Thursday, July 16, 2009

"Setting the Record Straight" - A Public statement by Ken Guindon

[At the request of a dear friend, fellow sojourner, and brother in Christ, I am posting the following “public statement” in full, with no changes, or comments on the material presented.]


Setting the Record Straight
Public statement by Ken Guindon author of:
History Is Not Enough! Why Do Ancient Churches Attract Evangelicals?


Although Ken is not Roman Catholic but a member of the Orthodox Church, he is giving this article to a Catholic friend who maintains a well-known blog on the internet. By his public statement, Ken renounces the theological opinions he espoused in the book “History Is Not Enough!”. Ken has concluded that his published opinions really amounted to a denial of historical Christian beliefs that he was refusing to accept as factual. Now reconciled to the Orthodox Church, he wishes to make public that he categorically rejects all statements in the book “History Is Not Enough!” that are not in harmony with the teachings of the Holy Catholic Orthodox Church.

After he left the Orthodox Church which he loved, Ken never came to feel at home in evangelical churches nor did he enjoy a peace of mind and of heart in Protestantism. He remained uncomfortable with various opinions held by the groups where he sought fellowship. Rather than hide in a corner, he prefers to confess his faith knowing full well the personal attacks and scorn he is bound to experience. He does not compare himself with any of the apostles or martyrs, but wants to confess that he trusts the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour and that he believes his church descends directly from the apostolic faith.

The following paragraphs describe what he believes is wrong with Protestantism and they will explain why he decided to return to the Orthodox Church. This statement is offered in spite of Ken’s desire to avoid disappointing and hurting the many friends he made when he attended Evangelical Protestant churches. He respects their sincerity and love of God. Simply put, this declaration is required because of his book.

This series of questions and statements will enumerate the ideas which led Ken and his wife back to the Orthodox Church:

1) Was not 1400 years from the first century rather late to try to purify and to remold the Church according to new doctrinal views?

2) If the Reformers considered the Roman Catholic Church to be the true visible church during the preceding centuries, why would they provoke a schism? (Yes, we know they sought to restore true doctrine.) The results for Protestantism have been, first, a schism from the mother Church, second divisions within their own denomin­ations over the sacraments and other matters, third, a massive adoption of liberalism in Europe and America, and finally, endless splits (schisms), new sects and cults giving birth to endless discussions over how to maintain biblical truths and to just live as churches. Matters settled ages ago are continually brought up for renewed discussion in their national assemblies.

3) Other serious consequences: principal doctrines such as salvation, Scripture, Sacraments, ministry were modified. Such changes refute the pretention that the Reformation Churches were a continuation of the true Church (the Catholic Church, only reformed). If such major doctrines are changed, how could there be continuation or succession?

4) Is the ecclesiastical situation better today than during the 1500s? Protestant evangelists are often met with the following excuses: “every church says it is right” or “there are so many churches one might as well stay home and profess his own beliefs.” Does this not demonstrate the scriptural axiom: ‘a bad tree produces bad fruit’? All sects claim they “follow the Bible alone (Sola Scriptura).” It is sad to note that often within a single denomination, they can’t agree on their two “ordinances” (Sacraments): baptism and the Lord’s Supper. (For ex. the Federal Vision folks are rejected within the Reformed tradition in the USA.) One might also examine the history of various theological schools to see how the winds of liberalism influenced them.

5) Reformed Practice - In considering Reformed practice, I noted the following incongruity: Reformed theologians hold that Christ is the Baptizer in Baptism (also Roman Catholic teaching). Then a question arises: If Christ is the Baptizer, how is it possible for a child to be baptized and remain unregenerate and yet be considered a child of the covenant and a member of the local church? This idea derives from the Reformed teaching that the local congregation is a mixed assembly (like OT Israel) and not the visible body of Christ. They state that the Body of Christ is known only to God and that members of a particular local church may or may not be members of Christ’s Body; therefore, following the idea of the continuity of the Covenants, baptism, like circumcision, should be administered to all children of professing parents. I could not subscribe to the idea that a child was non-regenerate and a member of the Church. My beliefs concerning the differences between the Old Covenant people of God and the New Covenant people of God prevented me from becoming a member of a Reformed congregation. I hold to continuity and discontinuity at the same time; to me “new” means new, different, better (cf. Book of Jeremiah and the Epistle to the Hebrews).

6) Protestant Worship Services - Protestant worship services did not fill me with a sense of God’s Presence, of mystery and awe. I did not feel that I was really in His presence, in His Kingdom, in union with all the saints who have preceded us. A low view of the Eucharist struck me as a serious problem, i.e., it could be celebrated once a week or once a month, or worse, once a quarter or once a year. That depended on the denomination or the local parish or the pastor or just plain convenience. In the OPC, some have the Communion service once a week but others once a month. Some Reformed congregations celebrate with grape juice, others with wine and still others offer both on the same plate in little plastic sterile cups.

7) Evidence from the Early Church writers (2nd to 6th centuries) - The apostolic tradition, whether in the West and held by Justin Martyr, (the Latin writer Tertullian, who is not regarded as a saint or a Church Father), Irenaeus, or in the East, John Chrysostom and others, gives evidence of a high view of Baptism and the Eucharist. This means that they believed in baptismal regeneration and that the Flesh and Blood of Christ were consumed in the Holy Eucharist. There was no debate concerning these matters; it was accepted practice and teaching; only Evangelicals and Reformed Christians deny it.

8) Church Services - The Protestant rejection of the “Mysteries” has given rise to church services that are intellectual and/or entertaining. Protestant worship has lost all sense of continuity with the Church of the first millennium. Their sermons are intellectual, stressing the exegesis of Scripture and biblical languages, and they are packed with anecdotes to maintain the audience’s attention. Popular pastors are often charismatic masters of homiletics.

9) The Worship Space - The removal of the lamps and icons (and in some denominations, crosses and stained glass) has diminished a sense of reverence and worship, the sanctuary becomes a place for conversation and socializing. The worship space often resembles a classroom where the laity is expected to sit still and listen while the “anointed” one preaches and prays for all in attendance. The rejection of icons has caused a loss of familiarity with the lives of the Christian heroes of the faith (Hebrews Chapters 11 & 12). Such churches have become disincarnated, like the Gnostic movement which disparaged the flesh, but esteemed knowledge, i.e. gnosis.

10) What would they do without the Book?- In the end, Protestantism gave me the impression of being a religion of the book. (And I am in no way denigrating Holy Scripture which I read every day.) Protestant churches have great appeal for intellectuals and folks who are in love with knowledge for its’ own sake. Attending their services one notes the endless stress placed upon the “Bible”; as evidence of this, watch a Billy Graham Crusade or a similar event on television. After my previous experience with the lives of the saints, the many good and spiritual friends I knew either in the Catholic Church or in the Orthodox Church, I could not justify my remaining in Protestantism. Consequently, this statement has become necessary and serves to explain why my wife and I were happy to return to the Orthodox Church on June 13, 2009.

113 comments:

Ken Temple said...

Their sermons are intellectual, stressing the exegesis of Scripture and biblical languages, and they are packed with anecdotes to maintain the audience’s attention. Popular pastors are often charismatic masters of homiletics.

And John Chrysostom, the "golden mouth preacher", was not?

CrimsonCatholic said...

"And John Chrysostom, the 'golden mouth preacher', was not?"

Of course he was. The problem is that Protestant preachers are exclusively so. There is no Holy Mystery in Protestant worship, so it is not the simply having these things, but their exclusivity and detachment from the others, their excess, that makes them wrong. In that respect, it is like excessive love of anything mundane to the exclusion of the supernatural.

Incidentally, your read of Chrysostom indicates precisely the sort of defective historiography that has bedeviled Protestantism at least since Newman's time, the sort of which both Cardinal Newman and Mr. Guindon have rightly repented. If you take each idea in separate isolation (which is ironically what Newman in his pre-Catholic days, before he knew better, accused Catholics of doing), you come away with a historically inaccurate picture of what they believed. When Newman finally started considering the Fathers in terms of their dedication to a unified whole of belief, he realized that the unified whole could in no sense be reconciled to Protestantism. Hence, to be deep in history, i.e., to get behind merely the separate fragments of what they said and to perceive the underlying reasons behind them, is to cease to be a Protestant. Once you realize that patristic and conciliar theology doesn't even make sense apart from the supernatural grace of God received in the Holy Mysteries, the approach of which Mr. Guindon now has retracted is impossible to take seriously. It would be like pretending something you know exists isn't real.

Ken Temple said...

There is a difference between recognizing that something happened in history (the development of baptismal regeneration, eucharist to Transubstantiation; the "holy mysteries" in the worship ceremonies, icons, statues, ex opera operato, etc.)

vs.
whether those things are Biblical or not.

Ken Temple said...

Ken Guindon's journey:

1. Roman Catholic (born and raised)
2. Jehovah's Witnesses
3. Independent Baptist (Dispensational, Fundamentalist, Landmark type)
4. Roman Catholic (Eastern Rite, 8 years)
5. Eastern Orthodoxy
6. Evangelical Christianity
7. Now, back to Eastern Orthodoxy

Wow; what a roller coaster!

Anonymous said...

Dave,

Thanks for posting this here.

Ken Guindon,

I appreciate the email alerting me to the fact that this post was going to be here. I have benefited from our conversations over the last few months (even if folks in the channel where we had them won't be all that pleased with your recent news).

Ken Temple,

If you and I cannot agree on "...whether [certain] things are Biblical or not..." How do we resolve the issue? Getting out lexicons and parsing verbs in dead pagan languages doesn't seem to be quite enough. ;)

I don't think the Bible asserts the concept that the Scriptures are the sole infallible rule of faith for the Church... if you find an assertion of said concept in the Holy Writ... feel free to let me know... I have seen no good reasons (thus far) to accept your deductions of the teaching.

Blessings to all!
BC

Ken Temple said...

To be deep in history does not mean we have to accept everything that happened in church history as right or biblical. We confess those things happened. (the changes, developments, mysteries, Marian practices, dogmas, etc.); the issue is whether they were right or biblical.

We still have a very close affinity with the early church, because of the Trinity, the Trinitarian creeds, the first four councils, the process of the canon, Cyprian and the N. Africans and Asia Minor disputes with Stephen, some of Tertullian was very good; and Athanasius, his basing his arguments on Scripture alone; and much of Augustine and his doctrine of grace and election and predestination.

We don't "pick and choose" from the Bible; but we do "pick and choose" from the early fathers, because the Bible is infallible, but the fathers/writers were not. They got some things right and some things wrong.

Ken Temple said...

How do we resolve the issue?

The RCC tried to resolve it by force, torture, execution, and heresy trials and control and arrogant statements, etc. until we now have (at least in the USA and the west) a separation of church and state.

the early Protestants did also; which they inherited from the RCC Medieval Synthesis Culture; but we matured out of that; thank God.

It seems, realistically, that it cannot be solved in an Macro-unified way that you RCCs want so badly.

I Corinthians 11:19 "It is necessary that there be heresies (disagreements, disunity, factions) among you, so that those who are approved may become evident among you."

Romans 14:5 - ". . . let each man be fully convinced in his own mind."

Only the Holy Spirit can convince you or anyone else,(John 3:8; 16:13) after you study Scripture and sound exegesis and then, as regular people have time, read history and historical theology. But Scripture must always be the final authority, because only it is "God-breathed".

That is where what you are looking for, BC is inside of these statements, emphasizing the phrases, "all Scripture is God-breathed" and also, "that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped", etc. - those statements are the Biblical basis for "Sola Scriptura" (among lots of other verses that we have already talked about and gone over and repeated before many times.

CrimsonCatholic said...

To be deep in history does not mean we have to accept everything that happened in church history as right or biblical.

No, on the contrary, to be deep in history is to understand the principles by which what is right and Scriptural is determined.

We don't "pick and choose" from the Bible; but we do "pick and choose" from the early fathers, because the Bible is infallible, but the fathers/writers were not. They got some things right and some things wrong.

Hence, you "pick and choose" the Christian kerygma. You take Scripture as viewed in isolation from the life of the Church, and therefore, you "pick and choose" in a way that would have been entirely alien to the Fathers. Someone deep in the history of the Fathers would recognize your approach as fundamentally opposed to theirs, which is what Newman says. The Fathers would have opposed the very process of picking and choosing in the way you do, and given that opposition, your agreement or disagreement with them (or Scripture, for that matter) on particular propositions is irrelevant. Your reasons are wrong, so where you are correct, it is purely accidental. When correctness is purely accidental, as it is in your case because you have no good means of judging between right and wrong, error is incorrigible. You are quite literally hopeless until you learn to revere Scripture for the right reasons, and that is a gift only God has the power to give. May He bless you with it some day.

James Swan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
James Swan said...

Their sermons are intellectual, stressing the exegesis of Scripture and biblical languages, and they are packed with anecdotes to maintain the audience’s attention. Popular pastors are often charismatic masters of homiletics.

Ken raises a good point by pulling out this statement. While the subject is Orthodoxy and not Romanism, have you ever heard Catholic Answers? Ever hear one of their talks given at a parish? Also, that guy on EWTN who reminds me of Dracula is quite a speaker as well. I don't recall his name.

As to Orthodoxy, let us not forget they have their speakers as well, like Frankie Schaeffer.

I can only comment on my experience as a memeber of a United Reformed church: the emphasis is not jokes, stories, or anecdotes, but on the very word of God.

