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Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MatthewJTaylor
If I were to write out the "fundamentals" of Christianity, it'd be something more like this:

God created the Universe.
In the universe He created Man.
Man went against the will of God.
This alienated Man from God.
God promised redemption of Man.
The divine Son of God came to Earth in the flesh of a Man.
The redemption was achieved by the sacrifice of the Son.
The Son will come again and bring the Universe to its conclusion.
Redeemed Man shall wed with the Son in everlasting communion.

It's really vaguely worded and would requrie explanation but I think that's a better start than just listing terms.


This is a better list for the fundamentals of Christianity, assuming the talk of redemption isn't meant to imply a penal substitution theory of atonement.
MatthewJTaylor

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wessexman


This is a better list for the fundamentals of Christianity, assuming the talk of redemption isn't meant to imply penal substitution theory of atonement.

I tried to keep the language vague so as to cover other models but since I follow penal substitionary atonement, it may be biased.

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MatthewJTaylor

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Reply with quote  #18 
Perhaps if I said "The redemption was made possible by the sacrifice of the Son" then it would more adequately cover more sanctification-based models of salvation

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Wessexman

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That works well.
azadi

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Originally Posted by Wessexman
Whilst I agree with most of those (I don't think a Christian can reject predestination, but, certainly, most Eastern Christians, Catholics, and quite a few Protestants see it as compatible with free will), that seems a rather partisan list if we are talking about a basic, inclusive Christianity.

I would say only the first and the one on the ten commandments is fundamental (assuming you aren't interpreting this later in some controversial way, such as to support iconoclasm). Whether duophysitism is fundamental depends on what you mean by it. If you mean simply the acknowledgement that Christ is fully man and fully God (whilst be one being or 'person'), I agree. If you mean to rule out the Oriental Orthodox, that is, again, quite a partisan and particular view, and hardly a basic or inclusive one.


My list of fundamentals of Christianity is based on pre-reformation Christianity. The pre-reformation Christian denominations are far more similar to each other than to Protestantism. A wide gulf exists between pre-reformation Christianity and Protestantism. 
I consider double predestination to be a heresy. I consider Miaphysitism to be a heresy, but I admit that the Miaphysites aren't Monophysites. The Miaphysites accept Jesus Christ being consubstantial with mankind unlike the Monophysites. I consider making images of God the Father to be against the Second Commandment.

Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #21 
It seems what you are really after is an idiosyncratic, personal idea of Christianity, then.

We could, I suppose, rest content with identifying pre-reformation Christianity, but it seems to me that what you seem to imply you are after in your first post is basic Christian beliefs. It seems a little drastic to exclude the major reforming traditions from this. It's true that some of them hold doctrines on free will and salvation somewhat distinct from the earlier Church, but there are antecedents for much of it, even if these didn't express the dominant or exhaustive pre-reformation views. Surely the point of identifying a fundamental or mere Christianity l, to use C. S. Lewis's term, is to find what all mainstream Christians more or less agree on. As far as possible, that should leave out contentious issues where mainstream Christians are significantly split. At the very least, a developed argument is to be needed to argue for a more restrictivennotion of fundamental Christianity, though I don't see it in your posts. A vague appeal to pre-reformation Christianity is not sufficient.

The Oriental Orthodox are more numerous and important representatives of pre-reformation Christianity than the Church of the East, at least today. To reject or mark them out and not the Church of the East seems to just be Nestorian partisanship.

Which Christians are making images of God? If you are referring to icons, it seems an absurd suggestion. Not only because St. John of Damascus so refuted this slander that most of the early iconoclasts dropped it, but because the use of icons is a hallmark of all the pre-reformation churches except, to a significant but not total degree, the Church of the East. And not just do they use images, they, or at least the Roman Catholic and especially the Eastern Orthodox, have a developed theology of the icon that argues in favour (and not just toleration) of their use. You can't appeal to pre-reformation Christianity one minute and drop it the next.
azadi

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wessexman
It seems what you are really after is an idiosyncratic, personal idea of Christianity, then.

