On Greek & Eastern Orthodoxy

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Order of Contents

Historical Theology
On the Filioque Clause & the Procession of the Spirit from the Son  2
Latin  4

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Historical Theology

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

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.

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2000’s

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.”

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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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