7th Ecumenical Council & Icons

Discussion in 'Theology and Doctrine' started by Dave, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. Robinson Crusoe

    Robinson Crusoe Member

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    isnt it true that only the first three councils can claim catholicity, since the latter four were not agreed to by the orientals?
     
  2. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    The Western Church was not even present at the ratification of the 7th Council. Subscription to the 7th Council was always no more than a staple among the non-jurors and never dogmatically espoused within the church of England.

     
  3. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    even the first four councils arent absolutely adhered to in anglicanism. A quick scan of the canons of each show an adherence to the spirit but certainly not the letter of the councils' determinations.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2015
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  4. Robinson Crusoe

    Robinson Crusoe Member

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    not sure I follow your wording. "no more than a staple" = "no more than a main or primary element?" what do you mean by this? was it always that just the first four councils were unqualifyingly required for Anglicans?

    are you saying that the western church does not subscribe to the 7th council, or just that it didn't have representatives at the ratification? i asked about the catholicity of the latter four, what you say seems to shed greater doubt on them. not following.

    are you quoting earlier posts in the thread to answer my second question? how come? that quote is being disputed by highchurchman. are you saying hackney's quote is the correct one? what reference validates?
     
  5. Robinson Crusoe

    Robinson Crusoe Member

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    well im trying to sort out what is the true Anglican position, and then see if it makes sense to me. i have identified certain claims. see if these are true:

    1. Anglicans are reformed catholics, and in this sense they lay claim to a historic catholicity that existed before the perversions of rome
    2. Anglicans accept the first four councils without qualification, but have some vague inclination toward the spirit of the latter three. these are therefore optional in some sense

    given (1) and (2) above, it seems like Anglicans view it as consistent to not accept fully the latter three councils (in which it seems both the west and majority of east accept) and to claim catholicity. how can we claim catholicity whilst rejecting catholic councils? this is my current quandary.
     
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  6. Classical Anglican

    Classical Anglican Active Member Anglican

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    This seems a little dangerous to claim. The councils, especially of the unified church, are to be honored and followed. I would be surprised if the reformed Church of England took the councils lightly enough to only adhere to in spirit.
     
  7. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Yup only the first four councils were unqualifyingly required for Anglicans.

    In the Andrewes quote it is Three Creeds, and the Four Councils. The dispute is the first 4 councils juxtaposed with the latter 3. Even among the latter 3 there were many salutary points wherein Protestants (including Presbyterians and Lutherans) were ready to subscribe, except for some portions of the 6th Council. The 7th Council is without any saving grace. But the first 4 councils were adopted by the Protestants and not just in England but on the Continent, as can be seen from the polemics with Rome.

    The history of the subscription to the 7th Council is murky even before the Reformation. The one undisputed point is that the Western bishops, from England or anywhere else in Europe, were not present at it, and so could not have physically subscribed on the spot.

    An interesting historical note is that for Rome the idea of 7 Councils does not exist. They believe there were 20+ Ecumenical Councils reaching into the twentieth century, so the nomenclature of 7, or 4, is largely meaningless to them.
     
  8. Robinson Crusoe

    Robinson Crusoe Member

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    authoritative source references?
    why would the notion of the "7 ecumenical councils" have arisen if it's debatable whether the western church subscribed to them? is this some secret knowledge not readily available?
     
  9. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    See the Andrewes quote. For more this is a good article:
    http://conciliaranglican.com/2011/08/03/ask-an-anglican-the-ecumenical-councils/

    • None of the formularies explicitly endorse any of the councils, but we see their acceptance by implication in the fact that the Prayer Book makes use of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed. The second Book of Homilies, which could hardly be called Anglo-Catholic, quotes from six of the seven early councils that the Christian East considers Ecumenical and questions the seventh council... Nevertheless, the majority of the Divines follow the example of Jeremy Taylor who said, “The Church of England receives the four first Generals as of highest regard, not that they are infallible, but that they have determined wisely and holily.” Field is hardly a lone voice, however, in accepting the first six councils. He rejects the seventh only on the grounds that men have misunderstood its teaching.
    So we have Jeremy Taylor and Lancelot Andrewes, two of the greatest divines. There are also passages from official Elizabethan edicts which extol "the first 4 councils" although not mentioned by the blog.

