Blog Archive

Saint Moses the Black

Saint Moses the Black
Saint Moses the Black

Popular Posts


Saint John the Theologian

Saint John the Theologian
Saint John the Theologian


Total Pageviews

Powered By Blogger
Monday, November 30, 2009

Fr. John Whiteford

A few Apologetic Responses by Fr. John Whiteford can be found here:

The Link:


I dissagree with the sufficiency argument for you can find fathers and maybe nonfathers that tought a form of sufficiency. I know that modern Roman Catholic Apologists will split the sufficiency argument into two catagories.

I don't know if we should split the issue into real fine catagories or not. I know that there should be an easier and more efficient way to handle the issue......for whatever the fathers and nonfathers had to say about the subject, we know that they didn't see Scripture as being the "only" Authority (solo Scriptura....Anabaptist churches, church of christ churches, and landmark Baptist churches), nor did they see it as the "only" authority in regards to the rule of Worship and church government (the Reformed churches). Nor did they see it as being the "only" authority to bind ones individual conscience (Lutherianism as well as other forms of protestantism).

Instead, what we do see, are the Fathers and nonfathers looking to Church practice, the consensus of the fathers, gathering to form councils.....etc.

In short, they used anything and everything that the Church had in Her possession, and so, the issue of "sufficiency" should be looked at in that context.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Divine Mysteries: differences between east and west

I need to find out more about Dr. Paraskeve Tibbs, for she was very informative on the The Illumined Heart podcast by Kevin Allen.

Mystery and Sacramentality: East and West:
Play Audio

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Laurent Cleenewerck

Ok, I was reading another blog today, I think a calvinist one, I'm really not sure, but I assumed it was because of it's bias towards Reformed sources, and ideas.

But anyway, he quoted two paragraphs from a book called "His Broken Body: Understanding and Healing the Schism Between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches by Laurent Cleenewerck

As seen from his blog:
"Paul Owen is correct when he notes that the Western tradition tends to the conclusion that each Person is autotheos, but it should be clear that this has never been the official teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. This heresy of tri-theism was only proclaimed by John Calvin who denounced the eternal generation of the Son as “an absurd fiction”. (Page 327)


"For whatever reason, what we call the Western tradition has tended to theologize on the opposite extreme of Arianism. As we have mentioned, the early tendencies of the Roman Church were on the Modalistic side, and it is in Reformed / Protestant Western Christianity that we find such aberrations as ‘Oneness’ theology and the triple autotheos of John Calvin. (Page 341.)"

I recall saying something similar to Steve and them over at Triablog some years ago. But I never heard of Laurent Cleenewerck before, and now I'm interested in knowing more about him, and his works.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Every Zebra is a horse, but not every horse is a Zebra

MG, over at Energetic Procession tackles the issue of early church government:

The Roman Catholic Mark Bonocore looks at the issue as well:

Everyone may not agree with me, but when I looked at the issue, I saw:

1.) Every Bishop was an Elder, but not every elder was a Bishop (because the Apostles were also bishops)
Acts chapter 1:16-26
"Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.
For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.

Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.

And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.
For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.

Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,

Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.
And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,
That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.
And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles."

2.) The Apostles were Elders but not every Elder was an Apostle
1st Peter 5:1-4
"The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away."


2nd John 1:1
"The Elder, To the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all those who have known the truth,"

3.) A difference among elders is not only seen with the Apostles and the other elders, but also with Timothy, and Titus and the other elders as well.

Timothy 1:5:17-22
"Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer is worthy of his wages.” Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses. Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear. I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality. Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure."


Titus 1:5-6
"For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you— if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination."

I personally don't see a difference between Titus, and Timothy, and what would later be called "Monarchical bishops". ........for even the Apostles acted like Monarchical Bishops.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

David Bentley Hart

I never knew about the man until I read what someone had to say about him in passing on another blog (an Orthodox convert blog that seems to hate all things American Orthodox......they hate AFR, the OSB, Conciliar Press, they hate the way we sing, they seem to hate anything evangelical converts do. Yet, these same haters refuse to do the hard work and make their own OSB translation, their own podcast network, radio stations, tv channel, films, and publishing companies.......etc. So I tend to ignore them for, if you can't show me by example, then you really don't have anything of worth to say. To be honest, I think some of this evangelical convert hate by other converts is from the fact, that some of them probably hated us in their non-Orthodox years. If you were a liberal protestant that hated evangelicals, then you might still hate us now that you converted to big deal, it is what it is. I didn't listen to them in my protestant years, and I'm not going to now)

Well, I thought that maybe I should check out this person since I tend to like and love what so and so seems to hate and dislike.

