Friday, June 22, 2018

Female Orthodox Deacons. . .

Apparently Orthodoxy is serious studying and debating the issue of a female diaconate.  Perhaps you might find some of it interesting.  In any case, it is clear that though this is about sources, people are picking and choosing from those sources to further their own point of view. . .
You can read it here first. . .

The St. Phoebe Center for the Deaconess advocates for the reinstitution of the ordained order of deaconesses for the benefit of the Orthodox Church today. We also appreciate that this is a significant issue that prompts a range of opinions, and we consider it to be part of our work to promote empirically grounded conversation.

Unfortunately, distortions and misrepresentations of the historical record, as well as fallacies about the interest in renewing the female diaconate, have been propagated by some of those opposed to deaconesses. Furthermore, when making their case, some detractors misunderstand and misrepresent the ecclesiology, history, and theology of the Church.

Correction of these errors is necessary for honest dialogue. By no means exhaustive, this article by the St. Phoebe Center Board provides solid historical and theological information about the diaconate by theme. We undertake this project with humility, knowing that while we offer up our own efforts, the Holy Spirit is also at work.
Those on the other side have their own view of the issue.  You might take a gander here. . . 
Those contending for the creation of a new order of women clergy in the Orthodox Church under the guise of restoring the ancient order of deaconess (such as those at the St. Phoebe Center for the Deaconess) make up in tenacity what they lack in historical balance. Their recent piece in the Public Orthodoxy site makes a number of statements and claims about the ancient order of deaconess. These statements are not so much false as incomplete. By adding to the picture what they deliberately omit, one can know (in the immortal words of Paul Harvey) “the rest of the story”.


Carl Vehse said...

Perhaps the [Un]Orthodox Church can learn from the LCMS, in which its website Cyclopedia defines chaplain as "a clergyman, usually with special, limited functions," and simultaneously has its LCMS Specialized Pastoral Ministry webpage state:

"Through The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s Specialized Pastoral Ministry programs, more than 580 ordained pastors as well as commissioned men and women receive training to serve as institutional and emergency services chaplains, pastoral counselors and clinical pastoral educators."

Thus it appears that the LCMS can commission a woman as a "clergyman," such as a chaplain. And proving this as fact, the Michigan District lists among its District staff members, Chaplain Julie Nielsen-Schmidt, who works at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor. The LCMS does not list the Reverend... I mean, Chaplain Nielsen-Schmidt on the LCMS ordained roster.

Anonymous said...

Carl, really? The Orthodox "learn" from the LCMS????? That's a stretch since the Orthodox Church is a true Church whilst the Lutheran ecclesial community can't be called a church since there is only ONE Church that Christ founded.

David Gray said...

You know I could go on an Roman Catholic blog and make comments about how the office of the papacy is an office of anti-Christ. Or to tease them because their current Pope is betraying what the Roman magisterium has taught. Or we could discuss the lack of pastoral understanding or care provided by most American Roman Catholic bishops. But what sort of man would I be if I did that?

It isn't as if people aren't aware of these flawed claims made by the Vatican.

Carl Vehse said...

Mr. A. Mous tosses in a red herrng.

That the [Un]Orthodox Church can learn something from the LCMS does not require that the LCMS be a church, which it is not, nor did I state or imply that it is.

Furthermore, the Church Christ founded and which exist today is the invisible Church, the one holy Christian Church. The [Un]Orthodox Church is one of several visible churches, aloing with the Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Anonymous said...

Carl,that flies in the face of reason. Surely there is an "invisible" component of the Church but the Church is also visible otherwise it would be a light put under a bushel (see Matthew 5:15). The Church is the beacon of light and it cannot be otherwise. Christ didn't set up a Church to be hidden or invisible. That's ludicrous but understandable coming from a protestant. After all, your "church" was started in 1517 by Luther. Our Church was founded by Christ on the apostles. You lack substance, we have it. You lack the priesthood, we have it. You lack apostolic succession, we have it. What was taught from the beginning is still taught now. Your church is a novelty.

Anonymous said...

Dave, it's done all the time so your threat is meaningless. You can go ahead and use the tired argument that the office of the pope or the pope himself is antichrist but again, that flies in the face of reason since the Pope acknowledges Christ as God while the antichrist will not. Further Christ also said that if Satan casts out Satan then his kingdom cannot stand or did you not see that in the Bible?

David Gray said...

Anonymous Guy, it isn't a threat. If I did that it would simply mean I would be discourteous, as you are.

