Monday, February 26, 2007

Wee Arthur Pictures

"Hello, world!"

Morag went for her second scan today. Both mother and baby are doing well. Baby Arthur - so named because mother refuses to give baby a cool name post-gestation - was in good form and waved for the camera.

Arthur is about 3 1/2 inches long (9cm) and weighs one and a half ounces (43 grams). Arthur can grasp, squint, frown, and suck his/her thumb. Arthur has come a long way since the 4.9 mm on January 4th (seen below):

"Just bean growing a wee while"

A more in-depth scan has indeed confirmed the child's paternity:

"Deus lo Volt!"

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Ansgarr's Technology Problems

This clip is hilarious!

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Monday, February 12, 2007

Jesus through the Centuries

Following are some passages from Pelikan's Jesus through the Centuries:

“As even her most fervent enthusiasts acknowledge, Christian language about the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Orthodox and Catholic traditions has let itself get into great difficulties whenever it has made her an object of devotion in her own right rather than, in Dante’s phrase, as “the face that most resembles Christ’s,” who was her Son and her Lord and Redeemer. And in the Protestant traditions, on the other hand, the violent act of separating loyalty to Jesus Christ from the celebration of Mary of which it has so long been an essential partner has led not to the glorification of Him alone, as was intended, but to Christological chaos instead of Christological confession.” – Preface to the History Book Club Edition

“Everyone must acknowledge, therefore, that Christian tradition had precedence, chronologically and even logically, over Christian Scripture; for there was a tradition of the church before there was ever a New Testament, or any individual book of the New Testament. By the time the materials of the oral tradition found their way into written form, they had passed through the life and experience of the church, which laid claim to the presence of the Holy Spirit of God, the selfsame Spirit that the disciples had seen descending upon Jesus at his baptism and upon the earliest believers on the fiftieth day after Easter, in the miracle of Pentecost. It was to the action of that Spirit that Christians attributed the composition of the books of the “new testament,” as they began to call it, and before that of the “old testament,” as they referred to the Hebrew Bible. Because the narrative of the sayings of Jesus and of the events of his life and ministry had come down to the evangelists and compilers in this context, anyone who seeks to interpret one or another saying or story from the narrative must always ask not only about its place in the life and teachings of Jesus, but also its function within the remembering community.” Jesus through the Centuries, p. 10

“Very often, of course, this description of the opposition between Peter and Paul, and between law and gospel, was cast in the language of the opposition between Roman Catholicism (which traced its succession to Peter as the first pope) and Protestantism (which arose from Luther’s interpretation of the epistles of Paul). Luther’s favorite among those epistles, the letter to the Romans, became the charter for this supposed declaration of independence from Judaism.

Since then, however, scholars have not only put the picture of Jesus back into the setting of first-century Judaism; they have also rediscovered the Jewishness of the New Testament, and particularly of the apostle Paul, and specifically of his Epistle to the Romans. They have concluded, in the words of Krister Stendahl, that “in this letter Paul’s focus really is the relation between the Jews and the Gentiles, not the notion of justification or predestination and certainly not other proper yet abstract theological topics.” For such a reading of the epistle, moreover, “the climax of Romans is actually chapters 9-11, i.e., his reflections on the relation between the church and synagogue, the church and the Jewish people – not ‘Christianity’ and ‘Judaism,’ not the attitudes of the gospel versus the attitudes of the law.” Jesus through the Centuries, p. 18

“For that assertion of Tertullian represents nothing less than a new understanding of the meaning of history, and understanding according to which Jesus was not simply going to be the end of history by his second coming in the future, as a naïve and literalistic apocalypticism had viewed him, but already was the Turning Point of History, a history that, even if it were to continue, had been transformed and overturned by his first coming in the past. …During those centuries, however, it was…also the cultural significance of Jesus as hinge on which history turned and therefore as the basis both for a new interpretation of the historical process and for a new historiography.” Jesus through the Centuries, pp. 25-26

“Thus the entire history of Israel had reached its turning point in Jesus as prophet, as priest, and as king. After the same manner, he was identified as the turning point in the entire history of all the nations of the world, as that history was encapsulated in the history of the “mistress of nations,” the Roman empire. Although this was in fact a leitmotiv of the third, fourth, and fifth centuries, the most massive and most influential monument of that identification was what the author himself called in his preface his “great and arduous taks,” Augustine’s City of God. For this task of locating Jesus within world history, as indeed for the entire enterprise of interpreting the person and the message of Jesus to the Gentile world, the New Testament, as a book written chiefly by Jewish Christians, offered far less explicit guidance than it did for the specification of his locus within the history of Israel. But it did speak of his having come only in the fullness of time.” Jesus through the Centuries, p. 28