We could, I suppose, rest content with identifying pre-reformation Christianity, but it seems to me that what you seem to imply you are after in your first post is basic Christian beliefs. It seems a little drastic to exclude the major reforming traditions from this. It's true that some of them hold doctrines on free will and salvation somewhat distinct from the earlier Church, but there are antecedents for much of it, even if these didn't express the dominant or exhaustive pre-reformation views. Surely the point of identifying a fundamental or mere Christianity l, to use C. S. Lewis's term, is to find what all mainstream Christians more or less agree on. As far as possible, that should leave out contentious issues where mainstream Christians are significantly split. At the very least, a developed argument is to be needed to argue for a more restrictivennotion of fundamental Christianity, though I don't see it in your posts. A vague appeal to pre-reformation Christianity is not sufficient.

The Oriental Orthodox are more numerous and important representatives of pre-reformation Christianity than the Church of the East, at least today. To reject or mark them out and not the Church of the East seems to just be Nestorian partisanship.

Which Christians are making images of God? If you are referring to icons, it seems an absurd suggestion. Not only because St. John of Damascus so refuted this slander that most of the early iconoclasts dropped it, but because the use of icons is a hallmark of all the pre-reformation churches except, to a significant but not total degree, the Church of the East. And not just do they use images, they, or at least the Roman Catholic and especially the Eastern Orthodox, have a developed theology of the icon that argues in favour (and not just toleration) of their use. You can't appeal to pre-reformation Christianity one minute and drop it the next.

I don't condemn icons. I'm only condemning making images of God the Father. I support aniconism, but I don't consider making images of Jesus to be heretical. The Orthodox Church also condemns making images of God the Father. The Catholic Church sadly tolerates making images of God the Father.
The Miaphysite Orthodox are indeed far more numerous today than the Church of the East, but the Church of the East affirm Chalcedonian Christology along with the Chalcedonian Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church, while the Miaphysite Orthodox Church rejects Chalcedonian Christology.


Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #23 
I'm not sure why you brought up the question of images then. I don't think the Catholic Church makes icons of the Father. You are talking about a few symbolic images from the renaissance. Whatever the flaws in taste shown in these, I don't think they represent a big issue. 

Yet the Eastern Orthodox, at least, certainly tend to have closer links to the Oriental Orthodox, and the former are the pillars of orthodoxy, to my mind. Let's not forget the Nestorians don't subscribe to Ephesus or, I think, the Second Council of Constantinople. Anyway, the question is not about whether the Oriental Orthodox subscribe to the exact formulations of the Council of Chalcedon, but the substance. It seems to me that they do. In fact, my understanding is that in Eastern Orthodox-Oriental Orthodox dialogue, the latter have been prepared to accept the substance of Chalcedon. There is only a sticking point on some of the language. Also, St. Cyril of Alexandria, for example, is revered in all pre-reformation churches, except the Church of the East. And he is surely the most important representative of Oriental Orthodox Christology. The same cannot be said for Nestorius or even Babai the Great (as much as I agree they have been misunderstood).
InVinoVeritas

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Quote:
Originally Posted by azadi

Neither Lutheranism nor Calvinism accept good works being necessary to salvation, and both Lutheranism and Calvinism reject veneration of Mary and the saints and monasticism.


In Lutheranism, the faith that is a must for salvation is necessarily followed by good works.

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azadi

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Reply with quote  #25 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wessexman
I'm not sure why you brought up the question of images then. I don't think the Catholic Church makes icons of the Father. You are talking about a few symbolic images from the renaissance. Whatever the flaws in taste shown in these, I don't think they represent a big issue. 

