Before Maximus

“They blaspheme the Creator, who is truely God, and who empowers us to find the truth. And they imagnie that they have discovered another god beyond God, or another Pleroma, or another dispensation. Therefore, the light which is from God does not enlighten them, because they have dishonoured and despised God, considering Him of little worth because, through His love and great beneficence, He has come within reach of human knowledge (knowledge, however, not with regard to His grandeur or according to his essence-for no one has measured or handled that-but such that we may know that the One who made and fashioned humanity, and breathed into it the breath of life, and nourishes us through creation, confirming all things by His Word, and binding them together by His Wisdom-He  it is who is the only true God). But they dream of a non-existent being above the true God, believing that they have discovered the great God, whom no one can know, who does not communicate with human beings, and who exercises no direction over earthly affairs. So it turns out that they have discovered the god of Epicurus, who takes care neither of himself nor others; a god without proviedence.”

 Saint Ireneaus, Against Heresies, Book 3, Chapter 24, section 2.

One comment

  1. “In speaking of God, when there is question of His essence, then is the time to keep silence. When, however, it is a question of His operation, a knowledge of which can come down even to us, that is the time to speak of His omnipotence by telling of His works and explaining His deeds, and to use words to this extent. In matters which go beyond this, however, the creature must not exceed the bounds of its nature, but must be content to know itself. For, indeed, in my view, if the creature never comes to know itself, never understands the essence of the soul or the nature of the body, the cause of being . . . , if the creature does not know itself, how can it ever explain things which are beyond it? Of such things it is the time to keep silence; here silence is surely better. There is, however, a time to speak of those things by which we can in our lives make progress in virtue.” (Gregory of Nyssa, On Ecclesiastes)

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