The Great Tradition
#1
http://www.theamericanconservative.com/d...istianity/

A friends sent me this. Any thoughts from fishes who know more about philosophy then I do? I found it interesting for sure.


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#2
There are some things I agree with and some things I disagree. I do believe that God is being itself and all things exist by participating in Him; however, the way this person says it, it almost sounds like a sort of animism. He also makes it sound like there is a difference between God's being and His will,which there isn't because God is wholly simple. I also disagree with the whole conservative vs. Progressive thing, the war is and always has been the church against the world and Satan and his minions, this is just a small part of it. While a sacramental outlook is important, we must remember that although this world is sustained by God, it is separated from Him by sin and we cannot overcome this obstacle by our own efforts, it is a grace which is given through His sacraments which we can only cooperate with. And thus through His sacraments we are sanctified and can truly participate in His existence.
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#3

(01-21-2016, 12:39 PM)Dominicus Wrote: There are some things I agree with and some things I disagree. I do believe that God is being itself and all things exist by participating in Him; however, the way this person says it, it almost sounds like a sort of animism. He also makes it sound like there is a difference between God's being and His will,which there isn't because God is wholly simple. I also disagree with the whole conservative vs. Progressive thing, the war is and always has been the church against the world and Satan and his minions, this is just a small part of it. While a sacramental outlook is important, we must remember that although this world is sustained by God, it is separated from Him by sin and we cannot overcome this obstacle by our own efforts, it is a grace which is given through His sacraments which we can only cooperate with. And thus through His sacraments we are sanctified and can truly participate in His existence.

That makes sense. And I did get the animism vibe too. On the conservative progress thing I agree with both him in you. By that I mean I would tend to view "progressive" or "liberal" christianity as a manifestation of evil by twisting truth. Something I don't doubt satan is at work in.


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#4
I think I can agree with that, what most people here at Fisheaters call liberalism is certainly a product of Satan. However, I think that sometimes we forget exactly what that is, we can occasionally be a bit too clingy to the past when there are indeed things that change with the times and this is not always bad. "Liberalism" these days takes that idea and runs off with it, destroying anything that they deem antiquated. To me, traditionalism means knowing when change is permissible and when it isn't instead of acting like the liberals and throwing the baby out with the bath water, aborting it, setting it on fire, and replacing it with a modern art statue. Or acting like the uber-conservatives such as the really serious sedevacantists and such who are actually just as bad as the liberals and would sooner encase the baby in stone and worship it like a god.
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#5
Will finish reading later, but I'll make this one comment--that the author confuses nominalism with voluntarism here:

"Then came nominalism, which denies that there is an intrinsic essence in anything. Matter has meaning through an act of will. Ockham and the nominalists did not deny God’s existence, but they said that insofar as anything meant anything, it was because God willed it to be so (this, as distinct from the view that it is part of His nature, because he is in some sense united to Nature). Move God out of the picture and then man’s relationship to Nature is one in which we can do anything we want with it, bound by no natural laws. There is no natural teleology."

Although the two can be related, they are quite different. But oddly enough, his conclusion stated earlier is still true, namely, "As Boersma writes, no longer did earthly objects receive their reality from God’s own being. Rather, they possessed their own being. This effectively makes the created order independent of God." With nominalism is the claim that things can no longer be related in the order ens realis, and if that is so, then creation as an effect can no longer be a sign of its cause, effectively ending any attempt at natural theology and metaphysics. One could state it as the author did by saying that the created order becomes independent of God, at least epistemologically.
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#6
(01-21-2016, 12:39 PM)Dominicus Wrote: There are some things I agree with and some things I disagree. I do believe that God is being itself and all things exist by participating in Him; however, the way this person says it, it almost sounds like a sort of animism. He also makes it sound like there is a difference between God's being and His will,which there isn't because God is wholly simple. I also disagree with the whole conservative vs. Progressive thing, the war is and always has been the church against the world and Satan and his minions, this is just a small part of it. While a sacramental outlook is important, we must remember that although this world is sustained by God, it is separated from Him by sin and we cannot overcome this obstacle by our own efforts, it is a grace which is given through His sacraments which we can only cooperate with. And thus through His sacraments we are sanctified and can truly participate in His existence.

