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© John S. Romanides

When one is confronted with this kind of language one has the right to wonder if he is not dealing with a theology which is maintaining the accepted forms of an official state religion but whose basic presuppositions are quite different. This is certainly to be expected m any situation where the state and hierarchy are constantly struggling to impose a uniformity of faith. There can be no doubt about Theodore's zeal against the Arians and Eunomians. It must be remembered, however, that Sabellius and Paul of Samosata would have shown just as much enthusiasm for the overthrow of this new polytheism. We are not trying to suggest that Theodore was a Sabellian; his fervor against any form of theopassianism would count this out. Nor are we suggesting that he was a crypto-Samosatene. Theodore calls Paul of Samosata an "angel of satan" because "he says that Christ our savior is a simple man and fails to recognize that hypostasis of the divinity of the One before the ages." [ 86 ] However, the fact that theologians are struggling against each other does not mean that their basic presuppositions are necessarily different. There is a thread of presuppositions running right through Paul of Samosata, the Arians and Nestorians, which bears this point out and also seems to be the key to understanding Theodore's Christology.

Although he seems quite confident that Theodore has no metaphysical explanation to offer for the union of two natures, because the Mopsuestian supposedly considers this to be in the realm of mystery, still Galtier expresses in a footnotes [ 87 ] a slight reservation by referring to a possible clue in the fragments of Theodore's letter to Domnus. [ 88 ] Perhaps by tracing out the meaning of this passage in the light of other passages with the help of the general Syrian theological environment we can arrive at a very important clue for the better understanding of both Nestorianism and Arianism.

In this letter Theodore writes "and why is it necessary to say any more? The reason of the union according to essence is true (or applicable) only in the case of consubstantials, but in the case of things not consubstantial it is not applicable {or true), there being no clear (reason) possible for confusion. But the manner of union according to good-will, while preserving the natures, demonstrates the one person of both inseparably, and also the one will and one energy, together with the one authority and rule which is consequent to these." [ 89 ] It is quite clear that Theodore is here limiting the concept of essential or natural union to consubstantíals. Thus the Persons of the Trinity can be united by nature to each other, but not to things heterosubstantial. To these God can unite Himself only according to good-will. Now the question arises, why does Theodore preclude the possibility that God can unite Himself by nature to something not consubstantial with Himself ? It may be remembered that Nestorius was quite violent on this point against Cyril. Theodoret and the Antiochene bishops generally were also scandalized by Cyril's "natural" or "hypostastic" union. There is every indication to believe that Theodore's reaction to Cyril's terminology would have been generally the same as that of Nestorius.

Before we examine an important text to demonstrate this point one should ask whether Theodore would have heard such language for the first time from Cyril. Of course, the answer is no. He deals with this notion at length and rejects it as being impious. [ 90 ] Also he was certainly familiar with the theology of his opponent Apollinaris who claimed that Christ is both by nature God and by nature man. On the other hand, it is quite possible that he knew St. Gregory the Theologian's letters to Cledonius attacking not only Apollinaris, but also those who divide Christ by speaking of two Sons and refusing to acknowledge the two births of the Only-Begotten Son of God, one from the Father before the ages and one "afterward of the Virgin Mary."[ 91 ] In his first letter to Cledonius, Gregory speaks of the union in Christ as being according to essence.`' [ 92 ]

The very fact that Theodore spends a great deal of time discussing the manner by which God dwells in Christ is an indication that he is very much aware of the metaphysical aspects of the problem. Galtier's insistence that for Theodore all this belongs to the realm of mystery is without foundation. In his De Incarnatione Theodore sets out to solve the problem of the divine indwelling in Christ and never once gives the impression that it is really a mystery and therefore cannot be defined. He mentions two opinions concerning the manner of indwelling. "On the one hand some have decided that the indwelling takes place by essence and others by energy" [ 93 ] Theodore rejects both the Samosatene approach and the traditional approach offered in opposition to Paul of Samosata. God cannot be present in any special place according to essence because this would be a limitation of His infinity. On the other hand, if God is everywhere present by reason of His essence, granting to all the indwelling also, He would be granting this not only to men, but also to irrational and inanimate things. Since both these possibilities are improper, it is nonsense to speak of an indwelling according to nature. Neither can the indwelling take place according to energy because the providential operation of God is everywhere present. The only possibility left is to speak of God effecting His indwelling by His good-will whereby He becomes present in whom He chooses not by any spacial movement from place to place, but by will. Neither is it proper to say that God works His omnipresence by will because then He would have to work His special presence by a necessity of nature. "For thus the infinity is unto Him better preserved, when He does not appear to work by some necessity of the uncircumscribed nature. For if He is omnipresent by will, He will again be found working by necessity, no longer working the presence by opinion, but by the infinity of nature, and having the will following." [ 94 ]

It should be noted at the very outset that in this passage ουσία and φύσις are synonymous and used interchangeably. This is a clear indication that Theodore would have reacted to Cyril's ένωσιν κατά φύσιν or υπόστασιν exactly as he would have had Cyril spoken of an ένωσιν κατ' ουσίαν. The second point which must be made clear is the fact that Theodore is not objecting to a union or presence by nature because it would primarily imply a union ordained and imposed upon the I.ogos from the outside as in the case of the Arian teaching. He is clearly rejecting any indwelling by nature or by essence because this implies for him an inner necessity of the divine essence itself for union with what is created. One must realize that in Theodore he is confronting a doctrine of divine relations geared to protect the divine nature from a deterministic type of pantheism, on the one hand, and an unconcerned and absolutely transcendental type unmoved mover, on the other. Far Theodore to allow any κατ' ουσίαν union or indwelling of God in a creature would be a capitulation to Aristotelian enemies and a reversal of the Stagirite's categories of relations. For God to be related by nature to what is created would make the creature out to be the unmoved mover. Therefore, God does not work His presence in or union with creatures by nature. He only happens to be present everywhere according to essence because His nature cannot be contained by any place. [ 95 ]

Underlying Theodore's concept of divine relations is a clear distinction between nature and will, which one finds again in Nestorius. This distinction is based only partly, as we shall see, on Theodore's doctrine of the Trinity. The Three Persons of the Trinity are related to each other by a necessity of nature, whereas they can be related to creatures only by will. Thus the Father is not Creator because He is Father, neither is He Father because He is Creator. He is Father because He begets His San from His very essence, whereas He is Creator because He so wills to create. Creatures are very far from His essence, being products of the divine will. The Father is Father by nature, whereas He is Creator by will. [ 96 ]

