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Re: [LutheransLookingEast] 5 - correct observations? (Patrick Barne's)

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  • randall hay
    That s a very good point, Christopher, that the Sheol of the OT was translated as Hades in the NT. I could never understand Sheol till I became Orthodox,
    Message 1 of 4 , May 11, 2009
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      That's a very good point, Christopher, that the "Sheol" of the OT was translated as "Hades" in the NT. I could never understand Sheol till I became Orthodox, since sometimes in the OT it seemed like the place everybody went after death, and sometimes it seemed like a place of punishment.

      Yes, it was a place of punishment for those who spurned God; but for the faithful it was a time of waiting in Christ till He destroyed death by death. In fact God didn't grant them the promise till they could receive it with the us----Heb 11:40, "God had seen something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect."

      Truly there is one church; the OT saints are not separated from us n any way, shape or form even if we can't see them. Paul praises the Colossians for "loving all the saints" as well as for their faith in Christ (1:4). "All the saints" obviously doesn't exclude anyone.

      The idea that "hell" (Greek 'gehenna') and "hades" are the same is a medieval Roman Catholic one, which the Orthodox have always denied. Scripture obviously differentiates them by using the two completely different words. How it made its way in the KJV is a mystery to me, other than that the translators were viewing things through the old RC lense.

      ---By the way, the term "righteous" in reference to certain saints refers to those who were married...simply a way of distinguishing one of the paths to holiness. Hence Joachim and Anna are known as "righteous." But in the broader usage, as you say, "righteous" does have connotations in Orthodoxy that are not found in the Western theological systems.

      R.




      ________________________________
      From: Christopher Orr <xcjorr@...>
      To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Monday, May 11, 2009 6:25:48 PM
      Subject: Re: [LutheransLookingEast] 5 - correct observations? (Patrick Barne's)

      On Thu, May 7, 2009 at 8:47 AM, nrinne <Nrinne@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > I would like to look at L1 and EO1 (see "question 2" post) a little bit more
      > closely, because I find these differences in particular to be quite
      > interesting and important.
      >
      >
      > I will be following up on the idea of a patristic consensus that the Church
      > began with Abraham (footnote 72 - will get and read this article). I think
      > more conservative, informed Lutherans tend to think, with Eusebius, that
      > "Abraham himself back to the first man, were Christians in fact if not in
      > name" (p 41), primarily because of "a profession of piety toward the one and
      > only God over all", through "the knowledge and the teaching of Christ" (p.
      > 41). In other words, there were "Gentile and pagan Saint" because they knew
      > God by faith, or trust, just as Hebrews 11 says. As Barnes says, "Eusebius'
      > use of the term `Christian' for those who were virtuous and professed faith
      > in God helps to guide our thinking about those believers separated from the
      > Church". The key, it seems to me, is that the Lutherans want to put the
      > emphasis on faith, which simultaneously obtains all and yet "naturally"
      > grows into all (and from which true virtue derives), whereas the EO want to
      > emphasize virtue (and not necessarily a virtue, or righteousness, which is
      > an evidence of faith in the true God, but one more generically defined, as
      > open to all to accomplish or attain).
      >


      The rest is a bigger question, but I will take a shot at this part of
      the question.

      Lex orandi est lex credendi.

      Whatever reasons one may come up with, the calendar of the Orthodox
      Church celebrates all the 'Righteous' of the Old Testament as saints,
      i.e., on at least the 2 Sundays prior to Christmas, as well as on
      specific Feast days for certain Old Testament saints.

      There are terms used in Orthodoxy that seem to have different emphases
      than how Lutherans use the same terms. For instance, 'righteous' is a
      term regularly used as a title for Old Testament saints, e.g.,
      Righteous Abraham. This is similar to the title 'venerable' for
      monastic saints of the New Testament that are not also ordained, e.g.,
      Venerable Antony.

      Righteous itself is also a term that is different than in preferred
      Lutheran jargon. Justification, for instance, to the Orthodox means
      'to make righteous' and not simply 'to be counted as righteous'.

