Protestants who use Eastern Orthodox theology against Latin Catholics

To all those Latin Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians out there…

Is it effective to use Eastern Orthodox theology against Latin (Roman) Catholicism?

I have seen some Protestant claim that the Eastern Orthodox position on Scripture is very simular to thier own. They then infer from this that the Orthodox hold to a primacy of Scripture over Tradition.

Is this true?

Is this effective?

Peace

[quote=dennisknapp]To all those Latin Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians out there…

Is it effective to use Eastern Orthodox theology against Latin (Roman) Catholicism?

I have seen some Protestant claim that the Eastern Orthodox position on Scripture is very simular to thier own. They then infer from this that the Orthodox hold to a primacy of Scripture over Tradition.

Is this true?

Is this effective?

Peace
[/quote]

No, it is completely false. The EO hold to tradition just like the Catholic Church. Scripture is inspired, but it is subject to the Church’s interpretation.

I’m not Orthodox, but I have read some about Orthodox beliefs, and I have Orthodox friends, too. From what I can tell, Orthodox theology is much different from Catholic and Protestant theology.

However, I am sure that Protestants and Orthodox do agree somewhat at times. For example, I’m sure that they have a somewhat similiar understanding of Mt. 16.18.

The Anglican Church is, I believe, the closest Protestant church to the Orthodox Church in its beliefs.

Unless I am mistaken, the Orthodox do not place a primacy on Scripture over Tradition. In fact, I believe that Scripture is seen as part of Tradition. In the West we see Tradition and Scripture as separate; but not so in the East.

While I cannot understand how Protestants see Orthodox theology as similar to their own, I do believe that the Orthodox are the best “anti-Catholics,” mostly because both East and West share many beliefs and yet dispute about particulars. Unlike Protestants, the Orthodox read books on the early Church Fathers, the Councils, and the Eastern Schism. This said, some Protestants might be able to effectively use Orthodox Patristics against Latin Rite Catholics.

Tradition is soooooooo important to the Orthodox. There are so many things that we do based on tradition. My church isn’t Eastern Orthodox, it is Oriental…but we are similar enough to use this example just to prove a point.

The language we use for some of our hymns and other parts of the liturgy is Coptic–a “dead language” and part of the reason we continue to use it is tradition!

God Bless,
Elizabeth

I do believe that the Orthodox are the best “anti-Catholics,” mostly because both East and West share many beliefs and yet dispute about particulars.

Orthodox are not “anti-Catholic”. My church disagrees with a few of your practices and beliefs, but overall we believe the same thing.

Believe it our not Orthodoxy is very similar to Catholicism in it’s doctrines. I don’t know too much about the Anglican Church. But as for the other Protestants I have spoken with–I have next to nothing in common with them.

And as for Matthew 16:18. In the first few centuries, all of the churches were united and believed exactly the same thing! The only differences between them were cultural differences, because they were in different countries. So, I don’t see what it matters if we interpret that verse meaning that it is the first church or not. (I assume that is what you were getting at.)

Using Orthodoxy to argue against Catholicism is a pretty poor method, in my opinion.

God Bless,
Elizabeth

Coptic: It should be noted, however, that the use of a certain language in the liturgy (Coptic in this case) is not Tradition, but tradition. Sacred Tradition is the deposit of Faith that was entrusted by the Apostles to the Church. The others are traditions, with a small t, that are not part of the apostolic deposit of Faith (not dogma or doctrine) but are ancient practices and disciplines of the Church. Sacred Tradition should not vary…it should be the same throughout the Church; traditions, however, vary from church to church and region to region.

twf,
Thank you for the correction!

I found a chart comparing different Christian denominations to Catholicism:
saintaquinas.com/christian_comparison.html

God Bless,
Elizabeth

Originally Quoted by Coptic:

Orthodox are not “anti-Catholic”. My church disagrees with a few of your practices and beliefs, but overall we believe the same thing.

What I meant was that Orthodox, by virtue of their good understanding of Church history, are the best at challenging [Western] Catholic beliefs. I used “Catholic” as equal to “Roman Catholic.” Anyhow, I simply meant that the Orthodox are the best to challenge certain beliefs peculiar to Roman Catholicism, since the Orthodox have a firm understanding of the early faith as well. Sorry for the confusion.

