Tuesday, July 30, 2013

What is a Person?

Written by Dr. Peter Gilbert

http://bekkos.wordpress.com/what-is-a-person/


quote:
"Latin-speaking theologians had considerable difficulty getting used to the terms “ousia” and “hypostasis,” since they were both translated into Latin by the one word “substantia,” substance. In Latin theology “substantia” was used to signify the one Godhead while the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost were called “personae,” persons. The use of personae for the three and substantia for the one first occurs in a treatise by Tertullian, Adversus Praxean (Against Praxeas), written sometime about the turn of the third century. There it seems to be applied on the basis of two analogies. The first is to persona as the legal status of one who own property (substantia): the property in this case is the divine monarchy or empire which, like the Roman Empire, remains one though administered by several persons: as the Roman emperor can delegate imperial authority to his son, while the empire remains their one undivided property, so God should be understood to confer the authority of Godhead upon His Son and Holy Spirit, while the Godhead itself remains one and indivisible (Adv. Prax., ch. 3). The second analogy made is to persona in the sense of the three grammatical persons which point out the relations between speaker, person addressed, and thing spoken of. Tertullian cites passages from the Old Testament and gives them in turn the interpretations of Father speaking of Son (as, My heart hath disgorged a good Word; Ps. 45:1), of Father speaking to the Son (as, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten Thee; Ps. 2:7), of the Son speaking of the Father (as, The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; Isa. 61:1), and to the Father, of Himself (as, O God, Thou hast taught me from my youth, and hitherto have I declared Thy wondrous works; Ps. 71:17), finally, of the Spirit speaking (through the prophets) of the Father and the Son (as, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool; Ps. 110:1). The divine persons are here shown to be distinguished and ordered on the basis or pattern of relations of grammatical persons. As Tertullian says, “he who speaks, and he of whom he speaks, and he to whom he speaks cannot possibly be one and the same” (non posse unum atque eundem videri qui loquitur et de quo loquitur et ad quem loquitur; Adv. Prax. ch. 11. Cf. Varro, de Lingua Latina, 8.20: “cum personarum natura triplex esset, qui loqueretur, ad quem, de quo.”)."




To read the rest please visit the link

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Eastern Christology: Hellenistic?

This is from the book "In the Shadow of the Temple: Jewish Influences on Early Christianity"
by Oskar Skarsaune

""Jewish scholars in antiquity, the Middle Ages and modern times have almost unanimously claimed that the idea that Jesus is the incarnate Word of God is un-Jewish, a product of Christianity's transplantation from a Jewish milieu to a Gentile-Hellenistic milieu. Liberal Christian scholars in modern times have said much the same thing, as for example, the great historian of dogma, Adolf von Harnack. His saying has become famous: "The Christological dogma.....is a product of the spirit of Hellenism on the soil of the Gospel."

Now, as Harnack was well aware, there is no way of holding the eastern creed to be basically Greek and un-Jewish, while at the same time holding John the Evangelist, or for that matter Paul, to be un-Greek and Jewish in their Christology. Therefore, according to many critical scholars, the process of "Hellenizing" Christianity must have begun very early, underway already in Paul, and seems to have reached a first climax in John 1:1-18 (the so-called Johannine Prologue).
In our time, the Jewish writer Pinchas Lapide has tried to understand this "Hellenization" in Christology as a conscious cultural adaptation. He says about Paul:

He brought the message of the Jewish Messiah to the pagan world with a commitment of complete faith.....He was successful in being a Greek for the Greeks and a Jew for the Jews. He possessed courage to display religious imagination. He knew that he would be rejected if he came either to Corinth or Rome and preached about an anointed Jewish Messiah who David's son. They would not understand what he was talking about. But for Greek and Roman ears, he would fare extremely well talking about an incarnate Son of God and a Logos, a divine Word who had descended in order to redeem the world. On the other hand, this made no sense to Galilean fishermen and shepherds. That was why Paul appeared in Jerusalem as a devout, faithful Jew proclaiming a Jewish Messiah, while for Greeks he spoke of a savior who was the Son of God.(7)


