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Nazianzus Third Theological Oration & Nyssa, Not Three Gods, To Ablabius

Nazianzus Third Theological Oration & Nyssa, Not Three Gods, To Ablabius

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Published by JackHakimian

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Published by: JackHakimian on Oct 29, 2008
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09/24/2012

 
 
Fuller Theological SeminaryAnalytical Paper for
 Nazianzus
 , Third Theological Oration &
 Nyssa
 , Not Three Gods, To Ablabius
A PaperPresented in Partial FulfillmentOf the Requirements for the CourseCH501 Patristic TheologyDr.
R.A. Muller
 ByJack HakimianSummer 2007
 
 Section 1
It appears that Gregory of Nazianzus and Gregory of Nysaa were part of a moderategroup of Eastern Bishops. This group felt that the term
homoousios
didn’t properlycommunicate the “likeness of substance” of the Word with Father. They thought the term“homoiousios” was more fitting. But, as time went on they began to agree withAthanasius usage of 
homoousios
and were able to persuade their Eastern colleagues tounite with the Western church concerning this issue at the Council of Constantinople of 381.
1
 The relationship between Gregory of Nazianzus and Gregory of Nyssa was based on theircommon love for God and the state of the church. Gregory of Nyssa had a brother by thename of Basil, who became the Bishop of Caesarea. When Basil was gaining hiseducation in Caesera to engage in religious work he met Gregory of Nazianzus. Theydeveloped a deep friendship and would engage them both in the work of defending thefaith against Eunomians. Ultimately, they labored to solidify the Nicene Creed andarticulate a clear formula for the trinity: Unity of God, in three modes or
hypostases.
2
 
1
Pg 23
2
24
 
Section 2
Clearly the documents are polemic in nature. For example, in
Third Theolical Oratation
,Gregory of Nazianzus sets out to refute the Eunomius arguments presented in what wecall delimas. Firstly, they argued that if God begat the Son voluntarily or involuntarilythis creates two delimas. If he did this involuntary some being outside of Him forced Himto do that, thus showing that God is subordinate to another being. But, if the Father didthis voluntarily then the “Son is the Son of the Will, and not of the Father”.
3
 Gregory of Nyssa in Not Three Gods, To Ablabius sets out to prove that there is only OneGod in three substances, and not three distinct individuals or person with individual will,emotions and substances. He even argues those human beings are really “one nature”even though we speak of them as separate beings.
4
We may use inexact language as afigure of speech when it comes to people like Peter, James, and John, but in reference toGod the consequences can be vital.
5
 
Section 3
Nazianzus deals with the language of government like his predescaro Tertullian.Tertullian dealt with the issue in his book Againbst Praxeas where he argued against the“Monarchians” who said there was no difference between the Son and the Creator Godwho is father. If there was it wouldn’t be “monarchy” or one rule. Nazianzus seems to use
3
Pg 313
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319
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