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الموضوع: A Critical Commentary on the Book "On the Nature of Christ" by His Holiness Pope Shenouda III

  1. #11
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    افتراضي رد: A Critical Commentary on the Book "On the Nature of Christ" by His Holiness Pope Shenouda III

    That is different from what I have heard Pope Shenouda III once, that God condemned by death Adam and Eve and all their offspring (he used the terms man sperms and woman eggs) which approves that the Original Sin in the context of the Coptic Church theology, is biologically inherited. Otherwise, we can say, again, that there is some departure from the ancient teaching of the Coptic Church in these days.

    Anyway, regarding St. Athanasius and his statements quoted by you previously, as I said we must understand them in the theology context of St. Athanasius as a whole, and not making out-of-context quotations, which may lead to misunderstanding. Listen what St Athanasius says in the same book: On the Incarnation of the Word:

    For God has not only made us out of nothing; but He gave us freely, by the Grace of the Word, a life in correspondence with God. But men, having rejected things eternal, and, by counsel of the devil, turned to the things of corruption, became the cause of their own corruption in death, being, as I said before, by nature corruptible, but destined, by the grace following from partaking of the Word, to have escaped their natural state, had they remained good. 2. For because of the Word dwelling with them, even their natural corruption did not come near them, as Wisdom also says : “God made man for incorruption, and as an image of His own eternity; but by envy of the devil death came into the world.” But when this was come to pass, men began to die, while corruption thence-forward prevailed against them, gaining even more than its natural power over the whole race, inasmuch as it had, owing to the transgression of the commandment, the threat of the Deity as a further advantage against them.
    So, God by His knowledge in advance, warned Adam from eating from the forbidden tree, because when he eats from it, he will sin, and this sin separates him from God, the Life-Giving, which leads naturally to death and corruption.

    Shall we continue?

    In IC XC

    †††التوقيع†††

    إِنْ لَمْ نُدْرِكْ فِيْ أَيَّةِ حَالَـةٍ خَلَقَنَا الله
    لَنْ نُدْرِكَ أَبَداً مَا فَعَلَتْ بِنَا الخَطِيْئَةُ

    القديس غريغوريوس السينائي

    john@orthodoxonline.org

  2. #12
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    Statement رد: A Critical Commentary on the Book "On the Nature of Christ" by His Holiness Pope Shenouda III

    سلام و نعمة
    ..................
    Dear John
    I said:-
    اقتباس المشاركة الأصلية كتبت بواسطة مايكل فيت مشاهدة المشاركة
    We were all sinners so the judgment is a normal consequence of sin due to the corrupt nature


    اقتباس المشاركة الأصلية كتبت بواسطة John of the Ladder مشاهدة المشاركة
    So, God by His knowledge in advance, warned Adam from eating from the forbidden tree, because when he eats from it, he will sin, and this sin separates him from God, the Life-Giving, which leads naturally to death and corruption.
    You are right death was not the well of God it was the man's own well so I also said
    اقتباس المشاركة الأصلية كتبت بواسطة مايكل فيت مشاهدة المشاركة
    In the liturgy of saint GREGORY we say about the LOGOS Who, for the sake of goodness only, formed man out of what existed not, and put him in the paradise of joy.And when he fell, through the guile of the enemy and disobedience of Thine commandment,and Thou desiredst to renew him, and to restore him to his first estate.THAT'S our faith in the same liturgy we say One plant did Thou forbid me to eat of.That concerning which Thou said to me, “Do not eat of it only.” I did eat, out of my will.I put away from me Thy law out of my counsel.I became slothful about Thy commandments.I plucked for myself the sentence of death
    HOPE IT'S CLEAR NOW

    I WANT YOU TO CONTINUE TILL TH END OF THE BOOK OF
    His Holiness Pope Shenouda III



  3. #13
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    افتراضي رد: A Critical Commentary on the Book "On the Nature of Christ" by His Holiness Pope Shenouda III

    As a conclusion on this part, and all parts at once, can you give me precisely what the Original Sin means, citing a reliable reference from the Coptic church patriarchate? because I feel that I am confused by contradictory here, as with the "One Nature" term. You say something, and explain something else. Where is the connection between what you say, and what you mean? Pardon me, but your explanation alone does not represent the official stand of the Coptic church on this matter.

