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26-09-2007, 09:04 AM,
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The September edition of the Syriac Orthodox online magazine Shroro
(the word means Truth) contains two very interesting articles. Firstly, there is an article on Isaac the Syrian by Fr Dale Johnson
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and one entitled "Challenges to Christian Spirituality in a Globalized World"
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The latter contains the very pertinent sentence: "Tolerance is idealized to such an extent that it anaesthetizes the conscience."
Good reading!
Kirk Yacoub
28-09-2007, 12:54 PM,
Dear Kirk

I haven't come across much material on the SOC in English before on the internet it is great to see this website.

Who started SOC digest?

And just out of interest do you know approximately how many Syriac Orthodox Christians there are in the UK?

In Christ,

28-09-2007, 02:01 PM,
Dear Kirk,

Thank you for the references - and two excellent articles.

In Christ,

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)
28-09-2007, 03:30 PM,
Dear Kirk, Dear All,

Thanks for these articles Kirk--the more I read about St. Isaac, the more I want to read about him.

I especially appreciated the quotes on zealousness, truth, and serenity in the first article. This is something that has occupied some of my time in the past as I consider what is said here--this way of being--in the light of some other zealous proclaimers of truth including not least the apostles (most notably Paul). Or, as we may consider our Lord Jesus Christ during his time when he walked the earth (and his prayer in the garden among other events).

As I said, I appreciate these quotes very much; however, at times I wonder about the applicability and scope of what is presented for those who do not live as solitaries, but seem to be called to proclaim the Kerygma of Christ. And, if this poorly written post makes any sense, I wonder if any others have any thoughts on what I am stumbling towards here?

In Christ,
28-09-2007, 03:45 PM,
Dear Rick,

The articles, even in digest form, were very thought-provoking, and seem to skirt on some of the issues raised in the 'Generous Orthodoxy' thread.

There seems, sometimes, a tension between 'love' and 'tolerance'. We are commanded to love our neighbours as ourselves, and to judge not lest we be judged. At the same time we know that He will judge, and we fear the effects of contemporary moral relativism, where 'anything goes' as long as it does not frighten the horses or harm the children.

We also see, or think we do, a tension between the asceticism proclaimed by some as the acme of the Christian life, and the fact that many of us live other kinds of lives where wives/husbands and children, not to mention work, take up much of our energies.

Sometimes it can seem as though we have a dichotomy: one the one side the ascetic zealot who can tell us what the Church teaches on almost everything, and who can discourse with passion on why all ecumenism is false save the sort where the heretics come into the true Church, and, on the other, the rest of us, struggling in a messy fashion to do our best in circumstances unpropitious to achieving the Christian life.

But I suspect these are false antitheses. Our Lord Himself was the friend of wine-bibbers and publicans, and some of His female friends failed to meet with the approbation of the zealots of Judaism, and as for those tax-collectors, well ...! (Especially that little fellow who climbed the sycamore tree). Marriage, parenthood, even (and perhaps especially) the daily grind all offer their own form of asceticism and their own challenges for us in living the Christian life.

St. Isaac's tolerance is true tolerance - he really loves the sinner and prays for him to turn from his sin and, in repentance, that he will embrace the Risen Lord.

In Christ,

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)
01-10-2007, 08:25 AM,
Dear John Mark,
The SOC digest has been going for quite some time now and it is run internationally by SOC members all over the world,particularly in India and USA. The best website is Margoneetho (the Pearl) Syriac Orthodox Resources.
As to how many Syriac Orthodox Christians there are in Britain, that is difficult to estimate - HE Bishop Athanasios Touma would know exactly -
but there are between 100 - 200 SOC families in the UK, about 90% of whom are refugees from Iraq. I also personally know SOC members from Tur Abdin, the Lebanon, and Jerusalem.
I am happy that the two articles I recommended have caused such interest and thought.
With prayers,
Kirk Yacoub

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