On Greek & Eastern Orthodoxy

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Order of Contents

On Greek Orthodoxy
On G.O. Systematic Theology
On Deification & Theosis
Contra G.O.
Historical Theology
The G.O. Critique of the West
On the Filioque Clause & the Procession of the Spirit from the Son  18+
Latin  4

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On Greek Orthodoxy

Book

Fairbairn, Donald – Eastern Orthodoxy Through Western Eyes  (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002)  The publisher is liberal.

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On Greek Orthodox Systematic Theology

Niesel, Wilhelm – Pt. 2, ‘The Gospel & the Orthodox Church’  in Reformed Symbolics: a Comparison of Catholicism, Orthodoxy & Protestantism  tr. David Lewis  (Oliver & Boyd, 1962), pp. 121-168

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On Deification

On 2 Pet. 1:4, ‘that by these you may be partakers of the divine nature…’

1600’s

Spurstowe, William – ch. 4, ‘The Noble Effects of the Promises, & in what Sense by Them we are Made Partakers of the Divine Nature’  in The Wells of Salvation Opened, or, A Treatise Discovering the Nature, Preciousness, Usefulness of Gospel Promises, & Rules for the Right Application of Them  Buy  (1655), pp. 22-30

Gray, Andrew – pp. 158-63  in Sermon 5 on 2 Pet. 1:4  in The Great & Precious Promises, 5 Sermons  in Works (1839), pp. 115-68

* Tuckney, Anthony – Sermon 22, on 2 Pet. 1:4, pt. 1, 2, 3, 4  in Forty Sermons upon Several Occasions…  (London, 1676), pp. 223-63

Tuckney (1599-1670) was a non-conformist puritan and Westminster divine.  He takes up the ontological issues in-depth in the greater part of the first sermon, contrasting views, etc.

Manton, Thomas – Sermon 4  in Twenty Sermons  in Works, vol. 2, pp. 213-21

“Doctrine: That the great end and effect of the promises of the gospel is, to make us partakers of the divine nature.”

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Articles

1900’s

Williams, Rowan – ‘Deification’  in ed. Gordon S. Wakefield, The Westminster Dictionary of Christian Spirituality  (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1983)

Bray, Gerald L.- ‘Deification’  in eds. Sinclair B. Ferguson et. al. – New Dictionary of Theology  (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1988)

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2000’s

Mosser, Carl – ‘Deification: a Truly Ecumenical Concept’  Perspectives: a Journal of Reformed Thought  30/4  (2015), pp. 8-14

Billings, Todd – ‘Desiring the End(s) of Salvation’  (2015)

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Quotes

William Twisse

A Discovery of Dr. Jackson’s Vanity...  (Amsterdam, 1631), ch. 13, p. 475

“As groundless is your following dictate, that, ‘without conformity to his nature, we cannot participate of his holiness, it being the imodiate consequent of his nature.’  And what, I pray, will you make gods of us? or shall our glorification in the kingdom of heaven be a deification? as it must be if it be a participation of the divine happiness.  But this is an usual liberty of discourse which you take to yourself.  I hope you will not say, that formal glory which God has provided for us, shall be a glory uncreated, though in the way of an efficient cause it shall proceed from the uncreated glory of God, but created rather.

And all created glory, I hope, be it never so great, is no part of God’s happiness, which is, you say, an immediate consequent unto his nature; wherein notwithstanding I doubt much, you speak as Peter sometimes did, when he spake he knew not what; as namely, in distinguishing God’s happiness from his nature, as an immediate consequent thereof.”

