Interview with Dr. Farrell on GHD

Interview w. Dr. Joseph P. Farrell

Concerning his 4-Volume

God, History, & Dialectic: The Theological Foundations of the Two Europes and Their Cultural Consequences”

Conducted by Asher Black, March 4, 2008

How long did it take you to research and write this book. Can you elaborate on the kinds of research you did, and where, when, etc.?

The book was written in about 2 weeks, due to the time constraints I was under trying to satisfy my students in the course of the same name that I taught. As for researching it, it is the fruit of many years of patristic study. It would be difficult for me to say, since I started reading the fathers way back in college. So I suppose it represents about 20 years of research and thought.

Why did you make the Apparatus the fourth volume (and yet it’s labeled volume 1 in the old print edition – but it’s always really been volume 4). We’ve heard tell of a scholar who did the same thing, releasing his apparatus only after the main work was released. Can you explain and relate that account?

The scholar’s name was, I believe, the famous mediaevalist Kantorowitz, but don’t cite me on this, as it may have been a well-known colleague of his. The episode is mentioned, however, in Norman Cantor’s Inventing the Middle Ages, which is a book, not about the Western Middle Ages, but about those who wrote about them, and became well-known scholars of the subject. In any case, this scholar – whom I believe was Kantorowitz, but again, my memory may be mistaken, it being so many years out now since I’ve thought about these subjects – wrote a book and published it in Germany, in which he came to certain radical conclusions for the day. He published it without footnotes or references of any kind, and naturally was savaged by academics in reviews. Knowing ahead of time that their reaction would be predictably negative, he had of course prepared the volume of massive footnotes and annotations ahead of time, so that no sooner had the academic critiques appeared, the apparatus was released, and his critics literally buried in a broadside of footnotes.

Many of us have read your earlier works – your translation of St. Photius, to which the introduction is now a classic, and your St. Maximus works. If you had to compare what you’re doing in those books with what you’re doing in the four volumes of GHD, what would you say?

Essentially I’m doing the same thing, I’m examining Augustinism from the patristic dogmatic tradition of Orthodoxy and spelling out its implications. The major difference is that the previous works can be considered a kind of broad overview or survey of those implications. In GHD I attempt to spell out some of them much more explicitly. I certainly would not, however, claim that I have covered everything nor been exhaustive. For example, I do not cover the Scotists and so on, and their version of mediaeval scholasticism, and the philosophical section, which I intended to be much longer, had to be pared down considerably. I had also intended to cover some schools of modern business management theory and philosophy to exhibit their reliance on the theological cultural paradigm of Augustinism – which I had done in other courses at the University of Oklahoma – but time did not permit this either. Time in the original course that I taught simply didn’t permit any of this, and the book is really, when all is said and done, a book compiled from those lectures.

There are lots of treatments of Westernization, Latinism, juridical theology, Augustinism, etc. out there. How would you say GHD differs from what’s already been popularly done in the field?

One difference is that it seeks a large overview while not neglecting the details. And obviously, the most significant difference is the fact that it is written from the Orthodox patristic dogmatic perspective as a point of departure for analysis.

You draw somewhat on Fr. John Romanides’ work. Can you give us some understanding of your evaluation of his primary theses, and what role these played in God, History, & Dialectic?

I had come to very similar conclusions as Fr. Romanides through my own research, and thus was rather pleased when I found another researcher who thought more or less along the same lines. Specifically, Romanides and I both focus on the ninth century as being the turning point, for this century is where the two theological cultures clash openly and for the first time. Romanides’ thesis is basically the same as mine, namely, that by dint of its Augustinized theological culture, the Christian West cannot interpret the details of history of that century – the coronation of Charlemagne, the rupture between Nicholas and Photius, the subsequent reconciliation of Pope John VIII and Photius, with anything like historiographical consistency, and that this lack of consistency is the product of deeply rooted theological perspectives.

You once wrote a detailed work on Gnosticism which has yet to be published. What is it about Gnosticism that isn’t’ already defeated and dead? Isn’t Gnosticism the problem of the first centuries of the Church, and basically a body of doctrines no one would believe anymore?

In that work my approach toward Gnosticism was essentially the same as that presented in GHD, namely, that Gnosticism is not so much a grouping of various systems of doctrines as it is a set of strategies and tactics of institutional subversion, and in that sense, was breathed new life in the Augustinian synthesis, where one finds, as logical entailments and implications of that synthesis, those very same strategies and tactics revived to explain and justify the synthesis itself. So in that sense, Gnosticism is alive and well, and easily recognizable once one knows the strategies and tactics it employs. The bad news is that it’s alive and well and flourishing in many seminaries, academics, and departments of literary criticism.

GHD seems to be a meta-history or meta-analysis, or one of the last great comprehensive histories – there’s a term for those. Why do you think it’s so hard to get those published anymore – is the world no longer able to do that kind of thinking, or is it afraid to?

“Comprehensive” is a dangerous term, because of course I do not aim at exhaustiveness in GHD, but merely to show that the Augustinian synthesis had and has implications that continue to spill over and perpetuate themselves in the wider culture of the West. That caveat on the record, it is true that I fully intended to write an analysis of history “in the grand scale”. As for why it is difficult to get such works published, I think that too is a legacy of that synthesis. The reason I say that is because, if one looks at the disputes in the Christian West in the ninth century – the disputes concerning the Eucharist, or predestination and free will, and so on – these are all taking place in piecemeal fragmentary fashion. The participants in those disparate disputes – oftentimes the same individuals, such as Ratramnus of Corbie – never make the connection between their disputes. They never envision that their problems in particular areas of theology are the result of much deeper assumptions, and that the disputes themselves are therefore not unrelated, but, on the contrary, deeply and intimately connected. The Augustinian synthesis fractured the western religious mind by cutting it off from tradition. And no institution in the modern West is more cut off from the grand academic tradition of old than is the academy. So, in short, as far as I’m concerning, it’s another cultural legacy of that synthesis at its deepest level.

It is rumoured that you once debated for several days straight, when you were at Oxford – in other words, you never left the debate hall over the course of several days. What can you tell us about this rumour – can you fill in the blanks?

Yes that’s true. The debate took place in, and was sponsored by, the Oxford Union Society, the famous debating society there. It was cosponsored by the Heineken and Guinness Corporations for Ethiopian famine relief. By the fifth day the chamber had thinned out considerably, but there were still a few diehards bulling their way through, and slogging it out with each other at the dispatch boxes. The debate was not “about” anything mind you, but more of an ongoing “roast” of each other’s positions using parliamentary rules…all very “British” and “civilized”. After eight days of this, we had achieved our objective, made it into the Guinness book of World Records, and were utterly exhausted. The Union Society gave little certificates to the more vocal participants, part of which thanked the participants for their efforts and thanking them for exhibiting “occasional sobriety”. It was like a very raucous House of Commons at times, when the chamber was more full. It’s untrue, however, that we never left the hall. We had to, in order to eat or take care of “other matters”. The point of the debate was to keep it going no matter what, because Heineken and Guinness sent corporate representatives to sit in the chamber at all times to ensure that the debate kept going. If one went into the library or even went home to sleep occasionally, one would most likely get a call from someone requesting you return in order to keep the debate going. That happened to me. After two days I went home to sleep, and after only about 4 hours of sleep, was called to return to the chamber to keep it going. So for the next five days I more or less lived, ate, and slept at the Union Society.

 

We’re often asked to sum up in maybe a paragraph or two what GHD is “about”. It’s hard to sum it up. Can you? Or at least give a potential reader an idea of what to expect?

God, History, and Dialectic is about exactly what the subtitle says: The Theological Foundations of the Two Europes and Their Cultural Consequences. That is to say, my aim was not only to exhibit the Augustinian synthesis as but a recasting of the older Hellenization of Origen et al, but also to show its “tightness” and to explore a range of consequences that this synthesis, employing all the standard tactics and techniques of Gnosticism, had in the wider culture, in the formulation of law, of biblical criticism, of the rise of dialectical views of history in the hands of a Joachim of Fiore, a Hegel, and so on. It is more than a review of my earlier works on Augustinism, it is a considerably expanded essay on the logical entailments and implications of that system.

150 Responses to Interview with Dr. Farrell on GHD

  1. Yep, pretty much right on.

  2. continued from older convo,

    Photios,

    Son Ben just finished Dr. Farrell’s The Reich of the Black Sun, because it came in the mail before the first Giza book, which all took a rather long time to arrive from Amazon.

    His review is on his blog,
    http://garethustra.vox.com/library/post/we-won-world-war-ii.html

    He’s going to read the Giza series next.

  3. What we mean by Hellenization is similar to what the liberal scholar Harnack meant by it, though he wholly misapplies the concept in understanding Orthodox (Patristic) Christianity. He’s correct in detecting something is wrong in early christianity, he’s just not sure what it is and land blasts it in to a program he is frustrated with.

    What we describe as “Hellenization” within the context of GHD, has little to do with speaking and writing in a Greek language, nor does “Hellenization” in this context mean a cultural paradigm.

  4. procopius says:

    Wasn’t there before” the first Hellenization” the Gospels written in Greek and the Septuagint?

    Hellenization is such an empty concept.

  5. Symeon says:

    I should modify what I said: Just about everyone accepts that Leontius was a fan of Origen, but the proposition that he had an Origenist Christology is what is dead. Batthrellos upholds the Orthodoxy of the Leontius’ Christology in his book, from what I recall.

  6. photios says:

    Furthermore, once you gather these paradigms together into a wider context, you start to realize how lousy it is when you witness Roman Catholics quoting the Fathers. Take a look at Newman for instance. His analysis is quite laughable in understanding Pre-Nicene christianity. Newman tries to throw the reader in to confusion about all the beliefs of certain christian thinkers during this time (Subordinaitionists, implied Arianism) as a spring board for the *need* of authority and *need* for “development of doctrine,” instead of recognition of the Hellenizing of the gospel as the broader context (noted more rightly by a real scholar like Quasten). It’s just self-justification of where he is instead of a real sober and intelligible reason of why these things happened at all. I see these silly arguments by Catholics all the time to beat Protestants over the head about the *need* of the authority because of such confusion in the Ante-Nicene Church. But for an Irenaeus or even a Tertullian it wasn’t confusing at all. It’s much simpler than what Newman realizes. There are those who are wed to philosophy and use it as a handmaiden (Origen) and those that gut it, leaving it as a symbol of a new christian meaning (Athanasius), hence preservation. The more I have read Newman, the more I am so unimpressed by his clever theory of Development. A similar thing can be said for Catholic arguments against Protestant insistence on the perspicuity of scripture.

  7. photios says:

    I’m not aware of Leontius as having Origenist tendencies as being dead in academia. If I recall Demetrios Batthrellos makes similar claims in his dissertation on Maximus too. The fact is, everybody still had a little bit of Origenism in them until Maximus except for maybe St. Justinian the Great (and arguably Maximus too in his early writings). It was a very popular and very widely held worldview.

    You gotta see Origenism and Middle and NeoPlatonism as a continual resistance and struggle in the East until the Triumph of Orthodoxy. That should be the dominant paradigm that you gather from GHD in Dr. Farrell’s assessment of Eastern Christianity.

    With that said, I would modify Dr. Farrell’s thesis slightly, although it is already implied. There are actually THREE Hellenizations in the Christian Church.

    1) The First Gnostic Hellenization vs. Irenaeus, Hippolytus, and Tertullian and some others.

    2) The 2nd Hellenization (the continuation of the First) starting in germ form in the Apologists and culminating with THE authority of Origen (or rather the authority later ascribed to him). Dr. Farrell links the 1st and 2nd. Vis-a-vis the Ecumenical Councils. All the Christological heresies fall within this Hellenization.

    3) The Third Hellenization as codified in the Carolingian Franks, passed on and subverted within Western Christianity under the guise of the authority of St. Augustine. Vis-a-vis St. Photios the Great.

  8. Symeon says:

    Back on the topic…

    Dr. Farrell’s section on Christology is interesting. His analysis of Severus is perceptive. However, I am disappointed that he posits that Leontius of Byzantium was an Origenist. That proposition has been effectively dead in academia since the mid-70’s.

    I notice on the back cover that there is an add for an upcoming translation and commentary of St. Maximus’ anti-Monophysite writings by Farrell. Is this project still on the table?

  9. jacob says:

    Photios:

    I don’t see that Farrell is dialoguing with Pagels (pp. 54ff.) as a representative of 2nd European scholarship as he does with Quasten at times. Rather, he seems to be using her to dialogue with Gnosticism, using her book and her scholarship to describe what Gnosticism taught vis-a-vis Orthodoxy. He doesn’t question or hold up to scrutiny what she writes; rather, he quotes from or references her book as support for his descriptions of Gnostic belief. Thus, questions about Pagels’ scholarship could impact what Farrell writes here.

    On another note (it would be nice to have a GHD discussion board – maybe the Filioque site has such a forum), on pp. 150-152 Farrell writes about St. Basil’s grammar in referring to God and the Holy Spirit with masculine terms, thus violating Greek grammar when it comes to the Holy Spirit.

    Farrell writes of the significance of Basil referring to God as ho ôn (masculine participle of eimi/einai) instead of Plotinus’s neuter to on. But wouldn’t a simple explanation for Basil’s use of the masculine/personal ho ôn (versus the neuter to on) be that he is simply taking God’s name from the Greek of Exodus 3:14? I.e. there is nothing significant or extraordinary in Basil’s use of the masculine here.

    As for Basil masculinizing references to the Holy Spirit, without seeing Basil’s Greek I can’t tell what Farrell is referring to. But in his footnote/endnote #258 to this section, Farrell cites John 15:26 and John 16:13 as examples of the New Testament using the masculine ekeinos in conjunction with the neuter to pneuma. But I think the case could be made that every one of the instances of ekeinos referring to the Holy Spirit is actually a reference to the masculine ho paraklêtos as the antecedent. I.e., there is no “violation” of Greek grammar when it comes to the Holy Spirit, since ekeinos is referring to ho paraklêtos and not to to pneuma, even though “he” (“that one”) is then identified as being “the Holy Spirit.”

  10. photios says:

    No. He’s dialoquing with her because she is a representative of the 2nd European Scholarship and their reading of texts, this is the same way he’s doing with Johannes Quasten on Catholic Patristic scholarship.

  11. jacob says:

    I noticed in my reading of GHD (I’m on about p. 74 of volume 1, and have read all the accompanying footnotes from volume 4) that Farrell relies heavily on Elaine Pagels and her book The Gnostic Gospels, which Farrell describes as “magisterial” (p. 54). In fact, rather than quoting directly from the Gnostic texts or his translations of those texts, Farrell quotes from Pagels’ book. Footnotes 94-131 (except for 107) all reference Pagels’ book.

    As Kevin P. Edgecomb at biblicalia points out in a blogpost:

    http://www.bombaxo.com/blog/?p=131

    Father Paul Mankowski, SJ, of the Pontifical Bible Institute has written a damning critique of Pagels and her scholarship:

    http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=43736

    This somewhat raises for me questions about the validity of what Farrell writes about the Gnostics, assuming Fr. Paul’s critique is on target.

  12. Jonathan,

    Though you are welcome to post here, I don’t appreciate the name calling and smear campaign that you and your religionists are doing on your blog and elsewhere. As far as Farrell goes, he’s on the internet, has is own blog, is a far greater gentleman and patient person than I ever could be, and he will readily answer emails or posts regarding esotericism and physics. Why don’t you go dialogue with him, instead of the smear job you are attempting on your blog? If you find yourself so educated on such topics, I think you’ll find out that you have a lot to learn.

    Photios

  13. jacob:
    I think you’ve misunderstood. The point isn’t that the problem is “merely semantic” or that it is clearly stubbornness. The point is that there isn’t even a basis of dialogue by which we can figure these things out, so there’s no point in talking about it. We are so far apart that there is nothing to say, because neither of us sees any good in talking.

  14. Fr. John says:

    ,”…knowing that Dr. Farrell is not a member of a ‘canonical’ Orthodox church simply means that I will read his works with a grain of salt, much in the same way that I read most of the books and comments coming out of St. Vlad’s, St. Sergius in Paris and the Phanar.”

    Having just found you fellows, I feel I should weigh in. (After saying, God be praised- I thought I was the ONLY one who had read GHD!!!!!) When I read this last post (Before the digression on WHAT Augustine really said, versus what he REALLY, Really said…lol) it must be pointed out that Dr. Farrell taught at SCOBA Orthodox seminaries, and worked under that arch-Ecumenist (and therefore, EMINENTLY ‘canonical’ EP appointee, Dr. Timothy Ware, at Oxford!

    Now, how much more ‘canonical’ can one be? (Unless, like I, you see the SCOBADOX as no true Orthodox, for VERY good ancient and modern reasons!)

    But to dismiss a living author as being ‘pseudo-dox,’ is both a foolish, as well as a calumnatory thing to do. Thus breaking the Commandments against ‘false witness’ – which, I would venture to assume, are of more ‘weight’ than mere conciliar decisions over ‘canonicity’?

    Others have dealt with the issues of ‘canonicity.’ Even the person whose comments I quote at the head of this post puts the term in parentheses, to denote his/her own ‘issues’ with the term. But, really. When SCOBA is virulently “Novus Ordo,” removes ‘liturgical language’ and is a member of either (or both!) NCC and WCC, how much ‘canonicity’ can they truthfully claim? Let us not even mention the Calendar question, which at least four councils of differing national churches ANATHEMATIZED.

    I have heard it from Dr. F’s own mouth, that the reason he was ‘let go’ was because his work on St. Photios made their ecumenist positions ‘too hot to handle’ in the seminaries!!! My conclusion? In short, Farrell had to go, to maintain their apostate ‘canonicity.’

    Granted, we do not (as of yet!) have the pederast sex scandals of the Romans, but we are imbibing [via St. Vlad’s by way of Fordham] their revisionist thought, as well as from the secular front… or do we not admit Dukakis, and Stephanopoulos as ‘avatars’ for “Greek Orthodoxy’ in their political utterances??? IF not, why not?

    If the trinitarian dimensions of the Incarnation of Christ, the God-Man, into our world MEAN something, why are we so willing to capitulate to either Zionist frenzy, Marxist/multicultural mania (see prior term for clarification of same) or Evan-jelly-goo idiocy? (cf. Dubya)

    What GHD and [Bp.] Farrell (I knew him when) have done for ME, is to finally disabuse me of the fallacy that Rome has ANY validity… and, as a convert to a form of Orthodoxy, that was a big liberation! To keep the Church, and lose Rome, was the act of the entire West in 1517- but, unfortunately, they had to use Augustinian terms to do so, which meant that they were appropriating their own problems to their bosom again. Only in Orthodoxy, [via her apophatic theology and Orthodox philosophical rationales] was that error kept at bay. THAT is why GHD taught me.