Anonymous said...

Gay activists argue that a given church denomination should embrace homosexual clergy because it has already ordained women. Once the EO ordains women, it will open the door for gay activism within the EO. Are there any churches anywhere in the world that reject women's ordination but embrace homosexuality?


Anonymous Lutheran

Carl Vehse said...

Mr. A. Mous's ignorance about the nature of the Evangelical Lutheran Church is made evident in this excerpt from J.T. Mueller, Christian Dogmatics (St. Louis, CPH, 1934, page 24):

"The confessional Lutheran Church itself has been styled a 'sect' within Christendom by non-Lutheran writers. But no charge is more unjust than that. The charge is due to a complete misunderstanding of the Reformation. The Lutheran Reformation was not an effort to found a new sect, or division, within Christendom, but to restore the corrupted Church to its ancient apostolic purity in doctrine and practise. The confessional Lutheran Church is therefore the ancient Church of Christ and His apostles, purified from the corruptions of papistical errors and restored on the basis of Holy Scripture. Its character is truly ecumenical; for its doctrines are not peculiar views and tenets, distinct from those of the Apostolic Church, but the very doctrines around which the ancient ecumenical creeds of Christendom center. Its theology is that of the Holy Bible, and of the Bible alone; its doctrine is the divine truth of God's Word. Lutheran Church is therefore the orthodox visible Church of Christ on earth. This is both its claim and its glory, and it challenges every charge of sectarianism made against it."

Carl Vehse said...

One of the doctrinal errors of the Eastern Church's is the denial of the Filioque; Mueller explains on p. 156:

"In connection with the spiration of the Holy Ghost we must consider also the question of the Filioque, or whether the Holy Ghost was spirated also by the Son. The Eastern Church denied the Filioque, while the Western Church, on the basis of Scripture, affirmed it; for Holy Scripture ascribes the same relation of the Holy Ghost to the Son as it does to the Father. As He is called the Spirit of the Father, Matt. 10, 20, so He is also called the Spirit of the Son, Gal. 4, 6; and as He is sent of the Father, John 14, 26, so He is said to be sent also of the Son, John 15, 26. Because the Holy Spirit proceeds also from the Son, Christ could breathe and bestow Him upon His disciples, John 20, 22."

Rev. Weinkauf said...

It's rather amazing how 'true' Lutherans are more catholic and orthodox than the Romans and the East. Luther was kicked out of the church for not holding to teachings of the Pope that had NO Scriptural basis. Also translating the Bible into the language of the people will get you condemned to death. True Lutherans, like Luther, believe, teach, confess, practice as the Church always has without making things up hundred of years after Christ. Who desire unity in the Church on the basis of God's Word without teachings of man added. There is a long list of things that popes have added. Like how the first 700 years Councils only speak of 2 Sacraments, and you could go on and on. Thus true Lutherans are very much remaining in the one, holy, catholic, apostolic Church.

Anonymous said...

Good Morning Mr. Vehse,

Thank you for the J.T. Muller quotes.


Anonymous said...

It's equally amazing how Lutherans insist that they are either more Catholic or more Orthodox when for 1500 years before Luther, the novelty of faith alone and bible alone were most definitely not part of the deposit of faith. Along comes Luther with this novel approach that tickles the ears because it teaches salvation without repsonsibilty for one's own actions. As a result of this we now have more than 33,000 and growing denominations that claim the bible as their sole rule of faith yet can't agree among themselves. So you can argue from your book of concord which was the fruit of ONE twisted man's interpretation of the Bible and church historty but the truth will always be that your so-called church is nothing more than a meeting house that sings nice songs, has a pretend eucharist and a twisted interpretation of the bible and salvation history.

David Gray said...

Oh anonymous one you would do well to protect your anonymous reputation by declining to comment on topics where you have little or no knowledge.

Anonymous said...

Anon 338p,
You can't characterize the Book of Concord as ONE man (Luther) for he did not write the majority of it and all the Lutheran fathers are ready to ripe out any page that doesn't agree with Scripture. Lutherans use the Church Fathers! Also Luther wasn't the first. Hello Mr. Huss? Study history. Popes added doctrine throughout the centuries. Luther had a printing press others before him didn't which helped enlighten people to what the Bible actually said. Also he had the protection of German princes against Charles V. And if anyone wants to depend the Papacy for putting to death many Priests who will not abandon their wife and children when the celibacy order went out (even though Peter and most Popes and Bishops were married) and declare it is from God and those men are heretics (like Luther) ...continue on. Also, that Book of Concord also warned the Papacy that the man-made doctrine of Priest celibacy will lead to great shame and vice and sadly you can't begin to count the victims.