“And the clinching argument against the theory of cycles in history was the life and person of Jesus Christ: Because “Christ died for our sins once and for all, and, rising from the dead, dies no more,” it also had to be true that Plato had taught in the Academy at only one point in history, not over and over again “during the countless cycles that are yet to be.” It was the consideration of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, as an event that was single and unrepeatable and yet at the same time as a message and “mystery announced from the very beginning of the human race,” that made it possible for Christopher Dawson to call Augustine, with only slight exaggeration, “not only the founder of the Christian philosophy of history,” but “actually the first man in the world to discover the meaning of time.” Jesus through the Centuries, pp. 29-30

“The modern skeptical world has been taught for some 200 years a conception of the human nature in which the reality of evil, so well known to the ages of faith, has been discounted. Almost all of us grew up in an environment of such easy optimism that we can scarcely know what is meant, though our ancestors knew it well, by the satanic will. We shall have to recover this forgotten but essential truth – along with so many others that we lost when, thinking we were enlightened and advanced, we were merely shallow and blind.” Walter Lippman, 30 October 1941. Jesus through the Centuries, p. 76.

“The clinching argument in favor of the holiness of marriage came for Augustine from some other words of the apostle Paul: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for it…This is a great sacrament [magnum sacramentum], and I take it to mean Christ and the church.” Marriage was a sacrament of Christ and the church.” Jesus through the Centuries, p. 78

“Jesus was the only unqualified exception that Augustine would grant to the rule of the universality of original sin. There was, however, one other exception that he had to consider: Mary the Virgin Mother of Jesus. After rejecting the contention that various other saints, both male and female, had been totally sinless, Augustine continued: “We must except the Holy Virgin Mary, concerning whom I wish to raise no question when it touches the subject of sins, out of honor to the Lord; for from him we know what abundance of grace for overcoming sin in every particular was conferred upon her who had the merit to conceive and to bear him who undoubtedly had no sin.” Jesus through the Centuries, pp. 80-81

“whenever devotion or speculation glorified Christ as Lord and King in such a way as to lose touch with the Man of Nazareth, Mary would become a substitute for him – human, compassionate, accessible. And then the devotion to her and the speculation about her were no longer being carried on “out of honor to the Lord.” Jesus through the Centuries, p. 81

“Because the one who by excellency of nature transcends all quantity and size and magnitude, who has his being in the form of God, has now, by taking upon himself the form of a slave, contacted himself into a quantity and size and has acquired a physical identity, do not hesitate any longer to draw pictures and to set forth, for all to see, him who has chosen to let himself be seen: his ineffable descent from heaven to earth; his birth from the Virgin; his baptism in the Jordan; his transfiguration on Mount Tabor; the sufferings that have achieved for us freedom from suffering; the miracles that symbolized his divine nature and activity when they were performed through the activity of his [human] flesh; the burial, resurrection, and ascension into heaven by which the Savior has accomplished our salvation – describe all these events, both in words and in colors, both in books and in pictures.” John of Damascus, On the Images, Jesus through the Centuries, p. 92

“Thus the God who had prohibited religious art as the idolatrous effort to depict the divine in visible form had now taken the initiative of depicting himself in visible form, and had done so not in metaphor or in memorial but in person and, quite literally, “in the flesh.” The metaphysical had become historical, and the cosmic Logos who was the true image of the Father from eternity had now become a part of time and could be portrayed in an image of his divine-human person as this had carried out the events of salvation history. The creation of Adam and Eve in the image of God had been an anticipation of the coming of Jesus the Second Adam and of Mary the Second Eve, so that the description of Christ and of his Mother could be at the same time the description of Christ and of his Mother could be at the same time the description of the true image of God in humanity. The image portrayed him in the individual specificity of his unique person, not as humanity in the abstract. Nevertheless, the humanity of his saints and of all who had been made alive in him, was a humanity suffused with the presence of divinity: it was, in this sense, the “deified” body of Christ that was being portrayed, and the most characteristic Eastern Orthodox way of speaking about the salvation granted in Christ has been to call it “deification” (theōsis in Greek, obozhenie in Russian). The iconography of the icon (to resort deliberately to an almost unavoidable tautology) was well designed to carry out both of these themes simultaneously: specificity and deification, and therefore what one of the most profound twentieth-century interpreters of icons, Evgenii Nikolaevich Trubetskoi, has called “theory of colors” or “contemplation in images.” Jesus through the Centuries, pp. 92-93

