The 2nd Council of Nicea

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Theology' started by SirPalomides, Nov 18, 2017.

  1. SirPalomides

    SirPalomides Active Member

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  2. Philip Barrington

    Philip Barrington Well-Known Member

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    A glance around my place would let you see that I accept Nicaea 2, however my view is that not all Anglicans do, and my understand is that the GAFCON statement specifically limited the councils to 4 - Nicaea 1, Constantinople 1, Ephesus and Chalcedon. For some of them I am not sure how strong they are on Ephesus anyway.
     
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  3. SirPalomides

    SirPalomides Active Member

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    Even Anglicans who say they reject it have crosses and other images in their churches. And if someone says, “well, that’s different...” he doesn’t understand what iconoclasm is.
     
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  4. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    All it means in the Anglican context is the refusal to treat material items as objects of worship

    It is the way the Church lived in the Old Testament, and in the New Testament, and in the first 5 centuries of the Church, as promoted and taught by all of the Fathers of the Church... after the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the crisis in Byzantium there emerged a new worship of images. The old patristic faith for a time won their victory, in the Synods and in the broader Church... the Western Church was firmly against this new faith, and Charlemagne strongly opposed this new religion of worship of images, that was being formed.

    However in the Greek parts of the Empire the new "iconophiles" had manipulated the Emperor to force the issue using political means, and he forced Nicea II to not only allow the worship of images, but to excommunicate those who wouldn't. It was not merely a liberative council, but actually a suppressive/repressive council, where the Church of the Fathers was suffocated, and the Byzantine Church was given birth. Then the Western Church had its own collapse in the emergence of the Papacy, so both branches of the Church became in disrepair until the Reformation. That has worked for its time until the Church became in disrepair again in our lifetimes. So it goes..
     
  5. SirPalomides

    SirPalomides Active Member

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    That is one of the more bizarre falsifications of church history I’ve read. It nearly reaches Jack Chick levels of silliness. The Western Church was in fact one of the bulwarks against iconoclasm, which was an imperial, not popular, movement.
     
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  6. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I am happy to have this discussion in a thread...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libri_Carolini
    The Libri Carolini ("Charles' books"), Opus Caroli regis contra synodum ("The work of King Charles against the Synod"), also called Charlemagne's Books or simply the Carolines, are the work in four books composed on the command of Charlemagne, around 790, to refute the supposed conclusions of the Byzantine Second Council of Nicaea (787), particularly as regards its acts and decrees in the matter of sacred images. They are "much the fullest statement of the Western attitude to representational art that has been left to us by the Middle Ages".
     
  7. SirPalomides

    SirPalomides Active Member

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    As the article you link to states, the Libri Carolini were responding to a false translation of the acts, and were never ratified by Rome and were forgotten until the 16th century. The Carolingians were not iconoclasts. Meanwhile the Western church retained and venerated images throughout the whole iconoclastic period, with the vigorous support of the Popes.
     
  8. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    This is no article, my dear friend SirPalomides, this is just a Wikipedia page.

    I'm not sure how much you know about how Wikipedia works, but we know quite a bit about it in the West. I'm not sure if you know this, but it can be freely edited by anybody, so for contentious topics (such as the Iconoclasm, for instance...), anyone can just pop in and edit the content to suit their agenda.. Like I have just edited an item on the Iconoclasm page, so will you cite my words as authoritative on the Iconoclasm from now on?

    Citing Wikipedia as a primary source is not a wise move. I only link to that page to indicate to you the existence of the Libri Carolini, as a fact that the Court of Charlemagne openly repudiated Nicea II and all its works. Your supposition that they were "responding to a false translation of the acts" is just a personal opinion on your part. I am presenting the fact of the existence of the books, not my opinion. Again I invite you to start a thread to discuss attitudes towards the 2nd Council of Nicea in the West. Among the findings you will see that the Western Church never sent delegates to Nicea II, and it has never been juridically accepted or bound by the West...