Perry Robinson said...

As someone who is Orthodox it might be helpful to put things into perspective here. “Public Orthodoxy” is the blog of the far left study center at Fordham University. It is hardly representative of the Orthodox church in the US per se. It is token at best.
Even less representative is the St. Phobe society which is just a voluntary association of largely women who favor WO, some of whom aren’t Orthodox. In any case, they amount to about two handfuls of digits within the Orthodox church in the US.

That is not to say that the fact that there are academics who advocate such non-Christian views isn’t problematic. Surely, the Orthodox will have to face down the challenge of theological liberalism just like everyone else in the US, one way or another.
So it isn’t as if what the post notes is representative of the clergy, both higher and lower within Orthodoxy. It doesn’t give you a picture of the mind of the Orthodox clergy, who are overwhelmingly “conservative” in their theological and ethical outlook. PO and company are fringe.

Perry Robinson said...

Carl Vehse,

Given that I am the token Orthodox present and one who has read a fair amount of Reformation theology, I wouldn’t put too much weight on your citation from Mueller. Any moderately well informed Orthodox can easily refute it. So let me walk you through it briefly to illustrate the point.

Formally it seems strange that the one doctrine that the papacy unilaterally added to the Nicene Creed is being defended by Lutherans. One would think that they would protest that, especially since it is in a core area of theology. I find it ironic that Mueller simply parrots Rome instead.

Materially speaking none of the passages he cites express the idea of the Filioque. And they don’t because that idea is a very specific idea. It is the idea in sum that the person or hypostasis of the Spirit is generated from the Father and the Son as from one principle. None of the passages of scripture that speak of the Son sending the Spirit in the economy express hypostatic generation as expressed by the Filioque doctrine. The only way to reach that conclusion is by overlaying scripture with specific metaphysical assumptions and views, one of which being the dubbed “Rahner’s Rule” that stipulates that the economia necessarily maps the theologia. This turns on a very strict reading of divine simplicity. Without that philosophical overlay, the Filioque doctrine can’t be derived from scripture which most conservative Protestant exegetes (even Lutheran ones) admit. This is why John 14 does no work here to support the doctrine.

Even if one wished to argue that the passages such as John 14 imply an eternal relationship that won’t be sufficient to ground the Filioque doctrine for the simple reason that there can be eternal relationships between the divine person that are not the relation of hypostatic generation. That is precisely why the East rejected the Filioquist reasoning, because the Latin term wasn’t sufficiently fine grained to differentiate an energetic relation rather than a hypostatic one. So the East can admit under the doctrine of the divine energies an eternal relationship between the Son and the Spirit without the Filioqist conclusion.

As for the “of” equals “from argument, this argument took its original form from the Eunomian heretics in the late fourth century and was refuted by the Cappadocians. Scripture speaks of the Spirit as the “Spirit of truth” (Jn 14:17) and the “Spirit of wisdom” (Eph 1:17) and so forth. Is the Spirit then hypostatically generated from the divine attribute of truth? Of wisdom? No.

Furthermore, the Spirit anoints Christ in the incarnation. He is called the Spirit of Christ. The Spirit anoints the Person of the Son according to His human nature. If the Spirit is the Spirit “of Christ” and Christ is the anointed one, either the Holy Spirit proceeds from Christ according to His humanity and He is a creature, or the Holy Spirit proceeds from Christ according to His humanity and humanity is in fact “eternal” because the Holy Spirit is “eternal.” After all, “of” implies a relation of hypostatic origination, right?

In any case, the Filioque doctrine can’t be justified by an appeal to scripture alone. And that is fine if one is Catholic, but you’re not. It does no work to say that Lutherans interpret the scriptures through the lens of the Lutheran confessions. I have no doubt that they do. But that tradition isn’t infallible and so on Reformation principles, we can simply push past it and ask for exegetical justification, since after all, the Book of Concord is a fallible document on your own grounds.

And so then you have the problem of either adhering to a doctrine not derivable from scripture alone because it is expressed in your confessional documents and so being inconsistent with those documents, or of revising those documents in accordance with what can be demonstrated from scripture alone. Best of luck

Anonymous said...

Well said Perry. I have great respect for the Orthodox and being Catholic, I'm not ignorant of our differences. You have much more tact than I do....

