Another Great Maximus

Here’s an informative note on Maximus the Greek over at Logismoi.

5 Responses to Another Great Maximus

  1. I suppose the intellectual arguments reduce the real ontological problem of salvation or our need for spiritual healing to a mere conceptual problem. I do not need to be transformed. Since I only need a really big Idea that fits nicely into my pre-established system of ideas, I attempt to search for ideas that force me to intellectually accept or reject the idea of God.

  2. Photios,

    I agree with what you’re saying, but I still feel that I’m watching two trains on parallel tracks moving past each other. Please bear with me as I try to clarify matters further.

    The ground of our claim to know God or things in general is not having a merely conceptual-notional grasp of it but our physical or spiritual participation in that reality. Questions of the existence and knowledge of some reality mean nothing apart from my potential or actual relationship to it. We can rub our ideas and ideas from ideas against each other but that in principle will not produce True truth because we are then attempting to grasp the reality of things apart from our relationship to it. We also philosophize without acknowledging why we do so in the first place: to satiate the soul’s hunger for God with something other than God, to pursue pleasure and to distract ourselves from death’s impact upon us.

    I can see that somehow the “proofs” and “probabilities” is a distraction from the real questions, but I am having difficulty articulating with exactness in what manner it is such.



  3. photios says:

    Right, but to answer you:

    First-have you read Ambrose of Milan on Rom 1:20?

    Second-We know God through not first thinking about him and rationalizing our way through unaided reason (there’s no such thing anyways), but through participating in His energies or activities in creation. The emphasis here is on activity..DOING. When we rightly participate in Creation, we rightly understand His works in creation, and knowing His works. One cannot know God from unaided reason, and such a thing–from an Orthodox view-point–is entirely nonsensical.

    If you’re asking how do we go about proving to atheists using logical “proofs” and “probabilities,” then you have already committed yourself to a sham of a game that the West has been proccupied with for centuries and will continue to be producing for centuries to come, that thesis (God) and anti-thesis (not-God) that is the very foundational thought of the filioque.


  4. PS: I’m not sure what I thought I saw Photios as the author of this post. Whatever, I welcome remarks on above my comment from anyone.

  5. Photios,

    Does the difference between Scholasticism and Patristic theology consist in the fact that the former predicates Christ of Divinity whereas the latter predicates Divinity of Christ? Either “God” is first and foremost the role/operation/nature of *Someone* that we or others have encountered or *Something* abstractly reasoned to and which Personhood is predicated of. Either my entrance into theology begins in the community of those to whom God has revealed Himself or it (implicitly) begins with a search for what corresponds to my philosophical reflections upon *something* that is called God.

    “God” apart from Christ signifies for humans only the indescribable, inconceivable, supra-existent creative ground of what is describable, conceivable and existent. I ask if these thoughts are correct, and if so, where does the Orthodox apologetic enterprise begin?

    Following the Gospels & the Acts of the Apostles, it seems to begin with a description of the human heart or personality’s condition, a call to repentance and then voluntary movement towards purification, illumination and theosis. The carnal heart is without rest and without love for neighbor and God because it cleaves to the images of created things or exists for the enjoyment what does not last. Christ freely offers communion with the ultimate source and object of love, rest and desire, but only to those who choose to repent of sin and submit to Him. We can properly philosophize in Christ, but we cannot philosophize to Christ without implicitly ascribing autonomy to human reason and fallen creation.

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