The failure of the Dialectical Method to distinguish between Persons. An observation of St. Gregory of Nyssa:

In order, then, to render their attack upon the Savior efficacious, this is the blasphemous method that they [Eunomians] have adopted. There is no need, they urge, of looking at the collective attributes by which the Son’s equality in honour and dignity with the Father is signified, but from the opposition between generate and ungenerate we must argue a distinctive difference of nature; for the Divine nature is that which is denoted by the term ungenerate…and declaring this to be sovereign and supreme they make this word comprehend the whole greatness of Godhead, so as to necessitate the inference that if ungeneracy is the main point of the essence, and the other attributes are bound up with it, viz. Godhead, power, imperishableness and so on—if (I say) ungeneracy mean these, then, if this ungeneracy cannot be predicated of something, neither can the rest.

St. Gregory of Nyssa, Contra Eunomium II, NPNF II, 5, p. 256

2 Responses to The failure of the Dialectical Method to distinguish between Persons. An observation of St. Gregory of Nyssa:

  1. Jack says:

    Daniel,

    I don’t get your repeated cursing of “dialectic.” When I hear dialectic, I think such things as “If God is, then we are not, if we are, then God is not” (Palamas) which is the “dialectic” between beyond being and being or the nature of God and us. We are not opposites or even different “levels” that can be analogizes, we are simply incomparable. So incomparable that one cannot say “we” and “are.” This why both pagan Neoplatonists and Christians realized the necessity of revelation to heal the fall from unity. “Philosophy” understood as mere intellectual speculation cannot bridge the gap of sin.

    Would you mind making the term more precise?

  2. Death Bredon says:

    Well that pretty much smashes the Thomistic trinitarian doctrine of “opposing relationship” about a thousand years before Thomas coined it — based on his Augustinian pre-commitments.

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