    Sure, in the Middle ages the West had its own explosion of veneration of the arts, and this original stance became inconvenient, so they professed their acceptance of Nicea II, but in its time, it was not juridically accepted by the Western Church. Feel free to open a thread for us to discuss all this in detail
     
  9. SirPalomides

    SirPalomides Active Member

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    Wikipedia articles are referred to as “articles”, including in the blurb you just quoted. I did not cite Wikipedia, you did. If this is the kind of childishness I can expect from you, no, I am not interested in opening a new thread.
     
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  10. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Anglicans take councils with a grain of salt, believing that "things ordained by them as necessary to salvation have neither strength nor authority, unless it may be declared that they be taken out of holy Scripture." (Article XXI)

    For orthodox Anglicans, the first four ecumenical councils are fully accepted without question. For many anglo-catholics, all 7 are recognized.

    I follow the 2d book of homilies that the first 6 councils are to be believed but I reserve judgment on tbe 7th for some of the reasons proffered by @anglican74. But not recognising the 7th council does not make one an iconoclast per se. The christians prior to council 7 were not iconoclasts, neither are we.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017
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  11. Philip Barrington

    Philip Barrington Well-Known Member

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    I take that as an overstatement my dear friend, the councils have a great deal of matter, to acknowledge that they have erred is to suggest that we need to exercise due caution to ensure that everything we take from them can be supported by Holy Scripture, and most especially so if we are to claim that something we have drawn from them is necessary unto salvation. For example I do not take the Creed of the 1st Council of Constantinople, with a grain of salt, and I would argue that it is well attested to by Holy Scripture.

    I think that the Council of Hieria, whose rulings were decision were emptied by the 2nd Council of Nicaea is clear case of a Council that had erred, and there we no Patriarchs at the Council, simply the Byzantine Emperor, and a council stacked with Bishops from one side of the debate.

    My point is, not that Councils are the be all and end all, yet they are also not to be taken with a grain of salt. Understanding some of the Councils heps us understand why we believe what we believe.
     
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  12. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    "due caution"... "grain of salt"... 6 of one, half a dozen of the other. It sounds like your issue with my post is merely one of semantics, PB.

    My point was that what differentiates Anglicans from the Orthodox and Romanists in how we view the authority of the councils is that we view the them as trustworthy and authoritative only if, when, and insofar as, they are supported by the Scriptures.

    The canon of our catholic faith closed upon the death of the last Apostle. Therefore, no article of faith introduced after that date can accurately be viewed as an article of the faith of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. The participants of the various councils claimed that their findings were not new but had been handed down from the Apostles themselves. And while I try to show due respect to them, I must admit that even the earliest ecumenical council was more than 200 years removed from the time of the Apostles. And the 7th council was more than 600 years removed. The only credible, indeed infallible, record of the Apostles' teachings we have is the scriptures. So the councils' findings must be tested against them, and if they are found in conflict, the scriptures, God's Word, must prevail. I stated clearly in my post that I fully accept the first six councils--and I fully accept the universal creeds--but I do so not because a Pope, Patriarch, or Emperor affirmed them, or because they are very ancient, or because of how many bishops were in attendence, but because they are "proved by most certain warrants of Holy Scripture". That is the Anglican way.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017
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  13. Philip Barrington

    Philip Barrington Well-Known Member

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    I know we are basically on the same page, however I felt grain of salt was a little more dismissive that the article intend. I have found icons quite helpful along the way, so I have a soft spot for the seventh. The Council of Hieria of course has many problems, and should really be given no weight in the Church. I don't think that it is just semantics, however, and I think the endless speaking badly of the Councils as just politics and other things people suggest they are in some sense anti Christian. If we do not learn from our history we are likely to repeat it. Have you noticed an increase in Arianism of late?
     
