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Showing posts from August, 2007

Why Don't Protestants Protest the Filioque?

Normally I reserve this blog to the posting of class notes from St. Michaels. However, we finished our year in June discussing a lot of apologetically issues. Because Orthodoxy is a minority Christian, it not unusual to get strange looks or questions when your religious affiliation comes up in the workplace or everyday life. As a result, we spent some time discussing ways to talk about the faith that is understandable to those with no knowledge of Orthodoxy.

I ran into a blog post that brought up a question that surprises me. Why don't Protestants protest the filioque? This was not a front-burner issue for me in coming to Orthodoxy, however, it did play into my decision to go toward Rome or Constantinople. Now this would be a tough discussion to have with the average lay-person, most people would not know what this little addition to the creed would do to their theology. Though this is a great question for those with more academic backgrounds.

This addition to the creed is held fast…

Philemon part 2

III.Request of Reconciliation.A.Appeal of Love not Authority.8Therefore, though I might be very bold in Christ to command you what is fitting, 9yet for love's sake I rather appeal to you--being such a one as Paul, the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ—- Because of Paul’s apostolic authority he could have commanded him to receive Onesimus back.However, he appealed out of love to receive him back.B.Receive Onesimus. 10I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten while in my chains, 11who once was useless to you, but now is useful to you and to me. 12I am sending him back. You therefore receive him, that is, my own heart, 13whom I wished to keep with me, that on your behalf he might minister to me in my chains for the gospel. There could be a play on words here in order to lighten up the seriousness of the letter.Onesimus meant useful. “begotten while in my chains” Paul converted Onesimus, and possibly baptized him.“my own heart” Paul shows his love he develo…

Philemon part 1

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Summary:Onesimus was a household slave of Philemon, and ran away.If you are a runaway slave in the 1st century where would you go to hide?Rome.It’s easier to become anonymous in a big city (1 million people in the first century).However, in some providential coincidence Onesimus runs into Paul.We can only guess how this may have happened.Perhaps he felt guilty over his actions, and he had heard of Paul and knew of his connection to his master.Whatever the case, Onesimus meets Paul and apparently converts to the Christian faith as a result.He then becomes a great consolation to Paul and begins to minister him while in prison.Paul feels the need to reconcile Onesimus and Philemon.Philemon was part of his responsibility as an apostle and he could not ignore this event.So Paul crafts a letter of reconciliation to be sent along with Onesimus and others when he sends his other prison letters throughout the Mediterranean.I.Introduction1 PAUL, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our broth…

Colossians 4:2ff: Final Exhortations

I.Final ExhortationsA. Pray2Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;“Continue earnestly in prayer”: Another translation is to“be devoted”.The Greek “proskartereo” means to attach oneself to, to wait on someone, to be busily engaged; prayer should be our occupation.Once again the essence of the Christian life is to be immersed in the presence of God, and prayer is essential to this awareness.Within Orthodoxy, the Jesus prayer has emerged as an effective tool to keep one’s mind immersed in the presence of God.The prayer is short and thus can be said often.Here is the most common form of the prayer: “O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.”- being vigilant: be alert.This is a constant refrain through all the ascetical literature of the Church.The Christian must guard the heart, watch the senses, don’t let anything foreign into the heart.This is key to the battle.-St. John Chrysostom “"We must pray with ever vigilant attention. And thi…

Colossians 3:18ff: Spirituality in Family and Work

-note: this is short and sweet. This is very similar to the passage in Ephesians that was discussed earlier. Also the more practical a passage, the harder it becomes for me to comment, because it is sadly less true of what I practice. Read Chrysostom and that says it all.
III.Spirituality in Family and Work Life18Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them. 20Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord. 21Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. 22Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. 23And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for* you serve the Lord Christ. 25But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is …