Such distinctions, so obvious in Theodore's theology, between what is in God by nature and what God does by energy and will, or between God in His Essence and God in His Glory, were common in the ancient Church [ 96a ] apparently for various reasons which seem to be distinguishable into three general groups:

1) The first and most primitive type of such a distinction may be found in such a writer as St. Irenaeus [ 97 ] who finds the distinction between God in Himself and Gad in His uncreated Glory or power in the Old Testament. [ 98 ] To see God is not to see His essence but to see Him in His glory or divinity. [ 99 ] St. Gregory the Theologian states," . . when I looked closer [behind the cloud of Mt. Sinai], I saw, not the First and unmingled Nature, known to Itself - to the Trinity, I mean; not That which abideth within the first veil, and is hidden by the Cherubim; but only that [Nature] which at last even reaches to us. And that is, as far as I can learn, the Majesty, or as holy David calls it, the Magnificence which is manifested among the creatures, which He has produced and governs. For these are the Back Parts of God, etc." [ l00 ] These distinctions are found also in St. Basil, St. Gregory of Nyssa and the whole Eastern tradition and presuppose a certain understanding of the prophetic experience which underlies Orthodox Triadology and Christology [ 100a ] and presents a definite understanding of Biblical inspiration and of the use of divine names quite foreign to Theodore's theology.

2) A second and further elaboration of the distinction between divine essence and will was clearly formulated by St. Athanasius, [ 101 ] who relegated the generation of the Son to the essential aspect of the divine mystery, thereby rejecting all conceptual explanations, and ascribed the act of creating to the will of God. What is from the essence of the Father belongs to the very nature of God, and what is from non-being by the will of God is a creature. The Father's begetting the Son and creating the world are not the same, as the Arians claimed. Thus we believe in the Son γεννηθέντα καί ου ποιηθέντα of the Nicean Creed. St. Athanasius would go so far as to say, "As far then as the Son transcends the creature, by so much does what is by nature transcend the will." [ 102 ]

3) As we have already seen, Theodore follows these Athanasian distinctions in regard to the doctrine of the Trinity. However, there are indications that this was done with some very important variations which are clearly products of a moralistic metaphysic developed primarily by certain theological groups within the geographical area of the Oriental Diocese of the Roman Empire.

Faced with the need to combat determinism in both its ethical and cosmological or philosophical forms, it seems that a Syrian theological tradition was created which emphasized the superiority of what is done according to will as over against what is done by nature. What is done by nature can neither be praised nor rewarded nor justly punished, whereas what is done by will is indicative of a higher form of life. A man who realizes his own freedom to will what is good can occupy himself with meritorious works, on the one hand, for the reward of eternal life, and at the same time become instrumental for the betterment of society. Such a moralistic foundation would overcome the pessimism of pagan religions and philosophies and at the same time would be conducive to building up the moral stamina of the Roman Empire. Within such categories there would automatically be a strong tendency to think of divine adoption primarily as a reward which comes at the end of a process of meritorious living and the Biblical doctrine of grace and sin would become subordinated to this principle. The grace of God would not be so much a gift bestowed upon man in order to liberate him from the enemy, but a reward bestowed upon him because he has fulfilled the law. The destruction of Israel's enemies would not be the work of God's glory, but rather the work of Israel who would thereupon be rewarded with the glory of God for such meritorious efforts. Such an inversion of the Biblical pattern is perhaps the most characteristic feature of Theodore's Christology. In this respect Galtier is entirely wrong in claiming that the sole initiative for the incarnation lies with the Son of God. For Theodore, God unites Himself by will to the assumed man, but this union. is dependent on God's foreknowledge of the assumed man's merits. Theodore could not imagine that one could preserve both the freedom of God and Christ otherwise.

In reading through the Catechetical Homilies one is impressed by the frequency with which the words mutability and immutability occur in connection with either the concept of sin and perfection on the one hand or the nature of God on the other. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth because Its very nature is immutable and capable of bestowing this immutability upon man. What is immutable is true and what is subject to change is falsehood. [ l03 ] Man is a sinner because of his mutable nature and because he is involved in the process of change. When he is resurrected he will receive immortality of body and immutability of the sou1. [ 104 ] Both the mind and will of man will become

conformed to the will of God and to the Truth which is the divine nature, and thus man shall partake of the divine immutability and become forever happy. [ l05 ]

It seems that one is here confronting the Hellenistic idea that change and motion are either evil or negative in meaning, whereas only immutability and changelessness are of eternal significance and conducive to true security and happiness. [ l05a ] This of course means that freedom of choice and human activity could be for Theodore only a temporary stage to the beatific vision, which in reality is the petrification of human will and energy. within such a frame of references human will and activity in this life are the foundation upon which one gains the merits needed for the attainment of immutability and immobility in the next life. Actually then, salvation is participation in the divine immutability whereby the nature of man and God are joined in one act of willing and knowing.

By distinguishing between what God does by will and what belongs to the divine nature Theodore is able to overcome or avoid the philosophical problem of divine relations and makes possible a reciprocal relationship between God and man. He thus lays the metaphysical foundations for a moralistic ethic which merits changelessness and immutability and happiness in the future life. It is exactly within such a context that he develops his Christology. The relationship between natures cannot be according to nature or essence since this would mean a necessary conjunction which could neither be praiseworthy nor any real moral example for anyone to follow.

The union of the two natures in Christ is effected then by goodwill and good-pleasure. However, there is in Christ a special and unique example of such a union, since there was no time when the human nature existed independently of this conjunction based on the divine foreknowledge of the assumed man's merits. Furthermore, whereas all other men have only partial participation in the grace of God, the man Jesus. has a complete communion effected by the perfect conjunction of natures. Because of this conjunction there is in Christ only one will and one energy. Still, the assumed man undergoes a process of perfection which is not completed until the resurrection, when perfect immutability is attained. Starting from such presuppositions concerning the relationship between sinfulness and mutability or between perfection and immutability Theodore comes pretty close to saying that Christ was actually sinful prior to His resurrection. [ 106 ] The very existence of two wills and energies in Christ would clearly presuppose a lack of immutability on the human side and therefore some measure of imperfection and sinfulness. Therefore if there is a real conjunction of natures in Christ there must be one will and one energy. In Theodore one clearly finds a Nestorian type Monotheletism and Monenergism which perhaps goes some way to explaining its diophysite counterpart of the seventh century. There is some possibility that the presuppositions of the heresies condemned by the Sixth Ecumenical Council are to be found not so much in Monophysitism as in Nestorianism.

