Bible, Church, Tradition An Eastern Orthodox View BIBLE, CHURCH, TRADITION AN EASTERN ORTHODOX VIEW VOLUME ONE in the Collected Works of GEORGES FLOROVSKY Emeritus Professor of Eastern Church History Florovsky Bible, Church, Tradition Revelation Florovsky Bible, Church, Tradition Download as PDF File.pdf , Text File.txt or read online. Bible, Church, Tradition An Eastern Orthodox View Bible, Church, Tradition An Eastern Orthodox View Volume One in the Collected Works of Georges Florovsky Georges Florovsky on FREE shipping on Sacred tradition Wikipedia Sacred Tradition, or Holy Tradition, is a theological term used in some Christian traditions, primarily those claiming apostolic succession such as the Catholic Christian tradition Wikipedia Christian tradition is a collection of traditions consisting of He calls the tradition s teaching of the Church the Bible itself is the only Roman Catholicism, the Bible, and Tradition One of the great differences between Protestant and Catholic doctrine is in the area of Tradition The Protestant church maintains that the Bible alone is Bible, Church and Tradition in the Sixteenth Century Bible, Church and Tradition in the Sixteenth Century Reformation look closely at the relationship between Bible, Church and tradition, Tradition Versus Scripture Christian Courier What Does the Bible Say About Traditions Bible verses about Traditions If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church And if he refuses to listen even to the church,...
|Title||:||Bible, Church, Tradition: An Eastern Orthodox View (Volume One in the Collected Works of Georges Florovsky)|
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Bible, Church, Tradition: An Eastern Orthodox View (Volume One in the Collected Works of Georges Florovsky) Reviews
Forgive me, as much of my review will consist of my own paraphrastic notes I wrote for each chapter for comprehension. This is a short work of Fr. Georges Florovksy consisting of several essays he wrote on the "Bible, Church, [and] Tradition." The essays are mostly excellent, and this serves as a useful primer for introducing someone to how Orthodox Christians conceive of the authority of the Bible, Tradition and Scripture, authority of the Church, etc. My one complaint is that I was under the impression that this would be a more technical, more difficult text. At times, it seemed like Fr. Georges Florovsky could have got his point across in fewer pages and been just as effective. That being said, they were excellent essays, and I recommend especially to the reader his essay entitled, "The Catholicity of the Church."Exemplary quote: "Ultimately, tradition is the continuity of the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit in the Church, a continuity of Divine guidance and illumination" (106).Here are my notes:Chapter I: The Lost Scriptural MindModern man finds faith untenable. He either ditches faith or believes it is only salvageable by abstracting some essential kernel from the husk of traditional and biblical categories. This is not a sacrifice Christianity can make, without sacrificing itself. Instead, Christianity ought to seek to vigorously preach the tradition of the church, the Bible, the Creeds. These actually address modern man's issues more than does contemporary theology. Modern theologians are concerned with how they may make Christianity tenable for modern man. The Creeds are concerned with what God has done.How can we understand Christianity in such a way? Only through the lived faith of the church and active faith. In other words, we must believe in order to understand. The traditional doctrines of Christianity are situated within the life of the church and cannot simply be abstracted from it.Modern man has a tendency toward either Nestorianism (liberalism) or Monophysitism (neo-orthodoxy). In the former case, modern man does not want to believe in the incarnation in earnest; he does not want his redeemer to be a divine person. He wants a human redeemer aided by God. The opposite tendency tends toward the total passivity of man in salvation in which God does all.Chapter II: Revelation and InterpretationThe Bible is a sacred book. It has the twofold purpose of edification and evangelization. The epistemological principle whereby we know the Bible is the witness of the Church (most books are first used in the liturgy and later formally declared to be a part of the canon by formal declarations of the Church). The Bible concerns not the Deus absconditus but the Deus revelatus. The Scriptures are not mere witnesses to the revelation of God, but are the revelation of God himself. They bear witness to the Magnalia Dei. These mighty works happened in time and history, yet the writers of Sacred Scripture were not mere chroniclers; their accounts are full of meaning and interpretation. For example, the accounts of Christ's life were not simple lists of things Christ had done in no particular order. Rather, the writers sought to present an ikon of Christ's life. In sum, the Bible's philosophy of history