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Anthony Burgess

A Treatise of Grace & Assurance  (London, 1652), Sermon 34, pp. 202-3

“Secondly, [regeneration,] its not, in another extremity, to have a new physical being, as not to lose the essentials we had of a soul and the faculties thereof: some have confusedly talked of a transubstantiation into the being of God, and tells us of a strange deification, or being made God with God.  These men have affected uncouth and obsolete expressions, as the Paracelsians do in physic: No, though born of God, yet not made God, only we have the image of God in us, and that which is by way of substance in Him is only by accident in us.  It is true, the Scripture calls it a divine nature, 1 Pet. 1:4, a new creature, 2 Cor. 5:17, the inward man, and this made [Matthew] Illyricus [the Lutheran] with his followers at least in words to err (for some excuse his sense) when he said, The substance of a man is corrupted, and so his substance must be changed.  It’s true the Scripture useth such expressions to show how real, intimate, and fixed the work of grace is; It’s not a notion, it’s not a fancy; No more than to be a man, to live, to speak, to eat is.  Thus grace where it is, makes a wonderful alteration, though not in the essence, yet in the qualities and operations of a man, so that in a theological sense he is wholly a new man, he is not the same he was: and this is discovered as really and powerfully in him, as when Adam out of nothing was made a man: Take heed then of being in the number of those who account all the change wrought by God’s Spirit in a man, to be only a melancholy fancy, and attribute all to such cloudy imaginations, or else speak of it, as a particular constitution and temperament of the body: No, The Scripture would never call grace by such real powerful names, if it had not also as real and powerful effects: so that regeneration is a real, supernaturall change in a man, as when of dead a man is made alive, of foolish, wise; not a relative change, as when a man is made a husband or magistrate, wherein his principles and heart are not altered.”

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Historical Theology

On the Whole of Church History

ed. Ortiz, Jared – With All the Fullness of God: Deification in Christian Tradition  (Fortress Academic, 2021)

Here is a review by Kevin Slusher, a refomed minister.

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On the Medieval Church

Cross, Richard – ‘Deification in Aquinas: Created or Uncreated?’  The Journal of Theological Studies

Abstract: “This paper argues, against A. N. Williams, that Aquinas accepted a doctrine of created grace, in addition to uncreated grace, throughout his career, including in the
Summa theologiae.  After offering analyses of Aquinas’s treatment of created and uncreated grace, it further argues, against Luke Davis Townsend, that according to Aquinas created grace is the formal cause not only of a person’s being justified but also of a person’s participating in God and being deified.

To this extent, these latter are mediated: created grace is what explains someone’s participating in God and being deified: ‘explains’ in the sense of an Aristotelian formal cause, much as
(to use one of Aquinas’s examples) something’s whiteness explains that thing’s being white.”

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On the 1700’s

Salladin, James R. – Jonathan Edwards & Deification: Reconciling Theosis & the Reformed Tradition  Pre  ()

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On Theosis

Articles

Fairbairn, Donald – pp. 79–95  of Eastern Orthodoxy Through Western Eyes  (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002)  The publisher is liberal.

Christensen, Michael J. – ‘Theosis & Sanctification: John Wesley’s Reformulation of a Patristic Doctrine’  in Wesleyan Theological Journal  31,2  (1996), pp. 71-94  Wesley held to a doctrine of entire sanctification in this life.

Slick, Matt – ‘What is Theosis?’  at CARM

Theopedia – ‘Theosis’  This has a helpful bibliography

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Contra Greek Orthodoxy

1200’s

Aquinas, Thomas – Contra the Errors of the Greeks

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2000’s

Stamenkovic, Ivica – The Holy Scriptures & the Traditions of the Eastern Orthodox Church: A Review of the Foundational Teachings of the Eastern Orthodox Church  Buy  (Independently published, 2021)  104 pp.

Stamenkovic is an evangelical, Serbian, Christian who was a baptist pastor for 20 years.

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Historical Theology

Secondary Sources

Mastrantonis, George – Augsburg & Constantinople: The Correspondence between the [Lutheran] Tubingen Theologians & Patriarch Jeremiah II of Constantinople on the Augsburg Confession  Buy  (1982; Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 2005)  372 pp.

Mastrantonis was an Eastern Orthodox clergyman.  “The correspondence between the Lutheran theologians of Tubingen and Orthodox Patriarch Jeremiah II may be seen as the first substantive ecumenical dialogue of the post-Reformation era.”

eds. Lehner, Muller, Roeber – The Oxford Handbook to Early Modern Theology, 1600-1800  (Oxford, 2016), pt. 3, ‘Theology & the Others’

ch. 32, ‘The Churches of the East & the Enlightenment’, pp. 499-516

ch. 33, ‘Orthodox Influences on Early Modern Western Theologies’, pp. 517-32

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Primary Source

Latin Book

The Acts & Writings of the Wirtemburg Theologians & the Patriarch of Constantinople, D. Hieremia, from 1576-1581 on the Augsburg Confession, sent between themselves, in Greek & Latin, from the same Theologians Published  (Wittenburg, 1584)  384 pp.  ToC

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The Greek Orthodox Critique of the West

Kolbaba, Tia M. – The Byzantine Lists: the Errors of the Latins  (Urbana: Univ. of Illinois Press, 2000)  245 pp.  ToC  See the lists (AD 1054 – c. 1274) 35 pp.