  14. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I didn't see where I spoke badly of the councils or call them just politics, only that they must be put in their proper place. The councils are a part of tradition, and as Chesterton says, "Tradition means giving a vote to most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead...Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. All democrats object to men being disqualified by the accident of birth; tradition objects to their being disqualified by the accident of death. Democracy tells us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our groom; tradition asks us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our father." Tradition is important and we ignore it at our peril. But its import sgould not be over emphasized. It is subordinate to Scripture, just as is reason, experience, magesterium.
     
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  15. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    But it's also the question of what Councils to accept, isn't it? On what basis should Hieria be rejected and Nicea II be accepted? Lowly and I are trying to argue that that basis should be Scripture... that is the Anglican answer, for Scripture is the only source of Revelation., there is no other second way of knowing what is close to God's heart...
     
  16. Philip Barrington

    Philip Barrington Well-Known Member

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    One clear reason to reject Hieria is that the Patriarchs East and West did not accept Hieria and indeed none of them were present. Nicaea II can then be accepted or rejected on the basis of Scripture. I am actually pretty relaxed about it, as I don't see it as matters pertaining to what must be believed for salvation.

    I do not think that Scripture is the only source of Revelation. I do think that Scripture is the measure by which can can discern what is truly of God or not. Me speak of the Canon of Scripture, which implies the ruler or the measuring stick by which we are able to assess other claims. To suggest that God is only revealed in Scripture is to dangerously endeavor to contain or restrain God to the past.

    The Diocese I grew up in was/is quite keen on a thing called the doctrine of propositional revelation. The Church there has a lot of lawyers and very few artists. Maybe that is something of what JB Phillips meant when he proclaimed Your God is too Small.
     
  17. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Where does it say that a Patriarch has to be present, for a Council to be valid? Just curious..
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2017
  18. Philip Barrington

    Philip Barrington Well-Known Member

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    It is not like it is a rule book. The understanding of the Oecumenical Councils was that the Patriarchs signed off so they could speak for the whole Church. Clearly Alexandria did not sign off of Chalcedon, not that they were given the chance, However Nicaea 1 Constantinople 1 and Ephesus all measured up to that test. I don;t see it as a rule, but as a principle. The 39 require a Prince to be present.
     
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  19. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    This no more makes God "contained in the past" than it makes Physics "stuck in the past" in consigning itself to the laws of nature created billions of years ago...

    Are you prepared to put something in this world on the same level as Scripture?... That I would contend is more aptly named "dangerous" than anything whatsoever I had said... something to think about.

    And in any case whatever Christian perspective it may represent, it is certainly not Anglican. We Anglicans have suffered enough from people who claim to add something new to the revelation of Scripture


    Where is this understanding? I see it not.. Each Province of the Church would send delegates, and the Provinces which received the Council were bound by it. In 2016 some Orthodox Churches refused to receive the decisions of the recent Pan-Orthodox Council held in Crete. The Patriarch of Constantinople demanded they attend the Council and receive its decisions, and yet they did not... were they in the wrong?
    https://www.wheeljournal.com/blog/2...urch-to-take-part-in-the-pan-orthodox-council


    So even by your own measure Alexandria did not need to sign off of the Council?
    :confused:
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2017
  20. Philip Barrington

    Philip Barrington Well-Known Member

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    Clearly not, and you twist my meaning, and I am not sure why you have done that.

    I don't have a chapter and verse to quote you, however if you look at the way the councils were handled - especially the first four you can see what was happening. The 3rd Council of Toledo, the Synod of Hatfield the council of Frankfurt are clearly on a different level to those we accept as the Oecumenical Councils. The Pan Orthodox Council was never going to rank as an Oecumenical Council .

    I think you need to look at the history of Chalcedon. I am not ready discard the Chalcedonian Christology which I believe is well attested to by scripture and the meaning is quite clear in the 39.

    I believe my perspective is entirely Anglican. I have not, as you suggest, added something new to the revelation of scripture.
     

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