    I may not continue, because, if just one paragraph took all these comments, imagine if I write the whole book.

    I may continue in one condition, with no comments which aimed for dialogue, and at the end, you can take this subject and study it alone, with references from our Church. I am not here to spent my time to explain our Faith in words, not because it is not worthy, but rather, because it is already there in the Website, and well expressed by great Orthodox saints and theologians, ancient and contemporary.

    I pray for you

    †††التوقيع†††

    إِنْ لَمْ نُدْرِكْ فِيْ أَيَّةِ حَالَـةٍ خَلَقَنَا الله
    لَنْ نُدْرِكَ أَبَداً مَا فَعَلَتْ بِنَا الخَطِيْئَةُ

    القديس غريغوريوس السينائي

    john@orthodoxonline.org

  4. #14
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    افتراضي رد: A Critical Commentary on the Book "On the Nature of Christ" by His Holiness Pope Shenouda III

    سلام و نعمة
    ....................

    اقتباس المشاركة الأصلية كتبت بواسطة John of the Ladder مشاهدة المشاركة
    can you give me precisely what the Original Sin means, citing a reliable reference from the Coptic church patriarchate?
    You can read the encyclopedia of the Bishop Gregory part one when he discuses theory of saint Augustin contra pillagios He explained the term "original sin" saying that It was the sin of the origin of mankind (Adam he meant)so it's by this meaning only It equals ancestral sin
    اقتباس المشاركة الأصلية كتبت بواسطة John of the Ladder مشاهدة المشاركة
    I may continue in one condition, with no comments which aimed for dialogue,
    I agree.......&pray for You and all my brothers


  5. #15
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    افتراضي رد: A Critical Commentary on the Book "On the Nature of Christ" by His Holiness Pope Shenouda III

    Dear Mike, thanks for your replies, and the explanation of the Original Sin according to the Bishop Gregory. But our debate is about the meaning of the Original Sin, its consequences and effects as relating to us. Anyway, as I said, I don't want to go through this any more.

    OK then, I will continue, as soon as I can

    †††التوقيع†††

    إِنْ لَمْ نُدْرِكْ فِيْ أَيَّةِ حَالَـةٍ خَلَقَنَا الله
    لَنْ نُدْرِكَ أَبَداً مَا فَعَلَتْ بِنَا الخَطِيْئَةُ

    القديس غريغوريوس السينائي

    john@orthodoxonline.org

  6. #16
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    افتراضي رد: A Critical Commentary on the Book "On the Nature of Christ" by His Holiness Pope Shenouda III

    Appolinarius

    The Coptic Church condemns Appolinarius because he taught that Christ did not have a human soul when He became Incarnate. He preached that Christ had a divine nature but since he did not believe that Christ had a human soul, Appolinarius did not believe in Christ having a fully human nature.


    However Appolinarius like Pope Shenouda also taught that Christ had only One Nature after the union for, ”just as man is one nature, so is Christ Who has come in the likeness of men...One incarnate nature of the Divine Word”.1 This statement sounds dangerously close to what the Coptic Pope says. Appolinarius was actually the first to introduce the word hypostasis2 in Christology.3 However Appolinarius mostly used the term prosopon4 for Christ’s Person, whereas Pope Shenouda uses the term hypostasis. According to St. John of Damascus, the followers of Appolinarius taught that, the Word only was made flesh”,5meaning that Christ did not take flesh from the Virgin, even though He was born from her. So in Appolinarius’ view Christ was not consubstantial with mankind. Obviously the Coptic Church condemn Appolinarius, but the, perhaps unwilling, overemphasizing of the divine nature, and somewhat erronous understanding of the Chalcedonian use of the terms person and nature, might result in the over-emphasizing of respectively both the divine and the human nature in Christ, depending on the context.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1 Kelly p. 293.
    2 Ιποστασις – Substantial nature, essence, actual being, reality. (Bauer) Used by the Orthodox Church to describe the Persons in the Holy Trinity.
    3 Kelly p 293.
    4 Προσωπον – Face, countenance (Bauer). Used in ancient pagan Greek drama for ”mask”.
    5 Writings p. 131.