Yet the Eastern Orthodox, at least, certainly tend to have closer links to the Oriental Orthodox, and the former are the pillars of orthodoxy, to my mind. Let's not forget the Nestorians don't subscribe to Ephesus or, I think, the Second Council of Constantinople. Anyway, the question is not about whether the Oriental Orthodox subscribe to the exact formulations of the Council of Chalcedon, but the substance. It seems to me that they do. In fact, my understanding is that in Eastern Orthodox-Oriental Orthodox dialogue, the latter have been prepared to accept the substance of Chalcedon. There is only a sticking point on some of the language. Also, St. Cyril of Alexandria, for example, is revered in all pre-reformation churches, except the Church of the East. And he is surely the most important representative of Oriental Orthodox Christology. The same cannot be said for Nestorius or even Babai the Great (as much as I agree they have been misunderstood).

The Church of the East has far closer ecumenical relations with the Catholic Church than with the Chalcedonian Orthodox Church, because the Catholic Church emphasizes Leo's Tome, which was written by Pope Leo I and was accepted by Nestorius, rather than the Christology of Cyril of Alexandria, in its ecumenical dialogue with the Church of the East. Leo's Tome is staunchly Dyophysite. It affirms Jesus Christ being one person with two distinct natures. Chalchedonian Christology is based on Leo's Tome.
The Miaphysites are neither Monophysites nor Dyophysites. The Miaphysites affirm Jesus Christ having one composite nature, which contains a divine ousia (essence) and a human ousia. The Miaphysites reject Jesus Christ having a divine physis (distinct nature) and a human physis. The Nestorian Church affirm Jesus Christ being one parsopa (person) having a divine kyana (essence), a divine qnoma (distinct nature), a human kyana (essence) and a human qnoma (distinct nature). Qnoma is often translated as hypostasis (being) and parsopa is often translated as prosopon (face), but those translations are inaccurate. A qnoma is more distinct than a physis, but it's not a separate being unlike a hypostasis. A parsopa is a person, not merely a face.  
MatthewJTaylor

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Reply with quote  #26 
Quote:
Originally Posted by InVinoVeritas


In Lutheranism, the faith that is a must for salvation is necessarily followed by good works.

Even in Calvinism we accept when James says that faith without works is dead.
We think that it is faith that achieves salvation but "real faith" is necessarily associated with works of some form.

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Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #27 
As your very post shows, a lot of this comes down to language and naunces. The three branches (Eastern Orthodox-Catholic, Oriental Orthodox, and Church of the East) use somewhat different terminology to express Christ's human side, his divine side, and their union. But they all (except some, almost entirely historical, extremists) affirm that he is fully man, fully God, yet entirely unified. The Oriental Orthodox accept this no less than the other two branches. Nothing you mention shows otherwise. That doesn't mean that the Christological positions are absolutely equal, but there doesn't seem to me to be any cast gulfs, nor that the Oriental Orthodox are somehow further from orthodoxy than the traditional Nestorian position.

It may or may not be true Rome has closer relations with the Church of the East (although the Eastern Orthodox are closer to the Oriental Orthodox). But that isn't necessarily a matter of Christology. It could easily have as much to do with other matters - like the different political and ecclesiastical situations of these Churches. What is true is that the Catholics, not much less than the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox, revere St. Cyril of Alexandria as a very important Father and theologian. There is no Church of the East figure nor precursor to the Church of the East's particular Christology (such as Nestorius or Theodore of Mopsuestia) who comes close to the veneration of Cyril in the Catholic or Orthodox churches.
azadi

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Reply with quote  #28 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wessexman
As your very post shows, a lot of this comes down to language and naunces. The three branches (Eastern Orthodox-Catholic, Oriental Orthodox, and Church of the East) use somewhat different terminology to express Christ's human side, his divine side, and their union. But they all (except some, almost entirely historical, extremists) affirm that he is fully man, fully God, yet entirely unified. The Oriental Orthodox accept this no less than the other two branches. Nothing you mention shows otherwise. That doesn't mean that the Christological positions are absolutely equal, but there doesn't seem to me to be any cast gulfs, nor that the Oriental Orthodox are somehow further from orthodoxy than the traditional Nestorian position.