It seems clear enough that underlying Theodore's thought is a moralism in this life topped by a Platonic type of eudaimonia in the next. Such a concept of human destiny lacks any real understanding of the Biblical doctrine of creation and freedom and logically leads to eschatological determinism, to the νέκρωσις and not to the κάθαρσις of human will and energy. Salvation is the abolition of human freedom by the absolute submission of the will, not to the will of God, but to some sort of stiff and impersonal and motionless immutability. Thus, if Christ is perfect, He can have no natural will belonging to the very essence of human nature and differing by the will o f God from the will of God. Nor can there be any proper activity or energy of the creature which is not a duplication of the immutable and immobile divine nature. Not to be a duplication is in reality to be sinful.

The doctrine of meritorious works in this life with the promise of reward in terms of immutability and happiness in the next, transformed into a metaphysical system concerning the nature of God and the world, seems to be at the very basis not only of Theodore's theology, but also of other heretical movements originating in the Oriental Diocese generally. That God can be related to other essences only by will and never by nature is a basic presupposition of Paul of Samosata's Christology. He claims that "the wisdom of God was not united essentially to the human element from its birth, but according to quality (κατά ποιότητα)." [ l07 ] In a fragment whose authenticity is doubted he says, "Different natures and different persons have one and only mode of union, accord according to will, from which appears the unit (μονάς) of those thus united to each other according to energy." [ 108 ] In Christ there is one will. "Do not be surprised that the Savior had one will with God. For as nature shows one and the same essence existing of [or in] many, thus the relationship of love accomplishes one and the same will of [or in] many by means of one and the same manifested satisfaction." [ 109 ] All who reach the state of eudaimonia have one willing and knowing with each other and God and thus the divine will and energy becomes the only will and energy. What is done by nature is not praiseworthy. "What prevails by reason of nature merits no praise. But what prevails by the relationship of love is praiseworthy, prevailing by one and the same energy and motion which never ceases to increase, according to which the Savior, having been conjoined to God, is never separated unto the ages, having with Him one and the same will and energy eternally moving unto the manifestation of good things." [ 110 ] G. Bardy points out some similarities which exist between the ideas expressed in this fragment and those in Diodore of Tarsus and Theodore of Mopsuestia. [ 111 ] In this respect noteworthy is Paul's insistence that in Christ there is one will and energy, and the union of natures is effected by a relationship according to love, will, and opinion. Theodore also speaks of one energy and will in Christ and claims that the Logos is in the man "according to the relationship of opinion" [ 112 ] or the Logos united the man to Himself "by the relationship of opinion."[ 113 ]

The philosophical problems involved in the doctrine of divine relationships did not obviously present Paul of Samosata with serious difficulty as far as the doctrine of the Trinity is concerned, since the divine Persons were for him unhypostatic energies. [ 114 ] However, the application of the category of necessity or necessary being to the divine nature and the preservation of the real relations of God toward creation by the above mentioned philosophical distinction between nature and will, or between what God does by a necessity of nature and what He does by will, automatically introduces difficulties not only into Christology, but also into the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, especially when the hypostatic character of the Persons is admitted. Is the Father related to the hypostatic Logos by nature or by will? In order to preclude Valentinian type of necessary emanations and Manichaean divisions of the divine nature Arius and his followers insisted on a relationship of will. [ ll5 ] There can be no essential relationship of the two. There is no reason to suspect any sophistical trick in the Arian claim that "Unless He has by will come to be, therefore God had a Son by necessity and against His good pleasure." [ 116 ] For the Arians, as for Paul, Theodore and Nestorius, what is by nature is by necessity.

The Orthodox answer to this Arian objection is quite clear. Necessity is contrary to will, while what is according to nature is far above will and completely beyond the conceptual powers of man. No logical categories or concepts can be applied to the unknown nature of God. The Arians have no right to apply the categories of necessity and will to the divine nature. "Forgetting, however, that they are hearing about God's Son, they dare to apply human contrarities in the instance of God, `necessity' and `beside purpose,' to be able thereby to deny that there is a true Son of God. For let them tell us themselves, that God is good and merciful, does this attach to Him by will or not? If by will, we must consider that He began to be good, and that His not being good is possible; for to councel and choose implies an inclination two ways, and is incidental to a rational nature. But if it be too unseemly that He should be called good and merciful upon will, then let them hear what they themselves have said `therefore by necessity and not at His pleasure He is good'; and, 'who is it that imposes this necessity on Him ?' But if it be unseemly to speak of necessity in the case of God, and therefore it is by nature that He is good, much more is He, and more truly, Father of the Son by nature and not by will."[ 117 ] The Holy Trinity is the pre-existing primordial reality, but beyond all concepts of reality, necessity and being. God is certainly free, but not in any moralistic sense of opposition between what is by necessity of nature and what is by will. God is what He is by nature and not by any necessity or will. God is not free by will, but by His very nature. He is not subject to the moralistic metaphysics of any moralistic philosophy as imagined by both Arians and Nestorians. St. Cyril devotes much time to a refutation of the Arians on this point in his work "On the Consubstantial Trinity," [ 118 ] written before the outbreak of the Nestorian Controversy. St. Gregory the Theologian writes, "Let us not ever look on this generation as involuntary, like some natural overflow, hard to be retained." [ 119 ]

One may add at this. point that salvation is not a matter of doing good things by will as opposed to the necessities of nature, but rather a renewal of the natural freedom of human nature itself. The doctrine of human will as distinguished from the necessary or natural appetites of human nature can be justified only within a moralistic complex in which correct choices in this life lead to the reward of happiness and motionless satisfaction in the next, which in reality is a final victory of what is taken as the necessary drive toward the contemplation of immutable realities. Motion and change are only of temporary significance and enable man freely to choose the exchange of his freedom of will for happiness. However, in the Orthodox tradition this is pure rubbish and leads to Monotheletism and Monenergism unless the perfection of Christ's human nature is sacrificed. Man's destiny is not happiness, but natural freedom. In Christ there was no "deliberative will" (θέλημα γνωμικόν), but a "natural will" (θέλημα φυσικόν) and "natural freedom." In His human nature Christ was not free by an act of will. He was free by His very nature. Therefore, He really had or has two natural wills and energies, divine and human, without any connotation of sinfulness. For Platonized forms of Christianity, which understand the fall of man in terms of lack of happiness and immutability, this is not possible. Purity and sinlessness in the Bible are not immobility of a satisfied mind and will conjoined to immutable realities, but rather the freedom of the heart or, in modern terms, of the sub-conscious. A person can will good things all he wants, but unless his heart or subconscious is purified by the grace or glory of God, his works are of no avail and he is still a captive to demonic influences. Willful good works which are not products of a heart being purified by divine grace are not only not meritorious, but, much worse, they are satanic. Good works produced by a filthy sub-conscious and a rationalistic self-justifying self-assertiveness can be nothing else.

