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Thread: Book Plunge: An Outline of Orthodox Dogmatic Patristics

  1. #21
    Professor KingsGambit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrawly View Post
    If we don't have biblical confirmation for something, why engage in it?
    This is the exact argument the Church of Christ uses to ban instrumental music in worship, incidentally. It's an argument from silence at best.
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    tWebber NorrinRadd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingsGambit View Post
    This is the exact argument the Church of Christ uses to ban instrumental music in worship, incidentally. It's an argument from silence at best.
    Maybe, but their assertion in that case is contestable. The Psalms undeniably encourage use of instruments. Col. 3 and Eph. 5 both include the use of psalms as part of worship, so it is not just an Obsolete Covenant thing, and the word "psalm" literally refers to "striking" as of strings or drums.
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  3. #23
    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
    Yes. I have a problem with communicating with the dead.
    Are they dead? Matt. 22:29-32, Heb. 12:1-2; see also Matt. 17:1-4. In praying to the saints, I am not attempting two-way conversation; I am assuming that as witnesses, they can see my petition and pass it on to our mutual Lord.
    I don't think we claim that the way we worship goes back to the apostles. Claiming that praying to the saints is what the apostles taught is problematic to me since I can find no evidence that they did.
    I'm not claiming definitively that the apostles taught prayer to the saints, as that would be an argument from silence. Neither can you definitively claim that the apostles disagreed with it, for the same reason. I can legitimately claim that my worship service goes back that far, even though it's not spelled out by the apostles, because it still bears a distinct resemblance to the Jewish synagogue service (as well as to Justin Martyr's synopsis from the mid 2nd century). Non-liturgical Protestant services are naturally quite different.
    But there are plenty over here, but yet they are not publishing apparently in New Testament scholarship.
    Orthodox numbers here are comparatively few. Further, scholarship is a largely rationalist child of the Enlightenment, and Orthodox theology tends to be lived rather than debated. There are Orthodox scholars, but it's not going to be a point of emphasis. I have no idea how you're defining "New Testament scholarship" or why those I mentioned don't fall within it.
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    Department Head Apologiaphoenix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    Are they dead? Matt. 22:29-32, Heb. 12:1-2; see also Matt. 17:1-4. In praying to the saints, I am not attempting two-way conversation; I am assuming that as witnesses, they can see my petition and pass it on to our mutual Lord.
    I have a problem with this because dead means something. We are to mourn for the dead in Christ because they are absent from us. Further, if they are witnesses, they don't need to be told what's going on. They already see it.

    I'm not claiming definitively that the apostles taught prayer to the saints, as that would be an argument from silence. Neither can you definitively claim that the apostles disagreed with it, for the same reason. I can legitimately claim that my worship service goes back that far, even though it's not spelled out by the apostles, because it still bears a distinct resemblance to the Jewish synagogue service (as well as to Justin Martyr's synopsis from the mid 2nd century). Non-liturgical Protestant services are naturally quite different.
    If I do not see it backed in Scripture and I see passages in Scripture that make me question it, then I have no reason to think it's anything Biblical.

    Orthodox numbers here are comparatively few. Further, scholarship is a largely rationalist child of the Enlightenment, and Orthodox theology tends to be lived rather than debated. There are Orthodox scholars, but it's not going to be a point of emphasis. I have no idea how you're defining "New Testament scholarship" or why those I mentioned don't fall within it.
    New Testament scholarship refers to someone with a Ph.D. in a relevant field writing on the New Testament such as the New Testament, Classical history, or ancient history. I am more interested in the historicity aspect instead of the theological one.

  5. #25
    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
    I have a problem with this because dead means something. We are to mourn for the dead in Christ because they are absent from us. Further, if they are witnesses, they don't need to be told what's going on. They already see it.
    Of course they don't NEED to be told. We don't NEED to tell God our requests either. Prayer is not about communication; it is about communion and fellowship.
    If I do not see it backed in Scripture and I see passages in Scripture that make me question it, then I have no reason to think it's anything Biblical.
    In that case, you'd need to point to such passages and make a solid case for why they make you do so.
    New Testament scholarship refers to someone with a Ph.D. in a relevant field writing on the New Testament such as the New Testament, Classical history, or ancient history. I am more interested in the historicity aspect instead of the theological one.
    Hrm. I can't think of any off-hand which don't have a theological and/or practical angle to them - which I don't have a problem with. If I walk into a random Orthodox bookstore, almost every book is going to be interesting to me in some way. If I walk into a typical Christian bookstore, almost nothing is going to interest me - been that way since well before I even considered Orthodoxy. The technical stuff which does interest me is rarely present; if I'm lucky, there will be a book or two by N. T. Wright or Hank Hanegraaff to peruse. Does the technical stuff help the typical Christian? No. Does the technical stuff convince people to convert? Rarely. It's interesting, but not very practical. There are certainly scholarly works from the Orthodox perspective - check out The Institute for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, or Holy Cross Orthodox Press, (or St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, which published the church history books I recommended), but much of the output is of a practical nature.
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  6. #26
    Department Head Apologiaphoenix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    Of course they don't NEED to be told. We don't NEED to tell God our requests either. Prayer is not about communication; it is about communion and fellowship.
    Sure, but Scripture regularly tells us our Fellowship is with the Father and the Son and we mourn for those who have died. Nothing is there about having fellowship and communion with them.

