects them and sets up strawmen arguments in their places. In doing so, he is not rejecting what Eastern Orthodoxy actually teach. Instead, he rejects a figment of his imagination.

He also refuses to believe the truth in regards to his own protestant tradition. He quotes Schaeffer Jr. On page 28 about the west embracing the "Aristotelian-Augustinian-Scholastic tradition. But denies this on page 30

What was said on pages 28-29:

Despite his "frosty" home life, Frankie is absolutely correct that Orthodoxy is a different religion from either Roman Catholicism or Protestantism. It should not be viewed as another Christian denomination.

(In quoting Frank Schaeffer Jr)
We converts need to understand that we are not just "switching churches." We must understand that the Orthodox East is fundamentally different than the Latin West."12
"Orthodoxy is not merely Roman Catholicism or Protestantism Plus! Rather, Orthodoxy is a profoundly different religion." 13
...the Christianity of the West evolved into an all together different religion from the Christianity of the East."14

The differences that divide the Evangelical from the Orthodox are not minor according to Frank.

(In quoting Frank Schaeffer Jr)
"One of the major difference between the Orthodox East and Latin West is that we of the Orthodox do not look to reason and science as our primary source of Truth. We trust the uncreated light of Holy Mystery. We pray for a flood of Divine revelation and a genuine if incremental change of character. The Aristotelian-Augustinian-Scholastic-Protestant and "scientific" West, on the other hand, believes in reason and dogma as the means to the Truth if, that is, they believe in Truth at all.15"

Eastern Orthodoxy and Western Roman Catholicism have different and contradictory epistemologies. While the East followed Plato inward into mysticism, the west followed Aristotle outward into rationalism."
[1] pages 28-29

But this is what he says at the end of page 30

"I have quoted Frankie Schaeffer at length because if I were to say that Orthodoxy is a totally different religion from Evangelical Christianity, some of my readers might be tempted to think that I was being extreme. But this is what Schaeffer and many other Orthodox thinkers have written.

This is why I have taken such great pains to cite so many statements from accepted Orthodox authorities. Despite his bitterness, Frankie Schaeffer is 100% right. Eastern Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, and Evangelical Christianity are three different religions. The Orthodox followed Plato into mysticism, the Catholics followed Aristotle into rationalism, and the Reformation followed the Bible back to Jesus."
[2] page 30

Schaeffer didn't say anything about there being three different religions. Protestantism and Roman Catholicism are two sides of the same coin. Orthodoxy is predenominational. Morey seems a little upset about Orthodoxy holding on to the Ancient exclusive language that historic christianity always embraced. He also wants to ignore the fact that Protestantism followed Augustin and Aristotle. The Reformation didn't follow the Bible. It didn't go back to Jesus. He is using the Bible and Jesus as smoke screens to hide his innovative Reformed Baptist distinctives.

John Calvin learned greek philosophy at the University of Paris. Why didn't Morey mention this? Now it is true, that he criticized Roman Catholic scholasticism, but it is also true, that Aristotelian logic can be found in his works. The next generation of Calvinists were Protestant scholastics for they found a good use of Aristotle in their cause?

sidenote:(the first generation of protestants, were schooled in Roman Catholic Scholasticism, eventually, some of them would reject it. However, later generations of Protestants [after calvin] would embrace it.

Dr. Jaroslav Pelikan says in the book "Credo": on pages 481 & 482

"But many more of the Protestant confession came from the second, third, and subsequent generations. Those confessions, moreover, are not only more numerous but usually much longer, than the earlier texts had been. Nor is the difference a matter only of comparative length as such. For it was, paradoxically, the writers of confessions who had not been trained in medieval, Roman Catholic scholasticism who laid the foundations for a new, Protestant "confessional scholasticism." As Horatius Bonar put it, speaking about The Westminister Confession of Faith from the seventeenth century in a description that could as readily have been applied also to The Canons of the Synod of Dort from the same century or to The Formula of Concord from late in the preceding century,

It may be questioned whether the Church gained anything by the exchange of the Reformation standards for those of the seventh century. The scholastic mould(british form of "mold") in which the latter are cast has somewhat trenched upon the ease and breadth which mark the former; and the skillful metaphysics employed at Westminister [or in The Formula of Concord] in giving lawyer-like precision to each statement, have imparted a local and temporary aspect to the new which did not belong to the more ancient standards. 129

Bonar's use of "scholastic", therefore, which commonly refers to Western Roman Catholic theology from the twelfth to the fourteenth century and to the revival of that theology in the modern era, may also be applied to the Protestant "confessional scholasticism" of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, which manifested itself in both Lutheran and Reformed theology.
One presuposition for its rise, as it had been for rise of medieval
scholasticism, was the cultivation of Aristotelian philosophy, which, after its
rejection by Luther and other Reformers, enjoyed a strong revival of interest
during subsequent generations of Lutheran and Reformed theologians. It had been
Melanchton's ambition to prepare a new edition of Aristotle. Aristotelianism
gave the Protestant dogmaticians of the seventeenth century a precision in their
vocabulary and a capacity for making careful distinctions. Partly as a
consequence of this renewal of interest in the philosophy of Aristotle, another
component of medieval scholasticism, the investigation of "natural theology,"
played a prominent part in this Protestant scholasticism, too.

Therefore an exploration of what the unaided human reason could know about God, including th traditional proofs for the existence of God, became the prolegomenon to the systematic exposition of the revealed doctrines of Scripture.
[3] pages 481-482

Some would like to pick on Eastern Orthodoxy for using portions of greek philosophy in order to convert the Hellinistic World. The truth is, we all use aspects of greek philosophy.....all as in, Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodoxy. We all use it at times when speaking about the Truths of the christian faith. Now we may not all use the same greek philosophers, nor do we all agree on our interpretation when we do use the same greek philosopher, but we all make use of them. Infact, the fact that Scripture itself is translated into pagan languages is proof that we do make use of "pagan words" in order to express the truths of the Faith.

Even the Apostle Paul made use of greek philosophy, when trying to express a "truth" of the Christian Faith.

Acts chapter 17
"for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising."

Plus, elsewhere, Saint Paul talks about being "all things" to "all men".