So this is the challenge we face in this chapter: Are Harnack, Lapide and a score of other experts correct in their evaluation of eastern Christology as utterly Hellenistic and un-Jewish?
Let us begin with an observation on the typical Hellenistic reaction to the dogma of the incarnate Son of God. Lapide would have us believe that this was something Gentile Hellenists would really appreciate, something they craved for, something they would embrace enthusiastically. But we have several authentic reports on the Gentile Hellenistic reaction, and it does not correspond to this picture at all. The available evidence shows, on the contrary, that most Hellenists reacted with disgust and contempt at the very idea of a divine incarnation, and with charges of blasphemy when they heard that the incarnate Son of God had suffered the uttermost shame of crucifixion. We will let one Gentile author speak for all. He is Celsus, a Platonist philosopher writing a polemic book against Christianity ca A.D. 175

God is good and beautiful and happy, and exists in the most beautiful state. If then he comes down to men, he must undergo change, a change from good to bad, from beautiful to shameful, from happiness to misfortune, and from what is best to what is most wicked. Who would choose a change like this? It is the nature only of a mortal being to undergo change and remolding, whereas it is the nature of an immortal being to remain the same without alteration. Accordingly, God could not be capable of undergoing this change..... Either God does change, as the Christians say, into a mortal body; and it has already been said that this is an impossibility. Or he does not change, but makes those who see him think that he does so, and leads them astray, and tells lies...Dear Jews and Christians, no God or child of God has either come down or would want to come down (from heaven)!


Tertullian once made a point of this difficulty, the offensiveness of the fact of the incarnation. It is as if he were striving to express the basic intuition that the offensiveness of the Christological dogma is precisely what makes it ring true. Nobody would have dreamt of inventing anything so offensive! Besides, Tertullian reminds us, Paul has warned us that in the gospel we meet the foolishness of God. But, he says to Marcion, if you eliminate the birth and the suffering of the divine Son from the gospel, there is no foolishness left.

Which is more unworthy of God, which is more likely to raise a blush of shame, that God should be borne, or that he should die? That he should bear the flesh, or the cross? be circumcised, or be crucified, be cradled or be coffined, be laidin a manger, or in a tomb?

The Son of God was crucified. I am not ashamed of it, because it seems shameful. And the Son of God dies, it is by all means to be believed, because it is absurd. And He was buried, and rose again; the fact is certain, precisely because it is impossible. (De carne Christi 5.1, 4) (9)

Thus, according to Tertullian, the very offensiveness of the Christological confession carries the conviction of its truth. This is not something we have made up.
So Celsus and Tertullian have made us aware of the true response to the concept of incarnation in the Hellenistic world. And that means that the Christian doctrine of the incarnation can hardly be the product of a milieu- the Hellenistic- that regarded this doctrine as a philosophical and theological monstrosity. Nor can it be the brilliant idea of someone trying to speak the way Hellenists liked." [1]




[1] pages 322-325 from the book In the Shadow of the Temple: Jewish Influences on Early Christianity by Oskar Skarsaune
Sunday, July 21, 2013

Thawing Out the "Frozen Chosen" of theCalvinistic Doctrine of Predestination


The link:
The Ecstatic Dance of Salvation: Thawing Out the "Frozen Chosen" of theCalvinistic Doctrine of Predestination

Thursday, July 18, 2013

An Orthodox Priest talks about the protestant view of Salvation by Faith Alone





Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What the pagans thought about some of our Christian practices


This is from the book The Cult of the Saints: Its Rise and Function in Latin Christianity by Peter Brown (this is from the Kindle edition)