Ouline of the Objections

Items Found in Virtually All Lists

Fasting on the Sabbath
Eating Unclean Foods [Blood & Suffocated Things, & Other Animals]
Unleavened Bread in the Eucharist
Prohibition of Clerical Marriage
The Addition to the Creed [Filioque]
Improper Lenten Fasting

Items Found in More than Half the Lists

[Rites about] Baptism
Marriage within Forbidden Degrees [Regarding In-Laws]
Monks Eating Lard or Other Meat
Not Chanting the Alleluia During Lent
Bishops & Priests in Battle
Failure to Revere [Relics &] Icons
Bishops Wearing Rings [as Married to the Church]
Insufficient Reverance for the Virgin Mary
Tracing a Cross on the Ground & Then Walking Upon it
Making the Sign of the Cross Incorrectly
Kissing People Instead of Giving Them Communion
Celebrating More than One Eucharist per Day, per Altar, per Church or per Priest
Clean-Shaven Priests
Improper Burial Practices
Insufficient Reverance for the Altar
Improper Clerical Clothing (Liturgical & Everyday)
They Sit when they should Stand During the Liturgy, & they Talk to one Another even at the Holiest Moments

Items Mentioned in Four Lists

They do Not Respect the Greek Fathers: Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian & John Chrysostom
They do Not Fast Weekly on Wednesday, & their Friday Fast is Not Sufficiently Rigorous
They have Added the Phrase ‘with the Holy Spirit’ to the ‘One Holy, One Lord’
They Perform the Entire Mass During Lent
They Perform the Rite of Ordination Only Four Times a Year
They Practice ‘Judaic’ Purificatory Rites
They Say that the Divine Must be Praised in Only these Three Languages: Hebrew, Greek & Roman
Holy Week Dramatic Liturgy
Maundy Thursday
Good Friday
Holy Saturday Vigil
Easter Sunday

Conclusions

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On the Filioque Clause & the Procession of the Spirit from the Son

Articles

Early Church

Augustine – Opera, tome 8, column 498

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Medieval

Anselm – On the Procession of the Holy Spirit

Anselm (1033/4–1109)

Richard of St. Victor – On the Trinity  Buy

Richard (d. 1173).  On this work, see Todd D. Vasquez, The Art of Trinitarian Articulation: A Case Study on Richard of St. Victor’s de Trinitate  PhD diss.  (Loyola University, 2009).

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1600’s

Daillie, John – p. 331 ff.  in A Treatise on the Right Use of the Fathers in the Decision of Controversies...  2nd ed.  (d. 1670; 1675; Philadelphia, 1856)

Daillie was a French Reformed minister and theologian in Paris.

Turretin, Francis – Question 31, ‘Did the Holy Spirit Proceed from the Father & the Son?  We affirm.’  in Institutes of Elenctic Theology, vol. 1, 3rd Topic, pp. 308-11

“Since breathing virtue is numerically one in the Father and the Son, it is not good to say that in this respect the Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son (as if he was principally from the Father, but secondarily and less principally from the Son). If the mode of subsisting is considered (according to which the Father is the fountain of deity from whom the Son emanates), not improperly in this sense is he said to proceed from the Father through the Son (as to the order and mode of procession).” – section 8, p. 310

van Mastricht, Peter – Theoretical-Practical Theology  (RHB), vol. 2, bk. 2, ch. 27, section 20, ‘4. Does the Holy Spirit proceed from the Father and the Son?’, pp. 582-4

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1700’s

De Moor, Bernardinus – A Continuous Commentary on John Marck’s Compendium of Didactic & Elenctic Christian Theology, vol 1  (Leiden, 1761-71), ch. 5, section 11

‘The Procession of the Holy Spirit & John 15:26’, pt. 1 & 2

The Procession of the Spirit as Spiration’

‘The Controversy of the Greeks & Latins over the Procession of the Spirit’

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1900’s

Bray, Gerald – ‘The Filioque Clause in History & Theology’  Tyndale Bulletin, 34 (1983), 91-144

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2000’s

Daley, Brian E. – “Revisiting the ‘Filioque’: Roots & Branches of an Old Debate’  Pro Ecclesia 10, no. 1 (2001): 31-62

Pugliese, Marc – ‘How Important is the Filioque for Reformed Orthodoxy?’  Westminster Theological Journal 66 (Spring 2004), pp. 159–77

Dr. Pugliese is Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the Romanist, Saint Leo University in Florida.  Dr. Pugliese is sympathetic to Reformed Orthodoxy and the Filioque clause.

