Reply to an Evangelical

“As Evangelicals we believe in ‘Enhypostatic Interfusion’ or Miaphytism in dealing with say John 15….

Essence and Energy are communicable – otherwise we would only be beholding christlikeness [energetic potentiality] and NOT be becoming Christlike [communicable and essential actuality].”

These are snippets of a comment posted on my blog. I have provided them to give some context to my response which I have included below. I am interested on obtaining some feed back regarding the response. Is it correct or wrong? Can it be improved? How?

I would appreciate any constructive comments and I think this matter is very much in line with the material in this blog and it underlies some of the discussions here.

The Essence of God is unknowable and incommunicable because it is uncreated and without beginning in time. The created cannot take on the nature [used interchangeably with essence for this argument] of the uncreated because it could only do so in time thus giving a beginning in time to the uncreated nature, thus contradicting the uncreated nature and it ceasing to be uncreated and without beginning. The Son of God could take on created nature in time because it can have a beginning but the reverse is not possible.

The Son of God has two natures in one person. The human nature remains created and fully human and it does not become uncreated. Nevertheless, it can be united without confusion to the Divine nature and share in the fullness of the life of the Divine nature. Christ’s human nature, although created, is no less Christ than His Divine nature. Thus, when we are united to Christ’s human nature we too share in the Divine nature in the same fullness as Christ’s human nature. We are truly Christlike. There is nothing in Christ’s humanity that we do not share in our own hypostasis. However, only the hypostasis of the Son of God can have two natures, we retain one nature, our human nature, but in Christ we participate in the divine nature in His human nature, through the energies of God in the Holy Spirit. Thus we share in omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience and most importantly the Love of God. These are all ours as they are Christ’s. We live in the fullness of life as Christ does in His human nature; His life is our life.

The Fourth Ecumenical Council rejected monophysitism because it confused the human nature of Christ and His Divine nature. This means that we cannot participate in the Divine life without ceasing to be completely human or becoming God and so denying our salvation. Miaphysitism may be acceptable terminology only if one accepts the two nature teaching of Pope Leo and the Council.

Each hypostasis contains its nature completely within itself. Thus each of the Persons of the Trinity has the fullness of the nature/essence of God within itself. The nature is not shared between them. Each human person has human nature entirely within himself. One human is no less human than another and the human nature is not something outside each person that we somehow share. Rather it is whole and complete in each person.

To have the Divine nature is to have it whole and complete within our own hypostasis. Because it is not within our hypostasis presently, it must begin to be within our hypostasis at some point, if we are truly to have this nature, and this is the reason why we cannot have the Divine nature; it cannot begin in our hypostasis. Only the three hypostases of the Trinity, which are without beginning can have the divine nature within them. We cannot speak of the Divine essence outside of the hypostases of God and neither can we talk of it outside our own hypostases, if we could share in it.

To share in the Divine essence or to know it or for it to be communicated means to have it as our nature completely within our own hypostasis. Otherwise, what is meant, by partaking or sharing the Divine nature, is to share in the energies of the Divine essence, which we can do without having the Divine essence enhypostasised.

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27 Responses to Reply to an Evangelical

  1. I come from an Evangelical background and think that you did a pretty good job. Perhaps later in your discussion you can explain to him that God’s energies are also part of His nature. Since God is love, and love is an attribute of character and activity, when His energies transform us, they transform us into His character. It might help him to know about the two different and complimentary approaches to His nature. Judging by what you’ve put up, he may not even be aware of them.

    Evangelicals generally aren’t taught about divine energies, and what they learn, they have to piece together themselves. This was the case with myself, and I’m pretty sure I still don’t have it all straight even after having come into the Church. The very existence of the doctrine is a shocker for an Evangelical.

  2. i think the real issue is in thinking we can get at a better understanding of the Faith then those before us. This is pride. So, thinking we can understand Christology better than the Fathers of the Councils who were steeped in the philosophical and theological principles/terms being used – whereas we are always grasping after them as something foreign and arcane, newly (re)learned – is folly. If the Father were Dyophyites, then so are we. There is no need to grasp after Miaphytism as a better answer.