1 Corinthians 9:21-23
"to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you."

Now, just like in most things, there is discernment. Which is why Orthodoxy doesn't use every greek Philosopher under the Sun. But God has planted lesser forms of light in every culture. And it is the job of the christian to make good use of the lesser light God has givin to the peoples of the Globe, so that they can have cultural aids to help them understand the truths of the Faith.

So I guess in a way, the seeds of truth, that God has planted in every culture is a form of Prevenient(preceeding) grace.

pages 31 to 33 gives a list of 15 things in which Morey thinks Evangelical Christianity differs from Eastern Orthodoxy.

"Different views of Greek Philosophy, Particularly
Plato. The New Testament writers, the Apostolic Fathers, and the Reformers
rejected pagan philosophy, while Orthodoxy embraced it."
[4] page 31

Augustine embraced Plato, and Luther was an Augustinian monk. John Calvin learned greek philosophy in his Humanistic studies at Paris University. And the next generation of protestants embraced the philosophy of Aristotle. Also, what about the charge of Penal Substitution's link to Natural theology? As seen here: "Penal Substitution & Natural theology".

Another prime example of some classical Reformed protestants making use of "natural law" is found in Stephen J. Grabill's book "Rediscovering the Natural Law in Reformed Theological Ethics". One can also see it in the work "The Bible, Protestantism, and the Rise of Natural Science" by Peter Harisson. A review of the book can be seen here "Secular Hermeneutics".

Eastern Orthodoxy doesn't embrace all forms of greek philosophy. It only embraces that which was closest to christianity to express the truths of the christian faith to a greek pagan world. If Mr. Morey believes in the doctrines of the immortal soul, and Divine simplicity then he too embraces christianized greek concepts that go back to Plato.

"Different epistemologies on how we know if
something is true or false. Orthodoxy's negative Natural theology versus the
revealed theology of the Bible."
[5] page 31

Morey is cloaking his Aristotalian philosophy behind scripture. Both Negative and possitive statements can be used. It's just that Negative statements are superior because possitive statements has its limitations in time and space.

"Different hermeneutics in the way we should
interprete the Bible. Orthodoxy is mystical and intuitive in its understanding
of the Bible, while biblical Christianity follows the principles of historical,
grammatical exegesis"
[6] page 31

What is Biblical christianity? There are hundreds if not thousands of different sects that claim to represent "Biblical christianity". Also Martin Luther, the founder of the first wave of Protestantism believed in a multiple layered interpretation method. Not to mention Dr. Peter Enns who is/was a calvinist. As seen here, "The New Testament's use of the Old Testament".

And what about the Apostles? They didn't always follow the historical grammatical exegesis method. It is well known that they often used a mystical and intuitive method in interpreting the Old Testament. All one has to do is read the first few chapters of Mathew, and see what they quoted in the Old Testament.

"Different views on the origin, nature,
inspiration, canon, and authority of the Bible. The Orthodox do not have the
same books in their Bible as found in the Catholic or Protestant Bibles."
[7] page 32

We received what the Apostles had.

2 Timothy 4:13
When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments.

Did Paul's scrolls and parchments vanish when he died? No, the church kepted them. Also to know what family text type the Apostles were mostly using. All one has to do is look at their Old Testament quotes. They used the LXX family of texts. Which is what we still use today.

"Different views on the origin, nature, and
inspiration of "the Greek Septuagint." The Orthodox claim tht it is more
inspired than the original Hebrew text!"
[8] page 32

I don't think we would say "more inspired than the original Hebrew". After all it was based on a Hebrew text type. I think we would say, it is more inspired than the masoretic text type. Which is a post christian Hebrew text. If the LXX was good enough for Jesus and the Apostles, then it's good enough for me.

"Different views on the authority of the church,
its "Fathers", councils, creeds, and leaders. The Orthodox use circular
reasoning. Something is true because the Church says so. There is no higher
authority than the Church. This is true because the church says so."
page 32

Scripture says the "Church" is the foundation of truth.

1 Timothy 3:15
but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

Morey uses circuliar reasoning too. He will have to say "something is true, because the Bible says so". And since he is a calvinist he will have to use "circular reasoning" in regards to the five points of Calvinism. Everyone seems to use circular reasoning somewhere. Plus on top of that, there is disagreement among protestants of what "sola scriptura" means. As seen here "Differences in Sola Fide and Sola Scriptura".

"different views on the nature, attributes,
existence, and knowledge of God."
[10] page 32

Knowing God is much more than just mere "reasonable propositions". The whole person must know God. And if Morey disagrees with Orthodoxy in regards to the nature, attributes, existence, and knowledge of God then he is only shooting himself in the foot, for his Reformed Baptist group stands or falls on the christianity that came before it. If he tries to separate his denomination further away from Orthodoxy, then it would be to his own down fall. Plus it's not like every evangelical denomination agrees with Morey's Reformed Baptist's group. So I don't think Morey can speak for all "evangelicals". For some hold different views of the nature, attributes, existence, and knowledge of God.

"Different views on the nature, attributes, person
and work of Jesus Christ."
[11] page 32

If Morey embraces the Nicene and Chalcedonian Creeds, then he is only shooting himself in the foot by saying this. Morey can't have it both ways.

"Different views of the nature, power, work, and
veneration of angels, Mary, the Apostles, the saints, and the "Father."
page 32

Morey's refusal to venerate Mary only shows his Nestorian tendencies. Also Scripture says that all generations will call her "blessed".

Luke 1:48
"For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed."

Once again he is shooting himself in the foot.

"Different views on the veneration of icons and
[13] page 32

Morey's view of salvation being static, and nothing more than mere mental assent and consent to dogmatic propositions and pronouncements, make his view of Icons and relics different.

If salvation is a dynamic relationship between mankind and the Incarnate God. If it is a real union between man and the dying and ressurected Lord.

Then the veneration of icons and relics are valid.

"Different views on the nature of man, original
sin, free will, and human potential."
[14] page 32

The gnostics believed the material world was evil. Some of them, like the Manicheans didn't believe in the doctrine of free will. Morey's view is alot closer to their doctrine than it is to christianity. The fact, that he mentioned "original sin", shows that his form of protestantism follows some of the teachings of Augustine, especially in his later years. Augustine made use of Plato, but Morey doesn't want to admit that his form of protestantism follows some of the propositions of greek philosophers.

So he is shooting himself in the foot again.

