Divorce and Remarriage

Discussion in 'Family, Relationships, and Single Life' started by bwallac2335, May 16, 2019.

  1. Peteprint

    Peteprint Well-Known Member Anglican

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    “One canon reduced to writing by God himself, two testaments, three creeds, four general councils, five centuries, and the series of Fathers in that period – the centuries, that is, before Constantine, and two after, determine the boundary of our faith” Lancelot Andrewes.
     
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  2. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    The Patristic era itself is an anglican concept, we have to begin with that. Jean-Louis Quantin is one recent scholar who points this out in “The Church of England and Christian Antiquity”. That came out in 2008 or 2009 or thereabouts.

    The concept of a Patristic era is not inherently obvious if you think about it: why should there be a cutoff at some point? And that’s why neither Rome nor the EO historically have thought of Church history in terms of some sort of specially privileged era whose fathers are better at explaining the faith to us. The EO are more than happy to label John of Damascus and Gregory Palamas as church fathers. The Church of Rome sees no fundamental distinction between St Augustine and Duns Scotus (a gap of ~1000 years). These are all “doctors of the church” to them. Quantin points out how peculiar it is that the Anglicans first of all created this uniquely privileged era, and then injected it into the wider Christian discourse. Now every denomination, be it the EO, or Rome, or the Presbyterians are happy to claim the fathers if they can find something helpful in them for themselves.

    For us Anglicans however this is no mere cherry picking of quotations. This ties into our doctrine of Scripture—how we know what the Scripture means, and what the Church in its purity looked like. The Church Fathers are uniquely privileged most especially because they help us interpret scripture. The further in time they go, and especially after the Roman Empire falls, the less context they retain for what the Scriptures originally meant. They lose cultural associations, linguistic metaphors. They become essentially more like us. In order to know what the original Church and the Scriptures actually mean, we need the original text and the men who understood it in its original language. That’s what makes them privileged. Thomas Aquinas may be wise, but he didn’t study under John the APOSTLE, unlike someone like Polycarp, or Clement, or Ignatius, who saw the Apostles in PERSON.

    A corollary is that this makes Anglicanism inherently the most anti-progressive Christian denomination in existence.

    -if you’re Rome, the Magisterium can change and teach something else tomorrow (as we’ve seen).
    -if you’re EO, you’re shielded by conservative Slavic nations but inherently your sacred Tradition isn’t written down anywhere. If progressives come to power tomorrow, they can make it teach something different, as with Rome’s Magisterium.
    -if you’re a “me and my Bible” Baptist, that’s the easiest one to corrupt of all. Just unroot the Bible from its history. Doesn’t it teach “there shall be no male or female”, thus promoting Transgenderism? Checkmate. The Bible has a danger of being a wax nose which you can turn any way you wish, as Luther said.

    You need both the text to be fixed (excluding Rome/EO), and it’s interpretation to be fixed (excluding Reformed/Baptists).
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2019
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  3. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Member

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    But Rome did not fall in the 400's. The East lived on until 1453 and they spoke Greek and lived more in the Culture that the Scriptures were written in.
     
  4. Leacock

    Leacock New Member

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    I like the Byzantine Empire as much as anyone but there are valid arguments to be made that it fell centuries before 1453 (and of course at the time there were plenty who said that the fall of Constantinople was merely a temporary setback, the empire lived on in Trebizond from which it all soon would be liberated).


    Certainly there was cultural continuity, but that can be overstated, there is cultural continuity between the Mercia of Æthelflæd and the England of Elizabeth II, but I would be hesitant to say that we should accord the opinions of an Elizabethan English scholar much additional weight for living more in the Culture of the Mercians than someone else.
     
  5. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Member

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    What valid arguments are you talking about? The 4th Crusade sacking and capturing Constantinople for less than a century but finally being defeated by the remnant of the Empire that was based out of Nicea? Trebizond did not liberate anyone. It was weak and fell soon after 1453. I believe in the 1460's.

