Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Filioque?


Do you guys know what that word means? I had to look it up. But once I did, I remembered that it was the intellectual reason behind (or in front of?) the political reason for the Great Schism ... the split of the Catholic and Orthodox churches in ... 1054? The basic idea is this: they took issue with the addition of a clause to the Nicene creed: instead of the Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father, according to the new (in 1054) clause the HS proceeds from the Father and the Son. This guy mentions, and I am surprised I never realized it before, that this is hardly ever an issue that comes up when protestants/evangelicals have issues with the Orthodox church. And yet, because of it's impact on our understanding of the Trinity, it seems like it would be a more significant question than icons or veneration of Mary.

So ... two questions for all you intellectuals out there ...

1) Do you think there's a significant difference between the two Trinity conceptions? I've heard before that the filioque was merely a pretext for the Eastern church to get out from under the domineering thumb of the Bishop of Rome. Is it a straw man, or a real distinction? How would the Eastern perspective change their understanding of the Trinity?

2) According to this guy, the Western conception of the Trinity is rooted in Augustine and is in conflict with "Sola Scriptura". Is this a just accusation? Why or why not? And no fair putting anything like "Augustine was inspired by God" or "The continuum of church history and theology followed ..." in there.


Acolyte4236 said...

The dispute over the filioque is older than the filioque and so couldn't have been merely a means to reject the papacy. It has legs of its own.

And if the filioque is in scripture, I'd love to see where.

Ben said...

Whoa ... apparently the Eastern church has narrow-minded doctrine jocks, as well. Do you just regularly do a google search for "filioque clause", or what?

Acolyte4236 said...

No, there was a link to it on my blog. I mistyped above, it should have read, that the debate over the filioque is older than the 1054 schism. In any case, I am not sure why you'd label me as you have.

Ben said...

Um, possibly because you came onto our blog and responded to my post with an extremely combative comment. Not that I have any problem with that ... just don't be surprised if I'm equally combative in response.

So, you're the Energetic Procession dude, huh? I liked your blog, what I saw of it. And I think that the comment referencing my post was a little unfair ... I wasn't belittling the Eastern faiths as much as opening up the concept for discussion. The other contributors to this blog are all pretty Reformed, so I usually posit stuff like that from a "what do you think about this" perspective. Our real discussion on this subject ended up happening here if you're looking for a forum to champion Orthodox beliefs.