Saturday, October 09, 2010

A leg to stand on

“Steve over at Triablogue made a post in where he tried to flip the table on us, but such a thing is extremely difficult to do when we have the Eastern Fathers and great Church Councils under our belt.”

And I have Christ, the prophets, and the apostles under my belt. So I like my odds better than his.

“How can we be an Eastern heresy if we preserved the Truth? Unlike Steve Hays, we can actually trace most of our beliefs back to the early centuries.”

One can also trace Gnosticism and Docetism back to the early centuries.

“We can actually point not only to Scripture for our beliefs, but to great men of the Faith and to Church Councils as well! This is something he can't do!”

In my limited exchanges with Jnorm, he seems like a nice guy. But, unfortunately, statements like this reflect the mindset of somebody who’s so wrapped up in play-acting that he doesn’t know it’s just an act. He plays the role that’s been assigned to him by his adopted denomination.

However, Christianity is a revealed religion. Revealed words. Revealed works. That’s the source of Christian theology. God didn’t reveal himself to the bishops or the church fathers. They only know as much or as little as they can learn from God’s revelation in Scripture–just like the rest of us.

A tiny handful of church fathers have some recollections of the 1C. That's it.

“And so whatever he says about us, he must also say about the historic Christian Faith in general. To fight against us is to fight against the great Eastern (and early Western) Church Fathers, councils, and creeds!”

Hmm. I seem to remember a guy named Jesus who was opposed by religious establishment. I seem to remember him founding a church with 120 charter members.

Given his criteria, shouldn’t Jnorm side with the Sanhedrin?

“Also, he is not even in agreement with the semi-Augustinian position of the post-2nd-Orange Christian West. And so he really doesn't have a leg to stand on.”

I stand on the sturdy legs of Isaiah, the Apostle Paul, the Apostle John, and so on and so forth. I prefer the legs I stand on to Jnorm’s mannequin legs.

“His interpretation of the doctrine of the Trinity is far from being the historic Christian one.”

Our knowledge of God is entirely dependent on God’s self-revelation. It’s not a stipulative definition, via ecclesiastical fiat. The truth of the definition must match revealed truth.

“Yes, he is trying to flip the tables on us, but to do so is to destroy any real sense of doctrinal continuity with the past.”

Continuity with the past can also include continuity in error. And, in any case, I prefer continuity with the apostles and prophets.

“For how could he embrace, in good conscience, some of the Ecumenical creeds and non-Augustinian Fathers of the past, while at the same time calling us an Eastern heresy?”

I’m selective based on what does or doesn’t correspond to Scripture.

“What in the world does he think we believe?”



  1. "One can also trace Gnosticism and Docetism back to the early centuries."

    There are times when snark and sound argument coincide. Steve does this more often than anyone else I know.

    I chuckled when I read quoted line above.

  2. For some examples of patristic disagreement with Eastern Orthodox belief and practice, see here. Note that the article about eschatology involves a discussion with Jnorm. Notice how many fathers he disagrees with and how many early traditions he rejects and what sort of argumentation he utilizes.

  3. Isaiah you say?

    Hmmmmmm, and Isaiah says:

    Isa 2:22 Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he?

    You say:

    Continuity with the past can also include continuity in error. And, in any case, I prefer continuity with the apostles and prophets.

    Sounds more like you favor some over others like some apostles and prophets I have come to love by way of the same Spirit of Grace and Truth who was working yesterday and is working today and will be working everyday seeing there is no job loss for Him. God sees to it there is never unemployment with Him:

    Col 1:3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you,
    Col 1:4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints,
    Col 1:5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel,
    Col 1:6 which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and growing--as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth,
    Col 1:7 just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf
    Col 1:8 and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.

  4. So was this conversation as long as the unabridged William Gurnall's Christian in Complete Armour? Or just shy of that? IF it was too long for you to do more than post highlights, Steve, that must be really long!