In fairness, I've never seen, or been to an Orthodox service, but I have seen a fair amount of romanist homilies and talks. They are typically awful, lacking not only exegesis, but filled with "try harder" and "be nice" type of stuff.

Ken Temple said...

Ken Guindon wrote:

"The rejection of icons has caused a loss of familiarity with the lives of the Christian heroes of the faith (Hebrews Chapters 11 & 12)."

It is much better to read a chapter on the life of a Christian hero, or listen to an hour lecture, like John Piper's on Athanasius, than looking at a icon. The icon tells us nothing at all, and gives the appearance of idolatry if we stand in front of it and pray to it and talk to it, etc.

It is true that Evangelicals need to write more material like this; and study and know church history with discernment, always with an open Bible.


http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Biographies/1532_Contending_for_Our_All/

Anonymous said...

Ken,

None of the Scriptures you cite teach the concept I reject as unbiblical...

Saying that Holy Writ only calls Scripture "theopneustos" as proof that the Bible asserts the concept I am denying as being unbiblical is circular...

Blessings,
BC

Anonymous said...

Mr. Swan,

I haven't before had the pleasure...

You write:
"They are typically awful, lacking not only exegesis, but filled with "try harder" and "be nice" type of stuff."

Interesting that you seem to equate a sermon that would consider less than "typically awful" with one that wasn't lacking in exegesis... I would go to a class to hear (and learn to do) exegesis... I don't think a homily in a parish setting is the right place... I don't go to Church for the sermon... never did.

My emphasis is also on the Word of God at Mass... both the written word and the incarnate Word... to bad I don't hear enough about Koine Greek and lexical definitions in the homilies I hear... I don't find that the sincere Reformed scholars (or lay people for that matter) are any better versed in NT studies than sincere Catholic scholar (or lay Catholics)... even with all of the lessons in exegesis they must be getting on Sundays...

It's sad that you think being nice and trying harder are bad things... interesting, but sad...

Blessings,
BC

Anonymous said...

Crimson,

"μαρτυρῶ γὰρ αὐτοῖς ὅτι ζῆλον θεοῦ ἔχουσιν, ἀλλ' οὐ κατ' ἐπίγνωσιν..."

:(

BC

Ken Temple said...

"μαρτυρῶ γὰρ αὐτοῖς ὅτι ζῆλον θεοῦ

(for) I testify, (about them) that zeal of God
ἔχουσιν, ἀλλ' οὐ κατ' ἐπίγνωσιν..."
they have, but not according to knowledge"

That was fun and a good challenge and brush up on NT Greek!

Ken Temple said...

BC,
As far as circular argument goes; I would rather have 2 Tim. 3:16-17 and that you think that is circular;

than

the circular and anachronistic 1870 dogma read back into the Bible and history so that no argument makes any difference, because your church has "locked" it down as "whatever we say goes", "since we are infallible and whatever we say is right, then our interpretation is right and since we are infallible, we never made a mistake in the past on dogma, etc.

Talk about circular!

Anonymous said...

Ken,

I believe the Catholic Church is everything She claims to be...

Where does the Bible assert the concept I am denying?? ;)

You are welcome for the NT Greek brush up... I was actually referring to you and James, but I appreciate your zeal nonetheless.

Have a great weekend!!

BC

David Waltz said...

Hi Ken (Temple),

You posted:

>>Ken Guindon's journey:

1. Roman Catholic (born and raised)
2. Jehovah's Witnesses
3. Independent Baptist (Dispensational, Fundamentalist, Landmark type)
4. Roman Catholic (Eastern Rite, 8 years)
5. Eastern Orthodoxy
6. Evangelical Christianity
7. Now, back to Eastern Orthodoxy

Wow; what a roller coaster!>>

Me: Indeed; but I submit that it was probably his “ride” with the Jehovah's Witnesses that led to the rest of his journey. It is very difficult to explain to someone who has never been a JW the affects that stay with you after leaving. As a former 4th generation JW who has been on similar “roller coaster”, I can attest to Ken’s struggles, and his sincerity.


Grace and peace,

David

Ken Temple said...

Ken Guindon wrote in critique of Protestant sermons:

"Their sermons are intellectual, stressing the exegesis of Scripture and biblical languages . . . "

However --

http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php?itemid=3388

I listened to it by archive audio only; before he put that part up on the video.

I will take Dr. James White's excellent exegesis and rigorous attention to the text of Romans 8:28-33, any day over "mystery" and icons and statues of Mary and incense and Latin liturgy and priests, etc.

He dealt with the Brother Peter, a Roman Catholic Sedevacantantist (sp ?), very well.

He needed no anecdotes, or charismatic speaking techniques to hold my attention; the truth of the text of Scripture did; along with reasonable and consistent thinking and argument.

David Waltz said...

Hi BC and Ken,

Could one of you guys take the time to walk this cyber-dummy through how one can get the Greek fonts to work in the combox??? Please, pretty please… :):)


Thanks much in advance,

David

CrimsonCatholic said...

I will take Dr. James White's excellent exegesis and rigorous attention to the text of Romans 8:28-33, any day over "mystery" and icons and statues of Mary and incense and Latin liturgy and priests, etc.

When I tried to explain to White how Second Nicaea and the the theology of icons followed from orthodox Christology, he hung up on me. Does that sound like a man who is seriously willing to engage the concept of patristic theology? Why would you trust "excellent exegesis" from a man who can't even comprehend the salvific implications of Christ assuming human nature? For that matter, what does your preference matter, when you yourself are a self-appointed preacher who does not even know that by assuming humanity Christ made men icons of Him? There is certainly a vicious irony in a man like Piper commending Athanasius for his Biblical skills while hypocritically rejecting his theological beliefs as well, but such deformation of the soul is an ugly thing to watch.

I feel sorry for you and White and Piper. The prospect of dying without ever having *really* known who Christ is, is not one that I would relish. Having been there, I know how barren it is. Again, may God have mercy on you.

Ken Temple said...

David,
That's a good question; I honestly don't know. I only copied BCs. ( I have not tried typing it in yet. )

But if you have Bible Works or another Greek or Hebrew software, once you start working with typing it from those programs, your computer should read it.

Then you can copy and paste from your own word-processing software.

I have Microsoft Office 2003 and beyond and work with complex scripts (Farsi) and an another Iranian helped me download (or upload all that) from Microsoft. Once I went to Farsi and work in it a lot, my computer gives it to me when I choose it. I forget how to get the "on-screen keyboard"; sometimes I have to ask my 20 year old son how to get it back.

in word processing software, it is under Tools, options, complex scripts.

Testing, using “Symbol” in Microsoft office 2003



I can see it did not work.

I only copied BC's; so I can do it on my software, but not in the combox.

Ken Temple said...

When I tried to explain to White how Second Nicaea and the the theology of icons followed from orthodox Christology, he hung up on me.


I heard that exchange; he gave you about 15 minutes of time; and he hung up on you because you were laughing at him trying to explain 2 Peter 1:4, "partakers of the divine nature". He wanted a little more respect towards the Scripture passage and you were laughing at it. His patience ran out after 15 minutes of you trying to connect icons with that passage.

Those councils, after Chalcedon (451) etc. are times in history when the historical church crossed the line.

Dr. White and John's Piper's exegesis of 2 Peter 1:4 is better than yours. We are partakers of the divine nature, by the Holy Spirit (which even Athanasius wrote) (Piper gives the reference in the link I gave earlier; I will have to get later if you want); it says nothing about icons and does not take Christ's unique incarnation and give implications for us in usage with icons, etc.


Does that sound like a man who is seriously willing to engage the concept of patristic theology?

He gave you lots of time; but you laughed at the biblical text; and to him ( I am guessing), you gave more honor to Nicea 2 and church history beyond Chalcedon and icons, etc. than the Biblical text. Evangelicals want to see more respect for the text and the original apostolic deposit than something developed and innovated 600-800 years later.

Why would you trust "excellent exegesis" from a man who can't even comprehend the salvific implications of Christ assuming human nature?

1. He was sticking to the issue and text of Romans 8 with "Brother Peter". You have added a different issue in.
2. His exegesis of 2 Peter 1:4, and Piper's and Athanasius' (in Piper's article and lecture) is better than your running with it and making incarnation implications for icons and statues and prayers to the saints.


For that matter, what does your preference matter, when you yourself are a self-appointed preacher who does not even know that by assuming humanity Christ made men icons of Him?

First of all, I am not "self-appointed". We believe in church authority and no one has the right to appoint themselves. (Acts 13:1-4 - the apostles were sent out by the Holy Spirit working through the church leadership.) I had to go through the rigorous process under submission and accountability and testing of qualifications (I Timothy 3; Titus 1; I Peter 5:1-5)to a local church and that process included 3 years of seminary. Just because we don't accept the RCC as the infallible church or the one that Jesus originally started, does not mean we don't have local churches with teachers/elders/pastors and authority structures.

2. We are partakers of the divine nature only in the communicable attributes of God in being conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29; 2 Cor. 3:16-18; Philippians 3:20); but we are still the creatures, and He is the creator. We are not "little gods"; as the word of faith teachers say, and the Mormons and the complicated "incarnational theology" of praying to icons and statues seems to communicate.


There is certainly a vicious irony in a man like Piper commending Athanasius for his Biblical skills while hypocritically rejecting his theological beliefs as well, but such deformation of the soul is an ugly thing to watch.

No, Piper actually explains what Athanasius meant by "being made like God" in a very satisfying, biblical way, and using statements from Athanasius himself. Listen and read the whole thing please.

Ken Temple said...

I want to learn how to get the Greek fonts to work in the comboxes also.

I was just copying BC's entry. I think it has something to do with "unicode"

Ken Temple said...

Jonathan,
Also, it took you a long time to finally answer Dr. White's question, "Was the incarnation of Christ a completely unique event in history?"

If the Dividing Line is still available in archive; I will try to go back and listen to that; if I can find it.

When was that? Do you remember the date?

Ken Temple said...

It's sad that you think being nice and trying harder are bad things... interesting, but sad...

He didn't say that they were bad in themselves; but they are bad compared to the gospel, which means you are dead in your trespasses and sins and you cannot "try harder" or "be nice" unless you are born again by the Spirit of God and made alive by God's grace. So, he was saying the gospel was missing; and God's hatred of sin; and man's inability to reach God's standard of holiness. "all our righteous deeds are filthy rags" ( Isaiah 64:6) Romans 3:9-26

We are undone and condemned in the presence of a holy God who has just wrath against our sin. Ephesians 2:1-3

We must see our guilt and sin, as Peter did when he said to Jesus,"depart from me, a sinful man" (Luke 5:8) and the tax-collector who beat his chest and said, "God have mercy on me (literally: "Propitiate me"), the sinner!" Luke 18:13

The first step of the gospel is the Holiness of God; then the sinfulness of man and hopelessness of our state; the bad news.

The false ideas of baptismal regeneration and assuming people are "good" and can "try harder" and "be nice" is the problem.

James was right to bring that out; that comparing it with the truth of the gospel, the typical RCC sermons are lacking in biblical exegesis and gospel content.

Rhology said...

David W,

Could I inquire as to the motivations of posting this testimony? Is it b/c you wanted to tweak Protestants' noses?
I ask b/c I don't see why it's all that helpful to the Roman side of things. EOC is not RCC, not by a long shot. Are you just happy to see someone with a fairly big profile convert to something that's *closer* to RCC, even if it's not RCC itself?
Would you be similarly happy if some guy who'd built a ministry around ministering to RCs but was independent charismatic, later left his charismatic church and joined a Lutheran church, that at least kept some of the Roman vestments and believes in baptismal regen and consubstantiation of the Eucharist? That would be *closer* to Rome, no?

I also ask b/c EOx like to say that RCC and Protestants are diff sides of the same coin, whereas it really seems to me, rather, that RCC and EOC are. ISTM that this post bears that out. I could be mistaken, but I've never seen a Protestant make any big deal over an EOx converting to RCC, b/c hip hip hooray, now he's in the Western hemisphere and is down with thinking about sin in forensic categories! Or vice versa, b/c hip hip hooray, another soul has thrown off the overbearing authority of the Pope!

See what I mean?

Peace,
Rhology

Anonymous said...

Rhology asks:

Could I inquire as to the motivations of posting this testimony? Is it b/c you wanted to tweak Protestants' noses?

Rory suggests:

I thought the guy asked David if he could use his blog. I don't think anyone is imagining this guy flipflopping all over the plave to be a siginifcant "catch for" or "tweak to" anybody.

Rory

David Waltz said...

Hi all,

I have been away from my computer all day, and will be heading out again shortly; so, I will not be able to comment on all I would like to at this time, and it may be as late as Monday before I can do so—for now, I would like to address Rhology’s questions:

>>Could I inquire as to the motivations of posting this testimony?>>

Me: My friendship with Ken.

>> Is it b/c you wanted to tweak Protestants' noses?>>

Me: A big NO. If Ken have chosen to enter a Reformed communion (or even the JWs!), and had made the same request, I still would have honored it.

>> I ask b/c I don't see why it's all that helpful to the Roman side of things.>>

Me: It isn’t helpful; ergo, the motivation behind accepting Ken’s request has nothing to do with apologetics.

Sincerely hope this has cleared up questions. Wish I had more time at the present, but need to take shower, change clothes, and head out yet again. (Will try to get to all the ‘rest’ that has been transpiring as soon as possible.)


