Category Archives: APOLOGETIC

SEARCHING FOR THE TRUTH – FR. ANTHONY ALEVIZOPOULOS, GREECE

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ORTHODOXY IS LOVE

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Searching for the Truth

by

Fr. Anthony Alevizopoulos, Greece

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http://www.egolpion.com/searching_truth.en.aspx

ANTI HERETICAL MANUAL

The problem of where the truth lies has occupied mankind down through the ages; it is a problem that is always contemporary and of its very nature leads man to seek an answer. The Philosophers, especially the ancient Greeks, posed the question: “What is the truth?” and most men have searched for it rationally. Some said that truth is an Idea, a “principle of all things”, the “prime mover unmoved” and called it God.

But this “God”, the God of the philosophers, cannot redeem. He touches only man’s rational faculty, and not man as a whole; no one can come into personal commu­nion with him since he is not a person, but something impersonal; an universal Mind that acts blindly, or is so distant and so transcendental that he has no interest in man or in the world.

There can be no doubt that anyone with a good disposition, upon observing creation and using his human potential, can discover evidence of God’s existence. However, he will discover only the concept of God, but not God Himself, salvific truth.

Others, down through the ages, have created world idols and a multitude of deities. They established “divine” laws and rules and created systems of worship of human provenance. All these, however, are simply expressions of man himself; they do not transcend the created realm, created reality; they do not, in other words, reveal the one true God Who transcends the created world.

Again, still others believe that man is by nature God. It remains simply for him to understand “his true self; nothing need change save his stance vis-a-vis his God-self, rejecting any thought that might differentiate him from his own divinity and recognize the existence of a God outside and beyond him.

In the final analysis, such an approach to God cannot satisfy man. It leads to an infinite loneliness which is contrary to human nature. By nature, man seeks warmth, love, communion with others and not only with himself; Without these things, he cannot exist. That is why he continuously seeks them. He is not satisfied with man-made concepts concerning God. He desires to rise above created reality, above creation and seek the meaning of life in communion with the uncreated and eternal God.

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THE SHOCKING TRUTH ABOUT CHRISTIAN ORTHODOXY – JOHN BEHR, USA

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AMERICA OF MY HEART

USA OF MY HEART

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The Shocking Truth about Christian Orthodoxy

John Behr, USA

Fr. John Behr takes on those who dismiss Jesus Christ on “historical grounds,” by explaining how historicism itself is problematic and, indeed, heretical. The alternative to historicism as our mode of interpretation, he explains, is Christ on the cross as the foundation of all our knowledge and interpretation.

The Very Rev. Dr. John Behr is the Dean of St. Vladimir’s Seminary in Crestwood, N.Y., where he is also Professor of Patristics, teaching courses in patristics, dogmatics, and Scriptural exegesis. He also teaches at Fordham University, where he is the Distinguished Lecturer in Patristics.

This lecture was delivered as part of the annual Augustine College Weston Lecture series on March 23rd, 2012.

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Fr. John Behr is the Dean of St Vladimir’s Seminary and Professor of Patristics, teaching courses in patristics, dogmatics and scriptural exegesis at the seminary, and also at Fordham University, where he is the Distinguished Lecturer in Patristics.

http://www.svots.edu/profile/very-rev-dr-john-behr

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SVOTS

ST VLADIMIR’S ORTHODOX THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

NEW YORK

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St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (Crestwood, New York) is one of three institutions of professional theological education in the Orthodox Church in America. The other two schools are St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (South Canaan, Pennsylvania) and St. Herman’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (Kodiak, Alaska).

COMPUTER SCIENTISTS “PROVE” GOD EXISTS – BY DAVID KNIGHT, SPIEGEL

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LETTERS FROM AN EX 2X2

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Computer Scientists “Prove” God Exists

by

David Knight, SPIEGEL

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CREATION TRUTH ORTHODOXY

Two scientists have formalized a theorem regarding the existence of God penned by mathematician Kurt Gödel. But the God angle is somewhat of a red herring — the real step forward is the example it sets of how computers can make scientific progress simpler.

As headlines go, it’s certainly an eye-catching one. “Scientists Prove Existence of God,” German daily Die Welt wrote last week.

But unsurprisingly, there is a rather significant caveat to that claim. In fact, what the researchers in question say they have actually proven is a theorem put forward by renowned Austrian mathematician Kurt Gödel — and the real news isn’t about a Supreme Being, but rather what can now be achieved in scientific fields using superior technology.

When Gödel died in 1978, he left behind a tantalizing theory based on principles of modal logic — that a higher being must exist. The details of the mathematics involved in Gödel’s ontological proof are complicated, but in essence the Austrian was arguing that, by definition, God is that for which no greater can be conceived. And while God exists in the understanding of the concept, we could conceive of him as greater if he existed in reality. Therefore, he must exist.

Even at the time, the argument was not exactly a new one. For centuries, many have tried to use this kind of abstract reasoning to prove the possibility or necessity of the existence of God. But the mathematical model composed by Gödel proposed a proof of the idea. Its theorems and axioms — assumptions which cannot be proven — can be expressed as mathematical equations. And that means they can be proven.

Proving God’s Existence with a MacBook

That is where Christoph Benzmüller of Berlin’s Free University and his colleague, Bruno Woltzenlogel Paleo of the Technical University in Vienna, come in. Using an ordinary MacBook computer, they have shown that Gödel’s proof was correct — at least on a mathematical level — by way of higher modal logic. Their initial submission on the arXiv.org research article server is called “Formalization, Mechanization and Automation of Gödel’s Proof of God’s Existence.”

The fact that formalizing such complicated theorems can be left to computers opens up all kinds of possibilities, Benzmüller told SPIEGEL ONLINE. “It’s totally amazing that from this argument led by Gödel, all this stuff can be proven automatically in a few seconds or even less on a standard notebook,” he said.