"Different views of the nature of sin and what is
needed to correct it."
[15] page 33

He is following an extreme form of Augustinianism (calvinism). One that believes in Total depravity (inability), limited atonement, Unconditional election, irresistible grace, and maybe a stricter form of Once saved always saved (P.O.T.S.). Not all protestants believe this, so he can't speak for "all" of evangelicalism....only just his form.

"Different views of salvation, grace, works,
faith, and the nature,number and role of the sacraments"
[16] page 33

Once again, he is mostly talking about his Calvinistic perspective, which for the most part is innovative. Some of it can be traced back to Saint Augustine in his older years, but it doesn't preceed Augustine. The western church started to go in a different direction after Saint Augustine. And I doubt if Morey knows what he's talking about in regards to our view of the Mysteries.

"Different views of the heart of the gospel
message. The Bible teaches that justification is the heart of the gospel, while
Orthodoxy teaches deification."
[17] page 33

He miss understands the doctrine of deification. And not all protestants agree with the "details" of his form of "justification". There are alot of Pentecostals, Charismatics, and Holiness groups that have a slightly different perspective than Morey. Not to mention some of the Anabaptists like the Ahmish. The Campbellites would also disagree with Morey. So he is not speaking for "all" protestantism. And even in the Reformed camp, there are differences. You have Norman Sheperd, you have the new perspective of paul, and even among dispensationalists you have the controversy of "Lordship salvation vs easy believism".

"Different views on the nature of Baptism and the
Lord's Supper"
[18] page 33

Different protestants dissagree with his view of Baptism and the Lord's Supper so he can't speak for all evangelicals.

On page 34 to 35 he mentions the different schools of thought in Orthodoxy: According to him, they are "Liberal, Conservative, and Fundamentalist"

The truth is, the Liberals of Orthodoxy are still way more conservative and traditional than their Protestant counter parts. The same is true for the Liberals in Roman Catholicism. They tend to be more conservative and traditional than those found in Protestantism.

He says on page 37 that Eastern Orthodoxy is a house divided that cannot help but fall. The Truth is, by the Grace of God Eastern Orthodoxy has been around for two thousand years. Morey's own congregation hasn't been around that long. Maybe he should worry about what's going on in his own fellowship, as seen here, instead of pointing fingers at an organism that's been around for 2,000 years.


[1],[2],[4],[5],[6],[7],[8],[9],[10],[11],[12],[13],[14],[15],[16],[17],[18] from the book "Is Eastern Orthodoxy Christian" by Robert A. Morey. Copyright 2007, published by Christian Scholars Press.

[3] from the book "Credo: Historical and Theological guide to Creeds and Confessions ofFaith in the Christian Tradition", by Dr. Jaroslav Pelikan, copyright 2003 by Yale University. Published by Yale University Press.

Sacred Tradition

  • St. Irenaeus(130-200 A.D.) wrote, "Read the Holy Scripture in the presence of a presbyter (priest) who has the apostolic tradition."
  • The apostolic tradition is the deposit of faith entrusted to the apostles by the Lord Jesus.
  • Sacred Tradition includes the Bible, the writings of the Church Fathers, the decisions of the Ecumenical Councils, the Creed, the liturgies and other worship services of the Church.
  • We need Sacred Tradition to safeguard the Truth of Christ.
  • G.K. Chesterton defined Sacred Tradition as follows: Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who happen to be wlking about.
  • We need the Apostolic Tradition in order to protect and better understand the Scriptures.
  • "If there is no immune system to resist heresy, there will soon be nothing but the teeming infestation of heresy [false teaching]," said Dr. Thomas Oden.
  • What is this protective "immune system"?
  • It is the Church with its Sacred Tradition.
  • Beware of anyone who says, "Sola Scriptura. The Bible alone."
  • The Bible does not stand alone.
  • Its proper setting is the Church which is its divinely appointed guardian and interpreter.
  • The original Apostolic Tradition, or deposit of faith, did not disappear through the ages.
  • It survives in the Orthodox Church which is a living, historical continuation of the early Church of the apostles, "the pillar and foundation of truth" (I Tim 3:15).
  • Sacred Tradition is grounded in the Truth that has been deposited in the Church by Jesus from the very beginning and has been preserved in the Church by the Holy Spirit through the uninterrupted apostolic succession of the episcopal ministry.
  • the best definition of Sacred Tradition is that it is the life of the Holy Spirit in the Church through the centuries since Pentecost, guiding the Church to all truth.
  • Truth is thus safeguarded through the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit in the Church,
  • the same Holy Spirit Who "spoke through the prophets" and gided the apostles, is still guiding the Church into a fuller understanding of Divine Truth from glory to glory.
  • This is the "immune system" which guards the truth from heresy.
  • If the Bible is read without the presence of "a presbyter who has the apostolic tradition," then some other person will step into the vacuum to create his own private "tradition" which will not be apostolic but the whim of one's fancy.
  • This is the reason there are so many different denominations, which call themselves "churches."
  • Each one of these denominations reads the Scriptures but without the "apostolic tradition" which guides one to the proper, divinely revealed understanding of the Bible.
  • Lacking the "apostolic tradition," these so-called "churches" established a personal, individual tradition of their own that is not in agreement with the original catholic tradition of the apostles.
  • For example, the Mormons believe that the correct interpretation of the Bible is to be found in the Book of Mormon, allegedly revealed by an angel to Joseph Smith.
  • The Book of Mormon replaces the Apostolic Tradition entrusted by Jesus to the apsotles.
  • Some time ago I saw a paid TV ad by the Mormons.
  • It showed two books: the Bible and the Book of Mormons.
  • Slowly the Bible was panned out, only the Book of Mormon remained. And the announcer said,
  • "What you really need to understand the Bible is the Book of Mormon. Write or call and we'll send you one today."
  • And what does the Book of Mormon teach? It teaches that the entire New Testament is false. It brings in an entirely new revelation of God's truth that is totally fictional and manmade.
  • Mary Baker Eddy, founder of the Christian Science Church, teaches that the true understanding of the Bible is to be found in her book the key to the understanding of Scriptures.
  • Her book replaces the entire Apostolic Tradition of the Church, distorting completely the truth of Christ.
  • The same happens with many of the Protestant denominations.
  • The original "Apostolic Tradition" is replaced by some individual's personal and private understanding of what the Bible teaches.
  • The result is that many of the core teachings of Jesus are misinterpreted or denied.
  • Thus, the truth of Christ is distorted.
  • Man-made traditions replace the divinely revealed "apostolic tradition," which abides in the Church and is none other than the presence of the Holy Spirit abiding in the Body of Christ, the Church, guiding it to all truth.
  • Thus, St. Irenaeus writes, "Read the Holy Scriptures, by all means, but always in the presence of a presbyter (who represents the Church) and has the apostolic tradition."
  • The Bible does not stand alone
  • It needs prayer.
  • It needs the presbyter and the bishop.
  • It needs the Church.
  • It needs the Apostolic Tradition.
  • If Sacred Tradition is the Holy SPirit continuing to abide in the Church and guiding it to al truth, then Sacred Tradition is the guarding and keeper of truth.
  • There are so called "Christian" churches today that deny the reality of Christ's Resurrection, condone abortion, doubt Jesus' miracles, question the divinity of Jesus, deny the Virgin Birth, and create liturgical blessings for same-sex unions.
  • This is a complete denial of the truth of the Bible and the Apostolic Tradition. [1] pages 70-75 by Anthony M. Coniaris