Anonymous said...

If that is true Perry, what do you make of this? The Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa is to reinstitute the ancient order of women deacons, in order to better serve the pastoral needs of the Patriarchate, which serves the entire continent of Africa. . . read it at

or this?

Last September the anesthesiologist Ani-Kristi Manvelian, 24, was "ordained as deaconess" of the Armenian apostolic Archdiocese of Tehran, Iran.

According to Fides (January 15), the "ordination" in the Cathedral of Tehran was performed by Archbishop Sebouh Sarkissian.

Manvelian does not belong to any female monastic congregation. The "ordination" took place although the Armenian Apostolic Church has not formally introduced an office of "female diaconate". Another Eastern Church, the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria, Egypt, has also "ordained" a "deaconess" in 2017.

Anonymous said...

Lutherans, no matter how hard they try to insist that they are not "protestant" or that they really preserve western Christianity in it's pristine form, are just deluded.

Carl Vehse said...

Perry Anderson: "I find it ironic that Mueller simply parrots Rome instead."

I find it ironic that [Un]Orthodox propaganda against the filioque appears on a Lutheran blog site run by a Lutheran pastor who publicly vowed a quia subscription to the filioque as an article in the doctrine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, drawn from the prophetic and apostolic Scripture and exposited in the Book of Concord of 1580.

In any case Mr. Robinson's post does show reliance on tradition and anything else available in attempting arguments that deny the verity and sufficiency of God's Word. Briefly addressing Mr. Robinson's eight paragraphs:

1. Condescension is not an effective approach with which to begin.
2. Regardless of any Romanist views, the filoque is part of the Lutheran doctrine because it comes from the sola Scriptura source of Christian doctrine confessed by Lutherans.
3-5. John 14 is applicable when viewed in the context of numerous other Scripural statements (e.g. John 10:30) supporting the filioque.
6. Semantic games trying to cloak "proceed" into some variation of "precede" are rejected.
7-8. Scripture most certainly and most clearly contains the doctrine of filioque And thuse the Lutheran Confessions are correct.

In his Christian Dogmatics Franz Pieper explains that the filioque is part of Lutheran doctrine, did not begin wth the origin of the term by the Synod of Toledo, but was believed by first century Christians on the basis of Scripture:

"The term 'Filioque' expresses the truth that the Holy Spirit proceeds not only from the Father, but also from the Son. It is generally accepted that this term was added to the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed by the Synod of Toledo (589). But the term is later than the doctrine. Even though the Christians of the first centuries did not know the term, they believed the fact of the 'Filioque' on the basis of Scripture, which called the Holy Spirit not only the Spirit of the Father (Matt. 10:20), but also the Spirit of the Son (Gal. 4:6). Scripture, furthermore, ascribes the sending of the Spirit to the Son (John 15:26; 16:7), as well as to the Father (John 14:16).

"In fact, it adds the significant expression that the Holy Spirit would not speak of Himself, but shall receive His message from the Son (John 16:13-14), and is therefore called the 'breath of His [the Messiah's] lips' (Is. 11:4), and the 'Spirit of His mouth' [the Word] (2 Thess. 2:8). The procession of the Spirit from the Son is also clearly indicated in John 20:22, when Christ breathed on His disciples and said, 'Receive ye the Holy Ghost.' "

Perry Robinson said...