Grace and peace,

David

Ken Temple said...

ei-j ga.r qeo,j( ei-j kai. mesi,thj qeou/ kai. avnqrw,pwn(
a;nqrwpoj Cristo.j VIhsou/j(

Testing to see if cut and paste from "Bibleworks" (Hermeneutica), works.

it doesn't. oh well

we need BCs help

Ken Temple said...

http://mp3.aomin.org/JRW/PrejeanCall.mp3

Found the time when you had a spirited discussion with Dr. White and he gave you plenty of time; you hesitated several times to answer basic questions about the incarnation; and you laughed at when he was explaining that 2 Peter 1:4, 'partakers of the divine nature' -"certainly does not mean that my created nature becomes uncreated"

And I would add it does not mean that we are a "little god" as the Word of Faith teachers say; or evolve into godhood, as Mormons have taught.

This one of the biggest disagreements between RCC/EO and Evangelical and Reformed Protestants. It is a massive bad exegesis of Scripture on RCC/EOs part and led to appearance of idolatry in the historical churches from 500s onward and gave Muhammad and the Arabs the impression that the Trinity was "the Father, the Son, and the Mother" (Surah 5:116)-- a great sin and a bad witness for centuries unto this day.

"And when Allah saith: O Jesus, son of Mary! Didst thou say unto mankind: Take me and my mother for two gods beside Allah? he saith: Be glorified! It was not mine to utter that to which I had no right. If I had ever said it, then Thou wouldst have known it. Thou knowest what is in my mind, and I know not what is in Thy Mind. Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Knower of Things Hidden?"(116)

Anonymous said...

Ken,

I am sure that CC/JP can defend himself concerning his dealings with James White just fine... that being said, "certainly does not mean that my created nature becomes uncreated" is going to figure into what CC/JP will have to say about this... the fact that you quoted this particular part is... interesting... :)

You really must stop worrying about how Muslims misinterpret Christianity...

Be well!

David,

I didn't do anything special to get that font to appear... It's strange to me that you are having a problem.

BC

Ken Temple said...

You really must stop worrying about how Muslims misinterpret Christianity...

This lack of concern for evangelism and clearer communication to the Muslim world is a big part of the problem from the 5th century until today. You don't care about glorifying God by evangelizing Muslims; in a contextualized Biblical way ( I Cor. 9:19-23); which means your churches (both RCC and EO) must repent of all the emphasis on Mary and get rid of all the unBiblical Marian doctrines, dogmas, and practices, and icons and statues (in worship contexts; nothing wrong with icons in books for education and teaching purposes); get rid of prayers to her.

Then maybe a big part of the sinful stumbling blocks would be put aside, so they can understand why we call Jesus, "the Son of God". As long as the RC Mary and EO Mary is there; it is a massive stumbling block.

Ken Temple said...

εἷς γὰρ θεός, εἷς καὶ μεσίτης1 θεοῦ καὶ ἀνθρώπων, ἄνθρωπος Χριστὸς Ἰησοῦς,

Ken Temple said...

http://bible.johndyer.name/


I got it to work from cutting and pasting from this site, "Greek and Hebrew Readers Bible"

Anonymous said...

Ken,

Are you Reformed? Do you believe that God is sovereign in the salvation of the individals He elects (unconditionally) to salvation?

You wrote:
"Then maybe a big part of the sinful stumbling blocks would be put aside, so they can understand why we call Jesus, "the Son of God". As long as the RC Mary and EO Mary is there; it is a massive stumbling block."

I am surprised... ISTM as though you are saying that the 'unbiblical doctrines' of the "RC" and EO communions are preventing God from saving His elect among the Muslims... strange...

BC

Anonymous said...

Ken,

Question... was there a purpose to your quoting ΠΡΟΣ ΤΙΜΟΘΕΟΝ Α' 2:5?? Was it (apart from showing that you could cut and paste the font here) a reference to the discussion about CC/JP's phone call with James White? If so... I would like to stress... I think that CC/JP can defend himself much more ably than can I, but... even with our "bad exegesis," I think we've got a better handle on the implications of this verse than you all do... I guess I will leave that to CC/JP though...

Acolyte4236 said...

As for being conformed to the image of Christ, that would mean we were conformed to Christ's icon, for that is what "image" means. But Mr. Temple doesn't believe icons are legitimate, so we'd need to know what he thinks Christ qua icon or image amounts to? Does he think we have God's love or a created copy of it which is merely similar to it? Does he think we have God's life or a created copy of it which is merely similar to it? And is immortality a divine property and if so, does Christ's humanity have it or not? Is Christ's humanity only extriniscally immortal through an act of will or does he make it so from the inside out?

Mr. Temple seems to be under the false impression that the Orthodox teaching of theosis or deification has any substantial overlap with the quackadoxy of the TBN crowd or the crass heterodoxy of the Mormons. We do not cease to be creatures in deification, anymore than Christ's human body ceased to be material flesh when it was deified and shone with the eternal uncreated light. Or maybe he thinks that light was just a created thing? I don't know.

As for "complicated incarnational theology" well that just is the theology of Chalcedon, which the Reformers claimed to adhere to. If he wishes to disparage his traditions own professed adherence to Chalcedon, I suppose he is free to do so, but I wouldn't recommend it. And do I detect just a whiff of anti-intellectualism? Does he think reading Muller or Chemnitz is reading particularly UNcomplicated Christology? I don't think he's spend any significant amount of time in the sources.

As for images, here is what I would ask him to consider. When people in the gospels fell down, kissed Jesus' feet and showed honor, love and respect to his body, were they worshipping and loving his human body or was that passed on to his divine person?

The fundamental issue with iconoclasm was not prompted by Islam but by Origenism and the belief that matter was not capable of bearing the divine presence. This is why the iconoclasts said that matter was "base" and "worthless" which is a strange thing to say if you think God becomes flesh. And the idea of an incarnate God who dies and sucks at the breast is offensive enough all by itself to offend Muslims.

As for the Theotokos, the Trinity and Islam, Muslims have a hard enough time with thinking of Jesus as the Son without any consideration of Mary at all. And the church's teaching on Mary as the Theotokos was sufficiently clear from the time of Ephesus in 431. I don't expect a supposedly illiterate arabian pesant with anger management issues to gloss any significant part of Christian theology correctly when the average literate american can't seem to do so. When less than 21% of American Lutherans believe in Sola Fide, please, don't blame the Orthodox for a 6th cnetury confusion on the part of the Muslims. Not to mention the fact that the Christian position was made sufficiently clear in debates with the Muslims at the time.

If the 1st commandment forbids images of God and you think icons are images of God, then why would non-religious contexts be acceptable? Is it permissable to break the commandment outside of church, but not in? (Btw, the Orthodox don't generally permit statues.)

I think he hasn't spend the requisite amount of time in the sources to be talking as if everyone he disagrees with is an absolutly blind idiot suffering from gross intellectual vice.

Rhology said...

I respect the time constraints that David W has stated, so please know that I'm not trying to pressure anyone.
It's just that I'm not sure "Ken G asked me to post this" quite explains it.
What if Ken had converted to LDS and asked David to post his burning in the bosom testimony?
If another personal friend of David's converts to become a Reformed Babdist from RCC?
This and my earlier Lutheran example still confuse me. Clarification is appreciated, when time permits.

Peace,
Rhology

Ken Temple said...

But Mr. Temple doesn't believe icons are legitimate,

physical icons in a worship context give the appearance of idolatry, as dulia and hyperdulia to saints do.

But I think they are ok for a historical and educational purpose, for storytelling and Bible studies; and history lessons; as long as they are separated from the worship context.


so we'd need to know what he thinks Christ qua icon or image amounts to?

The image of Christ is His spiritual image that we are being conformed to; His character; His moral communicable attributes.

Same for "the image of God" in Genesis; it is a spiritual image; the part of humans that is unseen; that sets us apart from the animal kingdom; soul, spirit, conscience, consciousness, will, personality, morality; etc.

Ken Temple said...

Question... was there a purpose to your quoting ΠΡΟΣ ΤΙΜΟΘΕΟΝ Α' 2:5??

Yes, mainly I was showing I was able to get a Greek font onto the comboxes; but I chose a verse that is relevant to our discussion; Christ is the only mediator; therefore, we should not pray to Mary or any other saint. Pray is only to God, the Holy Trinity.

Ken Temple said...

As for "complicated incarnational theology" well that just is the theology of Chalcedon, which the Reformers claimed to adhere to.

Chalcedon = good and Biblical;

However, aspects of subsequent councils - the incarnational theology beyond Jesus that was extended to the saints, which is the basis for icons and prayers and statues is not biblical, hence not good.

The Orthodox church is better than the RCC in that point that they don't usually allow for statues in worship contexts; that is good. That is probably one reason that Ken Guindon was attracted to EO over RCC; also because they reject the Papal dogma. Those are two good positive things the EO church has going for it; in those 2 issues, it seems closer to Evangelicalism and Biblical theology than RCC. But on original sin, the RCC is closer.

Aside from the stated purposes that David W. said he posted Ken Guindon's recent testimony of going back to the EOC; it is obvious that it is dealing with one of his favorite subjects; the whole issue of tradition and church history and which churches follow the ancient church history more closely.

And his similar journey with the JWs make it interesting.

It is the whole Newman thing; Development of Doctrine and "to be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant" claim; which means either RCC or EO.

Ken Temple said...

Chemnitz - wonderful man and of what I have read; I praise God for his "examination of the Council of Trent" - excellent. A real hero of church history. I confess I have not read the other name.

Ken Temple said...

the fact that you quoted this particular part is... interesting... :)


I was only including that for that was the sentence that seemed to cause JP to start laughing.

Ken Temple said...

As for the Theotokos, the Trinity and Islam, Muslims have a hard enough time with thinking of Jesus as the Son without any consideration of Mary at all.

Exactly, that is why we don't and shouldn't put more stumbling blocks in their way. The only stumbling block should be Jesus, His incarnation (and the Trinity) and His crucifixion (and resurrection).

Statues of Mary and praying to her make explaining the Son of God even harder. The Bible is clear that we should not make other stumbling blocks. I Corinthians chapters 1-2.

CrimsonCatholic said...

Also, it took you a long time to finally answer Dr. White's question, "Was the incarnation of Christ a completely unique event in history?"

You are familiar with a well-known "debater's trick" called the complex question fallacy, right? That was the theological equivalent of "Have you stopped beating your wife?" If I say "yes," then it appears as if I am denying the sense in which Christ assumed the entire human nature, and if I say "no," then it sounds like there is another God-man. When he clarified that he was referring specifically to the historical event, then I could rightly say "yes," as the event was never repeated. But there are universal implications of that event. I find it telling that you consider the use of such a cheap tactic respectable.

Found the time when you had a spirited discussion with Dr. White and he gave you plenty of time; you hesitated several times to answer basic questions about the incarnation; and you laughed at when he was explaining that 2 Peter 1:4, 'partakers of the divine nature' -"certainly does not mean that my created nature becomes uncreated"

I laughed at that statement in particular because it is repeatedly said by both Athanasius and the Cappadocians (not to mention other Fathers like Cyril and Maximus Confessor) that we DO become uncreated in a sense, and if we didn't, we couldn't be saved. For White to say that he was supporting Chalcedonian Christology but that 1 Peter did not refer to actually becoming Christ in some sense was laughable, maybe not intentionally, but laughable nonetheless. If White wants to argue that the Bible against Chalcedon, he is welcome to do so, but my point was that he couldn't adopt his construction without opposing the theology of Chalcedon as it was historically understood. You call Chalcedon "good and biblical," but what it meant in its historical context was precisely what you, White, and Piper deny: that Christ assumed human nature and thus united all men to Him in a real sense.

And BTW, I read the entire Piper paper, and he commits the same error; he takes theopoesis completely outside of the scope of real union with Christ, and even Athanasius's teaching can't overcome his heretical bias against the "becoming God" language of Scripture. He never understands it in its true sense, and while this is perversely viewed as respect for Christ's unique role, it actually denies Him his proper role as the God-man affirmed at Chalcedon. Neither White nor Piper believes in the *true* reality of the God-man that Athanasius and Chalcedon affirmed; they settle for their man-made conception of what He is.

To fail to venerate the holy ones united to Christ is to deny that Christ is really in them and really united to them. Thus, to deny the veneration of Saints is to deny the presence of Christ Himself, just as you do with the Eucharist. Of course Muslims revile orthodox doctrine of the God-man; they DON'T believe in the Incarnation by definition. But for a Christian to deny it is shameful and heterodox. All this shows is that you love your man-made Muslim doctrine, Calvinis(la)m, more than you love your Lord. I just hope that is due to a misunderstanding on your part, and not rebellion against true doctrine.

I repeat that I hope to God you will be given the grace to repent of your error, Rev. Temple. And I do consider that title self-appointed, because claiming the title by passing the examination of others who themselves have no authority is no better than claiming the title of your own authority.

Ken Temple said...

To fail to venerate the holy ones united to Christ is to deny that Christ is really in them and really united to them.

sounds like some kind of similarity with Hinduism, where everything is going to unite into the "one" Brahman, eventually.

You blur the distinction between God and the creatures, which is what your whole belief does. This is a clear line in church history where the RC and EO went off and became unBiblical.

Ken Temple said...

Jonathan,
Do you think the Chalcedonians were right to take the good doctrine (that Christ is 100% God and 100% man; hence 'the God-Man'; the hypostatic union); and then use force and police action and military power to try and get the Monophysite Copts (Egyptians who thought they were holding to the belief of Athanasius and Cyril) and the Monophysite Jacobite Syrian Churches and Armenian churches and the Nestorian churches in Mesopotamia and try to force them to agree to the Chalcedonian creed? (Emperors Theodosius, Justinian and others)

Many history books of the eastern church history from Chalcedon to the Islamic invasions say:

"The Monophysites and Nestorians and other non-Chalcedonian churches in Levant, Egypt, Syria, Mesopotamia welcomed the Arab Muslims as liberators from their Byzantine (Chalcedonian) Masters."