Ok, so I googled him, and I found out that David B. Hart is my kind of person.........someone I would like and want to read more about.

Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies by David B. Hart

And so, if I ever read so and so's blog again, it will be to see who else he dislikes in American Orthodoxy, or what else he might dislike about American Orthodoxy, because I might find a new author or a new network to like and love.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Classical Reformation - Part 3: Specific Denominations

This is from the podcast Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy by Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick

As seen by the website:
"A look at Lutherans, Calvinists, Reformed, Zwinglians, Anglicans, Episcopalians, Methodists, and Wesleyans compared to Orthodoxy"

Play Audio

My critique:

1.) Not all United Methodists are liberal, in the south(Alabama & Tennessee) I met alot of conservative ones. I also have met some conservative United Methodists that believe in the real presence.

2.) In regards to Arminianism and prevenient grace, it maybe true that Weslyian Arminianism believes that prevenient grace is for everyone, it may not be true for Arminianius himself. He believed in prevenient grace, but I am unsure if he tought it in the same universal manner as Wesly.

3.) Alot of Calvinists will deny the arbitrary and no reason charge, instead, many of them will say "He does it for His own glory". Also some Calvinists will deny the rationalism charge as well.

4.) Some Anglicans will deny or downplay the role that King Henry the 8th's divorces had in the English Reformation.


2008 Western-Rite Clergy Conference

Fr. Michael Keiser Discusses Development of East and West Worship Rites:


Conspiracy Theories & Higher Physics

I once had a physics professor....many many years ago, who was into the idea of finding the relationship between gravity and magnetism. Well, it looks like he wasn't the only one.

Project Camelot interviews Joseph Farrell:

Jay Dyer Interviews Dr. Joseph P. Farrell – “Secrets of the Unified Field”:
Play Audio

Dr. Joseph Farrell : The Bell, Bormann and Bariloche - IUFOC 2009:

The Case for Antigravity:

What is possible now through artificial gravity in classical physics.

The Space Island Project:

MIT Physics Lecture: Classical Mechanics - 05 - Circular Motion:

It would be cool to have a monastery in a rotating spacestation.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Spirituality of Early Christianity


Holy Scripture Volume IV? What Webster and King Don't Tell You

The link: (St. Athanasius
on Scripture, Tradition, and Catholic Doctrine in reply to William Webster and David King)

and (St. Athanasius vs. William Webster: A Debate From Greg Krehbiel's EZBoard)


Related links:
Saint Athanasius and the "scope of Faith"
Monday, November 16, 2009

From Scrolls to Scrolling

The link:
From Scrolls to Scrolling: Scripture, Technology, and the Word of God a lecture by Michael W. Holmes

It's mainly an Itune's lecture about the evolution from the Scroll format to the Codex format, to the printing press.

He is also the editor of one of my favorite editions of the The Apostolic Fathers:
The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Christ The Eternal Tao

The Book, and the lecture series from AncientFaith Radio.

As seen from the website:
"Learn how Eastern Orthodox Christian spirituality provides seekers of our day clear guidance on acquiring stillness, overcoming the passions, dealing with thoughts, and cultivating the virtues, as well as precise teachings on spiritual *deception, all of which* guides seekers more safely and surely on the path to communion with God (Tao – Chinese). In the profound mystical and contemplative tradition of the Christian East, seekers are able to go well beyond the realizations in Eastern religions. A long – awaited answer for those who, having turned away from modern Western religiosity, are drawn to the freshness, directness and simplicity of Lao Tzu and eastern philosophies, and at the same time are strangely, inexplicably drawn back to the all-compelling reality of Jesus Christ.

The Speaker:

Hieromonk Damascene (Christensen) is an Eastern Orthodox priest, monk and spiritual child of ascetic and spiritual struggler Bl. Father Seraphim Rose, of St Herman of Alaska Monastery, Platina, California. Fr Damascene is the author of Fr Seraphim Rose: His Life And Works and Christ The Eternal Tao, as well as numerous articles on Eastern Orthodox faith, doctrine and spirituality."

Part 1:
Play Audio (I could be wrong, but I think my homie Turbo is the one introducing the speaker. It sounds like his voice)

To hear the rest, please visit the website.