    No other reading- of Orthodox authors, of Roman Authors trying to appropriate Orthodoxy as another ‘flavor of the month’, or even of barely intelligent convert priests in SCOBADOX jurisdicitons- clarified in my mind the reality of Orthodoxy ALONE as the ‘summum bonum’ of the Human Race. Why, one SCOBADOX cleric told me that ‘sola gratia’ was easily answered by St. John Chrysostom, and so I went home and read St. John, in which, after many columns of fine print in those Eerdman’s Patristic Fathers, he clearly said, (in very Lutheran fashion) ‘so we are saved by grace alone.’ Well, had I not ALREADY read Farrell, I would have gone to the local Calvinist church forthwith- some help that SCOBADOX cleric was!

    So, let us drop this ‘ad hominem’ attack and the charade of ‘he who is not MY jurisdiction (modernist to the core though she be!) is not ‘canonical,’ and honestly ask ourselves the real question, but does it harmonize with the Fathers? If it does, then it is Eminently ‘canonical.’

    End of story.

  15. jacob says:

    The latest CrimsonCatholic comments (#29-31 or so) on Farrell/GHD, etc., seem to say that the EP guys don’t know what they’re talking about, and seem proud of that fact.

    Is the philosophical divide/disagreement between EP/Farrell and Liccione/Prejean/etc. that unbridgeable?

    Does it come down to “he said” – “she said”? Is there a way, short of reading everything, that can demonstrate that it’s either a semantic disagreement, or that one side is indeed clearly wrong, and one can easily show which side that is such that it’s clear that stubbornness, not the facts, are what’s at play here?

    ;^)

  16. Symeon says:

    In addition to my citations from St. Gregory Palamas, St. Basil, and St. Maximus about concupiscence of the flesh, Christ’s human nature, and how the former was not assumed by the latter, here is some additional material to chew over.

    St. Cyril of Alexandria, Letter 45 to Succensus
    Therefore we say that, since from the transgression of Adam human nature suffered corruption and since our intellect within us is tyrannized by the pleasures of the flesh or by the inborn motions of the flesh, it became necessary for the salvation of us who are upon the earth that the Word of God be made man in order that he might make his own the flesh of man although it was subject to corruption and sick with the love of pleasure. Since he is life and life-giver, he would destroy the corruption in the flesh and rebuke its inborn motions, plainly those which tend toward love of pleasure. For thus it was possible that the sin in our flesh be killed. We recalled also that the blessed Paul called this inborn motion in us the “law of sin.” Wherefore since human flesh became the Word’s own, the subjection to corruption has come to an end, and since as God, he who made it his own and proclaimed it as his own “did not know sin,” as I said, he also put an end to the sickness of loving pleasure. And the only begotten Word of God has not corrected this for himself, for he is what he always is, but obviously for us. For even if we have been subject to evil from the transgression of Adam, by all means there will come upon us also the good things of Christ, which are immortality and the death of sin. Accordingly he became man, and did not assume a man, as it seems to Nestorius. And in order that it might be believed that he became man even though he remained what he was, God by nature obviously, therefore it is reported that he was hungry, and was weary from the journey, and endured sleep, and trouble, and pain, and the other human blameless experiences.

    St. Maximus the Confessor, Ad Thalassium 21
    Taking on the original condition of Adam as he was in the very beginning, he was sinless but not incorruptible, and he assumed, from the procreative process introduced into human nature as a consequence of sin, only the liability to passions, not the sin itself.

    St. John of Damascus, De Fide III.20
    Moreover, we confess that He assumed all the natural and blameless passions of man. This is because He assumed the whole man and everything that is his, except sin — for this last is not natural and it was not implanted in us by the Creator. On the contrary, it grew up in our will from the oversowing of the Devil, freely and not prevailing over us by force. Now, those passions are natural and blameless which are not under our control and have come into man’s life as a result of the condemnation occasioned by his fall. Such, for example, were hunger, thirst, fatigue, pain, the tears, the destruction, the shrinking from death, the fear, the agony from which came the sweating and drops of blood, the aid brought by the angels in deference to the weakness of His nature, and any other such things as are naturally inherent in all men. So, He assumed all that He might sanctify all. He was put to the test and He conquered that He might gain for us the victory and give to our nature the power to conquer the Adversary, so that through the very assaults by which the nature had been conquered of old it might conquer its former victor. Now, the Evil One attacked from the outside, just as he had with Adam, and not through thoughts — for it was not through thoughts that he attacked Adam, but through the serpent. The Lord, however, repelled the attack and it vanished like smoke, so that by being conquered the passions which had assailed Him might become easy for us to conquer and the new Adam thus be restored by the old. Actually, our natural passions were in Christ according to nature and over and above nature. Thus, it was according to nature that they were aroused in Him, when He permitted the flesh to suffer what was proper to it; whereas it was over and above nature, because in the Lord the things of nature did not control the will. For with Him nothing is found to be done under compulsion; on the contrary, everything was done freely. Thus, it was by willing that He hungered and by willing that He thirsted, by willing that He was afraid and by willing that He died.

    And as a bonus, here is St. John of Damascus on what is concupiscence.

    St. John of Damascus, De Fide IV.22
    For, once we succumbed to the suggestion of the Evil One and freely violated the law of God, we allowed this suggestion to gain entrance and sold ourselves to sin. For this reason our body is easily brought to sin. Hence, the odor and sense of sin which is inherent in our body, that is to say, the concupiscence and pleasure of the body, is also called a law in the members of the flesh. Accordingly, the law of my mind—my conscience, that is to say—rejoices in the law of God, or His commandment, and wills it. On the other hand, the law of sin—that is to say, the suggestion that comes through the law in our members, or the concupiscence and base tendency and movement of the body and the irrational part of the soul—fights against the law of my mind, that is to say, my conscience, and captivates me. It does this by insinuating itself, even though I do will the law of God and love it and do not will to sin, and it deceives me and persuades me to become a slave to sin through the softness of pleasure and the concupiscence of the body and the irrational part of the soul, as I have said.

    I could also cite such modern theological giants as Fr. Georges Florovsky that Christ did not assume Original Sin. But I think the point is made. It is not Orthodox to say that Christ assumed Original Sin, and so we should not fault St. Augustine for this plainly spurious issue.

  17. Symeon says:

    —I don’t think that Augustine thinks that we share in the sin of our first parents by virtue of the effects. Rather I think that he thinks that we collectively sin in Adam which is why guilt can be ascribed to us, even if it is not the guilt of culpa but reatu.—

    I’m not even necessarily opposed to the latter idea on some deeper metaphysical level, but for now I will argue only for the former.

    Anyway, St. Augustine defines Original Sin, or at least the guilty aspect, as concupiscence itself in 1.25 of Marriage and Concupiscence: “Now this concupiscence, this law of sin which dwells in our members, to which the law of righteousness forbids allegiance, saying in the words of the apostle, “Let not sin, therefore, reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof; neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin:”—this concupiscence, I say, which is cleansed only by the sacrament of regeneration, does undoubtedly, by means of natural birth, pass on the bond of sin to a man’s posterity, unless they are themselves loosed from it by regeneration. In the case, however, of the regenerate, concupiscence is not itself sin any longer, whenever they do not consent to it for illicit works, and when the members are not applied by the presiding mind to perpetrate such deeds. So that, if what is enjoined in one passage, “Thou shalt not covet,” is not kept, that at any rate is observed which is commanded in another place, “Thou shalt not go after thy concupiscences.” Inasmuch, however, as by a certain manner of speech it is called sin, since it arose from sin, and, when it has the upper hand, produces sin, the guilt of it prevails in the natural man; but this guilt, by Christ’s grace through the remission of all sins, is not suffered to prevail in the regenerate man, if he does not yield obedience to it whenever it urges him to the commission of evil. As arising from sin, it is, I say, called sin, although in the regenerate it is not actually sin; and it has this designation applied to it, just as speech which the tongue produces is itself called “tongue;” and just as the word “hand” is used in the sense of writing, which the hand produces. In the same way concupiscence is called sin, as producing sin when it conquers the will: so to cold and frost the epithet “sluggish” is given; not as arising from, but as productive of, sluggishness; benumbing us, in fact.”

    It is the “guilt” of concupiscence that is remitted in baptism. Augustine makes it quite clear that it is only called sin in an analagous manner, in so much as it is produced by sin and produces sin.

    The other two aspects of Original Sin for Augustine appear to be death and ignorance.

    —I believe that Maximus applies the same two sins for us in a secondary sense, along the lines of Paul in Romans 5, death spread to all men because all men in fact sinned. The sentence you cite does use both but it strikes me as using both in terms of an antecedent, Adam’s choice and a consequent, our loss of divine power. The common glory was lost because in Adam all of the race is derived. That doesn’t seem to be the idea of a collective guilt.—

    Yes, the loss of divine power is a consequent of both Adam and us, but what is the antecedent? Not only Adam’s sin, but humanity’s abuse of free will. Adam’s abuse of free will is humanity’s abuse, which is why he calls the first original sin “my sin.” In other words, Adam’s sin is our sin.

    —I agree with the Pelikan quote that Maximus Christ as the font of the race, but I’d offer a note of caution. Pelikan is not a specialist in Maximus and his historical work treats themes over persons. Second, he devotes no more than 2 or 3 pages in vol 2 to the entire monothelite controversy and it least a fair amount to be desired. I’d worry about putting too much weight that slim of a reed. Secondly, it is one thing to take Christ as the archetypal man in terms of being the font of the race and the image of that race, and quite another to take Christ as the “universal person” with all persons in seminal form summed up in him as him. The latter seems to be more of what Augustine has in mind and that seems to me to be problematic.—

    Pelikan’s quote was specifically in re: how Maximus views Original Sin, and it is about Adam as a universal person. I was just using it to show I’m not the only one who sees this in Maximus.

    —As for the Theotokos, that depends on what you mean by predestination. Certainly she is not predestined in a personal manner with respect to her choices. Her choices are not fixed by divine decree. Since the Incarnation hinged upon her assent, there is a sense that while she is posterior to the act of creation, her choice explains the world in so far as it is related to the incarnation. In this sense I understand her to be a cause of creation. My point being that we need to be careful of being anachronistic and reading notions from other theological systems and authors back into sources based on similar terms.—

    Well, that was all I was really saying about the predestination of the Theotokos. Anyway, I don’t see how the liturgical quote about the Theotokos has much bearing on what Maximus says about “my sin” and “the sin that I caused.”

    —I think Augustine thinks that everyone save Christ is reatu for their corruption which is why he denies it to Christ.—

    People are not “guilty,” or “reatu,” for their bodily corruption alone. Do you think St. Vincent, for instance, would say that Christ participates in the guilt of Adam’s sin? I don’t. Our nature is “guilty” in a certain sense, and so Christ took it and did away with the guilt that was in it. St. Gregory Palamas, homily 5. Translation is Veniamin:

    “Before Christ we all shared the same ancestral curse and condemnation poured out on all of us from our single Forefather, as if it had sprung from the root of the human race and was the common lot of our nature. Each person’s individual action attracted either reproof or praise from God, but no one could do anything about the shared curse and condemnation, or the evil inheritance that has been passed down to him and through him would pass to his descendants. But Christ came, setting human nature free and changing the common curse into a shared blessing. He took upon Himself our guilty nature from the most pure Virgin and united it, new and unmixed with the old seed, to His Divine Person. He rendered it guiltless and righteous, so that all His spiritual descendants would remain outside the ancestral curse and condemnation.”

    —If concupiscience is a corruption of nature for Augustine and we inherit it, how is it that Christ does not inherit it since he inherits our nature?—

    Christ had no concupiscence because of the fact that Christ was born of a virgin, without concupiscence. And St. Gregory Palamas says the same thing in Homily 14:

    “If the conception of God had been from seed, He would not have been a new man, nor the Author of new life which will never grow old. If He were from the old stock and had inherited its sin, He would not have been able to bear within Himself the fullness of the incorruptible Godhead or to make His Flesh an inexhaustible Source of sanctification, able to wash away even the defilement of our First Parents by its abundant power, and sufficient to sanctify all who came after them.”

    St. Maximus agrees. Ad Thalassium 61:

    “But the Lord, when he became a man, did not have a birth in the flesh preceeded by the unrighteous pleasure that caused death to be elicited as a punishment of our nature. He naturally willed to die, to take on death amid the passibility of his human nature.”

    Further, St. Augustine writes, “Inasmuch, however, as in Him there was the likeness of sinful flesh, He willed to pass through the changes of the various stages of life, beginning even with infancy, so that it would seem as if even His flesh might have arrived at death by the gradual approach of old age, if He had not been killed while young. Nevertheless, the death is inflicted in sinful flesh as the due of disobedience, but in the likeness of sinful flesh it was undergone in voluntary obedience.”

    And St. Maximus agrees. Christ’s death was voluntary, not a natural due. He willed his own death. St. Maximus also agrees that death is the just penalty of sinful flesh which partakes in unlawful pleasure (i.e. all of us).

    —I have read Crisp’s article and I think it turns on the same kind of confusion between person and nature. First notice the gloss he gives on the medieval notion of inherited guilt.—

    I agree, his article is full of the typical Reformed confusions and nonsense. I was just citing him for Augustine’s views of Christ’s human nature.

    —To say that Augustine thinks that Christ possess a human nature affected by the fall is ambiguous. Augustine doesn’t think that Christ bears a corrupted human nature. Just look at how he glosses 2 cor 5 for example in the Enchiridion, On the Grace of Christ and Original Sin, and Against the Two Letters of the Pelagians. He understands “likeness” in terms of something like a similar appearance rather than after the Greek notion of, after the pattern of, found in say Romans 6, which is anthropologically meatier.—

    Having a human nature affected by the fall is all I have in mind, because if it is subject to the various blameless passions. Of course his flesh isn’t actually sinful. And can you say he understands it differently than St. Basil, in Letter 261?

    “It is the property of flesh to undergo division, diminution, dissolution; of flesh endowed with soul to feel weariness, pain, hunger, thirst, and to be overcome by sleep; of soul using body to feel grief, heaviness, anxiety, and such like. Of these some are natural and necessary to every living creature; others come of evil will, and are superinduced because of life’s lacking proper discipline and training for virtue. Hence it is evident that our Lord assumed the natural affections to establish His real incarnation, and not by way of semblance of incantation, and that all the affections derived from evil that besmirch the purity of our life, He rejected as unworthy of His unsullied Godhead. It is on this account that He is said to have been “made in the likeness of flesh of sin;” not, as these men hold, in likeness of flesh, but of flesh of sin. It follows that He took our flesh with its natural afflictions, but “did no sin.” Just as the death which is in the flesh, transmitted to us through Adam, was swallowed up by the Godhead, so was the sin taken away by the righteousness which is in Christ Jesus, so that in the resurrection we receive back the flesh neither liable to death nor subject to sin.”
    http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3202261.htm

    —a corrupt will can only be had by individual persons who corrupt it, so unless we inherit a person, this won’t be a feasible explanation.—

    If our rational soul has died in Adam as well as our body, due to loss of divine grace, and human will proceeds from the rational soul (which it does), we will in essence have inherited a corrupt will from Adam. But Christ “first raised up, vivified, and deified the soul which had suffered first the punishment of death,” according to St. Symeon. And thus, he had no corrupt gnomic will, because he was God. Only later, at the resurrection, did he destroy the body’s death.

    Do you mean to say that we don’t inherit our corrupt will from Adam but merely imitate his sin and thus fashion for ourselves a new corrupt will? Of course not. Obviously, our corruption affects our gnomic will.

    —In any case, here we can see the problem with what constitutes nature in respect to grace. Is nature good? If so, is it pleasing to God? Secondly, he excludes them from punishment, which Augustine doesn’t and if he excludes them form punishment, then he logically excludes them from hell and so I can’t see how this citation helps Augustine’s gloss that unbaptized infants go to hell.—

    Well yes, I’ve always said that St. Gregory sees unbaptized infants as in a middle place, neither heaven nor hell. What was I trying to establish? Only this: There is something that makes unbaptized infants qualitatively different from baptized ones, and that this is recognized by the Church. Augustine couldn’t see how there could be a third place between heaven and hell, and that is all it really comes down too.

    It is a dogmatic fact, as the Council of Carthage established, that the form of Baptism for remission of sins is a true one in regards to infants. This council has Ecumenical status in the Church from Quinisext.

    —Pelagius has the same problem in how nature and grace (as well as person and nature) relate. He just takes it in a different direction.—

    Pelagius’ view is the same as St. Gregory’s in respect to unbaptized infants.

    —Consequently, I don’t think Maximus has the same problem on how original sin is transmitted since it is simply the nature in a deficient or disempowered state that it is transmitted.—

    I think Maximus would say that even married couples partake of “unrighteous enjoyment,” since thats how Original Sin is transmitted, in his view. For Maximus, all sexual pleasure is “unrighteous enjoyment.” Let me quote him, from his Ad Thalassium 21:

    “The first man received his existence, and free from corruption and sin-for God did not create either of these. When, however, he sinner by breaking God’s commandment, he was condemned to birth based on sexual passion and sin. Sin henceforth constrained his true natural origin within the liability to passions that had accompanied the first sin, as though placing it under a law. Accordingly, there is no human being who is sinless, since everyone is naturally subject to the law of sexual procreation that was introduced after man’s creaturely origin in consequence of his sin. Since, therefore, sin came about on acount of the transgression, and the liability to passions connected with sexual procreation entered human nature on account of sin, and since, through sin, the original transgression continued unabatedly to flourish right along with this passibility of childbirth, there was no hope of liberation, for human nature was deliberately and indissolubly bound by the chain of evil. The more human nature sought to preserve itself through sexual procreation, the more tightly it bound itself to the law of sin, reactivating the transgression connected with the liability to passions. Because of its physical condition, human nature suffered the increase of sin within this very liability to passions, and it retained the energies of all opposing forces, principalities, and powers-energies which, in view of the universal sin operative in human passibility, used the unnatural passions to hide under the guise of natural passions. Wherefore every wicked power is at work, amid human nature’s liability to passions, driving the deliberative will with the natural passions into the corruption of unnatural passions.”

    Humanity was bound by the “chain of evil,” and the “law of sin.” There is a “universal sin operative in human passibility” due to passionate sexual generation.

    Ad Thalassium 61:

    “After the transgression pleasure naturally preconditioned the births of all human beings, and no one at all was by nature free from birth subject to the passion associated with this pleasure; rather, everyone was requited with sufferings, and subsequent death, as the natural punishment. The way to freedom was hard for all who were tyrannized by unrighteous pleasure and naturally subject to just sufferings and to the thoroughly just death accompanying them.”

    And:

    “What I am saying is that in the beginning sin seduced Adam and persuaded him to transgress God’s commandment, whereby sin gave rise to pleasure and, by means of this pleasure, nailed itself in Adam to the very depth of our nature, thus condemning our whole human nature to death and, via humanity, pressing the nature of (all) created beings toward mortal extinction.”

    And:

    “Because of Adam, who by his disobedience gave rise both to the law of birth through pleasure and the death of our nature which was its condemnation, all of his posterity who come into existence according to this law of birth through pleasure are necessarily linked with this birth and serves to condemn our nature. It was time for human nature to condemned for its sin, while the birth through pleasure was ruling our nature.”