Dreher is Orthodox, so he accepts the divine essence/divine energies distinction of Gregory Palamas; I am not sure in that system whether the Divine Will is considered an "energy" or not, but that's a possible explanation.
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#7
Though I didn't get the animism vibe I disagree with the text (and I must admit, I only skimmed through it). The Counter Reformation, just like the reformation, accelerated the process of modernization? Being a Catholic, for the run of the mill Catholic, is about studying the Catechism? The Orthodox Church is "sacramental", left untouched by modernism, while the Catholic Church is basically the protestant Church with a bit of sacraments??

I think this article shows how shallow Dreher was as a Catholic (he is no deep thinker, so I'll not go into that). He even wrote once that he didn't go to the TLM, even though he could, so he threw himself into the apologetical Catholicism we see all too often and was disappointed by it. Now he wants to teach Catholics on sacraments and a sacramental view of life.
Well, Mr. Dreher, thanks but no thanks. Everyone who follows the traditional practices is lead quite naturally out of modernity. We are not doomed to modernism just because everything else around us is modernist (where are you living, btw, Mr. Dreher? Narnia?). Yes it might take a while, especially if one is attached to some sin, and yes the pope is not the ideal pope, but good old Catholicism is available, at least, to anyone who has access to a traditional parish (and/or a breviary, some candles, incense, rosary, etc).

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#8
What does it mean to say that God is simple?  I looked this up, and it doesn't seem to make sense.  If God is good in his nature, that is, he is goodness, rather than it being an attribute of him, then how can we ever commune with God as goodness?  God's nature must necessarily be separate from his energies, as it is only his energies with which we can commune.  It's kind of like expecting three-dimensional beings to commune with a twelve-dimensional being in twelve-dimensions.  It's impossible.  Yet the 12-dimensional being is able to commune with 3-dimensionals in a 3-dimensional setting.

Perhaps I am misunderstanding divine simplicity, but this would seem to make it impossible.
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#9
(01-24-2016, 07:30 PM)Melkite Wrote: What does it mean to say that God is simple?  I looked this up, and it doesn't seem to make sense.  If God is good in his nature, that is, he is goodness, rather than it being an attribute of him, then how can we ever commune with God as goodness?  God's nature must necessarily be separate from his energies, as it is only his energies with which we can commune.  It's kind of like expecting three-dimensional beings to commune with a twelve-dimensional being in twelve-dimensions.  It's impossible.  Yet the 12-dimensional being is able to commune with 3-dimensionals in a 3-dimensional setting.

Perhaps I am misunderstanding divine simplicity, but this would seem to make it impossible.

Well, I'm not versed in the whole Palamas thing, but God's simplicity is necessary for His unity. This shouldn't really be controversial for Orthodoxy since many Church Fathers and early theologians stress it and is fundamental for trinitarian theology.
As for communion with God, I suppose that is a bit of a mystery, isn't it. But yes, traditionally participation is participation in, say, being itself and not some other thing.
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#10
I'm not a huge fan of Dreher to be honest. The man left the Catholic Church publicly, converted to the OCA and has spent much of his public journalist life acting like a crazy konvertsi Orthodox and trashing the Catholic Faith. If this guy actually doesn't believe that the Roman Catholic Church at its best has a sacramental worldview than I don't know what more I can possibly say other than he never knew the basics of the Faith he left.


As for Palamism, it seems like a modern obsession amongst some, mostly convert and academic theology Orthodox. Personally I find his Essence/ Energy way of looking at Grace helpful for me, but perhaps I don't fully understand it. At any rate I'm not prepared to go to war theologically over it, Dreher should stop playing the fool.

East and West both pray and both have a sacramental worldview Mr. Dreher. How could you not know that? .
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