Monday, December 27, 2010

more incomplete works of greg

An essay prepared for the last section on Early Church History

In his Third Epistle to Nestorius, Cyril of Alexandria argues against the writings and teachings of Nestorius concerning the nature of the person of Christ. Nestorius has propagated a Christology which drew a great distinction between the humanity of Christ and the divinity of Christ, the Eternal Word. Nestorius had been concerned about Apollonarianism and the claims that the humanity of Christ was subsumed by his divinity. Attempting to realign that error, and to protect the divinity of Christ which clearly could not change, suffer or die, Nestorius ended up splitting the two natures of Christ dividing Christ's words and acts between his humanity and divinity, respectively. Cyril's approach to argue against Nestorian Christology relies on a three-fold system of “rules” used in early ecumenical counsels for reaching theological decisions: Do not contradict Scripture; Do not threaten the means of salvation through Christ; And do not interfere with the liturgy.
Cyril regularly appeals to Scripture in order to disprove Nestorius showing him how he has misused Scripture and departed from the correct interpretation thereof. Cyril urges Nestorius to “abstain from these mischievous and distorted dogmas, which you hold arid teach, and to receive the right faith, handed down to the churches from the beginning through the holy Apostles and Evangelists, who 'were eye-witnesses, and ministers of the Word'” (Third Epistle to Nestorius, 1). It is evident that there is an essential connection between Scripture and the faithful interpretation of Scripture as passed down through tradition, or “right faith”. Cyril also quotes and references Scripture in order to build up his case for the unity of the two natures of Christ and the necessity that He be both fully God and fully human in all his words and actions.
Cyril appeals to the second of the unofficial “rules”, when he argues that Nestorius is threatening salvation through Christ. It is necessary for salvation that the Eternal Word died on the cross in unity with Jesus' humanity, “in order that, having trodden down death by his unspeakable power, first in his own flesh...and that he might make a way for the nature of man to attain incorruption” (Third Ep, 3).
Lastly, Cyril protects the liturgy, specifically the sacrament of the Eucharist, from the Christology of Nestorius. Cyril argues that Nestorius has divided Christ into two, separating the humanity and divinity in such a way that he cannot be rightly worshiped in Unity, but is rather two different objects of worship where believers must somehow render praise to Jesus the man as well as Christ the God. Cyril uses the practice of the Eucharist to uphold the indivisible union of the two natures of Christ in one person. If the person of Christ is divided, then he is not present in the Eucharist and those who partake of it do not partake in the life-giving Word who died. This argument asks the question, “was not the Eucharist a re-enactment of the miracle of Bethlehem, at which the life-giving Body and Blood of Christ were offered to be received by the faithful?” (Chadwick, 198).
This process carries validity to how we may do theology today, but the diversity of Orthodox Christian practice may cause difficulties to use this approach with consistency. To uphold Scripture as paramount and to defend salvation through Christ are certainly necessary and Christianity remains in agreement on these points. Arguing from liturgy provides more difficulties, especially with perennial debates concerning the nature of the Eucharist, or Lord's Supper and Baptism. A more robust theology of liturgy across all Christian denominations would enliven theological debate, especially since lex orandi lex credendi is alive and well in the 21st century.

incomplete works of greg

So, since we mention the "work" we do, but you only actually ever see swanky pictures of our social lives and crutches to get us through a harrowing seminary experience, we thought we'd show you some of the fruits of our labors.  It is sort of difficult to post large papers or things that would require a lot of context but we have done our best to post what is most accessible and brief. :)

One of our classes was Biblical Interpretation/Intro to English/Greek/Hebrew grammar and our final project was to read a book called "Drama of Scripture", basically an overview of salvation history which unfolds in 6 "Acts" (plus an Intertestamental period).  Using this format, we were to develop a teaching program on these 6 acts taught through whatever medium we preferred so it was a creative opportunity for us.
Greg chose to use the German national anthem to set a hymn based on the six acts from the drama book.