""Nothing could be more misleading than to assume that, by the middle of the fourth century, some insensible tide of religious sentiment had washed away the barriers by which Mediterranean pagans had sought for so long to mark off the human dead from the living. Far from it: on this point, the rise of Christianity in the pagan world was met by deep religious anger. We can chart the rise to prominence of the Christian church most faithfully by listening to pagan reactions to the cult of martyrs. 
For the progress of this cult spelled out for the pagans a slow and horrid crumbling of ancient barriers which presaged the final spreading again over the earth of that “darkness spoken of in the old myths” in which all ancient landmarks would be blotted out.27 In attacking the cult of saints, Julian the Apostate mentions the cult as a novelty for which there was no warrant in the gospels; but the full weight of his religious abhorrence comes to bear on the relation between the living and the corpses of the dead that was implied in the Christian practice:

“You keep adding many  corpses newly dead to the corpse of long ago. You have filled the the whole world with tombs and sepulchres.”28


He turned against the cult practiced at the tombs of the saints all the repugnance expressed by the Old Testament prophets for those who haunted tombs and burial caves for sinister purposes of sorcery and divination.29 As an emperor, Julian could give voice to his own profound distaste by reiterating the traditional Roman legislation that kept the dead in their proper place. How could men tolerate such things as Christian processions with relics? …The carrying of the corpses of the dead through a great assembly of people, in the midst of dense crowds, staining the eyesight of all with ill-omened sights of the dead. What day so touched with death could be lucky? How, after being present at such ceremonies, could anyone approach the gods and their temples?30

In an account of the end of paganism in Egypt, by Eunapius of Sardis, we catch the full charnel horror of the rise of Christianity

: For they collected the bones and skulls of criminals who had been put to death for numerous crimes…made them out to be gods, and thought that they became better by defiling themselves at their graves. “Martyrs” the dead men were called, and ministers of a sort, and ambassadors with the gods to carry men’s prayers.31


In the course of the late fourth and fifth centuries, the growth of the cult of martyrs caused a visible shift in the balance of importance accorded to the areas of the living and the areas of the dead in most late-antique towns. Great architecture mushroomed in the cemeteries. To take only one example: at the beginning of the fifth century, the north African city of Tebessa came to be flanked by an enormous pilgrimage site, built in the cemetery area, presumably around the grave of Saint Crispina. The shrine was in the full-blooded, public style associated with the Theodosian renaissance. Its pilgrim’s way, 150 meters long, passed under great triumphal arches and along arcaded courtyards, echoing, among the tombs outside Tebessa, the porticoes and streets of a classical city.32 In the same years Paulinus of Nola could congratulate himself on having built around the grave of Saint Felix, in a peripheral cemetery area still called Cimitile, “the cemetery,” a complex so impressive that the traveler might take it for another town.33""

Brown, Peter (2009-02-15). The Cult of the Saints: Its Rise and Function in Latin Christianity (Haskell Lectures on History of Religions) (pp. 7-8). University of Chicago Press. Kindle Edition.



The Unity of God


From the book Being as Communion: Studies in Personhood and the Church by John D. Zizioulas


>
""As is known, the final formulation of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity speaks of  "one substance, three persons" (μία ουσία τρία άτομα). One would therefore have said that the unity of God, the "ontology" of God, consists in the substance of God. This would bring us back to the ancient Greek ontology: God first is God (His substance or nature, His being), and then exists as Trinity, that is, as persons. This interpretation in fact prevailed in Western theology and unfortunately entered into modern Orthodox dogmatics with the arrangement in the dogmatic handbooks of the headings "On the One God" followed by "On the Trinity." The significance of this interpretation lies in the assumption that the ontological "principle" of God is not found in the person but in the substance, that is, in the "being" itself of God. Indeed the idea took shape in Western theology that that which constitutes the unity of God is the one divine substance, the one divinity; this is, as it were, the ontological "principle" of God.

