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Original Sin According to Saint Paul

© John S. Romanides
This article originally appeared in the St. Vladimir's Seminary Quarterly , Vol. IV, Nos. 1 and 2, 1955-6.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. Fallen Creation
II. The Justice of God and La
III. The !estin" of #an and Anthro$olog"
a. The !estin" of #an
%. Anthro$olog" of St. Paul
S"nthetic O%ser&ations
Concluding 'e(ar)s
Ìn regard to the doctrine of original sin as contained in the Old Testament and illumnated by the
unique revelation of Christ in the New Testament, there continues to reign in the denominations
of the West--especially since the development of scholastic presuppositions--a great confusion,
which in the last few centuries seems to have gained much ground in the theological
problematics of the Orthodox East. Ìn some circles this problem has been dressed in a halo of
mystifying vagueness to such an extent that even some Orthodox theologians seem to expect
one to accept the doctrine of original sin simply as a great and profound mystery of faith (e.g.,
Androutsos, Dogmatike , pp. 161-162). This has certainly become a paradoxical attitude,
especially since these Christians who cannot point their fingers at this enemy of mankind are
the same people who illogically claim that in Christ there is remission of this unknown original
sin. This is a far cry from the certitude of St. Paul, who, of the devil himself, claimed that "we are
not ignorant of his thoughts" (noemata).
[ * ]
Ìf one is to vigorously and consistently maintain that Jesus Christ is the unique Savior Who has
brought salvation to a world in need of salvation, one obviously must know what is the nature of
the need which provoked this salvation.
[ + ]
Ìt would, indeed, seem foolish to have medical
doctors trained to heal sickness if there were no such thing as sickness in the world. Likewise, a
savior who claims to save people in need of no salvation is a savior only unto himself.
Undoubtedly, one of the most important causes of heresy is the failure to understand the exact
nature of the human situation described by the Old and New Testaments, to which the historical
events of the birth, teachings, death, resurrection and second coming of Christ are the only
remedy. The failure to understand this automatically implies a perverted understanding of what
it is that Christ did and continues to do for us, and what our subsequent relation is to Christ and
neighbor within the realm of salvation. The importance of a correct definition of original sin and
its consequences can never be exaggerated. Any attempt to minimize its importance or alter its
significance automatically entails either a weakening or even a complete misunderstanding of
the nature of the Church, sacraments and human destiny.
The temptation facing every inquiry into the thought of St. Paul and the other Apostolic writers is
to approach their writings with definite, although many times unconscious, presuppositions
contrary to the Biblical witness. Ìf one approaches the Biblical testimony to the work of Christ
and the life of the primitive community with predetermined metaphysical notions concerning the
moral structure of what most would call the natural world, and, by consequence, with fixed ideas
concerning human destiny and the needs of hte individual and humanity in general, he will
undoubtedly take from the faith and life of the ancient Church only such aspects as fit his own
frame of reference. Then, if he wishes to be consistent in representing his own interpretation of
the Scriptures as authentic, he will necessarily proceed to exaplain away everything extraneous
to his concepts as secondary and superficial, or simply as the product of some
misunderstanding on the part of certain Apostles or a group of Fathers, or even the whole
primitive Church in general.
A proper approach to the New Testament teaching of St. Paul concerning original sin cannot be
one-sided. Ìt is incorrect, for example, to emphasize, in Romans 5:12, the phrase, ephho
pantes hemarton , by trying to make it fit any certain system of thought concerning moral law
and guilt without first establishing the importance of St. Paul's beliefs concerning the powers of
Satan and the true situation not only of man, but of all creation. Ìt is also wrong to deal with the
problem of the transmission of original sin within the framework of dualistic anthropology while
at the same time completely ignoring the Hebraic foundations of St. Paul's anthropology.
Likewise, and attempt to interpret the Biblical doctrine of the fall in terms of a hedonistic
philosophy of happiness is already doomed to failure because of its refusal to recognize not only
the abnormality but, more important, the consequences of death and corruption.
A correct approach to the Pauline doctrine of original sin must take into consideration St. Paul's
understanding of (1) the fallen state of creation, including the powers of Satan, death and
corruption, (2) the justice of God and law, and (3) anthropology and the destiny of man and
creation. These divisions are not meant to suggest that each topic is to be dealt with here in
detail; rather, they shall be discussed only in the light of the main problem of original sin and its
transmission according to St. Paul.
[ 'eturn ]
I. Fallen Creation
St. Paul strongly affirms the belief that all things created by God are good.
[ , ]
Yet, at the same
time, he insists on the fact that not only man,
[ - ]
but also all of creation has fallen.
[ . ]
Both man
and creation are awaiting the final redemption.
[ / ]
Thus, in spite of the fact that all things created
by God are good, the devil has temporarily
[ 0 ]
become the "god of this age."
[ 1 ]
A basic
presupposition of St. Paul's thought is that althought the world was created by God and as such
is good, yet now there rules in it the power of Satan. The devil, however, is by no means
absolute, since God has never abandoned His creation.
[ 2 ]
Thus, according to St. Paul, creation as it is is not what God intended it to be--"For the creature
was made subject to vanity...by reason of him who hath subjected the same."
[ *3 ]
Therefore, evil
can exist, at least temporarily, as a parasitic element alongside and inside of that which God
created originally good. A good example of this is one who would do the Good according to the
"inner man," but finds it impossible because of the indwelling power of sin in the flesh.
[ ** ]
Although created good and still maintained and governed by God, creation as it is is still far from
being normal or natural, if by "normal" we understand nature according to the original and final
destiny of creation. governing this age, in spite of the fact that God Himself is still sustaining
creation and creating for Himself a remnant,
[ *+ ]
is the devil himself.
[ *, ]
To try to read into St. Paul's thought any type of philosophy of a naturally well balanced
universe with inherent and fixed moral laws of reason, according to which men can live with
peace of mind and be happy, is to do violence to the apostle's faith. For St. Paul, there is now
no such thing as a natural world with an inherent system of moral laws, because all of creation
has been subjected to the vanity and evil power of Satan, who is ruling by the powers of death
and corruption.
[ *- ]
For this reason all men have become sinners.
[ *. ]
There is no such thing as a
man who is sinless simply because he is living according to the rules of reason or the Mosaic
law.
[ */ ]
The possibility of living according to universal reason entails, also, the possibility of
being without sin. But for Paul this is a myth, because Satan is no respecter of reasonable rules
of good conduct
[ *0 ]
and has under his influence all men born under the power of death and
corruption.
[ *1 ]
Whether or not belief in the present, real and active power of Satan appeals to the Biblical
theologian, he cannot ignore the importance that St. Paul attributes to the power of the devil. To
do so is to completely misunderstand the problem of original sin and its transmission and so
misinterpret the mind of the New Testament writers and the faith of the whole ancient Church. Ìn
regard to the power of Satan to introduce sin into the life of every man, St. Augustine in
combating Pelagianism obviously misread St. Paul. by relegating the power of Satan, death,
and corruption to the background and pushing to the foreground of controversy the problem of
personal guilt in the transmission of original sin, St. Augustine introduced a false moralistic
philosophical approach which is foreign to the thinking of St. Paul
[ *2 ]
and which was not
accepted by the patristic tradition of the East.
[ +3 ]
For St. Paul, Satan is not simply a negative power in the universe. He is personal with will,
[ +* ]
with thoughts,
[ ++ ]
and with methods of deception,
[ +, ]
against whom Christians must wage and
intense battle
[ +- ]
because they can still be tempted by him.
[ +. ]
He is active in a dynamic
manner,
[ +/ ]
fighting for the destruction of creation and not simply waiting passively in a
restricted corner to accept those who happen to rationally decide not to follow God and the
moral laws inherent in a natural universe. Satan is even capable of transforming himself into an
angel of light
[ +0 ]
. He has at his disposal miraculous powers of perversion
[ +1 ]
and has as co-
workers whole armies of invisible powers.
[ +2 ]
He is the "god of this age,"
[ ,3 ]
the one who
deceived the first woman.
[ ,* ]
Ìt is he who led man
[ ,+ ]
and all of creation into the path of death
and corruption.
[ ,, ]
The power of death and corruption, according to Paul, is not negative, but on the contrary,
positively active. "The sting of death is sin,"
[ ,- ]
which in turn reigns in death.
[ ,. ]
Not only man,
but all creation has been yoked under its tyrannizing power
[ ,/ ]
and is now awaiting redemption.
Creation itself shall also be delivered from the slavery of corruption.
[ ,0 ]
Along with the final
destruction of all the enemies of God, death--the last and probably the greatest enemy--will be
destroyed.
[ ,1 ]
Then death will be swallowed up in victory.
[ ,2 ]
For St. Paul, the destruction of
death is parallel to the destruction of the devil and his forces. Salvation from the one is salvation
from the other.
[ -3 ]
Ìt is obvious from St. Paul's expressions concerning fallen creation, Satan, and death, that there
is no room in his thinking for any type of metaphysical dualism, of departmentalization which
would make of this world and intermediary domain which for man is merely a stepping stone
leading either into the presence of God or into the kingdom of Satan. The idea of a three story
universe, whereby God and His company of saints and angels occupy the top floor, the devil the
basement, and man in the flesh the middle, has no room in Pauline theology. For Paul, all three
orders of existence interpenetrate. There is no such thing as a middle world of neutrality where
man can live according to natural law and then be judged for a life of happiness in the presence
of God or for a life of torment in the pits of outer darkness. On the contrary, all of creation is the
domain of God, Who Himself cannot be tainted with evil. But in His domain there are other wills
which He has created, which can choose either the kingdom of God or the kingdom of death
and destruction.
Ìn spite of the fact that creation is of God and essentially good, the devil at the same time has
parasitically transformed this same creation of God into a temporary kingdom for himself.
[ -* ]
The devil, death, and sin are reigning in this world and not in another. Both the kingdom of
darkness and kingdom of light are battling hand to hand in the same place. For this reason, the
only true victory possible over the devil is the resurrection of the dead.
[ -+ ]
There is no escape
from the battlefield. The only choice possible for every man is either to fight the devil by actively
sharing in the victory of Christ, or to accept the deceptions of the devil by wanting to believe that
all goes well and everything is normal.
[ -, ]
[ 'eturn ]
II. The Justice of God and La
Ìt is obvious, according to what has been said about St. Paul's views concerning the non-
dualistic nature of fallen creation, that for Paul there cannot exist any system of moral laws
inherent in a natural and normal universe. Therefore, what man accepts as just and good
according to his observations of human relationships within society and nature cannot be
confused with the justice of God. The justice of God has been revealed uniquely and fully only in
Christ.
[ -- ]
No man has the right to substitute his own conception of justice for that of God.
[ -. ]
The justice of God as revealed in Christ does not operate according to objective rules of
conduct,
[ -/ ]
but rather according to the personal relationships of faith and love.
[ -0 ]
"The law is
not made for a just man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners..."
[
-1 ]
Yet the law is not evil, but good
[ -2 ]
and even spiritual.
[ .3 ]
However, it is not enough. Ìt is of a
temporary and pedagogical nature,
[ .* ]
and in Christ must be fulfilled
[ .+ ]
and surpassed by
personalistic love, according to the image of God's love as revealed in Christ.
[ ., ]
Faith and love
in Christ must be personal. for this reason, faith without love is empty. "Though Ì have all faith,
so that Ì could remove mountains, and have not love, Ì am nothing."
[ .- ]
Likewise, acts of faith
bereft of love are of no avail. "Though Ì bestow all my goods and though Ì give my body to be
burned, and have not love, it profiteth me nothing."
[ .. ]
There is no life in the following of objective rules. Ìf there were such a possibility of receiving life
by living according to law, there would be no need of redemption in Christ. "Righteousness
should have been by the law. "
[ ./ ]
Ìf a "law was given capable of giving life"
[ .0 ]
then salvation,
and not a promise, was bestowed upon Abraham.
[ .1 ]
But life does not exist in the law. Ìt is
rather of essence of God, "Who alone hath immortality."
[ .2 ]
Only God can bestow life and this
He does freely, according to his own will,
[ /3 ]
in His own way, and at the time of His own
choosing.
[ /* ]
On the other hand, it is a grave mistake to make the justice of God responsible for death and
corruption. Nowhere does Paul attribute the beginnings of death and corruption to God. On the
contrary, nature was subjected to vanity and corruption by the devil,
[ /+ ]
who through the sin and
death of the first man managed to lodge himself parasitically within creation, of which he was
already a part but at first not yet its tyrant. For Paul, the transgression of the first man opened
the way for the entrance of death into the world,
[ /, ]
but this enemy
[ /- ]
is certainly not the
finished product of God. Neither can the death of Adam, or even of each man, be considered
the outcome of any decision of God to punish.
[ /. ]
St. Paul never suggests such an idea.
To get at the basic presuppositions of Biblical thinking, one must abandon any juridical scheme
of human justice which demands punishment and rewards according to objective rules of
morality. To approach the problem of original sin in such a naive manner as to say that to!t
lecte!r sense concil!ra "!!ne penalite comm!ne impli"!e !ne o##ense comm!ne , and that
thus all share in the guilt of Adam,
[ // ]
is to ignore the true nature of the justice of God and deny
and real power to the devil.
The relationships which exist among God, man and the devil are not according to rules and
regulations, but according to personalistic freedom. The fact that there are laws forbidding one
from killing his neighbor does not imply the impossibility of killing not only one, but hundreds of
thousands of neighbors. Ìf man can disregard rules and regulations of good conduct, certainly
the devil cannot be expected to follow such rules if he can help it. St. Paul's version of the devil
is certainly not that of one who is simply obeying general rules of nature and carrying out the will
of God by punishing souls in hell. Quite on the contrary, he is fighting God dynamically by
means of all possible deception, trying by all his cunning and power to destroy the works of
God.
[ /0 ]
Thus salvation for man and creation cannot come by a simple act of forgiveness of any
juridical imputation of sin, nor can it come by any payment of satisfaction to the devil (Origen) or
to God (Rome). Salvation can come only by the destruction of the devil and his power.
[ /1 ]
Thus, according to St. Paul, it is God Himself Who has destroyed "principalities and powers" by
nailing the handwriting in ordinances, which was against us, to the cross of Christ.
[ /2 ]
"God was
in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing to them their offences."
[ 03 ]
although we
were in sin, God did not hold this against us, but has declared His own justice to those who
believe in Christ.
[ 0* ]
The justice of God is not according to that of men, which operates by the
law of works.
[ 0+ ]
For St. Paul, the justice of God and the love of God are not to be separated for
the sake of any juridical doctrine of atonement. The justice of God and the love of God as
revealed in Christ are the same thing. Ìn Romans 3:21-26, for example, the expression, "love of
God," could very easily be substituted for the "justice of God."
Ìt is interesting to note that every time St. Paul speaks about the wrath of God it is always that
which is revealed to those who have become hopelessly enslaved, by their own choosing, to the
flesh and the devil.
[ 0, ]
Although creation is held captive in corruption, those without the law are
without excuse in worshipping and living falsely, because "the invisible things of Him from the
creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His
eternal power and Godhead
[ 0- ]
--"Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through
the desires of their own hearts to dishonor their own bodies between themselves..."
[ 0. ]
and
again, "God gave them over to reprobate mind."
[ 0/ ]
This does not mean that god caused them
to become what they are, but rather that He gave them up as being completely lost to corruption
and the power of the devil. One must also interpret other similar passages in like manner.
[ 00 ]
This giving up by God of people who have already become hardened in their hearts against His
works is not restricted to the gentiles, but extends, also, to Jews.
[ 01 ]
"For not the hearers of the
law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified."
[ 02 ]
And, "For as many as
have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law. "
[ 13 ]
The gentiles, however, even though they
are not under the Mosaic law, are not excused from the responsibility of personal sin, for they,
"having not the law, are a law unto themselves, who shew the work of the law written in their
hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and amongst themselves accusing or else
excusing their thoughts."
[ 1* ]
At the last judgment, all men, whether under the law or not,
whether hearers of Christ or not, shall be judged by Christ according to the Gospel as preached
by Paul,
[ 1+ ]
and not according to any system of natural laws. Even though the invisible things of
God "from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are
made, even His eternal power and Godhead, " there is still no such thing as moral law inherent
in the universe. The gentiles who "have not the law" but who "do by nature the things contained
in the law" are not abiding by any natural system of moral laws in the universe. They rather
"shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness." Here,
again, one sees Paul's conception of personal relationships between God and man. "God hath
shewed it unto them,
[ 1, ]
and it is God Who is still speaking to fallen man outside of the law,
through the conscience and in the heart, which for Paul is the center of man's thoughts,
[ 1- ]
and
for members of the body of Christ the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit
[ 1. ]
and Christ.
[ 1/ ]
[ 'eturn ]
III. The !estin" of #an and Anthro$olog"
Before making any attempt to determine the meaning of original sin according to what has been
said thus far, it is necessary to examine St. Paul's conception of the destiny of man and his
anthropology.
[ 'eturn ]
(a) The Destiny of Man
Ìt would be nonsense to try to read into Paul's theology a conception of human destiny which
accepts the aspirations and desires of what one would call "natural man" as normal. Ìt is normal
for natural man to seek security and happiness in the acquisition and possession of objective
goods. The scholastic theologians of the West have often used these aspirations of natural man
as proof that he is instinctively seeking after the Absolute, the possession of which is the only
possible state of complete happiness, that is, a state wherein it is impossible to desire anything
more because nothing better exists. This hedonistic type of approach to human destiny is, of
course, possible only for those who accept death and corruption either as normal or, at most, as
the outcome of a decision of God to punish. Ìf those who accept God as the ultimate source of
death were to really attribute sin to the powers of corruption, they would in effect be making God
Himself the source of sin and evil.
For St. Paul, there is no such thing as normality for those who have not put on Christ. The
destiny of man and creation cannot be deducted from observations of the life of fallen man and
creation. Nowhere does Paul call on Christians to live a life of security and happiness according
to the ways of this world. On the contrary, he calls on Christians to die to this world and the
body of sin,
[ 10 ]
and even to suffer in the Gospel, according to the power of God.
[ 11 ]
Paul claims
that "all who want to live godly lives in Christ Jesus shall be persecuted."
[ 12 ]
This is hardly the
language of one who is seeking security and happiness.
[ 23 ]
Nor is it possible to suppose that for
Paul such sufferings without love could be considered as the means to reach one's destiny. This
would fall under the category of payment for works and not eh personal relationships of faith
and love.
[ 2* ]
St. Paul does not believe that human destiny consists simply in becoming conformed to the
rules and regulations of nature, which supposedly remain unchanged from the beginning of
time. The relationship of the Divine Will to human wills is not one of juridical or hedonistic
submission of the one to the other (as St. Augustine and the scholastics thought), but rather one
of personal love. St. Paul claims that "we are co-workers of God."
[ 2+ ]
Our relationship of love
with God is such that in Christ there is now no longer need for law. "Ìf ye be led by the Spirit ye
are not under the law. "
[ 2, ]
The members of the body of Christ are not called on to live on the
level of impersonal ordinances, but are now expected to live according to the love of God as
revealed in Christ, which needs no laws because it seeks not its own,
[ 2- ]
but strives to empty
itself for others in the image of the love of Christ.
[ 2. ]
The love and justice of God have been revealed once and for all in Christ
[ 2/ ]
by the destruction
of the devil
[ 20 ]
and the deliverance of man from the body of death and sin,
[ 21 ]
so that man may
actually become an imitator of God Himself,
[ 22 ]
Who has predestined His elect to become
"conformed to the image of His Son,"
[ *33 ]
who did nothing to please Himself but suffered for
others.
[ *3* ]
Christ died so that the living should no longer live unto themselves,
[ *3+ ]
but should
become perfect men, even "unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ."
[ *3, ]
Christians are no longer to live according to the rudiments of this world, as though living in this
world,
[ *3- ]
but are to have the same mind as Christ,
[ *3. ]
so that in Christ they may become
perfect.
[ *3/ ]
Men are no longer to love their wives according to the world, but must love their
wives exactly "as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for it. "
[ *30 ]
The destiny of man is
not happiness and self-satisfaction,
[ *31 ]
but rather perfection in Christ. Man must become
perfect, as God
[ *32 ]
and Christ are perfect.
[ **3 ]
such perfection can come only through the
personalistic power of divine and selfless love,
[ *** ]
"which is the bond of perfection."