Now I agree with the Chalcedonian doctrine because it is biblical; but Nicea 2 is not, and beyond. (We will just have to agree to disagree.)

I am not sure that the methods they used against the non-Chalcedonian churches were good or just.

It seems that Orthodoxy was so cruel that it was part of the cause of the Islamic take-overs.

What do you think?

Acolyte4236 said...

Ken Temple,

Physical icons? So Jesus wasn't physical? Since you ignored my question to you, I will ask again in hopes that you will address it. When people rendered honor and worship to Christ on earth by bowing before him, kissing his feet, etc. was that worship and honor of his body or was that passed on to the divine person of the Son via his humanity?

So you think it would be permissable to make an image of the divine essence just so long as its for artwork?

As I noted before, since on your view God is simple, it is impossible to say one gets such and so set of attributes without also getting all of them since all of the attributes qua God are the same. Second, you haven't even said what you take an attribute to be since there are a variety of notions on the market.

And just glossing it as moral attributes won't help either. Is the moral goodness that you have God's goodness or a created copy that is merely similar to his?

Acolyte4236 said...

Chalcedonian Christology may be biblical, but I seriously doubt you adhere to it since it also taught a communication of properties or energies transferred from the divine nature through the divine person to the human nature of Christ. I doubt you believe that. I also doubt you believe that Christ is only a divine person in the incarnation in light of WCF 8.2.

Paul in his epistles offers prayers for a dead Christian (2 Tim 1:16-18) and there are other examples in the OT, but of cours e you reject those books. In any case, you are presupposing that the Protestant position, as if there was only one since not all Protestants have rejected prayers for the dead and invocation of the saints,is the correct one without argument.

The deification of Christ's humanity is the principle basis for the patristic view of salvation from Ireneaus onward and also is the basis for the early practice of relics and images. As Athanasius says, God became man so that man may become divine. To fail to honor those whom Christ has honored and shared his lory would be to insult God and deny his salvation.

As far as Original Sin, I don't take seriously Protestant remarks concerning it until such time as they can demonstrate that they actually grasp the concepts. I've seen far too many Protestants claim that the Orthodox are Pelagian or other nonsense.

Acolyte4236 said...

Ken Temple,

Perhaps you should read Chemnitz, Two Natures in Christ, along with Richard Muller's work, Christ and the Decree. Muller is a significant light in Reformation and post-Reformation dogmatics.

I think you misinterpreted my comments regarding Islam and Christianity. Perhaps I wasn't clear enough. First the major stumbling blocks are the basis for the other doctrines you object to. If Muslims could see their way past the Trinity and Incarnation, icons are a walk in the park by comparison. I'd argue if you were consistent in accepting the former as well, you'd have no significant objection to icons or venerating saints either.

Comparing the biblical teaching that Christ glorifies his saints with hinduism I think displays a lack of aquaintance with this biblical language. Theosis isn't a monistic loss of self. Consequently the Orthodox do not blur the distinction between the creation and the creator by holding that the divine energies deify our humanity anymore than we do in holding that God took human nature into his divine person or that the flesh of Christ was deified and shone with the divine uncreated glory of God. These are frankly very easy objections to answer and quite typical of someone not informed on the topic.

Imperial policy used force against lots of positions. Do you think imperial power was wrong to enforce iconoclasm by exterminating people? Or how about Protestantism by exterminating Catholics in England or other locales? This is not relevant to the truth of the doctrine. Its quite true that the Copts didn't exactly raise a stellar defense against the Muslim invaders, but then again, after the Muslims fully subjugated them, they weren't too keen on it either. In any case, the enforcement of Chalcedonian Christology on the Copts wasn't the case of Islamic expansion, Muhammed and the Koran was.I mean this is like blaming the rape victim for the rape.

Ken Temple said...

Physical icons? So Jesus wasn't physical?

Where do you get that conclusion? Of course - the Word became flesh. The eternal Son of God took on a human nature and body. Yes, He was flesh, physical.

Since you ignored my question to you, I will ask again in hopes that you will address it. When people rendered honor and worship to Christ on earth by bowing before him, kissing his feet, etc. was that worship and honor of his body or was that passed on to the divine person of the Son via his humanity?

Why the distinction? Seems they were worshipping Him for who He is, recognizing that He is God. To separate your question into 2 parts

a. "worship and honor of his body"

verses

2. "passed to the divine person of the Son via his humanity"

-this question seems Nestorian (or what Nestorius was accussed of) - of thinking that the body of Jesus was just a shell and not unified with the logos.

I would prefer the second of your choices, for the wording and expression, because the first part, "worship and honor of his body" makes it seem that the worshippers are not recognizing His deity and person - His soul, character, spirit, immaterial part of Him.

Ken Temple said...

but then again, after the Muslims fully subjugated them, they weren't too keen on it either.

I agree. Those I have talked to said the Muslims tricked them; which they did. (Taqiyye - deception, dissimulation; "Allah is the very best deceiver" (Quran 3:54; 8:30; 10:22) Muhammad said, "Embrace Islam, and you will be safe" in his letters to the Byzantine Emperor and Persian Shah. He also said, "War is deceit" in the Hadith of Al Bukhari.

Ken Temple said...

First the major stumbling blocks are the basis for the other doctrines you object to.

Ok, they are the basis for your church's explanation of them, but those other doctrines don't make sense. I can see how they explained them - St. John of Damascus, onward; but it seems to read our sanctification and glorification back into the incarnation and hypostatic union; when Christ should be kept separate for the glory to go to God alone, not human creatures.

If Muslims could see their way past the Trinity and Incarnation, icons are a walk in the park by comparison.

Not really, because we Protestant Evangelicals see the fullness of the Trinity and Incarnation and embrace those two doctrines and worship the Triune God, but reject icons in worship context or praying to the saints in heaven. There is only one mediator.

But I admit I don't know much about the details of the Eastern Orthodox writers you discuss on your website.

The biblical Greek word, hypostasis, and the meaning of the same word in Patristic theological language is another example of pretty complicated stuff; alone with "energies" and I confess I have not read a lot in those areas. But thanks for the discussion.

Ken Temple said...

alone with "energies"

oops

I meant

along with "energies"

Ken Temple said...

see my new answers to Jamie Donald on Ireneaus and Clement in the post below, "when Sola Scriptura paradigms collide"

I only write this here, because it seems only the top article gets noticed, without the "recent comments" sidebar thingy.

Acolyte4236 said...

Ken

I drew the conclusion since you said that Jesus' qua image is referring to his spiritual existence. Hence it follows that the image is not related to his being physical. On our view, Jesus willed to be incarnate even without the fall. And this is contained in him as the image in which we are made. Our creation anticipates his incarnation, fall or no fall.

Strictly speaking I was composing a dilemma, not a distinction. But Why a distinction between his body and his divine person? Very simple, Jesus has two natures and his body isn't a person. And moreover, contra to the Reformed, Jesus isn't a human person. So I will ask again, when they kiss his feet, are they worshipping a body or is that adoration passed on to the divine person? If you reject the principle in icon veneration that the honor or worship is passed on to the prototype then you will have to say that people worshipped a human body, a creature and not Christ. Otherwise, you'd have to admit that the principle is legitimate.

I think you are confusion Nestorianism with Apollinarianism, since Nestorius didn't think the divine hypostasis merely inhabited the human hypostasis. Since hypostases for Nestorius were simple, they could only be related extrinsically, through an act of will so that the two wer eunited in one appearance, or a conglomerate human-divine prosopa, appearance or "person."

So if you admit that created things can serve as a medium for worship and honor, then you cannot consistently object to icons in principle on pain of denying the incarnation. Just FYI, his soul isn't the divine person. Jesus has a human soul, but Jesus is not a human person.

I am not reading our sanctification back into those doctrines.Just read Athanasius who objects to Arianism on the basis that if Arianism were true, deification would be impossible. God became man so that man may be deified. So the question is, does God glorify his saints or not? Are they deified or not?

Protestants profess adherence to the Trinity and Incarnation, but in reality they either can't hold on to them consistently in light of other things they profess or they change the doctrines to fit their theological distinctives.

I appreciate your honesty, but if you do not understand the doctrine of energies upon which much of Christology and Trinitarian theology of the Fathers turned and depended and upon which veneration of icons and invocation to the saints depends, perhaps you should exercise some prudence and refrain from condemning teachings before you know what you are condemning?

Ken Temple said...

Thanks Perry,
I don't think it is necessary (at this point), to be forced to go beyond Chalcedon; because of time; but more importantly, because of the Biblical emphasis on the distinction between the worship due to the creator and creatures.

We do not have to be forced to take the incarnation beyond Jesus.

Athanasius was great, but personally, I think Piper explains better what "deify" (make god; from "theos" and "poiew")(these are not Biblical terms) means "glorify" and that mean that we exalt the glory of God and make much of Him in seeing Him and prizing Him and worshipping Him and delighting in the glory of God. We are changed as we focus and worship Him.

Ken Temple said...

clarification on that:
(make god; from "theos" and "poiew")(these are not Biblical terms)

they are Biblical by themselves, but not in combination, which is what Athanasius does in a few famous texts; that became the basis for the whole EO doctrine.

Ken Temple said...

So I will ask again, when they kiss his feet, are they worshipping a body or is that adoration passed on to the divine person?

The adoration in NT history in the Gospels is passed on to the divine person, Jesus Christ, The God-man; because He was there physically in space and time.

If you reject the principle in icon veneration that the honor or worship is passed on to the prototype then you will have to say that people worshipped a human body, a creature and not Christ.

This just makes no sense, pictures and statues on earth in churches are physical materials; not the real Jesus; and those of other saints/Mary are creatures and venerating them is even worse. Venerating them, kissing them, bowing before them, praying to them violates the ten commandments and NT prohibitions against idolatry.

Bowing before the real Jesus and kissing His feet in history does not. He is in heaven now, at the right hand of the Fathers. John 4:23-24 also speaks to this.


Otherwise, you'd have to admit that the principle is legitimate.

I understand better how you and other EOs (and Jonathan Prejean and the RCs on veneration and dulia and hyper-dulia) think in this matter, but it still does not seem legitimate or valid or Biblical.

Ken Temple said...

because of the Biblical emphasis on the distinction between the worship due to the creator and NOT to creatures.

CrimsonCatholic said...

sounds like some kind of similarity with Hinduism, where everything is going to unite into the "one" Brahman, eventually.

You blur the distinction between God and the creatures, which is what your whole belief does. This is a clear line in church history where the RC and EO went off and became unBiblical.


Sounds like you know less about Hinduism than Christianity. There's no "end" of the cycle in Hinduism, and in any case, the Brahman is impersonal, so the analogy to anything like union with Christ is inapposite. That's not to say that Hinduism is entirely off base; their concept of "non-dualism" is at least not foreign to Christian thought. But to say that Christian theology of deification resembles impersonalist pantheism in an infinite cycle suggests that you don't know much about either. Ignorance and fear are often coupled, and that shows up here.


Do you think the Chalcedonians were right to take the good doctrine (that Christ is 100% God and 100% man; hence 'the God-Man'; the hypostatic union); and then use force and police action and military power to try and get the Monophysite Copts (Egyptians who thought they were holding to the belief of Athanasius and Cyril) and the Monophysite Jacobite Syrian Churches and Armenian churches and the Nestorian churches in Mesopotamia and try to force them to agree to the Chalcedonian creed? (Emperors Theodosius, Justinian and others)

I doubt it, but those were relatively extreme circumstances in any case, and it was certainly within the legitimate power of the public authorities to suppress threats to the public good. Whether that threat was sufficient to justify the denial of religious liberty is an issue of prudential judgment, on which the relevant authorities could well have been wrong. I suspect that they were wrong, but it's easy to judge centuries away from the safe perspective of an armchair, so I'm reluctant to pass judgment.

The Monophysites and Nestorians and other non-Chalcedonian churches in Levant, Egypt, Syria, Mesopotamia welcomed the Arab Muslims as liberators from their Byzantine (Chalcedonian) Masters.

Certainly, but just as Perry noted that the Muslims bore the blame for the invasion, so does the obstinacy of the heretics deserve blame for the situation as well. Chalcedon was absolutely correct and essential Christian dogma, and the need for suppression was produced by the heresy. In that respect, your criticism sounds like that of terrorists in the Middle East who then blame Israel for using force to suppress the terrorists.
(cont.)

CrimsonCatholic said...

Now I agree with the Chalcedonian doctrine because it is biblical; but Nicea 2 is not, and beyond. (We will just have to agree to disagree.)

To "agree to disagree" suggests that there is some sort of difference as between reasonable positions by reasonable men. What you're advocating is a made-up fantasy world completely incompatible with the real one, as if we were disagreeing over the proposition of whether there were any pink unicorns. Fanciful accounts of history unsupported by evidence are not within the scope of legitimate rational disagreement.

Athanasius was great, but personally, I think Piper explains better what "deify" (make god; from "theos" and "poiew")(these are not Biblical terms) means "glorify" and that mean that we exalt the glory of God and make much of Him in seeing Him and prizing Him and worshipping Him and delighting in the glory of God. We are changed as we focus and worship Him.