    Note: See how he says human nature sinned? But of course, he is speaking analogically and not confusing person and nature.

    Here’s what Fr. John Meyendorff says in Christ in Eastern Christian Thought, p. 232,

    “on the psychological and practical level, Maximus was on this point very close to the Augustinian position on sin and concupiscence . . .”

    So, how is the nature in a deficient or disempowered state transmitted through sexual pleasure? Obviously, there is something more.

    —I don’t think that To Simplician in the end helps matters since at best his view amounts to a version of Source Incompatibilism since he doesn’t think that alternative possibilities are a necessary condition on free will. If that is so, any reasonable theodicy or defense is out the window, or so I’d argue. This will also manifest itself in problems in Christology, which bubble up in Anselm and Aquinas with respect to the free human will of Christ. In any case, Jesse Couenhoven’s article, Augustine’s rejection of the free-will defence: an overview of the late Augustine’s theodicy, in Religious Studies, 2007 (43) is a nice summation of Augustine’s views and how I understand their development.—

    Well, I don’t agree with the premises of Source Incompatibilism, but I’ll cede this to you because 1.) I’m not terribly familiar with the debate and 2.) the issue is peripheral.

    —As for my views on foreknowledge, I for the record think that God has complete and exhaustive knowledge of all actual and possible future contingents and all actual and possible true propositions. I do not think that God’s knowledge is necessarily a cause and I do not think that God’s knowledge fixes the actions of agents. I reject the simultaneity view offered by Boethius as well as Molinism since persons aren’t essences. In my understanding predestination is to nature and not as to person. Consequently I don’t find anything in my view that contradicts what St. John has to say on the matter. If you think there is a conflict, please bring it to my attention.—

    First, how do Boethius and Molinism entail that persons are essences? I don’t follow.

    Second, an objection just off the top of my head: how is predictive prophecy at all possible, since prophecy foretells the actions of free agents?

  18. They really weren’t meant to be sarcastic, and maybe this year, I will actually be in SoCal when you are around. A few pints of Arrogant Bastard seems about right.

    OK, *that* might have been sarcastic, but at least I include myself in the same category. 😉

  19. Symeon,

    I don’t think that Augustine thinks that we share in the sin of our first parents by virtue of the effects. Rather I think that he thinks that we collectively sin in Adam which is why guilt can be ascribed to us, even if it is not the guilt of cupla but reatu.
    I believe that Maximus applies the same two sins for us in a secondary sense, along the lines of Paul in Romans 5, death spread to all men because all men in fact sinned. The sentence you cite does use both but it strikes me as using both in terms of an antecedent, Adam’s choice and a consequent, our loss of divine power. The common glory was lost because in Adam all of the race is derived. That doesn’t seem to be the idea of a collective guilt.

    I agree with the Pelikan quote that Maximus Christ as the font of the race, but I’d offer a note of caution. Pelikan is not a specialist in Maximus and his historical work treats themes over persons. Second, he devotes no more than 2 or 3 pages in vol 2 to the entire monothelite controversy and it least a fair amount to be desired. I’d worry about putting too much weight that slim of a reed. Secondly, it is one thing to take Christ as the archetypal man in terms of being the font of the race and the image of that race, and quite another to take Christ as the “universal person” with all persons in seminal form summed up in him as him. The latter seems to be more of what Augustine has in mind and that seems to me to be problematic.

    As for the Theotokos, that depends on what you mean by predestination. Certainly she is not predestined in a personal manner with respect to her choices. Her choices are not fixed by divine decree. Since the Incarnation hinged upon her assent, there is a sense that while she is posterior to the act of creation, her choice explains the world in so far as it is related to the incarnation. In this sense I understand her to be a cause of creation. My point being that we need to be careful of being anachronistic and reading notions from other theological systems and authors back into sources based on similar terms.

    I think Augustine thinks that everyone save Christ is reatu for their corruption which is why he denies it to Christ. Second, it isn’t clear to me that Augustine has the concept of the gnomic will at his disposal so I don’t think he thinks it is inherited. And given that the gnomic will is the way the will is used by a specific person, I don’t see how it can be inherited, unless by it you only mean a contingent person who is not yet fixed in virtue. But that will be true of non-corrupt persons as well. If concupiscience is a corruption of nature for Augustine and we inherit it, how is it that Christ does not inherit it since he inherits our nature?

    I have read Crisp’s article and I think it turns on the same kind of confusion between person and nature. First notice the gloss he gives on the medieval notion of inherited guilt.

    “Inherited guilt, comprising,
    a. Reatus culpae (liability to guilt) denoting that by which a person is unworthy of divine grace, and counted worthy of divine wrath and punishment.
    b. Reatus poenae (liability to punishment) denoting that by which a person is subject to condemnation.’” Crisp, p. 275.

    Now that seems to be what Augustine clearly has in mind, but it doesn’t seem to me what Maximus has in mind. Notice, this is what is inherited prior to any choice I actually make. How can I be the proper object of retributive punishment if I haven’t done anything wrong at my conception?

    Second, notice the very next set of sentences after the one you cite.

    “And this makes sense of those biblical passages where Christ is tired, weeps and is sad. So he has the propensity to physical and perhaps, moral weakness. But exemplifying the effects of the fall in his human nature is not the same as possessing a fallen human nature, the claim we have been analyzing.” Crisp, p. 287.

    To say that Augustine thinks that Christ possess a human nature affected by the fall is ambiguous. Augustine doesn’t think that Christ bears a corrupted human nature. Just look at how he glosses 2 cor 5 for example in the Enchiridion, On the Grace of Christ and Original Sin, and Against the Two Letters of the Pelagians. He understands “likeness” in terms of something like a similar appearance rather than after the Greek notion of, after the pattern of, found in say Romans 6, which is anthropologically meatier.

    I think Maximus thinks that Christ actually takes up our distorted passions and desires and re-orders them. He actually takes up our corrupted nature, which is why you don’t get the idea in Maximus that the righteousness that we receive is different from the righteousness whereby God is righteous as you do in Augustine.

    As for infants, Augustine doesn’t think that infants are personally guilty in so far as they are individuals with respect to some specific act of theirs, but collectively in and as the person of Adam and this is why I think there is a conflation of person and nature, similar to that found in the Platonism that Augustine is drawing on. The problem of individual vs. a World Soul is present in the Platonism of the time and Augustine shows an awareness of it. 2ndly, a corrupt will can only be had by individual persons who corrupt it, so unless we inherit a person, this won’t be a feasible explanation.

    Proportional condemnation is condemnation nonetheless so condemning someone for something that is not their fault, for which they are not the cause strikes me as unjust and immoral. Suffering the consequences of someone else’s unjust action just compounds the guilt of the original actor. 2ndly the rule you cite in context is for agents who have performed acts, but infants have performed no acts at conception and so I can’t see how it applies. Next to nothing in hell is still not nothing.
    It would greatly help if in citing texts you would give some link or textual designation. I have read the text, but for ease of use please cite the reference. In any case, here we can see the problem with what constitutes nature in respect to grace. Is nature good? If so, is it pleasing to God? Secondly, he excludes them from punishment, which Augustine doesn’t and if he excludes them form punishment, then he logically excludes them from hell and so I can’t see how this citation helps Augustine’s gloss that unbaptized infants go to hell.

    Pelagius has the same problem in how nature and grace (as well as person and nature) relate. He just takes it in a different direction.

    Augustine doesn’t think libido is per se the unrighteous enjoyment of the sexual act, but is rather a metaphysical principle operative in the nature, rather than a personal employment. And this is why Augustine thinks that it is not possible for even married couples to perform sexual acts without libido. This is Manichean and Platonic residue from his concept of matter as inherently unstable. Composition and unity is the dialectic that Augustine is employing such that in order to preclude the possibility of sin, glorified humans are scooped up out of the plurality of historical and successive events into one simultaneous moment. I don’t think this is the case for Maximus and in fact his refutation of Monotheltism turns on a constant motion with a genuine plurality of good objects to choose between. Maximus doesn’t think that humans are metaphysically unstable due to being composite but that the fall is possible for them only during a probationary period until they became fixed in the good, something that is not possible for example for Origen since grace can never truly be compatible with nature since they are dialectically related and Augustine has fundamentally the same problem. Consequently, I don’t think Maximus has the same problem on how original sin is transmitted since it is simply the nature in a deficient or disempowered state that it is transmitted.

    For the record I accept Orange though I find problems with the way that certain people have historically read it. The Augustinian influence is obvious, though it is a more tempered Augustinianism and so I think harmless. I don’t think that To Simplician in the end helps matters since at best his view amounts to a version of Source Incompatibilism since he doesn’t think that alternative possibilities are a necessary condition on free will. If that is so, any reasonable theodicy or defense is out the window, or so I’d argue. This will also manifest itself in problems in Christology, which bubble up in Anselm and Aquinas with respect to the free human will of Christ. In any case, Jesse Couenhoven’s article, Augustine’s rejection of the free-will defence: an overview of the late Augustine’s theodicy, in Religious Studies, 2007 (43) is a nice summation of Augustine’s views and how I understand their development.

    As for my views on foreknowledge, I for the record think that God has complete and exhaustive knowledge of all actual and possible future contingents and all actual and possible true propositions. I do not think that God’s knowledge is necessarily a cause and I do not think that God’s knowledge fixes the actions of agents. I reject the simultaneity view offered by Boethius as well as Molinism since persons aren’t essences. In my understanding predestination is to nature and not as to person. Consequently I don’t find anything in my view that contradicts what St. John has to say on the matter. If you think there is a conflict, please bring it to my attention.

  20. Jonathan,

    I am not sure that your comments are not meant to be sarcastic, but in the interests of charity, I will assume that they are not. So next time we see each other, the beer is on me. 🙂

  21. Thanks for the classy comments, Perry.

    If I might be permitted to address what Lee said, I have three pieces of advice for Lee:
    1. First, cool off before posting.
    2. Read my comment about Perry in that same thread. I specifically pointed out that I did NOT think that this criticism applied to Perry at all. I certainly never accused him of intellectual cowardice.
    3. Consider that the reason that I didn’t do exactly what you did in terms of storming in here was because I think that there are numerous cases where there’s nothing to be gained by simply repeating a disagreement that has been hashed over more than enough already. Perry thinks what he thinks, and I think what I think, and short of some miraculous intervention from Heaven, neither one of us is likely to move. There’s no point in arguing when nothing productive will come of it.

  22. Symeon says:

    []: It looks like Dr. Farrell has an essentially positive view of Orange also.

    Anyway, Augustine’s position of predestination is laid out in To Simplician. He explains how the initial call comes from God in this way:

    Here someone will say, why was not Esau called in such a way that he would be willing to obey? We see that people are variously moved to believe when the same facts are shown or explained to them. For example, Simeon believed in our Lord Jesus Christ when he was still a little child, for the Spirit revealed the truth to him. Nathanael heard but one sentence from him, “Before Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree I saw thee” (John 1:48); and he replied, “Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.” Long after, Peter made the same confession, and for that merit heard himself pronounced blessed, and that the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven were to be given to him. His disciples believed on him when by a miracle in Cana of Galilee water was turned into wine, which the evangelist John records as the beginning of the signs of Jesus. He stirred many to believe by his words, but many did not believe though the dead were raised. Even his disciples were terrified and shattered by his cross and death, but the thief believed at the very moment when he saw him not highly exalted but his own equal in sharing in crucifixion. One of his disciples after his resurrection believed, not so much because his body was alive again, as because of his recent wounds. Many of those who crucified him, who had despised him while he was working his miracles, believed when his disciples preached him and did similar miracles in his name. Since, then, people are brought to faith in such different ways, and the same thing spoken in one way has power to move and has no such power when spoken in another way, or may move one man and not another, who would dare to affirm that God has no method of calling whereby even Esau might have applied his mind and yoked his will to the faith in which Jacob was justified? But if the obstinacy of the will can be such that the mind’s aversion from all modes of calling becomes hardened, the question is whether that very hardening does not come from some divine penalty, as if God abandons a man by not calling him in the way in which he might be moved to faith. Who would dare to affirm that the Omnipotent lacked a method of persuading even Esau to believe?

    So it’s not so much “irresistable grace” as that God knew that this particular call would be irresistable to this particular person in this particular circumstance. Essentially, its closer to Molinism. But also ties this in with a sort of “passive reprobation.”

  23. [] says:

    Perhaps my reaction has more to do with what was done with Orange, how it was understood, and how it has been appealed to by the heterodox. I’m willing to accept that, if that’s so. Dr. Farrell’s and Fr. John Meyendorff’s treatment seems to indicate that the locus of my concerns is in the succeeding centuries rather than the council itself, and I may be falsely equating the two. Below are a number of articles I examined on this topic:

    Meyendorff: Imperial Unity and Christian Divisions
    http://tinyurl.com/2hao3v

    Original Sin Explained and Defended: http://www.bringyou.to/apologetics/num54.htm

    Original Sin: Orthodox Wiki:
    http://orthodoxwiki.org/Original_sin

    Beyond Justification:
    http://www.stpaulsirvine.org/html/Justification.htm

    Rehabilitating Pelagius:
    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1345082/posts

  24. [] says:

    Dr. Farrell on the Council of Orange

    For what it’s worth, here are two quotations from the good doctor:

    “Finally, the Council of Orange, if one reads Pelikan carefully, answers the extreme form of Augustinism with Augustine himself. In it and the work of St. Vincent of Lerins, the first Augustinian crisis passes. Augustine is received in an Orthodox manner of interpretation, and his peculiar theories are rejected as not being found in antiquity nor taught by the whole universal church.” – Patristics Volume 2 (Year 2)

    “The Council of Orange: “The controversies over his predestinarianism during the last years of his life and during the century following his death had led, at the Council of Orange … to a position that vindicated Augustine’s essential teaching about grace but muffled his views on predestination to punishment. That combination was defined as normative Augustinism…. But it was inevitable…that someone would discover in the works of Augustine alongside his constant stress on the centrality of grace, his much less frequent but still undeniable acceptance of the corollary to this stress on sovereign grace, namely, that God acted ‘for the damnation of those whom he had justly predestined to punishment…’”(p. 81)
    Thus the ninth century witnesses a reopening of the wound that had closed but not been sufficiently healed during the fifth and sixth centuries. Here we encounter an opposition between two parties, the ‘modified and muffled’ Augustinian party, Represented by Archbishop Hincmar of Rheims and Rabanus Maurus on the one hand, and the ‘strict Augustinians’, represented by Gottschalk and Ratramnus of Corbie.” – Patristics Volume 3 (Year 3)

  25. Symeon says:

    —The question is what is the sense in which all share in that sin? Is it that they were personally and metaphysically united and hence collectively committed it or that they are all participate in it through its effects?—

    The latter.

    —Second, the culpability for the first sin Maximus ascribes to Adam, and not to everyone in the passage you cite on page 119 of blowers translation. 2ndly, in the liturgical tradition of the Church the theotokos is said to be a cause of creation. Creation didn’t occur yesterday either. Was therefore the Theotokos present prior to her own creation? I don’t think so. There is no explicit supper here for the idea that humans are collectively guilty for the first sin.—

    Yes, he applies it to Adam, but that’s pretty much a distinction without a difference since he also goes on to apply these same two sins to us. Sometimes he even applies this sin to both Adam and to all humans in one and the same sentence, as when he writes, “Just as in Adam, with his own act of freely choosing evil, the common glory of human nature, incorruption, was robbed-since God judged that it was not right for humanity, having abused free choice, to have an immortal nature…” And in the section where he says the first sin is “culpable indeed” he is referring to the two sins which came into existence generally as a result of Adam. And Jaroslav Pelikan writes, “Maximus saw Adam… as the entire human race embodied in one concrete but universal person.”

    As for the Theotokos being a cause of creation, I understand that as referring to God’s predestination; that the world was created for her sake and thus for the sake of the incarnation. Maybe I’m totally wrong though. How do you understand it?

    —If Christ takes up our corruption and that is reatu and not culpa then it follows that Augustine would be forced to say that Christ was reatu like us. Here the confusion between person and nature becomes apparent. If reatu doesn’t refer to corrupted humanity and neither does culpa then Original Sin does not refer to human nature at all, and the distinction you proffered before, given by our Catholic friends falls apart. If reatum is inherited then it is conjoined with human nature. Let me put the question more directly. Does Christ inherit concupiscence or no? Does Augustine think that the inherited corruption is worthy of blame? He sure talks as if it is. And do you know of any place where Augustine says that Christ inherits our corrupted nature? Does Augustine make the logical space available for an inherited corruption that is not worthy of blame and hence lacks any kind of guilt? Maximus surely does, but I don’t think Augustine does.—

    Again, no one is reatu for corrupt human nature, but rather for the corrupt gnomic will. Christ is not reatu for the corrupt nature he inherits. And no, concupiscence is not inherited by Christ since Christ does not have a corrupt gnomic will.

    Anyway, a quick google search reveals that according to Oliver Crisp in “Did Christ have a Fallen Human Nature?” from International Journal of Systematic Theology 6 (3), “[I]t is clear Augustine believed that Christ is both sinless and yet possesses a human nature affected by the fall.”

    —Augustine from my reading thinks that children are personally guilty with a kind of collective personal guilt. To speak of a “sinful state” again brings out the confusion between person and nature unless of course you mean blameless inherited corruption.—

    I don’t think he thought that infants are personally guilty, since he ridicules the idea that infants are personally guilty for sins and says it isn’t even worth taking seriously enough to refute. For Augustine, personal guilt only attaches to actual sins. He sees Original Sin as proceeding from the corrupt will, such that we can do nothing good without God’s assistance.

    —But if children only at that stage have guiltless inherited corruption, why send them to hell? In the broad sense, everyone is found in Christ, which is why Christ is the judge of all. Hell is hell so saying that children go there is shocking.—

    But punishments in hell are proportional to the amount of wrong done, as the rule goes: “And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” (Luke 12:47-48) And so Augustine says, “It may therefore be correctly affirmed, that such infants as quit the body without being baptized will be involved in the mildest condemnation of all.” The “mildest condemnation of all” is in all probability next to nothing.

    —And from my reading Chrysostom and Gregory don’t say that children go to hell but that they aren’t ranked as high as martyrs in heaven.—

    Perhaps baptized infants aren’t ranked as high as martyrs, but unbaptized infants are a different matter. It’s an important distinction. Here is what St. Gregory says in his Oration on Holy Baptism:

    “Others are not in a position to receive it [Baptism], perhaps on account of infancy, or some perfectly involuntary circumstance through which they are prevented from receiving it, even if they wish… [They] will be neither glorified nor punished by the righteous Judge, as unsealed and yet not wicked, but persons who have suffered rather than done wrong. For not every one who is not bad enough to be punished is good enough to be honoured; just as not every one who is not good enough to be honoured is bad enough to be punished.”

    Pelagius took this idea of a middle place for infants because he could not say they went to heaven, being unbaptized. St. Augustine disagreed that there was a middle place, and so he consigned them to hell.