[ **+ ]
This
love is not to be confused with the love of fallen man who seeks his own.
[ **, ]
Love in Christ
does not seek its own, but that of the other.
[ **- ]
To become perfect according to the image of Christ is not restricted to the realm of love, but
forms and inseparable part of the salvation of the total man and creation alike. Man's body of
humility will be transformed to become "conformed" to Christ's "body of glory."
[ **. ]
man is
destined to become, like Christ, perfect according to the body also. "He Who raised Christ from
the dead shall bring to life also your mortal bodies by His Spirit which dwells in you."
[ **/ ]
St. Paul claims that death is the enemy
[ **0 ]
which came into the world and passed unto all men
through the sin of one man.
[ **1 ]
not only many, but all of creation became subject to corruption.
[
**2 ]
The subjugation of man and creation to the power of the devil and death was obviously a
temporary frustration of the original destiny of man and creation. Ìt is false to read into Paul's
statements about the first and second Adams the idea that Adam would have died even though
he had not sinned, simply because the first Adam was made eis psychen $osan --which
expression, according to St. Paul's usage within the context, clearly means mortal.
[ *+3 ]
Adam
could very well have been created not naturally immortal, but if he had not sinned there is no
reason to believe that he would not have become immortal by nature.
[ *+* ]
This is certainly
implied by the extraordinary powers St. Paul attributes to death and corruption.
[ 'eturn ]
(b) Anthropology of St. Paul
As we have said, for St. Paul, the law is good
[ *++ ]
and even spiritual.
[ *+, ]
According to the "inner
man" this is obvious.
[ *+- ]
But in spite of the fact that he can possess the will to do good
according to the law he cannot find the power to do the good
[ *+. ]
because he is "carnal and sold
under sin."
[ *+/ ]
Ìf he himself, according to the "inner man," wants to do good but cannot, it is no
longer he who does the evil, but sin that dwelleth in him.
[ *+0 ]
So he asks, "O wretched man that Ì
am! who will deliver me from the body of this death?"
[ *+1 ]
To be delivered from the "body of this
death" is to be saved from the power of sin dwelling in the flesh. Thus, "the law of the spirit of
life in Christ Jesus has liberated me from the law of sin and death."
[ *+2 ]
Ìt is misleading to try to interpret this section
[ *,3 ]
of Paul according to a dualistic anthropology,
which would make the term, sarkikos , refer only to the lower appetites of the body--and
especially of the sexual desires--to the exclusion of the soul. The word, sarkikos , is not used by
Paul in such a context. Elsewhere, St. Paul reminds married people that they have not authority
over their own bodies and so should not deprive one another, "unless it be with consent for a
time that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer, and come together again that Satan may
not tempt you for your incontinency.
[ *,* ] [ *,+ ]
To the Corinthians he declare that they are an
epistle written not with ink, "but with the spirit of the living God, not in tables of stone, but in
fleshly tables of the heart-- en pla%i kardias sarkinais ."
[ *,, ]
Christ was known according to the
flesh
[ *,- ]
and "God was manifested in the flesh."
[ *,. ]
St. Paul asks whether, if he has planted
spiritual things amongst the Corinthians, it is such a great thing if he shall reap the sarkika
[ *,/ ]
.
Nowhere does he use the adjective, sarkikos , exclusively in reference to the sexual, or what is
commonly called the desires of the flesh in contrast to those of the soul.
Ìt seems that St. Paul attributes a positive power of sin to the sar% as such only in the epistle to
the Galatians, who, having begun int he Spirit, now think that they are being perfected in the
flesh.
[ *,0 ]
The sar% here has a will which desires against the pne!ma .
[ *,1 ]
"The works of the
flesh are manifest, which a re these; adultery, fornication, uncleanliness, lasciviousness,
idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings,
murders, drunkenness, revellings and such like."
[ *,2 ]
Most of these works of the sarkos would
require the very active, and even initiative, participation of the intellect, which here is an
indication that the sar% , for Paul, is much more than what any dualistic anthropology would be
ready to admit. The flesh as such, however, as a positive force of sin, found over- emphasized
in Galatians, where Paul is infuriated over the foolishness of his readers,
[ *-3 ]
cannot be isolated
from other references, where sin parasitically dwells in the flesh
[ *-* ]
and where the flesh itself is
not only not evil,
[ *-+ ]
but that in which God Himself has been manifested.
[ *-, ]
The flesh as such
is not evil, but has become very much weakened by sin and the enmity which dwells in it.
[ *-- ]
To understand St. Paul's anthropology, it is necessary to refer not to the dualistic anthropology
of the Greek,s who made a clear cut distinction between soul and body, but rather to the
Hebraic frame of references, in which sar% and psyche (flesh and soul) both denote the whole
living person and not any part of him.
[ *-. ]
Thus, in the Old Testament the expression, pasa sar%
(all flesh), is employed for all living things,
[ *-/ ]
as well as for man in particular.
[ *-0 ]
The
expression, pasa psyche (all souls), is used in the same manner.
[ *-1 ]
Ìn the New Testament,
both expressions, pasa sar%
[ *-2 ]
and pasa psyche ,
[ *.3 ]
are used in perfect accord with the Old
Testament context.
Thus we find that, for St. Paul, to be sarkikos
[ *.* ]
and psychikos
[ *.+ ]
means exactly the same
thing. "Flesh and blood (sarx kai haima) cannot inherit the kingdom of God"
[ *., ]
because
corruption cannot inherit incorruption.
[ *.- ]
For this reason, a soma psychikon is "sown in
corruption" and raised in incorruption; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in
weakness, it is raised in power. "
[ *.. ]
"A soma psychikon is sown, and a soma pne!matikon is
raised. There is a soma psychikon and there is a soma pne!matikon !"
[ *./ ]
Both the sarkikon
and the psychikon and dominated by death and corruption and so cannot inherit the kingdom of
life. This only the pne!matikon can do. "However, the pne!matikon is not first, but the
psychikon , and afterward the pne!matikon . The first man is from the earth; earthy; the second
man, the Lord, from heaven."
[ *.0 ]
That the first man became eis psychen $osan (a living soul),
for Paul, means exactly that he became psychikon , and therefore subject to corruption,
[ *.1 ]
because "from the earth, earthy..."
[ *.2 ]
Such expressions do not admit of any dualistic
anthropology. A soma psychikon "from the earth, earthy," or a psyche $osa "from the earth,
earthy," would lead to impossible confusion if interpreted from the viewpoint of a dualism which
distinguishes between the body and soul, the lower and the higher, the material and the purely
spiritual. What, then, would a psyche $osa be, which came from the earth and is earthy? Ìn
speaking of death, a dualist could never say that a soma psychikon is sown in corruption. He
would rather have to say that the soul leaves the body, which alone is sown in corruption.
Neither the psyche nor the pne!ma is the intellectual part of man. To quote Ì Corinthians 2:11
&tis gar oiden anthropon ta to! anthropo! ei me to pne!ma to! anthropo! to en a!to'( or Ì
Thessalonians 5:23 &)!tos o Theos tea eirenes hagiasai hymas holoteleis, kai holokleron
hymon to pne!ma kai he psyche kai to soma amemptos en te paro!sia toy *.+.I.,. teretheie(
does not prove otherwise. One cannot take these expressions in isolation from the rest of Paul's
writings for the sake of trying to make him speak the language of even a Thomistic dualist, as is
done, for example, by F. Prat in -a Theologie de s..a!l , t.2, pp. 62-63. Elsewhere, in speaking
against the practise of certain individuals' praying publicly in unknown tongues, St. Paul says, "Ìf
Ì pray in an unknown tongue my pn!ema prays, but my mind is unfruitful. What is it then? Ì will
pray with the pne!ma and Ì will pray with the mind also."
[ */3 ]
Here a sharp distinction is made
between the pne!ma and the no!s (mind). Therefore, for St. Paul, the realm of pne!ma does
not belong within the category of human understanding. Ìt is of another dimension.
Ìn order to express the idea of intellect or understanding all four evangelists use the word,
kardia (heart).
[ */* ]
The word, no!s (mind), is used only once by St. Luke.
[ */+ ]
Ìn contrast, St.
Paul makes use of both kardia
[ */, ]
and no!s
[ */- ]
to denote the faculty of intelligence. No!s ,
however, cannot be taken for any such thing as the intellectual faculties of an immaterial soul.
No!s is rather synonymous with kardia , which in turn is synonymous with the eso anthropon .
The Holy Spirit is sent by God into the kardia ,
[ */. ]
or into the eso anthropon ,
[ *// ]
that Christ
may dwell in the kardia .
[ */0 ]
The kardia and the eso anthropon are the dwelling place of the
Holy Spirit. Man delights in the law of God according to the eso anthropon , but there is another
law in his members which wars against he law of the no!s .
[ */1 ]
Here the no!s is clearly
synonymous with the eso anthropon , which in turn is the kardia , the dwelling place of the Holy
Spirit and Christ.
[ */2 ]
To walk in the vanity of the no!s , with the dianoia darkened, being alienated from the life of
God through ignorance, is a result of the "hardening of the heart-- dia ten perosin test kardias ."
[
*03 ]
Ìt is the heart which is the seat of man's free will, and it is here where man by his own choice
either becomes blinded
[ *0* ]
and hardened,
[ *0+ ]
or else enlightened in his understanding of the
hope, glory, and power in Christ.
[ *0, ]
Ìt is in the heart where the secrets of men are kept,
[ *0- ]
and it is Christ "Who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness and will make manifest
the counsels of the heart."
[ *0. ]
Ìt would be absurd to interpret St. Paul's use of the expressions, eso anthropon and no!s ,
according to a dualistic anthropology by ignoring his use of the word, kardia , which is in perfect
accord with the New Testament and Old Testament writers. By using such words as no!s and
eso anthropon , Paul is certainly introducing new terminology, foreign to traditional Hebraic
usage, but he is definitely not introducing any new anthropology based on Hellenistic dualism.
St. Paul never refers to either psyche or pne!ma as faculties of human intelligence. His
anthropology is Hebraic and not Hellenistic.
Ìn both the Old and New Testaments, one finds the expression, to pne!ma tes $oes (the spirit of
life), but never to pne!ma $on (the living spirit).
[ *0/ ]
Also, one finds psyche $osa (the living soul),
but never psyche tes $oes (the soul of life).
[ *00 ]
This is due to the fact that the psyche , or sar% ,
lives only by participation, while the pne!ma is itself the principle of life given to man as a gift
from God,
[ *01 ]
"Who alone hath immortality."
[ *02 ]
God gives man of His Own uncreated life
without destroying the freedom of human personality. Thus, man is not an intellectual form
fashioned according to a predetermined essence or universal idea of man whose destiny is to
become conformed to a state of mechanical contentment in the presence of God whereby his
will become sterile and immobile in a state of complete self-satisfaction and happiness (e.g.,
according to the Neo-platonic teaching of St. Augustine and the Roman scholastics in general
concerning human destiny). The personality of man does not consist of an immaterial
intellectual soul which has life of itself and uses the body simply as a dwelling place. The sar% ,
or psyche , is the total man, and the kardia is the center of intelligence where the will has
complete independence of choice to become either hardened to truth or receptive to divine
enlightenment from without. The pne!ma of man is not the center of human personality, nor is it
that faculty which rules the actions of men, but rather it is the spark of divine life given to man as
his principle of life. Thus, man can live according to the pne!ma tes $oes or according to the law
of the flesh, which is death and corruption. The very personality of man, therefore, although
created by God Himself, remains outside of the essence of God,a nd therefore completely free
either to reject the act of creation, for which he was not consulted, or to accept the creative love
of God by living according to the pne!ma , given to him for this purpose by God.
"The mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the spirit is life and peace."
[ *13 ]
Those who live
according to the flesh shall die.
[ *1* ]
Those who mortify the deeds of the flesh by the spirit shall
live.
[ *1+ ]
The spirit of man, however, deprived of union with the vivifying spirit of God, is
hopelessly weak against the flesh dominated by death and corruption
[ *1, ]
--"Who shall deliver
me from the body of this death."
[ *1- ]
And, "the law of the pne!matos tes $oes (spirit of life) in
Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death."
[ *1. ]
Only those whose spirit has
been renewed
[ *1/ ]
by union with the Spirit of God
[ *10 ]
can fight the desires of the flesh. Only
those who are given the Spirit of God and hear Ìts voice in the life of the body of Christ are able
to fight against sin. "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of
God."
[ *11 ]
Although the spirit of man is the principle of life given to him by God, it can still partake of the
filthiness of fleshly works. For this reason, it is necessary for Christians to guard against the
corruption not only of the flesh, but of the spirit, also.
[ *12 ]
The union of man's spirit with the Spirit
of God in baptism is no magical guarantee against the possibility of their separation. To become
again enslaved tot he works of the flesh may very well lead to exclusion from the body of Christ.
[ *23 ]
The Spirit of God is given to man that Christ may dwell in the heart.
[ *2* ]
"Now if any an have
not the Spirit of Christ he is none of His."
[ *2+ ]
To have the Spirit of God dwelling in the body is to
be, also, a member of the body of Christ. To be deprived of the one is to be cut off from the
other. Ìt is impossible to be in communion with only part of God. Communion with Christ through
the Spirit is communion with the whole Godhead. Exclusion from the One Person is exclusion
from all Three Persons.
"The works of the flesh are manifest..."
[ *2, ]
"The mind of the flesh is enmity against God, for it is
not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot
please God.
[ *2- ]
Such people are enslaved to the power of death and corruption in the flesh.
They must be saved from the "Body of this death."
[ *2. ]
On the other hand, those who have been
buried with Christ through baptism have died to the body of sin and are living unto Christ.
[ *2/ ]
They are no longer living according to the desires of flesh, but of the spirit. "The fruit of the spirit
is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance--against
such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and
lusts."
[ *20 ]
Ìt is clear that, for St. Paul, the union of man's spirit with the Spirit of God in the life of love within
the body of Christ is life and salvation. On the other hand, to live according tot he desires of the
flesh, dominated by the powers of death and corruption, means death--"For the mind of the
flesh is death."
[ *21 ]
St. Paul is dealing throughout his epistles with the categories of life and
death. God is life. The devil holds the reins of death and corruption. Unity with God in the Spirit,
through the body of Christ in the life of love, is life and brings salvation and perfection.
Separation of man's spirit from the divine life in the body of Christ is slavery to the powers of
death and corruption used by the devil to destroy the works of God. The life of the spirit is unity
and love. The life according to the flesh is disunity and dissolution in death and corruption.
Ìt is absolutely necessary to grasp the essential spirit of St. Paul's usage of the words, sar% ,
psyche , and pne!ma , in order to avoid the widespread confusion that dominates the field of
inquiry into Pauline theology. St. Paul is never speaking in terms of immaterial rational souls in
contrast to material bodies. /ar% and psyche are synonymous and comprise, together with the
pne!ma , the total man. To live according to the pne!ma is not to live a life according to the
lower half of man. On the contrary, to live according to the sar% , or psyche , is to live according
to the law of death. To live according to the spirit is to live according to the law of life and love.
Those who are sarkikoi cannot live according to their original destiny of selfless love for God
and neighbor, because they are dominated by the power of death and corruption. "the sting of
death is sin."
[ *22 ]
Sin reigned in death.
[ +33 ]
Death is the last enemy to be destroyed.
[ +3* ]
So long
as man lives according tot he law of death, in the flesh, he cannot please God
[ +3+ ]
because he
does not live according to the law of life and love. "The mind of the flesh is enmity against God
for it is not subject to the law of God, neither can it be."
[ +3, ]
Ìn order to live according to his
original destiny, man must be liberated from "the body of this death."
[ +3- ]
This liberation from the
power of death and corruption has come from God, Who sent His own Son "in the likeness of
sinful flesh" to deliver man "from the law of sin and death."
[ +3. ]
But, although the power of death
and sin has thus been destroyed by the death and resurrection of Christ, participation in this
victory can come only through dying to this world with Christ in the waters of baptism.
[ +3/ ]
Ìt is
only by dying in baptism and then continuously dying to the rudiments and ways of the world
that the members of the body of Christ can become perfect as God is perfect.
The importance that St. Paul attributes to dying to the rudiments of this world in order to live
according to the "spirit of life" cannot be exaggerated. To try to pass off his insistence on
complete self-denial for salvation as a product of eschatological enthusiasts is to miss
completely the very basis of the New Testament message. Ìf the destruction of the devil, death
and corruption is salvation and the only condition for life according to man's original destiny,
then the means of passing from the realm of death and its consequences to the realm of life, in
the victory of Christ over death, must be taken very seriously. For Paul, the way from death to
life is communion with the death and life of Christ in baptism and a continuous life of live within
the body of Christ. This new life of love within the body of Christ, however, must be
accompanied by a continuous death to the ways of this world, which is dominated by the law of
death and corruption in the hands of the devil. Participation in the victory over death does not
come simply by having a magical faith and a general sentiment of vague love for humanity
(Luther). Full membership int he body of Christ can come only by dying in the waters of baptism
with Christ, and living according to the law of the "spirit of life." Catechumens and penitents
certainly had faith, but they either had not yet passed through death, in baptism, to the new life,
or else, once having died to the flesh in baptism, they failed to remain steadfast and allowed the
power of death and corruption to regain its dominance over the "spirit of life."
Ìn regard to St. Paul's teaching concerning baptismal death to the rudiments of this world, it is
interesting to note his usage of the word, soma , to designate the communion of those in Christ
who constitute the Church. The word, soma , in both the Old and New Testaments, apart from
Paul, is used predominantly to designate a dead person, or corpse.
[ +30 ]
At the Last Supper, our
Lord used the word, soma , most likely to designate the fact that He was to pass through death,
while his use of the word, haima , was to show his returning to life--since, for the Old Testament,
blood is the element of life.
[ +31 ]
Thus, at the Last Supper as at every Eucharist, there is a
proclamation and confession of the death and resurrection of Christ. According to the
presuppositions set forth by St. Paul concerning baptismal death, it is very possible to describe
the Church as the soma o# 0hrist no only because of the indwelling of Christ and the Holy Spirit
in the bodies of Christian, but also because all the members of Christ have died to the body of
sin in the waters of baptism. Before sharing in the life of Christ, on must first become an actual
soma by being liberated from the devil in passing through a death to the ways of this world and
living according to the "spirit."
[ +32 ]
[ 'eturn ]
S"nthetic O%ser&ations
St. Paul does not say anywhere that the whole human race has been accounted guilty of the sin
of Adam and is therefore punished by God with death. Death is an evil force which made its way
into the world through sin, lodged itself in the world, and, in the person of Satan, is reigning both
in man and creation. For this reason, although man can know the good through the law written
in his heart and may wish to do what is good, he cannot because of the sin which is dwelling in
his flesh. Therefore, it is not he who does the evil, but sin that dwelleth in him. Because of this
sin, he cannot find the means to do good. He must be saved from "the body of this death."
[ +*3 ]
Only then can he do good. What can Paul mean by such statements? A proper answer is to be
found only when St. Paul's doctrine of human destiny is taken into account.
Ìf man was created for a life of complete selfless love, whereby his actions would always be
directed outward, toward God and neighbor, and never toward himself--whereby he would be
the perfect image and likeness of God--then it is obvious that the power of death and corruption
has now made it impossible to live such a life of perfection. The power of death in the universe
has brought with it the will for self-preservation, fear, and anxiety,
[ +** ]
which in turn are the root
causes of self-assertion, egoism, hatred, envy and the like. Because man is afraid of becoming
meaningless, he is constantly endeavoring to prove, to himself and others, that he is worth
something. He thirsts after compliments and is afraid of insults. He seeks his own and is jealous
of the successes of others. He likes those who like him, and hates those who hate him. He
either seeks security and happiness in wealth, glory and bodily pleasures, or imagines that this
destiny is to be happy in the possession of the presence of God by an introverted and
individualistic and inclined to mistake his desires for self-satisfaction and happiness for his
normal destiny. On the other hand, he can become zealous over vague ideological principles of
love for humanity and yet hate his closest neighbors. These are the works of the flesh of which
St. Paul speaks.
