Thursday, March 22, 2007

An Eastern Orthodox Drinking From A Muddy Roman Catholic Well

In various threads, Orthodox has been making a lot of misleading claims about the church fathers, and he occasionally attempts to support his assertions with quotes from the fathers that he seems to have gotten from some other source. Compare his quotes here to the Catholic Answers tract here. I think Orthodox would be better informed if he read the fathers for himself and spent more time consulting credible scholarship rather than consulting Catholic Answers.

10 comments:

  1. Why would I consult Catholic answers, when I can consult many better places like Orthodox info?

    http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/quotes.aspx

    And of course lacking any material response Jason assumes where I got the quotes, assumes I havn't read the fathers and makes an attack based on anything but the real issues.

    Of course in the next breath he'll probably advise some poor person to read Webster who will try and convince people the church fathers believed in sola scriptura, LOL.

    Readers, go read the church fathers in their original form, I highly recommend it.

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  2. "Readers, go read the church fathers in their original form, I highly recommend it."

    This reader of the early fathers thinks Jason has defeated you in debate. From your extended dialogue with him, it looks like you weren't paying much attention when you read the early fathers.

    Not that any Eastern Orthodox I've met takes the fathers seriously. It's the same mentality of Roman Catholicism--mother church is right and all church father texts need to be reinterpreted to support mother church's dogma.

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  3. Orthodox said:

    "Why would I consult Catholic answers, when I can consult many better places like Orthodox info?"

    Your question is misleading, and you seem to have intended it to be. If people go to that Orthodox web page you linked to, they won't find the quotes you used. Your quotes are found at the Catholic Answers page I linked to, however. The Catholic Answers page not only uses your quotes, but also the Latin title for Tertullian's work, for example, whereas the Orthodox page you linked to uses the English title. Your Tertullian quote used the Latin, just as Catholic Answers has it. Why did you post a link to an Orthodox page that doesn't contain the material you used? Why don't you be honest by acknowledging that you were using Catholic Answers? And given the unreliability of that organization, your claims to be so knowledgeable of church history, your claims about belonging to the one true church, and your claims about how "severely impaired" Roman Catholicism is, I would say that your utilization of Catholic Answers' material is significant.

    You write:

    "And of course lacking any material response Jason assumes where I got the quotes, assumes I havn't read the fathers and makes an attack based on anything but the real issues."

    Why would you claim that I "lacked any material response"? I responded to your citations and posted others. And, as I've explained to you, I've read the entirety of both of the works you quoted from Irenaeus and Tertullian. Had you read them in their entirety before quoting them? If so, then why did you go to Catholic Answers to get the quotes? Did you also get your quotes on prayer, in that other thread, from Catholic Answers?

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  4. >but also the Latin title for Tertullian's work

    My opponent shows his ignorance again, since the title I quoted is an alternative ENGLISH title, as anybody with more than a rudimentary knowledge of the language would know.

    Yes, I have read Tertullian, and Jason would do well to get off his high horse and start addressing the real issues.

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  5. "Not that any Eastern Orthodox I've met takes the fathers seriously."

    Matt,

    You're more than welcome to come to http://www.energeticprocession.com and defend that Semi-Sabellian, Polytheistic, and "Augustinian" doctrine of the Trinity anytime, and perhaps you will realize how Hellenized and Romanistic you really are.

    Photios

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  6. Orthodox wrote:

    "My opponent shows his ignorance again, since the title I quoted is an alternative ENGLISH title, as anybody with more than a rudimentary knowledge of the language would know."

    Yes, I'm aware that the words "against", "the", and "heretics" are common English terms. I was referring to "demurrer", which is derived from Latin and isn't as commonly used in English. It's the same title Catholic Answers uses. And you still aren't telling us whether you got your material from Catholic Answers. You've now had two opportunities to give a direct answer, and your choice to not do so twice might be the closest we'll get to an answer.

    You write:

    "Yes, I have read Tertullian, and Jason would do well to get off his high horse and start addressing the real issues."

    Start addressing the issues? I've been addressing them, and in more depth and with more documentation than you've been giving us.

    I didn't just ask if you've read Tertullian. I asked whether you had read the entirety of the work in question before you posted your Catholic Answers quote. There's no need for you to read the whole work, but if you didn't read it, that would better explain why you understand the relevant issues so poorly.

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  7. This is sillyness. I don't alway keep track of where I got a quote from. That said I'm pretty sure I got that one from the Jurgens edition of Tertullian. Not that it would be unusual for me to type a few words of a quote into google to get an online version so that I can avoid typing the whole thing in.

