The 2nd Council of Nicea

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

  1. DouayJamesGeneva

    DouayJamesGeneva Member

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    The way I understand it, is that the idea of things outside of the bible having some inspiration if they are subject to scripture mostly means that some councils confirmed and taught sound theology, so as to prove the Holy Spirit was there guiding the church in history whenever it happened, not necessarily that they were or had to be adding new details about how to be saved. Being open to new revelations outside of scripture IMHO applies mostly to non-essential things (i.e., anything besides faith and moral matters) such as textual discoveries, archaeology, science and the bible, and prophecy. These would fall into the 'unfolding' category which means they are supposed to be revealed over time, and yet never cause any trouble with the fact that God has given us stewards on some level or another to teach the way to salvation.
     
  2. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I am just trying to understand precisely what you are putting forth, that is all.. honestly! Is Scripture the only thing that counts as Revelation, yes or no? You seem to be saying no, in which case that other (or possibly numerous!) other things also counts as Revelation. In which case then, on a given issue you may have the Revelation from this latter thing, and then also, the Revelation according to Scripture, no? If both are present, what happens when they conflict?... This has been the poison that destroyed so many Provinces in the Anglican Communion over the course of the last quarter-century, don't you see this?!

    Okay, so you seem to require that the two Patriarchs be present for a Council to be Ecumenical.. I read of this theology in none of the historic Anglican treatises on Church councils, and you cite none

    But say I humor you, and the two Patriarchs are necessary.. was the Pope present at Nicea II, and did he sign it?

    Yes but it was going to rank as a Church Council, and even then, the various Provinces basically disrespected the Patriarch and ignored both his call and the Council's decisions... so far for the vaunted Eastern/Greek 'Catholicity' and antiquity


    Sure, I am too... and that even despite the fact that it had canonical irregularities such as you just mentioned, and did not fit the criteria you yourself had set up. That shows that the criteria you mention are of a later date, perhaps sourced from modern/20th century Romanist or Orthodox sources, and thus not of Ancient or Anglican origin...
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2017
  3. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    "Your God is too small"? I will try very hard not to be offended by your implication Philip, as I doubt you meant that as the jab it comes across as.

    No one in my reading of this thread--except you--suggested that we believe "God is only revealed in Scripture". That's a misrepresentation of our statements. I think I've been very vocal on the forums that I reject sola scriptora as well as solo scriptora. I do, however, affirm prima scriptora, and my posts here bear that position out.

    This discussion we are having is not about revelation. It's about trustworthiness and authority. God does not just speak in one place in one way. But when He speaks, He does not contradict Himself. He is God. He changes not. Nor is He a man that He should lie. When Our Lord foretold the coming of the Holy Spirit, He said He would lead us to all truth. One of the basic elements of truthful statements is consistency. They must be internally consistent as well as consistent with earlier statements whose truthfulness is not in any doubt. If an apparent contradiction occurs between scripture and a later statement by church officials, one must wonder wonder if another spirit is at work instead of the Spirit of Truth.

    St. John the Apostle in his first epistle instructs us:

    "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."

    For Anglicans, the ultimate test will always be "What saith the Scripture"?
     
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  4. SirPalomides

    SirPalomides Active Member

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    That's a very troubling statement. It is tantamount to saying that God dropped a book on us and then abandoned the Church. It makes the sacraments and prayer of no effect. And it's contradicted by scripture itself- "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead." Likewise, on the road to Emmaus, the disciples meet Jesus but do not know him. He explains the scriptures to them, but they don't know him until they sit down with him to eat.
     
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  5. SirPalomides

    SirPalomides Active Member

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    The homily "On Peril of Idolatry" in the Second Book of Homilies is thoroughly iconoclastic. Fortunately Anglicans have universally repudiated it in practice at this point.
     
  6. SirPalomides

    SirPalomides Active Member

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    Councils do not carry some charism of infallibility, and the fact that a council is convoked and all the appropriate authorities are present does not mean that its decisions will be accepted; likewise, some key people being absent from a council does not necessarily make the council's rulings illegitimate. Councils are not hive popes.

    The 2nd Council of Nicaea is authoritative because it proclaims the timeless truth of Christ's incarnation and its theology is accepted in essence by all orthodox Christians. That said, the council was in fact approved by Rome, even if the Pope was not physically present, if Papal approval is some dealbreaker for you. The Oriental Orthodox, of course, did not formally accede to it but their attitude toward icons is the same as ours.

    The Council of Hieria is not accepted because it is basically a rehash of Nestorianism and undercuts the incarnation. It was a political initiative without any basis in the life of the Church, and probably influenced by Islam. It is therefore rejected as a foreign body.

    The Pan-Orthodox Synod of 2016 was, as some of its boosters even admit, a meeting for the sake of meeting. An icebreaker at the most. A large part of the Orthodox world did not attend. I believe there will be more productive and inclusive councils in the future. But such global councils are not essential to the Church's functioning. Ecumenical councils were a feature of the Roman empire. That empire is long gone but the Church lives on. The Orthodox Church does not bear a permanent superstructure above the local church, which, per Saint Ignatius of Antioch, is the core of the Catholic Church.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2017
  7. Philip Barrington

    Philip Barrington Well-Known Member

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    OK. I will try and calm down. Lets start with the paragraph that seemed to get us off track.