[ +*+ ]
Underlying every movement of what the world has come to regard as
normal man, is the quest for security and happiness. 1!t s!ch desires are not normal . They are
the consequences of perversion by death and corruption, though which the devil pervades all of
creation, dividing and destroying. This power is so great that even if man wishes to live
according to his original destiny it is impossible because of the sin which is dwelling in the flesh
[
+*, ]
--"Who will deliver me from the body of this death?"
[ +*- ]
To share in the love of God, without any concern for one's self, is also to share in the life and
truth of God. Love, life and truth in God are one and can be found only in God. The turning away
of love from God and neighbor toward the self is breaking of communion with the life and truth
of God, which cannot be separated from His love. The breaking of this communion with God can
be consummated only in death, because nothing created can continue indefinitely to exist of
itself.
[ +*. ]
Thus, by the transgression of the first man, the principle of "sin (the devil) entered into
the world and through sin death, and so death passed upon all men..."
[ +*/ ]
Not only humanity,
but all of creation has become subjected to death and corruption by the devil.
[ +*0 ]
Because man
is inseparably a part of, and in constant communion with, creation and is linked through
procreation to the whole historical process of humanity, the fall of creation through on man
automatically involves the fall and corruption of all men. Ìt is through death and corruption that
all of humanity and creation is held captive to the devil and involved in sin, because it is by
death that man falls short of his original destiny, which was to love God and neighbor without
concern for the self. Man does not die because he is guilty for the sin of Adam.
[ +*1 ]
He becomes
a sinner because he is yoked to the power of the devil through death and its consequences.
[ +*2 ]
St. Paul clearly says that "the sting of death is sin,"
[ ++3 ]
that "sin reigned in death,"
[ ++* ]
and that
death is "the last enemy that shall be destroyed."
[ +++ ]
Ìn his epistles, he is especially inspired
when he is speaking about the victory of Christ over death and corruption. Ìt would be highly
illogical to try to interpret Pauline thought with the presuppositions (1) that death is normal or (2)
that at most, it is the outcome of a juridical decision of God to punish the whole human race for
one sin, (3) that happiness is the ultimate destiny of man, and (4) that the soul is immaterial,
naturally immortal and directly created by God at conception and is therefore normal and pure of
defects (Roman scholasticism). The Pauline doctrine of man's inability to do the good which he
is capable of acknowledging according to the "inner man" can be understood only if one takes
seriously the power of death and corruption in the flesh, which makes it impossible for man to
live according to his original destiny.
The moralistic problem raised by St. Augustine concerning the transmission of death to the
descendants of Adam as punishment for the one original transgression is foreign to Paul's
thoughts. The death of each man cannot be considered the outcome of personal guilt. St. Paul
is not thinking as a philosophical moralist looking for the cause of the fall of humanity and
creation in the breaking of objective rules of good behavior, which demands punishment from a
God whose justice is in the image of the justice of this world. Paul is clearly thinking of the fall in
terms of a personalistic warfare between God and Satan, in which Satan is not obliged to follow
any sort of moral rules if he can help it. Ìt is for this reason that St. Paul can say that the serpent
"deceived Eve"
[ ++, ]
and that "Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the
transgression."
[ ++- ]
Man was not punished by God, but taken captive by the devil.
this interpretation is further made clear by the fact that Paul is insisting that "until the law sin
was int he world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from
Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's
transgression."
[ ++. ]
Ìt is clear that Paul here is denying anything like a general personal guilt for
the sin of Adam. Sin was, however, in the world, since death reigned even over them who had
not sinned as Adam sinned. Sin here is obviously the person of Satan, who ruled the world
through death even before the coming of the law. This is the only possible interpretation of this
statement, because it is clearly supported elsewhere by Paul's teachings concerning the
extraordinary powers of the devil, especially in Romans 8:19-21. St. Paul's statements should
be taken very literally when he says that the last enemy to be destroyed is death
[ ++/ ]
and that
"the sting of death is sin."
[ ++0 ]
From what has been observed, the famous expression, ephho pantes hemarton ,
[ ++1 ]
can be
safely interpreted as modifying the word, thanatos , which preceeds it, and which grammatically
is the only word which fits the context. 2phho as a reference to Adam is both grammatically and
exegetically impossible. Such an interpretation was first introduced by Origen, who obviously
used it with a purpose in mind, because he believed in the pre-existence of all souls whereby he
could easily say that all sinned in Adam. The interpretation of ephho as "because" was first
introduced into the East by Photius,
[ ++2 ]
who claims that there are two interpretations prevalent--
Adam and thanatos --but he would interpret it dioti (because). He bases his argument on a false
interpretation of ÌÌ Corinthians 5:4 by interpreting ephho , here again, as dioti . But here it is
quite clear that ephho refers to skensi &ephho skenei o! thelomen ekdysasthai( . Photius is
interpreting Paul within the framework of natural moral law and is seeking to justify the death of
all men by personal guilt. He claims that all men die because they sin by following in the
footsteps of Adam.
[ +,3 ]
However, neither he nor any of the Eastern Fathers accepts the
teaching that all men are made guilty for the sin of Adam.
From purely grammatical considerations it is impossible to interpret ephho as a reference to
any word other than thanatos . Each time the grammatical construction of the preposition epi
with the dative is used by Paul, it is always used as a relative pronoun which modifies a
preceding noun
[ +,* ]
or phrase.
[ +,+ ]
To make an exception in Romans 5:12 by making St. Paul
use the wrong Greek expression to express the idea, "because," is to beg the issue. The correct
interpretation of this passage, both grammatically and exegetically, can be supplied only when
ephho is understood to modify thanatos -- kai ho!tos eis pantas anthropo!s ho thanatos
dielthen ephho &thanato( pantes hemarton --"because of which" (death), or "on the basis of
which" (death), or "for which (death) all have sinned." Satan, being himself the principle of sin,
through death and corruption involves all of humanity and creation in sin and death. Thus, to be
under the power of death according to Paul is to be a slave to the devil and a sinner, because of
the inability of the flesh to live according to the law of God, which is selfless love.
The theory of the transmission of original sin and guilt is certainly not found in St. Paul, who can
be interpreted neither in terms of juridicism nor in terms of any dualism which distinguishes
between the material and the allegedly pure, spiritual, and intellectual parts of man. Ìt is no
wonder that some Biblical scholars are at a loss when they cannot find in the Old testament any
clear-cut support for what they take to be the Pauline doctrine of original sin in terms of moral
guilt and punishment.
[ +,, ]
The same perplexity is met by many moralistic Western scholars
when they study the Eastern Fathers.
[ +,- ]
Consequently, St. Augustine is popularly supposed to
be the first and only of the early Fathers who understood the theology of St. Paul. This is clearly
a myth, from which both Protestants and Romans need liberation.
Ìt is only when one understands the meaning of death and its consequences that one can
understand the life of the ancient Church, and especially its attitude toward martyrdom. Being
already dead to the world in baptism, and having their life hidden with Christ in God,
[ +,. ]
Christians could not falter in the face of death. They were already dead, and yet living in Christ.
To be afraid of death was to be still under the power of the devil-- II Timothy 1343 "For God hath
not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of sound mind." Ìn trying to
convince the Roman Christians not to hinder his martyrdom, St. Ìgnatius wrote: "The prince of
this world would fain carry me away, and corrupt my disposition toward God. Let none of you
therefore, who are in Rome, help him."
[ +,/ ]
The Cyprianic controversy over the fallen during
times of persecution was violent, because the Church understood that it was a contradiction to
die in baptism and then to deny Christ for fear of death and torture. The canons of the Church,
although today generally ignored as an aid to understanding the inner faith of the ancient
Church, still remain very severe for those who would reject their faith for fear of death.
[ +,0 ]
Such
an attitude towards death is not the product of eschatological frenzy and enthusiasm, but rather
of a clear recognition of who the devil is, what his thoughts are,
[ +,1 ]
what his powers over
humanity and creation are, how he is destroyed through baptism and the mystagogical life
within the body of Christ, which is the Church. Oscar Cullman is seriously mistaken in trying to
make the New Testament writers say that Satan and the evil demons have been deprived of
their power, and that now le!r p!issance nest "!apparente .
[ +,2 ]
The greatest power of the
devil is death, which is destroyed only within the body of Christ, where the faithful are
continuously engaged in the struggle against Satan by striving for selfless love. This combat
against the devil and striving for selfless love is centered in the corporate Eucharistic life of the
local community--"For when you assemble frequently epi to a!to (in the same place) the powers
of Satan are destroyed and the destruction at which he aims is prevented by the unity of your
faith."
[ +-3 ]
Anyone, therefore, who does not hear the Spirit within him calling him tothe
Eucharistic assembly for the corporate life of selfless love is obviously under the sway of the
devil. "He, therefore, who does not assemble with the Church, has even by this manifested his
pride and condemned himself..."
[ +-* ]
The world outside of the corporate life of love, in the
sacraments, is still under the power of the consequences of death and therefore a slave to the
devil. The devil is already defeated only because his power has been destroyed by the birth, life,
death and resurrection of Christ; and this defeat is perpetuated only in the remnant of those
saved before Christ and after Christ. Both those saved before Christ and after Him are saved by
His death and resurrection, and make up the New Jerusalem. Against this Church the devil
cannot prevail, and by this fact he is already defeated. But his power outside of those who are
saved remains the same.
[ +-+ ]
Satan is still "the god of this world,"
[ +-, ]
and it is for this reason
that Christians must live as if not living in this world.
[ +-- ]
[ 'eturn ]
Concluding 'e(ar)s
The modern Biblical scholar cannot claim to be objective if his examination of Biblical theology
is one-sided, or governed by certain philosophical prejudices. The modern school of Biblical
criticism is clearly making a false attempt to get at the essential form of the original kyregma,
while remaining quite ignorant and blind to the very essence of the Old and New Testament
analysis of the fallen state of humanity and creation, especially in regard to its teachings
concerning the natures of God and Satan. Thus, one sees the anti- liberal tendencies of modern
Protestantism, accepting the method of Biblical criticism and at the same time trying to salvage
what it takes to be the essential message of the Gospel writers. yet, in all their pseudo-scientific
method of research, writers of this school fail to come to any definite conclusions because they
stubbornly refuse to take seriously the Biblical doctrine of Satan, death and corruption. For this
reason, such a question as whether or not the body of Christ was really resurrected is not
regarded as important--e.g., Emil Brunner, The 5ediator . What is important is the faith that
Christ is the unique Savior in history, even though very possibly not resurrected in history. How
he saves and what he saves men from is presumably a secondary question.
Ìt is clear that for St. Paul the bodily resurrection of Christ is the destruction of the devil, death,
and corruption. Christ is the first fruits from the dead.
[ +-. ]
Ìf there is no resurrection there can be
no salvation.
[ +-/ ]
Since death is a consequence of the discontinuation of communion with the
life and love of God, and thereby a captivity of man and creation by the devil, then only a real
resurrection can destroy the power of the devil. Ìt is inaccurate and shallow thinking to try to
pass off as Biblical the idea that the question of a real bodily resurrection is of secondary
importance. At the center of Biblical and patristic thought there is clearly a Christology of real
union, which is conditioned by the Biblical doctrine of Satan, death and corruption, and human
destiny. Satan is governing through death, materially and physically. His defeat must be also
material and physical. Restoration of communion must be not only in the realm of mental
attitude, but, more important, through creation, of which man is an inseparable part. Without a
clear understanding of the Biblical doctrine of Satan and his power, it is impossible to
understand the sacramental life of the body of Christ, and, by consequence, the doctrine of the
Fathers concerning Christology and Trinity becomes a meaningless diversion of scholastic
specialists. Both Roman scholastics and Protestants are undeniably heretical in their doctrines
of grace and ecclesiology simply because they do not see any longer that salvation is only the
union of man with the life of God in the body of Christ, where the devil is being ontologically and
really destroyed in the life of love. Outside of the life of unity with each other and Christ in the
sacramental life of corporate love there is no salvation, because the devil is still ruling the world
through the consequences of death and corruption. Extra-sacramental organizations, such as
the papacy, cannot be fostered off as the essence of Christianity because they are clearly under
the influence of worldly considerations and do not have as their sole aim the life of selfless love.
Ìn Western Christianity, the dogmas of the Church have become the object of logical gymnastics
in the classrooms of philosophy. What is usually taken as natural human reason is set up as the
exponent of revealed theology. The teachings of the Church concerning the Holy Trinity,
Christology, and Grace, are no longer the accepted expressions of the continuous and
existential experience of the body of Christ, living within the very life of the Holy Trinity through
the human nature of Christ, in whose flesh the devil has been destroyed and against whose
body (the Church) the gates of death (hades) cannot prevail.
Ìt is the mission of Orthodox theology today to bring an awakening to Western Christianity, but
in order to do this the Orthodox themselves must rediscover their own traditions and cease,
once and for all, accepting the corroding infiltration of Western theological confusion into
Orthodox theology. Ìt is only by returning to the Biblical understanding of Satan and human
destiny that the sacraments of the Church can once again become the source and strength of
Orthodox theology. The enemy of life and love can be destroyed only when Christians can
confidently say, "we are not ignorant of his thoughts. "
[ +-0 ]
Any theology which cannot define
with exactitude the methods and deceptions of the devil is clearly heretical, because such a
theology is already deceived by the devil. Ìt is for this reason that the Fathers could assert that
heresy is the work of the devil.
E N !
Back to the Li%rar" Home

Footnotes
[ * ] ÌÌ Cor. 2:11
[ + ] St. Athanasius, De Incarnatione Ver6i Dei , 4
[ , ] Ì Tim. 4:4
[ - ] Rom. 5:12
[ . ] Rom. 8:20
[ / ] Rom. 8:21-23
[ 0 ] Ì Cor. 15:26
[ 1 ] ÌÌ Cor. 4:3
[ 2 ] Rom. 1:20
[ *3 ] Rom. 8:20
[ ** ] Rom. 7:15-25
[ *+ ] Rom 11:5
[ *, ] ÌÌ Cor. 4:3
[ *- ] Ì Cor. 15:56
[ *. ] Rom. 3:9-12; 5:19
[ */ ] Rom. 5:13
[ *0 ] ÌÌ Cor. 4:3; 11:14; Eph. 6:11-17; ÌÌ Thes. 2:8
[ *1 ] Rom. 8:24
[ *2 ] Col. 2:8
[ +3 ] e.g., St. Cyrill of Alexandria, Migne, P.G.t. 74, c. 788-789
[ +* ] ÌÌ Tim. 2:26
[ ++ ] ÌÌ Cor. 2:11
[ +, ] Ì Tim. 2:14; 4:14; ÌÌ Tim. 2:26; ÌÌ Cor. 11:14; 4:3; 2:11; 11:3
[ +- ] Eph. 6:11-17
[ +. ] Ì Cor. 7:5; ÌÌ Cor. 2:11; 11:3; Eph. 4:27; Ì Thes. 3:5; Ì Tim. 3:6; 3:7; 4:1; 5:14
[ +/ ] ÌÌ Cor. 11:14; 4:3; Eph 2:2; 6:11-17; Ì Thes. 2:18; 3:5; ÌÌ Thes. 2:9; Ì Tim. 2:14; 3:7; ÌÌ Tim. 2:25-26
[ +0 ] ÌÌ Cor. 11:15
[ +1 ] ÌÌ Thes. 2:9
[ +2 ] Eph 6:12; Col. 2:15
[ ,3 ] ÌÌ Cor. 4:4
[ ,* ] ÌÌ Cor. 11:3; Ì Tim. 2:14
[ ,+ ] Ìbid.
[ ,, ] Rom. 8:19-22
[ ,- ] Ì Cor. 15:56
[ ,. ] Rom. 5:21
[ ,/ ] Rom. 8:20
[ ,0 ] Rom. 8:21
[ ,1 ] Ì Cor. 15:24-26
[ ,2 ] Ì Cor. 15:54
[ -3 ] Col. 2:13-15; Ì Cor. 15:24-27; 15:54-57
[ -* ] ÌÌ Cor. 4:3; Gal. 1:4; Eph. 6:12
[ -+ ] Ì Cor. 15:1 ff.
[ -, ] Rom. 12:2; Ì Cor. 2:12; 11:32; ÌÌ Cor. 4:3; Col. 2:20; ÌÌ Thes. 2:9; ÌÌ Tim. 4:10; Col. 2:8; Ì Cor. 5:10
[ -- ] Rom. 1:17; 3:21-26
[ -. ] Rom. 10:2-4; Phil. 3:8
[ -/ ] Rom. 3:20; 5:15 ff; 9:32
[ -0 ] Rom. 9:30-10:10; Ì Cor. 13:1-14:1; Ì Tim. 5:8
[ -1 ] Ì Tim. 1:9-10
[ -2 ] Ì Tim. 1:18
[ .3 ] Rom. 7:14
[ .* ] Gal. 3:24
[ .+ ] Gal. 5:13
[ ., ] Rom. 8:29; 15:1-3; 15:7; Ì Cor. 2:16; 10:33; 13:1 ff; 15:49; ÌÌ cor. 3:13; Gal. 4:19; Eph. 4:13; 5:1; 5:25; Phil. 2:5; Col. 3:10; Ì Thes. 1:6
[ .- ] Ì Cor. 13:2
[ .. ] Ì Cor. 13:3
[ ./ ] Gal. 3:21
[ .0 ] Ìbid.
[ .1 ] Gal. 3:18
[ .2 ] Ì Tim. 6:16
[ /3 ] Rom. 9:16
[ /* ] Rom. 3:26; Eph. 2:4-6; Ì Tim. 6:15
[ /+ ] ÌÌ Cor. 11:13; Ì Tim 2:14
[ /, ] Rom. 5:12
[ /- ] Ì Cor. 15:26
[ /. ] St. Gregory Palamas, *ephalia .hysica , 52, Migne, P.G.T. 150-A
[ // ] F. Prat, -a Theologie de saint .a!l , Paris 1924, t.c. pp. 67-68
[ /0 ] Rom. 8:20; Ì Cor. 10:10; ÌÌ Cor. 2:11; 4:3; 11:3; 11:14; Eph. 2:1-3; 6:11-17; Ì Thes. 2:18; 3:5; ÌÌ Thes. 2:9; Ì Tim. 2:14; 5:14; ÌÌ Tim. 2:26
[ /1 ] Col. 2:15; Ì Cor. 15:24-26; 15:53-57; Rom. 8:21
[ /2 ] Col. 2:14-15
[ 03 ] ÌÌ Cor. 5:19
[ 0* ] Rom. 3:20-27
[ 0+ ] Rom. 10:3; Phil. 3:8
[ 0, ] Rom. 1:18 ff
[ 0- ] Rom. 1:20
[ 0. ] Rom. 1:24
[ 0/ ] Rom. 1:28
[ 00 ] e.g., Rom. 9:14-18; 11:8
[ 01 ] Rom. 9:6
[ 02 ] Rom. 2:13
[ 13 ] Rom. 2:12
[ 1* ] Rom. 2:14-15
[ 1+ ] Rom. 2:16
[ 1, ] Rom. 1:19
[ 1- ] Rom. 1:21; Ì Cor. 4:5; 14-25; Eph. 1:17
[ 1. ] ÌÌ Cor. 1:22; Gal. 4:6
[ 1/ ] Eph. 3;17
[ 10 ] Rom. 8:10; 8:13; ÌÌ Cor. 4:10-11; 6:4-10; Col. 2:11-12; 2:20; 3:3; ÌÌ Thes. 1:4-5
[ 11 ] ÌÌ Tim. 1:8; 2:3-6; 4:5
[ 12 ] ÌÌ Tim. 3:12
[ 23 ] Ì Tim 6:7-9
[ 2* ] Ì Cor. 13:3
[ 2+ ] Ì Cor. 3:9
[ 2, ] Gal. 5:18
[ 2- ] Ì Cor. 13:4
[ 2. ] Phil. 2:5-8
[ 2/ ] Rom. 3:21-28
[ 20 ] Col. 2:15
[ 21 ] Rom. 8:24; 66
[ 22 ] Eph. 5:1
[ *33 ] Rom. 8:29
[ *3* ] Rom. 15:1-3
[ *3+ ] ÌÌ Cor. 5:15
[ *3, ] Eph. 4:13
[ *3- ] Col. 2:20
[ *3. ] Ì Cor. 2:16; Phil. 2:5-8
[ *3/ ] Col. 1:28
[ *30 ] Eph. 5:25
[ *31 ] Phil. 2:20
[ *32 ] Eph. 5:1
[ **3 ] Rom. 8:29; Ì Cor. 10:33; 15:49; ÌÌ Cor. 3:13; Gal. 4:19; Eph. 4:13; 5:25; Phil. 2:5-8; Col. 1:28; 3:10; 4:12; Ì Thes. 1:6
[ *** ] Ì Cor. 13:2-3
[ **+ ] Col. 3:14
[ **, ] Phil. 2:20
[ **- ] Rom. 14:7; 15:1-3; Ì Cor. 10:24; 10:29-11:1; 12:25-26; 13:1 ff; ÌÌ Cor. 5:14- 15; Gal. 5:13; 6:1 Eph. 4:2; Phil. 2:4; Ì Thes. 5:11
[ **. ] Phil 3:21
[ **/ ] Rom. 8:11
[ **0 ] Ì Cor. 15:26
[ **1 ] Rom. 5:12
[ **2 ] Rom. 8:20-21
[ *+3 ] Ì Cor. 15:42-49
[ *+* ] St. Athanasius, De Incarnatione Ver6i Dei , 4-5
[ *++ ] Rom. 7:12
[ *+, ] v. 14
[ *+- ] Rom. 7:22
[ *+. ] Rom. 7:18
[ *+/ ] Rom. 7:14
[ *+0 ] Rom. 7:20
[ *+1 ] Rom. 7:24
[ *+2 ] Rom. 8:2
[ *,3 ] Rom. 7:13 ff
[ *,* ] Ì Cor. 7:4-5
[ *,+ ] Rom. 15:27
[ *,, ] ÌÌ Cor. 3:3
[ *,- ] ÌÌ Cor. 5:16
[ *,. ] Ì Tim. 3:16
[ *,/ ] Ì Cor. 9:11
[ *,0 ] Gal. 3:3
[ *,1 ] Gal. 5:16-18
[ *,2 ] Gal. 5:19-21
[ *-3 ] Gal. 3:1
[ *-* ] Rom. 7:17-18
[ *-+ ] Ì Cor. 9:11; Rom. 15:27; ÌÌ Cor. 3:3; 4:11; 5:16
[ *-, ] Ì Tim. 3:16
[ *-- ] Rom. 7:17-18; Eph. 2:15
[ *-. ] Tresmontant, 2ssai s!r la pensee +e6rai"!e , Paris 1953, pp. 95-96
[ *-/ ] Gen. 6:13,17; 7:15,21; Ps. 135:25
[ *-0 ] Gen. 6:12; Ìs. 40:6; Jer. 25:31; 12:12; Zach. 2:17
[ *-1 ] Jos. 10:28,30,32,35,37; Gen. 1:21,24; 2:7, 19; 9:10,12,15; Lev. 11:10
[ *-2 ] Matt. 24:22; Mk. 13:10; Lk. 3:6; Rom. 3:20; Ì Cor. 1:23; Gal. 11:16
[ *.3 ] Acts 2:43; 3:23; Rom. 2:9; 13:1; Rev. 16:3
[ *.* ] Rom. 7:14
[ *.+ ] Ì Cor. 2:14
[ *., ] Ì Cor. 15:50
[ *.- ] Ìbid.