There are a couple of things to consider here with respect to the Armenians. The Armenians are technically not an apostolic church. That is, their church is not grounded on an apostolic see. This is significant because one of the methods laid down by the fathers for discerning what is and is not of the apostolic deposit is what all of the apostolic churches teach and do (St. Ireneaus). Moreover, the Armenians are in communion with no one. They are non-Chalcedonian and they aren’t in communion with either the Assyrians (Nestorians) or the Copts either. What they do is therefore not indicative or prescriptive. It is idiosyncratic.
Secondly, canonically speaking from Chalcedon on down, deaconesses are not the equivalent of deacons. The liberals (and apostates) noted in the OP trade on an ambiguity speaking of women deacons. Moreover, deaconesses had to be either widows or past menopause by conciliar decree. That isn’t the stuff that Gloria Steinem gets excited about. Largely they were relegated to servicing women. (Baptism was done in the nude and men and women were seated separately on opposite sides of the church. And I don’t see any of the advocates of WO rushing to institute those ancient practices that went along with deaconesses.) To my knowledge we only have a few outlying churches that show any participation of deaconesses liturgically and all of that is relatively minor. None of the apostolic churches to my knowledge ever had them function in that way.
Third, the diaconate strictly speaking isn’t part of the sacerdotal priesthood anyway. So even if deaconesses were the equivalent of deacons, it would get them nowhere, at least on principle. This is evidenced by the fact that even the people at ST. Phoebe recognize there never were women priests/priestesses or bishopesses. For the Orthodox that is a game stopper and the advocates of WO know it.
As to the link you gave for the GO in Alexandria, if memory serves this was a matter of confusion and mistranslation. The “ordination” wasn’t an ordination anymore than the “ordination” of subdeacons was. Notice the “academics” say “similar” not identical. Well the subdeacon ordination rite is “strikingly similar” to the diaconate as well. So? Added to this is the fact that the Copts have to my knowledge had a continual deaconesses. I know, I’ve seen them first hand. They never operate behind the iconostasis and never function as deacons do as well. This is in part because the Copts tend to linguistically include subdeacons, chanters and readers under the title of “deacons” though they also differentiate them from the diakonate as part of the three apostolic orders. This adds confusion.
And to my knowledge the GO Patriarchate simply followed widespread Coptic praxis. Then what happened is that various advocates for WO lobbed on and made it out to be something it wasn’t. This eventually came to light if memory serves in another venue. I’ll poke around and see what I can find for you.
That said, deaconesses are not the female equivalent of deacons. Martimort’s work is the standard work if you’re interested in reading more.
And of course even in the LCMS there are advocates for WO, along with the happy clappy wars, so people in glass houses and all that. I remember hearing Rosenbladt complain that the majority (well over half) of Lutherans in the LCMS thought they went to heaven because they were good people. So I am not sure what apologetic value the OP has or that the LCMS should be pointing any fingers with the availability of cheap lumber on site.

Perry Robinson said...


I suppose I am befuddled by the fact that you find it ironic that an Orthodox comments on a public venue. If you wish to charge us with heresy, I see no reason why I can’t answer that charge.

Even on your own principles the fact that Lutheran confessional documents teach the filioque is irrelevant since Sola Scriptura affords anyone a trump card. If Luther can challenge Rome, I can certainly challenge the Book of Concord. I suppose I find your appeal to tradition ironic.

I don’t believe my arguments relied on tradition. If you think so, then you need to support that claim. What I argued were two points. First, that the Filioque can’t be garnered from scripture without applying specific philosophical overlays. And second because of that, it can’t be garnered from scripture alone.

1. Whether I was condescending is irrelevant to the arguments I offered. And to put the shoe on the other foot, your remarks about Orthodox Christians are somewhat less than charitable. The Golden Rule comes to mind. In any case, noting any supposed condescension on my part leaves my arguments untouched, which is why your remarks constitute a genetic fallacy.

2. As I pointed out, Mueller is simply rehearsing Catholic apologetics for the Filioque. Historically, that is the side the Lutherans took, like it or not. They followed Roman tradition, lock, stock and barrel. In the immortal words of Joseph Smith, “if you don’t like it you’re just going to have to lump it.” Second, simply claiming it is part of the Lutheran confessions doesn’t prove it is derived from scripture alone. The answer is simple. Simply provide a single passage and attending exegesis that demonstrates that the eternal person of the Spirit is generated eternally from the Father and the Son as from one principle.

3. Expanding out to other passages from John 14 will only work if those other passages express the doctrine or conjointly imply it. But as I noted, conservative Protestant exegetes have largely given up the ghost on that score. (PUN!) So your remarks here simply beg the question. We’d need to see that those other passages do in fact express the doctrine first. We can look at those if you like, but I don’t think they express the doctrine either.

As to John 10:30, that passage doesn’t express the idea that the eternal person of the Spirit is generated eternally from the Father and the Son as from one principle. All it expresses is that the Father and the Son are consubstantial. Of course the Spirit is also consubstantial with the Father and the Son. In order to derive the filioque from Jn 10:30 one would have to argue that the consubstantiality per se constitutes the singular principle of hypostatic generation of the Spirit. But in that case either the Spirit is consubstantial with the Father and the Spirit and so generates his own hypostasis or the Spirit is not consubstantial with the Father and the Son. The first is absurd and the second is clearly a denial of the Trinity. So Jn 10:30 isn’t going to help support the Filioque.