    Note: With all of my respect, any response from a non-Chalchedonian that aim for controversy will be deleted without any notification

    †††التوقيع†††

    إِنْ لَمْ نُدْرِكْ فِيْ أَيَّةِ حَالَـةٍ خَلَقَنَا الله
    لَنْ نُدْرِكَ أَبَداً مَا فَعَلَتْ بِنَا الخَطِيْئَةُ

    القديس غريغوريوس السينائي

    john@orthodoxonline.org

  7. #17
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    افتراضي رد: A Critical Commentary on the Book "On the Nature of Christ" by His Holiness Pope Shenouda III

    The Council of Chalcedon

    Pope Shenouda lists the Council of Chalcedon together with Appolinarius and other “widely known heresies”. He explains: Even though Chalcedon had excommunicated Nestorius, it was still Nestorian itself (
    How is that!!!!). The Council declared that Christ is two persons (I will append later the statement of the Council of Chalchedon, where such a statement was not in it, on the contrary it is condemned. As always misleading statements based on emotions, not facts): A God and a human being. The first person is working miracles and the latter does the suffering and accepting humiliation. St. Leo of Rome was also a Nestorian (We will see) and his Tome confirmed that Christ had two natures. Pope Shenouda reminds us, that Nestorius said that the two natures were distinctly separated and that Christ had two wills, and two actions.

    Nestorianism leads to the idea that if Christ has to distinct persons, these must necessarily be a divine and a human hypostasis, or persons. Chalcedon did not declare that Christ is ”two persons”, but two natures1. St. Maximos the Confessor says, ”...a forth person is not added to the Trinity, which would be the case if the Incarnate Christ was divided into two persons”.2 But is is necessary to distinguish between the two natures in Christ because, ”nothing can be coessential or cognate with the Divinity...in other words, in the Incarnation the two natures have united to form a single person, not a single nature”.3

    It is true that St. Leo’s Tome could be accused of occasionally being somewhat unclear in the language used to describe these concepts. Especially this phrase by St. Leo, ”...each ”form” does the acts which belong to it, in communion with the other; the Word...performing what belongs to the Word, and the flesh carrying out what belongs to flesh...one shines out in miracles, the other succumbs to injuries”.4 This has been greatly criticized by the Coptic Church as being ”Nestorian”, but hear how St. Leo explains this in the very next sentence of his Tome, ”...as the Word does not withdraw from equality with the Father in glory, so the flesh does not abandon the nature of our kind...For...He is one and the same, truly Son of God and truly Son of Man”.5 Obviously Pope Shenouda’s fear that St. Leo is speaking of ”two persons”, is unfounded. When speaking about the hypostatic union of the two natures in Christ6, St. Leo used the Latin word substantia which in Greek was translated into hypostasis. Etymologically these two terms are very similar ”hypo-stasis”, and ”sub-stantia”, but after the Arian controversy, hypostasis was used by the Greek Fathers for the Latin ”persona”. Substantia was then translated into ”ουσια” in Greek (nature or essence). Unfortunately St. Leo was probably not aware of this. But if one reads the few examples given above it is obvious that St. Leo spoke about the two natures in Christ, and not of two persons. St. Leo emphasized that these two natures in Christ were, ”active in communion with each other”.7 He did so against Nestorianism and the heretical claim that Christ was a mere man, in whom the Divine ”indwelled”. Leo’s emphasis on this is essential for the Orthodox concept of Theosis or perfection through Christ the Mediator, because Christ became man, so that man could become God. The concept of Theosis seems not to be considered at all by Pope Shenouda. St. Leo also affirmed Theopaschism, which was in perfect harmony with what St Cyril taught. It is also a fact that the Council of Chalcedon found no discord between the teachings of St. Cyril and of St. Leo. The Tome of St. Leo was compared with the letters of St. Cyril, and there is no reason to believe that St. Cyril’s letter of anathema against Nestorius was not considered by the Council, thereby elevating Chalcedon above any suspicion of Nestorianism.8