“The Drama of Scripture”
words by Gregory Pfeifer, 2010
music by Franz Josef Haydn, “Austria” 1797

God created out of nothing
All things by His spo-ken Word:
Light and life in heav'n, earth, sky, and sea.
God called all He made ve-ry good!

Making ma-n in His own im-ag-e,
God spoke His first co-ve-nant,

Be ye fruit-ful! Mul-ti-ply and fill!
Have do-min-ion o-ver all I have giv'n!”

2-Fall of Humankind
God gave only one com-mand-ment:
Eat from this tree and ye shall die.”
They, forgetting God and choo-sing self
dis-o-beyed and foll-owed a lie.

Man's re-la-tion-ship with God was bro-ken
yet He still would pro-mis-eth:

From the woman's seed shall come vic-tor-y
He sha-ll crush the head of sin a-nd death!”

3- Kingdom Established in Israel
Is-ra-el, God's cho-sen kingdom
blessed to bless the sons of man.
Out of bon-dage through the wild-er-ness
God led them to the Pro-mised Land.

Gave them kings and priests, judges, prophets, Law
through whom co-ve- nants un-furled.

I will be your God. You, my people.
From you will come the King who will save the world”

4-Redemption Accomplished by Jesus

Jesus Christ ful- filled the Co-ve-nants
wri-ting Law and Bless-ing with-in.
Second Adam, Hope of Is-ra-el
Conq'ring King o'er death a-nd sin!

The In-car-nate Word lived and dies for us
rose a-gain to reign on High

God so loved the world: He gave His own Son
Who-e'er be-lieves in Him shall have Ne-w Life”

5-The Church and Jesus' Mission on Earth

God the Fa-ther sends Sal-va-tion forth.
God the Son se- cures Re-demp-tion.
God the Spi-rit leads the Church in Truth
who Par-ti-ci- pates in His Work.

Ci-ty on a hill. Light to Nations fill.
Com-mis-sioned by Christ our King:

Go into the world make di-sci-ples
by Fa-ther, Son, and Holy Ghost bap-tiz-ing!”

6-Return of the King

Wai-ting for the King to come a-gain
long-ing for new earth and new heav'n.
All things shall be once for all re-deemed
through the judg-ment of the Lamb.

Part of one Story from Fall to Glory
Jesus comes to write the End,

Lo! I'm coming soon!” we say when you do,
Ma-ra-na-tha come Lord Je-sus! Amen!”

This Hymn is designed to support a 6-part teaching program, each verse coinciding with the content of the teaching to introduce the Parish to the “Drama of Scripture” as a way of situating the narrative of the Bible in its own context as well as our own context in the unfolding Story. The hymn tune was chosen as a familiar one, often associated with “Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken” (1982 Hymnal, Hymn #522), which is a Hymn concerning the Church. The familiarity with the tune, also used as the music for the German National Anthem, “Deutschlandlied”, allows for ease of teaching the new text. Similarly the familiar tune turns the focus away from learning the music to paying attention to the lyrics. Though pedagogical in nature, this Hymn, as with all others, ought to inspire to worship. To help facilitate this worshipful experience, the lyrics attempt to draw the singer out of self and upward to the Lord by emphasizing God's work.  The hymn tune has three sections per verse. The first section introduces God's activity, the middle section briefly relates the impact of the activity and each verse concludes with God speaking words of covenant exhortation, except for the last verse where the Church responds to the final words of Christ as we now await His return, reminding us that we are within the time frame of that verse and the chapter of the “Drama” we find ourselves.


This is how Greg looked for all of November.  Oddly enough, he had very few questions as to why he was sporting a fu manchu.  Well, it's all related to one particular Aussie that we know.  He's a cancer survivor and Greg decided to support the cause.

Here's some info about it:
The Mo, slang for moustache, and November come together each year for Movember

Movember challenges men to change their appearance and the face of men’s health by growing a moustache. The rules are simple, start Movember 1st  clean-shaven and then grow a moustache for the entire month.  The moustache becomes the ribbon for men’s health, the means by which awareness and funds are raised for cancers that affect men.  Much like the commitment to run or walk for charity, the men of Movember commit to growing a moustache for 30 days. 