Related Links:

Christ The Eternal kalimat
Friday, November 13, 2009

Orthodoxy 101 Course To Be Offered Online

On November 16th

The Link:

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Nicene Creed


The Fort Hood Massacre

David made a post about the shootings at his Fort.

As seen here:
"I want to thank everyone who called or e-mailed to make sure my family and I were okay (we all are, thank God). Thank you for keeping us in your thoughts and in your prayers. Please continue to do so as we mourn the deaths of the victims here. And don't forget that remembering the heroes is much more important than all the attention the "man" who did this is getting."

To read the rest please visit his blog.


Planned Parenthood Leader Resigns

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Prima Scriptura

This is Prima Scriptura: (I thought I already had this on my blog, but I couldn't find it when I was looking for it, and so, I'm doing it again.)


The Metropolitan Timothy(Kallistos) Ware:

""Orthodox are always talking about Tradition.
What do they mean by the word? A tradition is commonly understood to signify an
opinion, belief or custom handed down from ancestors to posterity. Christian
tradition in that case, is the faith and practice which Jesus Christ imparted to
the Apostles, and which since the Apostles' time has been handed down from
generation in the Church. But to 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,
spirituality and art which Orthodoxy has articulated over the ages. Orthodox
Christian of today see themselves as heirs and guardians to a rich inheritance
received from the past, and they believe that it is their duty to transmit this
inheritance unimpaired to the future.

Note that the Bible forms a part
of Tradition. Sometimes Tradition is defined as the oral teaching of Christ, not
recorded in writing by His immediate disciples. Not only non-Orthodox but many
Orthodox writers have adopted this way of speaking, treating Scripture and
tradition as two different things, two distinct sources of the Christian faith.
But in reality there is only one source, since Scripture exists within
Tradition. to separate and contrast the two is to impoverish the idea of both
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. The decrees of Jassy or Jerusalem do not stand on the same
level as the Nicene Creed, nor do the writings of an Athanasius, or a Symeon the
New Theologian, occupy the same position as the Gospel of St. John.
everything received from the past is of equal value, nor is everything received
from the past necessarily true. As one of the bishops remarked at the Council of
Carthage in 257: 'The Lord said, I am truth. He did not say, I am custom.' There
is a difference between 'Tradition' and traditions': many traditions which the
past has handed down are human and accidental- pious opinions (or worse), but
not a true part of the one Tradition, the fundamental Christian message. pages
196-197 [1]

"The Bible and the Church. The Christian Church
is a Scriptural Church: Orthodoxy believes this just as firmly, if not more
firmly, than Protestantism. The Bible is the supreme expression of God's
revelation to the human race, and Christians must always be 'people of the
Book'. But if Christians are People of the Book, the Bible is the Book of the
People; it must not be regarded as something set up over the Church, but as
something that lives and is understood within the Church (that is why one should
not separate Scripture and Tradition). It is from the Church that the Bible
ultimately derives its authority, for it was the Church which originally decided
which books form a part of Holy Scripture; and it is the Church alone which can
interpret Holy Scripture with Authority. There are many sayings in the Bible
which by themselves are far from clear, and individual readers, however sincere,
are in danger of error, and individual readers, however sincere, are in danger
of error if they trust their own personal interpretation. 'Do you understand
what you are reading? Philop asked the Ethiopian eunuch; and the eunuch replied,
'How can I, unless someone guides me?' (Acts viii, 30-I). Orthodox, when they
read the Scripture, accept the guidance of the Church. When received into the
Orthodox Church, a convert promises, 'I will accept and understand Holy
Scripture in accordance with the interpretation which was and is held by the
Holy Orthodox Catholic Church of the East, our Mother.'" pages 199-200

As well as

Clark Carlton:

"Furthermore, the Orthodox Church has never
accepted the Roman Catholic assertion that there are two sources of authority.
The Church recognizes one and only one source of Authority for Her faith and
practice: the apostolic tradition. The Divine Scriptures are part-albeit the
most important part-of the tradition. To set Scriptures up as something over and
apart from tradition is to have the tail wagging the dog." pages 135-136

Anthony M. Coniaris:

"Fr. Theodore Stylianopoulos, Professor of New
Testament at Holy Cross School of Theodore Stylianopoulos, Professor of New
Testament at Holy Cross School of Theology, asks us to look upon the Bible as a
record of truth and not truth itself. He writes, ''. . . there emerged in
Orthodox tradition the position that the Bible is the record of truth, not the
truth itself. . . According to the Church Fathers, the truth itself is God
alone." Such an approach to the Bible according to Fr. Stylianopoulos leaves
room for "other records of the experience of God, such as the writings of the
Church Fathers, the liturgical forms and texts, and the decisions of the
Ecumenical Councils. It rescues the Church from an exclusive focus on the Bible.
. .and thus guards Orthodox life from the error of idolatrous veneration of the
text of Scripture (bibliolatry)." In other words, God kept on talking even after
His book had gone to press. This is what Sacred Tradition is all about. Even
though the Orthodox Church distingushes between record and truth, and esteems
also other records of the life of the Holy Spirit in the Church, "the Bible
still remains the primary record in the theological tradition and worship of the
Church. . .The main source of patristic theology is Holy Scripture. . . No other
treasure in the tradition of the Church equals the accessibilty, value and
authority of the Bible. . .The Orthodox Church does not have a fundamentalist
but it does have a fundamental view of the sanctity and authority of the
Bible."" [4] page 155

"Since the Bible was written under the guidance of
the Holy Spirit, it is the Holy Spirit abiding in the Church who is the Proper
Interpreter of the Bible. The Church, in other words, is the custodian, the
caretaker, the interpreter of the Bible. It is the Holy Spirit abiding in the
Church Who has guided, and continues to guide, the Church through the centuries
to the proper interpretation of the Scriptures." [5] page 156


"Sacred Tradition plays an important role in the
interpretation of Scripture. By Sacred Tradition we mean, "the life of the Holy
Spirit in the Church" (Vladimir Lossky). The Holy Spirit has been abiding in the
Church since Pentecost guiding it to all truth, i.e., to the proper
interpretation of Scripture. The Orthodox Church does not ignore what the Spirit
has taught in the past regarding Scripture. On the contrary, it treasures this
revelation which comes to us through the Church Fathers and the Councils of the
Church. Thus Scripture and Tradition belong together. Both came from the same
source: the life of the Holy Spirit in the Church. Because of this, we believe
that the Bible needs Sacred Tradition as the living interpreter of God's word,
just as Sacred Tradition needs the Bible as its anchor and foundation. Those who
deny Sacred Tradition replace the entire 2000 period of the life and work of the
Holy Spirit in the Church with one person's interpretation of Scripture,
........(I skipped a few lines).......We read the Bible not as indivduals but as
members of God's Church. The whole Church reads it with us and we read it with
the whole Church.
Fr. Kallistos Ware writes, "....we do not read the Bible
as isolated individuals, interpreting it solely by the light of our private
understanding. . .We read it as members of the Church, in communion with all the
other members throughout the ages. The final criterion for our interpretation of
Scripture is the mind of the Church. And this means keeping constantly in view
how the meaning of Scripture is explained and applied in Holy Tradition: that is
to say, how the Bible is understood by the Fathers and the saints, and how it is
used in liturgical worship." [6] page 157

The Protestant evangelical scholar Daniel B. Clendenin:

The Primacy of Holy Scripture
"In general we can say
that for Orthodoxy the Spirit speaks to the church through the gospel tradition
(paradosis), this tradition being defined as a living and authentic continuity
with the apostolic past. "The Apostolic Tradition is the gospel, the word and
event of salvation, entrusted by Jesus to His disciples who received the
authority to proclaim it to the world." Paul transmitted this paradosis to the
Corinthians (1 Cor. 11:2, 23; 15:3), and referred to it on three occasions as an
entrusted deposit which the church must guard (1 Tim. 6:20; Tim. 1:12, 14).
Whatever authority or criteria of truth the church possesses resides in its
fidelity to this original apostolic paradosis. In a comprehensive sense the
apostolic tradition finds expression in any number of external forms, all of
which are means used by the indwelling Spirit. Timothy Ware, for example, lists
seven: Scripture, the seven ecumenical councils, later councils and their
dogmatic statements (Orthodoxy's so-called symbolic books), the Fathers,
liturgy, canon law, and icons. These external forms constitute an organic whole,
and it is only for discussion's sake that we treat them separately. For
convenience we can think of them as tradition that is both written (Scripture)
and unwritten (extracanonical sources) or, to use a common distinction, written
Scripture and oral tradition.