      There is also a difference in understanding regarding the state of
      those that died before Pascha. It is the Orthodox understanding that
      all those that died before Christ's Pascha back to Abel and Adam and
      Cain all went to the same place: Sheol. The righteous and sinners all
      went to this place of darkness. Heaven was not yet opened, death had
      not been overcome. When John the Baptist died he went to Hades, too,
      as Forerunner to Christ and preached the coming of Messiah. So, the
      Orthodox paschal icon is quite literal when it shows Christ breaking
      down the 'gates of Hades' to pull up Adam and Eve (and often other
      saints of the Old Testament such as David and Solomon and sometimes
      also the Magi - and all mankind that believed the Forerunner). They
      were 'made righteous' (justified) and saved by Christ's descent into
      Hell to carry them up.

      Any attainment any human makes is due to that gift and ability being
      placed into us as creations of God and by our being upheld by God.
      There is no shortage of grace in the world. God showers grace and
      imbues as all with grace til we're sopping with it - we have merely to
      act, to will, to wish and intend and struggle and fight and do.

      Again, as to what the state of those outside of the Church is, we do
      not know. We know God is good and kind and patient and understanding
      and longsuffering, etc. so we hope in that. We have no surety. If
      you are taken up to the third heaven, you can tell us if you see any
      of them. God knows who are his and will not suffer accidental loss -
      all will be saved that are to be saved, and he does not wish the
      damnation of any, but the salvation of all.

      The early Apologists such as St. Justin Martyr were rather open to the
      non-Jewish righteous prior to Christ and apart from him. Why? Don't
      know, they just were. This is something that is continued in
      Orthodoxy, but which was forgotten in the systems of the West.

      >
      >
      > Here is my real question I guess: How does a person come to know God, and
      > does this true, personal knowledge of God (John 17: 3) mean that ultimately,
      > at least, they will be members of the Church triumphant? It seems to me that
      > the EO would say, according to Barne's book, that persons like Noah, despite
      > not being a part of the Church (which they suggest started with Abraham)
      > knew God. I am guessing that he is not seen as being a part of the Church,
      > or assembly of the saints, during his earthly life, but only afterwards in
      > heaven. This seems strange to me (Luther, or course, maintained that the
      > Church - yes visible! - started right away in the beginning of creation,
      > with Cain and Abel being the archetypes of human life, post-fall: i.e.
      > Christian assembly [faith] and non-Christian gathering [unbelief]). I think
      > for Lutherans, persons are "one with us" (the Church) by the "circumcision
      > of the heart", which is a faith in the Triune God that anticipates an
      > explicit Christian faith. As Chrysostom says, they that before Christ's
      > coming pleased God are "one body" because they knew Christ. More: "Now what
      > is this one body? The faithful throughout the whole world, both which are,
      > and which have been, and which shall be". (p. 41, footnote 72). It seems a
      > given that a man like Noah knew God and is a part of the Church triumphant.
      > On what basis can we assert that He was not, in some sense, also a part of
      > the church militant, Christ's body, while on earth as well, although he may
      > not have been, or be, recognized as such by all (the other two of the "Three
      > Hierarchs"? – for it seems Chrysostom is questionable here, and Eusebius
      > surely is)? Do we want to say that Noah only became a part of the body at
      > death? If so, it would seem that something other than "knowing God" (think
      > of marriage here, the intimacy implied – surely this is not just "falling in
      > love"!) is that which organically unites us to the Church – namely simply
      > death itself…


      The primary difference between those before the incarnation and after
      the incarnation is the lack of our one, common human nature being
      united to the one, common divine nature. We are able to be one Body
      with Christ because He assumed our nature into Himself and His Body.
      Given time, those before the Annunciation had no such access.