[ *.. ] Ì Cor. 15:42-49
[ *./ ] Ì Cor. 15:44
[ *.0 ] Ì Cor. 15:46-47
[ *.1 ] Ì Cor. 15:45
[ *.2 ] Ì Cor. 15:47
[ */3 ] Ì Cor. 14:14-15
[ */* ] Matt. 13:15; 15:19; Mk. 2:6; 2:8; 3:5; 6:52; 8:17; Lk. 2:35; 24:15; 24:38; Acts 8:22; 28:27; Jn. 12:40
[ */+ ] Lk. 24:45
[ */, ] Rom. 1:21; 1:24; 2:5; 8:27; 10:1,6,8,10; 16:18; Ì Cor. 4:5; 7:37; 14:25; ÌÌ Cor. 3:15; 4:6; 9:7; Eph. 4:18; 6:22; Phil 4:7; Col. 2:2; 3:16; 4:8; Ì Thes. 2:4; ÌÌ Thes. 2:16; 3:5; Ì Tim. 1:5; ÌÌ Tim 2:22
[ */- ] Ì Cor. 14:14-19; 2:16; Rom. 7:23; 12:2; Eph. 4:23; Tit. 1:15
[ */. ] ÌÌ Cor. 1:22; Gal. 4:6
[ *// ] Eph. 3:16
[ */0 ] Eph. 3:17
[ */1 ] Rom. 7:22-23
[ */2 ] Eph. 3:16-17
[ *03 ] Eph. 4:17-18
[ *0* ] Rom. 1:21
[ *0+ ] Eph. 4:18
[ *0, ] Eph. 1:18-19
[ *0- ] Ì cor. 14:25
[ *0. ] Ì Cor. 4:5
[ *0/ ] Tresmontant, op. cit., p. 110
[ *00 ] Ìbid
[ *01 ] Eccl. 12:7
[ *02 ] Ì Tim. 6:16
[ *13 ] Rom. 8:6
[ *1* ] Rom. 8:13
[ *1+ ] Ìbid
[ *1, ] Rom. 8:9
[ *1- ] Rom. 7:24
[ *1. ] Rom. 8:2
[ *1/ ] Rom. 7:6
[ *10 ] Rom. 8:9
[ *11 ] Rom. 8:16
[ *12 ] ÌÌ Cor. 7:1
[ *23 ] Rom. 11:21; Ì Cor. 5:1-13; ÌÌ Thes. 3:6; 3:14; ÌÌ Tim. 3:5
[ *2* ] ÌÌ Cor. 1:22; Gal. 4:6; Eph. 3:16-17
[ *2+ ] Rom. 8:9
[ *2, ] Gal. 5:19
[ *2- ] Rom. 8:7-8
[ *2. ] Rom. 7:13-25
[ *2/ ] Rom. 6:1-14
[ *20 ] Gal. 5:22-24
[ *21 ] Rom. 8:6
[ *22 ] Ì Cor. 15:56
[ +33 ] Rom. 5:21
[ +3* ] Ì Cor. 15:26
[ +3+ ] Rom. 8:8
[ +3, ] Rom. 8:7
[ +3- ] Rom. 7:24
[ +3. ] Rom. 8:1-11
[ +3/ ] Rom. 6:1-14
[ +30 ] e.g. Matt. 5:29; 10:28; 14:12; 26:12; 27:52, 58,59; Mk. 14:18; 15:43; 15:45; Lk. 12:4; 23:52; 24:3,23; Jn. 2:21; 19:31,38,40; 20:12; Acts 9:40; Ì Pet. 2:24; Jude 9
[ +31 ] Westcott, 0ommentary on the 2pistle to +e6re7s
[ +32 ] St. Paul's usage of the word, soma , is not always consistent; yet it is never used in any dualistic context, to distinguish between body and soul. On the contrary, Paul frequently uses soma as synonymous with sar%
(Ì Cor. 6:16; 7:34; 13:3; 15:35-58; ÌÌ Cor. 4:10-11; Eph. 1:20-22; 2:15; 5:28 ff; Col. 1:22-24). Ìf his anthropology were dualistic, it would not have been logical to use the term, soma , to designate the church and kephale to!
somatos (head of the body) to designate christ. Ìt would have been much more normal to call the Church the body and Christ the soul in the body.
[ +*3 ] Rom. 7:13-25
[ +** ] Heb. 2:14-15
[ +*+ ] Gal. 5:19-21
[ +*, ] Rom. 7
[ +*- ] Rom. 7:24
[ +*. ] Athanasius, op. cit, 4-5
[ +*/ ] Rom. 5:12
[ +*0 ] Rom. 8:20-22
[ +*1 ] St. John Chrysostom, Migne, P.G.t. 60, col. 391-692; Theophylactos, Migne, P.G.t. 124, c. 404-405
[ +*2 ] St. Cyrill of Alexandria, Migne, P.G.t. 74, c. 781-785, and especially c. 788- 789; Theodoretos of Cyrus, Migne, P.G.t. 66, c. 800
[ ++3 ] Ì Cor. 15:56
[ ++* ] Rom. 5:21
[ +++ ] Ì Cor. 15:26
[ ++, ] ÌÌ Cor. 11:3
[ ++- ] Ì Tim. 2:14
[ ++. ] Rom. 5:13-14
[ ++/ ] Ì Cor. 15:26
[ ++0 ] Ì Cor. 15:56
[ ++1 ] Rom. 5:12
[ ++2 ] Amphilochia, heroteseis, 84, Migne, P.G.t. 101, c. 553-556
[ +,3 ] Ecumenius, e%tracts #rom .hoti!s , Migne, P.G.t. 118, c. 418
[ +,* ] Rom. 9:33; 10:19; 15:12; ÌÌ Cor. 5:4; Rom. 6;21
[ +,+ ] Phil. 4:10
[ +,, ] e.g., Lagrange, 2pitre a!% 8omains , p. 117-118; Sanday and Headlam, Romans, p. 136-137
[ +,- ] A Gaudel, Peche Originel, Dictionaire de Theologie 0atholi"!e , t.xii, premiere partie
[ +,. ] Col. 3:3
[ +,/ ] Rom. 7
[ +,0 ] Canon 10, First Ecum. Council; Apostolic Canon 62; Canon 1, Council of Angyra, 313-314; Canon 1, Peter of Alexandria
[ +,1 ] ÌÌ Cor. 2:11
[ +,2 ] Christ et le temps, p. 142
[ +-3 ] St. Ìgnatius, 2pistle to the 2phesians , ch. 13
[ +-* ] Ìbid., ch. 5
[ +-+ ] Eph. 2:12; 6:11-12; ÌÌ Thes. 2:8-12
[ +-, ] ÌÌ Cor. 4:4
[ +-- ] Col. 2:20-23
[ +-. ] Ì Cor. 15:23
[ +-/ ] Ì Cor. 15:12-19
[ +-0 ] ÌÌ Cor. 2:11
The Fundamental Difference Between the East
and West
Professor John Romanides
This article deals 7ith the #!ndamental di##erence 6et7een 9rthodo%y and :estern 0hristianity, mainly 8oman 0atholicism.
8eaders may 6e s!rprised to learn that the di;ision 6et7een <2ast< and <:est< 7as act!ally more o# a political di;ision, ca!sed
6y the am6itions o# the =ranks and other >ermanic tri6es, than a <theological< "!estion.
.ro#essor ?ohn 8omanides o# the @ni;ersity o# Thessaloniki challenges the common ;ie7s regarding the ca!ses #or the /chism
o# the 0h!rch in the 8oman 7orld, and o##ers his o7n pro;ocati;e interpretation o# the historical 6ackgro!nd o# this tragedy in
the history o# the 0hristian 0h!rch.
=ar #rom seeing 6asic di##erences in the 8oman 7orld, 7hich led to alienation 6et7een the 2ast and :est, 8omanides arg!es
#or the e%istence o# <national, c!lt!ral and e;en ling!istic !nity 6et7een 2ast &1y$antine( and :est 8omans<A that is, !ntil the
intr!sion and takeo;er o# the :est 8omans &the 8oman 0atholics( 6y the =ranks.
European and American histories treat the alienation between Eastern and Western Christian
Churches as though it were inevitable, because of an alleged separation of the Roman Empire
itself into "East" and "West," because of alleged linguistic and cultural differences, and because
of an alleged difference between the legal West and the speculative East.1 Evidence strongly
suggests that such attempts to explain the separation between East and West are conditioned
by prejudices inherited from the cultural tradition of the Franks, and from the centuries-old
propaganda of the Frankish (Germanic dominated) Papacy.
The evidence points clearly to the national, cultural, and even linguistic unity between East and
West Romans which survived to the time when the Roman popes were replaced by Franks. Had
the Franks not taken over the Papacy, it is very probable that the local synod of the Church of
Rome (with the pope as president), elected according to the 769 election decree approved by
the Eighth Ecumenical Synod in 879, would have survived, and that there would not have been
any significant difference between the papacy and the other four Roman (Orthodox)
Patriarchates.
However, things did not turn out that way. The Papacy was alienated from the (Orthodox) East
by the Franks, so we now are faced with the history of that alienation when we contemplate the
reunion of divided Christians. By the eighth century, we meet for the first time the beginnings of
a split in Christianity. Ìn West European sources we find a separation between a "Greek East"
and a "Latin West." Ìn Roman sources this same separation constitutes a schism between
Franks (a confederation of Germanic Teutonic peoples living on the lower banks of the Rhine
who by the sixth century AD conquered most of France, the low countries and what is now
Germany. ed) and Romans. One detects in both terminologies an ethnic or racial basis for the
schism which may be more profound and important for descriptive analysis than the doctrinal
claims of either side.
The Roman Empire was conquered in three stages: by Germanic tribes (the Franks) who
became known as "Latin Christianity," by Muslim Arabs, and finally, by Muslim Turks. Ìn contrast
to this, the ecclesiastical administration of the Roman Empire disappeared in stages from West
Europe, but has survived up to modern times in the "East Roman Empire" the Orthodox
Patriarchates of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem.
The reason for this is that the Germanic - Frankish conquerors of the West Romans (who
became known as the "Roman Catholic Church.") used the Church to suppress the Roman
nation, whereas under Ìslam the East Roman nation, the Orthodox Church, survived by means
of the Orthodox Church. Ìn each instance of conquest, the bishops became the ethnarchs of the
conquered Romans and administered Roman law on behalf of the rulers. As long as the bishops
were Roman, the unity of the Roman Church was preserved, in spite of theological conflicts.
'o(an 'e&olutions and the 'ise of Fran)ish Feudalis( and !octrine
The Franks applied their policy of destroying the unity between the Romans under their rule and
the "East Romans," the Orthodox, under the rule of Constantinople. They played one Roman
party against the other, took neither side, and finally condemned both the iconoclasts and the
Seventh Ecumenical Synod (786/7) at their own Council of Frankfurt in 794.
Ìn the time of Pippin of Herestal (687-715) and Charles Martel (715-741), many of the Franks
who replaced Roman bishops were military leaders who, according to Saint Boniface, "shed the
blood of Christians like that of the pagans."2
The I($erial Coronation 4 Charle(agne
An unsuccessful attempt was made on the life of (the Roman) Pope Leo ÌÌÌ (795-816), the
successor of Hadrian. Pope Leo was then accused of immoral conduct. Charlemagne took a
personal and active interest in the investigations which caused Leo to be brought to him in
Paderborn. Leo was sent back to Rome, followed by Charlemagne, who continued the
investigations. The Frankish king required finally that Leo swear his innocence on the Bible,
which he did on December 23, (800). Two days later Leo crowned Charlemagne "Emperor of
the Romans." Charlemagne had arranged to get the title "Emperor" in exchange for Leo's
exoneration. Charlemagne caused the filioque (the new line in the Creed that said that the Holy
Spirit, "proceeds from the Father and the Son," instead of the original which read, "proceeds
from the Father, to be added to the Frankish Creed, without consulting the pope. When the
controversy over this addition broke out in Jerusalem, Charlemagne convoked the Council of
Aachen (809) and decreed that this addition was a dogma necessary for salvation. With this fait
accomplit under his belt, he tried to pressure Pope Leo ÌÌÌ into accepting it.3
Pope Leo rejected the filioque not only as an addition to the Creed, but also as doctrine,
claiming that the Fathers left it out of the Creed neither out of ignorance, nor out of negligence,
nor out of oversight, but on purpose and by divine inspiration. What Leo said to the Franks but
in diplomatic terms, was that the addition of the filioque to the Creed is a heresy.
The so-called split between East and West was, in reality, the importation into Old Rome of the
schism provoked by Charlemagne and carried there by the Franks and Germans who took over
the papacy.
The Bi%le and Tradition
A basic characteristic of the Frankish (Germanic-Latin) scholastic method, misled by
Augustinian Platonism and Thomistic Aristotelianism, had been its naive confidence in the
objective existence of things rationally speculated about. By following Augustine, the Franks and
the "Latin" Roman Catholic Church substituted the patristic concern for spiritual observation,
(which they had found firmly established in Gaul when they first conquered the area) with a
Germanic fascination for metaphysics
Ìn contrast to the Franks the Fathers of the Orthodox Church did not understand theology as a
theoretical or speculative science, but as a positive science in all respects. This is why the
patristic understanding of Biblical inspiration is similar to the inspiration of writings in the field of
the positive sciences.
Scientific manuals are inspired by the observations of specialists. For example, the astronomer
records what he observes by means of the instruments at his disposal. Because of his training
in the use of his instruments, he is inspired by the heavenly bodies, and sees things invisible to
the naked eye. The same is true of all the positive sciences. However, books about science can
never replace scientific observations. These writings are not the observations themselves, but
about these observations.
The same is true of the Orthodox understanding of the Bible and the writings of the Fathers.
Neither the Bible nor the writings of the Fathers are revelation or the word of God. They are
about revelation and about the word of God.
Revelation is the appearance of God to the prophets, apostles, and saints. The Bible and the
writings of the Fathers are about these appearances, but not the appearances themselves. This
is why it is the prophet, apostle, and saint who sees God, and not those who simply read about
their experiences of glorification. Ìt is obvious that neither a book about glorification nor one who
reads such a book can ever replace the prophet, apostle, or saint who has the experience of
glorification.
This is the heart of the Orthodox understanding of tradition and apostolic succession which sets
it apart from the "Latin" (in other words, Frankish-Germanic) and Protestant traditions, both of
which stem from the theology of the Franks.
Following Augustine, the Franks identified revelation with the Bible and believed that Christ
gave to the Church the Holy Spirit as a guide to its correct understanding. This would be similar
to claiming that the books about biology were revealed by microbes and cells without the
biologists having seen them with the microscope, and that these same microbes and cells
inspire future teachers to correctly understand these books without the use of the microscope!
Historians have noted the naïveté of the Frankish religious mind which was shocked by the first
claims for the primacy of observation over rational analysis. Even Galileo's telescopes could not
shake this confidence. However, several centuries before Galileo, the Franks had been shocked
by the East Roman (Orthodox) claim, hurled by Saint Gregory Palamas (1296-1359), of the
primacy of experience and observation over "reason" in theology.
Instru(ents5 O%ser&ation5 Conce$ts5 and Language
The universe has turned out to be a much greater mystery to man than anyone was ever able to
imagine. Ìndications are strong that it will yet prove to be an even greater mystery than man
today can yet imagine. Ìn the light of this, one thinks humorously of the (Latin) bishops who
could not grasp the reality, let alone the magnitude, of what they saw through Galileo's
telescope. But the magnitude of Frankish naïveté becomes even greater when one realizes that
these same church leaders who could not understand the meaning of a simple observation were
claiming knowledge of God's essence and nature.
The Latin tradition could not understand the significance of an instrument by which the prophets,
apostles, and saints had reached glorification.
Similar to today's sciences, Orthodox theology also depends on an instrument which is not
identified with reason or the intellect. The Biblical name for this is the heart. Christ says,
"Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God."4
The heart is not normally clean, i.e., it does not normally function properly. Like the lens of a
telescope or microscope, it must be polished so that light may pass through and allow man to
focus his spiritual vision on things not visible to the naked eye.
Ìn time, some Fathers gave the name no!s to the faculty of the soul which operates within the
heart when restored to normal capacity, and reserved the names logos and dianoia for the
intellect and reason, or for what we today would call the brain. Ìn order to avoid confusion, we
use the terms noetic faculty and noetic prayer to designate the activity of the nous in the heart
called noera e!che.
The heart, and not the brain, is the area in which the theologian is formed. Theology includes
the intellect as all sciences do, but it is in the heart that the intellect and all of man observes and
experiences the rule of God. One of the basic differences between science and Orthodox
theology is that man has his heart or noetic faculty by nature, whereas he himself has created
his instruments of scientific observation.
A second basic difference is the following: By means of his instruments, and the energy radiated
by or upon what he observes, the scientist sees things which he can describe with words, even
though at times inadequately. These words are symbols of accumulated human experience, and
understood by those with the same or similar experience.
Ìn contrast to this, the experience of glorification is to see God who has no similarity whatsoever
to anything created, not even to the intellect or to the angels. God is literally unique and can in
no way be described by comparison with anything that any creature may be, know or imagine.
No aspect about God can be expressed in a concept or collection of concepts.