One can get a good glimpse into an aspect of the metaphysical background of Arianism and Nestorianism by turning to some interesting documents attributed to St. Justin Martyr and dated between the middle of the fourth and the first half of the fifth centuries. [ l20 ] These works definitely belong geographically to the Syrian province and are strongly Nestorian in tendency. The idea that the Logos works by essence his special presence in Christ, His Temple, is rejected. [ 121 ] The special presence takes place in Christ rather in the sense that being the purest of all temples He has the greatest degree possible of participation "not in divine nature but in divine honor by the good-will of the Logos." [ 122 ] This union is likened unto participation in the rays of the sun which shine equally on all. Yet the purer and more powerful the contemplating eye the more perfect and complete is the participation. In this sense is the Logos present in His own Temple in a special manner.[ l23 ] He cannot be especially present in Christ by nature since He happens to be by essence everywhere present.[ l24 ]

In another document evidently by the same author one comes across the following: "If God creates by nature, He creates whatever He creates by necessity. But if He creates by will, He creates authoritatively. Creating authoritatively, He creates as much as He wills and whatever He wills and whenever He wills."[ 125 ] In another work of this same collection we find the following question and answer: "If to be in potentiality is considered inferior to being in actuality, how does the Creator of the world, being Creator in potentiality and not in actuality before the creation of the world, not fall under the title of inferiority? The answer: They whose power of act is determined by some natural necessity are those whose power is considered inferior to the Act. Whosoever's power of act is determined by will and not by some natural necessity is not in the category of inferiority." [ 126 ] It is quite strange that having such presuppositions, this same author accepts the essential relationship of the three divine Hypostases.[ l27 ] What type of answer could he have given to the Arian objections to the generation by necessity? It is perhaps not surprising that his language in places indicates that he may have been a converted Arian who had not completely overcome his former way of thinking. The Logos and Spirit are God by participation and are deemed worthy of divinity. He writes for example: "For since the Father begat the Son from His proper essence, and from the same [essence] projected the Spirit, naturally (εικότως) partaking of one and the same essence, they were deemed worthy of one and the same divinity (τής αυτής καί μιάς θεότητος ηξίωνται)."[ 128 ]

It seems clear enough that once the moralistic metaphysical distinction between what God is by a necessity of nature and what He does by will is introduced into the field of Biblical theology one is immediately caught up into the Samosatene, Arian and Nestorian problematics concerning the divine relations. That these were vital problems for the theologians of the Oriental Diocese should not be surprising to the modern theologian, especially to anyone familiar with the contradictions of the Thomistic system, which is forced to deny any real relationship of God toward creation in order to avoid pantheism. The Orthodox Fathers of the Church refused to apply any categories or names to the divine essence, let alone the category of necessary being, and thereby could freely speak of the Logos uniting Himself by nature to human nature in order to emphasize the reality of the incarnation of One of the hypostatic Persons of the Trinity. Of course the terms "hypostatic union" and "natural union" are not definitions of what is a complete mystery. The divine essence is by its very nature radically unknown to any creature. "Natural union" can therefore only mean a "real union." This the Nestorians could not accept because for them it would mean a defined and determined union which would destroy the very basis of their moralistic ethics of merits and rewards and deprive their type of anti-deterministic metaphysic of its very foundations. It is only when one realizes this essential point that he can fully grasp the violent Nestorian reaction to Cyril's "natural and hypostatic union."

Theodoret argued that this cannot be because "nature is something necessary and without will." [ 129 ] Cyril takes him to task for daring to apply such a category to the divine nature. [ l30 ] The Oriental bishops see in this term a recurrence of the Apollinarin heresy. Natures work by necessity only when created by God to function in a predetermined manner. God operates not by necessity but by will or grace.[ l31 ] Exactly in this respect the Orientals agree with the Arians in principle. God cannot unite Himself by nature to creatures. For the Arians this is proof that the Logos is a creature because united by the will of his creator to human nature in such a way that the union is natural and predetermined from without. For the Syrians the Logos cannot be united by nature to His Temple because He is God. Nestorius is, of course, the classical exponent of these presuppositions. "A voluntary union cannot be a natural union. If then they say that the union of the natures resulted in one nature, even though we ourselves should concede to them that it took place voluntarily, yet after it took place, the union existed not voluntarily in that the natures have acquired it. And it suffers as being united, whether it will or not, and accepts the sufferings of that nature to which it has been united, since it is defined by it and not by impassability nor by immortality nor by infinity. For the definition and circumscription of all nature is that in which it has to be." [ 132 ] It is quite obvious that Nestorius is a stranger to the Orthodox patristic apophaticism which denies any application of definitions or concepts to the divine nature.

As we have seen, Theodore is also involved in the general Oriental metaphysical scheme with its peculiar reduction of God to the categories of necessary being as opposed to what God does by will. What is by nature is by necessity. "The reason of union according to essence is true only in the case of consubstantials, but in the case of things not consubstantial it is not applicable, there being no clear (reason) possible for confusion." [ 133 ] Theodore accepts the principle that metaphysical rules and concepts can be applied to the divine nature. Apart from the unique exception in the case of the Divine Consubstantials Gad can be united and related to non-consubstantials only by energy and goodwill. "For thus the infinity is unto Him better preserved, when He does not appear to work by some necessity of the uncircumscribed nature. For if He is omnipresent by will, He will again be found working by necessity, no longer working the presence by opinion, but by the infinity of nature, and having the will following." [ 134 ]

The last point we wish to make regards Theodore's Biblical method and especially his doctrine of inspiration. In this respect he differs radically from the central Orthodox patristic tradition and has points of contact with the Eunomeans and the traditional fundamentalism of Western theology. Perhaps Theodore's understanding of prophecy and inspiration explains more than anything else his metaphysical approach to Christology. There are two specific doctrines of inspiration which concern us here, the one which believes that God actually dictated words to those who were objects of His revelations, and the other which believes that God revealed His uncreated Glory and Will to the prophets and apostles who in turn transposed their suprarational and suprasentient experience into the idiom established by the prophetic tradition to convey their message in direct proportion to the spiritual capacities and needs of the various levels of people addressed.

a) One of the best examples of a fundamentalistic literalist doctrine of inspiration in the Ancient Church is that of Eunomius'35 who believed that the very names of things exist eternally in the mind of God and constitute the very definitions of essences. Besides these uncreated names and determinations of creatures there are also eternal and uncreated names of God which are revealed in Scripture and constitute- definitions of the divine nature. One can see clearly the intimate connection between the Eunomean doctrines of God and Biblical Inspiration. Since the names "Father" and "Unbegottenness" are eternal definitions of the divine essence, it follows that the names "Son" and "Begottenness" must be designations of another and created essence.

