The Fathers and Theosis
28-04-2009, 04:44 PM
Let's do the easy part first . . .
marc hanna Wrote:Carl Mosser, Norman Russel and John McGuckin have all spoken the difference in several of their books. But do we really need modern authors to write about something that we can read directly from the fathers ourselves?
Carl Mosser, from Eastern College seems to be a Baptist. For that matter the quote I gave you on the previous page in this thread, for your review was from Peter Leithhart who seems to be a Presbyterian. Liethart was interacting with Mosser's material in that quote. Norman Russell is listed as an independent scholar. John McGuckin was a Roman Catholic who converted to Greek Orthodoxy; however, the only contribution that I can see from McGuckin to this conversation is as it relates to the charge of Hellenism in Greek thinking (which seems to be really an unecessary feature).
I have a high level of interest in what is being presented here, and I hope you don't think I am dogging you on this, but when I do invest time in a topic, such as this, I like to have a thorough understanding of what is being said.
I agree that a proper understanding--the meat and potatoes--of this will be found not in contemporary writing theologians and quotes (without context) from second hand sources; but, from the fathers themselves. However, I think it would be an easy task to knock out my questions about who is saying what in the present day. I guess even in this study there is a retrieval effort going on.
And, I know that no one likes to be put on the spot, but again, in an effort to be academically honest and keep the integrity in place in this conversation, I would like to know (and read for myself) what we have from Orthodoxy today, from Orthodox writing theologians that speaks directly to what is being said by two men in Canada.
I hope you can handle this mode Marc. I have a feeling that you can. If I see in your next post that you can't then please forgive me, and I will abandon a direct approach. I understand that we cannot have "conversations" like this with everyone, but when I was in seminary, there was a dynamic in the classroom that involved a very direct style of communication between those in the classroom. We did not do much tap dancing, shuffling off to Buffalo, or beating around the bush . . . and we often times covered a lot of ground in a short time this way, and found that there was a dynamic created that was greater than the sum total of the individual parts/participants. So, I would like to modify my questions and represent them in the following:
1.) Do we have anything else, from Orthodox sources, to present from others of the last twenty years that would speak directly to and support the assertions that you have made about the last twenty years?
2.) Do we have anything else, from Orthodox sources, like the paper from your priest which speaks directly to this issue?
Father Peter has offered an avenue to pursue, and I would also like to respond to his post he made yesterday as well.
But, as for now, it seems that it would not be to hard to answer these two questions from your informed perspective. If there are no other Orthodox sources which support your observations of the last twenty years, or no other Orthodox writing theologians who are writing what your priest is writing, then this is okay. It doesn't change anything.
But, before moving to read directly from the fathers, I would like to clearly understand who is writing about this distinction in the present day and the events of the last twenty years, and I would like to read what they have written.
For that matter as it relates to "the heart of the matter" in terms of what theopoiesis is and what theosis is, if we are going to bring in thinking from Protestant and independent scholars, such as the men mentioned above, then I can write a book, based on my former non-Orthodox learning, about how all of this and how sonship and adoption are linked with grace, baptism, perfection, and renewal. In fact, if you want to bring in the renewal theologians and holiness writers from Protestantism, as well as the Neo-Orthodox we can really go to town on this and support theopoiesis as being the "ancient doctrine" and completely overwhelm the Cappadocians and other Byzantine mystics and their 'barbaric/alien' doctrine of theosis! But, what would we have at the end of the day there?
I just had my once-per-day latte with three shots of espresso in it for today . . . can you tell? :shock:
So, I will pull off of this now; but, unless we can add some contemporary Orthodox writers to this list of Orthodox sources who support the assertions of you and your priest, I am going to conclude that there are no others.
Here I'll start the list now:
2.) Marc's Priest
PS It would be fantastic if your Priest ever had time to join this fellowship and participate in this conversation.
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 - Rick Henry - 28-04-2009 04:44 PM