That's just reading your own theology into the text, or worse, suggesting that God has no actual glory but what is shown in the praise of creatures. In any case, all you're saying is that you think you know what the Bible means better than Chalcedon, which explicitly endorsed the perichoresis of the natures. So regardless of what you think the passage means, it isn't what Chalcedon meant, nor any of the other pro-Nicene Fathers.

Obviously, I want you to be converted to true belief. But at this point, if Protestants would simply be willing to admit that they reject the teaching of the Councils, which should present no problem if the Councils are unBiblical, then at least we could have an honest discussion about what the debate is. After all, you call Chalcedonian orthodoxy Hindu, and obviously, that isn't what you would want anyone to believe.

CrimsonCatholic said...

This just makes no sense, pictures and statues on earth in churches are physical materials; not the real Jesus; and those of other saints/Mary are creatures and venerating them is even worse. Venerating them, kissing them, bowing before them, praying to them violates the ten commandments and NT prohibitions against idolatry.

Bowing before the real Jesus and kissing His feet in history does not. He is in heaven now, at the right hand of the Fathers. John 4:23-24 also speaks to this.


The John passage works against you. By worshipping Christ in the Body, you are worshipping Him "in spirit and in truth." Based on your separation, worshipping Him physically is not worshipping Him "in spirit." By your reasoning, all of those things are idolatry. But this is clearly false, because Christ endorses physical worship of Him. Hence, the object of worship, not the means of worship, is what is condemned, on pain of accusing Christ Himself of error for allowing people to worship through His own Body.

In the Old Testament, the Word was not incarnate, and therefore, there was no unity between humanity and divinity that could allow the physical to serve as a proper object of worship (except in shadow form), although the physical objects corresponding to instruments of God's power could still be venerated, as when the bronze serpent or the King were venerated. Hence, Jesus says "we [Jews} worship what we know. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth."

Worshipping the Father "in spirit and truth" means to worship Him through His Son, Jesus Christ, the one Mediator. Veneration of His holy ones, to whom He is united in one spirit, is simply a means of doing this, just as physical acts of devotion to Christ's own Body were a means of devotion to Him. The ones who murmured at Jesus's sayings and then went away in John 6 were making the same argument you are making; they saw only the physical and not "spirit and life." That is how the Fathers interpreted John 6, and that is the reason that St. Cyril accused Nestorius of cannibalism by arguing for the separation of the man Jesus from the Word of God. All of these things go together; you can't take one and disdain the other without blaspheming the name of Jesus Christ, even if through inadvertence. The God-man, the Eucharist, the icons ... if you really believe that Jesus is the Word of God Incarnate, you must really believe all of them.

Rhology said...

CrimsonCatholic said:
Jesus Christ, the one Mediator

Well, you mean...the one Mediator between God and saints/the Blessed Virgin Mary AND/OR between God and men. Don't be scared of your own position!

Ken Temple said...

The John passage works against you. By worshipping Christ in the Body, you are worshipping Him "in spirit and in truth." Based on your separation, worshipping Him physically is not worshipping Him "in spirit."

I don't separate Jesus into 2 persons or entities; (as you seem to do) He is all one unit. I unite the worship. So all your stuff makes no sense. I am talking about other people (Mary and the saints) - it is wrong to venerate them and icons and statues here on earth. Jesus is in heaven, fully the God-Man, and we worship Him, as He is there, at the right hand of the Father, and omnipresent in our worship.

By your reasoning, all of those things are idolatry. But this is clearly false, because Christ endorses physical worship of Him.

no problem for Him, but a big problem for Mary and the saints; they are not to be worshiped or proskunew nor dulia nor hyper-dulia. It is all the appearance of idolatry; prayers to them is idolatry.

Anonymous said...

Rhology,

You wrote:
"Well, you mean...the one Mediator between God and saints/the Blessed Virgin Mary AND/OR between God and men. Don't be scared of your own position!"

Anyone who has been following the discussion can you that you aren't dealing with CC/JP's actual position here... you can show a contradiction by show how CC/JP interprets that verse... and then showing how he violates that interpretation in practice... You aren't dealing with his interpretation of that verse. BTW... I am pretty sure he disagrees with how you are interpreting/using the verse... just FYI.

Blessings,
BC

Anonymous said...

Ken,

You wrote:
"it is wrong to venerate them and icons and statues here on earth."

You haven't shown this to be the case... ever....

You wrote:
" ...but a big problem for Mary and the saints; they are not to be worshiped or proskunew nor dulia nor hyper-dulia. It is all the appearance of idolatry; prayers to them is idolatry."

I don't know why people think that they have to adopt James White's or TurretinFan's parameters for what represents "religious context" in Scripture and what doesn't... especially when it simply doesn't gel at all with the overall theology that seems to be so clearly behind the teaching of the Fathers...

You have shown none of this to be true... it's only true if we accept your approach to the Holy Writ... which we obviously don't... yet you continue to speak as if we do and we are so obviously in violation of the Scriptures... CC/JP, Perry, and David have been telling you that they don't agree with you and why... they are trying to explain... please read more carefully before being so dismissive.

Blessings,
BC

Anonymous said...

Rhology,

*can see that

(sorry... doing a couple of things at once...)

Blessings
BC

David Waltz said...

Hi Ken,

Wow…a very busy weekend and Monday morning; the beachbum finally has some time to spend on the internet.

I am trying to catch up with all the activity, some great conversations going on in this thread (as well as the previous one). At this time, I do not want to derail the current course(s) of the dialogue(s), so my comments shall be somewhat brief.

Thanks much for your efforts on the Greek fonts, and especially for the link to the “Greek and Hebrew Reader's Bible”!!! I have added the site to my “Links”.


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Hello again Rhology,

You posted the following:

>> respect the time constraints that David W has stated, so please know that I'm not trying to pressure anyone.
It's just that I'm not sure "Ken G asked me to post this" quite explains it.
What if Ken had converted to LDS and asked David to post his burning in the bosom testimony?
If another personal friend of David's converts to become a Reformed Babdist from RCC?
This and my earlier Lutheran example still confuse me. Clarification is appreciated, when time permits.>>

Me: As I tried to explain to Ken (T.) a bit earlier in the combox, it is very difficult to relate the nature of the unique bond between former Jehovah’s Witnesses; that bond allows individuals such as Ken (G.) and myself to form a friendship that is ‘different’ than most friendships; and then add the fact that was Baptist, Catholic and had/has a keen interest in Reformed thought…let’s just say, that he is not just any “personal friend of David's”.


Grace and peace,

David

CrimsonCatholic said...

Rhology:
Well, you mean...the one Mediator between God and saints/the Blessed Virgin Mary AND/OR between God and men. Don't be scared of your own position!

Given the Eighth Commandment, I'd think that the fear of misrepresenting my position should be of greater concern to you than whatever "fear" I am alleged to have in it. But since you've outrun your common sense here and done it anyway, I will simply note that unless you have some sort of confusion about which side of the God/man divide the Saints lie, then one Mediator between God and humanity should mean just that. The Saints do not magically reach around Christ to the Father; they do so through Christ, Who is the only Mediator ("No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known." John 1:18; "It is written in the prophets, `And they shall all be taught by God.' Every one who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. Not that any one has seen the Father except him who is from God; he has seen the Father." John 6:45-46).

If I, or anyone else, were trying to use the Saints to bypass Christ, that would be superstitious nonsense. But it precisely because they are one with Christ, conformed to Christ so as to become one spirit with Him (1 Cor. 6:17), that we call on them. That is precisely why their relationship with God is greater even than the greatest born before the Incarnation ("Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has risen no one greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." Matt. 11:11).

So, yes, the ONLY Mediator, the ONLY person uniting divine and human nature, makes all of this possible. To say that He does not is to say that He is not the Mediator.

David Waltz said...

Hi Acolyte,

You wrote to Ken (T.) the following:

>> As for the Theotokos, the Trinity and Islam, Muslims have a hard enough time with thinking of Jesus as the Son without any consideration of Mary at all. And the church's teaching on Mary as the Theotokos was sufficiently clear from the time of Ephesus in 431. I don't expect a supposedly illiterate arabian pesant with anger management issues to gloss any significant part of Christian theology correctly when the average literate american can't seem to do so. When less than 21% of American Lutherans believe in Sola Fide, please, don't blame the Orthodox for a 6th cnetury confusion on the part of the Muslims. Not to mention the fact that the Christian position was made sufficiently clear in debates with the Muslims at the time.>>

Me: I sincerely doubt that the orthodox teachings of the councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon had penetrated much into the Arabian peninsula by the time that Muhammad brought forth the Qur’an. Interestingly enough, I have had some earlier conversations/threads here atAF on this very topic: SEE THE THREADS HERE.

Anyway, do not wish to derail the general thrust of your dialogue; just wanted to make a quite reference to those threads—I think you may find them interesting (if you get the time to read them).


Grace and peace,

David

CrimsonCatholic said...

no problem for Him, but a big problem for Mary and the saints; they are not to be worshiped or proskunew nor dulia nor hyper-dulia. It is all the appearance of idolatry; prayers to them is idolatry.

John 7:24 "Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment."

Even the most tendentious reading of the Scriptures endorses obeisance to the servant of the Lord.

1 Chron. 29:20 "Then David said to all the assembly, 'Bless the LORD your God.' And all the assembly blessed the LORD, the God of their fathers, and bowed their heads, and worshiped the LORD, and did obeisance to the king."

I say "tendentious" because this translation renders a single word (a form of the verb prosekuneo in the Septuagint) as two phrases with respect to the Lord and the king. Odd that one could render the same degree of devotion that you say is forbidden to a king who was less in God's kingdom than the one all generations will call blessed. But backwards thinking is what happens when you judge by appearances and earthly standards rather than right doctrine.

David Waltz said...

Hi Jonathan,

So glad to see you address the issues raised by Ken (and, of course, James White). I found the following especially interesting:

>> I laughed at that statement in particular because it is repeatedly said by both Athanasius and the Cappadocians (not to mention other Fathers like Cyril and Maximus Confessor) that we DO become uncreated in a sense, and if we didn't, we couldn't be saved. For White to say that he was supporting Chalcedonian Christology but that 1 Peter did not refer to actually becoming Christ in some sense was laughable, maybe not intentionally, but laughable nonetheless. If White wants to argue that the Bible against Chalcedon, he is welcome to do so, but my point was that he couldn't adopt his construction without opposing the theology of Chalcedon as it was historically understood. You call Chalcedon "good and biblical," but what it meant in its historical context was precisely what you, White, and Piper deny: that Christ assumed human nature and thus united all men to Him in a real sense.>>

Not much to add except, the teaching that God’s adopted Sons “DO become uncreated in a sense”, is found as early as St. Irenaeus who wrote:

==Irenaeus - Adv. Her. 4.38.3-4 His wisdom [is shown] in His having made created things parts of one harmonious and consistent whole; and those things which, through His super-eminent kindness, receive growth and a long period of existence, do reflect the glory of the uncreated One, of that God who bestows what is good ungrudgingly. For from the very fact of these things having been created, [it follows] that they are not uncreated; but by their continuing in being throughout a long course of ages, they shall receive a faculty of the Uncreated, through the gratuitous bestowal of eternal existence upon them by God. ...man, a created and organized being, is rendered after the image and likeness of the uncreated God... we have not been made gods from the beginning, but at first merely men, then at length gods... He shall overcome the substance of created nature. For it was necessary, at first, that nature should be exhibited; then, after that, that what was mortal should be conquered and swallowed up by immortality, and the corruptible by incorruptibility, and that man should be made after the image and likeness of God, having received the knowledge of good and evil. (ANF 1.521-522).==


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Hello again Jonathan,

There is some additional information concerning the use of prosekuneo in the Bible within the following two threads: The “worship” of Jesus in the Bible and Degrees of “worship” in the Bible.


Grace and peace,

David

Anonymous said...

David,

It is now painfully obvious to *everyone* reading this thread that St. Irenaeus only means this in the strict biblical sense (re: completely consistent with a Reformed reading of the Scriptures)... he is not going beyond the Scriptures here in any way, as this teaching comes DIRECTLY from the Scriptures alone... and if there is a chance that something in what he says here is NOT strictly asserted or ascertained by the strict rules of "biblical deduction" - then we can feel free to disregard the obviously unbiblical bits for the obviously biblical ones...

Honestly... this is child's play... ;)

Blessings,
BC

Acolyte4236 said...

Ken,

I think my point was that in asserting deification and God's sharing of his energies with saints on the basis of the incarnation isn't going beyond Chalcedon. In fact it is quite easy to demonstrate that the belief is pre-Chalcedonian. This does not violate the creator/creation distinction since it is an energetic and not an essential participation.

So I am not taking the incarnation past Jesus and have never affirmed that other humans are incarnations of the 2nd person of Christ. So this comment by you is pure rhetorical fluff and is based on a caricature of the position I have advocated.

I am not sure which piece by Piper you are referring to, but a specifically moral gloss on deification won't work.
First, the question is whether Piper's gloss is in fact what Athanasius had in mind, and it isn't. There isn't a patristic scholar that I have ever seen that reads Athanasius as saying that deification amounts to a moral created simultude to God. That was the position of the Arians and Athanasius writes against it explicitly and directly.

Second, the Orthodox view includes moral transformation, so just shifting it over to having certain moral properties won't work since the idea of a genuine participation in the energies of God and a created moral simultude both include moral transformation.

Third, Athanasius' view of deification is far older than him with explicit teaching going back to Ireneaus for example. Theosis is not some side note in Athanasius' theology nor those who advocate it before him. This is a fairly widespread judgment among patristic scholars.