b) In direct opposition to Eunomius, St. Gregory of Nyssa rejects the contention that names are eternal and insists that all words and languages are products of human accommodations to the necessities. of communication on the human level, and all concepts either conveyed by words or simply contemplated can never extricate themselves from their creaturely qualities. Knowledge of God, therefore, cannot be conceptual. God cannot be reached by contemplation. God is not like anything man experiences either intellectually or by sensation. Knowledge o f God can come only by revelation and knowledge about God can be had only from those who have been the objects of this revelation, which is above all rational and sentient categories. It is a knowledge which can be indicated but not conveyed by human language or concepts. He who has been graced with revelation can only point to the Glory of God. Only God can reveal His proper Glory to whom He chooses. This is why Christ revealed His Own Proper Glory which is at once His and the Father's. The Bible, therefore, is not inspired because dictated verbally by God, but because either written by or about those who have and are encountering God in His Self-revelation which is not a conveyance of words and images. [ l36 ] St. Gregory writes , "Neither, then, did God speak in the Hebrew language, nor did He express Himself according to any form in use among the Gentiles. but whatsoever of God's words are recorded by Moses or the Prophets, are indications of the Divine will, illuminating, now in one way, now in another, the pure intellect of those holy men, according to the measure of grace of which they were partakers. Moses, then, spoke his mother-tongue, and that in which he was educated. But he repeatedly attributed these words to God, as I have said, on account of the immaturity of those who were being brought to the knowledge of God, in order to give a clear representation of the divine will, and to render his hearers more obedient, as being awed by the authority of the speaker." [ 137 ] It is only in the New Testament that one confronts actual human words of the Incarnate Logos, but even these words are not uncreated definitions of eternal truths. They are the pedagogical means which point the way to seeing the Ruling Power of God which is beyond all concepts and forms, yet made manifest in the human nature of the Logos.

As we have already seen, Theodore of Mopsuestia follows the Eunomean interpretive method of applying the Biblical names of God to the divine nature. He also seems to follow the Eunomeans in their contention that God revealed words to the prophets. Theodore explains that God operated His revelation upon the prophets in such a way that the impression was created upon them that they were hearing someone speak, ώστε δοκείν αυτούς ώσπερ τινός λαλούντος ακούειν τε καί παιδεύσθαι [ l38 ] In another passage [ l39 ] Theodore seems to be repeating the divine language theories of Eunomius. He explains that Moses does not record God's saying anything in the first instance of creation ("In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth") because there were as yet no creatures (angels) to reap any benefit from such verbal instruction. Once angels did come into existence then God began to speak for their sake since His essence was to them invisible. Had He not spoken they would have remained without proper knowledge of their Creator. Theodore is here attacking St. Basil who believes that the angels were created before heaven and earth. In other words, if St. Basil were correct the Bible should read, "God said, l.et there be heaven and earth." St. Gregory of Nyssa had already anticipated Theodore on this in his refutation of Eunomius' similar understanding of Genesis, where God is pictured as speaking and applying already existing names to the things He is creating. [ 140 ]

It is interesting to note that according to the Mopsuestian the angels were in need of divine speech for instruction since they could not see the divine essence. To understand what he means by this one must recall the fact that for Theodore those saved do have a vision of and conjunction with the divine nature when rewarded with immutability and happiness in the next life. This means that Theodore is referring to the angels before the fall. To have had the vision of the divine nature from the very beginning would contradict the Mops·uestian's moralistic metaphysics. Vision of the divine nature at creation would mean perfect satisfaction, happiness and immutability from the very beginning and no logical possibility for a fall. [ 141 ] This would upset the scheme of the Antiochene moralism described above since there would be no distinction between what is by nature and what is by will and angels would be completely happy and immutable by nature. The same would be true for man. Otherwise the whole structure of merits and rewards would tumble. The vision of God in His uncreatedness would be putting the reward before the accumulation of merits and would make the fall logically impossible. Hence the extreme importance for God to communicate His Will to angels and men by the medium of words, concepts and created impressions. The fact that the impression of hearing a voice is an inward experience and not something imposed on the senses from without does not absolve Theodore of the charge of having an anthropomorphic understanding of revelation, as H. Kihn believes. [ 142 ] For God to speak to prophets from without or from within is substantially the same thing since in both instances God is conveying and the prophet is receiving words.

It naturally follows from Theodore's moralistic metaphysics that the prophetic claim to seeing God in His uncreated Glory would be relegated to the realm of divinely inspired imagination. This is exactly how he explains Isaiah's claim to have seen God: "When Isaiah says he saw God and the Seraphim, he also heard voices coming toward him. For this. reason he sometimes says, The word of the Lord which was upon so and so, meaning by word the energy by which he believed he was learning what was fitting, being taught by a certain voice, and at other times (he says) vision, which he saw here or there, meaning by this the revelation, according to which, believing to see something (οράν τί δοκών), he learned what was proper." [ 143 ] Seeing the glory of God is no more than an imaginary process, even though produced by Divine inspiration. The cause of this revelation is uncreated, but the effect is a created impression of voices and visions.

This understanding of seeing the Glory of God is from the Orthodox patristic viewpoint sheer heresy, but on the other hand much more refined than the grossly superstitious concept of Augustine which became common in the West and in the person of Barlaam the Calabrian was finally condemned by the Palamite Council of 1341. [ 144 ] According to Augustine what the prophets and apostles saw was not anything uncreated, [ l45 ] since for him the very substance of God is alone uncreated and visible only in the next life (with the possible exception of the ecstatic visions of Moses and Paul). Rather, in seeing the glory of God the prophets saw and heard created things which temporarily came into existence and passed away and received their revelations (visions and words) by means of these creatures. [ l46 ] Thus from the Old Testament viewpoint Augustine and his followers "changed the Glory of the incorruptible God for the likeness of an image of corruptible man." (Rom. 1:23). As for Theodore so for Augustine the vision of God comes at the end of all actions, since the contemplation of the divine substance means satisfaction of all desires, i.e. happiness and immutability. "For this contemplation is held forth to us as the end of all actions, and the everlasting fullness of joy. . . . For we shall not seek anything else when we shall have come to the contemplation of Him." [ 147 ] So long as man is involved in mutability and mortality it is impossible for him to see God. In his present condition man can see only changeable things. [ l48 ] Augustine and Theodore seem to be in perfect accord.