6. Calling my arguments names such as “semantic games” doesn’t constitute a reason for thinking I am wrong and so they don’t constitute a refutation. All one has to do is read Gregory of Nyssa’s work, Contra Eunomius, to see the refutation I sketched provided by the Cappadocians in refuting Arianism. You are of course free to follow the exegetical arguments of the Arians if you wish. I can’t stop you from doing so. The Arian background is significant though since Toledo simply accepted the assumption of the Arians that to be deity was to be the cause of another person, which is why they advocated for the Filioque. Of course, which person does the Spirit cause? If none, how can he be deity? The solution is to reject the Arian assumption from the get-go.

That said, nothing you offered actually engages the scriptural arguments I offered and so happily leaves my arguments untouched.

Perry Robinson said...

Carl, (Cont.)

As to the Latin term procedere, the fact of the matter is that it covered two different Greek verbs, which is what in part led to the confusion in Augustine, Hilary and other figures (Augustine couldn't read Greek). The semantical confusion wasn’t even clear to the Latins until the later middle ages, but by then it was far too late to reverse course. So what I note here is not a semantic game, but rather a semantic fact. You can only get the Filioquist conclusion by favoring Latin readings of Greek texts. Not to put too fine a point on it, this is somewhat ironic for Lutherans to be doing.

7-8. Simply asserting your position over and over again doesn’t constitute a reason for thinking it is true. Neither does citing fallible Lutheran authorities. (And I have read Pieper, Mueller and many other Lutheran theologians already. There isn’t likely to be something you are going to cite from the historical sources that I haven’t already engaged in the past. I am a avid follower of General Patton when it comes to the reading of other people’s books.)

As to Pieper directly, let me explain again why this won’t help any more than the Mueller citation.

That it is part of Lutheran doctrine doesn’t imply it is scriptural. So Pieper can chart the history all he likes but what he needs is an exegetical demonstration and not a rehearsal of Lutheran confessional documents.
As to the history, Toledo was a local synod which did add the clause to the Creed to counter Spanish Arianism. But it was rejected by all the apostolic churches until the 11th century when the Pope unilaterally added it to the Creed in 1014. (One would think Protestants would have a problem with that expression of papal power.) Up till that time, the Filioque was only favored by the Franks (Carolingians) as a tool to delegitimize their political opponents in the East (which is also why they took a middle position on icons as well). Last I checked the Franks aren’t the earliest Christians. The first really solid expression of the Filioque is in Augustine which was due to linguistic ignorance on his part (he largely only knew Latin) and his Platonism (In late Platonism, the One and the Nous jointly produce Pneuma.) At best, this makes it a theologoumena and not something of the apostolic deposit.

Matt 10:20-This passage is about what the disciples are to say when they are delivered up. When they speak the Spirit speaks through them. I find it difficult to see how this expresses the idea that the eternal person of the Spirit is eternally generated from the Father and the So as from one principle. In any case, the passage simply denotes the Spirit as the Spirit of “your Father.”

Perry Robinson said...

Carl, (cont. )

Gal 4:6- This passage also doesn’t express the idea of hypostatic generation. I’ve already offered reasons for thinking the “of” equals “from” argument is a bad one. That said, the passage is soteriological and it links all three persons of the Triinity together in common soteriological activity. On its face it is expressing a truth about the econmia and not theologia. From here, the church fathers argued that a common working, energy or activity indirectly implied a common essence between the persons, as indicated in Jn 5:17-18.

To be fair, one could argue that this is indicative an eternal relationship. But of course the Orthodox are just fine with that. That is the entire point of an energetic procession. The point being as I previously indicated is that the only way one can draw the conclusion that this passage expresses the Filioque is by assuming that all eternal relations are hypostatic relations. But that is an assumption one brings to the text. It isn’t implied or expressed by this text or any other. And besides, the text is about energia, a common working of the Trinity ad extra, not ad intra. So it doesn’t give us a picture to peek in and capture “God in the nude” as Luther remarked in another context.

John 14-16-As noted before, these passages are denoting the economia, that is a historical event. The Filioque by contrast is a thesis about the eternal generation of a divine person.

2 Thess, 2:8, Is 11:4, John 20:22 are perfectly compatible with a non-Filioquist position where the Spirit eternally proceeds from the Father alone **through** the Son or is energetically manifested through the Son as taught by fathers such as Maximus the Confessor on up through Gregory of Cyprus. The passages themselves do not discriminate between a Filioquist reading and an Energetic reading, which is precisely why they do not express the doctrine of the Filioque. And again, everyone of those passages is speaking of events in history, in time. They do not express the idea of eternal generation of a divine person from two others as from a single source. But it is the latter idea that needs to be expressed by the texts.

