What is paradosis? | bloghome | paradosis website | contact

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]

[The Creation of the Chicken]

An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
<
[Consider Supporting]
[Our Farm]
[The Past]
05/01/2002 - 06/01/2002
06/01/2002 - 07/01/2002
07/01/2002 - 08/01/2002
08/01/2002 - 09/01/2002
09/01/2002 - 10/01/2002
10/01/2002 - 11/01/2002
11/01/2002 - 12/01/2002
12/01/2002 - 01/01/2003
01/01/2003 - 02/01/2003
02/01/2003 - 03/01/2003
03/01/2003 - 04/01/2003
04/01/2003 - 05/01/2003
05/01/2003 - 06/01/2003
06/01/2003 - 07/01/2003
07/01/2003 - 08/01/2003
08/01/2003 - 09/01/2003
09/01/2003 - 10/01/2003
10/01/2003 - 11/01/2003
11/01/2003 - 12/01/2003
12/01/2003 - 01/01/2004
01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004
02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004
03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004
04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004
05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004
06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004
07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004
08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004
09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004
10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004
11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004
12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005
01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005
02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005
03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005
04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005
05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005
06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005
07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005
08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005
09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005
10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005
11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005
12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006
01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006
02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006
03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006
04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006
05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006
06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006
07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006
08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006
09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006
10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006
11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006
12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007
01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007
02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007
03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007
04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007
05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007
06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007
07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007
08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007
09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007
10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007
11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007
12/01/2007 - 01/01/2008
01/01/2008 - 02/01/2008
02/01/2008 - 03/01/2008
03/01/2008 - 04/01/2008
04/01/2008 - 05/01/2008
05/01/2008 - 06/01/2008
06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008
07/01/2008 - 08/01/2008
08/01/2008 - 09/01/2008
09/01/2008 - 10/01/2008
10/01/2008 - 11/01/2008
11/01/2008 - 12/01/2008
12/01/2008 - 01/01/2009
01/01/2009 - 02/01/2009
02/01/2009 - 03/01/2009
03/01/2009 - 04/01/2009
04/01/2009 - 05/01/2009
05/01/2009 - 06/01/2009
06/01/2009 - 07/01/2009
07/01/2009 - 08/01/2009
08/01/2009 - 09/01/2009
09/01/2009 - 10/01/2009
10/01/2009 - 11/01/2009
11/01/2009 - 12/01/2009
12/01/2009 - 01/01/2010
01/01/2010 - 02/01/2010
02/01/2010 - 03/01/2010
03/01/2010 - 04/01/2010
04/01/2010 - 05/01/2010
05/01/2010 - 06/01/2010
08/01/2010 - 09/01/2010
09/01/2010 - 10/01/2010
10/01/2010 - 11/01/2010
03/01/2011 - 04/01/2011
04/01/2011 - 05/01/2011
05/01/2011 - 06/01/2011
06/01/2011 - 07/01/2011
10/01/2011 - 11/01/2011
11/01/2011 - 12/01/2011
12/01/2011 - 01/01/2012
02/01/2012 - 03/01/2012
03/01/2012 - 04/01/2012
04/01/2012 - 05/01/2012
05/01/2012 - 06/01/2012
06/01/2012 - 07/01/2012
08/01/2012 - 09/01/2012
02/01/2013 - 03/01/2013
04/01/2013 - 05/01/2013
07/01/2013 - 08/01/2013
11/01/2013 - 12/01/2013
02/01/2014 - 03/01/2014
03/01/2014 - 04/01/2014
07/01/2014 - 08/01/2014
[Orthodox America]
Antiochian Archdiocese
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese
Orthodox Church in America
Serbian Orthodox Church in America
Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Church in America
[monasteries]
Valaam
Holy Myrrhbearers
Saint John
Saint Theodore
New Skete
Saint Herman
Saint Anthony, AZ
Balamand Monastery
[mercy]
Zoe for Life
In Communion
IOCC
Missions
[orthodox bloggers]
Notes from a Hillside Farm
Bishop Seraphim
This is Life
Fly in the Holy Oil
The Violent Munkee
The Blue Canopy
Sophia Says
Notes from a common place book
Pithless Thoughts
Photios
[I am a Rusyn]
[Slovakia]
[Kosovo]
[Mmmmmm]
[Where in the World?]
Locations of visitors to this page

Monday, August 09, 2004

So What?

For those of you who were following the comment thread, I am beginning the discussion anew here with my answer to what I meant by "So what" in regards to the mystery "god-man" resurrection myths and the undertsanding that Christianity appears to be a blenderized version of Judaic and Hellenistic religious beliefs.

The conclusion is yours to draw.

