Thursday, April 10, 2003

Is Generation Y becoming prolife?
by Chuck Colson
With lots of links to more articles and sites at the end.

About crossing oneself
A little explanation and history on a nice page with some good background MIDI music.

From A conservative blog for peace reader Mike Russell
View From an Ancient Monastery as Yet Another War Intrudes
From The New York Times.

Nestorianism revisited

Today in Church history

April 10, 428: Nestorius is consecrated bishop of Constantinople. Almost immediately, Nestorius began attacking the term "Theotokos" (God-bearer) to describe the Virgin Mary. "It is impossible that God should be born of a woman," he said, suggesting Christotokos (Christ-bearer) instead. He did not deny Jesus' nature as God but simply felt that the term challenged the reality of Christ's human nature. Though the church denounced Nestorius as a heretic, some modern theologians think the label may have been too harsh. [End of quotation.]

The third ecumenical council, held at Ephesus and accepted by the Oriental Churches, Orthodox and Catholics, rejected Nestorianism and taught Mary is the Mother of God (also the lone dogmatic teaching about Mary in Eastern Orthodoxy).

Formerly known by nonmembers as the Nestorian Church, the Assyrian Church of the East is the historic Christian church of Iraq. It still has a lot in common with Eastern Orthodoxy, the Oriental Churches and Catholicism - it has bishops and sacraments, and teaches the truth about the Eucharist - but it doesn't use icons (but doesn't oppose their use) since its tradition is older than the use of icons, and the Anaphora of SS. Addai and Mari, the consecration prayer of its Liturgy (Mass), a unique rite and one of the oldest still in use, doesn't include the words of institution ('this is My Body', 'this is My Blood'), the only such prayer like that. They also liturgically use Aramaic (Syriac), the Semitic vernacular spoken by Jesus - a shrinking number of Assyrians speak it as their everyday language too.

The Church of the East has a Catholic spinoff, the Chaldean Catholic Church, that is unique among such spinoffs in that it is bigger than the original church and might be the biggest Christian church in Iraq, but all Christians over there are a small minority.

It's commonly heard today in theological circles that the differences between Assyrians, Orientals and the Chalcedonian churches (Orthodox and Catholic) were really just big misunderstandings - that the Assyrians weren't really Nestorians and the Orientals not really Monophysites. Splits happened because of language differences/mistranslations and political rivalries - for example, the Copts (the descendents of the ancient Egyptians, who all became Christian) broke away from the Orthodox because they didn't like the Greeks and didn't want to be ruled by their empire. All share some core beliefs and practices Westerners would recognize as Catholic - belief in Christ's divinity and Resurrection, bishops and sacraments, teaching the truth about the Eucharist, the intercession of the saints.

Nestorianism basically splits Jesus into two people and despite Nestorius' disclaimer denies a man can be God. It's been rightly said that popular Protestantism, such as in America, is unwittingly a revival of Nestorianism as many don't know or accept the divinity of Christ (the same reason I've said it's at least semi-Arian), and witness the Protestant negative reaction to the term 'Mother of God'!

‘Where you do get all this stuff?’
The number-one contributors of content to this blog are readers like you - especially Lee Penn, Samer al-Batal and Nik Stanosheck. (Who are Russian Catholic, Melkite Catholic and Russian Orthodox, respectively.) Thanks! Also, stories come from and Yahoo! News.

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