Not all the external forms of the Spirit's
witness are of the same nature or value. Tradition is uniquely expressed in our
present canon of written Scripture. Although Orthodoxy refuses to consider
Scripture apart from the broader context of other forms of tradition, and does
not limit authoritative tradition to the biblical canon, it nevertheless accords
a unique status to the Bible. Liturgically, this can be seen not merely in
Orthodoxy's intense veneration of holy Scripture (the elevating, incensing, and
kissing of the Bible, and its being given the primary place of honar in various
processions), but especially in the rich biblical content of the liturgy itself.
Doctrinally, and contrary to a common Protestant misunderstanding, Orthodoxy
does not endorse a "doctrine of homogenized and unstratified authority," but
instead "affirms unequivocally the primary position of Scripture." [7] pages


The Necessity of Holy Tradition
"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." [8] pages 110-113


[1]pages 196-197, [2]pages 199-200 from the book "The Orthodox Church: New Edition" by the Metro Timothy (Kallistos) Ware, Penguin books @ 1997

[3]pages 135-136 from the book "The Way" by Clark Carlton, Regina @ 1997

[4]page 155, [5]page 156, [6]page 157 from the book "Introducing the Orthodox Church: Its Faith and Life" by Anthony M. Coniaris @ 1982

[7]pages 108-109, [8]pages 110-113 from the book "Eastern Orthodox Christianity: A western Perspective" by Daniel B. Clendenin, BakerAcademic @ 2003

Sola Scriptura

This is a lecture by Fr. Andrew Damick from the podcast Orthodoxy & Heterodoxy.

As seen from the website:
"In the next section of the series, Fr. Andrew begins exploring the "Classical" or "Magisterial" Reformation which adopted the five "Solas." Today he looks at Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone)."

Play Audio

It's an updated series from the one he did earlier in the year in West Virginia. The cliche "going to the source" was a slogan of the Renaissance movement in which the later Erasmus & Protestant Reformation used to do to the Bible what was first done to Aristotle and the other classical works. And in this sense Protestantism can be seen as being the liberal/modernist/humanist group of it's day.

When you add that to the heavy influence Saint Jerome had on the latin speaking west due to his commentaries and notes in the vulgate, then it's easier to understand why Luther and the other Protestants wanted to drop the D.C.'s in favor of the nonbelieving post christian jewish canon.

Roman Catholicism as a whole, always favored at least "some" of the D.C.'s, even back when they were in communion with us. You can see this whenever they gathered for a council for Jerome's position never won the day. But eversince Saint Jerome, you always had individual christians throughout the centuries that wanted to follow his lead.

The Protestant Reformation allowed for such a thing to happen. Well, not really, for it took the Puritans to finally seal the deal in what Martin Luther started. They were the one who kicked the books out of Protestant Bibles through Bible societies.........Martin Luther just put them in an appendix and didn't see them as inspired. But non the less, the finger can be pointed at Saint Jerome for at least sparking the idea through his nonbelieving pharisiacal Rabbonical Hebrew teachers.

Last but not least, a good number of American Evangelical Protestantism would fall into what some might call "Solo Scriptura", which is pretty much the view of the Anabaptist or the Radical Protestant Reformation.

The Radical Reformers were Restorationist, and this tends to be the most popular view/interpretation of Sola Scriptura today.

Some modern advocates of "Solo Scriptura" would be:

1.) Churches of Christ / Stone and Cambell movement
2.) Landmark Baptists
3.) Prespyterians that are followers of Gordan Clark

Alot of other groups and individuals will advocate "solo scriptura" as well. Which is slightly different from the "Sola Scriptura"(the rule of faith) view of Classical Protestantism.

The Classical Christian view or Patristic view was Prima Scriptura.


Tony tackles T. A. McMahon & the Berean Call

As seen from his website A Catechumen's Tale:
"Is it bad to study the Church Fathers, and have a grasp on Patristics? Many modern Protestant scholars, such as James White and John MacArthur, have studied the Church Fathers to a large degree, while others are reading the works to at least become acquainted with them. Even on Protestant websites featuring works of religious literature one can find western and eastern Fathers of the Church included among the Reformers.

Many non-Orthodox and non-Catholics seem to believe the Fathers are of some use.Unfortunately, some think this is the wrong attitude to take. Indeed, they think it makes a person self-condemned!A friend recently pointed me towards
an article penned by T.A. McMahon, an associate of Dave Hunt at his ministry The Berean Call. Many might remember, from this post I made in response to Hunt, that it was McMahon who said Orthodoxy liturgy was known in some circles as "smells and bells." This article in particular is a direct attack against the study of patristics, questioning not any veneration of the Church Fathers, but the fruition of researching the Church Fathers at all."

