“Since one of the signs of the Divine Nature is its essential incomprehensibility, in this also must the copy be like the original. For were the nature of the copy comprehended, when the original was above comprehension, the copy would be a mistaken one. But, inasmuch as the nature of our spirit is above our understanding, it has here an exact resemblance of the all-sublime, representing by its own unfathomableness the incomprehensible Being of God.” — Gregory of Nyssa, quoted in The Idea of the Holy by Rudolf Otto
According to the Orthodox Church in America, Gregory of Nyssa was “[e]ndowed with philosophical talent” and “saw philosophy as a means for a deeper penetration into the authentic meaning of divine revelation.”
Posted in Christian, Christian Humanism, culture, faith
Tagged Being of God, Christianity, Divine Nature, eastern orthodox, God, Gregory of Nyssa, Neo-platonism, Platonism, Spirit
This has given me new angles on troubling questions, questions I have guessed were less about God and more about neo-Calvinistas in the U.S.A. I posed several of those questions in a previous post, “A Question About Christian Theology.”
But what about HELL? This is always the first question posed when confronted with Robert W. Jenson’s understanding of the gospel as unconditional promise. If the Church is authorized to speak the Kingdom to all comers, does this not imply universal salvation? In his youthful systematics, Story and Promise, Jenson refuses to answer yay or nay:
What is the point of the traditional language about damnation? Two points only. First, damnation is not part of the gospel. The gospel is not a carrot and a stick: it is unconditional promise. Damnation is a possibility I pose to myself when I hear the gospel and instead of believing it begin to speculate about it—which we all regularly do. Therefore, this book, which tries to explain the gospel, has talked only about Fulfillment and will continue to do so. Second, damnation would be that we were finally successful in self-alienation from our…
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Posted in Christian Humanism
Tagged Calvinism, damnation, doctrine, eastern orthodox, Eclectic Orthodoxy, freedom, Gospel, hell, predestination, Robert W. Jensen, theology
Continuing a critique of the phrase “Biblical Anglicans” and some possible assumptions behind it:
Throughout his five-volume series The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine, Jaroslav Pelikan, the late Yale historian of Christianity, returned to the formative role of church tradition.
(Granted, as I said before, histories, like texts, are matters of interpretation. But some interpretations are better informed and more authoritative than others.)
In the fifth volume, Christian Doctrine and Modern Culture (since 1700), Pelikan writes (with direct quotations referring to sources listed in the margins of the book; the sources are omitted here for clarity):
Because it was the period in which historical theology came into its own, especially among Protestants but also among Roman Catholics and (particularly toward the end of the period) among Eastern Orthodox scholars, the nineteenth century confronted the idea of consensus of Christian tradition, and specifically patristic tradition, in a new way. It did seem remarkable that the apologists of the first three centuries in their defenses of the Christian message against pagans and Jews had “totally ignored the living tradition in their theory and criticism of revelation,” which they sometimes seemed to reduce to rational notions of God, creation, and immortality. A growing interest in the historical significance of Gnosticism for the emergence of orthodox Catholic doctrine led to the judgment that since Catholics and Gnostics alike had appealed to the authority of Scripture, the authority of tradition as “a principle standing above Scripture” became a way for Catholic orthodoxy to defeat Gnostic heresy. Irenaeus deserved recognition for being the first who “penetrated to the full value of the Catholic principle of tradition and developed its probative force.” Having supported the authenticity of the books of the New Testament from the tradition of the universal church, he had, moreover, helped to preserve the very Scripture that Protestants now sought to dissociate from tradition; and he had proved his thesis concerning the unity of apostolicity of the Catholic Church and its tradition by reference to the church of Rome, whose authority Protestants denied; Eastern theologians had to make a special point of explaining his statements about Roman primacy.
The boldfaced segments above were added by me.
Please also see:
Richard Hooker versus the Puritan position—more about the Anglican view of Scripture, Reason & Tradition
“Biblical Anglicans” as “one-third Anglicans”
Anglicanism and “Biblical Anglicans” as “one-third Anglicans”
Anglicanism, Thomas Cranmer and Richard Hooker in the context of Scripture, Reason, and Tradition
Posted in Anglican, Anglican Church, books, Christian, Christianity, Episcopal, faith, ideas, politics, religion, Scripture
Tagged ACNA, Anglican, eastern orthodox, Episcopal, Gnosticism, Gnostics, Jaroslav Pelikan, reason, Roman Catholic, Scripture, tradition