    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. We 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.​

    God is ineffable - unable to be spoken - however we know something of God, and none of us knows all of God. The Jews spoke of God in terms of the tetragrammaton YHWH that which was unable to be said. This speaks of God who is entirely transcendent, beyond all, over all, entirely other. When we know of God is what God reveals. Indeed without God's revelation of himself we have no knowledge of God. God could choose to remain entirely hidden, but he does not. We encounter something of God in creation, in the simplicity and the complexity of nature we appreciate something of the hallmark of the creator.

    We also encounter God in each other. We have all of us been made in the image and after the likeness of God, and consequently it is likely that we will understand some hint of the nature of God in each other. As Christians we are called to reflect something of Christ, who is within us.

    The question of course arises, how are we to be sure that what we see and understand of God, in the world, or in each other, is a true understanding. What confidence can we place in the image that we see. Holy Scripture is the test, the yardstick, the ruler by which we measure these things.

    Does God reveal himself in Scripture? Absolutely. Is Scripture the only revelation of God? I don't think so. If something is claimed to be a revelation of God and yet does not conform with Scripture, then we will not accept it, for it fails the rule, conformity to the canon.

    If I may quote from JB Phillips Your God is too Small

    We can never have too big a conception of God, and the more scientific knowledge (in whatever field) advances, the greater becomes our idea of His vast and complicated wisdom. Yet, unless we are to remain befogged and bewildered and give up all hope of ever knowing God as a Person, we have to accept His own planned focusing of Himself into a human being, Jesus Christ. If we accept this as fact, as The Fact of history, it becomes possible to find a satisfactory and comprehensive answer to a great many problems, and, what is equally important, a reasonable “shelf” on which the unsolved perplexities may be left with every confidence.​


    I am sorry for the shortcut, expression, as absolutely no insult was intended, quite the reverse.

    So why have I been obstructionist here. I grew up in the Diocese of Sydney under the influence of the TC Hammond era of clergy who dominated that Diocese and was well drilled in the doctrine of Propositional Revelation. This doctrine in outline says 'God reveals himself in propositions. These proposition are contained in Holy Scripture. Therefore Scripture is the infallible Word of God'. This seemed to be smart and acceptable, however it failed to equip me for life, and indeed I believe it stunted me. There are several problems that it enshrines, including the idea that we can have God under control, and the notion that we can reject all new things, like the idea that the world is not flat. It also I observed gave many of them the right to be offensive and proud because they 'had the truth'. I believe it did me, and a great many others a deal of harm and a warped view of God.

    So maybe what I am saying is God is not Prisoner of the Book, or of the Tabernacle, or of the Church, though God is encountered in all these places. I do however contend conformity to Scripture is a requirement for all things that must be believed unto salvation. That is quite different (for me at least) to saying that Scripture is the only source of Revelation.

    Article 6
    Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation. In the name of the holy Scripture, we do understand those Canonical books of the Old and New Testament, of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church.​
     
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  8. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    @Philip Barrington I am sorry you were subjected to the abusive experiences in the Diocese of Sydney. The Church of Australia is such a weird creature, where you have most of the dioceses and bishops be utterly forlorn and liberal but then you have Sydney which is orthodox yet they wear suits and practice abusive theology... the gentle but firm faith found in other parts of the world is not easy to find in Australia

    So, some parts of what the Sydney folks had taught you was right (fire and brimstone), and some parts (literalist bashing) was wrong. Scripture and Jesus and Christianity is a very harsh faith, even without the Sydney additions, so we have to separate and disassociate the hardships inherent in our faith from the hardships Sydney added unnecessarily..

    Let us observe that all these points, especially revelation as an 'encounter' and coming from us encountering each other, are the daily talking points of liberal Christianity. Pope Francis, Archbishop Welby, it's all the same language, and it has NO root in historic Christianity, certainly nothing in Historic Anglicanism... if you go back even fifty years you'd have no Anglican understand any of what you'd said and dismiss it. There is an entire vocabulary of liberal Christianity which you seem to have imbibed, perhaps without knowing, and certainly scarred from the Sydney experience. There's a lot to untangle here, but most of it has to do with psychology and personal experience and the modernist crisis... little here relates to the Faith once given to the Saints. In order for you to have the apostolic faith, that your forefathers and the Church Divines once had, we must use their language, not the language of modern revisionism. Therefore words like revelation simply don't mean what you have them here, an 'encounter' between two people has nothing in common with Revelation as classically understood
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2017
  9. Philip Barrington

    Philip Barrington Well-Known Member

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    I don't want to give this any more oxygen. The meaning that you declare does not resonate with the meaning that I hold and clearly have ineffectively enunciated. It do believe that it is possible to encounter something of the divine in another person. That is indeed what I would understand to be something of the revelation of God, HOWEVER any security, any reliance on the experience what might be revelation must be measured against Holy Scripture. I do believe I have used the word revelation as classically understood.