    Then again, the Fathers of the Councils – which were innovative ways to establish dogmas themselves – did ‘go beyond’ those that had preceded them in defining the bounds of faith through dogmatic promulgation, i.e., homoousios. I tend to put such innovations in a paraphrase of the Lord: development/change will take place, but woe to most through which such changes are introduced. Only the saints are able to introduce appropriate newness into the Church, e.g., the Trisagion and “Only Begotten Son…”, but saints are not declared to be such until long after their death and particular judgment.

    So, I think the Evangelical hermeneutic and process is wrong.

  3. David says:

    Put simply: what the God-man makes possible is not that we all get to become fully God and fully man, which is what it would be to share God’s essence. By fusing human nature and divine nature, Christ transformed human nature to give it a share of the divine life. To become Christlike is not to become what Christ is in himself.

  4. Steve says:

    I wish we could have discussed this stuff when I was still an evangelical. All I could get out of my high school youth group was “How far is too far?”

  5. Perry Robinson says:

    Here are some initial questions before I comment and reveal my foolishness.

    First, where are the original citations? Could you please provide a link, Fr. Patrick?

    Second, to whom do the indented comments belong?

  6. Perry Robinson says:

    As to the second question, forget it. As to your comments, Fr. Patrick, this is the way things seem to me. I am not sure that the temporal/atemporal dichotomy is sufficient to do the work you want, unclarified. It seems to me on my reading of Palamas that he teaches that some of the acts (energies) of God do have a temporal beginning. If that is so, on your reading it would imply that the energies, at least those that have a temporal beginning, were created. But this cannot be so, so via modus tollens and disjunctive syllogism, either the energies do not have a temporal beginning or the distinction between the created and uncreated can’t be completely captured in those categories. That is, that which is deity isn’t exclusively atemporal, but also temporal. This is a truth that will produce no mean amount of consternation and confusion to a Hellenist.

    It is unclear to say that the humanity of Christ does not become uncreated. If we mean that it does not become the divine essence, then fine, but given deification/glorification as well as a patristic eucharistic doctrine, it is not true to say that the humanity of Christ does not become uncreated. In fact, the immortality of the saints is none other than the immortality of God, albeit it possessed derivatively.
    Humanity is therefore guaranteed eternal existence by virtue of the hypostatic union because the unique hypostasis of the eternal Son is eternal. The bond is not merely volitional or legal which is why it cannot be severed, even by death. We share in the divinity of Christ via the energies but not the essence, even though it is the hypostasis of the Son that exists in, to speak roughly, in the divine essence of the Father. So I am not sure it is correct to say that we share in the divine nature, if by “divine nature” we attempt to denote the divine essence.

    I am also worried about “Christlike.” While it is true and perfectly acceptable, I think we need to be careful. I am worried about Arian or Nestorian glosses. It is like the use of Theopoesis and theosis. Both were acceptable terms, but since the former came to have Adoptionist/Nestorian connotations, theosis was preferred with Theopoesis becoming something of a heterodox shibboleth. So it is important so specify that Christlikeness is not in terms of a created analog but is true uncreated being/existence/esse/energia and as such is true deity. To pillage from Plato, an equal stick really is equal and not a created copy, coldness really is cold and not something like the Cold.

    As for Leo, the Tome is acceptable but it still shows a weaker grasp of the issues and some less than preferable turns of phrase. My personal peeve would be to take Cyril (Alexandria was also a Petrine See) as the touchstone. While it is true that the Persons of the Trinity do not “share” the divine essence, as if it had independent existence, giving rise to worries about Aristotle’s Third Man, it is also true that the personal subsistence in the Father’s essence rules out any independent hypostatic existence such that each person is an instance of the essence. Here I am worried about tri-theism. The easiest way to rule this out is to amend your comments with the caveat that while each of the three Persons are fully deity, because God is not ad intra being/energia/esse, there is nothing “between them” and there is no independent existence. This is why I think the Cappadocians and Maximus speak of not being able to think of any one of them without also thinking of the Three Persons altogether. The instantiation of created essences like humans thus form a weak analogy to the Trinity, since a Platonic or Aristotelian gloss on essences is inadequate to grasp the unity and plurality of the Trinity. So while the whole is complete in each person it is equally true to say that the whole is equally complete in the Trinity.