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1 See Appendix ( to be appended later).
    2 Philokalia Vol 2 p. 250.
    3 Ibid.
    4 NPNF Ser 2 Vol XIV p 256.
    5 Ibid.
    6 C F. Oxford Dictionary p 1553
    7 Meyendorff p. 173.
    8 Ibid. P. 174.


    >>> To be continued

    †††التوقيع†††

    إِنْ لَمْ نُدْرِكْ فِيْ أَيَّةِ حَالَـةٍ خَلَقَنَا الله
    لَنْ نُدْرِكَ أَبَداً مَا فَعَلَتْ بِنَا الخَطِيْئَةُ

    القديس غريغوريوس السينائي

    john@orthodoxonline.org

  8. #18
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    افتراضي رد: A Critical Commentary on the Book "On the Nature of Christ" by His Holiness Pope Shenouda III

    The Nature of This Union

    The Divine nature did not mix with the human nature nor mingle with it, but it was a unity that led to Oneness of Nature”.1 To illustrate this, Pope Shenouda quotes St. Cyril, who used the analogy of fire and iron: When iron is heated, it does not become two natures, fire and iron. But rather the iron unites with the fire. The fire and the iron is united but retains all their respective properties. In the same way the Incarnate Logos is not ”God and man”.

    St Cyril and St Augustine2 used the example of the union between the soul and the body, ”...both become one in essence and in nature, so we say that this is one nature and one person.”3 Those who believe that Christ had two natures never mention the two natures in man, but consider them one4. In fact, ”If we go into detail we would find...ourselves before three natures in Christ!!! The Divinity, the soul, and the body, each and each of them has its distinct entity and essence.”5 If we accept the union of soul and body in one nature in Christ, it becomes easier for us to use the expression ”One Nature in Christ”.6 And ”just as we say that the human nature is one nature consisting of two elements or natures, we can also say about the Incarnate Logos, that He is one entity of two elements or natures.”7


    The above allegory is not valid, because the union of the soul and the body does not constitute a union between two different human natures – as Pope Shenouda himself affirms in the above. St. Maximos says about the Incarnate Logos that, ”We speak of a distinction of natures to avoid asserting that the flesh is coessential in its nature with the Logos”.8 Which is exactly the heresy of Appolinarius, whom Pope Shenouda rightly condemns.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    1 Shenouda p 16.
    2 No reference.
    3 Shenouda p. 18.
    4 St. John of Damascus explains the two natures in man. See p. 2 of this paper.
    5 Shenouda p. 18.
    6 CF. Ibid. pp. 18-19.
    7 Ibid. P. 19.
    8 Philokalia Vol 2 p. 250
    .

    >>> To be continued

    †††التوقيع†††

    إِنْ لَمْ نُدْرِكْ فِيْ أَيَّةِ حَالَـةٍ خَلَقَنَا الله
    لَنْ نُدْرِكَ أَبَداً مَا فَعَلَتْ بِنَا الخَطِيْئَةُ

    القديس غريغوريوس السينائي

    john@orthodoxonline.org

  9. #19
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    افتراضي رد: A Critical Commentary on the Book "On the Nature of Christ" by His Holiness Pope Shenouda III