This is why the scriptural material from Pieper is useless to establish the doctrine. He isn’t even talking about the Filioque doctrine but about economical sending.

Unknown said...

What does the filioque have to do with the subject here? Answer; nothing. It's just another excuse for Carl to vent against the Orthodox because he's threatened by them or some Orthodox person owes him money or something.

Anonymous said...

Uknown, LOL! The truth is Carl and other's like him have to attack to defend what is indefensible. The Orthodox Church is a real, True Church and therefore has the Truth and the Truth speaks for itself; in other words, it doen't need a sales pitch. Carl's use of (UN)Orthodox just shows how arrogant he is just like Luther was when he started the whole mess.

Anonymous said...

Why do some of you lurk on all of these "deluded" Lutheran blogs and immediately have a little fit if your communion is critized? I suspect you can't quite believe your own doctrines of "the fullness of Truth" and "Furthermore we declare, state and define that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of all human beings that they submit to the Roman Pontiff." (I'm guessing you papists probably won't get concurrence from the Eastern "schismatic" on that one, while you may have enjoyed his loquacious refutation of a faithful layman.) I also suspect you don't go on Methodist or Mormon blogs and get all riled up. Why is that?

May I suggest that if you have some inner sympathy toward us poor deluded Lutherans and you truly wish that we would find our way to the true church, this is not the way to do it.

Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?

Lord have mercy on us.

Carl Vehse said...

Perry, I remain totally unconvinced by your postings, which appear to me as contrary to what God's Word plainly says. And I have quoted excerpts from Mueller and Pieper because they succinctly state the Lutheran doctrine of the filioque, regardless of how the term was put into the Nicene Creed to the continuing consternation of the Eastern denominations.

That you reject the arguments from these and other Lutheran theologians supporting the doctrine of the filioque is not surprising. Posters, including you, have made similiar anti-filioque arguments on other Lutheran blogs, to other unconvinced Lutherans, which may be a reason the owner of this Lutheran blog has no problem letting you and your fellow Bosporus-waders deposit your Eastern heterodoxies here.

doofus said...

As I have said, like Lurher and Lucifer, your hubris keeps you in your puffed-up delusion.

Carl Vehse said...

Hey, doofus, amuse yourself.

Anonymous said...

Ah yes, compare Carl to Satan, that's sure to cause him to rethink his position, held by his fathers in the faith in that formulation since at least St. Ambrose.

doofus said...

St Ambrose would not recognize your “church.” Just another Lutheran fantasy. Your “church” is not in continuity with the apostolic church.

doofus said...

Carl, as the saying goes: sticks and know the rest

doofus said...

What don’t you understand? Luther: I will not submit; Lucifer: I will not serve.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I understand. We all submit and serve. To whom did Luther submit? And to whom do you submit? Papa Francesco?

doofus said...

Touche!!!!! What you fail to comprehend us that the office of the pope is preserved ( oh boy another can of worms opened) from error. This pope stops short of heresy and I am no fan to be sure but I trust what Christ ssid that the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church.

Anonymous said...

Always good to trust the words of Christ! I agree that the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church! We therefore pray Thee help Thy servants, whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy precious blood, make [us] to be numbered with Thy saints, in glory everlasting.

But hypothetically, what would happen if the pope did teach something heretical?

doofus said...

I’m glad you also agree but since your “church” is not the Church Christ founded, then it seems to me that you should swim the Tiber.

As to your “hypothetical” question: Imposdible since that would make Christ a liar (impossible) and an unimaginable monster( again impossible).

Anonymous said...

Are the churches under the Eastern patriarchs the Church Christ founded?

Of course Christ cannot lie. And that is why I must confess, with him to whom those promises were spoken, "the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth...Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."

Perry Robinson said...