But this interpretation represents a misinterpretation of the Patristic theology of the Trinity. Among the Greek Fathers the unity of God, the one God, and the ontological "principle" or "cause" of the being and life of God does not consist in the one substance of God but in the hypostasis, that is, the person of the Father. The one God is not the one substance but the Father, who is the "cause" both of the generation of the Son and of the procession of the Spirit. Consequently, the ontological "principle" of God is traced back, once again, to the person. Thus when we say that God "is," we do not bind the personal freedom of God - the being of God is not an ontological "necessity" or a simple "reality" for God - but we ascribe the being of God to His personal freedom.

In a more analytical way this means that God, as Father and not as substance, perpetually confirms through "being" His free will to exist. And it is precisely His Trinitarian existence that constitutes this confirmation: the Father out of love - that is, freely - begets the Son and brings forth the Spirit. If God exists, He exists because the Father exists, that is, He who out of love freely begets the Son and brings forth the Spirit. Thus God as person - as the hypostasis of the Father - makes the one divine substance to be that which it is: the one God. This point is absolutely crucial. For it is precisely with this point that the new philosophical position of the Cappadocian Fathers, and of St. Basil in particular, is directly connected. That is to say, the substance never exists in a "naked" state, that is, without hypostasis, without "a mode of existence." And the one divine substance is consequently the being of God only because it has these three modes of existence, which it owes not to the substance but to one person, the Father. Outside the Trinity there is no God, that is, no divine substance, because the ontological "principle" of God is the Father. The personal existence of God (the Father) constitutes His substance, makes it hypostases. The being of God is identified with the person.

3. What therefore is important in Trinitarian theology is that God "exists" on account of a person, the Father, and not on account of a substance. Because it's significance is not simply theoretical or academic but profoundly existential, ..........................."" [1]



"The manner in which God exercises His ontological freedom, that precisely which makes Him ontologically free, is the way in which He transcends and abolishes the ontological necessity of the substance by being God as Father, that is, as He who "begets" the Son and "brings forth" the Spirit. This ecstatic character of God, the fact that His being is identical with an act of communion, ensures the transcendence of the ontological necessity which His substance would have demanded - if the substance were the primary ontological predicate of God - and replaces this necessity with the free self-affirmation of divine existence. For this communion is a product of freedom as a result not of the substance of God but of a person, the Father - observe why this doctrinal detail is so important - who is Trinity not because the divine nature is ecstatic but because the Father as a person freely wills this communion." [2]<>








[1] pages  40-42 from the book Being as Communion: Studies in Personhood and the Church by John D. Zizioulas

[2] page 44 from the book Being as Communion: Studies in Personhood and the Church by John D. Zizioulas


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

An early prayer to the Theotokos







http://theoblogoumena.blogspot.com/2007/08/john-rylands-papyrus-470.html


This papyrus fragment is a prayer to the Theotokos written about 250 A.D., per papyrologists who have examined the handwriting style. (Theotokos means "God-bearer," a term for Mary that was formally affirmed at the Third Ecumenical Council held at Ephesus in 431.) Some initially placed the papyrus in the fourth or fifth century (the John Rylands Library description below lists it as 3rd - 4th century), perhaps because they didn't think that Christians would have been praying to the Theotokos that early. If the early dating is correct, this prayer must have already been part of the Church's services or prayers, showing that petitions and prayers to the Theotokos and the Saints go back to the early days of the Church, perhaps to the second century.