    —For Augustine, concupiscence isn’t per se of the procreative act, for that was created by God and same for the desire to procreate, but it is rather through the procreative act by which libido is transferred. And this is why Augustine thought that the instability and lack of control over our sexual organs was proof that libido was transferred through them. Of course Augustine could never specify how it was in fact transferred because it implied various heterodox views no matter which way he took it.—

    I agree. It isn’t the procreative act itself so much as the passions that accompany it. But St. Maximus pretty much says the same thing, that ancestral sin is transmitted through the “unrighteous enjoyment” or “unlawful pleasure” of carnal generation. If its a problem for Augustine, its a problem for Maximus too.

    —As for Orange, in canon 1, I agree with Augustine that human freedom is impaired after the fall, but Augustine endorses some kind of theological determinism, either in a soft deterministic variety or in a Source Incompatibilist way. Take your pick since in the end they both come to the same nonsense. In any case, Augustine is no libertarian. I don’t think Maximus thinks that human freedom is curtailed in the way that Augustine does, and I think that is a significant difference.—

    Yes, there may be some truth to this. However, an attentive reading of his To Simplician will show his view of predestination to be more nuanced than it is usually presented.

    Speaking of which, I am not quite clear on your own view. You reject many western views, even ones that I had thought were reasonably close approximations of the Orthodox view (like Arminianism). Do you agree with the following excerpts from St. John of Damascus on predestination? http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/exact_freewill.aspx

  26. Symeon says:

    Andrea: It’s a little of all three, actually.

  27. Symeon says:

    Although I should say, I don’t think Fr. Romanides views are even all that far from the west generally. I think he mostly attacks a strawman in his book.

  28. Symeon says:

    []: I never said it was ecumenical. Who ever did? But I do think it offered a good summary of Original Sin for my purposes. And it’s strange, because you are the first Orthodox person to object to Orange. Perry certainly doesn’t have a problem with it. Anyway, I am not Western Rite and am in fact anti-Ecumenist. Nor do I have sympathies with Calvinism. I think its one of the worst heresies, actually.

    And anyway, the East did receive Carthage as Ecumenical, and that is far more Augustinian than Orange ever was. You might want to stop being Orthodox now if this irks you so much.

    Andrew: Fr. Romanides’ explanation of Orange is pretty bogus. He obviously never looked at the history of Orange, why it was called, or who called it. And because it uses the Greek, and not Latin, version of Romans 5:12, it somehow becomes a condemnation of Augustine’s views!, despite the fact that they condemn the view that it is only the death of the body we receive.

  29. Stephen says:

    While we may all imagine ourselves capable of being Athanasius (albeit only as Walter Mitty might), I would suggest for most of us it is to defy the Incarnation to think that one can somehow be Orthodox and not be in communion ultimately with a bishop who is recognized as such by of other bishops in the Orthodox Church. Like many things, it is usually dangerous to test the boundaries of this dynamic to prove its existence (which leads to papism on the one hand and protestantism on the other). Best to be in the middle of the muddle.

  30. Andrew says:

    I recall father John Romanides explaining that the fathers at Orange were not influenced by Augustine’s views, but by the monasticism of Saints Basil the Great and Cassian, and that they rejected Augustine’s interpretation of Romans 5.12 in that council!

    “One can see the correct approach to the Council of Orange from Gregory of Tours who mentioned that the monasticism within Merovingian Gaul is that of St. Basil the Great and St. John Cassian. Not one word about Augustine either in his history or in his lives (miracles) of saints.”

    “Augustine’s writings found their way to parts of the West Roman provinces. St. John Cassian (circa 360-433), former ascetic in the deserts of Egypt and then deacon of the Patriarch of Constantinople St. John Chrysostom, challenged Augustine’s teaching about original sin and pre-destination without mentioning him. The teachings of Augustine on these points were condemned by the Council of Orange in 529.”

    “The Merovingian Franks abided by the Orthodoxy of their Roman Church which supported St. John Cassian against Augustine on grace and original sin. That the Council of Orange (529) was supposed to be a compromise between Cassian and Augustine is simply a figment of the Franco-Latin and Protestant imagination.[ 106 ] Canon 2 of this Council completely contradicts Augustine’s interpretation of Rom. 5:12. Augustine claims that all humans have sinned in Adam. The Council, however, interprets Rom. 5:12 as saying that, “By one man sin entered the world , and by sin death, and thus to all men [death] passed, in which all have sinned.” In other words all sin because of the spiritual death which each one suffers by not being in communion with the glory of God. “All have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23).”

    (from his cure of the neurobiological sickness of religion)

  31. [] says:

    There are subtleties in Orange, but it’s clearly a proto-Calvinist council. And in any case, we as the Church have rejected it as not ecumenical. It seems you have another agenda, to decide, in a way that is spiritually dangerous, and the fathers warn about consistently, that you are wiser than the Church and our fathers. I will hold no more discourse with you about this, since it will only drag others into your delusion. Whether you are one of those pop-Western-Rite persons who desire to find justification for your innovations, or an ecumenist, you can have no good cause for dredging up Orange; and if only a point of curiosity, then it is the kind of morbid curiosity about which the fathers have warned.

    This is one of the problems with debating “theology”; people feel free to hold their own private decisions in lieu of the consensus of the Church, in contradistinction to them, and to even spread them to others. I would admonish you to listen to the mind of the Church and repent of your presumption; I can tell you this: the day Orange is ‘recognized’ is the day I am not whatever religion recognizes it. If my bishop recognized Orange tomorrow, I’d look at the cup as a cup of dust and refuse to approach even the nave. So again, let’s put it this way; either your theory is masturbation, or you intend to enlighten the Church and encourage a change. But what will you accomplish? You will be in a Church of your own making. A Protestant Church. And you certainly will not take the rest of us with you. I wouldn’t give you the kiss of peace if you were in such a religion, and I would go to stake and pyre refusing to call it a “Church”.

  32. Symeon,

    Oh, well it felt good to vent against guilt and shame trips anyway. Thanks for giving me the oportunity. 🙂

    I can’t tell then from the bits I think I’m understanding from your posts if you’re playing Devil’s Advocate or are more in line with Blessed Augustine than I’ve heard other Orthodox, or maybe you’re just comparing and contrasting.

    Speaking of glowing Saints…

  33. Lee,

    I am not scared, but I have four other replies to give. Second, I know Jonathan Prejean personally and I consider him a friend of mine. He’s a smart guy and he is free to post what he likes on his blog. That doesn’t mean that I am obligated to allow links to things he says that I think are inflated and just full of bluster. Mr. Black, whom I do not know personally is free to engage in Judeo Masonic speculations, if that is what he did. I do not. And it isn’t even clear to me that Mr. Black links to that article in partciular. But I don’t and Farrell didn’t either. So this is clearly guilt by association. In any case, the ideas that Jonathan is attacking as far as Judeo Masonry aren’t mine. Lawyers excel at this kind of inflated speach.

    We can play that game too. I mentioned Blathasar’s Occultism as well as his misreading of Maximus in an Origenistic way that is the impetus for much of the quasi Universalism among contemporary Catholics like Neuhaus. Of course the difference there is its not guilt by association but a clear line of conceptual dependence. Now, which do you think is worse?

    Furthermore, the essential idea that the Franks hi-jacked Rome and inflated it is hardly conspiratorial in and of itself. Take Henry Chadwick for example in his recent book on East/West. Is he a loon too for saying as much? http://www.amazon.com/East-West-Apostolic-Florence-Christian/dp/0199280169/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1205029783&sr=1-4 It certainly wouldn’t be the last time Rome became the tool of various political forces. And as for conspiracy theories, shall we talk about all of the forgeries made just bey the Jesuits? How about the Nag’s Head Fable? Or how about defamatory myths created by Catholics concerning Mark of Ephesus or the myth of Photios’ second excommunication?

    And when will Catholics put away the idea that the “Greeks” are just intrinsically schismatical? Like schism is in their genes or some such nonsense. I see that stuff all the time and not too infrequently linked to some Catholic prophetic apparation like Fatima or Lourdes. I mean really, people who complain and try to tar me with some fringe group or some nutty idea then go rave and buy stuff from the likes of James Likoudis. Sheesh. Physcian, heal thyself.

    As for Jonathan’s shrugging off of the role of dialectic, I don’t think he’s read enough of Plato and Aristotle. Most people read the early dialogs of Plato and perhaps the Republic and ignore the later dialogs where most of his mature thought is. Plato has plenty to say about dialectic, it is a product of his causal theory, which in turn is the basis for Aristotle’s logic. And if somene tells you that Platonism has no significant framing effect on theology in late antiquity and the medieval era, they simply don’t understand anything about intellectual history. I’d recommend picking up some of the following.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0521214254/ref=wl_it_dp?ie=UTF8&coliid=I3IQJ8J5WCVZE5&colid=1JC7PMOGOQD6I

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0300084250/ref=wl_it_dp?ie=UTF8&coliid=IULPBZ21LWFYF&colid=1JC7PMOGOQD6I

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/9004105778/ref=wl_it_dp?ie=UTF8&coliid=I2YU7KP1MRWEID&colid=1JC7PMOGOQD6I

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0801420369/ref=wl_it_dp?ie=UTF8&coliid=I39D7HA17GCFDD&colid=1JC7PMOGOQD6I

    Now, as far as this “scared” stuff goes, I try to do the best I can. There is alot to read and it is quite complicated. I make mistakes like anyone else. Perhaps I have made one being Orthodox. Perhaps I have made one being a Theist. (Perhaps you have too.) That too is possible. But I sincerely try to do the best I can. Now, if you wish to engage the ideas here, you are most free to do so. If you think I am wrong, the best thing to do to get my attention is to lay out a clear argument with numbered premises and designated inference rules for each step without any rhetorical language or personal attacks like I am scared or some crap like that. That will get my attention. But personally attacking me with ad hom’s doesn’t do your cause any service and it doesn’t incline me to take what you say with any seriousness. So if you can’t do otherwise, please take your comments somewhere else. I don’t think I am being mean, nasty or rude in asking you to do so.

    Now do I tihnk there was a Germanization of the west? I’d be a dolt if I didn’t as this is clearly recognized in the literature. Did the Franks use Iconoclasm and the Filioque to their political advantage? Sure they did. Did they expand the power of the papacy as a hedge against the remnants of the Roman Empire in the East. Sure did. Is that a conspiracy theory? Only if almost every major historian in that period on the planet is involved in conspiracy theories.

  34. Symeon says:

    []: And anyway, here’s a quote from St. Symeon the New Theologian’s Ethical Discourses 1 which perfectly parallels Orange:

    “This is because Adam, when he ate from the tree which God had forbidden him to eat of, suffered the death of his soul as soon as he transgressed, but that of the body only many years later. Christ therefore first raised up, vivified, and deified the soul which had suffered first the punishment of death, and then, to the body condemned by the ancient judgment to return to the earth in death, He granted the reception of incorruptibility through the Resurrection.”

    As for the “guilt” being the corruption of our wills, or the “death of the soul,” I agree with that. And as for Adam being “guilty” of our sins, thats true too.

  35. Symeon says:

    Andrea: I’m Orthodox actually. My Christian name is taken after St. Symeon the New Theologian. 😉

  36. Symeon says:

    []: Orange can’t possibly be “heretical and schismatic,” since it isn’t even as Augustinian as, oh say, the Council of Carthage, which has Ecumenical authority in the east through Quinisext

  37. Symeon,

    “What worries me is that the ideas now prevailing in pop Orthodoxy, that we only receive “death” from Adam (with no elaboration), and an overemphasis on the Church as spiritual hospital, lead to a lessening of awareness of the severity of sin. You seem to have a healthy awareness of it, so I’m not reproaching you.”

    Hey, I resemble that remark, I mean “reproach”.

    “worries”, “severity”…yikes, the phrase “Catholic guilt” is not an exaggeration. I grew up with Protestant parents who inherited it from y’all I guess.

    Orthodox do tend to emphasize, if I may proof text, the story of the Prodigal Son, the Good Samaritan (speaking of hospital), and Christ as Physician. And we like John, the Disciple whom Jesus loved.

    Seeing the Church as Hospital is the way to emphasize the severity of sin. To not go to the hospital is to minimize the effects of illness, so I don’t know why you’re so up in arms about that.

    To goad people through fear of hellfire and brimstone misses the mark in my estimation. It is my understanding that we choose to undergo ascetic struggle (and the Orthodox prescribe prayer and fasting more rigorously than the Catholics – which I’m assuming your are -, if you’re aware) because of desire for union with Christ and the recognition that unrepented of sin separates us from Him, and this is hell for us. Union is more desirable and satisfying than any sin could ever come close to and that is the motivation. Not fear of punishment.

    Not that in the mean time ascetic struggle isn’t difficult or immediately gratifying, but I have faith that it will pay off in the end in some edifying way. And if not, I probably didn’t participate in the prescription pure-heartedly enough. And it’s not that I really want to glow and levitate in a rapturous state that much, I just want to be who I’m supposed to be – organically and healthily united to Christ while becoming Christ-like, through the prayers of the Theotokos and all the Saints. It’s about exchanging sin for His grace. St. Seraphim calls this transaction the acquisition of the Holy Spirit.

  38. Lee says:

    Okay.

    Censor me again, if you want. Just shows how scared you are to address criticisms of your ideas.

    http://crimsoncatholic.blogspot.com/2008/03/archbishop-of-babel-thinking-about.html#comments

  39. [] says:

    Well Orange is clearly heretical and schismatic, but all of, when we sin, enter into Adam’s sin, in the sense that we affirm it, and so share it. Give you an example: if I encourage someone to ignore the fast, and they do so, then while they have committed gluttony, so have I – in fact, I am guilty of THEIR gluttony.

    In existential ethics, which I find quite useful, when any one of us acts or prescribe an action, we sanction it for all men. This is one of the key reasons why ethics cannot allow an individual to act in such a way that if all individuals so acted it would destroy the human race. The first rule of ethics is self-preservation, since in order to make any ethical statement, the speaker must exist. If he sanctions behavior which would end his existence, he has not made an ethical statement, but in fact has ejaculated mere gibberish that needs no response. The 2nd rule of ethics is the the preservation of mankind, since any position or prescription that would eliminate this would likewise eliminate the ground of one’s own argument – such a position must then be regarded as gibberish. As a sidenote, it is interesting that Our Lord pursues what may be called (quite inadequately) morality (that’s an inaccurate and inadequate term, but useful in contrast to ethics), and his morality overrode the requirements of ethics, and so as in Adam all died, in Christ all were raised, for he died for all.

    The above is offered as a sense in which I voluntarily share in Adam’s guilt (voluntarily not involuntarily and not necessarily and certainly not by nature) – but if one accepts this, then one must accept that Adam in the same sense shares in my guilt – just as the one who encourages the glutton and is it not death, by Orthodox thinking, that causes sin? Indeed. So in Adam all died, therefore all sinned. Our wills were corrupt to begin with, by the corruption attached to our nature. But not of necessity:

    Which is why in the fullness of times, the Theotokos was the first obedient woman. We all had the choice, but the Theotokos was the first opportunity in history (without forcing a will) for God to become man. By her obedience we are saved. By her purity.

  40. The question is what is the sense in which all share in that sin? Is it that they were personally and metaphysically united and hence collectively committed it or that they are all participate in it through its effects? Second, the culpability for the first sin Maximus ascribes to Adam, and not to everyone in the passage you cite on page 119 of blowers translation. 2ndly, in the liturgical tradition of the Church the theotokos is said to be a cause of creation. Creation didn’t occur yesterday either. Was therefore the Theotokos present prior to her own creation? I don’t think so. There is no explicit supper here for the idea that humans are collectively guilty for the first sin.

    If Christ takes up our corruption and that is reatu and not culpa then it follows that Augustine would be forced to say that Christ was reatu like us. Here the confusion between person and nature becomes apparent. If reatu doesn’t refer to corrupted humanity and neither does culpa then Original Sin does not refer to human nature at all, and the distinction you proffered before, given by our Catholic friends falls apart. If reatum is inherited then it is conjoined with human nature. Let me put the question more directly. Does Christ inherit concupiscence or no? Does Augustine think that the inherited corruption is worthy of blame? He sure talks as if it is. And do you know of any place where Augustine says that Christ inherits our corrupted nature? Does Augustine make the logical space available for an inherited corruption that is not worthy of blame and hence lacks any kind of guilt? Maximus surely does, but I don’t think Augustine does.

    Augustine from my reading thinks that children are personally guilty with a kind of collective personal guilt. To speak of a “sinful state” again brings out the confusion between person and nature unless of course you mean blameless inherited corruption. But if children only at that stage have guiltless inherited corruption, why send them to hell? In the broad sense, everyone is found in Christ, which is why Christ is the judge of all. Hell is hell so saying that children go there is shocking. And from my reading Chrysostomand Gregory don’t say that children go to hell but that they aren’t ranked as high as martyrs in heaven. For Augustine, concupiscence isn’t per se of the procreative act, for that was created by God and same for the desire to procreate, but it is rather through the procreative act by which libido is transferred. And this is why Augustine thought that the instability and lack of control over our sexual organs was proof that libido was transferred through them. Of course Augustine could never specify how it was in fact transferred because it implied various heterodox views no matter which way he took it.

    As for Orange, in canon 1, I agree with Augustine that human freedom is impaired after the fall, but Augustine endorses some kind of theological determinism, either in a soft deterministic variety or in a Source Incompatibilist way. Take your pick since in the end they both come to the same nonsense. In any case, Augustine is no libertarian. I don’t think Maximus thinks that human freedom is curtailed in the way that Augustine does, and I think that is a significant difference.

  41. Symeon says:

    []: The doctrine you are attacking is the idea of a “sin nature,” which St. Augustine never held and in fact strongly repudiated. He discusses all of this in his Marriage and Concupiscence.

    I think its important to keep in mind what the Council of Orange says in its first two canons:

    CANON 1. If anyone denies that it is the whole man, that is, both body and soul, that was “changed for the worse” through the offense of Adam’s sin, but believes that the freedom of the soul remains unimpaired and that only the body is subject to corruption, he is deceived by the error of Pelagius and contradicts the scripture which says, “The soul that sins shall die” (Ezek. 18:20); and, “Do you not know that if you yield yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are the slaves of the one whom you obey?” (Rom. 6:16); and, “For whatever overcomes a man, to that he is enslaved” (2 Pet. 2:19).

    CANON 2. If anyone asserts that Adam’s sin affected him alone and not his descendants also, or at least if he declares that it is only the death of the body which is the punishment for sin, and not also that sin, which is the death of the soul, passed through one man to the whole human race, he does injustice to God and contradicts the Apostle, who says, “Therefore as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned” (Rom. 5:12).