Also, unless I am mistaken, the Orthodox have a slightly different understanding of Tradition that do Roman Catholics. I believe that Orthodox see Tradition as an all-encompassing reality in the Church, not to be confined strictly to Apostolic times, but the whole history of the Church. The Holy Spirit guides the Church, and so Tradition is side by side with the Holy Spirit in the Church. Not the best description, granted, but I believe Kallistos speaks about it in his Orthodox Church.

[quote=dennisknapp]I have seen some Protestant claim that the Eastern Orthodox position on Scripture is very simular to thier own. They then infer from this that the Orthodox hold to a primacy of Scripture over Tradition.

Is this true?

[/quote]

No.

If the Orthodox accept the Inspiration of Scripture, it is because we accept the authority and inspiration of the Councils of the Church that canonised it. If we accept the inspiration of the Councils, then we have to accept the Creeds, and the Episcopacy, and the Septuagint (which is our Old Testament). If we accept these things, then we are accepting the Bible’s role as a part of Holy Tradition, and not something “superior” to it.

I think that there isn’t a Protestant in the world who would not have major problems with all this?

Protestants may also quote early church fathers to support their arguments against Catholic doctrine, but they only pick the bits that support what they want to push and ignore those parts which do not suit them (such as the Eucharist being truly Christ’s body and blood).

John

The problem with early fathers is that they preach real presence and sacrificial priesthood. And they preach tradition. Pretty much everything in the Scripture pushes you in the direction of a living church with tradition. Who wants cling solely to the Scripture, needs to believe in real presence, at any rate. Hoc est enim corpus meum… Hic est calix sanguinis meiHoc facite in meam commemorationem…

[quote=prodromos]Protestants may also quote early church fathers to support their arguments against Catholic doctrine, but they only pick the bits that support what they want to push and ignore those parts which do not suit them (such as the Eucharist being truly Christ’s body and blood).

John
[/quote]

Yes, but like Scripture, they pick and choose what they quote that fits into their pre-conceived notions of Christianity.

Peace be with you all, (Especially Coptic!) :smiley:

Do you all feel that Catholicism has, over the years, moved it’s position on Tradition, as Orthodox state it, to elevating Scripture, outside of Tradition as a means to address Protestant Criticisms?

When you look at Orthodox professions, they don’t separate Holy Scripture from Holy Tradition, both are of one deposit of the Faith but we see Catholics point to Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition as if Scripture is something apart from Holy Tradition. What is your take on this.

Peace!!! (Especially Coptic!) :smiley:

[quote=Fr Ambrose]No.

If the Orthodox accept the Inspiration of Scripture, it is because we accept the authority and inspiration of the Councils of the Church that canonised it. If we accept the inspiration of the Councils, then we have to accept the Creeds, and the Episcopacy, and the Septuagint (which is our Old Testament). If we accept these things, then we are accepting the Bible’s role as a part of Holy Tradition, and not something “superior” to it.

I think that there isn’t a Protestant in the world who would not have major problems with all this?
[/quote]

I do agree, but Michael P. says on another thread,

Quote:
Originally Posted by st_felicity
Would you explain how this statement supports the claim that the Bible is sufficient?–it seems to say that one must rely on tradition and teaching (also) which are the two portions of Divine Revelation that Protestants deny.

michaelp
’Sola Scriptura does not say that the words and the letters of the Bible are sufficient, but the message that it communicates. It could be communicated in many different ways: Drama (i.e. Passion of Christ, preaching, summaries of the Gospel (Creeds, etc), etc.).

The Bible is the preservation of the Gospel and God’s words. But its message can be communicated in whatever way is culturally acceptable.

We agree with the Eastern Church on this. We deny that tradition is a separate source of the communication of the message of the Gospel, but a parallel source that is true to the degree that it adheres to the message of Scripture.