    As for our inability to have the divine essence because we have a beginning, I think we need to say more here and here is why. Many of the divine energies that we partake of, do not have a beginning and our entry to them is like crossing the even horizon. The designation of the temporal point of entry is only properly applicable on the side of non-participation. That is, at least for some of the energies, they do not begin in our hypostasis strictly speaking even though we are not qua ousia uncreated. So, the line of beginning/unbegining will have to be crossed if we are to adequately explain matters and this will leave us wanting a sufficient condition to explain why we don’t and can’t become God in essence. This is just to say that the lines you seem to draw aren’t adequate here, though they are suggestive.

    These are just my foolish thoughts and friendly suggestions.

  7. monkpatrick says:

    Perry,
    Thanks for the comments. You raise some good points and I will consider them carefully. I am still growing in trying to deal with all the nuances of this matter and it is easy to miss some critical point or to overstate something. Also, it is hard to see all the possible logical consequences of a comment, that is not carefully clarified. Also, varied terminology can be a problem. That is why I posted this to have it checked out and refined.
    I am not keen on using “Christlike” either because it is not really a phrase used by the Fathers and rather a Protestant term. (Something that I find a problem in discussion with non-Orthodox because the terminology is different with many subtle meanings attached.) I attached “truly” to try and achieve the same point that you make. I think the author was also thinking of “Christlike” in the terms you are, so I felt in safe in this context.
    I agree with amending the comments regarding the hypostases and Essence. I have assumed rather than clarified that the analogy of humans to God is weak.
    I agree that uncreated and created cannot be captured completely by the categories of beginning and not beginning, although I think that the latter is properly only completely belonging to the uncreated without limiting the uncreated in reference to time. So, the while the created cannot be without beginning; there is no necessity that the uncreated is unable to act in time; that is to have an act begin in time.
    Without going into areas where silence is best, are the acts of God equivalent to His energies or manifestations of His energies? Thus, the creative energy is eternal but the act of creating is temporal? Would an energy beginning in time not add something to God that He didn’t have before?
    When I mentioned sharing the Divine nature, I was concerned about the issue you raised. I left the first mention unqualified because I qualified it later. I also wanted to emphasise in this context that participating in the energies of God is not something divorced and separated from participating in the Divine nature, along the lines of 2 Peter. When essence and nature are equated, even only for the purpose of an argument, this does make the issue trickier. I have a sense that participating in the Divine energies is a participation in the essence not that one obtains, knows or participates in the essence of itself but because of the inseparable link between the essence and energies. Is this going beyond the Fathers?
    In my still unformed, incomplete and foolish thoughts, I don’t have a difficulty in beginning participation in uncreated energies with no beginning because these energies are sourced in the uncreated God and not in myself. I can participate in them as if they were my own (more, they become my own) and I live in an uncreated manner where time and beginning no longer have meaning. One transcends beginning without ceasing to have a beginning. Participation in the essence itself would however, mean that one didn’t have a beginning not that one transcends one’s beginning. I would see that having my essence as beginningless would only be possible if my person was also beginningless. My person in not beginningless, so it cannot be in essence beginningless. This seems to be a difference in what essence and energies are rather than strictly the issue of beginning and not beginning as such. However, the issue of beginning seems to be important because of the distinction between essence and energies. I hope this captures my thinking and instinct on the matter in light of your concerns but I probably need to develop these ideas further in light of the Fathers.
    The original comment was posted in the About page of Sacred Traditions.