brings fact and meaning together.The history it presents is not a mere divine monologue, but represents a dialogue between man and God, more specifically, a dialogue between God and his covenanted people (Israel and the Church). It is to this people that the message of the Bible-- not the mere words-- is entrusted.The Bible is inspired by God. The humane aspects are not, however, obliterated on this account. Rather, the Scriptures transmit the Word of God in human idiom; the words of the Bible are transfigured by the Spirit. Our theological reflection and formulations concerning the Bible cannot ever replace the Bible. These two are different in kind. Though "eternal truths" can be abstracted from the Bible, this does not exhaust the Bible because the historical character of the Bible is intrinsic to it, not something to be thrown away as chaff. The Church affirms typology not allegory (qualification forthcoming!). In allegory, the allegorist seeks to abstract from the letter some suprahistorical, supertemporal principle, whereas in typology, the type anticipates its anti-type further in history. The Old Testament is the property of the Church and no longer belongs to the Jews (who reject Christ). When doing theology, we must be careful to understand the historical conditioning of the text.Chapter III: The Catholicity of the ChurchThe Church is the πλήρωμα of Christ. The catholicity of the Church is not empirical or phenomenal, but belongs to the very essence of the Church; it is not the claim that the Church is to be found all over the world (for if this were true, the Church would not have been the Church at Pentecost). What it refers to is the wholeness of the Church, as expressed in its etymology (καθ' ὅλου): to put it in another way the catholicity of the Church refers to its integrity and purity. Moreover, the Church is not catholic because it embraces the "whole," but it is catholic through and through. All of its parts are also catholic.The development of a catholic consciousness consists not in individualism or a subjection of the individual will to the collective. Rather, its telos is the abdication of self-reflexive consciousness; in loving his neighbor as himself, he does not simply do to his neighbor as he would do to himself, but grows to regard his neighbor as himself. Catholicity is the end of the human personality, which consists in a "concrete oneness in thought and feeling.""The Church is the living image of eternity." (45). Learning from the tradition of the Church consists not in archaeology. The tradition does not merely exist in the past; it is in a sense timeless. "Tradition is a charismatic, not a historical, principle." (47). The bifurcation between Scripture and tradition is a category mistake, for the Scripture exists within the tradition of the Church. The tradition of the Church cannot be understood from the outside; it is not a body of authoritative teachings to be studied, but something to be experienced."The opinions of the Fathers are accepted, not as a formal subjection to outward authority, but because of the inner evidence of their catholic truth." (53). Though priest and hierarchs serve as public mouthpieces for the Church, they are not alone the guardians of the faith. The guardian of tradition and piety belongs to the whole Church, to the whole Body of Christ.Chapter IV: The Church: Her Nature and TaskThe Church is a divinely-established, apostolic community, whose principium unitatis is found only in Jesus Christ. The Church is the body of Christ. As such, Christ does not stand above the Church merely as master, but is in a real sense a part of the body itself. Paul goes even so far as to say that the Church is the πλήρωμα of Christ; the incarnation is fully actualized in the subsistence of the Church. The Church is constituted by participation in the sacraments in unity with the Bishop, all of whom act as Christ's ambassadors in persona Christ. The Eucharist is the mode of Christ's presence in the Church. Futhermore, the Church is an eschatological society; it has one foot in this present age and one in the life to come; it is where heaven and earth meet.She is to be a witness to the world as a new creation in Christ. The task of the Church in history is muddled by an antimony. To opposite tendencies have existed simultaneously in the Church. The desire to recede from the world to attain higher communion with God, and the desire to remain in it to attempt to transform it. These to desires are summed up in the difference between the Christian imperium and the monastery. No solution, Florovsky contends, is possible in history. He hints at the end of the ideal of a universal monasticism as the eschatological vision of Earth.Chapter V: The Function of Tradition in the Ancient ChurchTradition is Scripture rightly understood, not some supplementary source of other doctrines. It is the Church which possess the correct interpretation of the Scriptures. The regula fidei does not refer to any particular confession, but to the content of a