Reading the Church Fathers discussion

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message 1: by Clark (last edited Sep 29, 2017 07:36AM) (new)

Clark Wilson | 556 comments Nemo said (in message #43 in another discussion, "Many people (who are in the Orthodox tradition or interested in it) have recommended Kallistos Ware. I'm curious, does he teach the Orthodox Way more clearly than the Fathers?"

If a person wants to consult only one source to learn about Eastern Orthodoxy, the best source would be the texts of the services and of the lyrics sung at various times during services. Consulting service texts would include attending services.

An Orthodox service is almost entirely sung, a cappella. There is a choir but theoretically all the people are to sing almost all the service. Many don't, but many do. There aren't hymns in the Western sense, but there are many, many hymns in the general sense. The service is not a single thread in which only one thing happens at a time. In many (most?) places there are no pews and only a few chairs for the infirm, and even where there are pews or many chairs, people stand for most of the service and may move around (for instance) to light candles or greet icons. Communion is closed (only Orthodox can receive). Children receive from infancy (as soon as they are baptized and chrismated). Usually on any day 10-30% of adults will exclude themselves from receiving Communion.

One edition of important service texts (translated from the Greek) is in two volumes: The Lenten Triodion and The Festal Menaion . A free online book of service texts translated from the Russian is Service Book of the Holy Orthodox-Catholic Apostolic Church , also known as "Hapgood" after the translator.

The combination of the service texts, "hymn" lyrics, and service-time behaviors of the people, choir, and clergy together are the most integrated complete "statement" of Orthodoxy.

Metropolitan KALLISTOS (Ware) wrote two books that are excellent openings into Orthodoxy. (His secular name is Timothy Ware.) The Orthodox Way lays out what it means to be an Orthodox believer. It is a catechism of sorts in that is does teach doctrines, but it is also a devotional, in that it is a model and introduction to Orthodox spiritual experience and practice. The Orthodox Church relates Orthodoxy's history, names and describes the various national churches, and states major doctrines.

FWIW these are the two books that were my own initial introduction to Orthodoxy. I was received into the Orthodox Church of America about 23 years ago.


message 2: by Nemo (last edited Sep 29, 2017 08:12AM) (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 1428 comments Clark wrote: "...The combination of the service texts, "hymn" lyrics, and service-time behaviors of the people, choir, and clergy together are the most integrated complete "statement" of Orthodoxy..."

Thank you for the detailed reply, Clark. I know next to nothing about the Orthodox Church, so most of this is new to me. Please forgive me if any of my questions or statements seem inappropriate to you.

You spoke of the importance of the service texts in the Orthodox Church in another thread. Is that a belief / opinion commonly held by Orthodox Christians? I'm assuming it is not part of any service text or catechism. How did you come to hold this belief?

You also said elsewhere that the Fathers are "front and center", so my original question was a sort of follow-up to that. Which Fathers are regularly referred to in the service and whose teachings are prominent in the modern Church according to your experience?


message 3: by Clark (last edited Sep 30, 2017 06:13AM) (new)

Clark Wilson | 556 comments

Subthread 1: Service Texts and their importance

Before we pursue this particular subthread further I want to be quite sure that you have an accurate idea of what an Orthodox service text looks like. I have extracted the Theophany (Epiphany) service (PDF pages 227-242) from Hapgood into a separate PDF I am making available to you (Nemo) by other means. (I can't upload it here, so far as I know.) Anyone else who wants the full book or the extract, please let me know.

Everyone please ignore the King James style English in that service book. My own parish doesn't use it. Others do. And therein lies another tale.

Anyhow, please let me know when you have spent perhaps 10-15 min. going over the service text. It's quite dense.


message 4: by Clark (new)

Clark Wilson | 556 comments Nemo said, "You also said elsewhere that the Fathers are "front and center", so my original question was a sort of follow-up to that. Which Fathers are regularly referred to in the service and whose teachings are prominent in the modern Church according to your experience?"

Subthread 2: The Fathers

Preparation before actually answering the question

People will have noticed :-) that I am sometimes mulishly literal about words. The original question was about "The Orthodox Way." The Fathers are not the Orthodox Way, though they are part of it. Orthodox theology is not the Orthodox Way, though it is part of it. The Orthodox Way is not primarily intellectual but something one lives and does. Plus, the Orthodox Way represents a distillation of Scripture and the Fathers and of prayers and of practices. So the best way to apprehend it is to look at the distillation; then one may explore what was distilled into it.