[1] pages 70-75 by Anthony M. Coniaris, in the book Whatever Happened to Truth?, Light & Life publishing 2001
Saturday, August 16, 2008

Russia, Georgia, South Ossetia, and the IOCC relief aid

As seen from the website:
"As the conflict between Russia and Georgia intensifies, IOCC is on the scene providing aid to the displaced and refugees. We interview Amal Morcos, Director of Communications at International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC)."


Direct link:



Dormition of the Theotokos

As seen from the webpage:
"Fr. Wilbur Ellsworth from Holy Transfiguration Antiochian Orthodox Church in Warrenville, IL speaks about the Dormition of the Theotokos."

The link:
Dormition of the Theotokos

The download:
Mp3 download

The direct link


Saint Mark

In quoting Dr. Aziz S. Atiya's book "A History of Eastern Christianity", Dr. McBirnie said:

"In Chapter "Origins of Coptic Christianity", Aziz S.
Atiya (A History of Eastern Christianity, pp. 25-28) tells of the very detailed
and firm tradition in Egypt among the Coptic churches regarding St. Mark: "St.
Mark brought his Gospel with him to Alexandria; and though the Greek version
could have fulfilled his purpose in that city, the suggestion is made that
another version in the Egyptian language was prepared for the benefit of native
converts who were "Mark's real labor lay in Africa. First, he crossed the
Mediterranean to Cyrenaica-the Pentapolis which had been his parents' residence
in bygone days. This country was colonized by Greeks and many Jews who offered
his zeal a ripe and hopeful harvest. After performing many miracles and sowing
the seeds of his faith, he went to Alexandria by a circuitous route through the
oases and Babylon, or Old Cairo. Alexandria was the Eastern counterpart of Rome,
both in importance and in being a stronghold of paganism, and it was imperative
that Christianity should win the two. The task was as worthy as it was
hazardous. "Here we face the important problem of dates. The History of the
Patriarchs mentions explicitly that the revelation to Peter and Mark, that they
should advance on Rome and Alexandria, came in the fifteenth year after the
Ascension of Christ, that is, 48 A.D. Other sources put his entry into
Alexandria in 55, 58 and 61 A.D. Whatever the right date of Mark's appearence in
the city, the consensus is that he was martyred in 68 A.D. Between those two
dates he was able to fulfill his mission and to win many converts.

"The story runs that on entering the city by the eastern
gate, he broke the strap of his shoe. So he went to a cobbler to mend it. When
the cobbler took an awl to work on it, he accidentally pierced his hand and
cried aloud: 'Heis ho Theos' (God is one). Mark rejoiced at this utterance and,
after miraculously healing the man's wound, took courage and gave the lesson to
the hubgry ears of his first convert. This happened to be Anianus, Mark's
successor as the second patriarch of Alexandria. The spark was fired, and the
cobbler took the Apostle home with him. He and his family were baptized, and
many others followed. So successful was the movement that the word spread that a
Galilean was in the city preparing to overthrow the idols. Popular feeling began
to rise, and men sought him everywhere. Scenting danger, the Apostle ordained
Anianus bishop, with three priests and seven deacons to watch over the
congregation in case anything befell him. Afterwards, he seems to have
undertaken two voyages. First he sallied into Rome where he met Peter and Paul,
and he left the capital only after their martyrdom in 64 A.D. He then stayed at
Aquilea, near Venice, before his return to Alexandria. On finding his flock firm
in the faith, he decided to visit the Pentapolis, where he spent two years
performing miracles, ordaining bishops and priests, and winning more converts.
When at last he reached Alexandria, he was overjoyed to find that the brethren
had so multiplied that they were able to build a considerable church in the
suburban district of Baucalis, where cattle grazed by the seashore.

"Spreading rumers that the Christians threatened to
overthrow the pagan deities infuriated the idolatrous populace. The end was
approaching, and the saint was unremittingly hunted by the enemy. In the year 68
A.D., Easter fell on the same day as the Serapis festival. The furious mob had
gathered in the Serapion and then descended on the Christians while they were
celebrating Easter at Baucalis. St. Mark was seized, dragged with a rope around
his neck in the streets, and then incarcerated for the night. In the following
morning the same ordeal was repeated until he gave up the ghost. His flesh was
torn and bloddy, and it was their intent to cremate his remains. But the wind
blew and the rain fell in torrents, and the populace dispersed. Thus the
Christians stealthily carried off his body and secretly buried it in a grave
which they had carved in the rock under the alter of the church."(A History of
Eastern Christianity, Aziz S. Atiya, pp. 22-28)


[1] pages 254-256, by Dr. William Stevart Mcbirnie, in the book "The search for the twelve Apostles". Living Books, Tyndale House Publishers 1973

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A review of Robert Morey's book: part 2-a

Sidenote: These are my own personal oppionions, and do not necessarily represent the views of the Church.

For those that missed part 1. They can go to this link here: "A review of Robert Morey's book: part 1"

Chapter 2 of Morey's book.

What is Orthodoxy?

Where did Eastern
Orthodoxy derive its distinctive doctrines and rituals? In discussions with
Orthodox priests and Theologians, I have heard many different answers.