For the biblical writers, however, for the so-called Asia Minor School, for Justin, for the Alexandrian Theologians, for the Cappadocians, for Hilary of Poitiers, and for the Orthodox patristic tradition generally, to see the Glory of God does not belong to the realm of divinely inspired imagination or Augustinian wonder-working. Rather it is a real and actual vision of God enthroned upon His Uncreated Majesty. The Glory of God is His very Throne, Power, Kingdom (βασιλεία), the Unapproachable Light in which He eternally dwells. God is the "King and Lord of Glory" which alone can be known to creatures both in this life and the next, when God will be seen as He is. In spite of the partial and limited character of the prophetic and apostolic experience of seeing the Majesty of God, it is still the very Uncreated Glory that they saw be f ore they parted this life. The Glory of God is His Godhead (not essence) and Ruling Power by which He saves Israel from her enemies and the Church from the rule of Satan.

The miracles and resurrection of Christ only point to this Glory of God and by themselves could never have demonstrated more than the fact that God was acting in the man Jesus. The climax of New Testament Revelation is the fact that He who was born of the Virgin and is Son of David revealed the Uncreated Glory of His Father as His own natural and proper Glory, and thereby revealed His proper Godhead. "Light . . . was That Godhead Which was shewn upon the Mount [of transfiguration] to the disciples - and a little too strong for their eyes." [ 149 ] The Primitive Christians did not come to believe in the Godhead of Christ by a hit and miss process. Rather the Apostles and many others saw and continue to see (God is not only He Who Acted, but He Who Acts) the Godhead or Glory of Christ. The Apostles learned by experience that Christ is the "Lord of Glory," the very same "King of Glory" Who revealed Himself to the Old Testament prophets ( John 12, 41 ) . It is exactly because he was confronted by the Glory of Christ that St. Paul learned to speak of the Crucified Lord of Glory (I Cor. 2, 8) .

The Biblical writers and the Orthodox Fathers were not hampered in recognizing the reality of the Old and New Testament Theophanies because of any Hellenistic and moralistic doctrine of human destiny. Man's destiny is not immutability of mind and will by a Platonic contemplation of immutable truths. The destiny of man is freedom. Neither are works meritorious. [ 150 ] Besides, the wicked will also come to the knowledge of Truth [ 151 ] by seeing the Uncreated Glory of God, but to them God will be a consuming fire, the eternal fire of hell (Lk. 16:19-31). For platonized forms of Christian intellectualism this would be impossible. [ l52 ] Hence the ideas of hell entertained by same traditions for whom the vision of God could only mean happiness.

Both Augustine and Theodore of Mopsuestia reject the Old Testament revelatory and epistemological foundation of New Testament Christology and Triadology. [ 153 ] However, the bishop of Hippo had a legalistic and authoritarian understanding of the Church's dogmas, accepting them at first on faith, and then trying hard the rest of his life to understand them conceptually by contemplation. In the Orthodox tradition there is also a distinction between faith and knowledge, but knowledge is here the vision of and participation in God's Glory, not the contemplation of the eternal and immutable ideas of Plato. "Attack the ideas of Plato," says St. Gregory the Theologian to the Eunomians. [ l54 ] In contrast to Augustine, Theodore of Mopsuestia was not so much limited by an obedience to an ecclesiastical authority as he was by the metaphysical principles in the air of his theological environment. In view of his understanding of the Old Testament Theophanies and because of his Antiochene metaphysical concept of God and his Hellenistic understanding of human destiny, it is no wonder that St. Paul's crucified Lord of Glory had not the slightest effect in conditioning his Christology. If the Lord of Glory was crucified in His humanity, He was certainly born as man in His humanity, so that He Who was born of the Virgin is consubstantial with the Father, and Mary is Theotokos with no Nestorian strings attached. The very idea of a man becoming or being Lord of Glory by adoption is sheer nonsense, if not as blasphemous as worshipping an adopted man. That the Old Testament Messiah is the anointed of God is a statement of fact which does not abrogate the reality that the King of Glory humbled and emptied Himself in becoming Son of David and anointed King of Israel. St. Cyril of Alexandria over and over again uses St. Paul's Crucified Lord of Glory in expounding Biblical Christology. However, this did not make the slightest dent in the rationalistic metaphysical mind of Nestorius who no doubt held opinions about the Old Testament vision of the Lord of Glory and Biblical inspiration similar to those of Theodore.

The opinion generally prevails that Theodore's Christology is based on an inductive historico-biblical method which begins by recognizing the full humanity of Christ and tries from this point to solve the problem of the unity of subject in Christ. This is clearly a myth. Theodore, like many others of the Oriental Diocese, is a moralistic metaphysician who applies concepts and definitions to the divine nature and'. in advance determines what is for God possible and what is not. According to his doctrine of divine relations it is impossible far God to unite Himself by nature to human nature. His starting point is not the human nature of Christ, nor is it the biblical witness as history, but rather a definition and limitation of divine nature in terms of a necessity distinguished from will. It is exactly because of this transcendental starting point that Theodore's doctrine of the Trinity has no- room for any real distinction between hypostasis and essence. In Cappadocian and Alexandrian Triadology the reality of the Divine Hypostases as distinguished from the divine essence is grounded in the belief that the Second Hypostasis of the Trinity really and truly lived and willed and suffered as a real and complete man and that He really and truly was resurrected in the flesh to become the first-born from the dead. [ l55 ] For Theodore there is no need to distinguish between the hypostasis of the Logos and the nature of the Logos because the one person effected by the union of natures not only is not the Only-Begotten Son of God, as Sullivan clearly demonstrates, but also cannot be an hypostasis of the Trinity. Natural or hypostatic union is for Theodore a necessary union. There can be no doubt that Theodore would have wholeheartedly supported the attack on St. Cyril. Whether he would have changed his mind about the double consubstantiality of the One and Unique Hypostasis born of the Virgin when faced by the decision of the Fourth Ecumenical Council one can never know. On the other hand one can not preclude the very strong possibility that Theodore may have remained more faithful to Nestorius than did Theodoret and the other Antiochenes.

There are solid enough reasons for believing that the Fifth Ecumenical Council had no business condemning Theodore who had died in communion with the Church, but there are no reasons for putting forth the notion that this was made possible by some kind of reversal to a one-sided Cyrilianism or neo-chalcedonianism which supposedly upset the balance of strict chalcedonianism. The dogmatic decisions of the Fifth Council are no different from those of Chalcedon and any claim that Theodore passes the test of chalcedonian Christology is unrealistic. C. Moeller is no doubt correct when he claims that the anathemas of the Fifth Council are strange to modern Roman sensitivities. If he and other Roman theologians studied more carefully the Christology of Chalcedon and the Triadology of the First and Second Councils, they would further discover that their theology is not in accord with these either, especially in regard to the Biblical doctrine of Revelation and Grace which underlies all Orthodox Patristic Theology.