Fourth, on the classical Protestant view God is simple and so there can be no having of divine properties for two basic reasons. First, if God is simple, to have any divine property is to have all of them since they are one and the same thing. Second, since God is simple, he has no properties at all, only different predications or attributions made about him.

Fifth your view of instantiating created moral properties similar to divine ones just is the Arian position as I noted above.

If the worship and honor is passed on from the body to the divine person, then the principle of passing on honor and worship from matter to the person is legitimate in and of itself. Second, Jesus wasn't carnally present in the facial cloth of the apostles either, but his power was. That is the issue, as to whether matter can be God-bearing or not. You seem to think it can't.

Why can't physical materials bear the divine presence? Certainly the Hebrews in the OT thought so as did the early church, which is one reason why both had a belief in relics. Merely asserting that it violates biblical commandments is not an argument to demonstrate that it does so. You need to give an argument that it does so.

I am quite aware that Jesus sits enthroned, but I see no reason to think that at the least his power is so circumscribed. JEsus seems to think that bowing down and honoring saints since he commands it in Rev 3.9. Veneration to creatures and worship to God seems quite biblical in my judgment. Why should my conscience be held captive to your judgment?

Just FYI, Jonathan Prejean is Catholic and we do not agree on all things. When he tries to persuade me when I am in town he buys me Mongolian food and beer.

Acolyte4236 said...

Errata,

That should read, second person of the Trinity.

Ok, now ya'll have proof I am not perfect. :P

Ken Temple said...

http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Biographies/1532_Contending_for_Our_All/

This the article by John Piper on Athanasius that I was referring to.
you can also listen to it for free.

It is also the first chapter in his book, Contending for Our All, Crossway Books, 2006.

That is much better way to understand glorification and being conformed to the image of Christ.

The Irenaeus quote from book 4.38.3-4 of Against Heresies has some of this in it also, "beholding Him" and "seeing Him" - that we are glorified so that we may worship and behold Him and "see" Him; and Piper expounds it as "prizing Him" and "delighting in Him".

The other language that Irenaeus uses, about "being gods" and the quote from Psalm 82, just show an aspect of the early church where

1. Their exegesis was sloppy
2. They exaggerated and went too far
3. the language can be abused and used to foster false doctrines and practices and mis-understandings
4. Just shows that they were not infallible and
5. shows an area where they went off and were not biblical and these things lead to other bad additions and emphases

We can accept much of Irenaeus as good and profitable and Biblical and gives us insight into the church around 180-200 AD; but the "men becoming god" language is weird and he was wrong. This is a clear example where Protestants can honestly say that they were unbiblical and wrong.

Psalm 82 is not even talking about what he makes it out to be; and also in a different sense Mormonism takes that language and builds its false doctrines around that; and the Word of Faith heresies take that language also and say you are a "little god" and have the power to command your healing and financial prosperity.

Strange stuff; but I can see how you have materials of texts for the later developments.

CrimsonCatholic said...

Perry:
Just FYI, Jonathan Prejean is Catholic and we do not agree on all things. When he tries to persuade me when I am in town he buys me Mongolian food and beer.

See, e.g., that fourth point. :-) Shame I
m not in SoCal anymore, or I would try again. Fortunately, they sell Stone Ale in Fort Worth, so I'm not completely deprived.

On the other hand, it appears Rev. Temple has lapsed into pure subjectivism with characterizations like "sloppy," "better," and "weird." Funny that he would accuse Mormons and Word of Faith for believing whatever THEY want with orthodox teaching, when he himself is doing the same thing.

Just proves the point that Protestantism is ultimately about believing whatever you want, even if it happens to be right on occasion. "Doctrine is what I say it is, and God Himself can't tell me different!" But what do expect of children in the faith raised by wolves, without teachers? They act like children raised by wolves. It is not a surprise, but it is a tragedy.

In any case, I've said what I meant to say. This is not a fight that can be won.

CrimsonCatholic said...

David:
Great links, and what I've found interesting about Protestant iconoclasm is that, unlike the original iconoclasts who considered the Eucharist the only true icon, Protestants seem to view Scripture as the only true icon. The Bibliolatry charge might be exaggerated, but it certainly reflects a disordered sense according to the Second Nicene Fathers.

"Certainly this is not the full adoration {latria} in accordance with our faith, which is properly paid only to the divine nature, but it resembles that given to the figure of the honoured and life-giving cross, and also to the holy books of the gospels...."
http://www.piar.hu/councils/ecum07.htm#Anathemas%20concerning%20holy%20images

The point is that even veneration for the authority of Scripture is by transference. Revering Scripture but not the saints makes no sense (unless you happen to be a pre-Incarnation Jew). One must rightly worship Christ as God-man FIRST before being able to properly perceive the authority and thus rightly exegete Scripture. Otherwise, you're just doing what Israel did: shadow exegesis, in which they did not really understand what they were worshipping but simply trusted God as little children. To worship the Father "in spirit and truth," you must first know Christ.

On the other hand, as you probably saw at Dave Amstrong's blog, I've become more sympathetic to this behavior. In Protestantism, you are pretty much raised by wolves as a child of faith. The pastors themselves are heretics who don't know any of this stuff. They have no ability to achieve greater understanding of the faith, apart from a very primitive "do what God says," and that includes exegesis of Scripture. I think a lot of this behavior is just Lord of the Flies placed in a religious context. You know yourself how crazy it can be, so you probably have a better sense of it even that I do. I've just had to watch this behavior from the outside as an observer.

Ken Temple said...

From Piper's article, Contending for Our All, about Athanasius:


For example, Athanasius says some startling things about human deification that we would probably never say. Is that because one of us is wrong? Or is it because the language and the categories of thought that he uses are so different from ours that we have to get inside his head before we make judgments about the truth of what he says? And might we discover something great by this effort to see what he saw?

For example, he says, “[The Son] was made man that we might be made God (theopoiëthõmen).”44 Or: “He was not man, and then became God, but He was God, and then became man, and that to deify us.”45 The issue here is whether the word “make God” or “deify” (theopoieõ) means something unbiblical or whether it means what 2 Peter 1:4 means when it says, “that you may become partakers of the divine nature” (hina genësthe theias koinõnoi phuseõs)? Athanasius explains like this:

John then thus writes; ‘Hereby know we that we dwell in Him and He in us, because He hath given us of His Spirit. . . . And the Son is in the Father, as His own Word and Radiance; but we, apart from the Spirit, are strange and distant from God, and by the participation of the Spirit we are knit into the Godhead; so that our being in the Father is not ours, but is the Spirit’s which is in us and abides in us, . . . What then is our likeness and equality to the Son? . . . The Son is in the Father in one way, and we become in Him in another, and that neither we shall ever be as He, nor is the Word as we.46

What becomes clear when all is taken into account is that Athanasius is pressing on a reality in the Scriptures that we today usually call “glorification” but is using the terminology of 2 Peter 1:4 and Romans 8:29, “Those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” He is pressing the destiny and the glory of being a brother of the second person of the Trinity, and “sharing in his nature.”47

And thus Athanasius raises for me one of the most crucial questions of all: What is the ultimate end of creation—the ultimate goal of God in creation and redemption? Is it being or seeing? Is it our being like Christ or our seeing the glory of Christ? How does Romans 8:29 (“predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son”) relate to John 17:24 (“Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory”)? Is the beatific vision of the glory of the Son of God the aim of human creation? Or is likeness to that glory the aim of creation?

Ken Temple said...

Piper continued, at the end of the article.

Athanasius has helped me go deeper here by unsettling me. I am inclined to stress seeing as the goal rather than being. The reason is that it seems to me that putting the stress on seeing the glory of Christ makes him the focus, but putting the stress on being like Christ makes me the focus. But Athanasius will not let me run away from the biblical texts. His language of deification forces me to think more deeply and worship more profoundly.

My present understanding would go like this: the ultimate end of creation is neither being nor seeing, but delighting and displaying. Delighting in and displaying “the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6). And the displaying happens both in the delighting, since we glorify most what we enjoy most, and in the deeds of the resurrection body that flow from this enjoyment on the new earth in the age to come. The display of God’s glory will be both internal and external. It will be spiritual and physical. We will display the glory of God by the Christ-exalting joy of our heart, and by the Christ-exalting deeds of our resurrection bodies.

How then should we speak of our future being and seeing if they are not the ultimate end? How shall we speak of “sharing God’s nature” and being “conformed to his Son”? The way I would speak of our future being and seeing is this: By the Spirit of God who dwells in us, our final destiny is not self-admiration or self-exaltation, but being able to see the glory of God without disintegrating, and being able to delight in the glory of Christ with the very delight of God the Father for his own Son (John 17:26),48 and being able to do visible Christ-exalting deeds that flow from this delight.

And in this way a wave of revelation of divine glory in the saints is set in motion that goes on and grows for all eternity. As each of us sees Christ and delights in Christ with the delight of the Father, mediated by the Spirit, we will overflow with visible actions of love and creativity on the new earth. In this way we will see the revelation of God’s glory in each other’s lives in ever new ways. New dimensions of the riches of the glory of God in Christ will shine forth every day from new delights and new deeds. And these in turn will become new seeings of Christ which will elicit new delights and new doings. And so the ever-growing wave of the revelation of the riches of the glory of God will role on for ever and ever.

And we will discover that this was possible only because the infinite Son of God took on himself the human nature so that we in our human nature might be united to him and display more and more of his glory. We will find in our eternal experience that his infinite beauty took on human form so that our human form might increasingly display his infinite beauty.

Acolyte4236 said...

Ken,

Yes I read the article. You claim it is a much better way to understand glorification, but you give no reasons for thinking it is. You just assert it. And you don't even tease out what it is supposed to mean. Secondly, Piper ignores the biblical language of actual transformation that Athanasius and other Fathers rely on. What does it mean to participate in the divine nature? What occurs at the transfiguration of Christ to his humanity or in the resurrection? Is that a mere beholding or seeing? No, obviously not. Try reading 1 Cor 15 carefully.

Yes, its true that Ireneaus uses the biblical language of seeing the Son, but he uses the exact same language of becoming deified too. The question is, what is glorification? As for your points 1-5, well these are all mere claims and you have given no support for them. Second, many of them can be said of other doctrines Protetants accept or the canon itself. And Piper's view is pretty much the Arian position of "seeing the Son."

Their exegesis was sloppy compare to the historical-gramamtical method? Well, so then is Saint Paul in Galtaisn 4 who interprets Sarah and Hagar allgegorically. The same goes for Jesus and the Apostles in the Messianic prophecies in the OT. Just because the Fathers don't use a contemporary methodology doesn't imply that they were sloppy here.

The went to far in relation to what? Your understanding? You seem to be assuming that the doctrine of theosis is false, but so far you haven't been able to even launch a criticism that actually represented the doctrine correctly. I don't mean to be rude, but Ithink it is clear that you haven't the slightest clue about what you speak. I'd recommend refraining from making judgments until you become informed on the matter.

Athanasius and other Father's suffered for their belief in theosis so they certaintly didn't act as if they were exagerating.

Any biblical or theological term can be abused and this is just as true in Calvinism as it is in any system. The abuse of something doesn't negate its proper use.

It would only show that they were not infallible if you proved the doctrine wrong, but you haven't even been able to say what the doctrine in fact is yet. So you are question begging. Besides, I don't need to think that the Fathers are infallible to thiink that they correct.

The language is weird to you since your tradition has lost this Apostolic teaching perhaps, but it isn't weird for those who retain it. Weirdness is rather subjective. It doesn't show that the doctrine is false. Lots of people think Calvinism is "weird" too. Plenty of Jewish rabbi's at Jamnia and before thought that Ezekiel was too "weird" to be considered canonical. And given that the NT itself gives examples of divine power in physical objects and icons and relics are evidenced in the 2nd century, these aren't any later "developments" than the canon of Scripture, the Trinity or the virgin birth. They are certainly far earlier "developments" than then the penal atonement or sola fide, which took more than 1,000 years to develop after Athansius.

Anonymous said...

Perry,

Reformed exegesis has shown us (via a "consistent exegesis" of the biblical text) certain truths... are you listening to yourself? The Scriptures *could not be more clear* about the fact that there is "no subjective change in the individual" who is justified ἐκ πίστεως μόνον.

Please re-read the texts related to justification again...

Blessings,
BC

CrimsonCatholic said...

Perry:
And Piper's view is pretty much the Arian position of "seeing the Son."

Oh, definitely. Anybody who's read St. Hilary on the Transfiguration and the glorifications of the Saints in Heaven can spot the Homoian Arianism here. If the glorification is mere creaturely glory in imitation of the Son and not actual divine glory, we aren't saved.

That's what constantly amazes me about this. I never was Protestant, and all of my experience with Protestantism has been from the outside. But it strikes me as incredible that they will call out someone like T.D. Jakes, Joel Osteen, or Rick Warren for being a completely wackjob, and then turn around and treat someone like Piper, who seems just as theologically "out to lunch" and speak of him in hallowed tones of respect. Why would anybody take a guy like Piper seriously? It baffles me.

For example, Piper's account here reminds me of Patrick Madrid's description of the JW vision of paradise, which I would paraphrase as "sitting around and eating fruit all day. After 10,000 years, you'd probably get a little tired of it. That can't be the end of human existence." But that's exactly what Piper's "new delights, new doings, new deeds, and creativity" is. It's just a perpetuation of the good acts of mundane creation indefinitely. They had a concept for that among the Scholastics, and they called it Limbo for unbaptized infants, at least some considering it a mild form of damnation rather than Heaven. Why on earth would we follow someone whose best promise is an eternal existence that numerous Christians of previous generations considered near to Hell?