Ìt is for this reason that in Orthodoxy positive statements about God are counterbalanced by
negative statements, not in order to purify the positive ones of their imperfections, but in order to
make clear that God is in no way similar to the concepts conveyed by words, since God is
above every name and concept ascribed to Him. Although God created the universe, which
continues to depend on Him, God and the universe do not belong to one category of truth.
Truths concerning creation cannot apply to God, nor can the truth of God be applied to creation.
!iagnosis and Thera$"
Let us turn our attention to those aspects of differences between Roman and Frankish
theologies which have had a strong impact on the development of differences in the doctrine of
the Church. The basic differences may be listed under diagnosis of spiritual ills and their
therapy.
According to the Orthodox Church, the "East Romans," Glorification is the vision of God in
which the equality of all men and the absolute value of each man is experienced. God loves all
men equally and indiscriminately, regardless of even their moral status. God loves with the
same love, both the saint and the devil. To teach otherwise, as Augustine and the Franks did,
would be adequate proof that they did not have the slightest idea of what glorification was.
According to the Orthodox, God multiplies and divides himself in His uncreated energies
undividedly among divided things, so that He is both present by act and absent by nature to
each individual creature and everywhere present and absent at the same time. This is the
fundamental mystery of the presence of God to His creatures and shows that universals do not
exist in God and are, therefore, not part of the state of illumination as in the Augustinian
(Frankish Latin) tradition.
According to the Orthodox, God himself is both heaven and hell, reward and punishment. All
men have been created to see God unceasingly in His uncreated glory. Whether God will be for
each man heaven or hell, reward or punishment, depends on man's response to God's love and
on man's transformation from the state of selfish and self-centered love, to Godlike love which
does not seek its own ends.
One can see how the Frankish understanding of heaven and hell poetically described by Dante,
John Milton, and James Joyce are so foreign to the Orthodox tradition (but in keeping with the
"Latin" tradition).
According to the Orthodox, since all men will see God, no religion can claim for itself the power
to send people either to heaven or to hell. This means that true spiritual fathers prepare their
spiritual charges so that vision of God's glory will be heaven, and not hell, reward, and not
punishment. The primary purpose of Orthodox Christianity then, is to prepare its members for
an experience which every human being will sooner or later have.
While the brain (according to the Orthodox) is the center of human adaptation to the
environment, the noetic faculty in the "heart" is the primary organ for communion with God. The
fall of man or the state of inherited sin is: a) the failure of the noetic faculty to function properly,
or to function at all; b) its confusion with the functions of the brain and the body in general; and
c) its resulting enslavement to the environment.
Each individual experiences the fall of his own noetic faculty. One can see why the Augustinian
(Latin, Frankish) understanding of the fall of man as an inherited guilt for the sin of Adam and
Eve is not, and cannot, be accepted by the Orthodox tradition.
There are two known memory systems built into living beings, 1) cell memory which determines
the function and development of the individual in relation to itself, and 2) brain cell memory
which determines the function of the individual in relation to its environment. Ìn addition to this,
the patristic tradition is aware of the existence in human beings of a now normally non-
functioning or sub-functioning "memory in the heart", which when put into action via noetic
prayer, includes unceasing memory of God and, therefore, the normalization of all other
relations.
When the noetic faculty is not functioning properly, man is enslaved to fear and anxiety and his
relations to others are essentially utilitarian. Thus, the root cause of all abnormal relations
between God and man and among men is that fallen man, i.e., man with a malfunctioning noetic
faculty, uses God, his fellow man, and nature for his own understanding of security and
happiness. Man outside of glorification imagines the existence of god or gods which are
psychological projections of his need for security and happiness.
That all men have this noetic faculty in the heart also means that all are in direct relation to God
at various levels, depending on how much the individual personality resists enslavement to his
physical and social surroundings and allows himself to be directed by God. Every individual is
sustained by the uncreated glory of God and is the dwelling place of this uncreated creative and
sustaining light, which is called the rule, power, grace, etc. of God. Human reaction to this direct
relation or communion with God can range from the hardening of the heart, i.e., the snuffing out
of the spark of grace, to the experience of glorification attained to by the prophets, apostles, and
saints.
This means that all men are equal in possession of the noetic faculty, but not in quality or
degree of function. Ìt is important to note the clear distinction between spirituality, which is
rooted primarily in the heart's noetic faculty, and intellectuality, which is rooted in the brain.
Thus:
1) A person with little intellectual attainments can rise to the highest level of noetic perfection.
2) On the other hand, a man of the highest intellectual attainments can fall to the lowest level of
noetic imperfection.
3) One may also reach both the highest intellectual attainments and noetic perfection.
Or 4) one may be of meager intellectual accomplishment with a hardening of the heart.
Saint Basil the Great writes that "the in-dwelling of God is this÷to have God established within
ourself by means of memory. We thus become temples of God, when the continuity of memory
is not interrupted by earthly cares, nor the noetic faculty shaken by unexpected sufferings, but
escaping from all things this (noetic faculty) friend of God retires to God, driving out the
passions which tempt it to incontinence and abides in the practices which lead to virtues."5
Saint Gregory the Theologian points out that "we ought to remember God even more often than
we draw our breath; and if it suffices to say this, we ought to do nothing else.or, to use Moses'
words, whether a man lie asleep, or rise up, or walk by the way, or whatever else he is doing, he
should also have this impressed in his memory for purity."6
Saint Gregory insists that to theologize "is permitted only to those who have passed
examinations and have reached theoria, and who have been previously purified in soul and
body, or at least are being purified."7
This state of theoria is two fold or has two stages: a) unceasing memory of God and b)
glorification, the latter being a gift which God gives to His friends according to their needs and
the needs of others. During this latter state of glorification, unceasing noetic prayer is interrupted
since it is replaced by a vision of the glory of God in Christ. The normal functions of the body,
such as sleeping, eating, drinking, and digestion are suspended. Ìn other respects, the intellect
and the body function normally. One does not lose consciousness, as happens in the ecstatic
mystical experiences of non-Orthodox Christian and pagan religions. One is fully aware and
conversant with his environment and those around him, except that he sees everything and
everyone saturated by the uncreated glory of God, which is neither light nor darkness, and
nowhere and everywhere at the same time. This state may be of short, medium, or long
duration. Ìn the case of Moses it lasted for forty days and forty nights. The faces of those in this
state of glorification give off an imposing radiance, like that of the face of Moses, and after they
die, their bodies become holy relics. These relics give off a strange sweet smell, which at times
can become strong. Ìn many cases, these relics remain intact in a good state of preservation,
without having been embalmed. They are completely stiff from head to toe, light, dry, and with
no signs of putrefaction.
There is no metaphysical criterion for distinguishing between good and bad people. Ìt is much
more correct to distinguish between ill and more healthy persons. The sick ones are those
whose noetic faculty is either not functioning, or functioning poorly, and the healthier ones are
those whose noetic faculty is being cleansed and illumined.
These levels are incorporated into the very structure of the four Gospels and the liturgical life of
the Church. The Gospels of Mark, Matthew, and Luke reflect the pre-baptismal catechism for
cleansing the heart, and the Gospel of John reflects the post-baptismal catechism which leads
to theoria by way of the stage of illumination. Christ himself is the spiritual Father who led the
apostles, as He had done with Moses and the prophets, to glorification by means of purification
and illumination.8
One can summarize these three stages of (Orthodox) perfection as a) that of the slave who
performs the commandments because of fear of seeing God as a consuming fire, b) that of the
hireling whose motive is the reward of seeing God as glory, and c) that of the friends of God
whose noetic faculty is completely free, whose love has become selfless end because of this,
are willing to be damned for the salvation of their fellow man, as in the cases of Moses and
Paul.
THE FILI!"E
Historical Bac#$round
The Franks deliberately provoked doctrinal differences, between the East Romans, (the
Orthodox) and the West Romans, (the Roman Catholics) in order to break the national and
ecclesiastical unity of the original Roman nation. Because of this deliberate policy, the filioque
question took on irreparable dimensions. However, the identity of the West Romans and of the
East Romans as one indivisible nation, faithful to the Roman Christian faith promulgated at the
Ecumenical Synods held in the Eastern part of the Empire, is completely lost to the historians of
Germanic background, since the East Romans are consistently called "Greeks" and
"Byzantines."
Thus, the historical myth has been created that the West Roman Fathers of the Church, the
Franks, Lombards, Burgundians, Normans, etc., are one continuous and historically unbroken
"Latin" Christendom, clearly distinguished and different from a mythical "Greek" Christendom.
The frame of reference accepted without reservation by Western historians for so many
centuries has been "the Greek East and the Latin West."
A much more accurate understanding of history presenting the filioque controversy in its true
historical perspective is based on the Roman viewpoint of church history, to be found in (both
Latin and Greek) Roman sources, as well as in Syriac, Ethiopian, Arabic, and Turkish sources.
All these point to a distinction between Frankish and Roman Christendom, and not between a
mythical "Latin" and "Greek" Christendom. Among the Romans, Latin and Greek are national
languages, not nations. The Fathers are neither "Latins" nor "Greeks" but Romans.
Having this historical background in mind, one can then appreciate the significance of certain
historical and theological factors underlying the so-called filioque controversy. This controversy
was essentially a continuation of the Germanic or Frankish effort to control not only the Roman
nation, now transformed into the serfs of Frankish feudalism, but also the rest of the Roman
nation and Empire.
The historical appearance of Frankish theology coincides with the beginnings of the filioque
controversy. Since the Roman Fathers of the Church took a strong position on this issue, as
they did on the question of Ìcons (also condemned initially by the Franks), the Franks
automatically terminated the patristic period of theology with Saint John of Damascus in the
East (after they accepted the Seventh Ecumenical Synod) and Ìsidore of Seville in the West.
After this, according to the Franks, the Roman Empire no longer can produce Fathers of the
Church because the Romans rejected the Frankish filioque. Ìn doing so, the Romans withdrew
themselves from the central trunk of Christianity (as the Franks understood things) which now
becomes identical with Frankish Christianity, especially after the East Franks expelled the
Romans from the Papacy and took it over themselves.
From the Roman viewpoint, however, the Roman tradition of the Fathers was not only not
terminated in the eighth century, but continued a vigorous existence in the East, as well as
within Arab-occupied areas. Present research is now leading to the conclusion that the Roman
Patristic period extended right into the period of Ottoman rule, after the fall of Constantinople
New Rome. This means that the Eighth Ecumenical Synod (879), under Photios, the so-called
Palamite Synods of the fourteenth century, and the Synods of the Roman Patriarchates during
the Ottoman period, are all a continuation and an integral part of the history of Patristic theology.
Ìt is also a continuation of the Roman Christian tradition, minus the Patriarchate of Old Rome,
which, since 1009 after having been captured, ceased to be Roman and became a Frankish
institution.
Without ever mentioning the Franks, the Eighth Ecumenical Synod of 879 condemned those
who either added or subtracted from the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, and also those who
had not yet accepted the Seventh Ecumenical Synod.
Ìt must first be emphasized that this is the first instance in history wherein an Ecumenical Synod
condemned heretics without naming them. Ìn this case the heretics are clearly the universally
feared Franks. Ìt is always claimed by Protestant, Anglican, and Latin scholars that since the
time of Hadrian Ì or Leo ÌÌÌ, through the period of John VÌÌÌ, the Papacy opposed the filioque only
as an addition to the Creed, but never as doctrine or theological opinion. Thus, it is claimed that
John VÌÌÌ accepted the Eighth Ecumenical Synod's condemnation of the addition to the Creed
and not of the filioque as a teaching.
However, both Photios and John VÌÌÌ's letter to Photios testify to this pope's condemnation of
the filioque as doctrine also. Yet the filioque could not be publicly condemned as heresy by the
Church of Old Rome. Why? Simply because the Franks were militarily in control of papal
Romania, and as illiterate barbarians were capable of any kind of criminal act against the
Roman clergy and populace. The Franks were a dangerous presence in papal Romania and
had to be handled with great care and tact.
Yet the Romans in the West could never support the introduction of the filioque into the Creed,
not because they did not want to displease the "Greeks," but because this would be heresy. The
West Romans knew very well that the term procession in the Creed was introduced as a parallel
to generation, and that both meant causal relation to the Father, and not energy or mission.
This interpretation of the filioque is the consistent position of the Roman popes, and clearly so in
the case of Leo ÌÌÌ. The minutes of the conversation held in 810 between the three apocrisari of
Charlemagne and Pope Leo ÌÌÌ, kept by the Frankish monk Smaragdus, bear out this
consistency in papal policy.9 Leo accepts the teaching of the Fathers, quoted by the Franks,
that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, as taught by Augustine and
Ambrose. However, the filioque must not be added to the Creed as was done by the Franks,
who got permission to sing the Creed from Leo but not to add to the Creed.
When one reads these minutes, remembering the Franks were a dangerous presence in Rome
capable of acting in a most cruel and barbarous manner if provoked, then one comes to the
clear realization that Pope Leo ÌÌÌ is actually telling the Franks in clear and diplomatic terms that
the filioque in the Creed is a heresy.
Ìn the light of the above, we do not have the situation usually presented by European, American,
and Russian historians in which the filioque is an integral part of so--called "Latin" Christendom
with a "Greek" Christendom in opposition on the pretext of its introduction into the Creed. (The
addition to the Creed was supposedly opposed by the popes not doctrinally, but only as addition
in order not to offend the "Greeks.") What we do have is a united West and East Roman
Christian nation in opposition to an upstart group of Germanic races who began teaching the
Romans before they really learned anything themselves. Of course, German teachers could be
very convincing on questions of dogma, only by holding a knife to the throat. Otherwise,
especially in the time of imposing the filioque, the theologians of the new Germanic theology
were better than their noble peers, only because they could read and write and had, perhaps,
memorized Augustine.
The Theolo$ical Bac#$round
At the foundation of the filioque controversy between Franks and Romans lie essential
differences in theological method, theological subject matter, spirituality, and, therefore, also in
the understanding of the very nature of doctrine and of the development of the language or of
terms in which doctrine is expressed.
When reading through Smaragdus' minutes of the meeting between Charlemagne's emissaries
and Pope Leo ÌÌÌ, one is struck not only by the fact that the Franks had so audaciously added
the filioque to the Creed and made it into a dogma, but also by the haughty manner in which
they so authoritatively announced that the filioque was necessary for salvation, and that it was
an improvement of an already good, but not complete, doctrine concerning the Holy Spirit. This
was in answer to Leo's strong hint at Frankish audacity. Leo, in turn, warned that when one
attempts to improve what is good he should first be sure that in trying to improve he is not
corrupting. He emphasizes that he cannot put himself in a position higher than the Fathers of
the Synods, who did not omit the filioque out of oversight or ignorance, but by divine inspiration.
The question arises, "Where in the world did the newly born Frankish theological tradition get
the idea that the filioque is an improvement of the Creed, and that it was omitted from creedal
expression because of oversight or ignorance on the part of the Fathers of the Synod?" Since
Augustine is the only representative of Roman theology that the Franks were more or less fully
acquainted with, one must turn to the Bishop of Hippo for a possible answer. Ì think Ì have found
the answer in Saint Augustine's lecture delivered to the assembly of African bishops in 393.
Augustine had been asked to deliver a lecture on the Creed, which he did. Later he reworked
the lecture and published it. Ì do not see why the Creed expounded is not that of Nicaea-
Constantinople, since the outline of Augustine's discourse and the Creed are the same. Twelve
years had passed since its acceptance by the Second Ecumenical Synod and, if ever, this was
the opportune time for assembled bishops to learn of the new, official, imperially approved
creed. The bishops certainly knew their own local Creed and did not require lessons on that. Ìn
any case, Augustine makes three basic blunders in this discourse and died many years later
without ever realizing his mistakes, which were to lead the Franks and the whole of their
Germanic Latin Christendom into a repetition of those same mistakes.
Ìn his De Fide et Symbolo,10 Augustine makes an unbelievable naive and inaccurate statement:
"With respect to the Holy Spirit, however, there has not been, on the part of learned and
distinguished investigators of the Scriptures, a fuller careful enough discussion of the subject to
make it possible for us to obtain an intelligent conception of what also constitutes His special
individuality (proprium)."
Everyone at the Second Ecumenical Synod knew well that this question was settled once and
for all by the use in the Creed of the word procession as meaning the manner of existence of
the Holy Spirit from the Father which constitutes His special individuality. Thus, the Father is
unbegotten, i.e. derives His existence from no one. The Son is from the Father by generation.
The Holy Spirit is from the Father, not by generation, but by procession. The Father is cause,
the Son and the Spirit are caused. The difference between the ones caused is the one is
caused by generation, and the other by procession, and not by generation.
Ìn any case, Augustine spent many years trying to solve this non-existent problem concerning
the individuality of the Holy Spirit and, because of another set of mistakes in his understanding
of revelation and theological method, came up with the filioque.
Ìt is no wonder that the Franks, believing that Augustine had solved a theological problem which
the other Roman Fathers had supposedly failed to grapple with and solve came to the
conclusion that they uncovered a theologian far superior to all other Fathers. Ìn him the Franks
had a theologian who improved upon the teaching of the Second Ecumenical Synod.
A second set of blunders made by Augustine in this same discourse is that he identified the
Holy Spirit with the divinity "which the Greeks designate theotes" and explained that this is the
"love between the Father and the Son."11
The third and most disturbing blunder in Augustine's approach to the question before us is that
his theological method is not only pure speculation on what one accepts by faith (for the
purpose of intellectually understanding as much as one's reason allows by either illumination or
ecstatic intuition), but is a speculation which is transferred from the individual speculating
believer to a speculating church, which, like an individual, understands the dogmas better with
the passage of time.
Thus, the Church awaits a discussion about the Holy Spirit "Full enough or careful enough to
make it possible for us to obtain an intelligent conception of what also constitutes His special
individuality (proprium)."
The most amazing thing is the fact that Augustine begins with seeking out the individual
properties of the Holy Spirit and immediately reduces Him to what is common to the Father and
Son. However, in his later additions to his De Trinitate, he insists that the Holy Spirit is an
individual substance of the Holy Trinity completely equal to the other two substances and
possessing the same essence as we saw.
Ìn any case, the Augustinian idea that the Church herself goes through a process of attaining a
deeper and better understanding of her dogmas or teachings was made the very basis of the
Frankish propaganda that the filioque is a deeper and better understanding of the doctrine of the
Trinity. Therefore, adding it to the Creed is an improvement upon the faith of the Romans who
had allowed themselves to become lazy and slothful on such an important matter. This, of
course, raises the whole question concerning the relationship between revelation and verbal
and iconic or symbolic expressions of revelation.
For Augustine, there is no distinction between revelation and conceptual intuition of revelation.
Whether revelation is given directly to human reason, or to human reason by means of
creatures, or created symbols, it is always the human intellect itself which is being illumined or
given vision to. The vision of God itself is an intellectual experience, even though above the
powers of reason without appropriate grace.
Ìn contrast to this Augustinian approach to language and concepts concerning God, we have
the Patristic position expressed by Saint Gregory the Theologian against the Eunomians. Plato
had claimed that it is difficuÌt to conceive of God but, to define Him in words is an impossibility.
Saint Gregory disagrees with this and emphasizes that "it is impossible to express Him, and yet,
more impossible to conceive Him. For that which may be conceived may perhaps be made clear
by language, if not fairly well, at any rate imperfectly..."12
The most important element in Patristic epistemology is that the partial knowability of the divine
actions or energies, and the absolute and radical unknowability and incommunicability of the
divine essence is not a result of philosophical or theological speculation, as it is in Paul of
Samosata, Arianism, and Nestorianism, but of the personal experience of revelation or
participation in the uncreated glory of God by means of vision or theoria. Saint Gregory defines
a theologian as one who has reached this theoria by means of purification and illumination, and
not by means of dialectical speculation. Thus, the authority for Christian truth is not the written
words of the Bible, which cannot in themselves either express God or convey an adequate
concept concerning God, but rather the individual apostle, prophet, or saint who is glorified in
God.
Because the Franks, following Augustine, neither understood the Patristic position on this
subject, nor were they willing from the heights of their majestic feudal nobility to listen to
"Greeks" explain these distinctions, they went about raiding the Patristic texts. They took
passages out of context in order to prove that for all the Fathers, as supposedly in the case of
Augustine, the fact that the Father and the Son send the Holy Spirit means that the Holy Spirit
derives His existence from the Father and Son.