I. Protestant Converts to Orthodoxy

If they were converts from
Protestantism, especially from Evangelicalism, they would smile at me and say
that Eastern Orthodoxy derived its doctrines and rituals from the Bible.

However, when I pressed them as to exactly where in the Bible could I
specifically find such things as the veneration of icons, they would switch
tactics and state that such things came from the "Holy Traditions" and the
"Fathers." I persisted by asking them,"
[1] page 25

And then he goes on to ask 16 questions. After that he talks about some statements made by Frank Schaeffer Jr. in a few of his books. Schaeffer can defend himself, but I will comment on a few things Morey said.

He then moves on to a few things the Metropolitan Bishop Kallistos Ware made. He makes a 15 point list of what he thinks some of the major differences between Orthodoxy and Evangelicalism(his understanding of it) are.

He ends the convert section with:

"The differences listed above cannot be
dismissed as a mere "tempest in a tea cup." The differences between Orthodoxy
and Evangelical theology are absolutely fundamental and cannot be ignored. We
agree with Orthodox thinkers such as Schaeffer, Ware, et al that Orthodoxy is a
different religion.

In This work, we have chosen to Investigate
Orthodoxy's dependence on Greek Philosophy, its iconolatry, and the origin and
nature of its doctrine of deification. The other issues must await later
[2] page 33

The next sections of chapter 2 deal with his explanation of what he calls "Liberal Orthodoxy", "Conservative Orthodoxy", and "Fundamentalist Orthodoxy". And last but not least, he ends chapter 2 with what he calls the "sliding scale".

At this time I would like to look at his questions in chapter 2:

quote from page 25:
If they were converts
from Protestantism, especially from Evangelicalism, they would smile at me and
say that Eastern Orthodoxy derived its doctrines and rituals from the

The New Testament Scripture came from the Church(The Apostles and their scribes were members of the Church). The Church is the foundation of Truth. But for those that only recognize the Primary writtings that She produced, we speak the language that Reformed Baptists understand to establish a link of communication. So we use from our Bossom what they only recognize to help them understand that the "Reformed Baptist Evangelical tradition" is not enough. There is a fullness of the Faith, that was once delivered to the Saints. Something that preceeds the Reformed Baptist tradition by 1,600 hundred years.

quote from page 25
However, when I pressed
them as to exactly where in the Bible could I specifically find such things as
the veneration of icons, they would switch tactics and state that such things
came from the "Holy Traditions" and the "Fathers." I persisted by asking

He is trying to trap people into a corner. and it wasn't a switch of Tactics. We don't believe in Sola Scriptura so we don't have that mindset. Reformed Protestants believe that any Oral tradition that was inspired was eventually written as scripture. Therefore, in their minds the Bible is the sum of both Oral and written tradition.
In order to understand where Morey is coming from, we need to first look at the Reformed "Regulative Principle". Historically it has been contrasted against the Lutherian "Regulative Principle" as seen here "Theological Issues -Lutherian vs Reformed "

ISSUE: Regulative Principle

The Lutherian Position is:

"Whatever is not forbidden in Scripture is permissible"

The Reformed Position is:

"Whatever is not commanded in Scripture is forbidden"

So as you can see, for Morey, if it's not found in scripture then it must be forbidden. There are alot of words and things not found in scripture but are indeed "scriptural". The word "Trinity" is not found in scripture, but the principle is found in scripture. The same is true for the word "homoousios". Thanks to Saint Athanasius, we saw how it was used in a "scriptural" fashion.

In like manner "Veneration" is "scriptural". It is a type of reverence or respect to the one in which the symbol represents.

Anthony M. Coniaris said it perfectly when he said:

"First, let us consider the charge of idolatry. Orthodox Christians do not worship icons; they merely reverence or venerate them as symbols. Leonius of Neopolis wrote in the seventh century: "We do not make obeisance to the nature of wood, but we revere and make obeisance to Him who was crucified on the Cross. . .When the two beams of the Cross are joined together I adore the finger because of Christ who on the cross was crucified, but if the beams are separated, I throw them away and burn them." [3]

That which is "special" compared to that which is "ordinary"

1.) Was the Ark of the Covenant "special" or "ordinary"? If one says "special" then they automatically venerate the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark was "special" because of the One it represented.

2.) Was the ground near the Burning Bush, "special" or "ordinary"? If one says "special" then one automatically venerate the ground near the Burning Bush. The ground was "special" because of the One it was near.

3.) Was the Holy of Holies "special" or "ordinary"? If one says "special" then they automatically venerate the Holy of Holies. The Holy of Holies is "special" because of the One it represents.

4.) Was the Temple "special" or "ordinary"? If one says "special" then they automatically venerate the Temple. The Temple is "special" because of the One it represents.

5.) Is the Bible "special" or "ordinary"? If one says "special" then they automatically venerate the Bible. The Bible is "special" because of the One it represents.

We can also look at the human family as an example. Is one's mother an ordinary woman or is she someone special? If she's special, it is because of her relationship to you. The same is true for any person of a family. Is one's wife an ordinary woman or is she special? If she's special, it is because of her relationship to you. Is one's child an ordinary kid? Or is your child special? If the little one is special, it is because of their relationship to you.

Also, Eastern Christian Icons, are not just art. They are a pictoral language. They record the Theology, expressions, and History of the Church itself.

"Can you give me a concise definition of what
constitute a "Holy tradition?"
[4] page 25

His goal is to put "Holy Tradition" into a box so that he can use logic to find any inconsistencies. Thus logic is his "real" foundation of truth. The Church is an Organism not a machine. Therefore "Holy Tradition" is an organic whole that Permeates the Church. It's multifaceted internal authority is primarily Holy Scripture, but scripture is not alone nor can it be separated from the Church and the other internal sources of Holy Tradition. For there is also liturgical custom, patristic consensus, conciliar declaration, credal statements, and Icons.

I believe Patrick Barnes in his discussion with Robin, as seen here, stated it well when he quoted the Metropolitan Kallistos Ware:

""Orthodox are always talking about Tradition. What do they mean by the word?... [T]o an Orthodox Christian, Tradition means something more concrete and specific than this. It means the books of the Bible; it means the Creed; it means the decrees of the Ecumenical Councils and the writings of the Fathers; it means the Canons, the Service Books, the Holy Icons — in fact, the whole system of doctrine, Church government, worship, and art which Orthodoxy has articulated over the ages. The Orthodox Christian of today sees himself as heir and guardian to a great inheritance received from the past, and he believes that it is his duty to transmit this inheritance unimpaired to the future.....