It may or may not be true Rome has closer relations with the Church of the East (although the Eastern Orthodox are closer to the Oriental Orthodox). But that isn't necessarily a matter of Christology. It could easily have as much to do with other matters - like the different political and ecclesiastical situations of these Churches. What is true is that the Catholics, not much less than the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox, revere St. Cyril of Alexandria as a very important Father and theologian. There is no Church of the East figure nor precursor to the Church of the East's particular Christology (such as Nestorius or Theodore of Mopsuestia) who comes close to the veneration of Cyril in the Catholic or Orthodox churches.

I have never claimed that the Miaphysites are Monophysites. The Miaphysites indeed affirm, that Jesus Christ is fully man and fully God. But Nestorian Christology is far closer to Chalcedonian Christology than Miaphysitism is. Nestorian Christology and Chalcedonian Christology are Antiochene, while Miaphysitism is Alexandrian. Antiochene Christology emphasizes the distinction between the divine nature of Jesus Christ and the human nature of Jesus Christ, while Alexandrian Christology refuses to distinguish between the divine nature of Jesus Christ and the human nature of Jesus Christ. Cyril of Alexandria supported Alexandrian Christology, while Nestorius, Theodore of Mopsuestia and Pope Leo I supported Antiochene Christology. Calvin supported Antiochene Christology, while Luther supported Alexandrian Christology. Calvin rejected communicatio idiomatum, while Luther supported communicatio idiomatum. 
I have never claimed, that the Catholic Church doesn't venerate Cyril of Alexandria, but the Catholic Church emphasize Leo's Tome rather than Cyril of Alexandria in its ecumenical dialogue with the Church of the East. The Catholic Church is far more accommodating of Nestorian Christology than the Chalcedonian Orthodox Church is.
I dislike Cyril of Alexandria, because he falsely accused Nestorius of believing that Jesus Christ is divided into two persons. In addition, Cyril of Alexandria affirmed the existence of one incarnate nature of the Word of God. That's an error.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #29 
Most of that is simply wrong or irrelevant.

The Oriental Orthodox do not refuse to distinguish between Jesus's human and divine sides (I am forced to use vague terms because terms like nature are used differently amongst the participants) if that is meant they confuse his full divinity and full humanity. They are quite clear that they don't. They simply are at pains to spell out the unified nature of these. It's a matter of emphasis, just as the Church of the East is at pains to spell out the fact Jesus is fully human and fully divine, with no confusion.

It may be true that the in the Catholic tradition the dominant trend is closer to the legitimate (non-extreme Nestorians) than the legitimate miaphysites, and the reverse is true for the Eastern Orthodox. But they still revere St. Cyril. This all goes to prove my point: neither is significantly more outside the mainstream than the other, and it's mostly a matter of language and naunce.
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Reply with quote  #30 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wessexman
Most of that is simply wrong or irrelevant.

The Oriental Orthodox do not refuse to distinguish between Jesus's human and divine sides (I am forced to use vague terms because terms like nature are used differently amongst the participants) if that is meant they confuse his full divinity and full humanity. They are quite clear that they don't. They simply are at pains to spell out the unified nature of these. It's a matter of emphasis, just as the Church of the East is at pains to spell out the fact Jesus is fully human and fully divine, with no confusion.

It may be true that the in the Catholic tradition the dominant trend is closer to the legitimate (non-extreme Nestorians) than the legitimate miaphysites, and the reverse is true for the Eastern Orthodox. But they still revere St. Cyril. This all goes to prove my point: neither is significantly more outside the mainstream than the other, and it's mostly a matter of language and naunce.

I apologize for claiming that Miaphysitism is heretical, because the Miaphysites affirm, that Jesus Christ is fully human and fully divine. But claiming that Miaphysitism and Nestorian Christology are equidistant from Chalcedonian Christology is wrong, because Nestorius accepted Leo's Tome. Chalcedonian Christology is based on Leo's Tome. The Miaphysites rejected Leo's Tome and the Council of Chalcedon.
Miaphysite Christology: Jesus Christ has a composite individuated nature (qnoma), which contains two generic natures (kyane).
Nestorian Christology: Jesus Christ is one person with two individuated natures (qnome).

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