On my Intentions

January 15, 2005

I hate to start my first post on my blog like this, but I thought it necessary to clear the air. This response is motivated by a post I made at Dr. Philip Blosser’s blog on The Eastern Schism. In return, Elliot and Diane two people I’ve never interacted with, chimed in.

Elliot,

You might want to get to know a little more about me before throwing out what you think is condescension and special pleading on my part. I don’t remember having any engagements with you, and those that have with me don’t really take that sort of an attitude with me. The probability that they are right and you are less than prudent is obvious by my lights.

My understandings are being motivated by realistic thinking, that much of neo-Platonism I’m proud to embrace. The issues of free-will, union, theology proper, and just being consistent are paramount. By my lights, the essence and energies distinction just isn’t compatible with Vatican I ecclesiology. In other words, I think Orthodoxy has a principled reason for rejecting Rome’s ecclesiology, since Theology is not compartmental. [1] None of the patristic quotes can overturn it, since the argument turns on a theological basis and not on historical ones. And [2], I’m not convinced that the quotes that you or anyone has profited forward IMPLY the papal theory. Quoting fathers is different then interacting with the text and getting at the meaning of that text. Demonstrating how those quotes imply or presuppose permanency or absolute simplicity has yet to be demonstrated. [3] None of the quotes touch my argument since the quotes will be read in light of it and not vice-versa.

This argument is not about me or what I’m going to do. I believe in prudence sir. And I’m not absolutely clear on what I need to do yet–whether or not it is absolutely necessary that I believe in absolute simplicity, papal infallibility, or even the immaculate conception to be in sacramental union with Roman Church in light of statements by Dulles and others. I’m an M.A. student at a Catholic University so I don’t think I’m in any lack of council about the issue. I see Rome moving in the right direction on MANY issues, and it would be a little imprudent for me to jump ship yet as tempting as it is for me. I would just like to see things moving quicker, at least in the direction I believe in.

I tossed out that I was a Roman Catholic to Diane, NOT because I claim to be a consistent one by any means. I recognize I am not. But I’m tired of garbage being tossed the Orthodox way without an engagement of the argument. Something that she continually has done in my observation of her. If someone can’t understand the argument, get a ladder. My argument above didn’t turn on polemically driven history, but logical ones.

Now, sir, do you have an argument?

Daniel


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