“The use of the sign of the cross, as a mark of identification and a means of warding off the power of demons, is not mentioned as such in the New Testament; but it appears very early in Christian history, and when it is mentioned it is already being taken for granted. Tertullian declares that “at every forward step and movement, at every going in and out… in all the ordinary actions of daily life, we mark upon our foreheads the sing,” and the sign of the cross became the prime evidence for the existence of an unwritten tradition that everyone observed even though it was not commanded in the Bible. Those who did not belong to the church could not help noticing the practice. The emperor Julian, whom Christians called “the Apostate” because he had forsaken the Christianity of his childhood, complained to the Christians in the fourth century: “You adore the wood of the cross and draw its likeness on your foreheads and engrave it on your housefronts…” Jesus through the Centuries, p. 96

“The Cross was believed to possess all of this victorious power because it had been the instrument for the greatest victory of them all, the cosmic victory of the power of God over the power of the devil in the death and resurrection of Jesus. “The word of the cross is called the power of God,” John of Damascus said, “because the might of God, that is, his victory over death, has been revealed to us through it.” The earliest versions of the idea had described this victory as a trick that God had played on the devil, death, and sin, the alliance of enemies who had held humanity in thrall. In one of the most striking – and one of the most problematical – of images for the trick, the devil whit his allies was depicted as a giant fish that had devoured every human being since Adam. When the humanity of Christ was cast into the pool, the fish took it to be yet another victim to be swallowed up. But hidden within this bait of the human nature of Christ was the hook of his divine nature, so that when the devil gobbled up the man Jesus in his death on the cross, he was impaled on the divinity. He had to regurgitate the humanity of Jesus, and with it all those whom Jesus had taken as his own; and death and the devil, who had taken the human race, were now themselves taken. Through the cross, therefore, liberation and victory had come.

In a more subtle and sophisticated form, this theory of the cross became the metaphor of Christus Victor, which Gustaf Aulén made the title of a controversial book on the meaning of the cross. Here, in what Aulén does not hesitate to call the “classic” theory of how the cross saves, the cross became the sign of God’s invasion of enemy territory and of the “wondrous battle [mirabile duellum]” by which Jesus Christ had accomplished the salvation of the human race. Shedding the cruder aspects of the earlier metaphor of deception, the theme of Christus Victor nevertheless retained the interpretation that the enemies of God and man were the ones with whom Christ on the cross had to contend. The death of Christ on the cross was therefore his capitulation to those enemies and to their power, before which he made himself weak. But he took those enemies into the grave with him. In the resurrection Christ was set free from their power, but they remained behind in the grave. Although this interpretation of the cross as the power of God was more prominent in the Greek East than in the Latin West, it was never lost even in the West; and, according to Aulén, the Reformation revived it…

As the act of divine power manifest in Christus Victor, the cross was interpreted as the enactment, in the arena of the cosmos and of world history, of the dramatic battle between God and the enemies of God over the future of humanity. Whatever its theological advantages or disadvantages may have been, this theory of the atonement had the advantage, in relation to the art and music of the Middle Ages, of being able to connect the cross with the resurrection as two parts of a single action. In the liturgical music of the Middle Ages, that connection took the form of setting Good Friday and Easter into the greatest possible contrast: Good Friday was the only day in the church year when the sacrifice of the Mass was not celebrated, because on that day it was the original sacrifice of the cross on Calvary that was to be commemorated. Following a tradition that went back at least to Origen in the first half of the third century, medieval art depicted the crucifixion as having taken place on the very place where the skull of Adam was buried; and the processions and the liturgical drama of the Middle Ages kept the motif of Christus Victor alive even when Latin theology was no longer able to deal with it adequately because of its preoccupation with interpreting the death of Christ as an act of satisfaction.” Jesus through the Centuries, pp. 99-101