    We might break this down thus: The death of the soul corresponds to St. Maximus’ first original sin, and the death of the body to his second. Both come from Adam. The first “death of the soul” is Adam’s sin “that passed through one man to the whole human race.” And since, as Ezekiel says, “the soul that sins shall die” we receive the second sin of bodily death. The death of the soul renders us slaves to the devil. As Maximus says, again, “humanity did not become sin but did commit and know sin-both the deliberate “sin” which man committed first, and the subsequent natural “sin” to which the Lord submitted himself on humanity’s account…”

    What worries me is that the ideas now prevailing in pop Orthodoxy, that we only receive “death” from Adam (with no elaboration), and an overemphasis on the Church as spiritual hospital, lead to a lessening of awareness of the severity of sin. You seem to have a healthy awareness of it, so I’m not reproaching you.

  42. Symeon says:

    I should also point out that at the time even Pelagius couldn’t bring himself to say that unbaptized infants can go to Heaven.

  43. Symeon says:

    —Where does Maximus say that he is guilty for the sin of another? Where does he speak of guilt in an analogous sense? Where does he condemn the unbaptised to hell on account of original guilt? I agree that he divides sin in the way you proffered. I have done pretty much the same here numerous times before. But that is not the crucial question. I am not guilty for the corruption I inherit on his account. The “sin that I caused” can’t be my fall in Adam for exactly the reasons I stated, either my nature is Adam’s person or my gnomic will pre-existed. In fact the “sin I caused” Maximus indicates is the inherited corruption, but as far as I know, he doesn’t refer to this in terms of guilt or collective culpability or blameworthiness.—

    As I wrote before, I made a mistake. St. Maximus says that the “fall of the will from good to evil” and “the mutability of my free choice” is “my sin,” indeed, because of “my sin,” another is caused, which is the corruption of human nature. Further, he says that this first sin is shared by the entire human race; this sin, “culpable indeed,” that “caused” the nonblameworthy one. Now, obviously that has to be primordial, because the nonblameworthy sin wasn’t just “caused” yesterday. It sounds a lot like shared blameworthiness and collective culpability to me.

    —If you think Augustine and Maximus are on the same page, then does Augustine think that reatu is correctly said of Christ? I don’t think so. How many Catholic or Protestant scholars refer to the corrupted humanity of Christ?—

    No, Augustine wouldn’t say that reatu could be correctly said of Christ. Nor would Vincent. Nor would Maximus. “Reatu” does not refer to corrupted humanity. Maximus says that the “fall of the will from good to evil,” which is “my sin,” is worthy of blame. However, the corruption of human nature, the “sin that I caused,” which Christ inherits, is not worthy of blame. Indeed, it is the fact the Christ is not reatu, that he is totally guiltless, which makes his victory over Sin, the Devil, and Death, so perfectly just. He shared in our condemnation, which is death, but since he is not “reatu,” he justly overthrew this unjust condemnation. But I think I’m preaching to the converted on this point.

    —Again there is only so much mileage one can get out of the distinction between original and actual sin. Augustine damns people, children even, for original sin because he views them as responsible in some way. The “some way” is the rub and he never really gets a clear gloss on how this is possible, let alone how it is transmitted. I would still like an explanation of what kind of guilt this is and how I can be responsible for it. Being under the charge or domain of sin I have no problem with that language and usage from many of the Latins, but Weaver and other monographs I have read on this, from Catholic and non-Orthodox writers, agree that Augustine is innovating at this point.—

    For Augustine, it isn’t so much a personal fault in the infants as that their unbaptized status and sinful state puts them under the power of the Devil. Since they will not be found in Christ, they will go down to the left. And his doctrine of unbaptized infants going to Hell is less shocking when you realize the rule of “many stripes/few stripes” is applied to them. The end result is perhaps only slightly more harsh than when St. Gregory the Theologians says that unbaptized infants do not go to Heaven but will not be tormented in Hell. As for the more fully grown unbaptized, they’ll have all their countless personal, actual sins weighing them down. A similar idea can be found in St. Symeon the New Theologian, when he writes that Ancestral Sin puts people under the power of the devil and, apart from any personal fault, is sufficient to send men to Hell. He doesn’t mention infants, but the logic is the same. As for how its transmitted, it’s the concupiscence of carnal procreation. St. Maximus has pretty much an identical idea of how sin is transmitted.

  44. [],

    Your comment doesn’t sound chicken pot pie-ish to me (thanks for the tantalizing, but temporarily forbidden meat reference). And I think it is a nice addition to what we’ve been discussing in the grace thread:

    https://energeticprocession.wordpress.com/2008/01/13/a-grace-unworthy-of-the-name/

  45. [] says:

    I don’t know if this is helpful. I haven’t been following the whole argument, since I just got done w. work, and can’t stick around. But: it is Orthodox to say that I caused the death of the world, and everything in it. All the suffering, every disease, every ailment of man, each child that is abused, each person who is enslaved. Every life lost. Where animals and trees are lost or suffer. It’s my fault. I have done it. I am the cause of all this. Which is why many of us pray the Jesus Prayer with the words “the sinner” not “a sinner”. From anthropology, because my sins are unique and cannot be duplicated, from piety, to avoid presumption, and from doctrine, because when I sinned, I brought Death to the world, and so I am responsible for all that Death has wrought. I am Adam. I cannot be guilty of an act committed by Adam, and an act cannot be inherited, nor is ‘guilt’ a thing that can be passed on. The inheritance from Adam is twofold: death and nature – in fact, a nature polluted by death. In me is the right thing, and the ongoing action that has attached itself to the write thing. The unmaking, the uncreating, the “X-ing out” as Madeleine L’Engle calls it. Because I inherit nature, Christ saves me by the Incarnation. Because I inherit death, he must divide the divider (death) from my nature. But when I sin, I repudiate the act of the Second Adam, and commit the act of the First. And I am guilty then of all that Adam was guilty of, in that I have slain the world.

    The obsession with sin or guilt, not death, is a misunderstanding, I suspect, of what death really is. Death is fragmentation. It is that which tore body from soul, then the soul’s parts (mind,will,emotion) from each other, so that I cannot do what I want, my feelings and thoughts war, and my will breaks. It alienates me from other men, so that Cain kills Abel. It alienates me from my own flesh, so that Adam blamed Eve. It divides me from the rest of creation, so that I consume it and destroy it, subjugating it rather than subduing it. It divides nature against itself, so the lion slays the lamb, and the little child flees. The serpent and the woman are at enmity. But this is resolved in Christ who deified our nature, and made possible my deification as a person by union with him.

    This may all seem very elementary compared to what is being discussed, and I’m quite tired, so forgive me if I just stepped in and sang the chicken pot pie song. You know… “chicken pot, chicken pot, chicken pot pie!” But I can’t see where these fundamentals confuse us.

    The Orthodox way seems clear to me. Likewise, the notion of a “sin-nature” (a novel, gnostic) idea that confuses operation and nature, but conceals in fact a rejection of flesh and an attack on our Christology, for if the nature is that of sin, then Christ assuming it cannot have healed us. This erroneous thinking goes so far as to have the word sarx translated “sin nature” in places in the NIV to support a doctrine that has no support.

  46. Where does Maximus say that he is guilty for the sin of another? Where does he speak of guilt in an analogous sense? Where does he condemn the unbaptised to hell on account of original guilt? I agree that he divides sin in the way you proffered. I have done pretty much the same here numerous times before. But that is not the crucial question. I am not guilty for the corruption I inherit on his account. The “sin that I caused” can’t be my fall in Adam for exactly the reasons I stated, either my nature is Adam’s person or my gnomic will pre-existed. In fact the “sin I caused” Maximus indicates is the inherited corruption, but as far as I know, he doesn’t refer to this in terms of guilt or collective culpability or blameworthiness.

    If you think Augustine and Maximus are on the same page, then does Augustine think that reatu is correctly said of Christ? I don’t think so. How many Catholic or Protestant scholars refer to the corrupted humanity of Christ?

    Again there is only so much mileage one can get out of the distinction between original and actual sin. Augustine damns people, children even, for original sin because he views them as responsible in some way. The “some way” is the rub and he never really gets a clear gloss on how this is possible, let alone how it is transmitted. I would still like an explanation of what kind of guilt this is and how I can be responsible for it. Being under the charge or domain of sin I have no problem with that language and usage from many of the Latins, but Weaver and other monographs I have read on this, from Catholic and non-Orthodox writers, agree that Augustine is innovating at this point.

  47. Symeon says:

    He calls the “fall of the will from good to evil” “my sin,” actually. The “sin that I caused” is the corruption of nature, and is the result of the first. Sorry, I had it a little confused in that post.

  48. Symeon says:

    Even St. Augustine says that Original Sin is rooted in the will, and denies that it is a matter of nature. He fought the Manichaeans, and the very idea of a “sin nature,” long enough to know not to fall in to that trap. He didn’t work things out like St. Maximus though, certainly.

  49. Symeon says:

    St. Maximus says that Christ “became the ‘sin that I caused'” in Ad Thalassium 42. And I agree, it is a matter of the Gnomic will.

  50. Where does Maximus say that Original sin is the “sin which I caused,” and secondly the fall of the will from good to evil isnt a sin nature or natural will for Maximus since the natural will is always GOOD. It is the gnomic will, the personal mode of willing, which is problematic.

    Photios

  51. Symeon says:

    Yes, but if you notice, St. Maximus divides Original Sin into two parts, the “sin which I caused,” which is the “fall of the will from good to evil,” and then there is the second Original Sin, which is the corruption of nature. The first merits blame, but the second doesn’t. We inherit both halves of the equation and Christ only inherits the second half. According to Maximus, this is how Christ was made sin and yet knew no sin. As he says, “humanity did not become sin but did commit and know sin-both the deliberate “sin” which man committed first, and the subsequent natural “sin” to which the Lord submitted himself on humanity’s account…” He would even have it that Original Sin is transmitted by the concupiscence of earthly generation, which Christ is exempt from. Indeed, St. Maximus seems to see Adam as a “universal man.”

    As for Augustine and reatu, I read this in an article which I am trying to find now; I believe it was on Siris. But in any case, his distinction of sin into Original and Actual already seems to assume that distinction. But even if St. Augustine glossed the thoughts of his predecessors such as Ss. Ambrose and Cyprian, it must have been a subtle gloss, because the West as a whole doesn’t seem to have caught on.

    My own thought on Original Sin is that it is a corruption of the gnomic will, and not only nature, from the moment we have the faculty of willing, and this sinful state is our analogical “guilt.”

  52. Yes, but I don’t think that does much work in the way that Augustine uses the terms. Meaning is use after all. In any case, if it meant guilt, what kind of guilt is there that isn’t personal? Are non-persons charged with crimes? How can I be accused of something I did not perform? If it were possible, it would mean that I could justifiably be made blameworthy apart from any choice I made or it would imply a pre-existence where I made a pre-embodied choice. Augustine takes the first route and Origen the second.

  53. Symeon says:

    And as our Catholic friends like to point out, they believe the guilt of Original Sin is “reatum,” with no “culpa.”

  54. Symeon,

    Then it seems clear to various Augustinian scholars that it uses it as a grid. I don’t think Augustine’s doctrine of Original Sin is identical with Ambrose or Cyprian. That just moves the question.

    I am not going to reherse Bruke’s arguments since I don’t have the article handy. His is not the only article on thematter. Any parousing of Augustinian Studies or Studia Patristica for the last 25 years will yeild a cache of articles on the subject.

    reatu has the sense of being charged with a crime or accused. The notion is of being bound to be handed over for judgment. Culpa on the other hand has the meaning of in fact being guilty of wrongdoing. I think it is an awefully slip passage to put so much weight on. Second one can believe that we are charged or bound over on account of Adam’s sin, but Augustine’s notion is richer than that.

    And are you sure Augustine doesn’t use terms like culpa, vitium and noxia for the “guilt” of original sin?

    Lastly, sin can be used in a wide or narrow sense and even Maximus does this. Sin can be generally employed to dnote natural corruption as well as a more narrow sense of personal actions, so the material from Cassian per se doesn’t move me. See for example 2 Cor 5:21, Jesus is made sin yet he knew no sin. Is Jesus made guilty in the incarnation?

  55. Symeon says:

    Even if St. Augustine did believe in the world soul, it seems clear to me that his doctrine of Original Sin didn’t come from there. It can be found (in less fully explicated form, of course) in St. Ambrose, who baptised him, and St. Cyprian, who was a huge influence in North Africa.

    What are Vernon Burke’s arguments? Just throwing out a source doesn’t make the case.

    Culpa is personal guilt, and reatu is a legal term for one convicted of a crime. St. Augustine didn’t believe that the guilt of Original Sin was personal and so “reatu” is the form he used.

  56. Symeon says:

    Christopher: The only thing keeping me away from GHD is the hefty price tag. I think Farrell is a reliable patristics scholar, which is what makes his pseudo-doxy so disappointing.

  57. Symeon,

    What is the semantic difference between culpa and reatu? Are these terms synonyms or not?

    2nd, Catholic and conservative scholars have convincingly shown Augustine’s dependence on the notion of the Cosmic Soul for his notion or gloss on original sin. It is quite clear that Augustine held to the idea of the World Soul his whole life. Like Vernon Burke is some Romaphobe? I don’t think so.

  58. Symeon says:

    Yes, the Latin text of the particular passage is this: “Quis ante prodigiosum discipulum ejus Coelestium reatu praevaricationis Adae omne genus humanum denegavit astrictum?” From what little I learned in high school Latin, Schaff’s translation looks pretty accurate. The word reatu is the same word that is translated as “guilt” in the Augustinian corpus.

    So, did St. Vincent believe in the Cosmic Soul too? Did all those other Saints?

  59. Symeon,

    Have you looked at the Latin text of St. Vincent over against the Enlish translation from the 19th century that you are citing?

  60. The only reason to note the confessional background of an author is simply to be more aware when reading their arguments. This is especially true for non- or simply quasi-intellectuals such as myself that try to read works far above their level. So, knowing that Dr. Farrell is not a member of a ‘canonical’ Orthodox church simply means that I will read his works with a grain of salt, much in the same way that I read most of the books and comments coming out of St. Vlad’s, St. Sergius in Paris and the Phanar. It is so difficult to be both wise as serpents and innocent as doves; obedient sheep, and yet rational sheep.

  61. Joseph says:

    I just re-read Abolition 2 weeks ago and it was just as damn good as it was the first time around. Reading it is a lot more fun than trying to argue it’s premise with people, though. Every time I argue with skeptics about it I always end of having to start back smoking……Have you read Victor Reppert’s “CS Lewis’ Dangerous Idea: A Defense of the Argument from Reason”? He takes his que from Miracles, especially the Cardinal Difficulty With Naturalism.

  62. Asher Black says:

    Joseph:
    I give Miracles to skeptics as a basis of beginning, before I’ll argue with them. I tell them “You don’t know enough, or have the tools to conduct an argument on this worthy subject. Once you’ve got platform from which to deviate, instead of kneejerk skepticism which stands on nothing, I may engage you.”

    For people who need to understand how indoctrination works (even in the “good” schools) and how they breathed it in with their mother’s milk from the dominant culture, I give them Abolition of Man. It’s only 3 chapters, because it’s 3 lectures, so it’s very thin, but some of the “intellectuals” among them find themselves having to really concentrate, so it’s also good for those who underestimate us as a lot of intellectual wussies.

  63. Joseph says:

    Asher,

    I have found that the two chapters, “Baptism” and “The Body of Christ,” in Bonhoeffer’s Cost of Discipleship are about as succinct a treatment of incarnational theology as I have ever read. Usually when I’m asked what someone should read to understand Orthodoxy, I’ll make them read this first.

  64. Asher Black says:

    Incidentally, and I know this will scandalize a few of you. I own books by C.S. Lewis. It’s true. It’s widely known that Dr. Lewis was sympathetic to Orthodoxy and attended Orthodox liturgies at times, but I have owned them long before I knew that. I confess great sympathy for his books Miracles and The Abolition of Man and God in the Dock. I realize he’s not Orthodox, or canonical Orthodox, and that worse, he’s Anglican, but I love his work.

    So too I works of Jaroslav Pelikan before he converted, a work of Fr. Seraphim Rose before he was a monk (his name was Eugene) – his work on Nihilism, specifically, works by Franky Schaeffer (who I liked a lot better BEFORE he converted), Dr. Anthony Campolo (I still dig this man), and George Grant (really like this evangelical’s treatment of charity in the Orthodox Fathers – e.g. St. Basil the Great).

    And I have another confession. At times, I find more of the Orthodox mind residing in some of these works than I do in the one’s now available from Conciliar Press or the local Orthodox Church bookstore, which stocks a number of volumes by that neo-gnostic, sophiolater Fr. Georges Florensky (not to be confused with Fr. George Florovsky who actually pointed out the paganism of the other’s writings). I feel compelled to shred or burn (burning is the Orthodox way) the ones by Florensky, lest I repose and they fall into impressionable hands, but I’ve never felt that way about any of the works by the above heterodox writers.

    Actually, rather than conceal anything, I have about 15,000 books, which include writings that would shock a lot of people. I even own Mein Kampf.

    I say this, because I want you to know the mentality out of which I feel free to own God, History, & Dialectic, and Dr. Farrell’s other works, both on patristics and on other topics. You see, I don’t like the whole idea that evangelicals have to go to the evangelical store to buy evangelical books, because anything else is tainted and might have the wrong ideas, or that Anglicans only read Anglican ‘fathers’ (how would they convert?), or that we Orthodox should mimic the fundamentalists and shop only for approved books by approved authors, because somehow their theology will be tainted otherwise. I’m perfectly comfortable owning Christology by Bonhoeffer, or any of Barth’s works. I even own Aquinas, which I use as bookends. Theology is either our theology or it isn’t – so I’m not too concerned with the status of the author – I’m more concerned about what he says. I have a host of “Orthodox” books on the shelf right now that contain the authors’ misunderstandings, and they apparently are approved by everyone. I’m more concerned about the rate of pop-publishing (I mentioned Conciliar Press) of balderdash mass-produced for consumption by Orthodox consumers than I am a serious work of theology or history which have to undergo some examination.

    One may look at the endless revisions of KALLISTOS’ book Orthodoxy and question where all that understanding is coming from (re: ecumenism and such) or the catechetical series by Clark Carlton, which frankly contains truths but seems to miss some larger truth. I own these works too, so I’m not being prejudiced, but my point by now I think is obvious.

    I confess, I own books that will not please everyone. I own books that disagree with one another. I own books that are definitely not in the canon. I own books by my ideological opponents. I own books written by exiles, dissidents, and outcasts, and books written by their detractors. I own works by Mao and Simon Magus, by neconservatives and neoliberals and anarchists. And I even own fiction, even science fiction. Out of this mentality, this feeling of license, I have for some time owned GHD. Might as well get it out in the open.

  65. Cyril says:

    Asher,

    There are no page numbers missing, but the whole section on St Ambrose. The table of contents does not mesh with the chapters: the section/chapter IV “Decon of 1st Hellenization from the Cappas to Chalcedon” follows the table with regard to A. and B., but then the section on St. Hilary in the text is labeled section B also, and St. John Chrysostom C, and no St. Ambrose. In the contents, Hilary is C, then Ambrose (D) and the John Chrysostom E. In my copy the text goes straight from St. Hilary to St. John Chrysostom, and the pagination is fine. It’s as if there were an Ambrosian rapture, but we shall simply call it a lacunae.