The idea for Movember was sparked in 2003 over a few beers in Melbourne, Australia.  The plan was simple – to bring the moustache back as a bit of a joke and do something for men’s health. No money was raised in 2003, but the guys behind the Mo realized the potential a moustache had in generating conversations about men’s health.  Inspired by the women around them and all they had done for breast cancer, the Mo Bros set themselves on a course to create a global men’s health movement.  

Greg had opportunity to speak with a couple of guy about the movement and encourage them to remember to look into their health.


 You know us, we're always ready for a chance to dress up in crazy outfits.  The company we had was awesome, the movie was good, not great but didn't expect it to me.  We're now reading Book VII so that Noel can prove to Greg that the book was nowhere near as boring as the movie made it seem...but familiar with Noel's book-to-movie-inherent-issues rantings, he never doubted it but is patient with Noel and likes it when she reads to him.

We were able to take a couple days off to go to San Antonio for Thanksgiving.  In addition, we celebrated Ethan's 3rd birthday!
Good aunts give lots of piggy back rides

HabaƱero's burritos...yummm

Lewis the scary snapping turtle dog

breakfast courtesy of Hope n Joe!

Ethan's new Ice Cream playdoh machine...what kind of cruelty is it that they make an "ice cream machine" and then the whole time you have to tell the 3 yr old ice cream maker that it's not actually edible

hate to hold hands? no problem, just put your hands in your pockets!

sweet potato and apples maker!

Thanksgiving TV and football...evidently, the Rocky marathon currently


"just act natural", i said.

Annual Thanksgiving walk and park playing

playing Connect on Al & Mike's's pretty sweet, not gonna lie--hope n joe are playing ping pong

unfortunately, it records your moves and plays them back for you

dad killin' it at bowling

Collins ladies!

"dance" connect

Ethan's bday party!

giant presents are the best

start 'em early, start 'em right

power tool ethan, but safety goggles first
 It was a good month.  We did lots of homework in there, too...I know we did....

too much too late?

Faithful pfeiferpfilers!

We apologize for our disappearance from the blogosphere for so long.  Our time between Thanksgiving and Christmas has been more amazingly busy than I can ever remember it being.  This was in part due to our part-time jobs that sneak over into full-time range and also being full-time-not-yet-sure-how-to-get-work-done-ahead-of-time students.  But, praise the Lord, we have made it through our first semester (officially finished with all work on Tuesday, December 21st at 12:32 pm...not that we're counting)  But, we're sort of going to go back in time and hit a few things that were missed but that are of course, still interesting, fun and full of interesting and fun photos.
So without further ado:

Post Reading Week Adventures or The rest of October
Oh wait, well, I think technically this happened in October, but our Kneelers game!!!!
This year, we lent our athletic prowess to the Trinity Kneelers flag football team.  We practiced hard, sustaining multiple sore muscles, for Noel an achilles heel that has lived up to its namesake and traveled to the battlefields of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania for the annual Luther Bowl tournament between Lutheran, Presbyterian and yes, one Anglican seminary.  The Kneelers won their division and proceeded to go head to head with the professional flag-footballers of Princeton Divinity school (literally, they're in a real league and they had already played 20 games in their own league) and held them off to a mere 6-0.  There's always next year...but let's just have a recap from this year, shall we?
 This one is our only action shot.  And Greg did a really great job even if his only action shot is of him on the ground, pushed over by a girl...upon review, he recalls that he was actually knocked over by one of our own girls...don't worry, not Noel.  And then there's Noel over on the sideline, lookin' tough and like she's going to take that guy out that blitzed!  Doesn't matter, though, we beat them.

Also, a visit from Greg's mom for Halloweenie!

Those all speak for themselves, right?  That last one is Greg going to work dressed as a pirate to Staaaaarrbucks.