That you remain unconvinced is not a surprise to me. That said, the measure of a good argument is not whether it convinces a person or not. Plenty of good arguments convince few and plenty of bad arguments convince many. Its called politics. Given Protestant principles whereby your own judgment of what God’s Word says (and even is constituted by) is of superior normative weight than anyone else, I am also not surprised. Anyone can appeal to scripture, including Satan. Thirdly, because you did not engage any of the arguments I presented it is also not surprising to me that you are not convinced. A sure way to not become convinced of any position is surely to ignore any arguments made in its favor.
That Lutheranism has been committed to the Filioque is not news, which is why citing Mueller and Pieper were irrelevant. The only relevance they had was in presenting justifications for thinking the doctrine was expressed in scripture. I provided demonstrations showing that their justifications failed. That you don’t engage them leaves me content.
Just a point of information, the Orthodox are not a “denomination.” That is a later 18th-19th century Protestant term, crafted to explain how different Protestant bodies all were different manifestations of the same core doctrinal content.
Why the owner of the blog permits me to post, among others is something I do not know. You’ll have to ask them to find out. That said, snark does not transmute your assertions into arguments no induce people consider your position. A bit of charity goes a long way. A good argument might go even farther.

doofus said...

Answer: Of course they are since they possess the sacraments (7) and a valid ministerial priesthood.

And you can confess but that diesn’t mean you’re saved since faith without works is dead, see what Luther called the epistle of straw.

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid they can't be according to Pope Boniface VIII:

Unless I was unaware they had submitted to the Pope.

The correct number of sacraments doesn't free them from this absolute necessity I'm afraid.

I love the epistle of St. James. Luther is not my pope so no problems for me there.

doofus said...

ah well you have one up on me but in any case They are true churches and i would glady attend their Divine Liturgy if no Catholic Church was available than attend any protestant service, Lutheran included.

Anonymous said...

Sure. But you are left with your own personal opinion or feelings to make that statement, and they are in contradiction to the clear words of the Pope.

doofus said...

That the Eastern Churches are true Churches founded by the apostles is not a matter of my feelings or opinion, it is an historical fact. What pope Boniface said I cannot deny but even though the two Churches are not united, it was always understood that the Eastern Orthodox Churches have valid orders and valid sacraments. Why? Again because they can trace their beginnings to the Apostles. And there have been attemps, as you know, to reunite but sadly that has not happened. When it does, if it does, is in God's hands. I don't know what denomination you belong to but I am starting to believe you are not a Lutheran. Nonetheless, what you have is only a meeting house that gets together and discusses the Bible and sings some hymns. You don't have the the fullness of the Faith, period.

David Gray said...

You should probably avoid using the phrase "historical fact" when you, apparently, don't understand what it means.

doofus said...

No, I do know what it means. It hilarious that you continue in your fantasy that the Lutherans possess what the Early Christians had. Your church, again, was started by a crazed, scrupulous monk. Ours was founded by Christ on the apostles.

David Gray said...

If you know what it means why did you use it to describe something which inherently cannot fall into that category? Even if I agreed with you it wouldn't be a "historical fact." A theological judgment, even when correct, is not a historical fact for us in the here and now.

Anonymous said...

How can that which is outside of Salvation (Unam Sanctam) possess valid anything? It is a historical fact that on July 16, 1054 in Hagia Sophia a papal bull of excommunication was delivered, which was subsequently burned. Sounds a lot like those fantasy-church Lutherans.

Anonymous said...


So from what you said, if follows that it is a theological and not an historical fact that Christ founded a Church on the apostles. So our faith (yours and mine)is grounded only on theological judgments and not on historical fact. Ridiculous.

David Gray said...

Hey, if you want to struggle with English in public have at it.

doofus said...

Oh David, that really hurt!!!! Suffice it to say that we (Catholic and Orthodox) can trace our beginnings, historically, to Christ and the Apostles is enough for me. You, to Luther and his minions. I’ll stick with Christ and the Apostles.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how you can lump the Orthodox in, in light of the papal bull I linked above which clearly states they are outside the Church. Or are you saying "I will not submit"?

You could also go with other popes which were more favorable to the Orthodox. Or Pope John Paul II who kissed a Koran. Or Pope Benedict XVI who wrote that the Augsburg Confession was a catholic confession of faith. Then again, that means popes and councils contradict each other.

Either way, doofus, you're left sounding awfully Lutheran.

Of course, you can ignore these facts, but you're left with theology by tautology, and a man in the place of the God-Man.

May our Lord and Savior bless you, and us Lutherans wish you the fullness of the Gospel in Christ.

doofus said...

Wishful thinking. nah, Never a Lutheran alwsys a Catholic.

Anonymous said...

I knew that's where we'd end up, but it was worth a try.

By the way, your initial post accused Carl of hubris because he wouldn't recant the Filioque. I suggest you brush up on Rome's position.

Wish you well, and a blessed feast of St. Irenaeus!