To read the rest please visit his website.

Friday, November 6, 2009

ROCOR sermons

This is from the Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church in Mckinney (Dallas Area) Texas

The link:


The Bradshaw papers!

The Link:

As seen from the webpage:
""The Concept of the Divine Energies." A talk that summarizes some of the main ideas of my book, Aristotle East and West: Metaphysics and the Division of Christendom. Presented to Philosophy departments at Purdue University and the University of Pennsylvania, Fall 2006.

"Christianity East & West: Some Philosophical Differences." Summarizes the basic differences between the Augustinian, Thomistic, and Greek patristic traditions, viewing them in relation to their common sources in Plato. Presented at Asbury College, November 1999."

To see the rest please visit Dr. David Bradshaw's webpage.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Augustine, Manichaeism and the Good

I found out about this from the Examining Calvinism blog. It's a dissertation by Kam-Lun E. Lee

As seen from the dissertation website:
"This thesis will investigate, by means of the historical-critical method, Augustine of Hippo's understanding of the Manichaean idea of the Good, and how this understanding affects his own related notions of summum bonum and personal evil, and, as a corollary, his doctrine of predestination. The question of a possible Manichaean influence is particularly pertinent because Manichaeism is at heart a dualistic solution to the issue of good and evil. The focus is not on Manichaeism per se but on Augustine's perception of it, as more directly affecting his thinking.
Augustine's treatise De natura boni (399) in part summarizes his treatment of "the nature of the Good" in earlier polemics. From his first writing, De pulchro et apto (380), to that point, Augustine understands the Manichaean concept as equating the Good with the Beautiful, the latter taken to mean that which engenders tranquil pleasure. Conversely, evil is thought of as a disturbance of this state, whether spiritually or physically.

Carrying over from the Manichaean expectations he held in De pulchro et apto, Augustine perceives the summum bonum to be that which guarantees the soul's tranquil enjoyment. For the soul to attain tranquility, it must have modus, or the fullness of due order. God as the summum bonum can guarantee tranquility simply because, as summus modus, he exists fully, therefore cannot be lost as the soul's object of possession. In turn, God confers order on the contemplating soul.

Wickedness and mortality are deemed to be both spiritually and physically evil in Manichaean terms because they disturb a person's tranquil existence. In his non-metaphysical theory he designs to explain intrinsic personal evil developed in De uera religione (390), Augustine redefines these two notions as "sin" and "penalty," hence imposing on them a causal relation that makes the conception of a vicious circle mechanism possible. According to Augustine, in the human experience of evil habit (consuetudo), the mystery of one's bondage to sin, has to do with the vicious circle caused by the inherited penalty of the primal sin, resulting in bodily corruption, and by the effect of this corruption on the subsequent sinful defective turning of the will away from God toward preference for bodily pleasure. This defection is, in turn, reinforced by spiritual blindness, which is, again, the result of bodily corruption. In his debate with Fortunatus (392), Augustine was challenged to reread the Pauline writings. From this he discovered that his theory of consuetudo remained incomplete so long as no serious consideration was given to the role of concupiscentia as the intrinsic principle of rebellion against God's Law. Augustine's notion of concupiscentia is also linked directly to the Manichaean idea of evil as a disturbance of a person's inner tranquility. By the time he wrote De uera religione, Augustine had imported into that notion a strong sexual overtone by equating concupiscentia with the Manichaean term libido, which implies sexual desire.

Augustine's development of the idea of predestination reveals the Manichaean concept of the Good at work in three ways: on the framework of that development, in the implication of determinism, and on the context of the doctrine. To respond to the Manichaean view of the universe as a mixture of good and evil, Augustine suggests an alternative theory of cosmic ordering. Despite the presence of evil, he believes that the whole cosmos is in harmonious beauty so long as evil is assigned to its proper place. God is to preserve this order in both the physical and the spiritual (moral) creations, an order portrayable with a two-tiered frame. Initially (around 388), Augustine thought that an individual person, as a spiritual creature, should have self-determination by the exercise of the will. But gradually, due to his conviction that personal evil is inevitable (a view shared by the Manichees and demonstrated in his conceptions of consuetudo and concupiscentia), Augustine assigned determination of one's destiny to the jurisdiction of God."

To read the rest, please visit the link.