This essay was originally spurred by the question of whether a minister, in 2002, in a prominent, conservative reformed denomination in America, should be able to take exception to the filioque clause in the Westminster Confession of Faith.

“First, the essay will summarize the question and what really is at stake in the question. It will then briefly summarize the chief arguments against the filioque.  After presenting the dilemma of affirming or denying the filioque, the essay will move into a section arguing for the importance of the filioque in orthodox Reformed theology.”

Pugliese interacts with: Photius, Calvin, Pearson, Turretin, C. Hodge, Berkhof, L.S. Chafer, J.I. Packer, W. Grudem, Karl Rahner.  There is a section on pp. 163-5 documenting the notion of filioque in the early Church, showing that “the intention behind the filioque was a part of Christian theology practically from its incipience…”  Pugliese also states: “every great Reformed confession that deals at length with the Trinity contains the Double Procession.”

Kieser, Ty – ‘Is the Filioque an Obstacle to a Pneumatologically Robust Christology?: A Response from Reformed Resources’  Journal of Reformed Theology 12, no. 4 (2018): 394-412

Barth, Paul – ‘The Holy Spirit Proceeds from the Father & the Son’  2021  36 paragraphs

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Book

Swete, H.B. – On the History of the Doctrine of the Procession of the Holy Spirit, from the Apostolic Age to the Death of Charlemagne  (Cambridge, 1876)  260 pp.

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Quotes

Synopsis of Pure Theology, Disputation 9, §16 & 19

“The personal order among the Persons requires Him to proceed from both, which order would otherwise be destroyed, and the Holy Spirit would not then be the third Person, but would be placed in the same order and series with the Son, and would be placed over against Him, as it were.  Finally, the intrinsic relation and respect requires this, which otherwise would not exist between the Son and the Spirit:

But in order to put the controversy between the Greeks and Latins in its proper place and settle it, some have conveniently said, in keeping with the phraseology of some ancient authors, that the Father spirates the Holy Spirit through the Son, and that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son.  For by that manner of speaking it is shown that He comes from both; and the mode of subsistence is shown, too; that is to say, He proceeds in a mediate and subordinate way from the Father through the Son.  Thereby the Greeks’ position is not destroyed, namely that the one and even personal principle of the spiration and procession of the Holy Spirit is the Father—because the Father precedes in origin and order. To be precise: their position of the personal starting point is the Father on account of the Father’s antecedence in origin and rank.  And hereby both the relationship and subordination of the Spirit to the Son is established (John 15:16 and 16:14-15).”

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Edward Leigh

Body of Divinity, II.xvi, p. 214

“To deny the procession of the Holy Ghost from the Son, is a grievous error in divinity, and would have grated the foundation, if the Greek Church had so denied the procession of the Holy Ghost from the Son, as that they had made an inequality between the Persons.  But since their form of speech is, ‘That the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father by the Son, and is the Spirit of the Son,’ without making any difference in the consubstantiality of the Persons, it is a true, though an erroneous Church in this particular.  Diverse learned men think, that a filio [by the Son] & per filium [through the Son] in the sense of the Greek Church, was but a question in modo loquendi, ‘in manner of speech,’ and not fundamental.”

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Peter van Mastricht

Theoretical-Practical Theology  (RHB), vol. 2, bk. 2, ch. 27, section 20, ‘4. Does the Holy Spirit proceed from the Father and the Son?’, p. 583

“There are many who think that both the ancient and especially the more recent Greeks intend nothing other than that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father alone, through the Son.  Thus their opinion would be more tolerable, since the Father works all things through the Son, and in this way the controversy would almost fade into a mere contest over words.”

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Andreas J. Beck

‘God, Creation & Providence in Post-Reformation Reformed Theology’  in ed. Muller et al., Oxford Handbook of Early Modern Theology  (Oxford, 2016), p. 205

“The second issue concerns the remarkable openness of some Reformed to the Eastern Orthodox position on the filioque clause. While maintaining the Western position that the Spirit proceeds from both the Father and the Son, the Leiden Synopsis and Cocceius showed clear sympathy for the Eastern argumentation and tried to mediate between the Western and Eastern concerns…”
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Latin

1600’s

Petavius – Dogmata theologica, vol. 1, tome 2, bk. 7, pp. 362-440

Gerhard – Loca Communia, tome 1, ‘Of the Holy Spirit’, ch. 4, pp. 158-164

Buddeus

Theologiæ Dogmaticæ, vol. 1, bk. 2, ch. 1, §52, pp. 396-401

Isagoge ad Theologiam universam, bk. 2, ch. II, § 5, vol 1, pp. 463b-465

Buddeus was Lutheran.  Both of these sections are on the history of the dispute.

