Podcast From Fr. Hopko and Ancient Radio

I almost feel as if I could already end my short series on authority because Fr. Hopko addresses it all so eloquently and intelligently in this podcast. And I can also see that some of the guesses I have made (and were going to make) were pretty well spot-on. I was searching on a related topic for my blog-friend Jess, who has a great blog here, and found this. Enjoy!

Doctrinal Development


~ by crossingthebosporus on July 6, 2012.

9 Responses to “Podcast From Fr. Hopko and Ancient Radio”

  1. Thank you do much for this – really edifying – and thanks for the plug too 🙂

  2. I think we would all agree that there can be ‘no new doctrines unknown by earlier ages’. Fr. H is careful not to say this is what the RCC believes, and my understanding is that that is not what it believes.
    The real question, I believe, is whether our understanding of the doctrine develops, and we all think that is so.
    Where the rubber hits the road is when someone says that ‘x’ is ‘new’ and someone else says ‘no, understood aright’, it is there is the Scriptures. The classic example would be the Trinity – on which we all agree (well, Catholics, Anglicans and Orthodox and many others). But what about the perpetual Virginity of Our Lady? RCCs would say that that, too, is implicit in Scripture and that it only became necessary to make it a dogma when the impious questioned it.
    Fascinating stuff, and I loved Fr. Hopko’s talk.

  3. This could be interesting. There’s so much there that I am going to try to say something about it – it seems so on the button for where I am now – and where you are. I have just listened to it again, and will do so yet again. Thank you SO much. We’ll have to compare notes after we post 🙂

    • As I said, I feel like I could almost just end my short series now. I see I’ve scaled a theological mountain and found that someone had already planted a flag on the top 2.000 years ago! Well, I think I’ll still write it because there’s something cathartic for me about just putting the words down on screen.

      I think Fr. Hopko just hits it all out of the park. I’m glad that between our two blogs we were somehow able to get to a point where I would research about “development of doctrine” and find something that talked about that AND authority!

      • I’m not sure he did hit it out of the park. At the end where he was talking about the authority being the consensus of all the churches who recognised each other as Orthodox, and all of whom agreed with Scripture and the Creeds, it seemed to me that his argument became circular. We are Orthodox because we say we are Orthodox and all those who agree with us agree we are all Orthodox, and here are our proofs. But so say all who claim to be orthodox – surely?
        At least one of my lovely readers thinks I am prevaricating, but I know you know how I feel – ‘coz I think you feel similarly 🙂 Glad you are here!

      • I think Fr. Hopko’s point there is has to do with an essentially popularist view of Orthodoxy. Orthodoxy accepts the voice of the people of the Church as an avenue for the Spirit to lead the Church. So if the “people” reject some idea or practice, then Orthodoxy would trust that such a popular rejection is from the inspiration of the Spirit.

        Of course as to the circularity, I suppose it depends on how we are approaching the issue. If we’re approaching from an apostolic time looking forward, then Orthodoxy is recognized as belonging to those in the apostolic succession. If we’re looking at it from a modern view, then there is the body of Orthodoxy–the successors to the apostles and the vox populi–and from an Orthodox perspective they are by definition Orthodox. Although I wonder if really this circular logic isn’t behind most of the claims of authority? The Bible is authoritative because the Bible says it’s authoritative. The office of the Pope is authoritative because those who believe the office of the Pope is authoritative say it’s authoritative. If we pull on a thread, where does it end? Or does the whole structure collapse?

        I can’t help but feel currently a bit more drawn toward Orthodoxy. It may perhaps work slower than the Roman curia and be a bit more chaotic in that it allows for such widely disparate views, but perhaps that’s a method that works just as well as having the Roman curia to quickly respond to everything. Perhaps sometimes ideas have to grow to their full fruition before we can see just how well they are aligned with the historic faith of the apostles.

        I don’t know. As I’ve mentioned before, I almost feel like I should just toss a coin if this weren’t so important. I suppose the one comfort is that there is space in both Orthodox and Catholic theology to acknowledge that those who live outside of either communion can attain the presence of God as long as they are longing and praying for it.

      • Yes, in a way that was the pointing I was trying for – that the Orthodox claims are as circular as any others – but they make this great thing about adding nothing – which implies others have. But on the argument that what you are doing is developing a fresh understanding, everyone of the Catholic so-called additions can be justified as a deeper understanding of what was always there.
        I’ve got ideas now for three posts over the next few days, and if you have time, I’d love to have your view.

        My co-writer, who is a Catholic convert from Orthodoxy, simply tells me to to relax, stop getting myself in a tizzy and let the Spirit lead me. I’m trying it – it is a bit scary, but I’m getting the idea it is the way to be for now. xx Jess

      • I think one of the major stumbling blocks for me regarding Catholicism is the filioque. I know one of your regular readers mentioned that he isn’t aware of anyone who even thinks on this anymore, so maybe I’m alone here. I admit I don’t know the whole history, but the point that the councils set the creed and the creeds cannot be changed is a very compelling point to me. Then if I admit that, I can’t help but fall more and more in line with Orthodoxy.

        I’d be happy to help out however I can. With the temperatures so high, there’s not much I want to do outside the house for the time being.

        I think your co-writer is probably correct (and it should apply to me as well!) Using my new Orthodox prayer book was one of the reasons that got me to reexamine my prior leanings toward Catholicism. I guess one could say that is the work of the Holy Spirit through the liturgy. I tend to operate far too much in my head and perhaps Orthodox theology is exactly what I need right now.

      • The Nichols book I mentioned is good on the filioque, so do try it. Yes, I think C is right and we’re better off leaving some room for the Holy Spirit 🙂

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