Sorry for such a long lapse since the last time I posted. Yes, I am now the father of 5 girls, little Sophia Grace was born on May 27th.
Before the baby was born, I spent a little more time learning about the doctrinal development of Eastern Orthodoxy and spent a little time talking with a dear friend Fr Paul Malletta from the Romanian Orthodox church to get modern day perspective (as I spend most of my time stuck in the past).
From some of the earliest times of Christianity we can observe a variation in theological nuances throughout the Roman Empire and beyond. By the 4th century, we have three distinct and lasting theological traditions; that of the West, the Antiochene, and the Alexandrian. Now, don't get me wrong, these traditions were not bound rigidly by geographical or political borders, but rather just identified by the basic school of thought. There were also several other theological traditions, but they were cast out as heresies: Arianism, Nestorianism, Eutychianism, and so on.
When we read the fathers from the pre-schism period, it is clear that the fathers do not agree on some of the finer points of theology, and very much in some respects held positions that are considered to be heretical by all three traditional churches, nevertheless, we consider them all to be "fathers". Gregory Nazianzen speaks of Christ's Godhead mingling with His humanity. In many cases, it appears for the sake of unity, that the fathers agreed to disagree; Athanasius' theology was distinctly different from Gregory of Nyssia yet they still respected each other's authority within the church.
So before we can really continue, we must all understand that the theology of the fathers was not a clear and set out definition as many believe, from which we can take proof texts as can be done with the Holy Scriptures; and in many cases, fathers whom we all consider to be Saints, contradict each other.
Secondly, before we continue, we must understand that theology is not a stack of stand alone precepts, but rather is more nebulous with most of its components blending together and being dependent on each other.
Let's meditate on this for a while and pray that God gives us wisdom and understanding. For now, I have to get ready to go see a client that is two hours away.
PS they wouldn't let me send a cigar through the mail, but next time you have one, just think of me