The Fathers and Theosis
28-04-2009, 01:04 PM
Truth Speaking to Power?
marc hanna Wrote:There are not a lot of writers on the issue, this is true. But we must examine why this is the case.
I would like to say thanks again for your contributions here. I really appreciate your attitude and am envious of the way you are able to communicate clearly. It is obvious from your posts here and elsewhere that you are both knowledgeable and sincere. I'm starting to notice a trend here with "you" OO's.
And, as I read from Father Peter's writing:
admin Wrote:There are discussions and controversies about this subject in the Coptic Orthodox community but I do think that as Marc suggests, this is partly because some Copts have merely taken the medieval development of one aspect of spirituality in the EO and tried to present it as being the continuous tradition of the OO.
This seems to be important in my mind. This reference to continuous tradition is a trump card as it relates to EO and everything I have learned about EO, especially the cliches that are bantered about regarding tradition.
As I'm sure you can imagine, when a 'seemingly' new position is presented to a person, and then the person begins to investigate the claims of this 'seemingly' new thing, and this person finds out that what is presented as nothing short of a universal doctrine for a particular faith tradition which includes the thinking of a deacon and a priest and one thirty page position paper written by the same priest . . . then again, I think you can imagine how this presentation may not be too well received.
But, as we do consider, "why this is the case" as well as what may be "one aspect of spirituality" in relation to thinking on a "continuous tradition," then this is a key resource.
And, just for the record I allow room for what has been shared here. In many ways it ties some things together for me, and while this may be a burden bestowing teaching for some, this is actually a burden lifting teaching for me as I understand it at the present. Because, to retreat from my earlier thinking somewhat, to have this presentation in mind (of theopoiesis) harmonizes/juxtaposes some things I have struggled with as it relates to some things that I thought could only be moved beyond, or transcended, in order to not be inconsistent with what we are saying in Orthodoxy today. And, without getting into some of these now (which I have discussed in the past with Father Peter and John Charmely) . . . look at what Father Peter is saying about "a genuine spiritual tradition" which is still present in Orthodoxy today, which is *behind* both (as opposed to being *beyond* both).
So this matters.
This "distinction" [what is behind both],speaks of the Community of communities. And, this is why I and probably the great majority of people 'converted' to Orthodoxy. We felt we were making a move to "a genuine spiritual tradition." Right? At least I, anyway, didn't think I was making a move into an arena where the different contestants wearing different Ortho-labels were turned loose on each other and there was a gnashing of teeth followed by a sinking of the teeth into each other in an attempt to tear each other apart. I thought I was making a move into the Community of communities which, as from 'the beginning' of the New Testament Church has represented this genuine spiritual tradition which Father Peter speaks of so well.
So as it relates to our topic here which does not have volumes and volumes of material to read about it. And, which seems to have its main presuppositions supported mainly by subjective observations like:
marc hanna Wrote:I recent years there has been much more communication between the churches and much has been done in English, and be it in the spirit of unity or ignorance or whatever, it has just been said the we share the same belief on the topic of theosis. It appears that much of the problem is the result of ignorance on the side of the OO's in that being presented with the refined catechisms of the EO and RC churches and other bold and more modern sources of theological statements that we did not want to appear as inferior. But in reality, many OO laity were confronted by vast superior knowledge when defending their faith to their Eo counterparts.
This is a tough row to hoe. Because, as it relates to both messing with someone's existing "system" and operating from what is not a strong position to argue from, by way of numbers, I can see why more than a few would borrow the words of Martin Luther and say, "Into the ash can with your suppositions."
But, as we consider a look at Historical Theology in light of what Father Peter has said above, we are reminded that just as the minority view is not always the immature view, the majority view is not always the mature view.
But, at this point Marc, I am wondering if this is it?
I know what my heart is telling me about this distinction between theopoiesis and theosis . . . and, while knowing the intellect is not the enemy of faith and that this is a faith based business in the end . . .
Don't get me wrong, I'm not so sure that this isn't IT or at least a key for unlocking the way to the IT in terms of understanding that there is more than one aspect of this genuine spiritual tradition (which can be understood in terms of Fr. Jack Sparks teaching viz. 'each as is appropriate for oneself.')
However, to be crystal clear about this, I am wondering at this point:
1.) Do we have anything else to present from others of the last twenty years that would support the assertions that you have made about the last twenty years?
2.) Do we have anything else like the paper from your priest which speaks directly to this issue?
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 - Rick Henry - 28-04-2009 01:04 PM