1 ΥΠΟ ΤΗΝ CΗΝ2 ΕΥCΠΛΑΓΧΝΙΑΝ3 ΚΑΤΑΦΕΥΓΟΜΕΝ4 ΘΕΟΤΟΚΕ ΤΑC ΗΜΩΝ5 ΙΚΕCΙΑC ΜΗ ΠΑ6 ΡΙΔΗC ΕM ΠΕΡΙCΤΑCΕΙ7 ΑΛΛ' ΕΚ ΚΙΝΔΥΝΟΥ8 ΡΥCΑΙ ΗΜΑC9 ΜΟΝΗ ΑΓΝΗ, ΜΟΝ10 Η ΕΥΛΟΓΗΜΕΝΗ

1 Beneath your
2 compassion
3 we take refuge
4 Theotokos Our
5 petitions do not de-
6 spise in time of trouble
7 but from danger
8 rescue us
9 Only Holy On-
10 ly Blessed



http://catholic-concepts.com/2013/07/09/250-a-d-christian-prayer-to-mary/






A 'Person' according to the teaching of St. John of Damaskos


From the book The Person in the Orthodox Tradition by Metropolitan of Nafpaktos Hierotheos, and translated by Esther Williams


""A 'person' according to the teaching of St. John of Damaskos, is "one who by reason of his own operations and properties exhibits to us an appearance which is distinct and set off from those of the same nature as he", that is to say a person is one who appears as somebody in particular among the many of his kind. And St. John of Damaskos mentions two examples to make it clear. The archangel Gabriel who appeared to the Panagia and talked with her, while he was one of the angels and belonged to a particular species, was at the same time a particular individual "distinct from the angels consubstantial with them".
 That is to say, it is a matter of a particular individual who belonged to a choir of angels. Likewise we have the other example, that of the Apostles Paul. When the Apostle was speaking to the people, "while he was one among the number of men, by his characteristics and operations he was distinct from the rest of men". While he was a man, at the same time he was distinguished from the other men by the particular gifts and merits which he had.

It must be emphasized that, according to St. John of Damaskos, hypostasis, person and individual are the samething. At one point he says: "hypostasis or individuals", and in another place he says: "One should know that the holy Fathers used the terms 'hypostasis' and 'person' and 'individual' for the same thing".

From this brief analysis by St. John of Damaskos it appears that the essence is associated with the nature and the hypostasis is associated with the person. And yet it appears that essence or nature cannot subsist without the person or hypostasis. When we speak of hypostasis or person, we mean the essence or nature with its distinctive features. And of course, as we mentioned before, the teaching about the person was formulated by the holy Fathers with regard to the Trinitarian God in order to clarify the relations between the persons of the Holy Trinity, because of the appearance of various heretical doctrines, which falsified the teaching of the Revelation.""


 

Pages 74-75 from the book The Person in the Orthodox Tradition by Metropolitan of Nafpaktos Hierotheos, and translated by Esther Williams

Monday, July 15, 2013

Two traditions about the meaning of Hypostasis


From the book The Person in the Orthodox Tradition by Metropolitan of Nafpaktos Hierotheos, and translated by Esther Williams


""The term 'hypostasis' has two meanings. Sometimes it means simple existence. In this sense the hypostasis is connected with the essence, and this is why certain of the Fathers have said: "the natures, that is to say, hypostasis". At other times it means "the existence of an individual substance in itself", and it signifies the difference of one individual from the other.

It must be pointed out here that these two meanings are given by St. John of Damascus because in the early Church there were two traditions about the meaning of hypostasis. Alexandrian theology associated the essence with the hypostasis, while Cappadocian theology associated the hypostasis with the person. Thus we see that in the Creed as formulated by the First Ecumenical Council the word hypostasis was used in the sense of essence, while finally in the Second Ecumenical Council the teaching was given that the hypostasis is connected with the person and is distinct from the meaning of essence. We see this position also in the Cappadocian Fathers, but we must point out that it was accepted by Athanasius the Great as well. It is a fact that we have no change in theology, but only in terminology. Finally it prevailed that essence is to be associated with nature and hypostasis with person. In any case, essence cannot subsist by itself, since formless essence does not subsist, while in the hypostasis, or individuals, are found both the essence and the intrinsic differences.""