    Up to the Reformation the idea of the "the 7 ecumenical councils" mostly had currency in Byzantium and Eastern Orthodoxy. When Rome wants to be ecumenical they stress the 7. When they open up the ultramontane volley of Roman supremacism, all Councils including Vatican I and Vatican II are of the same weight as (say) Nicea in 325. Anglicans have taken an extremely conservative line regarding Councils as the blog above states. There is consensus that the 7th is not to be adopted. (Since the East rejected Roman councils 8+ as non-ecumenical, those are rejected by default by us as well.)

    There is a gray scale regarding the 5 & 6. And everybody (including continental Protestants) adopted the first 4.
     
  10. Robinson Crusoe

    Robinson Crusoe Member

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    thanks for the blog link!

    so it sounds like rome, in whatever tactic she's deploying, accepts the first seven, as does constantinople. there is some measure of catholicity in the first 7.

    so my question is, on what authority do we dispense with portions or all of the 7 and hold on to the title of catholic? am I misunderstanding something? there seems to be an inconsistency here
     
  11. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    By the same token we could ask by what authority we and the Orthodox reject the full 22. Or by what authority the RCC pretends so many Councils to be declaratory and Catholic.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2015
  12. Robinson Crusoe

    Robinson Crusoe Member

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    doesn't really answer my question. on what authority can anyone pick and choose what we accept from councils with broad catholicity? what is the justification? no good saying "well they do it too!"
     
  13. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    The councils, creeds and church fathers, like all things for an orthodox anglican, are weighed against the authoritative apostolic witness of Holy Scripture.
     
  14. Robinson Crusoe

    Robinson Crusoe Member

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    we all agree that the scriptures are the standard--but who's interpretation? who's authoritative interpretation? the scriptures don't interpret themselves!
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2015
  15. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Ultimately there isn't a higher authority than what each of the Churches pick for themselves.

    Even if we say that scripture is it, Rome wouldn't. Our standard, regardless of what other churches do, is one gospel, two testaments, three creeds, four councils, and the fathers.
     
  16. Robinson Crusoe

    Robinson Crusoe Member

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    i mean not to frustrate, but this sounds like "our subjective standard is more noble than their subjective standard." is there really so little objectivity as it seems?
     
  17. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    Scripture most certainly interprets scripture! Where scripture is not plain or where the context or other scripture do not explicate a given text or point, the church (working in councils, or creeds, or its ministers , or though the laity,or all together in concert) has "authority in Controversies of Faith: and yet it is not lawful for the Church to ordain any thing that is contrary to God's Word written, neither may it so expound one place of Scripture, that it be repugnant to another. Wherefore, although the Church be a witness and a keeper of Holy Writ, yet, as it ought not to decree any thing against the same, so besides the same ought it not to enforce any thing to be believed for necessity of Salvation." (Article XX).

    Everything, everything, everything rests upon scripture. It is the only infallible and sufficient witness we have. All other authorities are derivative, whether from tradition or reason, are slaves to the truth of the Word of God and are only authoritative insofar as they agree with the full witness of Holy Writ.
     
  18. Robinson Crusoe

    Robinson Crusoe Member

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    please know that i just want to understand. i seek objective truth. i don't mean to consernate anyone!

    your reply seems like question-begging. saying scripture elaborates on itself doesn't answer to the fact that the reader must still interpret that elaboration. further, saying that scripture is plain and simple in the face of thousands of denominations that differ on doctrines big and small seems to show that scripture simply isn't simple or plain.

    scripture is the standard, but it doesn't seem so plain and simple that councils of the universal church aren't needed to clarify and interpret.

    so, coming back to my point: on what objective authority do we decide that the first four councils are true, but the latter three are not? the latter three seem to have been ratified by a large majority of the catholic church.

    i don't think answering "scripture" is sufficient, and i don't think subjectively saying "every church is its own authority" lends itself to claims of truth. am i making sense?
     
  19. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    What would you suggest as a concrete and practical answer?
     
  20. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Some 3 or 4 years ago I attended a meeting in Manchester, the speaker was an Oriental Bishop, who amongst other things told us in answer to questions, that the reason for not accepting the first three councils was that they never invited. ( The invitations were sent out by the state!) The dogma , on the whole was accepted by the Oriental orthodox churches.