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[ 1 ] For recent bibliography and listing of sources see B. Altaner, Patrology (London 1960), pp. 372-373.

[ 86 ] Ibid., p. 381.

[ 87 ] Op. cit., p.183, n. 58.

[ 88 ] Swete, vol. II, pp. 338-339.

[ 89 ] Ibid.

[ 90 ] Ibid., pp. 293-294.

[ 91 ] Ep. CII.

[ 92 ] Ep. CI.

[ 93 ] Swete, vol. II, pp. 293-294.

[ 94 ] Ibid.

[ 95 ] Ibid., pp. 293-296, 300, lines 26-30; Tonneau, op. cit., pp. 105, 227-229.

[ 96 ] Tonneau, op. cit., pp. 45-47.

[ 96a ] J. S. Romanides, Το προπατορικόν αμάρτημα (Athens 1957), pp. 45-51, 54.

[ 97 ] Contr. Haer. III, 24, 2; IV, 20, 1-5ff.

[ 98 ] For similar opinions on the O.T. basis for such beliefs see A. J. Heschel, God in Search of Man (Meridian Books, N. Y. 1959) p. 80ff.

[ 99 ] Irenaeus, op. cit.

[ 100 ] Theol. Orat. II, 3 Here one perhaps has the ultimate source of John Scotus Eriugena's Natura quae creat et non creatur.

[ 100a ] J. S. Romanides, "H. A. Wolfson's Philosophy of the Church Fathers," in Gr. Orth. Theol. Rev., Vol. 5, No. 1.

[ 101 ] On this see G. Florovsky, "The Idea of Creation in Christian Philosophy," The Eastern Churches Quarterly, Vol. VIII, No. 3, Supl. (London 1949).

[ 102 ] Contr. Arian. III, 62. Migne, P.G. 26, 453. For detailed discussion of these distinctions see St. Cyril, Thesaurus, Migne, P.G. 75, 308-313. St. Basil, P.G. 29, 673.

[ 103 ] Tonneau, op. cit., pp. 249-255.

[ 104 ] Ibid., p. 465.

[ 105 ] Ibid., pp. 249-255.

[ 105a ] J. S. Romanides, Tò IIροπατορικόν Αμάρτημα, pp, 34-42.

[ 106 ] Tonneau, op. cit., p. 455. Similar presuppositions concerning sin and mortality are at the basis of Julian of Halicarnassus' insistence on the αφθαρσία of Christ's human nature before the resurrection.

[ 107 ] Frag. IX in G. Bardy, Paul de Samosate (Bruges 1923), p. 326.

[ 108 ] Ibid., frag. XXVI, p. 353.

[ 109 ] Ibid., frag. XXVIII, p. 354.

[ 110 ] Ibid., frag. XXIX, p. 355.

[ 111 ] Ibid., pp. 355-357.

[ 112 ] Swete, p. 310, lines 20-21.

[ 113 ] Ibid., p. 308, lines 16-17.

[ 114 ] Frag. XV, op. cit., p. 335.

[ 115 ] See Arius' letters to Eusebius and Alexander in G. Bardy, Recherches sur Saint Lucien d'Antioche et Son Ecole (Paris 1936), pp. 226-228, 235-237. Cf. frag. of the Thalia, pp. 256-257, 262-263.

[ 116 ] St. Athanasius, Contr. Arian. III, 62. Migne P.G. 26, 453B.

[ 117 ] Ibid., 453C-456A. Cf. 63, 64, 65, 66, 67. It is interesting to note that these same principles were debated between Monothelites and Orthodox in the seventh century and this adds substance to our suspicion that the Nestorian moralistic metaphysic lies at the basis of the heresies condemned at the Sixth Council. See e.g. St. Maximus, Disputatio cum Pyrrho, Migne, P.G. 91, 293. This passage is discussed by H. A. Wolfson, op. cit., p. 485.

[ 118 ] Migne, P.G. 75, 773ff.

[ 119 ] Theol. Orat. XXIX, 2. Migne, P.G. 36, 76BC. That God is related to creatures by will and not by nature (except in the Incarnation) is in Orthodox patristic theology a statement of fact, or a confession of faith, and not the outcome of applying metaphysical concepts to the divine nature. There is a real distinction between γεννάν and εκπορεύειν, on the one hand, and θέλειν, ενεργείν, προνοείν, on the other, not because of a distinction between what is by necessity and what is by will, but because of the Biblical distinction between what is uncreated and what is created. If there were no difference between γεννάν and ,θέλειν (or ποιείν, etc,), then either the Son would be a creature, or creatures would be uncreated and eternal.

[ 120 ] B. Altaner, op. cit., pp. 369-370, 397-398.

[ 121 ] Εκθεσις ορθής ομολογίας 17.

[ 122 ] Ibid., 15.

[ 123 ] Ibid. 17. Cf. 12ff.

[ 124 ] Ibid. Leontius of Byzantium accuses Nestorius of thinking of the divine nature as though it were an infinite expanse unable to be contained in any place. Leontius argues that spatial concepts are not applicable to God and it is foolish to think that the divine essence occupies space like a sort of continuous quantity. Migne, P.G. 86, 1401-1413. Cf. Georges Florovsky, op. cit.

[ 125 ] Ερωτήσεις Χριστιανικαί, III, 2.

[ 126 ] Αποκρίσεις πρός Ορθοδόξους 114.

[ 127 ] Έκθεσις ορθής ομολογίας 1-9.

[ 128 ] Ibid., 2.

[ 129 ] Migne, P.G. 76, 401.

[ 130 ] Ibid., 408.

[ 131 ] Ibid., 325.

[ 132 ] G. R. Driver and L. Hodgson, The Bazaar of Heracleides (Oxford I925), p. 38.

[ 133 ] Swete, vol. II, pp. 338-339.

[ 134 ] Ibid., pp. 293-294.

[ 135 ] His views may be found developed and refuted in St. Gregory of Nyssa's, Second Book Against Eunomius. Migne, P.G. 45, 909-1122, especially 973 ff.

[ 136 ] Deut. 4, 15; Acts 1, 19.

[ 137 ] Op, cit., 997D.

[ 138 ] Devreesse, op. cit., p. 81, n. 5. H. Kihn, Theodor von Mopsuestia und Julius Africanus als Exegeten, Freiburg 1880, p. 107. For a history of the Church's attitude toward Theodore's theories about the Bible see L. Pirot, L'oeuvre exégétique de Théodore de Mopsueste, 1913.