Also, I try very hard to avoid possible misunderstandings. I am sure this is sometimes tedious to others, for instance if I explain things that don't need to be explained. In this particular case I would like to steal a caution given on Twitter recently by an Orthodox priest. He said something like, "In Orthodoxy we refer to and quote from the Fathers a great deal, and this is a good thing. If, however, you find yourself quoting the Fathers more than you quote Scripture, something is very wrong." So, frequent reference to the Fathers may be a visible hallmark of Orthodoxy, but it by no means supersedes Scripture. In my parish, each Sunday we have three long OT readings, various Psalms, a reading from the Epistles or Acts, and a Gospel. Plus the service text itself sometimes looks as though it is Biblical quotations spliced together.


message 5: by Clark (last edited Sep 30, 2017 05:46AM) (new)

Clark Wilson | 556 comments Subthread 2: The Fathers

The two hierarchies

Sometimes it is said that in Orthodoxy there are two hierarchies. The first is the visible, official one of ordained clergy. The second is almost invisible and we can say it is that of spiritual eldership. Those in the second hierarchy may be ordained clergy or not, and they may be women. The last time I know of that the two hierarchies went head-to-head in major conflict the second hierarchy overcame the first. (St. Gregory Palamas et al. vs. Barlaam et al., 14th century)

In the same way we can oversimplify and say there are two sets of Church Fathers. First are the ones collected in ANF and PNF. These are in general discursive theologians, apologists, etc. Origen is an example. Second are ones mainly collected in the Philokalia. (Not to be confused with a work by Origen of the same name.) Evagrius Ponticus (Evagrius of Pontus) is an example. Some authors have works in both sets. (As I said, the division is an oversimplification.)

The saint of my own parish is of the second hierarchy: St. Makarios the Great, also called St. Makarios the Egyptian (not to be confused with St. Makarios of Alexandria).


message 6: by Susan (new)

Susan Clark wrote: "Subthread 2: The Fathers

The two hierarchies

Sometimes it is said that in Orthodoxy there are two hierarchies. The first is the visible, official one of ordained clergy. The second is almost invi..."


Interesting thank you. I for one do not really understand the whole Schism history, as well as the history of all the rites etc., can you in a very simplified (sorry) way explain what you mean when you say you are American Orthodox? I think a cousin married a Greek Orthodox and someone in my Bible Study is also something like that (is there a Ukrainian (sp)?)...anyway, I do not have much exposure to any of that, if you are willing to dumb it down a little for me. Thank you


message 7: by Nemo (last edited Sep 30, 2017 11:20AM) (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 1428 comments Clark wrote: "Anyhow, please let me know when you have spent perhaps 10-15 min. going over the service text. It's quite dense. .."

I've read the service text extract. It is almost like reading a play with stage directions, and the King James style English is beautiful. :) However, my question has very little to do with the content of the service text, much as I enjoyed reading it.

The Orthodox Way is not primarily intellectual but something one lives and does. Plus, the Orthodox Way represents a distillation of Scripture and the Fathers and of prayers and of practices.

If I understand you correctly, one can replace "The Orthodox Way" with "Christianity", and the statement will still make sense. My question #1 is how you came to hold this belief about the Orthodox Way, i.e. how did you come to believe that it is not primarily intellectual but something one lives and does?


message 8: by Nemo (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 1428 comments Clark wrote: "In Orthodoxy we refer to and quote from the Fathers a great deal, and this is a good thing. If, however, you find yourself quoting the Fathers more than you quote Scripture, something is very wrong "

Conversely, if you don't refer to and quote from the Fathers at all, something is also very wrong.

The evangelical / non-denominational churches I've attended seldom, if ever, quote from the Fathers. I only came to appreciate the Church Fathers through personal readings. I'm curious how the Orthodox Christians engage with the Fathers, hence question #2.


message 9: by Clark (last edited Oct 01, 2017 06:43AM) (new)

Clark Wilson | 556 comments Nemo said, "However, my question has very little to do with the content of the service text,"

First of all, I appreciate very much that you read the text. Obviously I deem the text important and special. It is gracious of you to humor me. (No, I'm not being ironic in the least.)

I really am going to answer (as best I can) the question about which Fathers are important in Orthodoxy. But my perception is that you haven't yet understood the way I look at the text. Certainly I have been indirect about it, not giving many clues. So now I will speak directly.

Anyone wishing to follow along, please ask me for the PDF containing these pages, or see pp 227-242 in Hapgood.

