Posted by orthodoxfaith on June 23, 2012
I have just uploaded a significant lecture on St Timothy Aelurus of Alexandria. This important figure is unfairly condemned by the Eastern Orthodox and too little known by the Oriental Orthodox. This 72 minute presentation seeks to describe the life and teaching of the successor to Pope Dioscorus using the full range of documentary materials which have been left to us. These include some of his theological works, his letters and references in historical texts.
His significance is especially found in his position as a church leader between the periods of St Cyril and Dioscorus on the one hand, and St Severus on the other. He shows himself as eirenic, and concerned to be reconciled with all those who genuinely abandoned error, and also a man of great principle who would rather face 18 years of exile than abandon the faith he had been taught.
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Posted by orthodoxfaith on June 12, 2012
The Oriental Orthodox communion has been regularly and routinely accused of following the teaching of Eutyches, the controversial archimandrite of Constantinople. But Eutyches has never been considered a saint, his teaching, such as it is, has never been promoted, or transmitted, his error is not very clear. The Church of St Dioscorus, St Timothy and St Severus cannot be considered Eutychian. How did he come to be received at Ephesus II after having been condemned by Archbishop Flavian of Constantinople? This lecture which consider the place of Eutyches in the Christological controversy in some detail.
Posted by orthodoxfaith on May 31, 2012
The Oriental Orthodox are routinely accused of holding an heretical and Eutychianist Christology, and on that basis rejecting the Council of Chalcedon. Yet the evidence, from the time of Chalcedon, through the following centuries, and even to the present day, shows clearly that this is not the case.
Chalcedon was rejected for wholly Orthodox concerns, and though it might be the case that the text of the Chalcedonian Definition is liable to an Orthodox interpretation, it is nevertheless also the case that these concerns were not properly addressed at the time, or at any time following the council. They remain legitimate issues which the Chalcedonian Orthodox should at least make some effort to comprehend and understand.
Posted by orthodoxfaith on May 22, 2012
The Oriental Orthodox Churches are often accused of teaching that the humanity of Christ is deficient in some way, or has even ceased to exist! Yet this has never been accepted as an Orthodox Christology and has always been a misrepresentation of what is taught and believed. This podcast examines the teachings of some of the early Fathers after Chalcedon, as well as modern statements of Faith, and shows that the Oriental Orthodox Churches have always accepted the perfection and integrity of the humanity of Christ, consubstantial with us in all things except sin.
Posted by orthodoxfaith on February 22, 2012
There are those who consider that Protestantism is simply a less complete form of Orthodoxy, while others take the view that Protestantism as a system of doctrine and spiritual practice is certainly not Orthodox, and can even be considered as not being properly Christian. Who is correct? In this introduction to a comparative study of Orthodoxy and Protestantism, Father Peter Farrington draws on his experience as a convert from Protestant Evaneglicalism.
Posted by orthodoxfaith on February 14, 2012
St Severus of Antioch is one of the great Fathers of the Oriental Orthodox Churches. In the decades after the Council of Chalcedon in 451 AD it was he, more than any other theologian, who expressed most forcefully and clearly the Orthodox Christology of the Oriental Orthodox Churches. This podcasts considers his Christology, especially as it is found in the letters he sent to a certain Sergius. It considers whether or not he is liable to the accusation of heresy which was laid against him by his opponents, and shows his complete commitment to the Christology of St Cyril of Alexandria.
Posted by orthodoxfaith on February 7, 2012
If doctrine is the description and explanation of what we believe to be true then it is important that we seek to have a right understanding. Doctrine is a spiritual medicine, or rather it is a description of the spiritual treatment which will heal us. Think how dangerous it is if the wrong medicine is prescribed to a patient, or the wrong amount is administered. This podcast describes the importance of a correct Christology, or understanding of Christ, and considers three false Christologies, that of Arianism, Nestorianism an Eutychianism. It concludes with a consideration of our own Orthodox Christology and the way in which it preserves the three key aspects of an Orthodox Christology.
Posted by orthodoxfaith on January 30, 2012
St Jacob of Serugh is a Syrian Orthodox writer of the 5th and 6th centuries who is especially famous for his poetic homilies, many of which remain untranslated into Western language. There are portions of his work which deal with the Eucharist and this podcast studies them to discover how we should understand the Eucharist, and how we can best participate in it for our salvation.
Posted by orthodoxfaith on January 27, 2012
The influence of modern Evangelical Protestantism in the lives of many Orthodox, and even in some congregations, is a feature of 21st century Orthodox development which is often criticised. Many of those who find greater value in Evangelical practices and spirituality rather than in the Orthodox Tradition do not have an adequate appreciation of either Protestantism or Orthodoxy. As a convert to Orthodoxy from Evangelical Protestantism, Father Peter Farrington is ideally placed to be able to question the fascination among some Orthodox with heterodox Christianity.
Posted by orthodoxfaith on January 27, 2012
A recent discussion on the Tasbeha forum discussed whether or not the teaching that the soul after death is conscious and has a continuing existence apart from the body could be considered a corruption of the Christian Faith. This is a remarkable claim, since there is almost a universal tradition, found in the writings of a great many Fathers and in the hymns and prayers of the Church, that the soul has an existence of its own after death. Indeed the Scriptural teaching that Christ descended in his own human soul to preach to the souls in prison, and that the souls of the saints cry out to God for justice, have all inspired the Tradition which has been taught by the Church since the beginning.
This study of some of the earliest Fathers, those who were closest in time and connection to the Apostles, shows that the teaching that the human soul after death is both conscious and in a state of continuing existence was universal in the first centuries. It particularly addresses the writings of St Justin Martyr, St Irenaeus of Lyons and Athenagoras the Athenian. It also refers to the correspondence of St Cyprian while he was expecting martyrdom.