“Abelard’s critics found such language [i.e. “to reveal the love [of God] to us or to convince us how much we ought to love him ‘who did not spare even his own Son for us] about the wisdom of the cross not so much incorrect as inadequate. Of course Christ crucified was an example of patience, everyone would agree; and no one would deny that the cross of Christ was the supreme revelation of the love of God, and indeed the very definition of love, whether divine or human. The question was whether this language exhausted the wisdom of the cross or whether a more profound consideration of the cross would lead to some other way of thinking and speaking about it. That other way found its definitive formulation in one of the most influential works of medieval thought, Why God Became Man (Cur dues homo) by Anselm of Canterbury. More than any other treatise between Augustine and the Reformation on any other doctrine of the Christian faith, Anselm’s essay has shaped the outlook not only of Roman Catholics, but of most Protestants, many of whom have paid him the ultimate compliment of not even recognizing that their version of the wisdom of the cross comes from him, but attributing it to the Bible itself.” Jesus through the Centuries, pp. 106-107

“Throughout his life Francis identified himself with the events of the suffering of Christ – so much so that it would probably be possible to reconstruct almost the entire Gospel history of the Passion from the individual scenes in which Francis has been depicted as a participant. “Christ hung upon his Cross, poor and naked and in great pain,” Bonaventure writes, “and Francis wanted to be like him in everything.” Jesus through the Centuries, pp. 139-140

“In the words of Beatrice to Dante that follow, Mary is “the rose in which the divine Word was made flesh,” but like all other flowers in the divine “garden,” she, too, “blossoms under the rays of Christ,” not finally of her own powers.” Jesus through the Centuries, p. 150

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Have you noticed the word ‘pariah’ being used quite a bit in beltway vocabulary in the last couple weeks? I believe it started when a former US presidential candidate who served in Vietnam referred to the US as an “international pariah.” It’s surprising that no one has bothered to look up the etymology behind this word. It derives originally from the Tamil word for drum or drummer, but came to be applied to the Pariah caste in India and appears to be analogous to untouchable. In a political climate in which a firestorm erupts immediately and without fail over the use of ‘articulate’ and in which one can be fired form a normal job for using ‘niggardly’ - a word of perfectly innocent Scandinavian derivation - how is it possible that so many politicians and talking heads can use what might be described as another country’s ‘N’ word?

N.B. At the time of posting this entry, there is an apparent act of vandalism on the wikipedia entry for 'pariah'. It currently states that "John Kerry, the pariah of the democratic party, in an apparent jab at President Bush, used the word to describe the United States in 2007."

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Sunday, February 04, 2007

G. K. Chesterton: The Apostle of Common Sense

EWTN ran a series for two seasons on G.K. Chesterton that was fantastic, primarily because they allowed the subject to speak for himself! You can download audio for all the episodes from the EWTN audio library. Do so!

G. K. Chesterton: The Apostle of Common Sense with Dale Ahlquist and Chuck Chalberg

An Introduction to G.K. Chesterton



What's Wrong With the World

The Catholic Church and Conversion

The Thing: Why I am a Catholic

The Well and the Shallows

St. Francis of Assisi

St. Thomas Aquinas

The Everlasting Man

The Outline of Sanity

The Superstition of Divorce

Eugenics and other Evils

Fr. Brown

Chesterton for Today

Another Introduction to Chesterton


The Riddles of God

The Signature of Man

Uneducating the Educated

Fancies and Fads

The "D" Word

Puritans and Pagans

The Art of Defending the Faith Part 1

The Art of Defending the Faith Part 2

Talking in Rhyme

Recovering the Lost Art of Common Sense

A Chesterton Reading Plan

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Saturday, February 03, 2007

New sword!!!

Last week I commissioned a new sword from Albion Swords and Christian Fletcher. I have decided on a Albion generation 2 'Ritter', which was inspired by a sword I saw ten years ago in the Museum für Deutsche Geschichte, Berlin. It has a narrow fuller making it close to an Oakeshott type XI, but it is a sword that does not fall precisely into any category. The cocked-hat pommel matches one of my Del Tin models from a decade ago, creating something of a matching set. For cord-wrapped, leather-covered the grip I have chosen a dark oxblood dye. I have also asked Christian to mount a different style grip, which a buldge in the middle as is standard on the Albion 'Knight'.

Christian will make the scabbard and sword belt, which will be as show below but with a black scabbard and white sword belt, in the style of the Manesse Codex show below or at the top of this web site. The design of the integral-belt, which is light years ahead - or perhaps that should be behind! - anything available ten years ago when I was collecting - will be like the 'Ritter' set shown below, but the front strap will flare out by approximately 1/2".