In our context here I see it as an integrated, extended teaching on the baptism of Our Lord by John, summarizing the theology of it and connecting it with the overall salvation history as it runs through the Old Testament and New, and meditating on its repercussions and meanings for us now.

The introduction connects the feast and this service to ancient Christianity. It also mentions that the second "Blessing of the Waters" is done "under the open sky, of rivers, lakes, pools, and wells." And, I might add, seas and oceans. So the service (at least in part) blesses waters. A priest I knew went off to serve in a mission parish in Hawaii. So during this service there, he would wade into the Pacific Ocean and bless it. This is, at the least, performance art. And it does make a theological statement about the relationship between Christ and the Creation around us.

Here are some details about the service as it is done in our times. These details are not in the service text. At one point a cross is thrice plunged into water and then raised from or pulled out of the water. In many places the priest throws the cross into the body of water being blessed, and young men compete with each other to swim to it, retrieve it, and return it. In Russia people carve cross-shaped holes in the ice and people (mostly men, not all young) wearing only bathing suits immerse themselves in the water. Here are some images. At the end of the service people take home some water that has been blessed in the service (holy water). This is all an intense and direct physical engagement with Creation.

The service text includes these ways of stating the theology and connecting it with salvation history:

1. There are at least 30 Scripture passages listed to be read before and during the service. These are selected to illumine and illustrate the event, its theology, and connection with salvation history. Nine of these are lengthy Old Testament passages chanted near the beginning of the service.

2. It is hard to tell from the text as presented, but there are brief refrains that are repeated, and repeated, and repeated by the choir and people. These embed basic theological points in people (and not just in their heads; the music is kinda bouncy). The one I remember most clearly is: "When in Jordan you were baptized, O Lord, the Trinity was made manifest."

3. There are poem-like things that dramatize the story and also state theology. In one, John the Forerunner speaks: "Moses, when he drew near to Thee, manifested the God-inspired awe wherewith he was seized. When he understood that it was thou speaking from the bush, he straightway turned aside his face. How then shall I gaze openly upon thee, and how shall I lay my hand upon thee? For thou are Christ, the Wisdom, and the Power of God." These poem-like things "ring the changes" of the related Scripture passages and themes.

4. During the blessing itself there are clear, extended theological statements, for instance: "For thou, by thy will, from nothingness hast brought all things into being; by thy majesty thou dost uphold all creation; and by thy providence thou does direct the world." Etc.

5. Many phrases and sentences throughout are direct quotations from Scripture.

6. The service text is quite uniform across all of Orthodoxy (though there are some differences in particular poems, etc.). For this reason I say that is not equivalent to mystery plays or other dramatizations or treatments, but represents and makes available to us the distilled teaching of Orthodox Christianity on the Feast, its theology, the connections of the Feast with all of Scripture and with all of salvation history, and what the Feast means to us now.

And since it is a service that is acted out by people now, it is not an abstract theological statement or a list of Bible cross references, but it is an incarnation.


message 10: by Nemo (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 1428 comments Clark wrote: " my perception is that you haven't yet understood the way I look at the text..."

I expect that it will take some time for me look at these things through your eyes, so to speak. That's why I need to ask for forgiveness and patience in advance. :)

What you see as "physical engagement with Creation" is what I understand by the word "ritual". When I read your description of priests throwing the cross in the water and young people swimming to retrieve it, I was immediately reminded of pagan religious rituals performed in ancient Greece and Rome, rituals which purportedly reenact historical/mythical events.

Generally speaking, Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christians seem to have a higher appreciation of rituals than Protestants. Personally I have a hard time relating ritual to incarnation, although in a sense it is incarnation, just as performance art is also incarnation.

How did the service text come into existence? I'm especially curious who did the "dramatizations".


message 11: by Nemo (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 1428 comments Nemo wrote: "How did the service text come into existence? "

Is that question indiscreet? If so, my apology. If not, I'm still looking forward to your answer.


message 12: by Clark (new)

Clark Wilson | 556 comments I moved away from this topic because I felt I was distracting the group from its overall mission by soaking up some of its scarce energy in non-Fathers stuff. I'll post something here soon.


message 13: by Susan (new)

Susan Clark wrote: "I moved away from this topic because I felt I was distracting the group from its overall mission by soaking up some of its scarce energy in non-Fathers stuff. I'll post something here soon."