The Fathers always claimed that generation and procession are what distinguish the Son from
the Holy Spirit. Since the Son is the only begotten Son of God, procession is different from
generation. Otherwise, we would have two Sons, in which case there is no only begotten Son.
For the Fathers this was both a biblical fact and a mystery to be treated with due respect. To
ask what generation and procession are is as ridiculous as asking what the divine essence is.
Only energies of God may be known, and then only in so far as the creature can receive.
Ìn contrast to this, Augustine set out to explain what generation is. He identified generation with
what the other Roman Fathers called actions or energies of God which are common to the Holy
Trinity. Thus, procession ended up being these same energies. The difference between the Son
and the Spirit was that the Son is from one and the Holy Spirit from two.
When he began his De Trinitate,13 Augustine promised that he would explain why the Son and
the Holy Spirit are not brothers. After completing his twelfth book, his friends stole and published
this work in an unfinished and uncorrected form. Ìn Book 15.45, Augustine admits that he
cannot explain why the Holy Spirit is not a Son of the Father and brother of the Logos, and
proposes that we will learn this in the next life.
Ìn his Rectractationun, Augustine explains how he intended to exiain what had happened in
another writing and not publish his De Trinitate himself. However, his friends prevailed upon
him, and he simply corrected the books as much as he could and finished the work with which
he was not really satisfied.
What is most remarkable is that the spiritual and cultural descendants of the Franks are still
claiming that Augustine is the authority par excellence on the Patristic doctrine of the Holy
Trinity!
Whereas no Greek-speaking Roman Father ever used the expression that the Holy Spirit
proceeds (ejkporeuvetai) from the Father and Son, both Ambrose and Augustine use this
expression. Since Ambrose was so dependent on such Greek-speaking experts as Basil the
Great and Didymos the Blind, particularly his work on the Holy Spirit, one would expect that he
would follow Eastern usage.
Ìt seems, however, that at the time of the death of Ambrose, before the Second Ecumenical
Synod, the term procession had been adopted by Didymos as the hypostatic individuality of the
Holy Spirit. Ìt had not been used by Saint Basil (only in his letter 38 he seems to be using
procession as Gregory the Theologian) or by Saint Gregory of Nyssa before the Second
Ecumenical Synod. Of the Cappadocian Fathers, only Saint Gregory the Theologian uses very
clearly in his Theological Orations what became the final formulation of the Church on the
matter at the Second Ecumenical Synod.
Evidently, because Augustine transformed the doctrine of the Holy Trinity into a speculative
exercise of philosophical acumen, the simple, schematic and biblical nature of the doctrine in
the East Roman (Orthodox) tradition had been lost sight of by those stemming from the
scholastic tradition.
Thus, the history of the doctrine of the Trinity has been reduced to searching out the
development of such concepts and terminology as three persons or hypostases, one essence,
homoousios, personal or hypostatic properties, one divinity, etc.
The summary of the Patristic theological method is perhaps sufficient to indicate the
nonspeculative method by which the Fathers theologize and interpret the Bible. The method is
simple and-the result is schematic. Stated simply and arithmetically, the whole doctrine of the
Trinity may be broken down into two simple statements as far as the filioque is concerned. (1)
What is common in the Holy Trinity is common to and identical in all three persons or
hypostases. (2) What is hypostatic, or hypostatic property, or manner of existence is individual,
and belongs only to one person or hypostasis of the Holy Trinity. Thus, we have tav koinav and
tav ajkoinwvnhta, what is common and what is incommunically individual.
Having this in mind, one realizes why the West and East Romans did not take the Frankish
filioque very seriously as a theological position, especially as one which was supposed to
improve upon the Creed of the Second Ecumenical Synod.
However, the Romans had to take the Franks themselves seriously, because they backed up
their fantastic theological claims with an unbelievable self-confidence and with a sharp sword.
What they lacked in historical insight, they made up with "nobility" of descent, and a strong will
to back up their arguments with muscle and steel.
Ìn any case, it may be useful in terminating this section to emphasize the simplicity of the
Roman position and the humor with which the filioque was confronted. We may recapture this
Roman humor about the Latin filioque with two syllogistic jokes from the Great Photios which
may explain some of the fury of Frankish reaction against him.
"Everything, therefore, which is seen and spoken of in the all-holy and consubstantial and
coessential Trinity, is either common to all, or belongs to one only of the three: but the projection
(probolhv) of the Spirit, is neither common, nor, as they say, does it belong to any one of them
alone (may propitiation be upon us, and the blasphemy turned upon their heads). Therefore, the
projection of the Spirit is not at all in the lifegiving and all-perfect Trinity."14
Ìn other words, the Holy Spirit must then derive His existence outside of the Holy Trinity since
everything in the Trinity is common to all or belongs to one only.
"For otherwise, if all things common to the Father and the Son, are in any case common to the
Spirit, .and the procession from them is common to the Father and the Son, the Spirit
therefore will then proceed from himself: and He will be principle (arche) of himself, and both
cause and caused: a thing which even the myths of the Greeks never fabricated."15
Keeping in mind the fact that the Fathers always began their thoughts about the Holy Trinity
from their personal experience of the Angel of the Lord and Great Counselor made man and
Christ, one only then understands the problematic underlying the Arian/Eunomian crisis, i.e.,
whether this concrete person derives His existence from the essence or hypostasis of the
Father or from non-being by the will of the Father. Had the tradition understood the method of
theologizing about God as Augustine did, there would never have been an Arian or Eunomian
heresy. Those who reach glorification (theosis) know by this experience that whatever has its
existence from non-being by the will of God is a creature, and whoever and whatever is not from
non-being, but from the Father is uncreated. Between the created and the uncreated, there is no
similarity whatsoever. Before the Cappadocian Fathers gave their weight to the distinction
between the three divine hypostases and the one divine essence, many Orthodox Church
leaders avoided speaking either about one essence or one hypostasis since this smacked of
Sabellian and Samosatene Monarchianism. Many preferred to speak about the Son as deriving
His existence from the Father's essence and as being like the Father in essence (homoiousios).
Saint Athanasios explains that this is exactly what is meant by coessential (homoousios).16 Ìt is
clear that the Orthodox were not searching for a common faith but rather for common
terminology and common concepts to express their common experience in the Body of Christ.
Equally important is the fact that the Cappadocians lent their weight to the distinction between
the Father as cause and the Son and the Holy Spirit as caused. Coupled with the manners of
existence of generation and procession, these terms mean that the Father causes the existence
of the Son by generation and of the Holy Spirit by procession and not by generation. Of course,
the Father being fro( no one derives His existence neither from himself nor from another.
Actually, Saint Basil pokes fun at Eunomios for being the first to say such an obvious thing and
thereby manifest his frivolousness and wordiness. Furthermore, neither the essence nor the
natural energy of the Father have a cause or manner of existence. The Father possesses them
by His very nature and communicates them to the Son in order that they possess them by
nature likewise. Thus, the manner by which the uncaused Father exists, and by which the Son
and the Holy Spirit receive their existence from the Father, are not to be confused with the
Father's communicating His essence and energy to the Son and the Holy Spirit. Ìt would,
indeed, be strange to speak about the Father as causing the existence of His own essence and
energy along with the hypostases of the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Ìt also must be emphasized that for the Fathers who composed the creeds of Nicaea and
Constantinople neither generation nor procession mean energy or action. This was the position
of the heretics condemned. The Arians claimed that the Son is the product of the will of God.
The Eunomians supported a more original but bizarre position that the uncreated energy of the
Father is identical with His essence, that the Son is the product of a simple created energy of
God, that the Holy Spirit is the product of a single energy of the Son, and that each created
species is the product of a special energy of the Holy Spirit, there being as many created
energies as there are species. Otherwise, if the Holy Spirit has only one created energy, then
there would be only one species of things in creation. Ìt is in the light of these heresies also that
one must appreciate that generation and procession in the Creed in no way mean energy or
action.
However, when the Franks began raiding the Fathers for arguments to support their addition to
the Creed, they picked up the categories of manner of existence, cause and caused, and
identified these with Augustine's generation and procession, thus transforming the old Western
Orthodox filioque into their heretical one. This confusion is nowhere so clear than during the
debates at the Council of Florence where the Franks used the terms cause and caused as
identical with their generation and procession, and supported their claim that the Father and the
Son are one cause of the procession of the Holy Spirit. Thus, they became completely confused
over Maximos who explains that for the West of his time, the Son is not the cause of the
existence of the Holy Spirit, so that in this sense the Holy Spirit does not proceed from the
Father. That Anastasios the Librarian repeats this is ample evidence of the confusion of both the
Franks and their spiritual and theological descendants. For the Fathers, no name or concept
gives any understanding of the mystery of the Holy Trinity. Saint Gregory the Theologian, e.g.,
is clear on this as we saw. He ridicules his opponents with a characteristic taunt: "Do tell me
what is the unbegotteness of the Father, and Ì will explain to you the physiology of the
generation of the Son and the procession of the Spirit, and we shall both of us be frenzy-
stricken for prying into the mystery of God''17 Names and concepts about God give to those
who reach theoria understanding not of the mystery, but of the dogma and its purpose. Ìn the
experience of glorification, knowledge about God, along with prayer, prophecy and faith are
abolished. Only love remains (1 Cor. 13, 8-13; 14,1). The mystery remains, and will always
remain, even when one sees God in Christ face to face and is known by God as Paul was (Ì
Cor. 13.12).
The Si$nificance of the Filio%ue !uestion
Smaragdus records how the emissaries of Charlemagne complained that Pope Leo ÌÌÌ was
making an issue of only four syllables. Of course, four syllables are not many. Nevertheless,
their implications are such that Latin or Frankish Christendom embarked on a history of theology
and ecclesiastical practice which may have been quite different had the Franks paid attention to
the "Greeks."
Ì will indicate some of the implications of the presuppositions of the filioque issue which present
problems today.
1 ) Even a superficial study of today's histories of dogma and biblical scholarship reveals the
peculiar fact that Protestant, Anglican, Papal, and some Orthodox theologians accept the First
and Second Ecumenical Synods only formally. This is so because there is at least an identity of
teaching between Orthodox and Arians, which does not exist between Orthodox and Latins,
about the real appearances of the Logos to the Old Testament prophets and the identity of this
Logos with the Logos made flesh in the New Testament. This, as we saw, was the agreed
foundation of debate for the determination of whether the Logos seen by the prophets is created
or uncreated. This identification of the Logos in the Old Testament is the very basis of the
teachings of all the Roman Ecumenical Synods.
We emphasize that the East Roman (Orthodox) Fathers never abandoned this reading of the
Old Testament theophanies. This is the teaching of all the West Roman Fathers, with the single
exception of Augustine, who, confused as usual over what the Fathers teach, rejects as
blasphemous the idea that the prophets could have seen the Logos with their bodily eyes and,
indeed, in fire, darkness, cloud, etc.
The Arians and Eunomians had used, as the Gnostics before them, the visibility of the Logos to
the prophets to prove that He was a lower being than God and a creature. Augustine agrees
with the Arians and Eunomians that the prophets saw a created Angel, created fire, cloud, light,
darkness, etc., but he argues against them that none of these was the Logos himself, but
symbols by means of which God or the whole Trinity is seen and heard.
Augustine had no patience with the teaching that the Angel of the Lord, the fire, the glory, the
cloud, and the Pentecostal tongues of fire, were verbal symbols of the uncreated realities
immediately communicated with by the prophets and apostles, since for him this would mean
that all this language pointed to a vision of the divine substance. For the bishop of Hippo this
vision is identical to the whole of what is uncreated, and could be seen only by a Neoplatonic
type ecstasy of the soul, out of the body within the sphere of timeless and motionless eternity
transcending all discursive reasoning. Since this is not what he found in the Bible, the visions
therein described are not verbal symbols of real visions of God, but of creatures symbolizing
eternal realities. The created verbal symbols of the Bible became created objective symbols. Ìn
other words, words which symbolized uncreated energies like fire, etc., became objectively real
created fires, clouds, tongues, etc.
2) This failure of Augustine to distinguish between the divine essence and its natural energies
(of which some are communicated to the friends of God), led to a very peculiar reading of the
Bible, wherein creatures or symbols come into existence in order to convey a divine message,
and then pass out of existence. Thus, the Bible becomes full of unbelievable miracles and a text
dictated by God.
3) Besides this, the biblical concept of heaven and hell also becomes distorted, since the eternal
fires of hell and the outer darkness become creatures also whereas, they are the uncreated
glory of God as seen by those who refuse to love. Thus, one ends up with the three-story
universe problem, with God in a place, etc., necessitating a demythologizing of the Bible in
order to salvage whatever one can of a quaint Christian tradition for modern man. However, it is
not the Bible itself which needs demythologizing, but the Augustinian Franco-Latin tradition and
the caricature which it passed off in the West as "Greek" Patristic theology.
4) By not taking the above-mentioned foundations of Roman Patristic theology of the
Ecumenical Synods seriously as the key to interpreting the Bible, modern biblical scholars have
applied presuppositions latent in Augustine with such methodical consistency that they have
destroyed the unity and identity of the Old and New Testaments, and have allowed themselves
to be swayed by Judaic interpretations of the Old Testament rejected by Christ himself. Thus,
instead of dealing with the concrete person of the Angel of God, Lord of Glory, Angel of Great
Council, Wisdom of God and identifying Him with the Logos made flesh and Christ, and
accepting this as the doctrine of the Trinity, most, if not all, Western scholars have ended up
identifying Christ only with Old Testament Messiahship, and equating the doctrine of the Trinity
with the development of extra Biblical Trinitarian terminology within what is really not a Patristic
framework, but an Augustinian one. Thus, the so-called "Greek" Fathers are still read in the light
of Augustine, with the Russians after Peter Mogila joining in.
5) Another most devastating result of the Augustinian presuppositions of the filioque is the
destruction of the prophetic and apostolic understanding of grace and its replacement with the
whole system of created graces distributed in Latin Christendom by the hocus pocus of the
clergy.
For the Bible and the Fathers, grace is the uncreated glory and rule (basileia) of God seen by
the prophets, apostles, and saints and participated in by the faithful followers of the prophets
and the apostles. The source of this glory and rule is the Father who, in begetting the Logos,
and projecting the Spirit, communicates this glory and rule so that the Son and the Spirit are
also by nature one source of grace with the Father. This uncreated grace and rule (basileia) is
participated in by the faithful according to their preparedness for reception, and is seen by the
friends of God who have become gods by grace.
Because the Frankish filioque presupposes the identity of uncreated divine essence and energy,
and because participation in the divine essence is impossible, the Latin tradition was led
automatically into accepting communicated grace as created, leading to its objectification and
magical priestly manipulation.
On the other hand, the reduction by Augustine of this revealed glory and rule (basileia) to the
status of a creature has misled modern biblical scholars into the endless discussions concerning
the coming of the "Kingdom" (basileia should rather be rule) without realizing its identity with the
uncreated glory and grace of God.19
Ìn the patristic tradition, all dogma or truth is experienced in glorification. The final form of
glorification is that of Pentecost, in which the apostles were led by the Spirit into all the truth, as
promised by Christ at the Last Supper. Since Pentecost, every incident of the glorification of a
saint, (in other words, of a saint having a vision of God's uncreated glory in Christ as its source),
is an extension of Pentecost at various levels of intensity.
This experience includes all of man, but at the same time transcends all of man, including man's
intellect. Thus, the experience remains a mystery to the intellect, and cannot be conveyed
intellectually to another. Thus, language can point to, but cannot convey, this experience. The
spiritual father can guide a person to, but cannot produce, the experience which is a gift of the
Holy Spirit.
When, therefore, the Fathers add terms to the biblical language concerning God and His
relation to the world like hypostasis, ousia, physis, homoousios, etc., they are not doing this
because they are improving current understanding as over against a former age. Pentecost
cannot be improved upon. All they are doing is defending the Pentecostal experience which
transcends words, in the language of their time, because a particular heresy leads away from,
and not to, this experience, which means spiritual death to those led astray.
For the Fathers, authority is not only the Bible, but the Bible plus those glorified or divinized as
the prophets and apostles. The Bible is not in itself either inspired or infallible. Ìt becomes
inspired and infallible within the communion of saints because they have the experience of
divine glory described in the Bible.
The presuppositions of the Frankish ("Latin") filioque are not founded on this experience of
glory. Anyone can claim to speak with authority and understanding. However, we Orthodox
follow the Fathers and accept only those as authority who, like the apostles, have reached a
degree of Pentecostal glorification.
Within this frame of reference, there can be no institutionalized or guaranteed form of infallibility,
outside of the tradition of spirituality which leads to theoria, mentioned above, by St. Gregory the
Theologian.
What is true of the Bible is true of the Synods, which, like the Bible, express in symbols that
which transcends symbols and is known by means of those who have reached theoria. Ìt is for
this reason that the Synods appeal to the authority, not only of the Fathers in the Bible, but also
to the Fathers of all ages, since the Fathers of all ages participate in the same truth which is
God's glory in Christ.
For this reason, Pope Leo ÌÌÌ told the Franks in no uncertain terms that the Fathers left the
filioque out of the Creed neither because of ignorance nor by omission, but by divine inspiration.
However the implications of the Frankish filioque were not accepted by all Roman Christians in
the Western Roman provinces conquered by Franco-Latin Christendom and its scholastic
theology. Remnants of Roman biblical orthodoxy and piety have survived and all parts may one
day be reassembled, as the full implications of the Patristic tradition make themselves known,
and spirituality, as the basis of doctrine, becomes the center of our studies.
Back to the Li%rar"
Home
&otes
1. The European and Middle Eastern parts of the Roman Empire were carved out of areas which, among other linguistic
elements, contained two bands, the Celtic and the Greek, which ran parallel to each other from the Atlantic to the Middle East.
The Celtic band was north of the Greek band, except in Asia Minor, where Galatia had the Greek band to the east, the north,
and the south. Northern Ìtaly itself was part of the Celtic band and Southern Ìtaly a part of the Greek band (here called Magna
Graecia) which in the West covered Southern Spain, Gaul, and their Mediterranean islands. Due consideration should be given
to the fact that both the Celtic and Greek bands were east and west of Roman Ìtaly. The Romans first took over the Greek and
Celtic parts of Ìtaly and then the Greek and Celtic speaking peoples of the two bands. The Celtic band was almost completely
Latinized, whereas the Greek band, not only remained intact, but was even expanded by the Roman policy of completing the
Hellenization of the Eastern provinces initiated by the Macedonians. The reason why the Celtic band, but not the Greek band,
was Latinized was that the Romans were themselves bilingual in fact and in sentiment, since in the time of their explosive
expansion they spoke both Latin and Greek, with a strong preference for the latter. Thus, one is obliged to speak of both the
Western and Eastern parts of European Romania in terms of a Latin North and a Greek South, but certainly not of a Latin West
and a Greek East, which is a Frankish myth, fabricated for the propagandistic reasons described in Lecture Ì, which survives in
text books until today. Ìndeed, the Galatians of Asia Minor were in the fourth century still speaking the same dialect as the
Treveri of the province of Belgica in the Roman diocese of Gaul. (Albert Grenier, Les Gaulois [Paris, 1970], p. 115.) That the
Latin West/Greek East division of Europe is a Frankish myth is still witnessed to today by some 25 million Romans in the
Balkans, who speak Romance dialects, and by the Greek-speaking inhabitants of the Balkans and the Middle East, who call
themselves Romans. Ìt should be noted that it is very possible that the Galatians of Asia Minor still spoke the same language as
the ancestors of the Waloons in the area of the Ardennes when the legate of Pope John XV, Abbot Leo, was at Mouzon
pronouncing the condemnation of Gerbert d'Aurillac in 995
2. Migne, PL 89:744.
3. For a review of the historical and doctrinal aspects of this question, see J. S. Romanides, The
Filioque, Anglican Orthodox Joint Doctrinal Discussions, St. Albans 1975÷Moscow 1976
(Athens, 1978).
4. Matthew 5.8.
5. Epistle 2.
6. Theological Oration 1.5.
7. Ìbid. 1.3.
8. On the relations between the Johanine and Synoptic gospel traditions see my study, "Justin
Martyr and the Fourth Gospel," The Greek Orthodox Theological Review, 4 (1958-59), pp. 115-
39.