      It should be remembered that theology in Orthodoxy is not a sort of
      science of specification and definition in a system. Orthodoxy has
      used poetry and imagery, philosophy and argumentation, all sort of
      things in an attempt to get at the indescribable. Orthodoxy is union
      with God, not a proper definition of Him. We see Him, we know Him, we
      then try to report back as best we could the experience and the path
      taken to get there. Just as Christ Himself "grew in stature and
      wisdom" as a man, so too has the Church grown in stature and wisdom
      and understanding of that which it was given in the beginning. New
      heresies have arisen that required the Church to reflect on the import
      of the depositum fidei in contrast to this new teaching. The prime
      example is how iconoclasm forced the Church to reflect deeply on
      triadology and christology and how this affected our understanding of
      images - this reflection led the Church to realize that iconoclasm
      actually implied a heretical christology. So, the saints of the
      Church have not always spoken with the degree of precision that the
      later Church was forced to. A prime example is St. Peter's phrase
      regarding us 'becoming partakers of the divine nature' which is
      heretical if one is applying later, Nicene and post-Nicene triadology,
      but which is perfectly understandable given the stage of growth in
      wisdom and stature in the first century. So, saints can speak
      differently, and can speak indistinctly when compared to the
      challenges and formulae required following future heresies. Also,
      sometimes people are just writing casually - for instance, Luther is
      not as 'exact' in his Table Talk as he is in his 'official' works,
      same with the saints.


      >
      > So, again: "How does a person come to know God, and does this true, personal
      > knowledge of God (John 17: 3) mean that ultimately, at least, they will be
      > members of the Church triumphant?"
      >


      The Orthodox don't know this of themselves, much less of others long
      reposed or not of the Church. We know God, we know Him, whatever He
      does with me, with them, with anyone, I know Him to be good and kind
      and loving, etc. I am sure of that, and that gives me hope; simple
      hope goads me to pray for all, myself and all, living and reposed, my
      enemies and friends, even the demons. St. Silouan the Athonite is a
      wonderful, 20th century account of a saint of great love for the whole
      world.

      Christopher


      ------------------------------------

      Yahoo! Groups Links



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Christopher Orr
      Quite right about Righteous being a title for married saints of the New Testament, as well as for saitns of the Old Testament. Christopher ... [Non-text
      Message 2 of 4 , May 11, 2009
      • 0 Attachment
        Quite right about Righteous being a title for married saints of the New
        Testament, as well as for saitns of the Old Testament.

        Christopher

        On Mon, May 11, 2009 at 9:49 PM, randall hay <stortford@...>wrote:

        >
        >
        > That's a very good point, Christopher, that the "Sheol" of the OT was
        > translated as "Hades" in the NT. I could never understand Sheol till I
        > became Orthodox, since sometimes in the OT it seemed like the place
        > everybody went after death, and sometimes it seemed like a place of
        > punishment.
        >
        > Yes, it was a place of punishment for those who spurned God; but for the
        > faithful it was a time of waiting in Christ till He destroyed death by
        > death. In fact God didn't grant them the promise till they could receive it
        > with the us----Heb 11:40, "God had seen something better for us, that apart
        > from us they should not be made perfect."
        >
        > Truly there is one church; the OT saints are not separated from us n any
        > way, shape or form even if we can't see them. Paul praises the Colossians
        > for "loving all the saints" as well as for their faith in Christ (1:4). "All
        > the saints" obviously doesn't exclude anyone.
        >
        > The idea that "hell" (Greek 'gehenna') and "hades" are the same is a
        > medieval Roman Catholic one, which the Orthodox have always denied.
        > Scripture obviously differentiates them by using the two completely
        > different words. How it made its way in the KJV is a mystery to me, other
        > than that the translators were viewing things through the old RC lense.
        >
        > ---By the way, the term "righteous" in reference to certain saints refers
        > to those who were married...simply a way of distinguishing one of the paths
        > to holiness. Hence Joachim and Anna are known as "righteous." But in the
        > broader usage, as you say, "righteous" does have connotations in Orthodoxy
        > that are not found in the Western theological systems.
        >
        > R.
        >
        > ________________________________
        > From: Christopher Orr <xcjorr@... <xcjorr%40gmail.com>>
        > To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com<LutheransLookingEast%40yahoogroups.com>
        > Sent: Monday, May 11, 2009 6:25:48 PM
        > Subject: Re: [LutheransLookingEast] 5 - correct observations? (Patrick
        > Barne's)
        >
        >
        > On Thu, May 7, 2009 at 8:47 AM, nrinne <Nrinne@...<Nrinne%40excite.com>>
        > wrote:
        > >
        > >
        > > I would like to look at L1 and EO1 (see "question 2" post) a little bit
        > more
        > > closely, because I find these differences in particular to be quite
        > > interesting and important.
        > >
        > >
        > > I will be following up on the idea of a patristic consensus that the
        > Church
        > > began with Abraham (footnote 72 - will get and read this article). I
        > think
        > > more conservative, informed Lutherans tend to think, with Eusebius, that
        > > "Abraham himself back to the first man, were Christians in fact if not in
        > > name" (p 41), primarily because of "a profession of piety toward the one
        > and
        > > only God over all", through "the knowledge and the teaching of Christ"
        > (p.
        > > 41). In other words, there were "Gentile and pagan Saint" because they
        > knew
        > > God by faith, or trust, just as Hebrews 11 says. As Barnes says,
        > "Eusebius'
        > > use of the term `Christian' for those who were virtuous and professed
        > faith
        > > in God helps to guide our thinking about those believers separated from
        > the
        > > Church". The key, it seems to me, is that the Lutherans want to put the
        > > emphasis on faith, which simultaneously obtains all and yet "naturally"
        > > grows into all (and from which true virtue derives), whereas the EO want
        > to
        > > emphasize virtue (and not necessarily a virtue, or righteousness, which
        > is
        > > an evidence of faith in the true God, but one more generically defined,
        > as
        > > open to all to accomplish or attain).
        > >
        >
        > The rest is a bigger question, but I will take a shot at this part of
        > the question.
        >
        > Lex orandi est lex credendi.
        >
        > Whatever reasons one may come up with, the calendar of the Orthodox
        > Church celebrates all the 'Righteous' of the Old Testament as saints,
        > i.e., on at least the 2 Sundays prior to Christmas, as well as on
        > specific Feast days for certain Old Testament saints.
        >
        > There are terms used in Orthodoxy that seem to have different emphases
        > than how Lutherans use the same terms. For instance, 'righteous' is a
        > term regularly used as a title for Old Testament saints, e.g.,
        > Righteous Abraham. This is similar to the title 'venerable' for
        > monastic saints of the New Testament that are not also ordained, e.g.,
        > Venerable Antony.
        >
        > Righteous itself is also a term that is different than in preferred
        > Lutheran jargon. Justification, for instance, to the Orthodox means
        > 'to make righteous' and not simply 'to be counted as righteous'.
        >
        > There is also a difference in understanding regarding the state of
        > those that died before Pascha. It is the Orthodox understanding that
        > all those that died before Christ's Pascha back to Abel and Adam and
        > Cain all went to the same place: Sheol. The righteous and sinners all
        > went to this place of darkness. Heaven was not yet opened, death had
        > not been overcome. When John the Baptist died he went to Hades, too,
        > as Forerunner to Christ and preached the coming of Messiah. So, the
        > Orthodox paschal icon is quite literal when it shows Christ breaking
        > down the 'gates of Hades' to pull up Adam and Eve (and often other
        > saints of the Old Testament such as David and Solomon and sometimes
        > also the Magi - and all mankind that believed the Forerunner). They
        > were 'made righteous' (justified) and saved by Christ's descent into
        > Hell to carry them up.
        >
        > Any attainment any human makes is due to that gift and ability being
        > placed into us as creations of God and by our being upheld by God.
        > There is no shortage of grace in the world. God showers grace and
        > imbues as all with grace til we're sopping with it - we have merely to
        > act, to will, to wish and intend and struggle and fight and do.
        >