I for one like all information!! Never feel like you are distracting me!


message 14: by Clark (new)

Clark Wilson | 556 comments Nemo said, "When I read your description of priests throwing the cross in the water and young people swimming to retrieve it, I was immediately reminded of pagan religious rituals performed in ancient Greece and Rome, rituals which purportedly reenact historical/mythical events."

In the meantime, can you think of another ancient people besides Greece and Rome who in rituals "purportedly reenact historical/mythical events" and who had prescribed "rituals" for worship?


message 15: by Nemo (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 1428 comments My comment about rituals wasn't meant as an attack. Just an observation. The Jews also prescribed rituals for their worship. The harder question would be which ancient people did not.


message 16: by Clark (new)

Clark Wilson | 556 comments Nemo said, 'How did the service text come into existence? I'm especially curious who did the "dramatizations".'

You are absolutely right that different components of the service text came into being in different ways over millennia. The basic structure of the main service, the Divine Liturgy (aka "the Eucharist") goes back very far.

I can prove [JOKE] that the original liturgy was Orthodox because Ignatius says that the "president of the brethren ... offers thanks at considerable length for our being counted worthy to receive these things at His hands." (emphasis added) Our normal Sunday service takes an hour and a half or so, not counting the service before the service. [/JOKE] What is true is that the service text we normally use (the Divine Liturgy of John Chrysostom) is a somewhat shortened version of the Divine Liturgy of Basil the Great, which in turn is a shortened version of what was done previously.

The service text does not say to go jump in the water, either Mediterranean or freezing. It says to immerse the cross in the water three times, saying prayers that are in the text. (In Baptism the person is immersed in the water three times.) My guess is that throwing the cross into the water is this immersion of the cross and hence would be done three times; believers immersing themselves in ice water would not be part of the service. In my parish the priest simply immerses the cross in the water three times.


message 17: by Susan (new)

Susan Clark wrote: "Nemo said, 'How did the service text come into existence? I'm especially curious who did the "dramatizations".'

You are absolutely right that different components of the service text came into bei..."


:)


message 18: by Nemo (last edited Oct 09, 2017 06:18AM) (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 1428 comments Clark wrote: "....Ignatius says that the "president of the brethren ... offers thanks at considerable length for our being counted worthy to receive these things at His hands..""

Justin Martyr wrote that in First Apology ch. 65
https://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf0...

(Following the principle of sola scriptura, I tend to always check the origin and context of quotes. :) )

It sounds like the service text has been shortened over time. Does it mean that the moderns have less time for worship, or that they have a shorter attention span?

I don't understand why the cross is immersed in water, if in Baptism the person is immersed. I suppose three times because of the Trinity?


message 19: by Clark (new)

Clark Wilson | 556 comments I don't understand why the cross is immersed in water, if in Baptism the person is immersed. I suppose three times because of the Trinity?

Well, my quick answer, for which I don't have an immediate reference in support, is that immersing the cross is an enactment or reenactment of the baptism of Jesus, and baptisms are done in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, with one immersion for each. [Yes, John the Forerunner would not have been a Trinitarian. :-) ]

The reason I say "enactment or reenactment" is because at least in some contexts the service is treated as being outside regular time such that the enactment is in some sense the original event. The original event is seen as being in a non-time place (we can call "eternity" for now) which evinces itself in time and space as both what we call the original event and the current enactment of it. Most definitely it is not a simple memorial or after-the-fact reenactment of an event that happened one time in the past.

One trivial example of "Orthodox time" or whatever one wants to call it is that in the usual icon showing the descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, Paul is shown as being present. The Orthodox Church and all its icon painters are well aware that Paul was not there in the simple historical sense. The icon is showing some sort of trans-time time or something. Some reality that exists outside of regular time.

"The Icon for the feast of Pentecost is also called the Descent of the Holy Spirit, as it is a depiction of the event described in the Book of Acts (Acts 2:1-4) when the Holy Spirit descended as tongues of fire upon the Apostles gathered together and enabled them to preach in different languages. However, the Feast of Pentecost is not only the commemoration of an historical event, but a celebration of a present reality: the presence of the Holy Spirit in the Church. Likewise, the Icon for Pentecost is much more than the depiction of a past event.

"The presence of the Apostle Paul in the icon, even though at that time he had not yet converted on the road to Damascus, hints that this icon is more than a purely historical picture. Sometimes, the evangelists Luke and Mark are also shown, despite also not having been present in the upper chamber at Pentecost. The gathering, then, is a representation of the Church."


message 20: by Clark (new)

Clark Wilson | 556 comments Nemo said, "(Following the principle of sola scriptura, I tend to always check the origin and context of quotes. :) )"

I don't see "verify your sources and look at context" as distinctive of sola scriptura. I have seen many sola scriptura analyses that don't obey the principle and of course the Fathers also could be quite anal about original text and context.