    In that case, you'd need to point to such passages and make a solid case for why they make you do so.
    Hrm. I can't think of any off-hand which don't have a theological and/or practical angle to them - which I don't have a problem with. If I walk into a random Orthodox bookstore, almost every book is going to be interesting to me in some way. If I walk into a typical Christian bookstore, almost nothing is going to interest me - been that way since well before I even considered Orthodoxy. The technical stuff which does interest me is rarely present; if I'm lucky, there will be a book or two by N. T. Wright or Hank Hanegraaff to peruse. Does the technical stuff help the typical Christian? No. Does the technical stuff convince people to convert? Rarely. It's interesting, but not very practical. There are certainly scholarly works from the Orthodox perspective - check out The Institute for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, or Holy Cross Orthodox Press, (or St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, which published the church history books I recommended), but much of the output is of a practical nature.
    I have enough problems with the banality of Christian bookstores. You won't hear a problem from me on that, but I think that's more of a problem of modernity instead of a problem inherent in Protestantism. I think in whatever tradition you're in, you will find people who take it seriously and people who don't. I also don't think NT scholarship alone is enough. It needs to be applied. Theology and historicity need to go together. For instance, shortly after Allie and I married, my grandmother died. I was one of three ministers who did her funeral. I had ten minutes to speak and was the last one. I spent the first five talking about how we know the resurrection is true. I spent the last five talking about the difference it makes.

    Too many apologetics books do something of the former without explaining the latter.

  7. #27
    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
    Sure, but Scripture regularly tells us our Fellowship is with the Father and the Son and we mourn for those who have died. Nothing is there about having fellowship and communion with them.
    Going back to the Scriptures I cited: We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses; that sounds like people close by, not far off in the distance. God is not the God of the dead, but the living; while the body may be turned to dust, we are not wholly body. Let's add in another: To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. And another - the book of Revelation generally shows the presence of at least the martyrs in heaven. Are you telling me we should have fellowship and communion with the Father and the Son, but not those present with them? I also note that you're arguing wholly from silence here - you cannot point to a scripture that says we should ignore the dead, as if they're not a part of the Body of Christ.
    I have enough problems with the banality of Christian bookstores. You won't hear a problem from me on that, but I think that's more of a problem of modernity instead of a problem inherent in Protestantism. I think in whatever tradition you're in, you will find people who take it seriously and people who don't. I also don't think NT scholarship alone is enough. It needs to be applied. Theology and historicity need to go together. For instance, shortly after Allie and I married, my grandmother died. I was one of three ministers who did her funeral. I had ten minutes to speak and was the last one. I spent the first five talking about how we know the resurrection is true. I spent the last five talking about the difference it makes.

    Too many apologetics books do something of the former without explaining the latter.
    Orthodoxy relies less on argument than on pointing to miracles of healing and resurrection to show the truth of the Resurrection. The difference it makes is abundantly shown in the texts of the Pentecostarion and Sunday Octoechos; every Sunday is a celebration of the Resurrection.
    Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. St. John Chrysostom

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  8. #28
    Department Head Apologiaphoenix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    Going back to the Scriptures I cited: We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses; that sounds like people close by, not far off in the distance. God is not the God of the dead, but the living; while the body may be turned to dust, we are not wholly body. Let's add in another: To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. And another - the book of Revelation generally shows the presence of at least the martyrs in heaven. Are you telling me we should have fellowship and communion with the Father and the Son, but not those present with them? I also note that you're arguing wholly from silence here - you cannot point to a scripture that says we should ignore the dead, as if they're not a part of the Body of Christ.
    I can agree we are surrounded. What I do not agree is that the dead hear our prayers like that. You can also say I am arguing from silence, but if the Orthodox Church is the one claiming this is part of Apostolic teaching, I think it's their burden to demonstrate this. It's not my burden to disprove something and if I don't, well then it must be Scriptural.

    Orthodoxy relies less on argument than on pointing to miracles of healing and resurrection to show the truth of the Resurrection. The difference it makes is abundantly shown in the texts of the Pentecostarion and Sunday Octoechos; every Sunday is a celebration of the Resurrection.
    I think experiences are wonderful, but experiences must be read through another lens to see where they fit and that is in historicity and the resurrection. I do not know about the latter sources you mentioned.

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