    Again, all we have is a lot more waffle. Claims I don't understand Tertullian because I don't try and force a protestant view onto the early fathers. It's amazing what view you come up with when you have a preconceived position to defend.

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  8. Orthodox said:

    “That said I'm pretty sure I got that one from the Jurgens edition of Tertullian.”

    I don’t know what edition(s) Catholic Answers uses, but it does seem that you got multiple quotes from their article on apostolic succession. I just checked the quotes you used in our discussion of praying to the deceased, and your quotes are the same as what’s found in the Catholic Answers tract “The Intercession of the Saints”. You don’t just use the same translation. You use the same ellipses, format, spacing, etc. So, you’ve repeatedly used material from Catholic Answers, in multiple discussions in recent days, but you don’t remember where you got the quotes?

    You write:

    “Again, all we have is a lot more waffle.”

    Yes, such as your attempts to avoid telling us whether you used Catholic Answers, your continuing refusal to tell us whether you had read the entirety of Tertullian’s work, your failure to support your assertions so many times in so many discussions, etc.

    You write:

    “Claims I don't understand Tertullian because I don't try and force a protestant view onto the early fathers.”

    Saying that Tertullian disagreed with your view of the church isn’t equivalent to “forcing a Protestant view” onto him.

    You write:

    “It's amazing what view you come up with when you have a preconceived position to defend.”

    You’re the one who claims that we shouldn’t utilize the latest discoveries of scholarship, claims that his “child-like faith” in Eastern Orthodoxy is sufficient without providing objective argumentation, etc.

    When I cite the Eastern Orthodox patristic scholar John McGuckin referring to early patristic opposition to the veneration of images, would you accuse McGuckin of “having a preconceived position to defend”? Or when I cite the paedobaptist patristic scholar David Wright, one of the foremost scholars on the history of infant baptism, confirming my view that infant baptism was a gradual post-apostolic development, does he “have a preconceived position to defend”?

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  9. The problem with this debate is that the protestant doesn't understand who a Church Father is from an Orthodox stand-point (see Michael Azkoul http://www.geocities.com/trvalentine/orthodox/churchfather.html ). An second, the Eastern Orthodox participant is trying to buttress a liturgical belief about Mary's holiness into what is actually a theologoumenon about Mary by some Orthodox: i.e. that the liturgical practice of Mary as panagia is the same thing as the absence of personal sin, which is not the case. The whole question is theologoumenon for a reason, because it is not apart of what St. Vincent would consider as that golden thread of unanimous patristic witness. Mary as panagia is something positive about her as cooperating with the Redeemer to bring about the Incarnation and her devotion to the Lord, not a negative assumption that she was absent of any sin in her life. That is question begging and contrary to many Orthodox Fathers on the topic (as Engwer noted), which is why anything beyond an affirmation of panagia is mere speculation and not a point of dogma. The only thing that is truly dogmatic in Orthodoxy is the Councils, which is Christological, and how that christology relates to ecclesiology, triadology, and anthropology. That's it. Anything, beyond that is playing the Romanist "natural theology" game of speculative theology, which is precisely NOT dogmatic.

    Photios

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  10. Photius said:

    “The problem with this debate is that the protestant doesn't understand who a Church Father is from an Orthodox stand-point (see Michael Azkoul http://www.geocities.com/trvalentine/orthodox/churchfather.html ).”

    I think you meant to post your comments in another thread, the one about interpreting the church fathers. That thread, in turn, was a development of a previous thread. In my original discussion with Orthodox, I cited two articles I had written on the sinlessness of Mary in response to Roman Catholicism. I didn’t cite those articles because I think that Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholics have the same view of the fathers and what the fathers taught. I cited the articles only because there were portions of those articles that were relevant to what I was discussing with Orthodox. It saves time and effort to cite something already written.

    I’d also like to note that Orthodox has repeatedly told us to ask any individual Eastern Orthodox what the beliefs of Eastern Orthodoxy are. He’s repeatedly told us to look to how Eastern Orthodoxy is lived out today rather than just looking to things like ecumenical councils in order to know what represents Orthodoxy and what doesn’t. When I suggested to him that other Eastern Orthodox don’t agree with him on some of these issues, and a number of us asked him for a more detailed definition of what he believes, he repeatedly refused to elaborate. I’m aware that Orthodox doesn’t represent what all Eastern Orthodox believe. I’m responding to him on his own terms. If he wants to defend the sinlessness of Mary and propose absurd readings of John Chrysostom in an attempt to reconcile that father with the sinlessness of Mary, then I’ll respond to his position. I’m aware, and I think that most readers are aware, that Orthodox doesn’t represent Orthodoxy.

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