Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I hope that the very title of this thread will not raise blood pressures!
On another site where Peter Farrington and I post, the very word itself raises hackles as it is seen by some within the EO tradition as a heresy - see, for example <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/">http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/</a><!-- m -->. Mind you, since this site also thinks that the Copts are Monophysite heretics who need to 'submit' to 'true' Orthodoxy, <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/copts_orth.aspx">http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/copts_orth.aspx</a><!-- m --> you'd not want to believe too much of what such a sectarian mindset wrote, I guess.
Now, I can see that a syncretist approach - something akin to what I was familiar with when I was an Anglican, for example, would be undesirable because it sought a lowest common denominator; but the idea of fostering unity by finding out what it is other Christians actually believe, seems entirely in line with our commitment to unity.
I wonder how others here see this subject?
As one possible place to begin, I offer this from the great Syrian theologian and polymath, Mar Greogius Yujanon Abu 'l-Farag Bar Ebroyo (Barhebraeus, to most of us) was getting at when he wrote in chapter 4 of the Book of the Dove
Quote:When I had given much thought and pondered on the matter, I became convinced that these quarrels of Christians among themselves are not a matter of factual substance, but rather one of words and terms. For they all confess Christ Our Lord to be perfect God and perfect human, without any commingling, mixing, or confusion of the natures. This bipinnate 'likeness' ( Phil. 2:6-7) is termed by one party a 'nature', by another 'a hypostasis' and by yet another a 'person'. Thus I saw all the Christian communities, with their different Christological positions, as possessing a single common ground that is without any difference. Accordingly I totally eradicated any hatred from the depths of my heart, and I completely renounced disputing with anyone over confessional matters.
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)