Comparing ECF's

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Blair Laird | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Feb 19 2019 9:17 PM

 Can we compare the traditions of which Fathers are accepted by what group with logos? Kinda like comparing canon?

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 19 2019 9:28 PM

Blair Laird:

 Can we compare the traditions of which Fathers are accepted by what group with logos? Kinda like comparing canon?



I don't think I understand. I've never thought of Fathers being accepted by groups - some or all of an author's thought maybe accepted (or rejected) but some or all of a group. Different threads of the Fathers are followed more closely by some religious orders than others. Groups differ in which church fathers they elevate ... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_of_the_Church provides information on this. I think I shared these as collections.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Blair Laird | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 19 2019 11:00 PM

I was under the assumption that there was a difference among the orthodox and Catholics as to who is acceptable or traditionally read.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 20 2019 12:08 AM

Blair Laird:
I was under the assumption that there was a difference among the orthodox and Catholics as to who is acceptable or traditionally read.

Wrong assumption. There is a reason why Migne when creating cheap versions of the Fathers for French parish priests included Greek and Latin Fathers ... and the Syrians were added as discovered. The difference between Eastern Orthodox/Oriental Orthodox/Catholic is 90% cultural, 9% difference in emphasis and < 1% theological. For the entire period of the Early Church Fathers, there was no division between Orthodox and Catholic. There was, for part of the time, a division between the Oriental Orthodox and the Orthodox-Catholic which is part of the reason why many Syrian Church Fathers' works were lost to the West.

Let me remind you that for every Orthodox Church there is a parallel Catholic Church. There is one Eastern rite Church where there is no Orthodox parallel. I've run into two people who did not know whether they were Orthodox or Catholic as their parents selected their church on availability and familiarity of ritual and language. I know of a priest who switched to have the retirement community of his choice.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Mike Pettit | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 20 2019 1:02 PM

Blair Laird:

 Can we compare the traditions of which Fathers are accepted by what group with logos? Kinda like comparing canon?

Don't forget that historically Protestants see the Church Fathers as being authoritative as well, Calvin's famous quote that "Augustine is totally ours" is especially well known. Of course it does help if you think that they agree with you.  

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SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 20 2019 1:43 PM

Blair Laird:
I was under the assumption that there was a difference among the orthodox and Catholics as to who is acceptable or traditionally read.

Following up on MJ's reply, there is a difference in which group tends to emphasize whom, but there are almost no differences in terms of who is considered a father. Those differences would be between Oriental Orthodox on one side and Catholics and Eastern Orthodox on the other.

The big difference is between, broadly speaking, how the Orthodox and Catholics treat the Fathers and their writings and how Protestants do, although there is significant variation between Protestant groups (and individuals) on this point.

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 20 2019 1:58 PM

Blair Laird:

 Can we compare the traditions of which Fathers are accepted by what group with logos? Kinda like comparing canon?

Adding to MJ, Mike, and Sinenomine, I assume you're talking modern groups. And acceptance meaning being able to quote a good point, and not be drummed out.

But if you were to ask, maybe around the early years of Islam (for dating), then some were heretics, some were ok in the west, but not the east, and some ok, depending where in the east. And even in the west, the African stood at varience with the Italians.

So, I suppose, they un-fragmented. 


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Blair Laird | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 21 2019 11:30 AM

This is my assumption based on the conversation I had with someone. I quoted Origen and they claimed he was a heretic and they don't accept him. He is a church father so I just assumed each church picked and chose what they accepted. Basically what I am trying to do is graph accepted documents, teachings, creeds, confessions what have you. I would like to see what is universally accepted and what is not. I would just like to graph, Orthodox, Catholic, and Reformed Protestant 

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Mike Pettit | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 21 2019 11:36 AM

Blair Laird:

This is my assumption based on the conversation I had with someone. I quoted Origen and they claimed he was a heretic and they don't accept him. He is a church father so I just assumed each church picked and chose what they accepted. Basically what I am trying to do is graph accepted documents, teachings, creeds, confessions what have you. I would like to see what is universally accepted and what is not. I would just like to graph, Orthodox, Catholic, and Reformed Protestant 

He may be a church father but it is telling that he is not a saint, and that is because even his biggest fans will agree that he had some weird ideas. The view that someone took a different view to what, in the future, became orthodoxy is a heretic is a bit extreme and a misuse of categories when at the time the issue had not been determined (or perhaps recognised).

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Blair Laird | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 21 2019 11:41 AM

So is there a list of accepted teachings of the church fathers? I am not sure how to find the information I am looking for in logos. 

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 21 2019 12:46 PM

Goodness, Blair, you're question is not very easy. I searched around the net just because I'm curious.