    Thanks,
    Cyril

  66. Fr. Maximus says:

    The question of whether one may separate from their bishop (or whether a group of bishops may separate communion from other bishops) is bound up in whether the latter bishops are actually preaching heresy or whether they are only committing an abuse of the canons. The Church allows – indeed require – separation in the first case; while forbidding it in the second, unless the canons are being abused as a direct result of a heretical belief.

    On another note, now that we are entering the period of the Triodion, the daily aposticha are a great place to find references to recapitulation. This morning we said:

    “Before Christ’s death upon the saving Cross, sin ruled supreme and ungodliness prevailed. Men were counted blessed because of sensual pleasures, and only a few despised the appetites of the flesh. But once the mystery of the Cross was brought to pass, the tyrrany of the demons was quenched by the knowledge of God, and heavenly virtue came to dwell upon the earth. So fasting is now held in honor, abstinence is glorified, and prayer is offered up. As a testimony to these things, the present season has been given to us by the crucified Christ our God, for the salvation of our souls.”

    Here we see that by the mystery of the Cross, the order of things which previously prevailed has been reversed. I especially like how we become actually better people, not just righteous by imputation.

  67. Joseph says:

    Just found this handy quote form H.U.von B. at the prompting of the Ochlophobist’s lead:

    ***Yet here is an excerpt from Balthasar’s foreword for the book “Meditations on the Tarot: A Journey into Christian Hermeticism” (Referred to herein as “Cardinal” Balthasar). “A thinking, praying Christian of unmistakable purity reveals to us the symbols of Christian Hermeticism in its various levels of mysticism, gnosis and magic, taking in also the Kabbalah and certain elements of astrology and alchemy. These symbols are summarized in the twenty-two “Major Arcana” of the tarot cards. By way of the Major Arcana, the author seeks to lead meditatively into the deeper, all embracing wisdom of the Catholic mystery.” -Hans Urs von Balthasar***

    Does anyone care to comment on this?? This may be as bad as de Chardin.

  68. Symeon says:

    Well, that depends on what you define by guilt, doesn’t it? St. Vincent of Lerin’s says we are all guilty of Adam’s sin.

    St. Vincent of Lerins, Commonitory, Chapter XXIV:

    Who ever originated a heresy that did not first dissever himself from the consentient agreement of the universality and antiquity of the Catholic Church? That this is so is demonstrated in the clearest way by examples. For who ever before that profane Pelagius attributed so much antecedent strength to Free-will, as to deny the necessity of God’s grace to aid it towards good in every single act? Who ever before his monstrous disciple Coelestius denied that the whole human race is involved in the guilt of Adam’s sin? Who ever before sacrilegious Arius dared to rend asunder the unity of the Trinity? Who before impious Sabellius was so audacious as to confound the Trinity of the Unity? Who before cruellest Novatian represented God as cruel in that He had rather the wicked should die than that he should be converted and live?

    St. John Cassian uses the Augustinian distinction of Original and Actual Sin, with Original Sin being analogous to actual sin and links both to “For all have sinned…” as well as “death passed on to all men.”

    St. John Cassian, Conference XIII, The Third Conference of Abbot
    Chaeremon:

    But if He calls not all generally but only some, it follows that not all are heavy laden either with original or actual sin, and that this saying is not a true one: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God;” nor can we believe that “death passed on all men.” And so far do all who perish, perish against the will of God, that God cannot be said to have made death, as Scripture itself testifies: “For God made not death, neither rejoiceth in the destruction of the living.”

    And do I even need to provide proof for Ss. Jerome, Ambrose, and Cyprian? Were they Orthodox?

    As for Quinisext, you’re just following the bogus arguments on the “Celtic Orthodoxy” site. The Quinisext canons were established as belonging to and being a continuation of the Sixth Ecumenical Council, and that’s why they had authority and were read into the minutes as proof against iconoclasm. Let me quote St. Tarasius, from the minutes:

    Tarasius, the most holy Patriarch said: There are certain affected with the sickness of ignorance who are scandalized by these canons [viz. of the Trullan Synod] and say, And do you really think they were adopted at the Sixth Synod? Now let all such know that the holy great Sixth Synod was assembled at Constantinople concerning those who said that there was but one energy and will in Christ. These anathematized the heretics, and having expounded the orthodox faith, they went to their homes in the fourteenth year of Constantine. But after four or five years the same fathers came together under Justinian, the son of Constantine, and set forth the before-mentioned canons. And let no one doubt concerning them. For they who subscribed under Constantine were the same as they who under Justinian signed the present chart, as can manifestly be established from the unchangeable similarity of their own handwriting. For it was right that they who had appeared at an ecumenical synod should also set forth ecclesiastical canons. They said that we should be led as (by the hand) by the venerable images to the recollection of the incarnation of Christ and of his saving death, and if by them we are led to the realization of the incarnation of Christ our God, what sort of an opinion shall we have of them who break down the venerable images?

    Further, Canon I of Nicea II:

    Seeing these things are so, being thus well-testified unto us, we rejoice over them as he that hath found great spoil, and press to our bosom with gladness the divine canons, holding fast all the precepts of the same, complete and without change, whether they have been set forth by the holy trumpets of the Spirit, the renowned Apostles, or by the Six Ecumenical Councils, or by Councils locally assembled for promulgating the decrees of the said Ecumenical Councils, or by our holy Fathers. For all these, being illumined by the same Spirit, defined such things as were expedient. Accordingly those whom they placed under anathema, we likewise anathematize; those whom they deposed, we also depose; those whom they excommunicated, we also excommunicate; and those whom they delivered over to punishment, we subject to the same penalty.

    The “Councils locally assembled for promulgating the decrees of the said Ecumenical Councils” is a direct reference to Quinisext.

  69. Symeon,

    Only partially so, not all the canons of Quinisext were adopted as having an ecumenical status.

  70. Show me an exegesis of St. Lerins and St. Cassian that demonstrate they believe in inherited guilt. Mind you, nobody believes in inherited guilt except Calvinists. All you’d be doing at that point is an attempt to try to show that those Fathers aren’t Orthodox.

  71. Symeon says:

    Well, besides the fact that Quinisext has an Ecumenical character and status, and was treated as such by the Seventh Ecumenical Council, a quick look at Western ecclesiastical history will show that, if anything, they were actually more strict about these matters.

  72. [] says:

    Well, Dr. Farrell isn’t married. As for other bishops marrying, you’re really attacking the whole concept of Western Orthodoxy at that point. If there is such a thing as Western Orthodox, then they’re not bound by an Eastern local council that was never ratified by the West. A genuine Western Orthodoxy would keep the canons of the ecumenical councils and of those Western local councils which either agree with them or do not disagree with them. They would not keep Eastern local councils any more than they would do Eastern liturgics. These things are not so cut and dried as they may seem. That’s like criticizing Western Orthodox for where the altar is placed; it really begs the question. Now if you want to say that either a) there’s no such thing as Western Orthodox or b) Western Orthodox must follow Eastern canons (which is the same as saying there’s no such thing as Western Orthodox – it begs the question), or that Western Orthodox must only do what Eastern bishops allow them to do (again, same thing), then that’s really a different argument. If your argument is about succession, on the other hand, then the talk of married bishops is really a straw man. So which fallacy are you committing?

  73. Lucian says:

    Apropos St. John Cassian, here’s something you might consider interesting. 😀 [Sorry for the shameless self-promotion :p ].

  74. Symeon says:

    I should clarify: I really don’t have a problem with his interest in Stitchen. I have some interests that would be considered screw-ball by the mainstream. It was just a surprise. The “Celtic Orthodoxy,” however, is a matter for concern.

  75. Symeon says:

    Wow. I had no idea about the wild and wacky world of Farrell until this thread. It’s down the rabbit hole and through the looking glass. Zechariah Stitchin, “Celtic Christianity.” It’s bizarre. That many worthies in the episcopate were married centuries prior to Quinisext is no excuse for post-Quinisext canonical violations. I can’t understand why he would abandon authentic Orthodoxy for what is essentially a vanity project.

    Also, those bashing St. Augustine’s “gloss” of Original Sin might want to take a closer look at some of their heroes in the Gallic monastic set. St. Vincent of Lerins and St. John Cassian are pretty much Augustinians when it comes to Original Sin. St. Vincent says the entire human race is “guilty” of Adam’s sin and that no one denied this before Coelestius. St. John Cassian says that everyone is heavy laden with sin, either Original or Actual; and this is merely St. Augustine’s distinction. Original Sin isn’t equated with death, but is analogous to actual sin. Read St. Prosper of Aquitaine’s summary of his “Semi-Pelagian” opponents’ doctrine of Original Sin in his letter to St. Augustine: “The opinion they hold is as follows: Every man has sinned in Adam, and no one is reborn and saved by his own works but by God’s grace.”

    And actually, St. Jerome had a pretty near identical view of Original Sin. As did St. Ambrose. Go all the way back to St. Cyprian, even. I don’t think the Platonic Cosmic Soul is really the explanation for this.

    Now, I don’t know what the specific objections to St. Augustine’s Christology are, but Daniel Keatings’ the Appropriation of Divine Life in Cyril of Alexandria has a good comparison of his Christology to St. Cyril’s, demonstrating its Orthodoxy.

    “Where does this lead except that we understand…that Christ, God and man, is one person, not two, so that our faith is only a Trinity and not a Quaternity? Therefore Christ is one, the Word, soul and flesh, one Christ; the Son of God and the Son of Man, one Christ. The Son of God always, the Son of Man in time, nevertheless, one Christ according to the unity of person. He was in heaven when he was speaking on earth. So the Son of Man was in heaven as the Son of God was on earth; the Son of God was on earth in the flesh he had taken, the Son of Man in heaven in the unity of Person.”

  76. Asher Black says:

    Jacob, when he says those works are not much differnt than the academics, is he elevating those works, or teasing against the academics?

    Photios, I like Dr. Farrell’s recent work to that of Joseph Campbell, but in a different field.

    When MYTHOLOG asked him: “What is there to be learned from the ancient myths that would interest those not particularly fascinated by myth studies?”

    He replied: “There is certainly a wealth of encoded scientific information, and, I believe, history — albeit garbled and perhaps disguised — as well. There’s something for everyone, really: for the philosopher and moralist, for the sociologist, for the anthropologist, the physicist … I could go on and on. The trick is learning to swallow one’s pride in thinking we are at the pinnacle of civilization, and learning to see the modern parallels in the ancient myths. ”

    What’s being missed is that the doctor is doing a particular kind of analysis that differs significantly from many who share a publisher with him.

    Photios is right – you’ve got to go where the money, the audience, and the willingness to publish is. The running ad hominem against all crypto-zoologists and others means that no one can ever publish anything like that and be heard, and the thinker cannot be challenged. For the same reason, many never come to Orthodoxy.

    Joseph: Exactly. These are areas where others are afraid to even look, ask questions, or think, because they’d be embarrased. Dr. Farrell just decided not to be embarrased, and so has produced some very intriguing work. One reads, in all this censure against those who look into these fields, a subtle pietism that rejects the notion that Christians should enter all of life, and indeed redeem it. It would not object to Orthodox politicians (most of whom have betrayed us), nor Orthodox actors and actresses (which the Fathers did object to), but question the scientific orthodoxies of the day, and well that’s something a Christian should apparently never do. Therefore too, it conceals the real religious hierarchy of the critic, in which Orthodoxy is but the junior child to the Enlightenment arrogance. Dr. Farrell is simply an unbeliever in such neo-gnosticism.

    Cyril: can you identify the exact page numbers you’re missing?

    Photios: keep me posted on the pages you’re typing. I have some texts already perhaps in typed format, and we can farm some of this out to volunteers to help. Email me.

    Ochlo: “it is also interesting to me that those who are most eager to dismiss the fringes of Orthodoxy as Orthodox are those most eager to sit at the table with RCs and Prots” Yes, indeed. It’s the ecumenism of officialdom, and since it depends on mutual recognition, it will be on the basis of official, top-down neo-papal pronouncements that the union will occur, and on the same basis that the non-joiners will have been said to have ‘left’. In fact, it is the uniters that have left, as St. Mark the Pillar knew.

    Jacob: “including lost or hidden dangerous technology from the region that the Third Reich believed might be real and still exist, and sought to obtain.” – indeed, Dr. Farrell feels free to write about what others have believed (which is simply intellectual history, but that doesn’t mean that writing about it = sharing those beliefs – he finds it interesting and worthy of looking at)

    PSeudoThomas: Dr. Farrell does not belong to http://celticchristianity.org/ – not really. But I’ve already explained that. But I agree, it’s not pseudo-dox. It’s celtic. I know the Archbishop, and he’s as Orthodox as they come.

  77. Lucian says:

    What I mean is: within Catholicism, you’ve got Trentecostals, Greco-Catholics [one view towards ancestral sin, mysticism, Essence-Energies and the Jesus Prayer, or Christ’s descent into Hades], Thomists [another view towards original sin, mysticism, Essence-Energies and the Jesus Prayer, or Christ’s descent into Hades], Augustinians [monoenergism, predestination: simple or double; massa damnata, original sin], Patristic [synergism, no predestination], Assumption vs. Dormition; etc.

    Among Protestants: even among the same Church or denomination You’ll be able to find an entire plethora of opinions on diverse theological subjects, ranging form one end to the other of the spectrum — endless quarrels and perpetual in-fighting.

  78. Lucian says:

    Brother Martin,

    s___ happens, and schisms happen. But in our case, they are not of a heretical sort; nor do they [or we] pretend to be in communion with each-other, shaking hands like politicians with that big fake smile on our faces, putting on a happy-clappy facade for the sake of formal, un-substantiated Ecumenism; nor do we and they recur to fluffy-cloud inclusive language or free-for-all open communion with each-other, for that matter.

    P.S.: loved Your 95 Theses, BTW… 🙂

  79. Lucian says:

    And here are two more links:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthodox_Church_of_France
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Coptic_Orthodox_Church

    Now, Photios, the problem lies in two facts:

    1) They reject union with the other Orthodox bodies due to Ecumenism (that’s a perpetual leit-motive that permeates throughout all of their statements). AND YET:

    The French body recently (late 2006) formed an association called l’Église Orthodoxe Occidentale (The Western Orthodox Church) together with the French Orthodox Church and the Orthodox Church of the Gauls.
    […]
    Communion of Western Orthodox Churches
    […]
    The Communion of Western Orthodox Churches confesses the faith of the first three Ecumenical Counsels, recognised by all Christians, and accepts the dogmatic declarations of the following Four Great Counsels, but not accepting from them certain anathemas and canons which carry exclusions, separations and divisions. The Communion adheres fully to the doctrinal agreements following from the ecumenical dialogue between the Orthodox Churches and other Christian Confessions.

    2) in 1972 the Church found a new canonical superior in the Church of Romania. Gilles Bertrand-Hardy was then consecrated as Bishop Germain (Bertrand-Hardy) of Saint-Denis.
    […]
    In 2001, after the scandal caused by the revelation inside the Church of the marriage of bishop Germain in 1995 (though it is unclear if a legal separation later occurred), ten parishes left ECOF and formed the Union des Associations Cultuelles Orthodoxes de Rite Occidental (UACORO)

    You see, I wasn’t kiddin` when I said married Bishops !!

  80. No, but go in with eyes wide open. If you convert, convert based on the Truth of the gospel of Orthodoxy, and realize at the same time that we equally have our own mess. That would be my advice to you.

  81. Martin says:

    To digress for a moment about Orthodox, “pseudo-dox”, canonical, non-canonical, New Calendarists, Old Believers (Popovtsy and Bespopovtsy), etc. What is one to do with this disconcerting state of affairs? In my limited study, the arguments which deconstruct Roman Catholicism and Protestantism, when turned upon the “intra”-Orthodox contention, fail to clearly leave one contender standing.

    Is it wise to delay being received into mainstream Orthodoxy over these contentions?

  82. Most of the episcopate was married prior to Quintsext. Like Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory of Nazianzus, Hilary of Poitiers, some big names. So, that’s not really a good argument.

  83. Lucian says:

    Thanks, PSEUDO-Thomas 😉 … I’ve noticed Photios’ answer right after I had already published my last comment … I’ve just now returned to this site after first taking a good long hard look at the Celtic Church’s site.

    What’s so pseudo `bout it? Well, … it lacks Epiklesis and has married Bishops. But they seem to be quite clear-cut and uncompromising about anything else … which is a good thing.

  84. pseudothomas says:

    LUCIAN:

    http://celticchristianity.org/

    THAT’S the ‘psedo-dox’ group…although I’m not sure what’s so psedo-dox about it…

  85. Lucian says:

    The KJV transliterates (rather than translates) the Greek Gigantes of the LXX (rather than the MT), meaning Giants. [That’s from where you get the word Giga-Byte, for instance]. — AND WOULD SOMEBODY HERE *FINALLY* TELL ME TO EXACTLY WHAT “‘PSEUDO-DOX'” GROUP J.P. FARRELL BELONGS !?

    And thanks for the tip, Blogger formerly known as Eytixoc. 😀

  86. jacob says:

    Joseph:

    “Nephilim” (im is the Hebrew masculine plural ending) comes from the Hebrew verb “naphal” = “to fall, throw down.” The King James Bible (mis)translated the word as “giants” in Genesis 6:4.

  87. Lucian,

    First, calm down.
    Second, email him and ask him yourself. he has a web page with a listed email.

  88. Lucian says:

    TO EXACTLY WHAT “‘PSEUDO-DOX'” GROUP DOES J.P. FARRELL BELONG ??? — Someone mind finally answering me this … anytime in this life? Please! …

  89. Thank you Jacob, Joseph and Photios for your reviews. I think I made the right choice, but I wont know till he/they read them. 🙂

  90. Oh and you won’t find anything heretical–as Dr. Farrell is the anti-gnostic par excellence that I know of personally.

    Photios

  91. Andrea,

    Ah, okay, well your son is into that stuff already. If he likes 2001 Space Odyssey, he’ll love Dr. Farrell’s later works. I just didn’t know how old your son is, and like all things you need to proceed with some caution.

    Photios

  92. Joseph says:

    The Nephilim are not the fallen angels. They are the giants. Many make this confusion.

    What Farrell is arguing is that these ancient myths are not just weird *metaphysical* speculative tales, but are rather history texts that reflect actual happenings in human history. Hence they deal with *physics* and not metaphysics. All these bizarre myths can be easily explained by the ante-diluvian history as presented by Genesis (and by extension Jubilees and 1 Enoch). ALL of the ante-Nicene Fathers believed this to be the case, and they talked about it openly. Ancient civilizations did not just make up tales to sooth man’s religious feelings (a la modern psychology). They based their religion on the fact that they were really visited by gods/angels and had no way to interpret their experience correctly.