    We clearly have different history, and that is part of Anglicanism as I understand it, and it is a faith where there is room for variance in theological opinion in a wide range of areas - beyond the essentials of faith. To my mind that is the strength of the Elizabethan settlement. I have not concluded that we must use the language of the Divines, and it worries me a little that we lose our mission in antiquity. On the other hand I do not want to lose the essential message of the Divines.

    I will try to learn from you, however I am feeling belittled, unheard, and a little patronised. I am sorry, I have never felt unwelcome here, but now I do.
     
  10. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I am sorry! I too am trying to learn to speak with people on the other side as well... You see, in the States there has been a devastation in the Church, a spiritual holocaust, led by people who speak of encounter and dialogue, who bash conservatives as if we were fundamentalists, while they add new Revelations, and 'correct' Scripture, making God bless LGBT families, lesbian women priests, three-, four- parent 'families', while they persecute us, and sue vestries and churches, destroying congregations, parishes, whole dioceses :(

    Those of us who have survived are yearning for a return to an objective standard which cannot be monkeyed around with, or added to.. we find in historic Anglicanism a fixed standard that cannot change, a fixed Religion once revealed to the Saints, which makes our hearts rejoice
     
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  11. DouayJamesGeneva

    DouayJamesGeneva Member

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    This is one of the reasons why I have not joined Anglicanism as of now. While it has fascinated me, and although I have viewed debates online between Roman, Orthodox, and Anglican apologists, I still had to accept the fact that Anglicanism, like the others, has it's own view of history and theology that can be questioned as much as the others. However, I agree with maybe 99% of what the BCP and Anglicanism teaches, they still seem too open ended and accepting of some practices regardless of what the book itself says, that I feel are doorways into various superstitious and unbiblical practices that wholly violate my conscience. I do respect everyone here and mean this in a polite but honest way. I would still choose Anglicanism or any protestant/catholic hybrid such as Lutheranism, and the like if I wanted to join any denomination that was remotely 'catholic'. But the problem is: they speak of sacraments as mysteries you partake of in service, and experience its effect gradually later on in your walk with God. Yet, I believe this is the same with the Holy Spirit. You need it to understand scripture, and it's mystery should lead you to the same orthodoxy on some level or another as the councils or creeds, and so forth if you follow it earnestly, as it is the root of all sound doctrine taught outside of the Word. Thing is, it is difficult enough in our biblically illiterate age, especially here in the US, to get people to read just the bible itself, that it becomes even more vast and burdensome to have to rely on everything else to have to struggle to read hoardes of other material on church history. The bible already has what we need to address most of these basic issues. Yes, we can consult external history as proof for the bible, but I do believe the scriptures are self-affirming and prove their reliability by their character and consistency and that itself is a miracle. I also don't know if we can really prevent all history from coming back due to the curse of our sinfulness and humanity's fallen state. People are already speculating that anti-semitism is on the rise yet again, and I think the incident at Babel is going to be repeated in the future, if not towards the end of the world, in terms of the typology of man trying to use technology to find God and heaven where it doesn't exist. I may never really become that knowledgable of a lot of church history as many here, but in some places people have lived and died just fine with merely the scriptures at their disposable and a basic understanding of the time periods in which it took place. We don't need to ask for much. You can have the church fathers thrown in your face, as many do, and without Godly guidance or discernment, end up with some absurd or heretical view about them that isn't in there, just as many 'historians' and 'scholars' do today with liberal, anti-Christian, anti-biblical propaganda.
     
  12. Phoenix

    Phoenix Member Staff Member Anglican

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  13. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Okay guys, let me just add something here before I can have my piece... I have come across a valuable passage, explaining what I mean that Scripture is the only source of Revelation, and it comes from a 19th century Anglican theologian Charles Gore, by no means a Bible-thumper in the debates of those times, and eventually the Bishop of Oxford:

    "First, let it be clear that the Church's function is not to reveal truth. The revelation given once for all to the Apostles cannot be either diminished or added to. It is a faith "once for all delivered," and the New Testament emphasizes the Church's duty as simply that of "holding fast" and teaching what she has "received." The apostle St. Paul claims that his converts should repudiate even him--should treat him as anathema--if he were to teach anything else than what he taught at first. It is thus of the very essence of the Christian revelation that, as originally given, it is final. Whatever is new to Christian theology in substance, is by that very fact, proved not to be of the faith"

    He concludes with this:

    ".. It is not then a matter which needs proving, that novelty in revelation is equivalent to error, according to the fathers. But this evident proposition leads to an important conclusion. It follows that the authority of the Church is of a more secondary character than is sometimes supposed. She is not a perpetual oracle of divine truth, an open organ of continuous revelation: she is not so much a "living voice" as a living witness to a 'once-spoken voice'."
     
  14. Philip Barrington

    Philip Barrington Well-Known Member

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    Thankyou for that.
     
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