The sword won't be ready for a good 5 months, and I will not be able to collect it until I come home to the states. Until then, it will remain a flashy desktop background at work.

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“Anyone who has a beautiful woman for his wife or lover ought to be the better for it, for it cannot be right that she should love him after he has lost his fame and his worth… Now more than ever it is of the first importance that your worth should increase!... Now you must not idle your time away, but you must frequent the tournaments, engage in combat, joust hard, whatever it costs you!” - Chrétien de Troyes, (quoted in Marth Yeilding Scribner, Love and Longing in the Age of Chivalry).

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Friday, February 02, 2007

Jaroslav Pelikan's "Interpreting the Bible and the Constitution"

I read Jaroslav Pelikan's Interpreting the Bible and the Constitution last week and thought I would type up several of the passages I held to be of interest. The book itself was the first-rate scholarship I have grown to expect of the author and I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in one or the other of the 'Great Codes' discussed. The comparison between the interpretation and American religious and civil texts is a fruitful one, and the history of each can serve to illuminate the other.

“To those questioners who identify themselves with the mainstream of the Christian tradition, I have often responded with one of my favorite quotations from Cardinal John Henry Newman’s Apologia pro vita sua (which may, for that matter, be more true of me than it was of him): ‘I have changed in many things: in this I have not. From the age of fifteen, dogma has been the fundamental principle of my religion: I know no other religion.’ But when others, who stand outside that tradition or who identify themselves as ‘secular humanists,’ have pressed me about the nature of ‘dogma’ as the normative teaching of the church in relation to the doctrinal authority of the Bible, I have found that the most helpful analogy for it is the authority of the United States Constitution in American society and its complex relation to the standing of the Supreme Court of the United States as its official and decisive interpreter.”

“Great Code[:] There is a familiar and venerable text, centuries old by now, which is the product of multiple authorship (although even after generations of historical research and literary analysis we are not always in a position to determine with absolute precision just who wrote, or rewrote, which parts of it). The text was originally composed under very specific circumstances, which modern historical scholarship has done much to illumine. But far transcending the history of its original composition is its official standing ever since, for it has been adopted by a community as its normative Great Code, and therefore as occupying a position that in some profound sense stands beyond its own history: ‘not spake but speaketh!’ That normative status is based on the assumption that it can be applied to any and all of the radically changed situations of later times, many of which the writers who originally framed it could not themselves conceivably have foreseen. Every official action of the community thus had the obligation of conforming to it, or any rate of not violating it, and of demonstrating that conformity when challenged to do so; and members of the community are under the strictest possible obligation to obey it. Therefore its words and phrases have for centuries called forth meticulous and sophisticated – and sometimes painfully convoluted – interpretation, as well as continual reinterpretation. By now, this interpretation has grown into a massive corpus of authoritative, if often controversial, commentary. Yet the text does not itself prescribe the method of such interpretation; nor does it specifically identify the authoritative agency that bears the ultimate responsibility for determining the binding interpretation, much less for revising it”

“With the reduction in the private authority of Christian Scripture, and especially in its public authority, American Scripture has been called upon to fill some of the gap. At least for some Americans, therefore, the Ten Amendments of the Bill of Rights now seem to provide a version of the function that used to be preformed for their grandparents by the Ten Commandments of the Decalogue – with the arts often being called upon to provide them with a substitute for the mystical experience of divine transcendence.’

“[The Nicene Creed] affirms that the resurrection of Christ took place ‘in accordance with the Scriptures.’ This New Testament formula (I Cor 15.4) refers most directly to various passages of the Old Testament – which is what the term ‘Scripture [graphe]’ means in the New Testament – that are said to have prophesied the death and resurrection and that are said now to have been fulfilled; in fact, in some passages of the Gospels (for example, Mt 26:54-56) it almost sounds as though the very purpose of an event in the life of Jesus had been to fulfill a passage of the Old Testament Scripture. But ‘according to [kata] the Scriptures’ has, of course, an unavoidably normative connotation as well, which is why ‘in accordance with’ is often preferable to ‘according to’ as a translation of the Greek preposition.”