  93. Anthony,

    Augustine’s problems cannot be divorced from Origen, Arianism and the Filioque. First because Origen had a significant impact on Augustine. Second because Arianism grew out of the same kind of Platonism which structured Augustine’s thinking. Catholic scholars have noted similar problems in Augustine’s Christology. See Studor’s work for example on Augustine concerning Christocentrism and Theocentrism. Third, the Filioque was constructed upon Arian assumptions about the divine essence and was directed against it.

    I answered your objections concerning grace and the papacy in other posts. I didn’t see your comments on Farrell’s reading of Augustine but I have read my fair share of Augustine and Augustinian scholarship and Photios has read more than me. Here is something to think about. Even Rome admits that Augustine screwed up on predestination and the fate of the unbaptized for example. Second, how one can understand contemporary Catholic and Protestant theological structures without Augustine as the major lens is beyond me. Furthermore, the Platonists objected quite strenuously to Gnosticism and for one principle reason, they saw in it too much of their own system. Gnostics are just dialecticians on steroids which is why they had an infinite number of intermediaries. Consequently, the attempt to wed philosophy and theology, to pour content from the former into the latter looks quite a lot like Gnosticism, the outward myth and the inward truth. It is also true on the other hand that Augustine was never able to pull it all off. That famous Romaphobe Vernon Burke (tongue in cheek) I think ably demonstrated that Augustine never gave up his notion of the Cosmic Soul to his dying day even though he couldn’t make it fit with Christian theology. (It is beyond question in my judgment that this is the real basis for his views on the corporate nature and glossing of Original Sin.) And this fact is attested to up to the time of and in the works of Aquinas. How appropriate it was that his dying words were a quotation from Plotinus. Another “Romaphobe” Etienne Gilson quite frankly admits that Augustine’s notion of divine being is and remains fundamentally “pagan” to the end of his life. So you’d need to do a whole lot of heavy lifting to convince me that Farrell’s over all take on Augustine is fundamentally mistaken. I came to a similar conclusion independently of anything Farrell wrote on the subject, primarily through the works of Catholic Augustinian scholars. So I don’t need Farrell to make the claims stick.

    As for courtesy, I’ll grant you for the sake of charity that perhaps Photios was playing the part of Quick-Draw McGraw when he deleted your posts. Fair enough, but we have heard this over and over again and he has less patience than I in such matters. I have other faults. In any case, there are lots and lots of Catholic blogs and venues where you can make that case. This is not one of them. This is one of the very few places where Orthodox can discuss such things. Now you are free to discuss and raise objections but since we have all pretty much heard your line time and time again, I am doxastically challenged with respect to the chances of you getting a sympathetic hearing for it here.

    So I’d pick one claim, one that you think is central and one which you can fairly easily demonstrate the falsity of it, and then do so briefly. If you can, perhaps I will listen to more. If not, God bless you anyway.

  94. On another note, it is also interesting to me that those who are most eager to dismiss the fringes of Orthodoxy as Orthodox are those most eager to sit at the table with RCs and Prots, even to the point of publicly admitting a longing for “reunion” and constantly looking for ways in which RC and Prot theology can be read as Orthodox.

    Amen!

  95. jacob says:

    Per the interview I listened to, Dr. Farrell has drawn some conclusions similar to Zecharia Sitchin (who widely popularized some of these ideas in various books) that the ancient Sumerian epics should be understood not as myths of the “gods” but more literally to be about what they seem to say – i.e., there were advanced civilizations millennia ago both on earth and the moon and other planets (Sitchin posits a 12th planet) that had some cataclysmic wars involving real beings – some giants, some (per Sitchin) involved perhaps in man’s creation (they created humans as a slave race from existing life forms to mine gold for the “gods”) – and that the images of rocket-like objects found in ancient sites and engravings and a literal reading of some cuneiform tales should not be dismissed as myths or allegories. The pyramids come into this. Farrell’s interview seems to have him saying that the asteroid belt has all the markings of a planetary explosion that would be highly unusual to occur naturally. I think he suggests that one could speculate that the pyramids were a kind of super weapon that shattered planets and created the asteroid belt.

    Between Farrell’s interview at Red Ice Creations (see my link above – I think it’s the November 7 free interview) and reading summaries of his books by readers at Amazon, and reading summaries of Zecharia Sitchin’s books, you can get an idea of what some of these people are suggesting the ancient Mesopotamian creation myths and other myths may actually be about – including lost or hidden dangerous technology from the region that the Third Reich believed might be real and still exist, and sought to obtain.

    Sitchin posits different more “literal” readings of the Hebrew Bible in accordance with the Sumerian myths – e.g., the talks about the Nephilim (Genesis 6), those who were “cast down” to develop his theories. He brings the Bible into his stuff a lot, but obviously from a non-traditional perspective. His series is called The Earth Chronicles, and can usually be skimmed at any Barnes & Noble, or at least some of the volumes anyway. Lots of pictures and images to support his conjectures, but he rarely identifies the seal or tablet by scholarly name, number, museum location, etc., so it’s hard to double-check his statements. Plus, one would have to know Sumerian to know whether his translations are valid – though Farrell seems to think that Sitchin is basically correct in his translations.

    It’s strange stuff.

  96. Joseph says:

    Och,

    I did not mean to sound like you thought that. I was going off of the title and description of the book you referenced from Amazon. Sorry for the confusion. Fine observations though, as usual.

    Joseph

  97. Cyril,

    I’m not really nit-picky about details, I’m more a big-picture person.

    This blog has given has made me very interested in philosophy, mainly because of it’s religious, though logical, language. I’m seeing the dangers of logic determining the perception of the truth, mainly through flawed dialectics. Instead it seems that philosophy gives us a language to explain revelation. I’m not sure the exact relationship between logic and revelation but I don’t think it’s dialectical.

  98. ochlophobist says:

    that should read “Christ in hell,” though “Christ is hell” somewhat befits vB’s theory on the matter.

  99. Photios,

    I just asked him about codes, and he is interested in cryptography, but not the implications drawn by the Omega or DiVinci Code stories. Dr. Farrell wouldn’t stray into that sort of heresy would he?

  100. ochlophobist says:

    Joseph,

    Quite right. My language in the previous comment was sloppy. For the record I do not believe that there is any sort of Christian hermeticism or esotericism, etc. And vB’sadmiration of it is disturbing. But then again, his theology of Christ is hell does read more like Harry Potter to me than Christian theology.

  101. Photios,

    The birthday boy, Ben, will be 17 and probably entering UTA next year to pursue aeronautical engineering. He didn’t find the movie 2001 A Space Odyssey depressing (though I did), he thought the book 3001 was “ok”, enjoyed the book Contact, liked the book Dune more than Dune Messiah, which he found slightly depressing but does not regret how they “broadened his horizons”, and he thought the character development, “even if it was based on a flawed perception, was very well carried out”, he loves X-files, and found Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy book 1 pretty funny because of “how ironically the bleakness was portrayed” but thought the proceeding ones declined until he had to quit reading the 5th “because of raunchiness”. “My favorite science fiction novel was Encounter with Tiber written by Buzz Aldrin (Apollo 11) and someone else. It’s probably the most prophetic because of the author’s experience, the character development was limited but I enjoyed the technical aspects”. I don’t think he takes these fictions too seriously, though I think it seems that some of them can be influential. He’s not that conscious of philosophical undertones or their ramifications, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t getting it on some other frequency level. Does that allay your reservations?

    He and his (UD) brother, Jared, soon to be 18, love to read and are much faster at it than I am, so I’m not really current on the stacks of books, or their exact nature, that they put away, though they have been recommended by people we trust. Most are fantasy I believe. Jared also reads lots of Orthodox books and is interested in the Priesthood.

    I’m drawn to give them these books also because Dr Farrell has studied Physics and I’m not really scared of speculation, even if it can be negative. And if you or they convince me that these books are not for them, then I’ll let Jacob borrow them until I can read them lightyears from now. 😉

  102. I doubt it, as I’ve argued the points with several Roman catholic scholars. None of them understood the argument or the basis of which I was coming from because they didn’t really understand wat the problem was to begin with as most, think it is a misunderstanding of “words.” But I guarantee you that when they saw WHAT the problem was they caught on quickly, seriously, and felt the need to try “fix” whatever that problem is.

    *sigh* Origen and the Arian crisis are both directly and indiretly related to his comments. I know because I’ve read the work and have conversed with the man one-on-one.

    So once again, I’m dismissing you cuz you don’t know what you’re talking about nor do you have the patience to come here and learn something.

  103. Anthony James Puccetti says:

    To Photios,

    In all due respect,

    I’m well aware of the history of the filioque controversy,and have argued about it with Orthodox many times. But I didn’t bring up the filioque in my posts and that is not what this thread is about. Origen and the Arian crisis do not pertain to the claims that Joseph Farrell made in that interview about Augustine’s influence.

  104. Gary,
    Yeah a new edition. It’ll be much much bigger too.

    The first step is getting some of the obvious typos and grammatical errors corrected in GHD and then having a typed out and editable manuscript. Right now, we don’t have one, which makes it very difficult for future revisions.

    Photios

  105. Joseph says:

    Yikes. Too bad there is no such thing as christian esotericism or christian hermeticism. We call that gnosticism. I have never heard this about vonB before, but it is quite telling. Whether it’s him, or Dan Brown, or Kyriacos Markides, its all the same thing underneath, and its antithetical to Orthodoxy.

  106. Cyril says:

    Photios,

    When you say “working on”, do you mean that you are in the process of preparing a new edition? Email me off line.

    C

  107. Anthony James Puccetti says:

    To Perry,

    In all due respect,

    I’ll do that. But my objections here were directed specifically at Joseph Farrell’s opinions,which this thread is supposed to be about. He makes very dubious claims about the continued influence of Augustine on the West,attributing to him the “fracture of the Western religious mind”,and the West’s break with “tradition”,and a supposed synthesis of “Augustinian synthesis” and Gnosticism. It is not difficult to see how fundamentally absurd these claims are. I don’t see how it is possible to have a profitable discussion about the truth or falsity of these claims without also bringing up the points that I made in the two posts that were deleted.

  108. ochlophobist says:

    Perry makes an apt point earlier in this thread. Hans Urs von Balhasar wrote the afterward to Meditations on the Tarot (http://www.amazon.com/Meditations-Tarot/dp/1585421618/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1204829664&sr=8-1), a book written by Valentin Thomberg (though it is published anonymously) in which reincarnation and a host of other non-Christian esotericisms are espoused. I would love to read Pontificator explain how he thinks von B’s reading of this work, which von B praised in commanding terms, fits into the soft von B which Pontificator has turned to again and again, particularly with regard to the role of the Papacy (it is interesting to note that von B is in the same rhetorical current on the Papal issue as Thomberg even if using different “sources”).

    On another note, it is also interesting to me that those who are most eager to dismiss the fringes of Orthodoxy as Orthodox are those most eager to sit at the table with RCs and Prots, even to the point of publicly admitting a longing for “reunion” and constantly looking for ways in which RC and Prot theology can be read as Orthodox. Orthodox traditionalists are then cast as “our” version of SSPX, and before long I feel like I am sitting in another Martin Marty lecture on the psychology of “fundamentalisms” and at the point I simply go get myself a drink. Ugh.

  109. Gary,

    I’m working on the 2nd Edition of GHD. A new retyped and electronic format that hopefully corrects alot of the errors in it. No clue of a release date though. When it is done I guess.

    Photios

  110. Anthony,

    For me to take you seriously, you’re going to have to show that you understand our objections to the filioque. All I’ve seen you do is knee jerk rejections from an anonymous poster who has just browsed over our blog with the usual haste. This happens here often, and I’ve done about 6 years of debating and blogging over such problems, and I don’t have the time or energy these days to hold your hand and wade you through lil things like the ‘Origenist Problematic’ and its relation to the Arian Crisis and their common theme of “divine simplicity.” Take the time to read my Maximus paper, or my Gregory of Nyssa paper, and then read some of the implications of Augustine’s predestinarianism and Cassian’s critique or the Spanish adoptionists take on Augustine’s implicit Nesotrianism in a book like Rebuke and Grace.

    Photios

  111. Anthony,

    I actually did adress your objections point by point in two other threads, one on created grace and the other on Tradition and the papacy. Perhaps it would be best to take the discussion there rather than here.

  112. Anthony James Puccetti says:

    To Photios,

    Contrary to what you claim,my objections have not been answered — I have only been posting here for a few days. Reading through all the opinions about Western theology that have already been posted on this blog would not constitute an “answer” to any objections if I disagree with them. If I read through all the opinions about Western theology on this blog,then what am I supposed to do? Just agree with these things? If the premises of Joseph Farrell or anyone else are false to begin with then somebody should object. That’s the nature of a two-way discussion.

  113. Cyril says:

    Andrea Elizabeth,

    I would give a caveat about GHD, but one already mentioned by Fr. Farrell, namely that the book was written off of and for his lectures, and done in haste. Consequently, they need some good editing, largely by way of format and typos. Such things even the best of authors need. He does have the odd historical mistake as well, but nothing that vitiates his argument in any way.

    The only thing approaching at all any matter of real substance is his interpretation and application to the Scholastics of the Latin word ancilla (which historically was translated ‘hand-maiden’, and thus the Latin in the annunciation, our Lady’s response, Ecce ancilla). What the Latin scholastics wanted it to mean in the relationship of Philosophy to Theology, was that P was a maid servant to Theology, and thus just a secondary tool within the science. While he translates it hand-maiden, Fr. Farrell takes them to mean by it that Philosophy had a more than perverse say in Theology. This is not what they wanted to say, but here all things end appropriately. The problem was (and here Fr. Farrell’s application is spot on) that this is not how it turned out, and not how the Latins used Philosophy. Dialectic became the determining heuristic and prolegomenon of Scholastic methodology: the method was the message.

    These are all rather nit-picky things, and I would only add that I think the work more than worth the expenditure (as long as you get the section with Ambrose included. Well, heck, even if you don’t get it with St. Ambrose).

    In Christ,
    Cyril

  114. Your UD son should enjoy GHD. As should the rest of your family.

  115. jacob says:

    Andrea Elizabeth:

    Can you adopt me temporarily? My birthday is April 10, 3 days after my baptism/chrismation anniversary? :^D

    Your son will never look at history or the world the same way again once he starts reading some of this “forbidden archeology” and Akkadian and Sumerian “Tablets of Destiny” stuff. I suspect he’ll want to minor in cuneiform. You might want to throw a copy of Myths from Mesopotamia or something similar into his birthday box.

    I can’t wait to start GHD – these discussions have been great!

  116. Andrea,
    How old is your son? I wouldn’t buy the speculative books for your son. It’s just that the implications drawn out can be quite…disturbing, and are even disturbing to the author. They are for a much more mature audience both intellectually and spiritually.
    I don’t think a young man needs to be dabbling into what hidden and encodings messages are in Neoplatonism, Heremeticism, and other Egyptian texts and the bearing that those texts have on modern culture and science.

    And I bet Dr. Farrell would agree with me here. Your son probably should be reading the Divine Ladder by John Climacus instead of the books on Giza right now.

    Photios

  117. I’m trusting you guys and going out on a limb by ordering 6 of Dr. Farrell’s science speculation books for my nerd son’s birthday Monday. And I hope many in my family, including my new UD scholarship winner and slightly less nerdy son, possibly majoring in physics/philosophy/or theology, will benefit from GHD, which we purchased last night.

  118. Anthony James Puccetti says:

    edited by photios–I warned you already. You need to read before you post your objections. We’ve documented the dialectical theology of Western christianity all over this blog.

  119. Yes, indeed they are very valuable, because they have a deep spiritual impact that Dr. Farrell is drawing attention to, or actually what we should be avoiding as a culture. It makes me really appreciate Christianity and Orthodox teachings.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who sees this.

    Photios

  120. Joseph says:

    Photios,

    Agreed. I did not mean to take a shot at Farrell. I was intending to point out that, although because of who publishes his works he may get lumped into the same herd, he in fact distances himself from everyone else in his field because he does his speculations within the bounds of the orthodox faith. He is not out to try to discover some loft theory of human origins that would jive with modern science/evolution/aliens/etc…, nor is he trying to map out some grand met-narrative to replace an orthodox christian worldview (which is what most of the alternative history crap actually is, even among “christians” in said fields). His speculative works are very valuable, not because of his specific conclusions per se, but because he is asking the right questions.

    Although I disagree with some of his conclusions, I believe that much of the paranormal phenomenon that modern man cannot answer can only be explained from an orthodox christian worldview. As far as esotericism/occultism goes, I agree that neoplatonism as you suggest plays a significant role, but as far as how it has shaped our entire civilization, I would look to the Renaissance as to the crucible that rocked our modern world in how we view knowledge. Hell, just go wiki Francis Bacon. Even they picked up on it.

  121. Jacob,

    No. Dr. Farrell believes God created man, and he even has a treatment of creatio ex nihilo in these later works from a somewhat scientific/esoteric perspective of what that might suggest.

    Photios

  122. Joseph,

    You somewhat gotta publish with someone who has a viewing audience for alternative history. The views as stated by the Dr. himself are HIGHLY SPECULATIVE, so on that basis they wouldn’t be in the mainstream consumption. I really don’t see the big deal there. If you want to write a piece like that, you have to choose where your reading audience is, that’s just a business decision too.

    You’re right about esotericism. It deserves and somewhat NEEDS to be discussed openly and intelligently, for the very reason that so much of it has been damaging and harmful. I think I might push it back to Iamblichus and NeoPlatonism though, which it definitely has a revival in the renaissance as well.

    Jacob,

    He draws on some of Sitchin’s insights.

    Dr. Farrell makes a connection between the Nephilim of Genesis 6 and the Giants discussed in Plato’s Timaeus and Critias. And you can see other types of connection from other cultural traditions, particular the Sumer and the Egyptians.

    The thing is Dr. Farrell writes with a lot more integrity than most folks in that field who pretend they aren’t speculating. Dr. Farrell is honest that his works on those topics are highly speculative.

    Photios

  123. Joseph says:

    Jacob,

    Farrell’s way more sane than anyone in this field. Check these out instead:

    http://www.thebyteshow.com/JosephPFarrell.html

  124. jacob says:

    I discovered that you can hear Dr. Farrell for yourself on a couple downloadable interviews at Red Ice Creations – use the Search function. Some require membership, but others are free. With respect to my earlier comment, he mentions that he does NOT rely on Sitchin’s translations because of criticisms he’s heard, but he then says that he has found that there is really not much difference between Sitchin’s translations and the more “academic” ones, so apparently he’s sympathetic to Sitchin’s works/ideas and even suggests that some of those criticizing Sitchin are perhaps “kicking against the goads.”

    So is my journey to Orthodoxy going to take me via Farrell full circle back to Zechariah Sitchin and Enki, etc. – i.e., the creation of man by aliens? ;^)

  125. Joseph says:

    Lucian,

    While it quite unfortunate that Dr. Farrell’s latest series of books is published where it is (which should rightly cause one to cringe just a little), it is *fallacious* to call it crap. Go read them for yourself. And for those who cannot possibly see a connection between his patristic works and his later works, hell, go to his blog and ask him about it. I would love to see a discussion here or elsewhere about how his 2 projects converge. Having read just about all Farrell has in print, I’d say I’m up for it. The role that the Esoteric tradition has had on western civilization since the Renaissance deserves to be discussed intelligently, and I believe that Farrell sees this clearly.