catechumens confession before baptism, whatever the particular wording may be; it was the same content as the apostolic deposit entrusted to the Church.Heretics make use of the data of Scripture but ignore its proper form or pattern. It is that that they usually distort. The Church possess the canon of truth whereby the proper pattern of sound doctrine is apprehended. This rule, of course, is the preaching of the Apostles preserved and kept by the succession of Bishops and Presbyters. Athanasius in his dispute with the Arians accused them of ignoring the scope (skopos) of Scripture; they prefered the immediate, grammatical meaning, abstracted away from the immediate contexts, where it's situated in the whole sweep of Biblical revelation, and its relation to the tradition of the Church. Athanasius believed in the sufficiency of the Scriptures.The rule of worship also serves as the rule of faith, that is to say, we can derive doctrines from the universal liturgical practices of the Church. St. Basil exemplifies this method in de Spirtu Sancto. The tradition of the apostles has a double mode: unwritten oral tradition and the writings. Many things are passed on only in mysterio. This is not some esoteric doctrine given to small group of initiated, but given to all who are members of the Church. Florovsky contends that in mysterio ought to be interpreted as meaning by the mysteries of the Church, viz. the sacraments. It is in these, the liturgical rites, etc. that we come to understand the faith aright, and because of their unwritten nature are less subject to corruption and distortion.Chapter VI: The Authority of the Ancient Councils and The Tradition of the FathersFlorovsky begins with a plea to avoid anachronism. Strictly speaking, there is no "conciliar theory" of the Church in the early centuries. Councils convened occasionally to deal with disputes in different localities with the purpose of clarifying the truth in order to maintain unity among the churches. In a sense, with the imperial Church nothing changed. Councils were still occasional. While they were occasional, they were also charismatic events. What was the standard of truth for the Oecumenical Councils? It was Christ himself or the Truth, as found in Sacred Scripture.Where does truth lie? With the tradition? Sic et non. Not just any old tradition qualifies something as truth. In fact, the gnostics were among the first to appeal to tradition. The verity of some theological supposition is not based on the fact that it is tradition, but tradition exists because-- my gloss of Florovsky-- God in his goodness was pleased to bestow upon the Apostles the apostolic deposit and by his Spirit guard that deposit against calumnies and errors of the heretics. The authority of the council is thus not procedural or canonical but charismatic. Even the councils are patient to misinterpretation. It is the Fathers of the Church, who both proceed and come after a given council, who are the proper interpreters of the councils and of the tradition. That then is the principle role of the Fathers. They are those who zealously guard the deposit and teach apostolic doctrine.Chapter VII: St. Gregory Palamas and the Tradition of the FathersWhat does it mean to follow the Fathers? It must be said that the Church at present is not simply the offspring of the Fathers who lived long ago, but it is always the Church of the Fathers. The Church is the Church of the Fathers in that it possess the mind of the Fathers. To possess the mind of the Fathers is not to simply restate, pristine for every generation the dicta probata patrum. This is the case because the age of the Fathers is now, as long as the Church possesses the charism of truth and the presence of the Holy Spirit, Fathers will always remain within her walls.Theology is not done after the manner of Aristotle but after the manner of the Apostles. It is not just a series of scientific demonstrations, but it represents the visio fidei, available only to those within the Church's walls, who have purified themselves. These also are able to experience the truths of the faith, not just know them in abstracto.Florovsky uses Palamas as a test case. He did not simply restate the positions of the Fathers, but in studying them, he was able to provide an answer to new problems that arised in a manner consistent, indeed consonant, with the "mind of the Fathers." God is not known to man in his nature, which dwells in light inaccessible, but we do know God according to his energies. There is a distinction, a real distinction, according to Florovsky, between God's energies and his essence. If this were not the case, so Palamas argues, the eternal generation of the Son and creation of the world would be the same kind of act or even an identical act. We must admit of two different kinds of activity in God, though: one kind kata physin, another free energies or activities; this distinction is necessary to maintain the necessity of the Godhead on one hand, and the total contingency of the created order on the other.