Pages 73-74 The Person in the Orthodox Tradition by Metropolitan of Nafpaktos Hierotheos, and translated by Esther Williams

Prosopon and Hypostases


From the book The Person in the Orthodox Tradition by Metropolitan of Nafpaktos Hierotheos, and translated by Esther Williams


""1. The theology of the person

It must be said from the very beginning that the holy Fathers used the term 'prosopon', (person), first and foremost in referring to God, and particularly the three Persons of the Holy Trinity. A whole process had to be gone through in order to arrive at the formulation that the Triune God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are particular Persons-Hypostases, but have a common essence or substance. The common substance does not remove the particularity of the Persons-Hypostases, and the Persons-Hypostases do not remove or break the oneness of the substance.

In ancient Greece the word 'prosopon', which now means 'person', had more the meaning of the mask which the actors used to play different roles on the stage. There is a whole history surrounding the development of the mask into person. Through a long process the word that was used to mean 'mask' finally came to mean not simply something that one puts on, but what makes one a real human being(1).

The holy Fathers did this work chiefly in the fourth century, in their effort to confront various heretics who, in using Greek philosophy, were distorting Christ's teaching about the Persons of the Holy Trinity. Thus we can say that real orthodox theology is experiential and ascetic, while dogmatic theology is mainly "polemic", which means that the Fathers applied various terms from philosophy, not in order to understand and increase or improve the orthodox faith, which is revelation, but in order to express it in the terms of their time and to protect it from various distortions.

In what follows I would like us to take a look at how the holy Fathers came to apply the term 'Prosopon' to the Trinitarian God.

Various philosophising theologians, in their attempt to clarify the relationship between the Father and the Son, ended in a variety of dangerous and heretical teachings. In opposition to the gnostic polyarchy there developed two 'monarchian' parties: the patropaschites and the adoptionists. The former teach that the Son is identical with the Father, while the latter deny the divinity of the Son or Word.
The heresy of the patropaschites was shaped and developed further by Sabellios, who maintained that the Christian God is one, but at times He took on a different prosopon, a different mask. So in the Old Testament he is presented as Father, and in the New Testament as Son and in the period of the Church as Holy Spirit. In reality Sabellios was identifying the substance with the hypostasis. This teaching overturns and distorts the revealed truth about the Trinitarian God. And if it had prevailed, it would have had dreadful consequences for theology, the Church and for man's salvation(2).

The holy Fathers confronted this heresy, which confused the hypostatic characteristics of the Persons of the Holy Trinity and in effect broke up the Trinitarianness of God. I should like to effect briefly to the teaching of st. Basil the Great on this subject so as to show the process by which the theology of the person was settled.
In his texts Basil the Great refers many times to the teaching of Sabellios. He writes that Sabellios regarded God as one, but transformation by different masks: ".....that the same God, though one in substance, is transformed on every occasion according to necessary circumstances, and is spoken of now as Father, and now as Son, and now as Holy Spirit"(3)

Thus the persons of the Trinitarian God are really without substance, they lack ontology. Commenting on this, Basil the Great observes: "For not even Sabellius rejected the non-subsistent representation of the Persons"(4).
Also in other texts of Basil the Great we can find this teaching of Sabellius which regards the persons as a mask which is not connected with the hypostasis(5).

Basil the Great, however, is not content simply to present the teaching of Sabellios, but he refutes it and at the same time expresses the revealed truth in the terms of his time. In what follows I should like us to look at the theological views of Basil the Great relating to the Person of God.