Spanheim – Decadum Theologicarum V, § X, number 4  in Works, vol 3, cols. 1224-1225

Alting, Heinrich – Theologia problematica nova, locus 3, problem 39, pp. 238-239

Hoornbeek – Summa Controversiarum, bk. 11, pp. 851-854

Voet, Gisbert – p. 86, section 4, mid.  of Bk. 1, ch. 9, ‘Of Public & Private Disputations’  in Exercises & a Library on the Study of Theology  (Utrecht, 1644)

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1700’s

Lampe – Dissertationum philologico-theologicarum, vol. 2, Disputation 6, chs. 6-7, ‘Of the Holy Spirit’, § 25, pp. 211-212 & 224-38

Stapfer – Theologicæ polemicæ, vol. 1, ch. 3, §1136-1139

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Latin Articles Contra Greek & Eastern Orthodoxy

1600’s

Hoornbeek, Johannes – 11. ‘Of Greeks & Orientals’  in A Sum of Controversies in Religion with Infidels, Heretics & Schismatics  (Utrecht, 1653; 1676), p. 833 ff.

Spanheim, Francis – ‘Select Controversies with the Modern Greeks & Orientals: a Historical Dissertation on the State of the Oriental Church & their Dissension from the Latins, or the Pontificate’  ToC  in A Historical-Theological Chain of Select Controversies on Religion, even with the Greeks, Orientals, Jews & the Recent Anti-Scripturalists [Rationalists] [Plus Many Other Sects], in which the Fonts of Errors are Opened (Leiden, 1683), pp. 369-472

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1700’s

Vitringa, Sr., Campegius – The Doctrine of the Christian Religion…  (d. 1722)

vol. 6, Ch. 24, ‘Of the Sacraments of the New Covenant’, ‘Of the Sacraments of Greeks’, pp. 520-524

vol. 7, Ch. 24, ‘Of Baptism’, ‘Of the Baptism of the Greeks’, pp. 181-204

vol. 8, Ch. 24, ‘Of the Lord’s Supper’, ‘Of the Sacred Supper of the Greeks’, pp. 423-634

Stapfer, Johann – ch. 19, ‘Of the Oriental Church’  in Institutes of Universal Polemical Theology…  vol. 5  (Zurich, 1756), pp. 56-123  ToC

Stapfer (1708-1775) was a professor of theology at Bern.  He was influenced by the philosophical rationalism of Christian Wolff, though, by him “the orthodox reformed tradition was continued with little overt alteration of the doctrinal loci and their basic definitions.” – Richard Muller

“The sense of several kinds or levels of error manifests itself in Stapfer’s massive Institutiones…  Stapfer’s system, as its subtitle indicates, adopts a scientific arrangement by moving from those adversaries who deny the principia of Christianity [God, his providence and Scripture] (the infidels and unbelievers called Atheists, Deists, Epicureans, Pagans and Naturalists), to those who accept either of the principia (Jews, Moslems, Socinians, and Latitudinarians or Indifferentists), to those who accept both principia but attack fundamental articles (Papists, Fanatics, Pelagians, Remonstrants [Arminians], and Anabaptists), to those, finally, who agree on fundamentals but who differ on nonfundamental articles (the Greek Orthodox and the Lutherans)…  the latter two groups…  are not viewed as heretics but as schismatics from the Reformed faith.

For Stapfer, the Greeks and the Lutherans represent the problem of errors around and beyond fundamentals; neither is to be classed as a heresy.  The Greeks deny the doctrine of the procession of the Spirit from the Son as well as the Father, but they do not deny the doctrine of the Trinity.  Stapfer here recognizes the historical problem of the insertion of the filioque [clause] into the [Nicene] creed, but relies on biblical warrants to justify the doctrine [ch. 19, sections 38-45]…  Stapfer sees…  a danger of weakening the doctrine of the Trinity…” – Muller, PRRD (2003) 1.423-4

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