  8. An excerpt from St. Gregory Palamas’, “Third Letter to Akindynos”:

    “According to the divine Maximus, the Logos of well-being, by grace is present unto the worthy, bearing God, Who is by nature above all beginning and end, Who makes those who by nature have a beginning and an end become by grace without beginning and without end, because the Great Paul also, no longer living the life in time, but the divine and eternal life of the indwelling Logos, became by grace without beginning and without end; and Melchisedek had neither beginning of days, nor end of life, not because of his created nature [i.e., his essence], according to which he began and ceased to exist, but because of the divine and uncreated and eternal grace which is above all nature and time, being from the eternal God. Paul, therefore, was created only as long as he lived the life created from non-being by the command of God. But when he no longer lived this life, but that which is present by the indwelling of God, he became uncreated by grace, as did also Melchisedek and everyone who comes to possess the Logos of God, alone living and acting within himself.”

  9. trvalentine says:

    monkpatrick wrote:

    When essence and nature are equated, even only for the purpose of an argument, this does make the issue trickier.

    Would someone be so kind as to explain the difference between ‘essence’ and ‘nature’ — in a very simply manner?

    Thomas

  10. Mark Downham says:

    I have read the responding comments with interest. I would say as Evangelicals we have a different approach to Trinitarian Kenosis and how we treat the relationship between the Uncreated and the Created – some of the geometry of the language of the immediate response seems to be blurring at the edges.

    We would say:

    To share in the Divine essence or to know it or for it to be communicated means to have it interfcommunicating with our nature in a kenotic way in a interfused and permeable hypostasis which still preserves the integrity of the Divine and the Human. For us partaking or sharing in the Divine nature, is to share in both the energies and the persons of the Trinity, which means an kenotic Encounter the full Divine essence enhypostasised in and through all three mmebers of the Trinity dwelling in us in line with John 14.

  11. Mark Downham says:

    I like this comment by Perry Robinson on ” the point of entry being ‘in effect’ the crossing of an Event Horizon’ – the difference is that what he treats as apoint of temporality, we treat as a point of simultaneity and our Encounter and Enegagemetn is NOT just with Energies BUT with the Essence of the Trinity – with their Real Substance as all Evangelicals in line with the Book of Hebrews are Incarnational Trans-Substantiationists.

    We would rework the meaning of our ‘embodiment’ and our real purpose and intention as Spiritual Beings in Bodies.

  12. Mark Downham says:

    This is my favourite response because it is the closest to really understanding our embodiment and who we really are as Spiritual Beings in Bodies and the Incarnational Implications:

    An excerpt from St. Gregory Palamas’, “Third Letter to Akindynos”:
    “According to the divine Maximus, the Logos of well-being, by grace is present unto the worthy, bearing God, Who is by nature above all beginning and end, Who makes those who by nature have a beginning and an end become by grace without beginning and without end, because the Great Paul also, no longer living the life in time, but the divine and eternal life of the indwelling Logos, became by grace without beginning and without end; and Melchisedek had neither beginning of days, nor end of life, not because of his created nature [i.e., his essence], according to which he began and ceased to exist, but because of the divine and uncreated and eternal grace which is above all nature and time, being from the eternal God. Paul, therefore, was created only as long as he lived the life created from non-being by the command of God. But when he no longer lived this life, but that which is present by the indwelling of God, he became uncreated by grace, as did also Melchisedek and everyone who comes to possess the Logos of God, alone living and acting within himself.”

    All the other responses adopt various constants around the Chalcedonian Formula, whereas this treats our Trans-Substantiation as an ‘instrumental process’.

    The only comment I would make is that Grace as an transformative instrument in our Evangelical categories is NOT just communicable energy, it is also coimmunicable essence as real spiritual substance.

  13. Mark Downham says:

    Monk Patrick

    This is my final comment. There is someone who can address your questions in Eastern Orthodoxy. His name is Nikolai Sakharov – he will explain how energy and essence converge in pneumatological Encounter – he should know….he has gone over all of the work of his Great Uncle, Sergei Sakharov [Archimandrite Sophrony].

    The answers you are looking for from an Eastern Orthodox perspective are there.

    In the LORD Jesus Christ.

    Mark

  14. David says:

    what a strange combination of adopting the language of the Fathers but using it in a way that would make no sense to them: “To share in the Divine essence or to know it or for it to be communicated means to have it intercommunicating with our nature in a kenotic way in a interfused and permeable hypostasis which still preserves the integrity of the Divine and the Human.”