    If the divine nature is different from the human nature, then how do they unite? The reply is that the nature of the soul is different from that of the body, but they still unite in one human nature (They unite in one human person, not nature). All man’s acts are attributed to him as a whole being. All Christ’s actions are similarly attributed to Him – not to this nature or that nature (That is contrary to what St. Cyril says and approves, even though the Coptic Church relies on him for their believe about the one nature, which was not the believe of St. Cyril as Alexius explained). The union of (the natures) is a real and hypostatic (Personal not nature) union, which took place in the Virgin’s womb. The example of the union of soul and body in man is inclusive (but it is also misunderstood, because human nature is not a nature from two natures in strict sense) – it is only incomplete in the sense that it does not explain why the soul leaves the (body) at death, nor how they reunite in the resurrection.1

    The Hypostatic union of the natures in Christ, which took place in the womb of the Virgin was not between soul and body. Because as already mentioned, Christ was not an ordinary individual hypostasis. The union was between the human nature of the Virgin’s flesh and the divine nature of God the Logos, and it happened for our healing. St. Paul says somewhere that there is only one mediator between God and man, Christ. This mediation becomes possible exactly because of the two natures in Christ. St. Gregory Palamas says, ”Being twofold in nature, He could truly be a mediator, joining each of the two to the other”.2 As for the resurrection of the dead, it is truly a real reuniting of body and soul. The rising of Lazarus3 is proof of this. As to Pope Shenouda’s question how this will take place? – hear St. John of Damascus, ”How do the dead rise again? Oh what lack of faith” Oh, what stupidity! He who just by His will changed dust into a body...will He not much more be able to raise up again the body...? Senseless man, if thou art callous enough not to believe the words of God, then at least believe His works...4

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    1 CF. Shenouda . p. 20
    2 Palamas, Homily 16 p.191.
    3 Jn. 11:1-46.
    4 Writings p 405.


    >>> To be continued

    †††التوقيع†††

    إِنْ لَمْ نُدْرِكْ فِيْ أَيَّةِ حَالَـةٍ خَلَقَنَا الله
    لَنْ نُدْرِكَ أَبَداً مَا فَعَلَتْ بِنَا الخَطِيْئَةُ

    القديس غريغوريوس السينائي

    john@orthodoxonline.org

  10. #20
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    افتراضي رد: A Critical Commentary on the Book "On the Nature of Christ" by His Holiness Pope Shenouda III

    The Unity of nature and the birth of Christ

    ”Christ is not two Sons, one the Son of God to be adored, and the other a man and not to be worshiped”.1 It is not possible to separate between the two natures. We must make one genuflection to One Christ.2 A father3 said that, ”He was born (
    weak, and not accurate expression. Imagine how would he understand Ancient Greek, the language of the Fathers of the Church) from the Father before all ages without a mother, and was born from a Virgin in the fullness of time without an earthly father”.4

    There was indeed never two Sons. However the Divine Logos was not born, but begotten from before all ages, as our Creed says. Born denotes an event taking place in historical time having a beginning and an end. Begotten is without a beginning and with no end - from all eternity, and outside historical time. About the adoration St. John of Damascus says, ”...according to its own nature His flesh is not adorable...when, however it has been united with God the Word, it is adorable because of Him and in Him”.5 So we adore One Christ, Who in order to fully become one of us, let Himself be born in historical time from a human mother, the Virgin Mary from whom He took flesh. Likewise St. Joseph took care of the Lord Incarnate, when He was a child – just like any real father would do. Christ submitted Himself to earthly parenthood. This is important to emphasize in order to point out just how fully He accepted to become one of us in His human nature, while eternally remaining God the Logos and part of the Holy Trinity.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    1 Shenouda. P. 22.
    2 CF. Ibid.
    3 Ibid. (No reference)
    4 Ibid.
    5 Writings p. 336.


    >>> To be continued

    †††التوقيع†††

    إِنْ لَمْ نُدْرِكْ فِيْ أَيَّةِ حَالَـةٍ خَلَقَنَا الله
    لَنْ نُدْرِكَ أَبَداً مَا فَعَلَتْ بِنَا الخَطِيْئَةُ

    القديس غريغوريوس السينائي

    john@orthodoxonline.org

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    آخر مشاركة: 2010-01-09, 03:01 PM

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