"Orthodox, while reverencing this inheritance from the past, are also well aware that not everything received from the past is of equal value. Among the various elements of Tradition, a unique pre-eminence belongs to the Bible, to the Creed, to the doctrinal definitions of the Ecumenical Councils: these things the Orthodox accept as something absolute and unchanging, something which cannot be cancelled or revised. The other parts of Tradition do not have quite the same authority.

Or go here: What do we mean by Tradition?

"Is the issue age, i.e. is something a
"tradition", if it can be traced back to the days of the apostles or the early
[5] page 25

He is trying to make a distinction between what some call "Apostolic Tradition" with "Episcopal tradition". This is a western concept formed by the fueds between Rome and various Protestant groups or between Episcopalians and other protestant groups.

The Eastern view of "tradition" is different from the Western view of both Rome and Protestantism.

Tradition permeates the Church itself. It is a living tradition. I think the protestant scholar Daniel B. Clendenin did a decent job. When he said: "sidenote: the christian east does not view Tertullian as a church father, so Clendenin made a mistake there"

"While the apostolic deposit finds unique articulation in the written tradition of canonical Scripture, it is not confined or limited to the biblical text, but finds fuller expression in extracanonical tradition. Written Scripture is primary but not exclusive; the tradition of the councils and the Fathers are indispensable for a number of reasons. First, both the church itself and the apostolic kerygma existed for nearly three centuries before the ecumenical councils and the establishment of the scriptural canon. In the Acts of the Apostles the precanonical "word of God" that the apostles preached about Jesus continues to grow and flourish, and even seems to be equated with the church itself (Acts 12:24; 19:20). We also know that Jesus did many things that were never written down (John 20:30-31;25), and that Paul urged the early Christians to accept (John 20:30-31;21:25), and that Paul urged the early Christians to accept both the written and unwritten apostolic paradosis that he passed on to them (2 Thess. 2:15; 1 Cor 11:2). The oral message preached to the Thessalonians was rightly received by them as "the word of God" (1 Thess. 2:13; cf. Col. 1:25 and 3:16). Oral tradition is thus a necessary complement or supplement to written Scripture, for the gospel kerygma is not exactly contiguous with the canon of Scripture.

Second, Orthodoxy would insist that nobody operates with a clean slate, a tabula rasa, and, accordingly, noncanonical traditions are a practical and hermeneutical inevitability. Although someone might claim to interpret the Scripture de novo in principle, in practice we all read the text not only with theological or denominational presuppositions, but also through the space time prisms of our individual cultures and experiences. Furthermore, even if a neutral reading were possible, it would hardly be desirable because it would likely lead to arbitrary and errant understandings of the text. Thus it becomes all the more important tolocate oneself within the apostolic oral tradition that serves as a hermeneutical context for written Scripture. Third, liturgical precedent also reveals the importance of noncanonical tradition. We saw in the last chapter that when defending the use of icons, both John of Damascus and Theodore the Studite based their cases squarely on the importance of extrabiblical liturgical tradition. According to Orthodoxy, there are many similar aspects of the life and liturgy of the church that, while not explicitly contained in or demanded by Scripture, are of undisputed significance to believers. Pertinent here is a celebrated passage from Basil's On the Holy Spirit. In defending the deity of the Holy Spirit, Basil appealed to the fact that widely used doxologies of the church confessed, "Glory to the Father and to the Son with the Spirit." While the preposition with was not found in Scripture, it had all the weight of liturgical precedent, which Basil was of enormous significance: "Concerning the teachings of the Church, we have received some from written sources, while others have been given to us secretly, through apostolic tradition. Both sources have equal force in true in true religion. No one would deny either source-no one, at any rate, who is even slightly familiar with the ordinances of the Church. If we attacked unwritten customs, claiming them to be of little importance, we would fatally mutilate the Gospel, no matter what our intentions-or rather, we would reduce the Gospel teachings to bare words." Basil goes on to list some of the uncontested ancient liturgical customs of the church: certain baptismal practices, and the renunciation of Satan and his angels. For Basil, not only are certain liturgical traditions of great importance, "they are indispensable for the preservation of right faith." Tertullian had made the same point, in a similar manner, more than a century earlier. Citing important liturgical practices such as the renunciation of the devil at baptism, threefold immersion, celebration of the Eucharist early in the morning and only by a bishop, prayers for the dead at the Eucharist, celebration of the Eucharist on the anniversary of the deaths of martyrs, abstinence from fasting and from praying in a kneeling position on Sundays, prevention of any part of the bread and wine from falling onto the ground, and other such practices, Tertullian remarks: :If you demand a biblical rule for these observances and others of the same sort, you will find none written. Tradition will be alleged to you as the authority and custom to support them and faith to practice them. You yourself will either see the reason which supports the tradition and the custom and the faith, or you will learn it from someone who will have seen it. Meanwhile you will believe it to be not lacking in authority to which to which obedience should be owed." In short, in Basil and Terullian we see a practical example in which the lex orandi defines the lex credendi. Unless we wish to denude and mutilate the apostolic tradition, according to Basil and Tertullian, we will accept the authority of the liturgical precedent, even though it is not contained in Scripture alone.

