Take the time to read through it all.
Totally confused. I assume that he’s talking about the Syrian Orthodox Church, one of five ancient non-Chalcedonian churches in the “Monophysite” confession (the others being the Armenian Orthodox Church, the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, and the Orthodox Church of India). It doesn’t seem like he understands much of their theology, their very public repudiation of the theology of TEC, or the various other religions he mixes into his vast stew of syncretism. He shouldn’t be rejected because he’s a Buddhist, he should be rejected because he’s fundamentally ignorant of all that he tries to mix into one!
This is from the Diocese of Northern Michigan News letter “Episcopal Life” September 2007:
[b]Two Enneagram series beginning this fall[/b]
The Healing Arts Center at St. Paulâ€™s, Marquette, will be offering a series of further exploration with the Enneagram on Tuesday evenings in September and October from 6:30-9:30pm, beginning on September 11. …Come explore how we can compassionately recognize and release our false identities and begin to realize spiritual freedom
THE HEALING ARTS CENTER & THE INTERFAITH FORUM OF MARQUETTE are sponsoring an â€œinterfaith conversationâ€ and a workshop on Meditation & the Enneagram, to be led by the Buddhist teacher, Santikaro. On Friday, October 5th, Santikaro will lead an interfaith conversation open to the public. The exact time and place of the venue are still in process. On Saturday, from 10-4 at the healing Arts Center, located in the Morgan Chapel of St. Paulâ€™s, Santikaro will lead a practical workshop exploring the relationship between meditation and the Enneagram. The Enneagram is a system with ancient roots, which integrates spirituality and psychology. Both events are open to the public. There is no fee, but donations are gladly accepted. For further information on either event, contact
Kevin G. Thew Forrester [Edited – Elf]
I don’t think you should post Thew Forrester’s email.
Listening to someone else’s sermon with a censor’s ear is a distasteful exercise. But it is fair to ask what is the good news in this sermon.
OK, so Bible translation was a challenge in the 1st century, just as in the 21st. Did the translators of the Greek original come up with the right dynamic equivalents for “save” and “redeem”? And if so, is KGTF right about the difference it makes? What does it mean to be made alive, given life, caused to live– when applied to people already alive, in biological terms– if it doesn’t imply that they are the walking dead, prior to their being united with Christ?
KGTF’s Christology isn’t all that clearly stated in this sermon, but his answer to “Who is Jesus?” seems to be, “He’s the one who most fully realized that we are one with God.” A high-achieving realizer. Not the unique Son of God, who became a human being once for all time; the unique sinless human being who underwent the baptism of repentance and conversion out of solidarity with sinners.
“…there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for all are one in Christ Jesus…” In Galatians 3:28 and Colossians 3:11, the context is baptism. The baptism of repentance and faith in Jesus Christ transcends the differences of Jew and Greek (accidents of birth), slave and free (economic and cultural constructs) and male and female (biological facts)– one standard of righteousness for all, one way to salvation for all. They have put on Christ, they have become new creations– because of the baptism of faith in Christ. Sorry, but it doesn’t apply to Muslims or to Jews who don’t have faith in Jesus.
KGTF: “…no matter what you name that source, from which all life comesâ€”you can name that source God, Abba; you may name that source Yahweh; you may name that source Allah; you may name that source â€œthe great emptiness;â€ you can name that source many things, but what all the faiths in their wisdom have acknowledged in the interfaith dialogue is that, you and I, weâ€™re not the source.”
Not much hint of a personal God here.
What is the NT witness to “the source”? “God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption.” (1 Corinthians 1:28-30)
It might not be totally unbiblical to refer to God as “the source.” But if KGTF is interested in being inclusive, he might have included somewhere the Christian conviction that the Source has named himself God the Father of our Lord Jesus; and Jesus the Son of God; and the Spirit of God.
I was hopeful when I heard KGTF say, “The Trinitarian structure of life is this: is that everything that is comes from the source.” True, we’re not the source. But his “Trinitarian structure” is man-centered, nature-centered, creation-centered. Nothing to suggest that we and the whole creation exist because of the love between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Or would that be making the Trinity “too complex”?
Hulls Cove, Maine
Let’s not blame the Syrian Orthodox for this: it’s the preacher’s off-hand use of someone else’s book making statements about somebody else’s translation of a Syriac text.
5. Anastasios is right. This has nothing to do with the Syrian Orthodox Church. The scholar KTF cites is a recognized authority in early Christian worship. The early Syriac versions were missionary translations from the Greek texts from the 3rd and 4th centuries which were almost paraphrases. Later translations are much better witnesses to the Greek NT texts. KTF is building a theology on the Living Bible version of Syriac.
In none of the texts KTF cites are the Syriac variants even mentioned in the textual apparatus of the Greek NT.
The startling thing about the sermon is that KTF is charging that the writers of the NT were wrongly influenced by Greek concepts of salvation and that missionaries to Syria straightened that out. He overlooks the strong thread through the Hebrew Bible of “save,” “salvation,” and “savior.” NT concepts of salvation are organic to our Hebrew roots.
[blockquote]When the Greeks talk about, and you find this in the New Testament, talk about redemption, they talk about us being freed from something, being rescued from something, being saved from something. So thereâ€™s something we need to be rescued from, something that we need to be delivered from, something we need to be saved from. So thereâ€™s a negative response, thereâ€™s something negative that we need to be rescued from in the Greek New Testament. She [his scholar] says in the Syriac New Testament the equivalent of the Greek verbs meaning to deliver, to redeem, to saveâ€”theyâ€™re not used. Instead, they come up with Syriac terms, and the Syriac terms are these, theyâ€™re fascinating: they are â€œto give life,â€ â€œto make alive,â€ and â€œto cause to live.â€ Thatâ€™s very differentâ€”to cause to live, to make alive, to give life.[/blockquote]
Finally, the BCP makes quite a prominent place for the confession of things we need to be saved from and for the confession of the Savior of the world.
KGTF is practicing the art of Frank Griswold: appropriating ancient sources- who are nonetheless very clear in their Christology- to give credence to heterodox opinions of bishops who can’t seem to call Jesus “Lord” and leave it at that! I believe C.S. Lewis has portrayed these bishops and their dangerous future in his excellent book “The Great Divorce”. Are there no faithful laity in this man’s diocese who will stand up and say, “this is b***s***!?