The Orthodox Church of America arrived from Russia, through Alaska. Anyone that was stationed in Alaska, saw the interesting shaped churches. A friar had a most interesting conundrum .. the fathers vs their behavior. His last conclusion was most interesting:

https://oca.org/reflections/fr.-lawrence-farley/the-consensus-of-the-fathers 

Now, back to authoritativeness.


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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 21 2019 1:17 PM

Blair Laird:

So is there a list of accepted teachings of the church fathers? I am not sure how to find the information I am looking for in logos. 

How could there be? Who would have the authority to write such a list? We all need to read (and quote) from the Fathers with discernment.

If you want to argue for a particular theological viewpoint, finding one Father that supports you isn't particularly convincing. Finding several that support you (and none or few that don't), is obviously much better. For that, the Catholic Topical Index (sold in Verbum) is very useful. Some other useful resources include:

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 21 2019 1:20 PM

Blair Laird:
I quoted Origen and they claimed he was a heretic and they don't accept him.

On this point, searching for Origen NEAR heretic would allow you to test your friends claim, and read more about accusations of heresy against Origen.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 21 2019 2:17 PM

Mark Barnes - modified:

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 21 2019 2:45 PM

Blair Laird:
I would like to see what is universally accepted and what is not. I would just like to graph, Orthodox, Catholic, and Reformed Protestant 

This will be more difficult than you expect. Three examples:

  • The supremacy of the Bishop of Rome is accepted by all Eastern Orthodox except the Russian Orthodox. The dispute is over how this plays out in the real world.
  • The ecumenical group working on the issue of Catholic vs. Lutheran understanding of the Eucharist issued a joint statement that the understanding was the same, the language was different. Rome rejected the statement despite it being their representatives who participated.
  • The "monophysite" Oriental Orthodox have been separated from the rest of the church since mid-5th century. Separately, both the Orthodox and the Catholics have signed statements with the Oriental Orthodox stating their views were misunderstood/have evolved so that there is actually agreement on the subject.

The real differences are usually petty (if not downright silly) like did Mary die before being assumed into heaven? My answer "Ask Enoch". Big Smile

You notice I make no reference to the Reformed Protestants - unfortunately, Calvin is the one theologian that drives me too nuts to read, so my actual knowledge of them is minimal.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Blair Laird | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 21 2019 4:26 PM

Thanks for all your guidance guys. This is indeed a hard topic. I think I have the canon part figured out, according to the comparison I see a total of 99 books that are accepted among the three groups. What is kinda frustrating is some of these works are not even available on logos. For example, I was unable to find Meqabyan. Mainly what I am trying to compare canon, creeds, confessions, and councils of all three groups. It is not as easy as I thought. 

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Blair Laird | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 21 2019 4:47 PM

Concerning creeds of the early church, I found these off of Wikipedia. Using logos how can I find out which is accepted by who, or if they are all accepted?  I tried searching "creeds NEAR orthodox" and my results are not promising. My library certainly not the biggest but with 13k resources, I would think I would end up with better results. I am sure the info is there, just having a hard time getting to it. :)

  1. The Didache (60-150)
  2. The Creed of Aristides of Athens (100s)
  3. The Old Roman Symbol or Old Roman Creed (c. 215)
  4. The Creed of Cyprian of Carthage (250)
  5. The Der Balyzeh Papyrus (200-350)
  6. The Creeds of Arius and Euzoius (320/327)
  7. The Creed of Alexander of Alexandria (321-324)
  8. The First Synod of Antioch (325)
  9. The Second Dedication of Antioch (341)
  10. The Baptismal Creed of Jerusalem (350)
  11. The Apostolic Constitutions (350-380)

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 21 2019 5:08 PM

Blair Laird:
Concerning creeds of the early church, I found these off of Wikipedia. Using logos how can I find out which is accepted by who, or if they are all accepted? 

You need to refocus your perspective. Prior to the Chalcedonian/Pre-Chalcedonian split, there was no division - just lots of different opinions and disagreements and struggling to find accurate language for their understanding. How broadly each was used is a difficult question - just consider the distribution problems after creating manuscripts... or having someone commit it to memory.

What you can do is look at the traditional early heresies (http://pages.ucsd.edu/~dkjordan/xy/xydocs/XnHeresies.html) and identify which creeds and writers are specifically associated with the heresy. Reading a good history on Christian creeds would be a good start ... I'll check if there are any in Logos that I'd recommend ... Pelikan is not in Logos. Maybe Kelly, J. N. D. Early Christian Creeds. Third Edition. London; New York: Continuum, 2006.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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