So, as they say, knock yourself out.


message 21: by Clark (last edited Oct 13, 2017 07:36AM) (new)

Clark Wilson | 556 comments Nemo said, "It sounds like the service text has been shortened over time. Does it mean that the moderns have less time for worship, or that they have a shorter attention span?"

It is definite that the service text was shortened some. How much, I don't know. The Divine Liturgy of John Chrysostom is, I dunno, 15% shorter than Saint Basil's Liturgy. We use Saint Basil's Liturgy during Great Lent. The differences are explicitly shown in Hapgood.

As for attention spans. I don't have an answer. I think there are cultural things going on -- for instance, it may well be that people were arriving and leaving during the service. (Historical factoid: At the Battle of Bunker Hill the count of American troops remained roughly constant all day, but there were steady streams of soldiers leaving and arriving from the surrounding countryside. They were militia. So they might do chores then go off to the battle, or leave the battle to go do chores.)

Again for attention spans: Puritan sermons and prayers were very long. "At the planting of the first church in Woburn, Massachusetts, the Rev. Mr. Symmes showed his godliness and endurance (and proved that of his parishioners also) by preaching between four and five hours. Sermons which occupied two or three hours were customary enough. ... The members of the early churches did not dislike these long preachings and prophesyings; they would have regarded a short sermon as irreligious, and lacking in reverence, and besides, would have felt that they had not received in it their full due, their full money's worth. They often fell asleep and were fiercely awakened by the tithingman, and often they could not have understood the verbose and grandiose language of the preacher. They were in an icy-cold atmosphere in winter, and in glaring, unshaded heat in summer, and upon most uncomfortable, narrow, uncushioned seats at all seasons; but in every record and journal which I have read, throughout which ministers and laymen recorded all the annoyances and opposition which the preachers encountered, I have never seen one entry of any complaint or ill-criticism of too long praying or preaching. Indeed, when Rev. Samuel Torrey, of Weymouth, Massachusetts, prayed two hours without stopping, upon a public Fast Day in 1696, it is recorded that his audience only wished that the prayer had been much longer." On the same page the author says that they often stood very long and hence didn't have even the uncomfortable seats.

How people experienced the services in various times and places is for me intensely interesting but I have only fragmentary info.


message 22: by Kerstin (last edited Oct 13, 2017 08:34AM) (new)

Kerstin | 317 comments Clark wrote: "You are absolutely right that different components of the service text came into being in different ways over millennia. The basic structure of the main service, the Divine Liturgy (aka "the Eucharist") goes back very far."

It does. Reading the Bernard Green* book I came across a source that is not part of our anthology, the Apostolic Tradition. It is a work attributed to Hyppolytus, though more likely was not written by him personally but came from the school of Hyppolytus, and dates from the early 3rd century. In the middle of the 2nd century Justin Martyr begins to explain Christianity to a non-Christian audience and with it some of central acts of worship and sacraments,
"and about sixty years later, Christians were putting their formulas for the different acts of worship and sacraments in writing. [...] [The Apostolic Tradition] contains the oldest version of the eucharistic prayer to have been recorded." [...]
The overall impression given by the final version of the Apostolic Tradition is of a church with a very highly developed series of ministries and and conditions of life - in addition to bishops, presbyters and deacons, there are subdeacons, confessors, widows, readers, and virgins. A period of preparation and training for baptism, the catechumenate, has been instituted. Cemeteries have been established for Christian use. The regulations about and the prayers recited at the sacraments reveal a complex theology of baptism and the eucharist. Above all, the text speaks about community, a community of prayer and worship and service in which are different ways of being a Christian but all in union with each other." *

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostol...
On the Apostolic Tradition
* Christianity in Ancient Rome: The First Three Centuries


message 23: by Nemo (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 1428 comments Clark wrote: "Nemo said, "(Following the principle of sola scriptura, I tend to always check the origin and context of quotes. :) )"

I don't see "verify your sources and look at context" as distinctive of sola scriptura ..."


It is not unique to sola scriptura, of course. I understand sola scriptura as an approach to inquiry, an approach to the truth in Christianity. It shares common characteristics with other approaches to inquiry, such as "shared inquiry", in that it pays close attention to the text itself, not peoples' opinions that may or may not be based on the text.


message 24: by Nemo (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 1428 comments Clark wrote: "I don't understand why the cross is immersed in water, if in Baptism the person is immersed. I suppose three times because of the Trinity?