[ 139 ] Devreesse, op. cit., p. 9, n. 2. H. Kihn, op. cit., p. 109 f.

[ 140 ] Op. Cit.

[ 141 ] Augustine and the scholastic tradition generally accepted at least a partial vision of the divine essence from the very beginning and were thus faced with such a problem. See e.g. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, I, 94, 1. J. S. Romanides, Tò IIροπατορικόν Αμάρτημα, p. 112, n. 2.

[ 142 ] Op. cit., p. 110 ff.

[ 143 ] Ibid., p.107. Devreessee, op. cit., p. 81, n. 5. L. Pirot, op. cit., p. 169 f.

[ 144 ] In opposition to the Augustinian type doctrine of revelation held by Barlaam the Calabrian, who believed that the glory of God as manifested in such instances as the Transfiguration was created and served only to elevate minds deprived of purity and intellectual understanding to the grasping of the divine ideas (νόησις τών θεοειδών - a strong indication that Barlaam was not in the nominalist tradition which rejects the existence of divine forms, - αναγωγή από τού τοιούτου φωτός επί νοήματα καί θεωρήματα), the Constantinopolitan Council of 1341 declared with the Greek Fathers that the Glory of God revealed to the prophets. and apostles. is none other than the Uncreated Godhead (not essence) and in pronouncing on the Church's doctrine of revelation quoted St. Dionysius the Areopagite who writes, Ιωάννην παραλαμβάνει, ως τής θεολογίας παρθένον καί καθαρώτατον όργανον, όπως τήν άχρονον δόξαν τού Υιού θεασάμενος, <<εν αρχή ήν ο Λόγος, καί ο Λόγος ήν πρός τόν Θεόν, καί Θεός ήν ο Λόγος>>, βροντήσειε. J. Karmiris, The Dogmatic and Symbolic Monuments of the Orthodox Catholic Church, Athens 1952, vol. 1, p. 302.

[ 145 ] De Trinitate, II, v, 10; vi, 11; viii, 14; ix, 16; x, 17, 18; xiii 23; xiv, 24, xv, 25, 26; xvi, 26 (Glory which Moses saw is creature) ; xvii 32; xviii, 35; III, pref., 3; iv, 10; x, 21-xi, 22, 24, 26, 27.

[ 146 ] Ibid.

[ 147 ] Ibid., I, viii, I7.

[ 148 ] "...there is nothing that is visible that is not changeable. Wherefore the substance, or, if it is better to say, the essence of God, wherein we understand, in proportion to our measure, in however small a degree, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, since it is in no way changeable, can in no way in its proper self be visible. It is manifest, accordingly, that all those appearances to the fathers, when God was presented to them according to His own dispensation, suitable to the times, were wrought through the creature." Ibid., III, x, 21-xi, 22. This does not mean that the wise man in this life is divorced from "unchangeable wisdom," for "his rational soul is already partaker of the unchangeable and eternal truth ...' Ibid., III, iii, 8.

[ 149 ] Oration on Holy Baptism, VI. Migne, P.G. 36, 365A.

[ 150 ] J. S. Romanides, op. cit., p. 109-111.

[ 151 ] Father G. Florovsky deals with the example of Maximus the Confessor in The Resurrection of Life, Ingersoll Lecture, Harvard University, 1950-1951, p. 20.

[ 152 ] "And what is life eternal, unless that sight which is not granted to the ungodly?" St. Augustine, op. cit., 1, xii, 30.

[ 153 ] For other brief discussions of this foundation see my articles H. A. Wolfson' s Philosophy of the Church Fathers, mentioned above, and "Justin Martyr and the Fourth Gospel," in Gr. Orth. Theol. Rev., Winter 1958-59, Vol. IV, No. 2, pp. 115-134. It should be further noted that because he rejected the Biblical fact that God revealed Himself in His Uncreated Glory and because he conceived of God as absolute simplicity and being, Augustine quite naturally identified God with His Essence, Will and Ruling Power. These being identical, it was unavoidable that (1) he confuse the divine energy of sending or bestowing the Spirit or the grace of the Spirit with the procession of the Spirit and (2) distort the Patristic doctrine of the radical incommunicability of the Hypostatic Attributes. Thus he became the source of Filioque. The Nestorianizing theologians of the East were immune to this because they clearly distinguished between divine essence and energy and adhered to the incommunicability of the Hypostatic Attributes. Furthermore, for Augustine the Divine Essence must be the object of human knowledge. Otherwise there would be no knowledge of God since all else that exists is created. Augustine accepts the Arian and Eunomian axiom that to know a thing is to know its substance. "But nothing is at all rightly said to be known while its substance is not known. "De Trinitate X, x, 16. To know God is to know at least in part the divine essence. Since Its vision is impossible in this life and since seeing God's Glory is to see a creature, the surest road from faith to knowledge is that of piety, Bible study and most important contemplation. Creatures are reflections of their immutable divine prototypes and Scripture is a heaven sent clarification of these eternal ideas.. Therefore, both creatures and Scripture help one to contemplate by analogies and likenesses these unchangeable and eternal truth-ideas in God. It is exactly because the traditions following Augustine lost contact with the prophetic, apostolic and patristic vision of God's Uncreated Glory that the problem of Universals became so important. The Nominalists and to some extent the Protestants rejected the Universals and were left with a Bible of Augustinian wonder-working. Amazing is the exploratory way in which Augustine wrote his De T'rinitate. Upon reaching Book Three he writes "I myself confess that I have by writing learned many things which I did not know." One should compare this with Oration XXVII of St. Gregory the Theologian. In Book II Augustine promises to explain the procession of the Holy Spirit. This promise along with other parts of the work was stolen by friends and published. Finally when Augustine was nearing the end of this work he mentions in Book XV that he had promised to explain the procession of the Holy Spirit but admits that he "had attained to endeavor rather than accomplishment." Beyond any doubt the most ironic tragedy in history is that Western Theologians and finally an illusionist papacy turned Augustine's endeavor into an infallible accomplishment and brought about the final touches of a separation which was long in the making. What is almost equally as tragic is that a sober Protestant theologian can even today say that "it is this (the Filioque) which the poor folk in the Eastern Church. have never quite understood. . . ." K. Barth Dogmatics in Outline, p. 44.

[ 154 ] Oration XXVII, 10, Migne, P.G. 36, 24B.

[ 155 ] Father Florovsky always protests against the prevailing notion that the East one-sidedly contemplates the doctrine of the Trinity whereas the West concentrates on the humanity of Christ. He constantly points out that the Eastern doctrine of the Trinity is grounded in Christology which is always the starting point of all its theology.

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