22 Jan 2009
Richard L Rubenstein
I wish to acknowledge my indebtedness to Hugh Fitzgerald's contribution on this issue in today's Jihad Watch. As he comments it is accessible at http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/024513.php#more.
22 Jan 2009
In the history of religion, even small shifts of a letter or an accent can result in long-term consequences, as was evident long ago in the debate at the Council of Nicea (325 C.E.) over whether Christ was homoousias ("of the same essence with the Father") or homoiousias ("of like essence with the Father".)
And the filioque clause which caused the rift between the Western Church and the Orthodox. Here we see that what - sans doute - proceeded from Obama père proceeds also from Obama fils. Let's hope his next big speech isn't addressed to "A nation of Muslims and Christians..." Hugh's article at Jihadwatch -wonderful.
23 Jan 2009
John M. J.
Excellent post. One query - would you classify modalism, in its modern (note, not modernist but modern) form as heresy? I know that some hold the view that modern modalistic speculations are nothing more than patripassianism, but patripassianism is a widespread viewpoint about The Passion amongst Christians of all persuasions today and it's very difficult to argue against given the Church's approach to the Trinity in these modern times.
Yes, yes. I know that you are going to say that this is all about words and splitting hairs and that you covered all this with your reference to the Council of Nicea in 325AD, but you didn't! You merely mocked the importance of language and precise meaning - you made light of the words and stated an ancient pun (well,almost a pun) but you did not address the issue and you did not address the ongoing argument.
Are you a modernist or aren't you? Where do you stand with respect to the debate about patripassionistic beliefs? Why do you believe, as you obviously do, that these issues are merely a matter of semantics rather than deeply held religious convictions and differences?
Your post raises more questions - vital and important questions - about Christian belief than it answers. Do tell us where you stand. It's only fair that you do since you, all unwittingly, raised those ancient questions.
Bravo, but more, with more detail, please!