    The terms ‘kenotic’, ‘hypostasis’ etc. are only meaningful within a certain discourse and there are uses to which they cannot inelligibly be put. I’d like to know (1) what Mark means by a ‘permeable hypostasis’, what it means for an essence to ‘intercommunicate’ with a nature ‘in a kenotic way’; and perhaps more importantly– how does our sharing in the divine essence differ from Christ’s?

  15. Mark Downham says:

    David

    Wittgenstein observed that “the limits of our language, are the limits of our world” – actually, the limits of our language are the limits of our ability to describe our world in linguistic terms.

    You have to decide what your limits are – your world is definitely BIGGER than your language.

    In the lORD Jesus Christ.

    Mark

  16. Rob Grano says:

    David wrote, “What a strange combination of adopting the language of the Fathers but using it in a way that would make no sense to them.”

    I had exactly the same thought, David. The key to understanding and applying the Fathers is not merely appropriating what they say, but, as Fr. Florovsky would argue, developing or acquiring “the patristic mind.” One cannot really separate what they said from how they thought and what theological/philosophical context they thought in and still expect to “apply” their language or ideas validly.

  17. Mark Downham says:

    The Patristic Mind is predicated on Pneumatological Encounter and we need to be absolutely clear about this – their ideas mean NOTHING unless they come into alignment with Scripture – the Patristic Mind has to be the Mind of Christ.

    If I speak to you in any capacity at all , I am speaking to you in line with 2 Corinthians 4:13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.”With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak.

    Any suggestion that the Patristic Mind contradicts this Scripture is wrong and if the Patristic Mind is in alignment with 2 Corinthians 4:13 then we have to observe the comment by Daniel Rogich:

    In an article on St. Gregory Palamas, Daniel Rogich noted that “Gregory Palamas” defended the Faith of the [early Church] Fathers “not simply by repeating and parroting their ancient formulas and words, but by ‘incarnationally’ re-defining and reinterpreting their message” [see Daniel Rogich, "Homily 34 of Saint Gregory Palamas," The Greek Orthodox Theological Review, 33(2), 135-156 - this is the approach pioneered by Fr. Thomas Hopko at St. Vladimir's Seminary ].

  18. I don’t know enough to really understand, but how would the Oriental Orthodox react to you distinction?

    And Orthodox sing “Only begotten Son and Word of God, although immortal You humbled Yourself for our salvation, taking flesh from the holy Theotokos and ever virgin Mary and, without change, becoming man. Christ, our God, You were crucified but conquered death by death. You are one of the Holy Trinity, glorified with the Father and the Holy Spirit – save us.” That means that somehow when you touch Christ’s Body and Blood, you are touching the Trinity. And likewise when your flesh is made into Christ’s Body and Blood, you are somehow made into a member of the Trinity (not in that every human will become a distinct Person of the Trinity, but that you are through the Spirit, made a member of Christ and thus of the Trinity). Like Christ says “the two shall become one flesh, what therefore God has joined together, let no man put assunder.”

    Again, I don’t really understand it, but I believe Pseudo-Dionysius says that even temporality is, like everything else, derrived from God’s Eternity. See the article on a Christian approach to a philosophy of time here: http://www.uky.edu/~dbradsh/

  19. Mark Downham says:

    I really like this by Matthew Petersen- a brillant treatment on the Convergence of Liturgics and Prophetics as forms of Prophetic Declaration within the Communion of LOVE as Nuptial Theology expressed in the person of the LORD Jesus Christ:

    “And Orthodox sing “Only begotten Son and Word of God, although immortal You humbled Yourself for our salvation, taking flesh from the holy Theotokos and ever virgin Mary and, without change, becoming man. Christ, our God, You were crucified but conquered death by death. You are one of the Holy Trinity, glorified with the Father and the Holy Spirit – save us.” That means that somehow when you touch Christ’s Body and Blood, you are touching the Trinity. And likewise when your flesh is made into Christ’s Body and Blood, you are somehow made into a member of the Trinity (not in that every human will become a distinct Person of the Trinity, but that you are through the Spirit, made a member of Christ and thus of the Trinity). Like Christ says “the two shall become one flesh, what therefore God has joined together, let no man put assunder.”