9. PL 102.971 ff. For interpretation of these minutes and related matters see my ?+ Dogmatikh;
kai; /!m6olikh; thBC D9r"odo;%o! *a"olikhBC D2kklhsi;aC, pp. 340-78.
10. 19.
11. Ìbid.
12. Theological Orations, 2.4.
13. 11.3.
14. J. N. Karmiris, Ta; Dogmatika; kai; /!m6olika; 5nhmeiBa thBC D9r"odo;%o! *a"olikhBC
D2kklhsi;aC, Athens 1966, Vol. 1, p. 325.
15. Ìbid, p. 324.
16. De Synodis, 41.
17. Theological Orations, 5.8.
18. Besides the works mentioned in footnotes above, see my study, "Justin Martyr and the Fourth Gospel," The Greek Orthodox
Theological Review, 4 (1958-59), 115-39
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
REVÌEW OF
PROPHET OF ROMAN [i.e. Byzantine]
ORTHODOXY: THE THEOLOGY
OF JOHN ROMANÌDES
by Andrew J. Sopko (Synaxis Press, 1998)
© +333 %" Orchid Land Pu%lications
[updated 10-29-00]
This paperback volume of 160 pages by Prof. Fr. John Romanides, an American
who became a professor in Thessalonike, is astoundingly good. Protopresvyter John's
writings are in Greek and English. The title of the volume under review is a bit
misleading for the many who do not realize that the Roman Empire continued in
Byzantion after the fall of Rome to Germanic invaders, who brought in the Western
Dark Ages; the Byzantines continued to call themselves "Romans." Sopko presents
the views of R by way of recounting the history of the emergence of the works of this
brilliant scholar, learned in both Eastern and Latin Christianity, in terms of controversies
initiated by opponents of his who were infatuated with Latin-scholastic categories and
who objected to R's loyal return to, clarification of, and insistence on traditional
Orthodox thinking. The book is not for beginners with little background in theology.
But those able to read this book will readily grasp how vast the gulf is that separates
Orthodox theology--with basic concepts like energy--from the later-invented
frameworks of Mediæval Latin scholasticism--in the case of Nominalism, taken over by
the Reformation theologians. R will open the eyes of percipient Orthodox readers, if
not those nebulous Latin apologists in America who ideologically but uninsightfully
claim to be unable to find any crucial differences between Eastern and Western
theology, who therefore persist in the fiction that Latin theological categories invented
over a dozen centuries after the Apostles represent a legitimate "development" of
original Christianity--even though the basic assumptions of the two frameworks in
important ways directly contradict each other! Though R does not (in Sopko's telling)
directly deal with this issue, what he does say will dispel among unbiased Christians
any likelihood of said fiction's being tenable. This book should of course be a must for
seminarians and all Orthodox engaged in "ecumenical" activities.
FATHER ROMANÌDES'S SÌTE 6scroll don7
Sopko shows how R describes and rejects the Latin confusion of essence and
energies--the root of vast and highly problematic differences from traditional
Christianity--particularly the idea that Grace is created and the idea that the faithful may
be able in Paradise to behold the imparticipable and unknowable divine Essence.
When R speaks of Latin parallels with Greek energy, he has in mind the term actus
"actualization, realization." Papal theologians call God actus purus "pure Realization"
and speak of His Essence as being esse "existence." Ìt is not that Greek theology
rejects the notion that the divine Essence lacks every perfection. Apophatically, God
lacks nothing good; and it should not be forgotten that the name of the LOGOS,
YHWH, can be read on nearly all Orthodox icons of the Savior--as O ON "the One
Who ÌS" (see Ex. 3:14 in the LXX). But actus refers to a state resulting from an
energization; further, uncreated energies have their origins in the creative activity of the
uncreated Energies, operations that bring creatures into being ek toû medenós "out of
nothingness"--and nothingness is less than even a potency; divine Energy also
sustains creation from falling back into nothingness. R insists that energy is not a
result, let alone the accomplished creature, of the Creator's creative Energies--the way
Grace is in papal theology; and no energization the essence of anything either divine or
created. Divine Energy is an aspect of the uncreated Being of God in His uncreated
activity--in Grace as well as in the divine Life and in divine knowing and willing. To
confuse the timeful activities of the divine Energies with timeless (eternal) processions
in the divine Essence or with that Essence itself introduces chaos into theological
thinking.
Ìt may be of value for a reader of these intimations to be advised
that Greek makes nouns from verbs (cf. English observe -->
observation) in two different ways. Neuter nouns ending in -ma
(like [h]omoíoma "likeness"; cf. adjectives in -matikón) are inert--an
abstract description of some verbal idea or the result of an action.
By contrast, feminine nouns in -sis (from -tis; e.g. [h]omoíosis
"cognation, assimilation") are from causative verbs ending in -izein
(English "-ize") and are active, generally causative. Note how the
West translates [h]omoíosis statically as "likeness," when in Greek it
has "energetic" force--"cognation, assimilation." This illustrates the
divide between East and West. While the Latin tongue has parallels
with Greek static neuter verbal nouns (viz. Latin nouns ending in
-mentum), the fact that the Latin neuters do not contrast with active
parallels the way their Greek congeners (which, as said, contrast
with energetic feminine verbal nouns in -sis) do shows that the Latin
forms stand in a different semantic system from that of the Greek
verbal nouns. The uniqueness of Greek enéryeia (a feminine noun)
lies in its replacing enéryesis (which dictionaries don't list) as a
contrast with enéryema. We learn from the beginning (the first five
chapters of Genesis) of the Old Testament that the first humans
were created in the Ìcon (Ìmage or Likeness) of God--viz. with a
potential for reasoning, willing freely, and being divinized--and also in
the Cognation with or Assimilation to God, the uncreated Energy of
Grace and Divinization that actualizes or gives life to the potential of
the Ìcon of God and makes it possible for humanity to use reason
and freewill in ways pleasing to God. The Ìcon of God is part of
human nature and has not been lost at the Fall; otherwise, humans
would be animals lacking the reason and freewill of the Ìcon of God.
What got lost was the Assimilation to God--viz. the Grace to realize
or actualize the potential of Divinization. Ìt is the latter that is
restored to Christians who, as members of Christ, allow His
Life/Grace/Energies to live and work in them according to His will.
Even though the Cognation or Assimilation to God is not part of
human nature, it is "natural" in the sense that it goes with and fulfills
human nature. Human nature, lacking this Energy or Grace
subsequent to its loss at the Fall, is from one point of view
"unnatural"--though not "guilty of Adam's sin" or "sinful," since sin is
what a responsible individual having the reason and freedom of
choice of the Ìcon of God does; natures don't really do anything,
good or evil.
Eastern theologians distinguish Essence and Energies.
(Phýsis or "nature" is ambiguous between the two.) Note
that 2 Pet. 1:5 speaks of Divinization (participation in the
divine Energies) as partaking of the divine Nature. Ìn this
sense, nature or energy is the function of an essence. The
Energies--uncreated Energies in the case of God's Being
beyond being--are not as inert as Latin natures. Ìn no
philosophical or theological usage (except perhaps in
The outspoken opponent of R's academic dissertation, Trembelas, contended that "we
can speak in a fully Orthodox manner of created [sic!] energies and graces of God"--a
view that R denounced as heresy. Sopko describes R's position thus: "According to
the holy Fathers, a created energy always betrays a created nature; and uncreated
Energy always indicates uncreated Essence; therefore they are in danger of falling into
complete atheism and into Greek mythology. . . ." Sopko cites the Synodikón, read on
the Lordsday of Orthodoxy: "Those who attach themselves to the pure and spotless
faith of the Church and yet do not confess according to the God-inspired theology of
the Saints and the Orthodox Faith of the Church that each particular power and Energy
of the triunal God is uncreated, let them be anathema." (Note that in Greek from the
time of Aristotle: "power" is dýnamis--a potential; enéryeia is the actualizing of a
power. Thus, faith is a dýnamis that gets energized--i.e. actuated, actualized, made
real--by love [Gal. 5:6].) Referring to R's thinking (p. 30), Sopko says:
The fundamental patristic argument against those who accept only one Nature in
Christ, the divine one and two Energies, was that wherever the energy is created, the
Nature is also created; and wherever the Energy is uncreated, the Nature and Essence
is also uncreated. Since Christ has two energies, one created and one uncreated, He
should necessarily have two natures, one created and one uncreated. The contention
that 'God's Energy is a creature' signifies that God's Essence is also a creature. From
the created energies of Christ we recognize his created nature and from his uncreated
Energies, his uncreated Nature.
One should be wary of the use of phýsis "nature," as it is often used
more loosely in the East than in the West. Like substantia in the
West, many writers use it as more or less equivalent to ousía
"essence"; Monophysites have used it for a hypóstasis or individual
existent. The Latin distinction between essence and a functional
nature is more nearly parallel with the Eastern distinction between
essence and energy--though of course much more static than
energetic.
Sopko then states the Latin reasoning, so different from the Greek: "Ìf God's energy is
a creature, then his creative energy is also a creature. Therefore, God has created the
world through created means."
A separate section is devoted to the Latin scholastic error of viewing God (in
Aristotelian terms) as actus purus, i.e. as lacking any unrealized potential. Ìn fewer
than a dozen pages, the idea of the Trinity is gone into very thoroughly and insightfully;
Orthodoxy's contrast and incompatibility with Latin theology could not be clearer. R
gives short shrift to Augustinian-Thomistic teachings on God as Ìntellect, which
presupposes his "attribution of] the Platonic ideas to divine Nature" (p. 38). God's
Essence in Latin scholasticism is perceived as the Latin quasi-equivalent of Eastern
Energy. Ìt is quite opposed to St. Gregory Palamas' words earlier on the same page:
"Ìf according to the idle tales of our opponent [Barlaam, the Latinizing Calabrian], the
divine Energy is in no way different from the divine Essence, then creating (which
signifies Energy) will not be by any means different from generating and proceeding [of
the Son and the Spirit, respectively, in the holy Trinity]--which refer to the divine
Essence."
Generating refers to the ekpórefsis of the Son from the Father;
proceeding refers to the ekpórefsis of the Holy Spirit from the
Father--the sole Source of all Being. CLÌCK HERE FOR MORE. In
Orthodo8 6%ut not Latin7 teaching5 the all4hol" S$irit $roceeds
6or is s$irated7 fro( the Father44hich is an ekpórefsis in the one
divine Essence; but the Holy Spirit is "sent" to the Church by the
Son--which is an energetic ékpempsis of one Hypostasis by Another
in the economy (dispensation) of the cosmos. See John 15:26--a
passage that the Latins have got to explain away. R (p. 39) points
out that ekpórefsis has reference to the Essence, whereas
ékpempsis has reference to the Energies. On p. 38, objecting to
Tremblas' idea that the Son came out of God's Essence as His
"Word" (Logos), R observes that the divine Logos is not the Father's
Ìntellect, any more than foreknowledge (here he takes up a point of
St. Vasil's) is the divine Essence; foreknowledge, like knowing and
willing, is an Energy.
For R, this leads to a pantheism in which "all creatures are by no means different from
the begotten One and the projected [i.e. the proceeding] One, and if this is so
according to the [Latins], both God's Son and the Holy Spirit will be in no way different
from all other creatures . . ." (p. 31). That is why Cyril of Alexandria demonstrated the
difference between God's essence and energy in writing that "to generate belongs to
divine Nature, but to create belongs to divine Energy. R concludes, as Sopko notes, by
again stressing that nature and energy are not the same thing (PG 50, 1189). St. Vasil
the Great is cited (p. 31) to like effect: "From such theories, the consequence is either
to hold that God's Energy remains idle or that His works are without beginning or end"
[i.e., uncreated like Himself, as R's dissertation on so-called original sin clarifies].
While R's showing of the errors of Latin filioquism (e.g. p. 39) are devastating and
cannot fail to impress an Orthodox reader, it would carry this review beyond reasonable
bounds to cite R's insightful comments, made in passing--at least in Sopko's account--
concerning the relation of divine Energy to the doctrine of perichóresis (p. 33), creation
out of nothing (p. 33; but see also below), and the misguided Augustinian and Latin
idea of analogia entis (pp. 39f)--a supposititious parallelism between what exists in the
created oikonomía and the divine Essence, as though created being reflected
unparallel, unknowable, and imparticipable Being beyond being.
R makes valuable comments on Karl Barth's rejection of the
analogia entis in favor of the analogia fidei--which R takes issue
with--and on attempts by the Latin theologian, Hans Urs von
Balthasar, to square Latin views with an embrace of the Barthian
idea--an idea having the effect of opposing the teaching of
participation by the faithful in the divine Life--which von Balthasar of
course understood in terms of Essence, not Energy. Ìn this
connection, the reader should recall the Orthodox view that divine
Being is not mere being since God is hyperoúsios or beyond being,
being with a capital "B," as we might say. Being beyond being is
sometimes even called "non-being"--a term that von Balthasar also
uses. The principles of beings created by the divine LOGOS are
l9goi:l9"i in Gree) 6rationes in A;uinas75 e.g. in St. #a8i(os the
Confessor. Augustine held these to %e real %" $artici$ation in
the di&ine ideas in God<s (ind.
R shows (pp. 40f) how Augustine's credo ut intellegam and Anselm's fides quærens
intellectum reveal the misorientation of Latin confusions about the divine Essence in
their failure to separate Ìt from the divine Energies. One can only wish one had the
opportunity to study under such a learnëd systematic intellectual giant. Nevertheless,
there are certain statement attributed by Sopko to R that leave one--pending a study of
the original writings--wondering how they are justified; e.g. the statement in Sopko's
account (p. 42) that "although the Energies are communicable, they are not
understandable." Without resort to the source of the quotation (which it presumably
comes near to being), Ì find this problematic unless "fully understandable" is meant, in
which case there is no problem, or unless--what is a problem--revelation is not an
energy.
There is, however, the statement that ". . . Scripture is not revelation." (This can be
checked on p. 79 of a review that has been readily available (but currently is not
available) online--viz. R's review of H. A. Wolfson's Philosophy of the Church Fathers
(Greek Orthodox theological review, vol. v.17. Till I can find (" co$" of this re&ie5 I
can (a)e no further co((ent on this. One corres$ondent $oints out in
res$onse to the foregoing that the LOGOS is ='e&elation and Truth itself5= not
the ords of Scri$ture a%out >i(.
But a real problem is found in Fr. Romanides assertion (in his "Notes on the
Palamite controversy and related topics," part 2, p. 9) that in "the Greek Patristic
tradition, . . . only when within the uncreated Light . . . can one see the uncreated
Light." A bit further on in this text, R writes: ". . . Palamas adds the information that
on Mount Thavor, the Body of Christ . . . illumined the Apostles from without, whereas
now this same Body illumines Christians from within." The same correspondent
mentioned above points out that, since "we would be destroyed were we to experience
these uncreated Energies unprepared and unpurified," the truth must be found in the
Patristic tradition that "only when within the uncreated Light . . . can one see the
uncreated Light." This correspondent distinguishes the uncreated Light from the
"outcome" of the uncreated Light. "Although the Apostles saw Christ transfigured on
Mount Tabor, they saw the Energies of God coming from the Body of Christ
Himself. . . . After the Ascension . . . the Saints now experience Christ's Energies from
'within.' What the Bolsheviks saw in Kiev (the halos on the Kievan temples when the
Communists murdered hundreds of clergy and monastics in the main square of the
city) was not uncreated Energies but their outcome . . . a simple miracle." As for
Moses, he "was similarly illumined from within" when he "experienced the uncreated
Energies of God."
While the Fathers maintain the doctrine of divine freedom by retaining the Biblical
distinction between the divine essence and uncreated divine Energies, Western
theologians, having identified Essence and Energy in God, try to escape pantheism
by negating any real contact between God and the world. Thomas Aquinas is quoted
(p. 31) as holding that
creation, signified actively, means the divine action [or activity; Greek would have
enéryeia here], which is God's Essence [sic], with a relation to the creature. But in
God, relation to the creature is not a real relation, but only a relation of reason [a virtual
reality?]; whereas the relation of the creature to God is a real one. (Summa Ì, 45, 3).
Ìt is easy to see the blunders that the Latin framework forces the Latins to espouse. R
is thoroughly versed and at home in Augustine's Trinitarian views and scholastic
theology, which he rejects as based on innovations adopted from (Muslim)
Aristotelianism. The consequence of Thomas' view is that in order to avoid obvious
pantheism, the papal theologians consider God's activity and Grace in the world to be
created. R adds: "Since these same theologians believe that in the Sacraments divine
creatures [reviewer's emphasis] are received for their Salvation, it is not a paradox that
the Protestants reject such teachings and believe that God's benevolence is sufficient
for salvation." R make reference to the Reformers' conceptualization of Grace as
divine favor or goodwill.
R then comes to participation in divine Life through the divine Energy and opposes
this Orthodox teaching to the Western scholastic beatific vision of the God's Essence
[sic]. (The Orthodox of course teach that the participation is a real participation in
God's Being--but in His uncreated Energies, not in his uncreated Essence--and not in
anything created.) The following longish passage sums up in a nutshell a fundamental
divergence of Greek and Latin theology, on which other differences depend; the Latin
position is entirely innovatory:
Since [for the papal theologians] God is actus purus and since uncreated Essence and
Energy are identical, it is consequent that the uncreated divine Grace for the papal
theologians is the uncreated divine Essence itself. According to them, no one can
partake in this uncreated divine Grace, simply because they also hold that the divine
Essence is transcendent and inaccessible. That is why they take the saving Grace to
be a creature which is participable and they anticipate a relative [or virtually real;
reviewer's note] beatific vision of the divine Essence by those saved beyond the grave.
Therefore, the Patristic teaching on the real communion of the uncreated Energy and
Grace of God with the faithful and the participation in the uncreated Light by the Saints
are not valid teachings for them. According to Western theologians who identify divine
Essence and uncreated divine Energy, the saving Grace which is participable is also
created, and the Light which shone on Mt. Tabor must be considered either as a
creature or as the divine Essence itself [rather than the uncreated Energies of God;
reviewer's note]. But the grace of the uncreated Light is neither a creature nor the
divine Essence itself. . . . it is uncreated and natural Grace and illumination and Energy
which proceeds from the very divine Essence eternally and inseparably. . . . Since the
papal theologians do not accept the patristic distinction between uncreated Essence
and Energies in God without separation, it is impossible also for them to accept the
Orthodox teaching on real participation and communion with the uncreated Energy and
Grace of God which is distinctive of the divine Essence, because for them the sole
uncreated Grace is the divine Essence Ìtself which remains inaccessible and non-
participable by creatures but can only be seen. . . . Since therefore the papal
theologians do not accept a real communion with the uncreated divine Energies and
Grace and Light--yet they accept real communion with divine creatures which cause
Salvation and vision of the divine Essence, how then can their teaching on Grace
'contain no kakodoxy?' The fundamental principle of Orthodoxy is that only God can
create and save. Creatures can do neither. Nor does God create or save through any
created means.
Ìn the section that follows--on Energy versus Essence--R is shown to have objected
that the actus purus theory was based on the Aristotelian philosophical system; of
course, no one denies that the energy/essence distinction also came from Aristotle. (Ìt
was incorporated into post-Aristotelian Greek and the conceptual framework of Greek-
speakers the same way various scientific ideas of Newton, Einstein, etc. have become
part of the conceptuology of many educated English-speakers.) R was, Sopko tells
us, mostly irritated by his the departure of his opponent, Tremblas, from the distinction
between uncreated energy and essence. T "simply referred to a distinction between
energy and essence without any qualification--something alien to the tradition of the
Church."

T<s lac) of understanding as e&ident in his e;uating =un%egotten= ith
=uncreated.= As So$)o sa"s5 to %e =%egotten= $resu(a%l" (eant =created=44
ith all of its Arian i($lications. So$)o also $oints out that %ecause of T<s
identification of the uncreated ith the Essence of God alone44and not also ith
the di&ine Energies44his de%ate ith ' =reall" as largel" a confrontation between
uncreated essence and uncreated energy as the foundation of theology and
participation in divine life" [my italics]. So much for the continuity of Mediaeval and
modern Latin theology from early Orthodoxy that online Latin apologetes pretend to
find in the historical development of theology!