I suppose I should just be happy that they believe in some sort of Christian dogma, but the lack of critical thinking on the subject is just weird to me. I can't imagine making a decision about the fundamental orientation of my entire life on something that goofy.

BC:
Nice one! ;-)

Ken Temple said...

I freely admit I have not read as much of Hillary or Maximus the Confessor or John of Damascus (I read some of his stuff on icons and his dealings with Islam) or Cyril or Photius or other ancients that you mention, as you guys have; and I don't know enough about hypostasis (beyond the formula of the Trinity and the Biblical word; but the change of the emphasis of the word in Patristic theological language is difficult); or perichoresis (interpenetration of the one nature between the three persons in the Trinity) or the "energies" of the Trinity.

Did Arius talk about the issue of "glorification"? I thought the issue with him was only about the eternalness (into the past) of the Son.

I don't think it is right to continue to accuse Protestants of rejecting orthodox doctrines in the first 4 ecumenical councils, when the disagreements are only beginning with the 5th and beyond. There is a clear line and difference.

You cannot say that the understanding in Contending for our All is Arian, when it clearly is not; and Piper argues for agreeing with Athanasius himself on the issue of homo-ousias and the eternalness and Deity of the Son.

CrimsonCatholic said...

Then by all means, educate yourself. From De Trin. IX:
'36. Hence the Apostle, to make his explanation of this Mystery complete, after saying that death is the last enemy to be conquered, adds: But when He says, "All things are put in subjection except Him, Who did subject all things to Him, then must He be subjected to Him, that did subject all things to Him, that God may be all in all." 1 Corinthians 15:27-28 The first step of the Mystery is that all things are subjected to Him: then He is subjected to Him, Who subjects all things to Himself. As we are subjected to the glory of the rule of His body, so He also, reigning in the glory of His body, is by the same Mystery in turn subjected to Him, Who subjects all things to Himself. And we are subjected to the glory of His body, that we may share that splendour with which He reigns in the body, since we shall be conformed to His body.

37. Nor are the Gospels silent concerning the glory of His present reigning body. It is written that the Lord said, "Verily, I say unto you, there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death till they see the Son of Man coming in His Kingdom." And it came to pass, after six days Jesus takes with Him Peter and James and John His brother, and brings them up into a high mountain apart. "And Jesus was transfigured before them, and His face did shine as the sun, and His garments became as snow." Thus was shown to the Apostles the glory of the body of Christ coming into His Kingdom: for in the fashion of His glorious Transfiguration, the Lord stood revealed in the splendour of His reigning body.

38. He promised also to the Apostles the participation in this His glory. So shall it be in the end of the world. The Son of Man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather together out of His Kingdom all things that cause stumbling, and them that do iniquity, and He shall send them into the furnace of fire: there shall be the weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. He that has ears to hear, let him hear. Were their natural and bodily ears closed to the hearing of the words, that the Lord should need to admonish them to hear? Yet the Lord, hinting at the knowledge of the Mystery, commands them to listen to the doctrine of the faith. In the end of the world all things that cause stumbling shall be removed from His Kingdom. We see the Lord then reigning in the splendour of His body, until the things that cause stumbling are removed. And we see ourselves, in consequence, conformed to the glory of His body in the Kingdom of the Father, shining as with the splendour of the sun, the splendour in which He showed the fashion of His Kingdom to the Apostles, when He was transfigured on the mountain.
(cont.)

CrimsonCatholic said...

(cont.)
39. He shall deliver the Kingdom to God the Father, not in the sense that He resigns His power by the delivering, but that we, being conformed to the glory of His body, shall form the Kingdom of God. It is not said, "He shall deliver up His Kingdom," but, "He shall deliver up the Kingdom" 1 Corinthians 15:24, that is, deliver up to God us who have been made the Kingdom by the glorifying of His body. He shall deliver us into the Kingdom, as it is said in the Gospel, "Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." Matthew 25:34 The just shall shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father, and the Son shall deliver to the Father, as His Kingdom, those whom He has called into His Kingdom, to whom also He has promised the blessedness of this Mystery, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." Matthew 5:8 While He reigns, He shall remove all things that cause stumbling, and then the just shall shine as the sun in the Kingdom of the Father. Afterwards He shall deliver the Kingdom to the Father, and those whom He has handed to the Father, as the Kingdom, shall see God. He Himself witnesses to the Apostles what manner of Kingdom this is: "The Kingdom of God is within you." Luke 17:21 Thus it is as King that He shall deliver up the Kingdom, and if any ask Who it is that delivers up the Kingdom, let him hear, "Christ is risen from the dead, the firstfruits of them that sleep; since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead." 1 Corinthians 15:20-21 All that is said on the point before us concerns the Mystery of the body, since Christ is the firstfruits of the dead. Let us gather also from the words of the Apostle by what Mystery Christ rose from the dead: "Remember that Christ has risen from the dead, of the seed of David." 2 Timothy 2:8 Here he teaches that the death and resurrection are due only to the Dispensation by which Christ was flesh.'
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/330211.htm

This was written in response to the suggestion of the Arians that the delivery of the Kingdom to the Father meant that Christ Himself would put Himself into subjection to the Father. But St. Hilary's Christological interpretation, that Christ is raising His own Body to the divine glory of the Father, where the blessed will see God, refutes the Arian assertion in a way that does not make Christ's consubstantiality with us entail inferiority to the Father.

Arian doctrine was not limited to Arius itself, but the argument follows. In all of its numerous forms, the Arian argument is always that Christ's consubstantality with us (and our salvation) means that He could not possibly have been God. The argument you are making about humanity not participating in Christ's real glorification is the same as theirs, suggesting that Jesus cannot be glorified as God in His humanity, as if Jesus Christ were something ontologically other than the Word of God. At best, Piper has divided the persons in Nestorian manner; at worst, he's fallen into Arianism. Regardless, it denies that Jesus Christ is the Word of God, and thus denies the whole basis for our salvation.

As to nominal acceptance of councils as proof of orthodoxy, Nestorius thought Chalcedon had vindicated him, but he was wrong about that. Many of the later Arians claimed to agree with Nicaea according to their own interpretation as well; indeed, many later Arians signed on to Nicaea with mental reservations. I don't see what Piper says as anything more than a verbal agreement with Nicaea and Chalcedon based on his own interpretation of the terms. But St. Hilary, the Athanasius of the West, shows what the orthodox pro-Nicene theologians thought of it. That should suffice to the end of demonstrating Piper's heterodoxy, and I will not shy from calling his position what it is.

Ken Temple said...

Some how I did not see what BC wrote here:

Are you Reformed? Do you believe that God is sovereign in the salvation of the individals He elects (unconditionally) to salvation?

Yes, but that does not vitiate our responsibility to evangelize; election does not save people; it only guarantees the results of evangelism in some (the elect). (2 Timothy 2:10, Acts 16:14) We must preach the gospel and not preach stumbling blocks; we must love people and go to people. God does not save people apart from means - the means of going, preaching, learning languages, relating, loving, good deeds, character, suffering, spending time with people. We must obey God's will, but leave the results to Him. When people do respond in repentance and faith, the glory goes to Him, for He drew them by His Spirit and He was causing the growth. But we must plant and build and do the watering.

"how shall they hear without a preacher?" see Romans 10:13-15


You wrote:
"Then maybe a big part of the sinful stumbling blocks would be put aside, so they can understand why we call Jesus, "the Son of God". As long as the RC Mary and EO Mary is there; it is a massive stumbling block."

I am surprised... ISTM as though you are saying that the 'unbiblical doctrines' of the "RC" and EO communions are preventing God from saving His elect among the Muslims... strange...

BC

No; see above. God's sovereignty in election and grace does not get rid of our responsibility to communicate clearly and do the right things.

Ken Temple said...

I am still working on thinking about the passage in Hillary and also looking at I Corinthians 15:24-28. This is a difficult passage, on the surface. (regarding the equality of the persons in the Trinity.) Seems to indicate some kind of greater role to the Father. (in His role, not essence.)

I will have to think about that more.

But, it seems to me you are still reading back into Arianism, where Protestants draw the line at Chalcedon, you want to then take the other agreements we have away from us. Seems pretty anachronistic and unfair to me.


You wrote:
Arian doctrine was not limited to Arius itself, but the argument follows.

Anyone can make any kind of argument "follow" something, in their own mind, with mental gymnastics, which it honestly seems like this is what you do. Anyone can make their own additions, arguments, reasoning, and developments that are actually changes and become distortions later of the original. Like the Marian dogmas and development took off and ran with her, made "arguments that follow" (in their minds) beyond Scripture.

In all of its numerous forms, the Arian argument is always that Christ's consubstantality with us (and our salvation) means that He could not possibly have been God.

But we believe He is God from all eternity, so quit making that end round assertion. Seems like sophistry to me.

The argument you are making about humanity not participating in Christ's real glorification is the same as theirs, suggesting that Jesus cannot be glorified as God in His humanity,

NO; not suggesting that at all about Christ. And we will be glorified in glorified bodies also. Philippians 3:21 But we are still creatures and deserve no prayers or veneration or worship or dulia or hyperdulia through icons or statues on earth.

as if Jesus Christ were something ontologically other than the Word of God.

Absolutely not; does not follow.

At best, Piper has divided the persons in Nestorian manner; at worst, he's fallen into Arianism.

No, it does not follow at all.

Regardless, it denies that Jesus Christ is the Word of God, and thus denies the whole basis for our salvation.

No. We believe in the incarnation and crucifixion for our salvation, same as Athansius. John 1:1, 14; Hebrews 2:14-18

Ken Temple said...

David, wouldn't you say this is true? (below)

Aside from the stated purposes that David W. said he posted Ken Guindon's recent testimony of going back to the EOC; it is obvious that it is dealing with one of his favorite subjects; the whole issue of tradition and church history and which churches follow the ancient church history more closely.

(The quotes from Tony Lane and Newman that are always there and your subject matter seem to indicate this.)

And his similar journey with the JWs make it interesting.

It is the whole Newman thing; Development of Doctrine and "to be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant" claim; which means either RCC or EO.

An EO would also follow into that famous Newman statement; right?

Ken Temple said...

David wrote:

I sincerely doubt that the orthodox teachings of the councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon had penetrated much into the Arabian peninsula by the time that Muhammad brought forth the Qur’an. Interestingly enough, I have had some earlier conversations/threads here atAF on this very topic: SEE THE THREADS HERE.

I went back and read some of that; that was the subject that brought me into your blog - Islam, the Trinity, and church history.

I still many questions about that; and some of my questions were never really answered to my satisfaction in the combox. I don't know if you even saw some of the last ones.

Maybe no one knows the answers fully; not your fault.

If you know Muslims, they don't care about the distinctions between Monophysites, Nestorians, Chalcedonians, Trinitarians, Collyridians, Tri-theism, etc.

-- It all appeared the same to them. Calling Mary "the Mother of God" and the Trinity appeared to them that all of these things were the same thing - Tri-theism - polytheism. A "trinity" of Father, Mother, and Son. (that is logical human thinking; they don't know who the Holy Spirit is.)

Even intellectual Muslims today, who understand what we mean by the Trinity, still reject it as shirk (ascribing associates/partners with God) and Kofr (blasphemy).

What evidence do we have that Muhammad in the Quran in 5:116 and other places understood the distinctions?

The churches of those days, (500s-700s and beyond) whether Chalcedonian or Collyridian - had statues and icons and prayers to Mary and other saints; and called her "the Mother of the God" - so Muslims were not able to distinguish.

Your comment about the Fatimids being in control of Egypt shows you understand Islamic history at that time, and that the Fatimids were not orthodox Sunnis, but the Shi'ite Sevener sect. (Ismaili)

Have you read Philip Jenkins' new book on Lost Christianties ( I think it touches on the Monophysites, but definitely about the Nestorians and their missionary advances into China, and I hope, it will cover other Christian sects of the Middle East and East at the time of the Islamic invasions. I just ordered it and should be getting it soon.

Ken Temple said...

Lest anyone get confused, the Fatimids in Egypt were much later than Muhammad and Quran and the early Khalifs.

Your comment about the Fatimids being in control of Egypt shows you understand Islamic history at that time [10 Century, much later than the Muhammad and the early Khalifs], and that the Fatimids were not orthodox Sunnis, but the Shi'ite Sevener sect. (Ismaili)

Anonymous said...

Ken,

Do you think that your "responsibility" to clearly communicate how run-of-the-mill Mary was to Muslims (lest they think that she bore a son that was God in the flesh... making her the "Mother of God" no matter how you slice it - unless you want to do something Nestorian) changes God's ability to save His own, the individuals whom He has elected (unconditionally and from eternity past) from among the peoples in the Muslim world?

Can the elect... if they create stumbling blocks (like calling Mary the Mother of something other than Jesus human nature... *deep sigh*) thwart God's ability to save His elect? I thought you'd say "of course not," but you seem to have indicated that either the elect can or you've decided to dodge the question...

At any rate... I hope you're well.

Blessings,
BC

Anonymous said...

Ken,

I don't have a great deal of time... so this is going to be a long run-on sentence, basically... sorry.

I don't know if you realize it, but just saying "no no no no" when CC/JP tries to point out where certain premises seem to necessarily lead doesn't change the fact...