    Outstanding.

  20. Joel says:

    Another article by Doug Wilson critical of Orthodoxy and related to the topic discussed in this post can be found here:

    http://www.dougwils.com/index.asp?Action=Anchor&CategoryID=1&BlogID=4007

  21. Mark Downham says:

    As Evangelicals it is inevitable that there will be dialectical and polemical tensions in our interrogation of Eastern Orthodoxy and in how we treat Oral Tradition in relation to Scripture ad how we treat Patristics in realtion to Scripture.

    Our position is that ALL Oral Rabbinical, Apostolic, Patristic tradition must come into alignment and be capable of location in Scripture and remains in a category of Prophetic-Hermeneutical Declaration – a form of Prophetic Utterance – with the intention of “opening out” and commenting in a revelatory way on Scripture.

    Georges Florovsky observes in his paper, ‘St. Gregory Palamas and the Tradition of the Fathers’ – “The Fathers theologized, as St. Gregory of Nazianzus put it, “in the manner of the Apostles, not in that of Aristotle—alieutikos, ouk aristotelikos (Hom. 23. 12).”

    He also observes that:

    “The true tradition is only the tradition of truth, traditio veritatis. This tradition, according of St. Irenaeus, is grounded in, and secured by, that charisma veritatis certum [secure charisma of truth], which has been “deposited” in the Church from the very beginning and has been preserved by the uninterrupted succession of episcopal ministry. “Tradition” in the Church is not a continuity of human memory, or a permanence of rites and habits. It is a living tradition—depositum juvenescens, in the phrase of St. Irenaeus. Accordingly, it cannot be counted inter mortuas regulas [among dead rules]. Ultimately, tradition is a continuity of the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit in the Church, a continuity of Divine guidance and illumination. The Church is not bound by the “letter.” Rather, she is constantly moved forth by the “Spirit.” The same Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, which “spake through the Prophets,” which guided the Apostles, is still continuously guiding the Church into the fuller comprehension and understanding of the Divine truth, from glory to glory.”

    Our response to this is that the HOLY Spirit has decided and ‘codified’ what constitutes the Canon of Scripture and therefore it is the FOUNDATION IN AND THROUGH THE LORD JESUS CHRIST OF all LIVING Traditon and all Apostolic Truth.

    So, in the main we do NOT see a”blurring of distinctions” in Eastern Orthodoxy in terms of Theosis as operational theology BUT we doi see a”blurring of distinctions” in decoiding what constituttes the Apostolic Doctrine in informing Theosis and Deification.

  22. acolyte says:

    Mark D,

    I simply do not know how the essence of God can be grasped unless of course you make God esse or being, which is a move I simply will not make. Of course if one makes that move you will need to interpret eternality as sumultaneity but that I think creates all kinds of unnecessary problems. It is rather strange to call something eternity that is one elongated moment. And this is nothing less than the Catholic view, which is rather funny seeing that you are an Evangelical. On this point and that of participation in the divine essence it seems you are closer to Catholicism than Orthodoxy. Rather ironic.

    I can’t see how the kenotic thinking is particularly evangelical since it came from 19th century Anglo-Catholics, such as Bp. Charles Gore. To speak of the divine essence in terms of kenosis seems to turn the divine essence inside out as it were and make God entirely “for us” in Lacunga fashion. I know why she and other Feminists wish to make this move but it seems nothing short of idolatry produced by nominalism run amuck. But maybe I am misreading you here.

  23. Mark Downham says:

    acolyte,

    The Bible does NOT recognise the expression, “Essence” in Post or Neo-Platonic and/or Aristotelain sense. I am dealing with Shadow and Substance as clearly articulated in the Book of Hebrews – which reflects the Prophetic Incarnational Intentionality of the Trinity.