Orthodox & Scripture

This was done by David. I agree with most of it. I disagree that the Jews changed the Hebrew from virgin to young woman. I say this because the Deadsea Isaiah Scroll says "young woman", and so it is my view that the nonbelieving Jews simply chose to go with a different text varient, and so, the proto-masoretic did exist in the first century. And thus, we have different Hebrew Text types in the first century for where the LXX differs from the MT, the DSC's agree in alot of places, if not most places, with the LXX. Sometimes, the DSC's go it's own way, neither agreeing with the LXX nor MT, and sometimes it agrees with the MT against the LXX, but over all, outside of the books of Isaiah, and Daniel, the DSC's seem to mostly agree with the LXX. Also, I thought that Aramaic was a language before Hebrew became a language? I heard somewhere that Abraham spoke Aramaic, now I don't know how true that is, but that's what I heard. I am always open to be corrected in this matter. Last but not least, Oral Tradition allows for slight textual variation, for it doesn't matter when parts of the same Oral tradition was written.

But dispite all that, I enjoyed what David put together.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3

Part 4:


Perry tackles the Mormon issue

As seen from his blog:

"For some time, the Mormons have been availing themselves of
material in the Fathers of the Church regarding theosis in order to render their
own doctrines more plausible. There is no shortage of LDS blogs and websites
that exclaim with glee that the LDS doctrine of exaltation is within the bounds
of Christian teaching on the basis of the Orthodox

doctrine of theosis.
They routinely pelt Protestants as well as Catholics with patristic material
maintaining that not only is their view within the corral of Christian
orthodoxy, but that they alone possess the true teaching with respect to
deification. They then put such claims in the service of motivating their claims
of an apostasy after the apostolic age. Of course, such claims are, so far as I
have seen not only false and supported by fallacious reasoning, but in many
cases the use of Patristic material would make the cut and pasters over at the
Watchtower Bible and Tract Society blush. Here I leave an examination of these
specific claims by LDS apologists for another time.

To read the rest please visit the link.

It's a very long piece, but I found it both informative and thought provoking.


Pope makes it easier for TAC Anglicans

Pope makes it easier for Anglicans to convert. It looks like the race is on. A week after the Anglican and Orthodox where the Orthodox are trying to get Anglicans, the Vatican made a move to make it easier for Anglicans to become Roman Catholic.

And so the race is on........who will get the most Anglicans?

The link:

"VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Benedict on Tuesday took a major step to make it easier for disaffected Anglicans who feel their Church has become too liberal to convert to Roman Catholicism.

The move comes after years of discontent in some sectors of the 77-million-strong worldwide Anglican community over the ordination of women priests and homosexual bishops.

While both sides stressed the step would not affect dialogue between the two Churches, it was clear it was taken because of the growing number of Anglicans who want to leave their Church.

The Vatican said the Pope had approved a document known as an "Apostolic Constitution" to accept Anglicans who want to join Catholicism, either individually or in groups, while maintaining some of their own traditions.

It marks perhaps the clearest and boldest institutional step by the Vatican to welcome disaffected Anglicans into the fold since King Henry VIII broke with Rome and set himself up at the head of the new Church of England in 1534.

The new structure allows for the appointment of leaders, usually bishops who will come from the ranks of unmarried former Anglican priests, to oversee communities of former Anglicans who become Catholics and recognize the pope as their leader.

"In this way, the Apostolic Constitution seeks to balance on the one hand the concern to preserve the worthy Anglican liturgical and spiritual patrimony and, on the other hand, the concern that these groups and their clergy will be integrated into the Catholic Church," the Vatican said.


It said the decision was taken to respond "to the many requests that have been submitted to the Holy See from groups of Anglican clergy and faithful in different parts of the world who wish to enter into full visible communion."

The most prominent recent Anglican convert to Catholicism was former British prime minister Tony Blair, who joined after leaving office in 2007.

The new regulations, due to come into effect soon, will not affect the Catholic Church's ban on its own priests marrying. But they will continue the age-old practice of allowing a married Anglican priest who converts to remain married.

Anglicans will find it easier than before to join the Catholic Church because they will be able to use a standard benchmark of rules and obligations for conversion.

Men who want to become priests and come from an Anglican background will study together with Catholic seminarians even if they are destined to eventually administer to former Anglicans.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, spiritual leader of the worldwide Anglican communion, told a news conference in London that he did not see the Vatican move as "an act of aggression" or vote of no confidence, but part of a routine relationship between the two Churches.