    YOu have a change of culture really beginning with Heraclaus.The language of Empire moved to Greek and at the end of his reign you had the losses to Islam. Even then it was not an abrupt change in the lost lands but a gradual one.
     
  6. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    We're not talking about an abrupt vs. a gradual change. The rate of change does not matter. The day turns into night, even if we can't (nor do we have to), pinpoint the exact minute when it happens. There doesn't have to be a specific day-night minute. There may not even be a day-night hour. And yet we do know that day does differ from night.



    The Roman Empire, the classical Roman, Greek and Hebrew world, effectively ends in the century from 400 to 500 AD. We take the fall of the Western Empire as a convenient simplistic moment, but it's that whole era that we really point to. It is understood that even the age of Justinian was an altogether different culture from what the Roman Empire was. Forget about the 900s AD, where the gulf between Byzantium and ancient Greece is practically identical to the gulf between *us* and ancient Greece. Those people by then already had nothing in common, understood none of the metaphors, and already had lost 99% of the ancient literature. Even the Greek was quite different.

    For one specific example, the role of images in Christian worship. We all know that Christianity was and is essentially a form of Judaism, originated by the Jews, to worship the Jewish God, and follow the Jewish Messiah. The attitude of the apostles and the early fathers towards images and depictions of God was essentially that of the Jews today -- reluctant if not outright antagonistic. Here is St. Epiphanius:


    I have heard that certain persons have this grievance against me: When I accompanied you to the holy place called Bethel, there to join you in celebrating the Collect, after the use of the Church, I came to a villa called Anablatha and, as I was passing, saw a lamp burning there. Asking what place it was, and learning it to be a church, I went in to pray, and found there a curtain hanging on the doors of the said church, dyed and embroidered. It bore an image either of Christ or of one of the saints; I do not rightly remember whose the image was. Seeing this, and being loth that an image of a man should be hung up in Christ’s church contrary to the teaching of the Scriptures, I tore it asunder and advised the custodians of the place to use it as a winding sheet for some poor person. They, however, murmured, and said that if I made up my mind to tear it, it was only fair that I should give them another curtain in its place. As soon as I heard this, I promised that I would give one, and said that I would send it at once. Since then there has been some little delay, due to the fact that I have been seeking a curtain of the best quality to give to them instead of the former one, and thought it right to send to Cyprus for one. I have now sent the best that I could find, and I beg that you will order the presbyter of the place to take the curtain which I have sent from the hands of the Reader, and that you will afterwards give directions that curtains of the other sort—opposed as they are to our religion—shall not be hung up in any church of Christ.

    Fast forward to the Byzantine Era, and you have a completely different religion:
    1117e52ea75831e2f0d566c06f115437.jpg


     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2019
  7. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Member

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    I would say the major cultural change came after the reign of Justinian. He still dreams of the West, Latin was still his native language, his was still a large and powerful empire. Rome in 400 was remarkable similar to Justinian but not so to Heraclias but I get your point.
     
  8. JoeLaughon

    JoeLaughon Active Member Anglican

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    While it is accurate to say that the patristics were more divided on the issue of icons, Epiphanius' views even for his own time were not unanimous.
     
  9. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I know there are a bunch of paintings left over from that era, but I am yet to see evidence that they were left from the Nicene/catholic party. Let’s remember that most Christians from that era were heretical, either Arian or Donatist or any number of the heresies assailed by St Irenaeus.

    The only solid thing we have to go by are the writings from known Church Fathers. And those I’m afraid were pretty one-sided, from what I have found. I’m open to seeing evidence opinions opposite of St Epiphanius. Have only seen sentiments which agree with him. St. Augustine is also pretty fierce on this issue. Images/icons play absolutely no catechetical or devotional role, in St Cyril, or the Didache, or the Apostolic Constitutions, or what have you. But again I’m open to being educated more on this.
     

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