Fourth, the necessity of the extrabiblical tradition finds broad-based support in the theological methodologies of any number of early fathers, a fact which is of no small significance for Orthodoxy. Tertullian invoked the "rule of the faith" and Irenaeus the "canon of truth" against the heretics of their day. Athanasius, the champion of Nicene orthodoxy, had to defend the council against the Arian charge that its conclusions (specifically the term homoousios) were innoations. He was nevertheless thoroughly apostolic. In contending against the Arians, who wished to limit the argument to Scripture alone, Athanasius appealed to the larger "scope" (skopos) or "rule" (kanon) of faith, the tradition and teaching of the catholic church. The stalwart defender of orthodoxy, Ephiphanius, noted that some elements of the apostolic faith were "delivered to us through the Scriptures, the others through the Tradition delivered to us by the Holy Apostles." Chrysostom, commenting on 2 Thessalonians 2:15, pointed out that the apostles :did not deliver all things by epistle, but many things also unwritten, and in like manner both the one and the other worthy of credit. Therefore let us think the Tradition of the Church also worthy of credit. It is a tradition; seek no farther." Augustine confessed that "I should not have believed the Gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church had notmoved me." And so, according to Orthodoxy, when we appeal to the apostolic tradition outside of sola scriptura, we stand on the firm ground of the early patristic consensus and theological method. Of all the justification for invoking the extrabiblical apostolic tradition a hermeneutical necessity. Hilary of Poitiers noted that "Scripture is not in the reading but in the understanding," a sentiment repeated by Jerome, who rebuked certain heretics because, not having the help of the Holy Spirit, they turned the divine gospel into a human word: "We do not think that [the] Gospel consits of the words of Scripture but in its meaning........In this case Scripture is really usefull for the hearers when it is not spoken without Christ, nor is presented without the Fathers, and those who are preaching do not introduce it without the Holy Spirit." The problem of misunderstanding as a result of private interpreting and twisting of the Scripture exposes the inadequacy of reading the Bible alone and confirms the hermeneutical necessity of its larger patristic context. This is precisely the problem with heretics, as George Prestige so sptly observed: "Heretics showed that they could be as painstaking in their use of Scripture as the saints. The fact soon became obvious to any intelligent thinker that the principle of 'the Bible and the Bible only' provides no automatically secure basis for a religion that is to be genuinely Christian." Irenaeus and Vincent of Lerins made this point in special ways. Irenaeus employed two striking analogies. He compared heretics' treatment of Scripture to people who take a beautifully crafted mosaic of a king, rearrange the pieces to depict a dog or a fox, and then have the audacity to claim that their rearrangement is the authentic mosaic because it contains the original materials. Heretics are also like people who arbitrarily rearrange the poetry of Homer so that, while the verses themselves are original, the meaning has been grossly distorted. In other words, it is one thing to have at one's disposal the original material of Scripture, and quite another to us it properly. Only by adhereing to the apostolic tradition and the rule of truth will we avoid the hermeneutical distortions of heretics and not mistake foxes for kings or paltry paraphrases for the real Word.
When searching for a means to distinguish the true apostolic faith from heresy, Vincent of Lerins noted that while Scripture is "for all things complete and more than sufficient," even heretics appeal to Scripture. It seems, Vincent of Lerins noted that while Scripture is "for all things complete and more than sufficient," even heretics appeal to Scripture. It seems, Vincent observed, that "owing to the depth of Holy Scripture, all do not accept it with one and the same sense, but one understands its words in one way, another in another; so that it seems to be capable of as many interpretations as there are interpreters". To "detect the frauds and avoid the snares of heretics as they rise, and to continue sound and complete in the catholic faith," we need the authority of tradition, specifically, "that which has believed everywhere, always, by all." This ecumenicity of time and space serves as a hermeneutical prism so that, in the words of Hilary and Jerome, we do not merely read the text but understand it rightly. For Vincent, as Florovsky notes, "Tradition was, in fact, the authentic interpretation of Scripture. And in this sense it was co-extensive with Scripture. Tradition was actually 'Scripture rightly understood.' And Scripture for St. Vincent was the only, primary, and ultimate canon of Christian truth." pages 110-113 [6]

One can also see this with Saint Athanasius and the fued he had with the heretic Arius "Saint Athanasius and the "scope of Faith"". We can see this when Saint Polycarp's testimony converted many disciples of Marcion and Valentinus, "The genuine tradition of Apostolic doctrine", and we can see this in "The Regula Fidei" as noted by George Florovsky.

quote from page 26
"Is the issue authority,
i.e. was it believed by all "the Fathers" or all great theologians in the past?"

The authority is the Holy Spirit. The Church maybe the foundation of truth, but it is the Holy Spirit that guides her into that Truth.

I say this because in the Church you have every authority. You have the Holy Spirit, the Bible, Bishops, teachers, the Liturgy, the creeds, the Fathers, and Icons. When it comes to protestant scholars that write about Orthodoxy, I think Daniel B. Clendenin did another decent job by saying:

"For Westerners, this absence of formal criteria or authorities," Meyendorff admits, is "puzzling, . . .nebulous,. . .romantic,. . . unrealistic," apparently "subjectivistic," and even an "embarrassment" of sorts. Nevertheless, "the Orthodox East has never been obsessed with a search for objective, clear, and formally definable criteria of truth, such as either the papal authority or the Reformed notion of sola scriptura." Meyendorff takes pains to clarify this extremely important point: "This lack in Orthodox ecclesiology of a clearly defined, precise and permanent criterion of Truth besides God Himself, Christ, and the Holy Spirit, is certainly one of the major contrasts between Orthodoxy and all classical Western ecclesiologies. In the West the gradually developed theory of papal infallibilty was opposed, after the collapse of the conciliar movement, by the Protestant affirmation of sola scriptura. The entire Western ecclesiological problem since the sixteenth century turned around this opposition of two criteria, two references of doctrinal security, while in Orthodoxy no need for, or necessity of, such a security was ever felt for the simple reason that the living Truth is its own criterion." This, of course, is the exact point made by Khomiakov, that in Orthodoxy the criterion of truth is not external or dogmatic, a speaking to the church, but internal and pneumatic, a living Lord within the church.

Positively, we might say that the only ultimate theological criterion to which Orthodoxy appeals is the living presence of God himself, who safeguards the church and promises through his Spirit to lead us and guide us into all truth (John 14:25-26; 16:13). This was the pattern established by the original church in council at Jerusalem, which based its decisions on the charismatic criterion: "It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us" (Acts 15:28). Thus the Orthodox appeal to Irenaeus: "Where theChurch is, there is the Spirit of God; and where the Spirit of God is, there is the Church, and every kind of grace; but the Spirit is Truth."