Both Vatican and Anglican officials stressed that both churches would continue dialogue aimed at eventual reunion.

"This is not a comment on the life of the Anglican Communion. This is a response to people who came forward," said Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster and head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

Vatican and Anglican officials were coy when asked about the number of potential converts."

To read the rest, please goto the link.

This is what NPR had to say about it:


Orthodox Christians who are into rap, hiphop, poetry, spoken word, trip hop.........ect.

We were brainstorming for awhile, but we really don't know what to do just yet. The link below is the place where we were talking about it and what to do. We agreed that Saint Moses should be the Patron Saint. But we disagreed over how we should start. Should it be done through a pay webhosting site or through a free one? The bandwidth was our main concern, but since we are small, we could just start out on a free low bandwidth site, and then transfer to a bigger bandwidth pay webhosting as we grow. But there are alot of things we need besides webhosting, we need a priest or deacon/sub-deacon oversite as well. And so, it's gonna take some time.

The reason why we are doing this is because alot of us, just grew tired of the Protestant and Roman Catholic hiphop/rap sites we were on, and just wanted something of our own.



Orthodox Unity

It looks like the topic of this years OCL conference was about the topic of Orthodox unity.

As seen from

Play Audio (Panel 2 - Unity at Many Levels)

Play Audio (Panel 3 - An Accountable and Canonical Unified Orthodox Church of Tomorrow)

To play the other audio's please visit the website.

This is what the Pittsburgh Post Gazette had to say:

Hopes rising for unifying Orthodoxy's
U.S. churches

America's Orthodox Christians, divided for
decades among about 10 churches based on Greek or Serb or other ancestry, soon
may be moving toward the formation of a united American Orthodox church.

Many of them have dreamed of that for decades, especially as conversions
to Orthodoxy have skyrocketed. But most church patriarchs have squelched such

Now it appears that the patriarchs are not only supporting but
demanding some sort of unity. To explore what this may mean for believers in the
United States, the independent, pan-Orthodox group Orthodox Christian Laity will
gather for three days, starting Thursday, at Antiochian Village in Ligonier.

In 1994 that retreat center hosted the first and only gathering of all
Orthodox bishops in North America. Believing they had approval from church
patriarchs overseas, those bishops called for a united church in which the
faithful would not be treated as "scattered children" of ancestral homelands.

But the ecumenical patriarch in Constantinople -- the spiritual head of
global Orthodoxy -- denounced it as a rebellion against the ancient church and
replaced the Greek archbishop who had led it. The unity movement lay dormant for
15 years.

Then, in June, the 14 Old World patriarchs gathered in
Chambesy, Switzerland, and declared that all Orthodox bishops outside of
traditional Orthodox lands -- including North America -- will begin meeting to
address their own issues in their own lands.

This week's lay conference
will examine what it may take to achieve unity. There are significant questions
about how ethnic traditions will continue to be honored and whether laity will
have as much of a voice in a unified church as they have in some of the smaller

The patriarchs "are asking the Orthodox Christians in the
so-called lands beyond the ancient world to show that they can create a unified,
multicultural church in their land. That's a very dramatic development," said
George Matsoukas, executive director of Orthodox Christian Laity. The first
meeting of American bishops is set for May.

The keynote speaker at
Ligonier will be Metropolitan Jonah, leader of the Orthodox Church in America, a
self-governing offshoot of the Russian Orthodox Church. Although it is one of
the most Americanized bodies -- and he is a Chicago-born convert -- it
potentially has much to lose in the formation of a new American church.

Orthodoxy is the Eastern wing of an ancient church that split into the
Orthodox and Catholic churches in 1054 in a dispute over papal authority. Its
ecumenical patriarch in Constantinople -- modern-day Istanbul, Turkey -- has no
authority over the other patriarchs, but is "first among equals." He has direct
authority over the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North America, which is at
least 100 times the size of his flock in Turkey.

The Russian Orthodox
Church began sending missionaries across the Bering Sea to Alaska before the
American Revolution, and originally had jurisdiction over North America.

But after the Russian church was crippled by the 1917 communist
revolution, many Orthodox bodies worldwide created a jumble of overlapping
ethnic mission dioceses in North America. This violates church law, which
dictates one bishop per city; Pittsburgh has several.

The June meeting
in Switzerland was part of decades-long preparations for the first Great Council
of Orthodox bishops since 787, which is expected to untangle the American

Read more:

Related Posts with Thumbnails