    My reading of your work is that perceptually, it is still governed by the “constraints of temporality” and the necessity for a sense of linear progression – I do not see Simultaneity as “one elongated moment” and I certainly do NOT see this as Catholic given their views on purgatory which again is actually a form of “temporal conjecture”.

    My interest in Eastern Orthodoxy is in the categories of Pneumatology and Cognition.

    My interest in Roman Catholicism is in Love and Heart Mysticism.

    The Evangelical view of Kenosis is predicated on Philippians 2:5-11 and NOT late 19 Century Anglo-Catholicism which was a reactionary movement to the Evangelisation of the UK.

    I have a completely different view of Kenosis and submission in Intra and Inter Trinitarian dynamic relations and in Extra Trinitarian Relations.

  24. Mark,

    Hebrews is arguably written by someone familiar with Platonism so I am not sure how far your reference to hebrews will get you. I don’t see anywhere in Hebrews where it indicates that we will grasp the essence of God.

    As for simultaneity, the terms I used are fairly standard, taken from Boethius and Augustine. It is not entailed by the doctrine of purgatory even though that view of divine timelessness is widespread among Catholic theologians of all ages. Simultaneity in Boethius is the idea of one moment infinitely streatched out so that it is an infinite present, or a “now.” I h aven’t see anything in your casual writing that would lead me to think that your view isn’t essentially the same as the Catholic view.

    As for Kenosis saying that the evenagelical view is derived from Philp 2 isn’t helpful since eveyerone’s view of kenosis is derived from that passage. Evangelicals were influenced by Anglican constructions of kenosis such as those found in Charles Gore. If your view differs from the fairly standard evangelical type of kenosis derived from this historical thread, then please indicate how you are using the terms.

  25. Mark Downham says:

    Perry

    Our view is that Hebrews is intended by the HOLY Spirit as a Christological response and corrective to Platonic thought.

    2 Peter 1:20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation.

    Where we disagree with you is that we do not consider the Book of Hebrews to be a personal interpretation of Platonic Philosophy, we consider it to be part of the Canon of the LIVING Word of God inspired and directed by the HOLY Spirit.

    If you understand Hebrews 9 in relation to the BLOOD, you will understand that it is not a matter of grasping BUT of entering in.

    The difference between Augustine’s view of the Eternal NOW and my approach to simultaneity is that Augustine had no conception of the future within his category of the Eternal NOW and I hold the future is made up of implications – it is not that GOD deals with our potentialities, more that Jesus carries the implications of our future choices on the Cross in dealing with our future decisons and their outcomes – Temporality and Eternity converge at Calvary.

    Evangelicals and Evangelcail Anglicans do NOT follow the Anglo-Catholic paradigm of the social kenosis of the Church outlined in the work of Charles Gore, since we advocate the simultaneous relationship of the Church Suffering [knowing Jesus in the fellowship of HIS sufferings] Church Triumphant [knowing Jesus in the pOWER of HIS Resurrection] – this is the overcoming life – Kenosis for Evangelicals is in casting everything down at the Cross – our self-emptying is Crucicentric and Christological.

    Mark

  26. Mark Downham says:

    The words Evangelical and Protestant are NOT synonymous.

    There are numerous Evangelicals in Eastern Orthodoxy BY their own confession and work and I will name a mere handful:

    Father Thomas Hopko
    Father Anthony Coniaris
    Archimandrite Eusebius Stephanou
    Father Peter Gillquist
    Archimandrite Zacharias Zacharou
    Archimandrite Vasileios, Abbot of Iviron Monastery
    Bishop [Timothy Kallistos] Ware
    Daniel Jones
    Father Daniel Rogich

    Their approach to Tradition as Evangelicals in Eastern Orthodoxy is SPIRITUAL RENEWAL – the “Retro-Fitting” of Tradition through Development al Theology which is consistentwith the internal pneumatology, heuristics and hermeneutical dynamics of Patristics – it is NOT Ecclesiastical and Doctrinal Reformation – it is NOT scrapping Tradition BUT Incarnationally reinterpreting it and reapplying it NOW.

    Retro-Fitting: “The application of conservation, efficiency, or renewable energy technologies to existing structures.”

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