[right][left][font=Arial]“Any disjunction between Scripture and Tradition such as would treat them as two separate ‘sources of revelation’ must be rejected. The two are correlative. We affirm (1) that Scripture is the main criterion whereby the church tests traditions to determine whether they are truly part of the Holy Tradition or not; (2) that Holy Tradition completes Holy Scriptures in the sense that it safeguards the integrity of the biblical message.”
[/left]
[right]***—Anglican-Orthodox Dialogue: The Dublin Agreed Statement 1984***
[/right]
(Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1985), 50–51

[/font][/right]

Having said this, all of the objections that I have seen that Catholics have to sola Scriptura is based on a faulty notion of sola Scriptura that the Reformers never held. Therefore, you may be unwittingly creating staw men.

Here is a good book that accurately represents the evangelical position. I encourage anyone who is interested in accurately understanding the Reformed position to read it.

The Shape of Sola Scriptura
amazon.com/exec/obidos/t…=books&n=507846

Hope everyone is doing well today. I am actually teaching on this tonight.

Michael"

What do you think about this?

Peace

[quote=dennisknapp]I do agree, but Michael P. says on another thread,

Quote:
Originally Posted by st_felicity
Would you explain how this statement supports the claim that the Bible is sufficient?–it seems to say that one must rely on tradition and teaching (also) which are the two portions of Divine Revelation that Protestants deny.

michaelp
’Sola Scriptura does not say that the words and the letters of the Bible are sufficient, but the message that it communicates. It could be communicated in many different ways: Drama (i.e. Passion of Christ, preaching, summaries of the Gospel (Creeds, etc), etc.).

The Bible is the preservation of the Gospel and God’s words. But its message can be communicated in whatever way is culturally acceptable.

We agree with the Eastern Church on this. We deny that tradition is a separate source of the communication of the message of the Gospel, but a parallel source that is true to the degree that it adheres to the message of Scripture.

[left][font=Arial]“Any disjunction between Scripture and Tradition such as would treat them as two separate ‘sources of revelation’ must be rejected. The two are correlative. We affirm (1) that Scripture is the main criterion whereby the church tests traditions to determine whether they are truly part of the Holy Tradition or not; (2) that Holy Tradition completes Holy Scriptures in the sense that it safeguards the integrity of the biblical message.”

[right]***—Anglican-Orthodox Dialogue: The Dublin Agreed Statement 1984***[/right]

(Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1985), 50–51

[/font]
[/left]

Having said this, all of the objections that I have seen that Catholics have to sola Scriptura is based on a faulty notion of sola Scriptura that the Reformers never held. Therefore, you may be unwittingly creating staw men.

Here is a good book that accurately represents the evangelical position. I encourage anyone who is interested in accurately understanding the Reformed position to read it.

The Shape of Sola Scriptura
amazon.com/exec/obidos/t…=books&n=507846

Hope everyone is doing well today. I am actually teaching on this tonight.

Michael"

What do you think about this?

Peace
[/quote]

Peace be with you,

Ah, this sounds like a good read, thank you for offering it. Great post!

Peace, Love and Blessings,

“No, it is completely false. The EO hold to tradition just like the Catholic Church. Scripture is inspired, but it is subject to the Church’s interpretation.”

Actually the view is quite different than ordinary Roman formulations. For example, many (not all) Romans hold to the two-source theory (oral and written teaching of the apostles handed down), which generally Orthodox reject. For an apologetic against Rome from an Orthodox perspective see Clark Carlton’s The Truth: What Every Roman Catholic Should Know about the Orthodox Chuch.
amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0964914182/qid=1109023240/sr=1-5/ref=sr_1_5/103-3965725-5643832?v=glance&s=books

For a short online explanation of Orthodox views on tradition see Georges Florovsky’s short tract:
fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/church_tradition_florovsky.htm#n1

Florovsky is one of the most noted EO theologians of the 20th century.

Peace be with you all, (Especially Coptic!) :smiley:

I love the special treatment! :bounce: :smiley:

Coptic: The Coptics have a different view of the Trinity than the rest of Christendom, right? Is it Nestorian? My memory is fuzzy. I attended a ethnic festival at a local Coptic Church and they explained some of the differences but I can’t remember the details.

We are not Nestorian.
The Coptic and Catholic Churches differ in their views on the nature of Christ, and on who the Holy Spirit proceeds from.

Does this answer your question?

God Bless,
Elizabeth

What is the difference in terms of the nature of Christ?

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