The name Gödel may not mean much to some, but among scientists he enjoys a reputation similar to the likes of Albert Einstein — who was a close friend. Born in 1906 in what was then Austria-Hungary and is now the Czech city of Brno, Gödel later studied in Vienna before moving to the United States after World War II broke out to work at Princeton, where Einstein was also based. The first version of this ontological proof is from notes dated around 1941, but it was not until the early 1970s, when Gödel feared that he might die, that it first became public.

Now Benzmüller hopes that using such a headline-friendly example can help draw attention to the method. “I didn’t know it would create such a huge public interest but (Gödel’s ontological proof) was definitely a better example than something inaccessible in mathematics or artificial intelligence,” the scientist added. “It’s a very small, crisp thing, because we are just dealing with six axioms in a little theorem. … There might be other things that use similar logic. Can we develop computer systems to check each single step and make sure they are now right?”

“An Ambitious Expressive Logic”

The scientists, who have been working together since the beginning of the year, believe their work could have many practical applications in areas such as artificial intelligence and the verification of software and hardware.

Benzmüller also pointed out that there are many scientists working on similar subject areas. He himself was inspired to tackle the topic by a book entitled “Types, Tableaus and Gödel’s God,” by Melvin Fitting.

The use of computers to reduce the burden on mathematicians is not new, even if it is not welcomed by all in the field. American mathematician Doron Zeilberger has been listing the name Shalosh B. Ekhad on his scientific papers since the 1980s. According to the New York-based Simons Foundation, the name is actually a pseudonym for the computers he uses to help prove theorems in seconds that previously required page after page of mathematical reasoning. Zeilberger says he gave the computer a human-sounding name “to make a statement that computers should get credit where credit is due.” “human-centric bigotry” on the part of mathematicians, he says, has limited progress.

Ultimately, the formalization of Gödel’s ontological proof is unlikely to win over many atheists, nor is it likely to comfort true believers, who might argue the idea of a higher power is one that defies logic by definition. For mathematicians looking for ways to break new ground, however, the news could represent an answer to their prayers.

David Knight, SPIEGEL

Source:

ABC NEWS

LIFE AFTER BIRTH & LIFE AFTER DEATH – A PARABLE

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CALIFORNIA OF MY HEART

AMERICA OF MY HEART

δίδυμα

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Life after Birth & Life after Death

by

Henri Nouwen

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ORTHODOXY IS LOVE

Imagines twins –a brother and a sister– talking to each other in their mother’s womb:

The sister said to the brother, “I believe there is life after birth.”

Her brother protested vehemently, “No, no, this is all there is. This is a dark and cozy place, and we have nothing else to do but to cling to the cord that feeds us.”

The little girl insisted, “There must be something more than this dark place. There must be something else, a place with light where there is freedom to move.” Still, she could not convince her twin brother.

After some silence, the sister said hesitantly, “I have something else to say, and I’m afraid you won’t believe that, either, but I think there is a mother.”

Her brother became furious. “A mother!” he shouted. “What are you talking about? I have never seen a mother, and neither have you. Who put that idea in your head? As I told you, this place is all we have. Why do you always want more? This is not such a bad place, after all. We have all we need, so let’s be content.”

The sister was quite overwhelmed by her brother’s response and for a while didn’t dare say anything more. But she couldn’t let go of her thoughts, and since she had only her twin brother to speak to, she finally said, “Don’t you feel these squeezes every once in a while? They’re quite unpleasant and sometimes even painful.”

“Yes,” he answered. “What’s special about that?”

“Well,” the sister said, “I think that these squeezes are there to get us ready for another place, much more beautiful than this, where we will see our mother face-to-face. Don’t you think that’s exciting?”

The brother didn’t answer. He was fed up with the foolish talk of his sister and felt that the best thing would be simply to ignore her and hope that she would leave him alone.

Source:

Henri Nouwen, Our Greatest Gift: A Meditation on Dying and Caring,

Harper: San Francisco, 1994, pp. 19-20

YOGA AND ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY: ARE THEY COMPATIBLE? – DR. CHRISTINE MANGALA, INDIA

 http://whataboutyoga.wordpress.com

WHAT ABOUT YOGA?

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Yoga and Orthodox Christianity: Are They Compatible?

Dr. Christine Mangala, India

Source:

http://www.ancientfaith.com

ANCIENT FAITH

Dr. Christine Mangala was raised in India and brought up a devout Hindu. Her family was close to one of India’s leading Hindu gurus and teachers. Now an Orthodox Christian writer and teacher, she and Illumined Heart host Kevin Allen speak about whether various aspects of Hindu Yoga are compatible with Christian faith and practice, or whether Yoga should be shunned entirely.

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http://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/illuminedheart/yoga_and_orthodox_christianity_are_they_compatible

The interview video of Dr. Christine Mangala & Kevin Allen

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Mr. Allen: Welcome to The Illumined Heart on Ancient Faith Radio. As many of you know, we have spoken often on this program about the influence of eastern, non-Christian, spiritual ideas, metaphysics, and worldviews on our culture. And this is the spiritual background I came out of, one which continues to be a subject of interest to me, and, I hope, for some of you as well.

Recently, my parish in southern California has begun to see a trickle of enquirers coming from various eastern traditions, especially those of Hinduism. So I hope our conversation today—Yoga and Orthodox Christianity: Are They Compatible?—will bring light to the Continue reading YOGA AND ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY: ARE THEY COMPATIBLE? – DR. CHRISTINE MANGALA, INDIA

ANSWERS IN GENESIS: STARLIGHT

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CREATION TRUTH ORTHODOXY

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Answers in Genesis: Starlight