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Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Pacifist Option

The Moral Argument Against War in Eastern Orthodox Theology.

A book I just bought and put up in the Bookstore.

I haven't read it yet, but it looks like a good read, plus it's right up my lane.

As seen from the Website:
"In this path-breaking study, Fr. Alexander Webster convincingly demonstrates that a distinctive pacifist trajectory, characterized by the moral virtues of non-violence, nonresistance, voluntary kenotic suffering, and universal forgiveness, has endured through two millennia of Eastern Orthodox history in unbroken continuity with the ancient Church."

I would also like to make it known that the same author helped produce another book called "the virtue of war". Which talks about the opposite perspective, and it's support in the history of the Church......both east and west.

An online review by a Mennonite.


Patristic Interpretation

Dr. Jeannie Continue's the discussion of Patristic interpretation in the podcast Search the Scriptures.

Lesson 17

Play Online


Lesson 16

Play Online


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

More podcast lessons

From the website Search the Scriptures, Dr. Jeannie Constantinou, continues her series on "the introduction to the Bible". She's doing a great job with these podcasts, and I hope that everyone is enjoying them as much as I am. Even if you don't agree with everything, just be patient for she does know what she's talking about. Maybe in time, you will be able to see it all come together. I know that I have been challenged and learned a great deal. I even changed a few things I use to believe, so be patient, and don't rush into criticism. That's the mistake I made and I was wrong for doing that.

Introduction to the Bible - Lesson 15 - Patristic Interpretation

Play online

Direct Link

Introduction to the Bible - Lesson 14: Translations and Versions

Play Online

Direct link

Introduction to the Bible - Lesson 13: The Canon part 5

Play online

Direct link

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Ferris is in a bit of a bind. If you are able to help, please do. He is one of the best Orthodox bloggers I know on the web.

As some of you know, last June I lost my teaching position
and my academic career was terminated. Needless to say this was due to my having
integrity. If I had been dishonest and gone about things in a non-biblical
manner by going to the person who stole from me privately, I wouldn’t be in this
mess today. If I had know that I was dealing with principalities and powers
rather than apparent ministers of righteousness, I would have gone about things
differently. But the past is over and done with. As things stand, my wife is
still working part time while I look for some kind of employment sufficient to
meet our financial needs, while we take turns watching our three girls. We live
fairly frugally and even more so since my termination.

To read the rest, go to his blog:

Take care and God bless


Calvinism, Monergy, and Synergy

This is one of the Calvinistic understandings of "monergy & Synergy" in regards to how they relate to there system of thought. I am only posting this on my blog because I meet different kinds of Calvinists who may get upset with me when I try to explain the mainstream Calvinistic view in this regard.

Now I can just cut and paste it whereever I go.

This is from the comment section of one of Triablog's posts.

The blog

GeneMBridges said:

Quoting Jnorm
"Do you believe
Sanctification is synergistic?

If so then how can you believe the means
is "unconditionaly" pre-ordained?

I a only asking because the
implications of such a view doesn't leave room for synergy.

I may be
wrong, but how can one resist something that's "unconditional"?"

affirm that sanctification is cooperative, not "synergistic" in, for example,
the Arminian sense.
To the extent that salvation has a conditional aspect,
God still ensures the satisfaction of those conditions in the lives of the
Conditionality does not entail uncertainty - and this presupposition
(that conditionality must entail uncertainty) seems to underwrite your
objections. Where is the supporting argument? We're going to get back to LFW, so
where's the exegetical argument for LFW?

"Monergism" refers to
regeneration. Regeneration is irresistible, that is, conversion inevitably and
infallibly results. Sanctification is cooperative, but the results are ensured
insofar that the elect will all persevere to the end
, and the elect will be
conformed to Christ's image, but they will not all persevere to end at the same
level of maturity.

3/03/2008 3:22 PM
Paul Manata said:

Quoting JNORM:
"So why do you deny [1] & [2]?"

I told
you why in my post.

I said: "The use of the term 'automatic response' is
loaded with robotic, fatalistic assumptions. Like we're action figures who
'automatically respond' when someone who presses the 'talk' button on our back.
My slap on the face of someone causes an automatic response in the nerve endings
of that person, in turn these cause a subjective experience of pain for that

JNORM responded: "Why would you deny this?"

that's not my position. I have a tendency to deny those premises I don't hold me weird.

JNORM said: "If the means is also unconditional then
how can you see it differently?

Because (i) the Bible affirms
determinism and moral responsibility and the reality of choices and (ii)
because, philosophically, I am a semi-compatibilist and we have loads and loads
of books on the subject which answer and explain these very purile and
sophomoric assumptions you have about us.

JNORM asked: "Also I would
like to ask you a question. Do you believe Sanctification is synergistic?

Gene explained it, though some Calvinists have used the term 'syngerism'
in explaining this view (Cf. Sproul, and there's others). I stand in that line.
I do not believe that we 'let go and let God,' (as I explained in my first post
to Ben, had you read that one). I believe we are active in our sanctification.
Not like our regeneration. I must make use of the means of grace, I must put to
death sin, etc. I don't just live like hell and expect to make it to heaven.
But, if I do not cooperate in my sanctification I do not lose my salvation or
justification or regeneration. I prove I was never saved in the first place.

This would be a fruit-to-root inference. I would show I was, per Heb. 6, part of
the soil that NEVER produced fruit.

Btw, let me add that you never
bothered to respond to my post above, or most of my arguments.

This will save me alot of time with pointless arguments. This will also make it easier in getting to the meat of the issue.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Ft. Gregory on group spiritual formation

As seen from his blog

"In the next several posts, I want to offer some theoretical
and practical thoughts about group spiritual formation. Maybe the best place to
begin is by asking what I mean by "group spiritual formation"?

Christian life then is communal and all of us have been called by God to help,
each in our own unique and personal way, foster this share life in Christ. In
light of this, group formation is simply a practical means of exercising this
shared responsibility given to each of us in our baptism.

Unlike say
group therapy or a support group, group spiritual formation is built on a shared
adherence to tradition. (In the current example, this means the Tradition of the
Orthodox Church, likewise for a Catholic or Protestant group. ) But while there
is a shared commitment to a tradition, the exploration of this tradition as such
is not the goal of a spiritual formation group. The goal rather is to allow that
tradition, as expressed by the insights of the group members, to serve as a
guide for how we live our daily lives.

One touchstone of group
formation then is the tradition of the Church as an objective standard."

To read the rest, please go to his blog: Koinonia

I find this topic interesting, for if I ever become a mission priest, I would love to implement "spiritual formation" in the mission. Infact, I think every parish could do this. It would really energies alot of parishiners, and take ones spiritual journy to that next level.

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