I see this a lot with the CathOdox v. Protestant debates... usually it's the other way around... like "We all agree that the Bible is the Word of God so... it's up to the CathOdox to prove Holy Tradition" (usually asking for explicit proof from the Bible alone...). The problem here is that the reasons WHY we agree on that are NOT THE SAME. They need to be dealt with FIRST. Now in this case... all of the *background* of the beliefs is in question here... these Christological issues we've been discussing, the ones that you and Pr. Piper seem to share... are not the building blocks of Christological orthodoxy, but the building blocks of Christological heterodoxy that lead to things that have been universally and roundly condemned as heresies... just saying... "nope... these positions lead to the same Orthodox Christology that the Church has always taught..." ignoring the facts... doesn't cut it.

Blessings,
BC

Anonymous said...

Ken,

What I mean to say is... if I am building a house and you are building a house... and I use bricks and you use wood... even if the general shape of the house seems similar... when we both complete the houses you can't claim to have a brick house too - not if you didn't use bricks...

BC

Acolyte4236 said...

Ken,

I commend you for your willingness to put yourself out there and admit the need for more study. That takes some fiber. Now I'd invite you to use more of it by refraining from making claims until you have done so. Since you are protestant, I'd recommend you go and see for yourself by reading some select works in terms of primary sources and some contemporary monographs on various fathers and specific problems. I think you'll find that there is no shortage of good material to read. And when you become familiar with it, I think you'll see Piper's attempt to piggy back some of the counter-intuitive views of the Reformation on to counter-intuitive statements made by Athanasius, that it really doesn't work because the two are not comparable.

The issue of theosis was part of the Arian contoversy, just as it was later ones. The Arian controversy had many different parts and Arianism had many different forms. One of their main concerns was that the creator-creature distinction remain intact to the point of denying Christ's full deity. A similar line was to protect the transcendence of God from the contamination of suffering or pathos. Humans suffer and die, God can't they affirmed. They also wished to maintain a very strong line on humanity and all creatures being subordinate to God by a relation of will. Consequently salvation was less about ontological transformation and more about moral behavior. This is why the Sacraments and theosis played a significant part in the controversy since the theology regarding them was so entrenched that it could be used as a lynchpin. If you deny the divinity of CHrist, then you have to deny the efficacy of baptismal regeneration and so forth.

Acolyte4236 said...

Ken,

I don't know why you draw a line at the first four councils as if there is some magic historical line present that Calvinists can see but no one else can. The fact is that there are plenty of doctrines within those councils that Calvinsits reject. Take Nicea for example with its endorsement of baptismal regeneration. Calvinists reinterpret the Creed's statement on baptism because they reject its teaching. The same goes for Christ being "God from God" since they reject that too. They assert that all three persons are autotheos rather than Nicea's teaching that the Father alone is autotheos.

As for Chalcedon, I think a careful reading of it and Reformation and post sources will show that the Reformed really aren't Chalcedonian. This is most evident in Muller's work, Christ and the Decree. And Muller is no hostile witness to that fact (nor is he alone in that judgment). He thinks its a good thing. Calvin, Ursinus, Musculus, Bucer and Beza form a consistent line of non-Chalcedonian Christology. If the Reformed adhered to Chalcedon, there is no way that they could adhere to their view of predestination. The two are not compatible. But read Muller yourself and see what you think. Its not a long book, but I'd recommed having a basic Latin dictionary handy, specifically the one he compiled for theological terms employed in post-Reformation scholasticism.

Acolyte4236 said...

Ken,

Piper can't consistently adhere to Athanasius' teaching, whether he knows it or not. To affirm Athanasius' view on deification would spell the end for his Calvinism. On the other hand, his rejection of it implies the rejection of Athanasius' teaching regarding the full deity of the Son, whether Piper notices it or not. It wasn't by accident that Socinianism and Unitarianism came out of Calvinism. That is no historical fluke. Even Barth saw that, which is what he was in large measure trying to correct.

As for the whole "Newman thing" I don't agree with Newman on lots of stuff so I am no Newman toady. BUt Newman was a great mind and great writer and he is worth reading. You can learn alot from him. But I'd recommend that you not disparage him and his notion of development quite so much, that is, if you wish to remain Protestant. Protestants also, of necessity, have to endorse some theory of doctrinal development, and they aren't in substance too far away from Newman's. They appeal to doctrinal development with respect to doctrines like the Trinity, but more specifically with respect to their distinctives like Sola Fide. If Sola Fide was clearly taught, they wouldn't have to appeal to the idea of doctrinal development and the idea becoming clearer over long periods of time.

As for the Orthodox, we don't think doctrine develops. That is, we don't think that doctrines are contained implicitly in earlier sources to be drawn out through a dialectical process, whether that process is entirely discursive or not. In that way, from an Orthodox point of view, Catholics and Protestants are more alike eachother than they are like Orthodoxy.

Ken Temple said...

Thanks Perry, and Jonathan, and BC -
The 3 of you make some good points, (I still disagree, but . . . I like the challenge and want to learn)

I will stop for now and think more about all this, and read more as time allows.

I want to continue my questions about Islam and church history and Mary issues with David, but feel free to add anything.

(that is my main interest, but it does touch on the icons and the other issues you are talking about.)

But I think we have pretty much beat the "theosis"/deification/Athanasius/glorification/icons/Hillary issue, as far as I can go with it, until I study it more.

Perry wrote:
As for the Orthodox, we don't think doctrine develops.

That is very interesting. I will have to revisit that sometime.
Thanks again,
Ken

David Waltz said...

Hi Ken,

Thanks for responding to my comments concerning orthodox Christology and the criticisms found in the Qur’an. At the end of your post, you wrote:

>> Have you read Philip Jenkins' new book on Lost Christianties ( I think it touches on the Monophysites, but definitely about the Nestorians and their missionary advances into China, and I hope, it will cover other Christian sects of the Middle East and East at the time of the Islamic invasions. I just ordered it and should be getting it soon.>>

I think you may be referring THIS BOOK, if so, I have not read the book, and only today (thanks to your post) became aware of it. It looks very interesting; I would like to renew our dialogue on Islam after you have had a chance to read the book. (I would also like to know ASAP if the book is worth purchasing, if so, I would be willing to order the book.)

So, get back to me on this; I think it best to start a new thread when you are ready.


God bless,

David

David Waltz said...

Hello again Ken,

You posted the following:

>> Perry wrote:
As for the Orthodox, we don't think doctrine develops.

That is very interesting. I will have to revisit that sometime.>>

Me: Dr. Liccione (and to a lesser extent, this beachbum), has devoted a considerable amount of time (and “ink”) to this very issue. I would like to recommend THIS THREAD his (FYI: Mike’s entire series on development is worth reading if one has the time).

[For some of my reflections on this issue, SEE THIS THREAD.]


Grace and peace,

David

Ken Temple said...

yes, I wrote the title wrong,
(mind mind conflated the title of another book about the Apocryphal NT Gospels and Gnostics, Bart Ehrman). What a bad mistake on my part!

It is:

The Lost History of Christianity: The Thousand Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, and How it Died.

by Philip Jenkins, (Harper One, 2008)

Ken Temple said...

David,
I just got the book today and started reading.

I am skipping around, getting an overall feel, before I go back and read sentence by sentence in order.

Looks really interesting. Talks a lot about the Decline and disappearance of the eastern non-Chalcedonian churches, Jacobite Syrian, Coptic, and Nestorian churches, but also has a lot to say about modern disppearance of these churches in the last 2 centuries, including the mass Genocide against the Assyrians and Armenians by the Muslims.

"For all the reasons we can suggest for the long-term decline, for all the temptations to assimilate, the largest single factor for Christian decline was organized violence, whether in the form of massacre, expulsion, or forced migration." ( P. 141)

I disagree with this sentence:

"That diversity suggests that episodes of persecution and violence derive not from anything inherent in the faith of Islam, but from circumstances in particular times and places." (P. 242)

Is he kidding?
Surah 9:29 ? (and much more)

CrimsonCatholic said...

Very gracious of you, Rev. Temple. I hope that this ends up being of some help and that it will be taken in a spirit of sincere concern, and I'll leave you with a paragraph to keep in mind as you study.

The key feature of Chalcedonian theology is that Christ's nature is exactly the same as ours, so what happens to the human nature in Christ happens to everyone who is "in Christ Jesus" (to use St. Paul's term) by grace, including the sharing of the divine glory. What we venerate in the Saints is not something in themselves; it is God's glory that He has shared through Christ. For the Fathers, the salvation of man consists of that shared glory through the Incarnation. Salvation from sin is only a small piece (albeit the only piece that is visible before the revelation of Christ).

Ken Temple said...

Thanks Jonathan; peace.

This is a question about where the word the Eastern Christians use for "hypostasis" (gnome or uqnom) comes from. (Greek into Syriac ?)

From someone named Sam - (from another on line forumhttp://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2008/10/evangelicals-lets-rethink-apostolic-succession/)

Sam wrote:
“In Syriac, physis was translated as kyānâ (ܟܝܢܐ) and hypostasis was qnômâ (ܩܢܘܡܐ). However, in the Persian Church, or the East Syriac tradition, qnoma was taken to mean nature, thereby confounding the issue furthermore.”

Very interesting comments – where are some on line articles on this issue and communicating the Trinity and “one substance” and “three persons” with Muslims?

Is not “qnoma” from the Greek “gnoma” ?

(I tried the Greek font, but it would not work)

”purpose”, “will”, “intent”, “opinion”, “decision”, “consent”, “judgment”

I Cor. 1:10
Acts 20:3
I Cor. 7:25
I Cor. 7:40
2 Cor. 8:10
Philemon 14
Rev. 17:13
Rev. 17:17

Did they confuse this word, from gnoma, but using it for “hupostasis”?

The Persian and Arabic speaking evangelicals (and Orthodox and Catholics) use “uqnom” (from the Syriac qnoma) for “person” or “hupostasis”

Muslims and former Muslims don’t even have this word in their vocabulary. It is a foreign word.

Is this one of the problems going back to the splits between eastern churches, Jacobite Syrian, Arminian, Coptic Church, and their disagreements with the Chalcedonian creed?

Ryan S. said...

Wait, Protestant services are intellectual? Since when? I honestly don't know what you're taking about. In my parent's Protestant evangelical church, they all talk about what a Christian should do with their finances or tell us how some obscure passage in Leviticus somehow applies to us nowadays. I never hear anything about "Biblical exegesis." And even if I do, the context is "forced" onto our culture as if every single passage applies directly to us. And that's why I'm not affiliated with Protestantism or any official church (at the current moment). It's all so repetitive and I hate that they never mention arguments for the existence of God or how a Christian is supposed to respond when an atheist asks about a certain doctrine. In my opinion, churches need to be more intellectual, not less. They just tell people to "have faith" when you doubt. I almost left Christianity simply because of he rampant stupidity of my church leaders. We need to talk more about exegesis, not less.

David Waltz said...

Hello Ryan,

Is this your first post at AF? Whether or not, it is always nice to ‘see’ a new face here—welcome!

Some very interesting comments, for sure. Being a ‘left-brain’ kind of guy, I too appreciate (need?) some rigorous intellectual ‘meat’ during my sojourn here on Earth. With that said, I would like to comment on the following you wrote:

>>In my opinion, churches need to be more intellectual, not less. They just tell people to "have faith" when you doubt. I almost left Christianity simply because of he rampant stupidity of my church leaders. We need to talk more about exegesis, not less.>>

IMO, I doubt you will find many local pastors (in any denomination) who are intellectuals (this does not mean, of course, that they can be devoid of the ability to “teach”). Yet with that said, Christianity throughout the ages has produced a considerable number of intellectuals who have mastered the “wisdom of this world” to better defend the faith “once and for all delivered unto the saints”. Men like Ravi Zacharias; William Lane Craig; and Peter Kreeft are among some of the more ‘popular’ contemporary intellectuals. From older generations, there are just too many to name, so I shall select one of my personal favorites: Francis Schaeffer.

Anyway, I sincerely hope I can be of some assistance in your search for truth—please feel free to email anytime.

God bless,

David

Bubby said...

Hey, sorry it's been a while since I've responded to your comment. I have been notoriously behind on my e-mail.

Anyways, as I was saying before, I know that Christianity has produced intellectuals through the years, but my point of concern was on pastors. I don't mind that the services themselves are anti-intellectual sometimes, or even most of the time. What I mind is the fact that most cannot answer a single person's question when they doubt God. They always tell you to either have faith, doubting is evil and sinful, or they offer some convoluted explanation that is incredibly simplistic or so far-fetched that it only makes sense to them.

I know a pastors job is not to be some massive intellectual who goes off on philosophical rants and what have you, but I at least expect an intelligent core to the message not some feel-good, mushy, postmodern hack.

Overall, I agree with you though. I don't consider myself a Protestant anymore. I haven't yet looked into Roman Catholicism or Eastern Orthodox in depth yet, but I have a lot more respect for them now that a friend cleared up a bunch of misconceptions.

Arthur Roshkovski said...

Is there a way to contact Ken? I would be interested to speak with him on Skype.

David Waltz said...

Hi Arthur,

I contacted Ken, and he informed me that I could send you his email address, which I have done via my AugustineH354@aol.com account.

While chatting with Ken, he informed me that the Regular Baptist Press has just a few days ago reissued his book, History Is Not Enough, under a new title: High Church Heresy.

The book may be purchased at the following address:

http://regularbaptistpress.org/2016/02/03/new-book-examines-high-churches/


Grace and peace,

David