        > Again, as to what the state of those outside of the Church is, we do
        > not know. We know God is good and kind and patient and understanding
        > and longsuffering, etc. so we hope in that. We have no surety. If
        > you are taken up to the third heaven, you can tell us if you see any
        > of them. God knows who are his and will not suffer accidental loss -
        > all will be saved that are to be saved, and he does not wish the
        > damnation of any, but the salvation of all.
        >
        > The early Apologists such as St. Justin Martyr were rather open to the
        > non-Jewish righteous prior to Christ and apart from him. Why? Don't
        > know, they just were. This is something that is continued in
        > Orthodoxy, but which was forgotten in the systems of the West.
        >
        > >
        > >
        > > Here is my real question I guess: How does a person come to know God, and
        > > does this true, personal knowledge of God (John 17: 3) mean that
        > ultimately,
        > > at least, they will be members of the Church triumphant? It seems to me
        > that
        > > the EO would say, according to Barne's book, that persons like Noah,
        > despite
        > > not being a part of the Church (which they suggest started with Abraham)
        > > knew God. I am guessing that he is not seen as being a part of the
        > Church,
        > > or assembly of the saints, during his earthly life, but only afterwards
        > in
        > > heaven. This seems strange to me (Luther, or course, maintained that the
        > > Church - yes visible! - started right away in the beginning of creation,
        > > with Cain and Abel being the archetypes of human life, post-fall: i.e.
        > > Christian assembly [faith] and non-Christian gathering [unbelief]). I
        > think
        > > for Lutherans, persons are "one with us" (the Church) by the
        > "circumcision
        > > of the heart", which is a faith in the Triune God that anticipates an
        > > explicit Christian faith. As Chrysostom says, they that before Christ's
        > > coming pleased God are "one body" because they knew Christ. More: "Now
        > what
        > > is this one body? The faithful throughout the whole world, both which
        > are,
        > > and which have been, and which shall be". (p. 41, footnote 72). It seems
        > a
        > > given that a man like Noah knew God and is a part of the Church
        > triumphant.
        > > On what basis can we assert that He was not, in some sense, also a part
        > of
        > > the church militant, Christ's body, while on earth as well, although he
        > may
        > > not have been, or be, recognized as such by all (the other two of the
        > "Three
        > > Hierarchs"? � for it seems Chrysostom is questionable here, and Eusebius
        > > surely is)? Do we want to say that Noah only became a part of the body at
        > > death? If so, it would seem that something other than "knowing God"
        > (think
        > > of marriage here, the intimacy implied � surely this is not just "falling
        > in
        > > love"!) is that which organically unites us to the Church � namely simply
        > > death itself�
        >
        > The primary difference between those before the incarnation and after
        > the incarnation is the lack of our one, common human nature being
        > united to the one, common divine nature. We are able to be one Body
        > with Christ because He assumed our nature into Himself and His Body.
        > Given time, those before the Annunciation had no such access.
        >
        > It should be remembered that theology in Orthodoxy is not a sort of
        > science of specification and definition in a system. Orthodoxy has
        > used poetry and imagery, philosophy and argumentation, all sort of
        > things in an attempt to get at the indescribable. Orthodoxy is union
        > with God, not a proper definition of Him. We see Him, we know Him, we
        > then try to report back as best we could the experience and the path
        > taken to get there. Just as Christ Himself "grew in stature and
        > wisdom" as a man, so too has the Church grown in stature and wisdom
        > and understanding of that which it was given in the beginning. New
        > heresies have arisen that required the Church to reflect on the import
        > of the depositum fidei in contrast to this new teaching. The prime
        > example is how iconoclasm forced the Church to reflect deeply on
        > triadology and christology and how this affected our understanding of
        > images - this reflection led the Church to realize that iconoclasm
        > actually implied a heretical christology. So, the saints of the
        > Church have not always spoken with the degree of precision that the
        > later Church was forced to. A prime example is St. Peter's phrase
        > regarding us 'becoming partakers of the divine nature' which is
        > heretical if one is applying later, Nicene and post-Nicene triadology,
        > but which is perfectly understandable given the stage of growth in
        > wisdom and stature in the first century. So, saints can speak
        > differently, and can speak indistinctly when compared to the
        > challenges and formulae required following future heresies. Also,
        > sometimes people are just writing casually - for instance, Luther is
        > not as 'exact' in his Table Talk as he is in his 'official' works,
        > same with the saints.
        >
        > >
        > > So, again: "How does a person come to know God, and does this true,
        > personal
        > > knowledge of God (John 17: 3) mean that ultimately, at least, they will
        > be
        > > members of the Church triumphant?"
        > >
        >
        > The Orthodox don't know this of themselves, much less of others long
        > reposed or not of the Church. We know God, we know Him, whatever He
        > does with me, with them, with anyone, I know Him to be good and kind
        > and loving, etc. I am sure of that, and that gives me hope; simple
        > hope goads me to pray for all, myself and all, living and reposed, my
        > enemies and friends, even the demons. St. Silouan the Athonite is a
        > wonderful, 20th century account of a saint of great love for the whole
        > world.
        >
        > Christopher
        >
        > ------------------------------------
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >


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