Ironically, while many people accuse Orthodoxy of a dead, static repetition of ancient tradition and liturgical ritual, a historicism of sorts, it eschews such a notion of tradition in favor of the dynamic, living presence of God who continually vivifies the church. As Florovsky notes, "reference to tradition is not historical inquiry. Tradition is not limited to Church archaeology. . . Tradition is the witness of the Spirit . . . the constant abiding of the Spirit and not only the memory of words. tradition is a charismatic, not a historical, principle." Tradition is the life of the Spirit in the church, who alone is the ultimate criterion of truth. This, Thomas Hopko insists, is the unanimous position of the Orthodox church, both ancient and modern: "For each of the authors directly studied on this point, and there are about twenty to whom concrete reference could be made here, the Holy Spirit alone remains the ultimate criterion of truth for Christians even though other eternal institutions in the Church, such as [the tradition of the church, including Holy Scripture;] the Councils; and the Church itself are named as the 'highest' and 'supreme' authorities providing formal authorities in the Church. . . The Church itself taken as a whole cannot and must not remain 'external' to the believer, and indeed not the theologian!"
pages 104-108 [8]

quote from page 26
"Is the issue
catholicity, i.e. was it something confirmed in some creed or by some church

I wonder what he means by the word "catholicity"? Does he mean wholeness, or Universal? He probably means "Universal". Our word for "Universal" is "eucemenical", this is why we call certain councils "eucemenical councils". Also he seems to be one dimensional. He is trying to find "one" source that would define it. Quote # 8 already answered this question.

quote from page 26
"Is the issue creedal,
i.e. was it something confirmed in some creed or by some church council?"

The issue is the Church. One can look at the answer to quote # 7

Quote from page 26
"Is the issue status,
i.e. did a metropolitan patriarch teach it or did he write a creed or confession
that teaches it?"

The issue is the Church. One can look at the answer to question # 7

quote from page 26
"what do we do when one
patriarch condemns another Patriarch?"

I personally would pray and continue to follow my local Bishop. The Holy Spirit guiding the Church will eventually resolve the issue.

quote from page 26
"By what standard do we
judge which Patriarch is right?"

It is the Holy Spirit that guides the Church into all truth. Therefore, the standard is internal to the Church herself.

quote from page 26
"Is the issue
force, i.e. if a patriarch was murdered, does this mean those who murdered him
were right?

He is talking about the Patriarch Cyril Lucaris (1572-1638)

Orthodoxy was never going to become a Reformed Calvinist church. In this case one can bring up the issue of "doctrinal continuity". For more information about Patriarch Cyril Lucaris go here, here, here, here, here, and here.

quote from page 26
"By what objection
standard can we tell if a "tradition" is valid or invalid?"

There is no such thing as true Objectivity. Everyone has a degree of bias. So instead of looking for external standards. Look for internal ones. For it is the "Faith" that matters.....not us.

I would like to quote Tertullian in this regard.

"Some ask, "How did it come to pass that this woman or that man, who were the most faithful, the most prudent, and the most approved in the church, have gone over to the other side?.....however, what if a bishop, a deacon, a widow, a virgin, a teacher, or even a martyr has fallen from the rule? Will heresies on that account appear to posses the truth? Do we prove the faith by the persons, or the persons by the faith?" Tertullian 197 A.D.

What Tertullian said humbles me, not just because it's true. But because he was in need of his own advice some years down the road. But what he said is true. It is the Faith that judges us! We don't judge it. So like wise.....there is no such thing as an outside "objective" standard. Everyone is bias......therefor the standards dwell within the Church.....the standard comes from inside....not outside the Church.

quote from page 26
"By what standard is
someone called a Father?"

The Church guided by the Holy Spirit decides.

quote from page 26
"What if a supposed
"Father" was later condemned as a heretic for false teachings?"

He might have Origen in mind, but unlike Rome, we don't call Origen a church father.

quote from page 26
"Can someone be called a "father" and then later have that title removed"?

At this time, I can't recall anyone that was called a father only to have that removed, but then again, he may have in mind the Roman Catholic system of how they understand "who is a father".

quote from page 27
"What if a "father"
believed and taught erroneous doctrines and silly superstitions?"

This is subjective, for what maybe "erroneous doctrine and silly superstition" to one Protestant will be sound doctrine and mysterious to another protestant.

"quote from page 27
Are we to accept
everything a "Father" taught as true or do we pick and choose from his writings
what we want at this time?"

We don't have infallible Fathers.
He said he studied Orthodoxy for 5 years. He should know the difference between the "mind of the Church" vs "personal opinion".

quote from page 27
"If the supposed
writings of a "Father" are later found to be spurious, i.e. they were not
written by him or there are statements inserted into the text that he never
wrote, are the doctrines and rituals founded in those writings likewise

It all depends on what you mean by "later found to be spurious". Do you mean by liberal Higher critics? If so then you must include the Bible books you accept for they feel that alot of passages were spurious, so does this mean that the doctrines and writings of the books of the Bible(that you embrace) are spurious? One should read this post of a quote by Mr. Michuta in this regard. "Wise statements by "Gary Michuta""

Ultimately, what Morey said is subjective. The Church says Matthew wrote the book of Mathew, is the book of Mathew spurious? What about the book of Hebrews? This line of cynical thinking will only backfire on Mr. Morey. It is the Church guided by the Holy Spirit that decides what work to use, and this is done whether the author is known or not. We embrace the Didache, but we reject the Gospel of Thomas, we embrace the shepard of hermes, but we reject the Gospel of Barnabas. It takes the charisma of discernment, which is something the Church has.

"We should select and possess what is useful out of all cultures." Clement of Alexandria (195 A.D.)

quote from page 27
"To this day, these
questions go unanswered. I did not find a single Orthodox priest or scholar who
would take the time to answer these questions"

Maybe it's because they knew what Clement of Alexandria knew when he said:

"Their preconcieved ideas inclined them to disbelieve" Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

and Saint Justin Martyr

"Sound doctrine does not enter into a hard and disobedient heart" Justin Martyr 160 A.D.

A review of Robert Morey's book: part 2-b


[1],[2],[4],[5],[7],[9],[10],[11],[12],[13],[14],[15],[16],[17],[18],[19],[20],[21],[22] from the book "Is Eastern Orthodoxy Christian" by Robert A. Morey, Copyright 2007, published by christian scholars press

[3] pages 171-172, from the book "Introducing the Orthodox Church" by Anthony M. Coniaris, foreward by Stanley S. Harakas. Light and Life Publishing 1982

[6] 110-113, [8] pages 104-108, from the book "Eastern Orthodox Christianity: A western perspective" by Daniel B. Clendenin. Baker Academic 1994, 2003
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