  126. jacob says:

    I found an interview with Dr. Farrell here re: the Giza Death star, etc.

    Interesting.

    How does his work compare with Zecharia Sitchin’s? (I don’t mean any disrespect towards Dr. Farrell if that’s comparing apples to oranges. It’s just that Sitchin is the only author whose novel speculations about man’s origins and alien visitations and technology, including the pyramids, I’ve read.)

  127. Lucian says:

    TO EXACTLY WHAT “PESUDO-DOX” GROUP DOES J.P. FARREL BELONG ?

  128. Fr. Maximus says:

    Those who state that the Fathers “did not leave the Church” (in times of heresy) should clarify their assertion. If they mean that they did not break communion with the official Patriarchates, such as Constantinople, they are clearly incorrect, as even a cursory reading of Church history will show. However, if they mean that statement at face value, then they have done no more than state the obvious. The Fathers never left the Church: they merely left bishops who were preaching heresy. It is rather the latter who “left the Church.”

  129. Asher Black says:

    I have one or two things to say about this.

    First, Fr. Gregory’s argument is so weak, he has to resort to a series of obvious fallacies, yet of course *he* knows what’s wrong with academia. Among them, he reduces, quite disrespectfully the name that God gave Dr. Farrell (Joseph) to Joe, showing, in his attempt to belittle the man, that he has in fact belittled the Mysteries, and elevated the man, who is persecuted by he who now persecutes Christ. Given the choice, I then stand with Christ and Joseph, and not with Fr. Gregory.

    Secondly, we don’t call one another nutjobs, we Orthodox; we were forbidden to use that word (raca) by Christ, and so have agreed all the fathers. So I will ignore some of what’s been said in this forum; it can’t have been an Orthodox person saying it; we judge Orthodoxy not only by canons and affiliation and recognition, but by behavior. According to Christ, in his gospels, I am not hearing the words of Orthodox people in some cases here. Again, I stand with Christ and Dr. Farrell, not with them, lest the roof fall in on their heads. And so too, I will not so speak of Fr. Gregory, though it is tempting to have much to say there. Especially his last, misguided comment.

    Third, I will point out that there are two types of extremities among the Cyprianists. One is the group that is “continuing, old-calendar, in resistance, true, original” etc. who claim there is no grace among the “canonical Orthodox” and who of course refer to themselves as canonical, and world Orthodoxy as peseudo-dox. These claim that because I receive the mysteries at an OCA church, I am not receiving grace in them at all. These, however, are less extreme than the other kind, since these, even though they say there is no ‘grace’ do not dare to pronounce that I am not Orthodox, nor do they say it of any of the rest of us in ‘world orthodoxy’. These are moderate by comparison to the other type of Cyprianist: that is those members of “canonical scoba-doxy” that pronounce persons outside of their pervue “not Orthodox”. These masquerade under the easy Augustinism that says the Spirit of God moves where He wills, so one cannot say the boundaries of the Church and the Spirit are co-terminate. And we agree. But in their extreme Cyprianism, they presume the Church is only where they say it is, and never really admit how muddy are their own waters Sure, the Spirit of God may be with someone to some degree, we don’t know – they say, but they’re not Orthodox! See how their vehemence, the way they then treat these “not Orthodox”, the way they speak of them – feeling free now of Christ’s prescriptions on how one treats one’s brethren, or even those who cast out demons and healed the sick in his name, but did not stand with the apostles. “Don’t pester them” says the loose translation, and “don’t condemn them” – “greater things shall be done, yet”. The true test of these attitudes about ‘gracelessness’ is not in what you declare someone to be, but how you speak of them, what license you feel free to take, what reverence falls so quickly away. The clergy of the ‘uncanonical’ even among the most extreme (and I’m refraining from naming these, but some of you know who I mean) would behave that way. I know; I have walked among them to find out, and have been received with the very grace they say I don’t have, but as Orthodox nonetheless.

    The real sign of illness is the declarations of a Fr. Gregory, who I doubt seriously really knows the details of the matter of which he speaks, but even so speaks not like a priest, but like a one who has no Greek.

    As for Lucian and his comments, I express doubt whether he’s read any of the texts he so inadequately critiques. All he can say about them is that they make him “suspicious” (Lucian, suspicion is a forbidden passion. All the fathers warn of it. Moses condemned it coming down from the Mount. If I had to call something pseudo-dox, it would be the justification of that passion, rather than the thing it presumes to condemn.) He calls the other books names, questions their pedigree, uses colorful languages like unfounded (which premise of which book, exactly, he does not say), “completely out of this world” (what does that even mean?), ‘nonsensical’ (the breakdown in reason in not in those books, which evidently he’s never read, but in fact in his own dubious reasoning) and apparently he expects books to have “credentials”. The running ad hominem continues, along with the “Gnostic prohibition of questions” (who can find that page number first!? :). This is the rant of someone who asks questions as though he knows, but in fact doesn’t know. It’s as if I went on about “who believes Schopenhauer any more?” without being able to list the six primary theses of his work. It would mean, I should go back to school, rather than rant at my betters from over my survey texts. Apparently, as well, Mr. Lucian has never read the texts of the Ancients – Aristotle and Plato, for instance, and many of their rather interesting speculations in the fields of science and history. Did their minds suddenly fall apart? One questions whether some of the most basic texts of the Fathers of the Church (all Churches) have been read, likewise. Are we to take the dilettantism evident in Lucian’s ejaculations as the judge of works he apparently hasn’t bothered to read?

    Lastly, if Dr. Farrell is not Orthodox, then neither am I, and nor would I wish to be. I say it now and for all time. I’ve said it to him, and I say it here. His work comes form a mind that is deeply within our Faith, in an age when so many in our Faith have a mind deeply rooted in some other religion. As Lewis said, the test of truth is whether it’s true – truth is it’s own criteria – it needs no other justification and in fact has nothing outside it that is capable of judging it. So it is with Orthodoxy. What makes something Orthodox is if it’s Orthodox. I have seen Episcopalians be Orthodox where I have seen people in this forum be quite indisputably heterodox. We are not Southern Baptists (“once saved, always saved”). We are leaky vessels continually running out of oil, and in danger of being left when the Bridegroom comes. And truly, when someone loves the poor, shows compassion, has mercy, is gentle, peaceable, and kind, they are Orthodox and I, when I am not those things, an a pagan at best, an atheist more accurately. I have seen much atheism tonight. I have not seen so much of the “Orthodoxy” of which various person feel free to talk and, in so doing, seem to have lost theirs momentarily.

    An “Orthodoxy” constructed out of a continual internal fight is not Orthodoxy. That’s a Latin, Augustinist construction as surely as the filioque, and in fact is its product. We are not Orthodox by being with the right affiliation, the right group, obeying the right rules, as important and significant as all those things are. We are Orthodox if we are BEING Orthodox. I know a Roman Catholic or Episcopalian or two who will be saved before me. This is the Orthodox attitude. All shall be saved and I alone condemned. Right? Well? The Orthodox thing to do would be not to condemn others and pronounce upon their Orthodoxy, when there is some doubt there, and some lack of all the information (which frankly, no one hear will ever be given, because you don’t need it – it’s not for you to judge – the good doctor will stand and fall to his own master); the Orthodox thing to do is to say that I am the one bound for the fire, and by the other one’s prayers save me. So let’s see a little more Orthodoxy here, and a lot less of this vain and profane babbling. Let’s have Christ in our midst, and he’ll take care of who is Orthodox and who isn’t.

    One of the fathers was approached and asked, ‘Abba, who are the goats and who are the sheep?’. He answered, “Christ knows who the sheep are. I am one of the goats.”

    Let us have this mind.

  130. Or perhaps we should have a conversation about the source of the fairly recent turn of thought in Catholicism (regarding the proposed vacant Hell). Let’s be frank. (Ah, the smell of development in the morning!) That stuff in Neuhaus and multiple other venues is coming through Balthasar and his cryto-Origenism and this is why he misreads Maximus and why even Catholic scholars like Daly have corrected him. The fact of the matter is that Catholicism is still infected with latent Origenism and this nonsense about well just maybe Hell might turn out to be vacant, dare we ever to hope for that end. This stuff is on the rise in Protestantism as well.

    If people haven’t figured it out yet, the ascendancy of process theology, open theism, and universalism is no accident.The pendulum has already swung boys and girls and if you don’t have anything better than the old tired Augustinianism, which is laced with Origenism itself, you are going to be taken out to sea by the Socinian undertow. Maximus’ theology, and that which is essentially no different, Palamas teaching, form a better bulwark agaisnt it, for it is not a rebuttal of it or a redeployment of its principles but in a different direction as Augustinianism is, but a direct, complete, and sweeping refutation of it.

  131. Lucian,

    All the latter works you mention are from Farrell’s own words: SPECULATIVE. What’s wrong you don’t like to speculate about highly questionable things? You don’t like to use your imagination and try to draw possible scenarios? I am in utter amazement of the judgment of people sometimes. It’s like they live in a vacuum and act as if certain things would just go away.

    What happened when it was okay to speculate for speculation sake about possible things that just do not make much sense?

    Photios

  132. I haven’t been following this convo but here are my two cents. I don’t care much if Farrell is Orthodox or not. I prefer that he were. I’d prefer that Michel Barnes was too, but he’s Catholic. As far as his reading of history that stands on its own as do his arguments.

    As far as his reading of Maximus I think he was right and that is all that matters. Truth is truth regardless of who speaks it. So the kind of smear campaign conducted here and elsewhere by others is quite frankly irrelvant. Futhermore, that work is peer reviewed and was his dissertation at Oxford. As far as I know he has an earned degree from that institution and if anyone thinks that they can do better at Oxford or write that work in a weeks time, go for it.

    The Novationists were schismatic and hence non-canonical as well, yet Orthodox in their teaching as they were called upon for example to bear witness against the Arians. Would I commune with Farrell? Probably not, but that is more caution than outright disbelief and the two are not the same. The same could have been said with respect to my attitude towards those in ROCOR just a few years ago. Does anyone doubt their Orthodoxy? I don’t and didn’t.

    Farrell’s conclusions on Maximus by and large can be found in plenty of other places,especially in not a few journal articles by other authors in the last three years. Trash Farrell all you like then, but the material on Maximus has its own legs and in my judgment that is what matters. If that reading is anywhere near correct, then Rome and its Protestant children are in a whole heep of theological and philosophical trouble. The last time people ignored my claims in this area they got their head handed to them on a silver platter.

    For those who wish to write off GHD, and Farrell as a cook, go right ahead. Ignore it. But please don’t forget what happaned inother venues when I blindsided individuals who yelled that they were well read on Orthodox theology and it turned out that they hadn’t the faintest idea of what they were talking about. So ignore GHD, call him a cook and anything else you like, it is no skin off my nose. Besides, it is not as if Balthasar didn’t dable in the Occult. Just read his stuff on Hermeticism for crying out loud. Or take Sungenis who defends Geocentrism. GEOCENTRISM!!?? How many Catholics have thrown his Not By Faith Alone in the trash as a result? Not many that I know, not even a few. And Protestants have more cooks than hairs on my head. Can anyone say Radical Orthodoxy? Just read MIlbank’s crazy adherence to blantant Gnosticism.

    People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

  133. Lucian says:

    WHAT PSEUDO-DOX GROUP? And that whole Nazis-secret-weapons-secret-society-Brotherhood-of-the-Bell-Reich-Of-The-Black-Sun-Great-Pyramid-of-Geza-Death-Star-“alternative”-science-history-archaeology-physics-technology stuff makes me all the more weary and suspicious. 😦 I mean, what kind of man writes this kind of copmpletely nonsensical crap? 😦 Anyone? 😐 If this book of his has the same “credentials” as the other ones, then we’re doomed. But I’ve read his Free Will in St. Maximus the Confessor and it’s A.O.K. I guess he’s not putting any of his rather very inventive, imaginary and completely out-of-this-world, (not to mention wholly unfounded) “original research” trash into his Theology-stuff; guess that comes hand-in-hand with him possessing a PhD in Patristics: from Oxford nonetheless

  134. Well read it and find out for yourself.

    I’ll still wait for answers to my questions (like I always do) of those who are quick to judge and continue to stick there own heads in the sand about the state of Orthodoxy and how the Fathers’ might view the “canoncial” jurisdictional situation here in America.

    *sigh*

  135. Fr Gregory says:

    My friends,

    I did not say Joe Farrell was uncanonical. I said he was no longer Orthodox.

    As for his scholarship–yes, I think the fact that he left the Orthodox Church for a psuedo-dox group calls into question Farrell’s understanding of Orthodox theology and the integrity of his witness. As Andrew points out, the very saints he claims to understand in fact did not leave the Church.

    So what? Well maybe nothing who can say.

    Of course, this willingness to divide character from scholarship and theology from the life of the Church, is precisely the illness that plagues most of academia. It is very sad to see that Joe seems likewise to have fall into this trap.

    Those of you at UD please say hello for me to the Cistercian fathers (though I suspect they have quite forgotten me in the 25 years since I was there–though fr James in philosophy might remember me. I was Roy then).

    Parting thought: I cannot help but wonder if he had become Greek Catholic if his work would be greeted with such enthusiasm it has received in some corners.

    In Christ,

    +FrG

    There is a story in the desert fathers of a demon who seemed to predict the future. The demon used this “ability” to try and tempt a monk. I think that Farre

  136. anthony022071 says:

    edited by Photios–your objections are all answered elsewhere on this blog. don’t care to hear the anonymous opinion that doesn’t take the time to read.

  137. Lucian says:

    You quarreling Orthodox, you! No wonder you find yourselves into this jurisdictional and schismatical mess after you broke up with the One Holy Apostolic and Petrine See from which all Ecclesiatical Unity proceeds! Repent and turn back to the Stable of Peter, you lost sheep, you! 🙂 (Yes, yes, yes … I’m evil, I know, I know … ). >:)

  138. photios says:

    Well, it all goes back to a question I’ve asked here many times.

    1) What is an Orthodox Church?

    2) Can someone clearly point to the Orthodox Church when Cyril of Alexandria and John Chrysostom were out of communion?

    I submit that the answers are not readily available, easily discerned, or even acquiesced to something thought to be as trivial as “mutual recognition.”

    It’s just never this simple.

    For the same reason I can’t look at someone like a Fr. Michael Azkoul (who I admire greatly) as someone who “left the Church.”

    Photios

  139. Andrew says:

    It’s interesting to note that none of the Saints dr. Farrell admires highly actually left the Church… And they faced much more difficult situations than we do today. I think that this approach to apostasy explains some of the roughness I have witnessed by some bloggers here and elsewhere… I sense a spirit of war, and I’m sad about it.

  140. The best stuff you’re going to find on recaptitulation and Orthodox dogmatic theology is in GHD.

  141. Asher Black says:

    Also, he was never a Celtic rite bishop, though that’s a common misconception: while part of that same holy synod, he was actually Gregorian rite – not that the particular rite each bishop decides to use (and has the right to decide for his flock) really has any bearing on the issues at hand.

    Even so, frankly, there must come a time when all Orthodox who hold to their faith will be considered uncanonical. I would say “when the Great Apostasy occurs” that is spoken of by all the fathers, but that’s commonly misunderstood. The apostasy will be a gradual process, so in other word’s one could argue it’s already in play, and each person crosses the river away from it at a different point. Some left w. the Calendar. Some left with communing Monophysites. Some left with certain actions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Some will wait and leave when the union with Rome occurs, as it must. In any case, the other misunderstanding is what an apostasy is: it’s not the heretical people being heretical – it’s the Orthodox people communing with Belial. To be apostate, one must be Orthodox in the first place. It’s us, my friend. And it will happen – to this all the fathers attest.

    So for my part, the words “canonical” and “uncanonical” have already begun to lose their meaning. It is uncanonical to go w. the new Calendar. It is uncanonical to commune Monophysites. Constantinople has issued a steady stream of uncanonical decisions, as have the patriarchates and metropolitains in communion with them. And before you ask, we laymen aren’t members of jurisdictions, but yes my Bishop is in what everyone considers a “canonical” one. So while the ad hominem is a sign of the failure of the intellect, and not something I accept, I simply don’t want to debate this point. My point is that in order to remain Orthodox, as we move into apostasy, you will become what others declare “uncanonical”. The “canonical” will be those who unite with Antichrist.

    I’m not wanting and refuse to engage in any extensive debate over issues of canonicity according to the traditional arguments, or of eschatology (it’s as popular to deny the fathers there as it is to look for ways to give credence to evolution, biological homosexuality, and other such things, and for the same reasons). I merely offer this different analysis as one consideration in your toolbox, but I won’t take up a debate on it.

  142. Asher Black says:

    Of course, the ad hominem fallacy is still a fallacy, even when prettied up with religion.

    The Gnosticism book is in the works.

  143. I hate to be the one to say it, but Orthodoxy has a very fragile thing of what they call “canonical.” And I think VERY fragile.

  144. jacob says:

    Fr Gregory, bless,

    The lectures were delivered in 1995, and the book was published in 1996 (First Preface).

    Dr. Farrell did his doctorate under +Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, and taught at St. Tikhon’s seminary, and in the 2/22/08 Interview included with the ebook he said: “I still believe the same things I’ve always believed.”

    Is there a reason to believe that when he wrote the book under discussion here that he was not believing and teaching Orthodox theology? Why would you think this book was written by a [then] pseudo-dox Celtic Rite bishop?

    Forgive me if I’ve misinterpreted your comments.

  145. Fr Gregory says:

    Has Dr Farrell returned to the Orthodox Church? I do not wish to be snarky. In fact it was do at least in small part to my conversations with Joseph (we knew each other at the Univ of Dallas) that I became Orthodox. I am increasing disinclined to listen to the pseudo-dox example Orthodox theology. But to be direct, a celtic rite bishop, forgive me, is in no position to offer a credible interpretation of the faith of the Church he has left behind.

  146. bríde says:

    So, uh, what are the chances of seeing that book on Gnosticism turn up?

  147. jacob says:

    sam Says:

    Two weeks?

    My (jaw drops to the floor) thoughts exactly. :^O

  148. Cyril says:

    My copy of GHD, on kind of permanent loan to me from a friend (one C. Quatrone), is a grand thing, though for some reason the whole section on St. Ambrose is missing. Regardless, it is a great aid in deciphering not only the past, but our present.

    As for the book without notes, it was Ernst Kantorowicz, his biography of Frederick II (his “The King’s Two Bodies” is still one of the great texts on Western political theology)1. This same thing occurred when Simon Schama published his history of the French Revolution, “Citizens”. Many took him to task, but probably more so b/c Schama saw 1789 as a needless crime against a gradually reforming state.

    Cyril

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