Well, my quick answer, for which I don't have an immediat..."


Thank you for explaining "Orthodox time" and the Pentecost icon. It is a fascinating lesson in religious art.

I understand Paul's presence at Pentecost in the sense that it represents one spiritual event beyond time unfolded in two historical events in time. But the Cruifixion and Baptism are two distinct spiritual events, that is why I still don't understand the cross being immersed in water.


message 25: by Clark (new)

Clark Wilson | 556 comments Nemo said, "But the Cruifixion and Baptism are two distinct spiritual events, that is why I still don't understand the cross being immersed in water."

If we want to enact Jesus being baptized, I don't know what else would be suitable to immerse into the water in His place.

I'll try to make time to look at the Cross in the service book and elsewhere. But in the service book and in church it is not limited to the crucifixion.


message 26: by Clark (new)

Clark Wilson | 556 comments Nemo said, "It shares common characteristics with other approaches to inquiry, such as "shared inquiry", in that it pays close attention to the text itself, not peoples' opinions that may or may not be based on the text."

"Sola scriptura" defines what sources of authority are valid, namely rejecting anything that can't be established from Scripture. I don't think it describes the intellectual habits or practices of people who see themselves part of the sola scriptura world or even of scholars who see themselves in that world in contradistinction to people and scholars from other worlds that accept other sources as authoritative. Do Catholic scholars pay less attention to close reading of texts? I don't think so. They do however pay attention in addition to texts that are not Scripture, such as Papal documents.


message 27: by Nemo (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 1428 comments Clark wrote: "..."Sola scriptura" defines what sources of authority are valid...."

Quite so, and because it defines the sole source of authority, it brings to the forefront the importance of the text with such authority, and of the intellectual practices that aim at understanding said text.


message 28: by Nemo (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 1428 comments Clark wrote: "Nemo said, "But the Cruifixion and Baptism are two distinct spiritual events, that is why I still don't understand the cross being immersed in water."

If we want to enact Jesus being baptized, I d..."


Immersing the cross in water, which symbolically connects Baptism and Crucifixion, may have been based on this verse in the Scripture:

Romans 6:3-4 (NKJV)
Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

They may be considered one spiritual event in that sense.


message 29: by Clark (new)

Clark Wilson | 556 comments Nemo, thank you very much for your question about immersing the Cross on Theophany. I think it will be a very fruitful inquiry for me.


message 30: by Susan (new)

Susan Nemo wrote: "Clark wrote: "..."Sola scriptura" defines what sources of authority are valid...."

Quite so, and because it defines the sole source of authority, it brings to the forefront the importance of the t..."


You say, "it defines the sole source of authority"; I think you were saying Sola Scriptura was the 'it' there....
Where in the Bible does it say that it is the "sole source of authority"? This may be another example of what I was saying in the other (proper) Sola Scriptura thread... is that said specifically somewhere? And if not, why can Sola Scriptura people keep saying that? Would that be 'allowed' following Sola Scriptura?
2 Tim 3: 16-17 says all Scripture is inspired by God and is 'profitable' but profitable does not equal sufficient...nor sole....it actually implies that there are other means to me, that are not clearly dealt with here...that doesn't mean doesn't exist....
verse 3:10 "...now you have observed my teaching...." verse 3:14 "...continue in what you have learned, and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it... why would St. Paul say that if we are only to read the Bible?
verse 1: 13 "Follow the pattern of the sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus; guard the truth that has been entrusted to you by the Holy Spirit who dwells within us." Same....
verse 3:8 speaks of "counterfeit faith" (don't you think they might have backed themselves up with Scripture?)
verse 4:3-4 "For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but have itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away form the truth and wander into myths."


message 31: by Nemo (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 1428 comments Clark wrote: "Nemo, thank you very much for your question about immersing the Cross on Theophany. I think it will be a very fruitful inquiry for me."

You're welcome. Thank you for describing and explaining Theophany and Orthodox time. I have a little better understanding of the Orthodox tradition now.


message 32: by Nemo (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 1428 comments Susan wrote: "Nemo wrote: "Clark wrote: "..."Sola scriptura" defines what sources of authority are valid...."

Quite so, and because it defines the sole source of authority, it brings to the forefront the import..."


I answered in the sola scriptura thread. Let's focus on the Eastern Orthodox tradition here.


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