On Doctrinal Development

The gentlemen at Energies of the Trinity have a cite from Florovsky that’s money. Check it out: Doctrinal Development in Orthodoxy?…Uh NOT!

4 thoughts on “On Doctrinal Development

  1. Maybe my understanding of what a “doctrine” is is faulty. It continues the discussion of what is (t)radition and what is (T)radition.

    Icons… LIturgical Theology… the use of Holy Orders (starting with deacons, middling out with seven, ending with three or four)… if these are not doctrines, then I may be able to agree with you.

    If they are doctrines… then they developed (and some continue to under our very eyes).

  2. I thank you for the link…. But the guy’s acting like “we orthodox know everything and the rest of you shut up…” I’ve been trying not to talk like that myself, for which I’ve been begging forgiveness. But constantly insisting that we don’t change… when constructing a defence using things that have clearly developed recently (like the entire Palamite theology) is very silly.
    LOL… I just clicked on his link and discovered he was the guy who wrote the first post. Cool…

  3. Huw,

    I don’t think I know everything. Nor do I think that the Orthodox Church does.

    I think a careful reader of Palamas will discover that his position was not new. I think you can find it fairly well attested to in Ireneaus, Athanasius, Cyril, the Cappadocians and Maximus the Confessor.

    As for development goes, changes in vestments and such don’t fall under the notion of doctrinal development, at least not the kind that Newman had in mind. RAther, the idea is that there are implicit truths unknown or at least unexplicated and taught in earlier teachings, so that it is possible for later generations to find and articulate doctrines (conceptual content) that earlier generations missed. Protestants defend innovations like sola fide by this same general theory and Catholics, specifically the Carolingians, defended the Filioque and the Papacy, lest the papacy be accused of tolerating gross heresy for a long period of time among the churches that were under its jurisdiction.

    This is why the Orthodox have no new dogmas and Catholics do. This is also why the feast day for St. Palamas is the Sunday of Orthodoxy.

    I hope that helps explain my position a big better.

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