“Yet the contrary Catholic and Orthodox doctrine of authority, as restated in the nineteenth century, that not Scripture alone but ‘genuine tradition, i.e., the unbroken transmission, partly oral, partly in writing, of the doctrine delivered by Jesus Christ and the apostles, is an authoritative source of teaching for all successive generations of Christians’ could make theological learning even more important; for ‘this tradition is partly to be found in the consensus of the great ecclesiastical bodies, standing in historical continuity with the primitive church, partly is to be gathered by a scientific [wissenschaftlich] method from the written documents of all centuries.’”

“At the same time, an Eastern Orthodox confession of the seventeenth century, written in Greek, could quote the Greek verb ereunate [search] from this verse, in opposition to the universally Protestant doctrine of the ‘perspicuity of Scripture,’ to prove the exact opposite, namely, that ‘if Divine Scripture were clear to all Christians who read it, the Lord would not have commanded those who desire to obtain salvation to search it.’”

“To account for the puzzling, or even (to him, at any rate) troubling, discovery ‘that there was no formal acknowledgement on the part of the Church of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity till the fourth [century],’ namely, at the First Council of Nicaea in 325, John Henry Newman formulated the axiom: ‘No doctrine is defined till it is violated.’”

“Yet in the event, that affirmation of sola Scriptura in principle was accompanied, in Luther and even in Zwingli and even in the Anabaptists, by the retention in practice of a substantial piece of the creedal and dogmatic tradition. But later Protestants in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, claiming to be carrying out for various doctrines a radical intention that the Reformers of the sixteenth century had been able to accomplish, sought to be more consistent than they had been in pressing for the original intent of the New Testament over against the later creeds and liturgies.”

“According to John Henry Newman, when the Virgin Mary was named Theotokos by the Council of Ephesus in 431, this was ‘an addition, greater perhaps than any before or since, to the letter of the primitive faith’ – although that council itself made a special point of explaining that this was not an addition [prosthēkē] but an amplification [plērophoria].”

“in response to the Protestant insistence on sola Scriptura, the Council of Trent codified the correlation in this way: ‘Following the example of the orthodox fathers, the council accepts and venerates with a like feeling of piety and reverence [pari pietatis affectu] all the books of both the Old and New Testament, since the one God is the author of both, as well as the traditions concerning both faith and conduct, as either directly spoken by Christ or dictated by the Holy Spirit, which have been preserved in unbroken sequence in the Catholic Chruch.’ It is instructive to trace this correlation through the legislation of the early ecumenical councils of the church.
Adopting a formula of the New Testament (1 Cor 15.3-4) about the Old Testament, the Second Ecumenical Council, which was the First Council of Constantinople in 381, expanded the creed originally set down by the First Ecumenical Council, the Council of Nicaea in 325, to confess that Christ ‘rose up on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. The Third Ecumenical Council, the Council of Ephesus in 431, adopted its statement of faith ‘not by way of addition but in the manner of a full statement, even as we have received and posses it from of old from the Holy Scriptures and from the tradition of the holy fathers. The Fourth Ecumenical Council, the Council of Chalcedon in 451, concluded its definition of faith about the one person and the two natures of Jesus Christ with and appeal to a multiple authority: ‘just as the [Old Testament] prophets taught from the beginning about him, and as [in the Gospels of the New Testaement] the Lord Jesus Christ himself instructed us, and as the creed of the fathers [the tradition of the Councils of Nicaea and Constantinople] handed it down to us.’ The Fifth Ecumenical Council, the Second Council of Constantinople in 553, similarly concluded with an appeal jointly to Scripture and to tradition, including the tradition of its predecessor councils: ‘Such then are the assertions we confess. We have received them from Holy Scripture, from the teaching of the holy fathers, and from the definitions about one and the same faith made by the aforesaid holy councils.’ The Sixth Ecumneical Council, the Third Council of Constantinople in 680-81, declared that it was ‘following without deviation in a straight path after the holy and accepted fathers [and that it] piously accorded in all things with the five holy and universal councils,’ to which ‘this holy and universal council of ours has also, in its turn, under God’s inspiration [theopneustōs], set its seal,’ therefore employing for itself (and for the other orthodox councils and traditions) the technical New Testament term for divine inspiration (2 Tm 3.16) that had originally been applied to the Old Testament Scriptures. And the Seventh Ecumenical Council, the Second Council of Nicaea in 787, declared its purpose to be ‘that the divinely inspired tradition of the catholic church should receive confirmation by a public decree,’ anathematizing ‘anyone [who] rejects any written or unwritten tradition of the church.’”

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