The presumed conclusion as is typically offered to Christians is that because we perceive a mish-mash of hellenistic and hebraic religions AND that we have seen resurrecting "god-man" myths before that we ought to conclude that Christianity is therefore untrue. Or more specifically that the person of Jesus Christ had become something He Himself never actually was. Frankly I do not see how this neccesarily follows...unless one brings with them certain presuppositions (which can steer us either way - a tendency toward disbelief or a tendency toward belief.)

And so when someone says stuff like Christianity is merely a rehatched "god -man" myth, or some bizarre syncretism of hellenism and whatever, I ask: so what.

If the person of Christ (as God in the flesh) is the cornerpiece of human history, if He is the person that we Orthodox say He is - then we should expect nothing less than to see mythological fingers pointing toward him. Is this an apologetic? Well, only in answer to the argument for which I ask: "So what?"

I do not pretend to have the answers that will "ultimately and logically lead a person" to faith in Christ. I've long since given up on the "scientifc" attempts of "proving" the Bible or the philosophical "proofs" for the existance of God. A friend sends me occassional emails in which he shows some new scientific proof that the creation story is true...I just shrug. By the same token, the study of history has lead me to certain conclusions about Christianity and about the Orthodox Church - leading me away first from evangelical fundamentalism and then from the theological relativism often found in the ECUSA.

There is something about the Orthodox understanding of the beatitude which says: "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." While I do not pretend to have a pure heart - far from it...but I do believe that it is in THIS realm (not so much the mind) that we ought to begin the search for God.

Yesterday at a protestant friends house we were sitting down (sitting down?) to pray for dinner and my son nudged me: "Where's the pray thingys?" I didn't quite hear him and asked him what he meant. "The icons?" he said. Well I belayed his question telling him that I'd try and explain later. But it reminded me of the truth I see in the Icons and in the life of the Church. Looking at the fruit of the Church (meaning the lives of her saints) speaks volumes of truth to me that transcend the things of science, textual criticism, and yes - even logic.

The words of Christ (as expressed in the Gospels) rings of profound truth...but more than that..He Himself rings of truth "I am the Truth" He says, and the words in the halo of His icon remind me of this everyday.

Am I decieved? I wrestled with that question a long time ago and at times when I begin to doubt again I find that more often than not (for me, and perhaps me alone) that I do not do so for purely intellectual reasons - but for other more heart-related reasons. The "intellectual" reasons simply offer superficial support to the doubt I grow in my heart. If I am right, that the realm of discovering God is in the heart and not the head, then surely this must be the case?

Of course, none of this precludes the further discussion or historical and philosophical arguments/theories on the existance of God or the truth that I supposed is to be found in the Orthodox Church...rather I hope it gives such discussion some greater context and understanding.

...offered by Dn. James Ferrenberg, a sinner at 7:09 AM [+]
+++
2 comments


2 Comments:

imran, another question... relative to my own journey. before becoming Orthodox, i was collaging from a wide variety of christian and other spiritual/religious sources. a little heidegger, a little thomas merton, a little old time gospel, a little zen, a little catholic liturgy, a little krishnamurti, etc... cutting and pasting elements to keep faith relevant. in the end, however, it felt profoundly self-referential, a dead-end. the hermeneutics of collage necessarily involved so much "me", and my way of interpreting, and so little Other.

i longed for a Way... a holistic way of approaching Christ, as a Person, an experience, a reality. so i took a big step back, spent a year reading, inquiring, and discovered a deep living spiritual fire that has been kept alive in Orthodoxy... a fire of repentance and love for God in the heart. in converting, i feel as if i've become a Christian in the fullest possible sense. my life is simply not the same (Lord, have mercy). i don't know how to say this very well.

all to say... what do you think of the benefits/costs of having to roll your own way, to collage from a variety of sources, VS. surrendering to the commitment of a way, inside a faith tradition?

while moved by Rumi in countless ways... i want to address his poem that places an Either/Or between the water and the vessel.

how can you follow a "pathless" journey and not simply spiral endlessly in the ongoing self-referential limits of your own experience? what or Who can ever break through your own frame of reference?

Seraphim

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:32 PM  

________________________________________________________________

Sky,

Your comments are greatly appreciated. I don't think I have any good answers for the dilemma you have presented, so I will keep my mouth shut. I remember Huston Smith saying once that there is great value in picking ONE path, and sticking to it. The path he chose is Christianity (he is a Methodist). He said the danger of being eclectic and taking a little from every religion is that the person who ends up sitting on the throne is St. Ego.

Yes, I feel the desire to follow ONE path. Right now if I were to choose one path it would be Islam. But I am simply not willing right now to commit myself wholly to one path. I suppose I am still in service to St. Ego.

"Those who seek guidance from God, will be guided to their own advantage. But those who go astray, go astray at their own peril. No one will bear another man's burden."

-Qu'ran, Al-Isra, Surah 17:15

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:33 PM  

________________________________________________________________

Post a Comment




This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?