He writes that just as anyone who does not accept the common essence falls into polytheism, so also anyone who discards "the distinction of hypostases", is led to Judaism(6).
We as Christians believe in the Triune God, who has a common essence and distinct hypostases. But in order to reach this point and express himself as perfectly as possible, Basil the Great does two very important things.
First he separates the essence (ousia) from the hypostasis. Until then the essence was identified with the hypostasis, and this still appears also in the dogmatic formulation of the First Ecumenical Council. Basil the Great says that the essence or nature is what held is common in the Trinitarian God and that the hypostases are the particular ways of being of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

On this subject he says: "substance and person have the distinction that the general has with reference to the particular; for example, just as 'a living creature' has with reference to 'a particular man'.
For this reason we confess one essence for the Godhead, so as not to hand down variously
the definition of Its existence, but we confess a person that is particular, in order that our conception of Father and Son and Holy Spirit will be distinct and perfectly clear to us"(7).
Making this distinction was a great effort, and I might say that it was a great "revolution", which finally prevailed, thanks to the great influence of the personality of Basil the Great.

Secondly, Basil the Great identified the hypostasis with the person. Thus while until that time 'person' had meant something "unreal", the mask, from the time of Basil the Great, and thanks to his own efforts, the person has acquired ontology and substance. The person is identified with the hypostasis, and is not something abstract, it is not a mask. St. Basil the Great, Bishop of Caesarea, writes characteristically: "For it is not sufficient to enumerate the difference in the Persons, but it is necessary to confess that each Person subsists in a true hypostasis"(8).

Referring to the term 'homoousios', he says that it is the most suitable for expressing the relationship of the Son to the Father: "This term also sets aright the error of Sabellios; for it does away with the identity of person ('hypostasis') and introduces a perfect notion of the Persons of the Godhead"(9).
Thus the 'prosopon'- when identified with the hypostasis- which is the essence with the particular peculiarities- takes on great value, losing its impersonal and abstract character and acquiring ontology.

These two elucidations, that is to say the separating of the essence from the hypostasis and the identifying of hypostasis with person, were necessary in order to combat the heresies about the Trinitarian God. Anyone who identifies essence with hypostasis necessarily accepts the teaching of Sabellios. Basil the Great writes felicitously: "Those who say that substance and persons are the same are forced to confess different Persons only, and in hesitating to speak of three Persons, they find that they fail to avoid the evil of Sabellius, who even himself, although often confusing his notions, tried to distinquish the Persons by saying that the same Person changed its appearance according to the need arising on each occasion"(10).

Since the fourth century, then, person has been identified with hypostasis, and essence with nature. These terms are suitable for expressing the dogma of the Holy Trinity. Of course we must add that they do not help us to understand the mystery of the Holy Trinity. As the expression "mystery of the Holy Trinity" bears witness, we cannot understand this great mystery with our reason, but we can formulate it in these terms, even though they are completely inadequate, and therefore we often use apophatic expressions. Thus we can understand logically the dogma about the mystery of the Holy Trinity and not the mystery in itself, which transcends human reason and is a subject of revelational experience.""







Pages  68 - 73 from the book The Person in the Orthodox Tradition by Metropolitan of Nafpaktos Hierotheos, and translated by Esther Williams






.

Robert on Sola Scriptura


Contra Sola Scriptura (1 of 4): Book Review: The Shape of Sola Scriptura by Keith A. Mathison

 

Contra Sola Scriptura (2 of 4): If Not Sola Scriptura, Then What?  The Biblical Basis For Holy Tradition

 

Contra Sola Scriptura (3 of 4): Where Does Sola Scriptura Come From? The Humanist Origins of the Protestant Reformation

 

Contra Sola Scriptura (4 of 4): Protestantism’s Fatal Genetic Flaw: Sola Scriptura and Protestantism’s Hermeneutical Chaos

 

Response to Robin Phillips’ “Questions About Sola Scriptura”

 

A Response to Tim Enloe’s “An Interesting Defense of Sola Scriptura”

 

Martini's Defense of Icons



Is There Really a Patristic Critique of Icons? (Part 1 of 5)
 
Is There Really a Patristic Critique of Icons? (Part 2 of 5) 

Is There Really a Patristic Critique of Icons? (Part 3 of 5)

 Is There Really a Patristic Critique of Icons? (Part 4 of 5)

Is There Really a Patristic Critique of Icons? (Part 5 of 5)

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