Readers should take careful note of the difference between the
systematic, explanatory account of different conclusions that often
use even the same words, on the one hand, and making a
positivistic, unsystematic, and non-explanatory list of isolated
sayings or proof texts scattered through the Patristic literature, where
the words often mean different things in the different systems (e.g.
the energetic system of Orthodoxy and the static systems of the
West). This has about as sanguine prospects for being fruitful as
trying to replace a blue piece of one jigsaw puzzle with a blue piece
from a different jigsaw puzzle simply because the pieces look alike.
Fr. Romanides, with his comprehensive knowledge of Augustine,
Thomism, and Ockhamism, along with his familiarity with the Greek
Fathers, has demonstrated the vast gulf between the Greek and
Latin systems with formidable clarity. Ìt is not to be expected that
the Latin apologists will find it easy to refute him without resorting to
the positivistic sleight of hand. The early Biblical-Orthodox-Christian
system is demonstrably as different from the late-invented systems
of the Mediaeval scholastics as can be imagined, partly due to
misleading translations of lógos, enéryeia (and its corresponding
verb and adjective), and so on. The objectively untenable fiction
("proved" positivistically) that the later Cordova-derived systems are
continuations or developments of the former does not manifest a the
great "use of the rational intellect" or the intellectual "honesty" that
those on the other side pretend.
What would a defensible use of the intellect be? Besides
avoiding to folly of trying to dissect the inner architecture of
Mysteries, it would letting go of the random citation of "proof texts"
from diverse systems in which they have different senses as the
basis for argumentation, and then coming deal with the systematic
bases that explain differences. The object would be to understand
(as, e.g., Romanides does) the immensely contrary starting points in
early (and later Eastern) Christianity and in Mediæval Frankish-Latin
Christianity that form a basis for and lead to the Nicene-
Constantinopolitan treatment of the procession of the all-Holy Spirit
and the Filioque heresy--whose deep ramifications do not seem to
be perceived by those on the Latin side. This would be using reason
in its proper, non-positivistic function. Proof texts reached in this
manner would be vastly more meaningful than a mere grab bag of
things that superficially seem to agree with opinions that a writer
favors.
Particularly useless is the citing of reports of joint commissions
between the Orthodox and Latins; for, given the incompatibility of the
two thought systems, one can be no more sanguine that these
compromises between the two Faiths will bring more unity between
the two traditions than the ca. 30 similar attempts in the Middle Ages
did. The Latins cannot give up a heresy--e.g. the Filioque--that
they've espoused for so many centuries; and the Orthodox are
certainly not going to accept it in any form. And so with most of the
other Latin innovations. SEE HERE.
SEE HERE ALSO.
While Tremblas's equating being begotten with being created is no more present in
the Orthodox Fathers than an equating of divine Energies with being created is
perceptible in them, the distinction between energy and essence is of course found in
the earlier Fathers, even though it was not elucidated "in quite the same circumstances
[in which] Palamas" clarified it. St. Gregory Palamas somewhere said that, while
essence is like the sun, energy is like the rays of the sun. Sopko notes that R points to
Eirenaios' emphasis on the creative Energy of God in expounding the doctrine of
creatio ex nihilo [ktísis ek toû medenós] against the Gnostics (who denied it). For the
Gnostics, every emanation was a hypostatization of the essence. This foreshadows
the problematic Augustinian-scholastic hypostatization of reason (or even word or
saying) and will or love as Persons of the Trinity, as well as the error of the Filioque
resulting from viewing the Spirit as a hypostatization of the love of the Father and the
Son for One Another (Augustine's teaching). (Ì understand R's position that all Persons
of the Trinity have the Energy of logos to entail something Ì don't believe he makes
explicit at this point: Reason is "appropriated" [admittedly, a Latin expression] to the
Creator of the cosmos, Who permeates the creation with order and intelligibility.) R
cogently observes that the divine Energies are not hypostatic; they are
enhypostatic--"the sustaining Presence of God united with creation, yet not confused
with it," as Sopko puts it. (Ì refer readers unfamiliar with enhypostatic to G. L. Prestige,
God in Patristic thought [S.P.C.K.]; check enhypostatos in the Ìndex.) After Augustine,
the West has had relations--and even "substantive" relations!--distinguishing the
Persons of the all-holy Trinity where Orthodoxy would speak of God's knowing (and
foreknowing), willing, and loving as Energies. For R, it is creatio ex nihilo that is the
best safeguard for the teaching that "God creates not by Essence but by Energy and
will. . . . Ìf we overlook the distinction between Essence and Energy, we shall not be
able to fix any clear line between the procession [ekpórefsis in the divine Essence] of
the three Persons and the [energetic] creation of the world; both will be regarded
equally as acts of the divine Nature."

No other di&ine acti&it"44certainl" not the
uncreated Energies44than the $rocessions ?ekporéfseis] communicates Essence,
"as even the Arians agree."
Sopko notes R's attention to how the term "uncreated energy" is used in an
Orthodox context. "Energy has never been relegated to a single type of divine activity
but signifies a multitude of divine activities both ad intra and ad extra." Ìf it is the divine
Energy of Providence that sustains creation, as Dionysios taught, it is also true that
there must be an additional distinction between the creative and sustaining Energies
(ad extra) and the Energy of divine foreknowledge (ad intra). Ìf divine foreknowledge
did not differ from God's creative power, His creative power would not be subject to his
will. . . . Orthodox Tradition clearly teaches that there is no hypostatic communion
among the three consubstantial persons of the Trinity but only a relationship through
the common Nature and Energies.
Sopko explains R's view that
because God sustains the created order through divine Energy, a divine-human
relationship through the coöperation (synergy) of divine and human energies, both
before and after the Ìncarnation has become a possibility. . . . [Humans'] full
participation in divine life through divine energy in both covenants can thus be termed
either glorification or Divinization. The unceasing prayer which the Holy Spirit initiates
and maintains in individual Christians with their coöperation has full participation in the
divine energies of glorification as its most perfect completion.
Ìt is thus not an experience of the Essence of God which a Christian seeks, for the
divine Essence remains forever inaccessible in apophatic theology--understandings of
what God's Essence is not and could not be--descriptions that would contradict what
the One Who ÌS really is, rather than positive attempts to describe the unknowable
Essence of God. And, of course, even the divine Energies would not be knowable or
participable if God did not create and sustain creation through them.
Ìn contrast, papal theologians "anticipate a relative beatific vision of the divine
Essence by those saved beyond the grave." Ìt is clear that R is concerned with how
the Latin preference for an incomprehensible vision of Essence is to be accounted for.
He draws parallels between Eunomianism and the Western scholastic characterization
of God as actus purus--with the same Western scholastism that identified Essence and
Energy in God. That Aquinas teaches in the Filioque that the procession of the Spirit is
from the Father and the Son's commonalty--their Essence--sets up a comparable
opposition between the Father/Son and Spirit as did Eunomianism. Where Evnomios
confused Hypostasis with Essence and Energy in supposing that "another existing
through [the Father] and after it" (the Son) and "a third ranking with neither of these
two" (the Holy Spirit) are emanations from "the supreme and absolute Being," Aquinas'
"relations of opposition" within the Trinity "bear some resemblance," despite
differences, to Evnomios "by similarly confusing Hypostasis, Essence, and Energy."
Thirdly, both Evnomios and Aquinas (as well as Augustine) linked divine names with
divine Essence (rather than just with Persons) so as to treat the unknowable Essence
as an object of study.
The Eunomian belief that the Essence of God is incomprehensible but not unknowable
was echoed in Scholasticism's beatific vision. But since this participation in divine Life
was postponed until after death and God as actus purus allowed for no possibility of
human cooperation with divine Energy, only the intellect and created grace remained
as points of indirect contact between God and humanity. Therefore, it comes as no
surprise that philosophy became the foundation of scholasticism with speculation rather
than Divinization as its goal. . . . Aquinas also states that the Spirit of God can dwell in
a believer only through a created gift.
A few years after the Trembelas-Romanides debate, the scholastic theologian Karl
Rahner tried to rectify the Latin situation--but only within the context of scholastic
categories and methodology. Sopko asks whether scholastic terminology can be
related to the scriptural and Patristic vocabulary that conveys the essence/energy
distinction. He thinks that R's objections would seem to rule this out. "Ìt is one thing to
speak about 'uncreated grace' but certainly another to make it a synonym for God's
Energy, activity, will and glory within a scholastic context. . . .

The co((anding
$osition of created grace has certainl" not di(inished in @estern theolog". . . .=
But a similar judgment applies to the commanding position of philosophy in
scholasticism. Ìf Augustine bypassed the Energy of God in favor of the view that the
knowledge of God concerns His Essence--something conveyable through philosophy
and contemplation (credo ut intellegam)--scholasticism rejected participation in God
with the intellect or senses. For Aquinas, God can, according to R, dwell in a believer
only through a created gift. Even the love of God poured into our hears (Augustine
frequently quotes Rom. 5:5, his favorite verse) is a creature!
While for the Greek Fathers, knowledge and love are divine Energies, for the Western
theologians they are relations within the divine Essence, and these relations of the
divine Essence to Ìtself are called Persons by them. . . . According to the Western
theologians, these relations of the divine Essence to Ìtself are made possible through
the divine intellect and will.
Ìn the end, the Filioque "is based upon the Western confusion between divine Essence
and Energy. (Ìncidentally, readers may wish to be made aware of Aquinas's On Being
and Essence: a translation and interpretation by Joseph Bobik [University of Notre
Dame Press, 1965].)
We turn now to a four-page subsection of Ch. 3 (titled "Theocentric anthropology"--a
term that refers to doctrines of human nature) is termed "Body, soul, spirit." At first
reading, it seems overly "cerberal," with its predominant emphasis on noëtic faculty of
human nature--i.e. on noûs. Having noted that in St. Paul's Epistles, sarkikón
"corporeal" and psychikón "animate" (in contrast with pnevmatikón "spiritual") "mean
exactly the same thing" (as Sopko puts it), R proceeds to emphasize the "heart"
(kardía) in Patristic or especially Hesychast thinking as the seat of pnevma ("spirit").
Actually pnevma resides in the heart and in the lógos and diánoia--the rational
capacities of human beings (SEE HERE). But then R makes a series of statements to
the effect that the Fall "occurs through the failure of the noëtic faculty" (i.e. noûs); and
that the Salvation of a human being, whose noëtic faculty "has unceasing memory of
God (or unceasing prayer)" enters a "state of liberation" when that very same noëtic
faculty is activated by the Energy of the Holy Spirit. (The reader should recall that noûs
is a kind of spiritual intuitive faculty of immediate apprehension--higher than the
potential of reason [lógos] and its actualization in intellectual energy [diánoia].) R
proceeds to emphasize that Salvation lies in the noëtic faculty. Ìt sounds a lot like
some of that stale, late scholastic emphasis on the mind and soul in the West, at least
until one recalls that Pnevma resides in the "heart" as a result of the "the divine Energy
carried by the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18-20)"--an activity that "initiates illumination or vision
(theoria; 1 Cor. 13:12)." What at first blush seems overly intellectualized turns out to
be something rather different. (One recalls St. Symeon the New Theologian's
emphasis on "experience" [peîra] for comprehending the Gospel.) On p. 50, it is baldly
stated that "slavery to the intellect, the passions, the environment, and above to Satan
wanes as illumination" increases; intellect is a faculty the way the will and the emotions
are. Salvation is no as much slavery to the intellect as to the passions until noûs gets
transfigured through the divine illuminating Energy "by the love which does not seek its
own."
R emphasizes that "illumination" [i.e. of the intellect] is not to "be confused with an
ecsatsy in which an individual has lost possession of the other faculties." Ìntellect and
also "love and will and passions" are "now cleansed" [quoted from R by Sopko] in a
believer who is "one in communion with God but also in communion with creation."
Participation in the purifying, illuminating, and divinizing Energies of God fully manifests
a human-divine synergy that in turn manifests believers' being God's co-workers (1
Cor. 3:9). This evokes my own comment that synergy can hardly mean the same
thing in an energy-based Eastern theology and in an energy-less Western framework.
Using the term without regard to framework differences can, despite the Pauline use of
synergoí "co-workers," sound Pelagian to the Westerner--especially to a
Denominationist. At the very least, synergy may easily seem to make human effort
equal to divine help for the Western viewpoint. But the Eastern view--that a member of
Christ is energized by the uncreated Energies of Grace to do what pleases God--
obviously does not put human effort on the same level with divine Energy, since the all-
holy Spirit is the Doer--humans just consenting to Him to energize them to work with
Him.
But R also treates the Ìcon of God and the Cognation with God ("image and
likeness" in Sopko) as undifferentiated. This Ì have got to take exception to. For
surely the Ìcon is a dýnamis or potential (not lost at the Fall, or human nature would
become animalish, lacking reason [lógos] and free choice [gnóme]); whereas the
Assimilation to God or Cognation with God (an active omoíosis, not the inert result of
an activity: omoíoma) is an enéryeia, lost at the Fall, that activates the potential
(dýnamis) of the Ìcon! Ìf we keep the Greek verbal nouns in -sis (feminines that
represent energetic activity) separate from comparable ones in -ma (neuters that
represent a state, often the result of an activity), it is clear that omoíosis is not an inert
"Likeness of God" but an energetic "Assimilation to" or "Cognation with" God--just as
Salvation an Energy-based théosis "Divinization" rather than a pagan, Essence-based
apothéosis "Deification." (See the box above.)
R makes a few statements that may evoke surprise. Having pointed out the
diversity of Patristic opinion over whether Adam and Eve participated in the divine
Nature through the Energies of Glorification or Divinization before the Fall, he observes
that possessing virtue (St. John Chrysostom) as a natural energy is not possessing
uncreated Energy--Grace--but agrees with St. Eirenaios that our first ancestors were in
communion with God. The diversity of opinion on this topic is over whether Adam and
Eve were in an advanced or an early phase of illumination before the Fall. St. John of
Damaskos held the former view, distinguishing the two trees in Paradise as
Glorification/Divinization and discernment (diágnosis) of the various phases of
illumination (theoría), whereas Augustine in the West intellectualized the Fall and
Salvation in terms of humanity's falling away from our first ancestors' knowledge of the
summum bonum [De Civitate XÌV,10,12-15] when still being perfect in the Vision of
God--a view mostly embraced by Aquinas, who however modified it to the extent of
terming the Vision a relative one, since one who has experienced the full Vision could
not turn away from it. R. contrasts East and West thus:
essence
knowledge
intellect
self-happiness (summum bonum)
energy
participation
noûs
selflessness
To bring all of this together, Ì tentatively suggest, we must relate
omoíosis and théosis in the way suggested below:
The dýnamis (or potential) of the eikón or Ìcon of God is part of
human nature and cannot, since it includes reason and freewill, be
lost without loss of the difference between humans and animals.
The [h]omoíosis or Assimilation to (Cognation with) God was
personal and individual before the Fall; it was the uncreated Grace
that energized (activated, actualized, realized) the potential of human
nature to live in accordance with the will of God. Ìt was lost at the
Fall through the sinning of our first ancestors. Personal Divinization
had not (if Fr. Romanides is right) been yet received by Adam and
Eve--or they could not have fallen into disobedience and sin. The
omoíosis, the energization of the Ìcon's dýnamis is bestowed on
human nature in the Ìncarnation and in turn serves as a potential for
the individual (personal) Assimilation to God of each true and
penitent believer the the uncreated Energies of Grace. Assimilation
to God (or Cognation with God) is a vectorial beginning of
Divinization, which in turn is the full energization of Assimilation. Ìt
is the culmination of Assimilation that results in participating in the
divine Being--the uncreated Energies, not the uncreated Essence
(which would be apothéosis "Deification"). Ìt begins in holy Baptism
when the baptized individual becomes a member of Christ--
something that is ratified in the penitent and believing reception of
the holy Communion. Except for the all-holy Theotokos, théosis or
Divinization is not normally complete in a single instant, as
Protestants teach; it has its advances and its regressions, its ups
and its downs. Note that the Old Testament Prophets and other
Hebrew Saints are generally believed to have received Divinization
(2 Pet. 1:4) at Christ's Ìncarnation. Some deny that théosis can be
achieved before death. While there is evidence that some Saints
have beheld the uncreated Light and received Divinization before
dying, the fact that they die argues against it and Saints in fact
generally speak of their unworthiness; yet, Saints' bodies are found
undecayed (uncorrupted) decades after their deaths, as shown in
many examples in our own time (in Russia and elsewhere; note
particularly St. John of San Francisco). The ultimate Energization
by Grace in beholding the uncreated Light and sharing the divinizing
Energies that some miraculously been permitted to see in this life is
indicative of Divinization--at least for those assimilated to Christ
through Grace. On the other hand, even pagans have seen it under
certain circumstances: When the Communists shot hundreds of
clergy and monastics in Kiyev, even unbelievers saw the uncreated
Light on the city's temples. One notes that the Latins are in great
error in supposing that believers can partake of the imparticipable
divine Essence--the contradiction of which some of them avoid by
saying that such participation is "intentional," not "entitative"
(ontological)--like the virtual reality of Reformation "covenantal" union
with Christ.
Since the Ìncarnation, Transfiguration, Crucifixion, Resurrection,
and Ascension of OLGS Jesus Christ, the all-holy Spirit energizes
(Philp. 2:13) the members of Christ to do His will; and in freely
allowing the Holy Spirit to do the works of Christ in His members with
their wills consenting in full coöperation with energizing Grace,
believers receive further Grace for Grace (John 1:16), becoming
more and more fully divinized--as Eve and Adam would have been
had they not sinned. The faithful undergo a constant recycling of
lapses and restorations, each cycle becoming smaller and farther
apart as the faithful make progress along the vector of omoíosis
toward complete or final théosis.
CLÌCK HERE for another approach to human Salvation.
Ìf ones needs to admit that our first ancestors were blessed with the Cognation with
God--the Assimilation to God (omoíosis Theõ) before the Fall, which Scripture and St.
Eirenaios and other Fathers affirm to have been possessed by our first ancestors--
neither he nor any other thinker need accept that this vector toward Divinization
included being in a perfected divinized condition--in which a person would of course do
anything to avoid losing. Losing the Assimilation at the Fall (while keeping the Ìcon of
God--necessary for distinguishing humans from animals) would seem to square with
the Damascene view, as it is presented by R. Ì'm not sure that R completely resolves
all of the factors involved here in a consistent way, at least in Sopko's recounting.
A second surprise for many will be R's embrace of St. Eirenaios's view that belief in
the immortality of the soul comes from Satan (p. 53). For R, immortality is not natural
(of nature). Human immortality is a special gift--evidently part of the omoíosis lost at
the Fall. But there is surely a distinction between corporeal immortality and the soul's
immortality. Ìn the Scriptures, the emphasis is on the body's immortality (after its
resurrection), given that it is the body or at least the psychosomatic wholeness of a
human being that is able to enjoy the afterlife--or suffer in it. The Biblical and Orthodox
emphasis is on being (energetic ontology), not, in the Western manner, on knowing
God. Ìf the Orthodox do not believe that the soul, being created rather than divine, has
immortality by nature, it nevertheless survives death.
R separates from Christians who have been saved by Christ two
kinds of people still under the dominion of death: Sinners and the
righteous people before Christ who were endowed with God's
promise of Grace, but not--till Christ came--with Grace itself. He
doesn't mention innocent infants, who are buried with Orthodox
funerals. Though Old Testament Law could reveal the reality of sin
and death, it could not abolish them.
R charges Western theologians in the Augustinian context of treating decay and
death as a punishment for sins, even those not yet committed (especially in newborn
infants), rather than as being the cause of sin (as in the East)! He says, "Most
importantly, in the Augustinian context, corruption and death became a punishment
from God for sin rather than only a cause of sins." Hence Salvation is destroying
death--"taking the sting" out of death, i.e. making it impotent.
[Ìn his "The ecclesiology of St. Ìgnatius of Antioch," R explains why death causes
sin: "Because [a human] lives constantly under the fear of death, [s/he] continuously
seeks bodily and psychological security, and thus becomes individualistically inclined
and utilitarian in attitude. Sin . . . is rooted in the disease of death." He cites Heb.
2:14-15, which passage reads: "Since, then, the children [of God] have shared in
blood and flesh, and He Himself has likewise participated in those, so that through
death He might destroy the one having the power of death, i.e. the devil, and that he
might release them, as many as were in the bonds of servitude throughout their
life(time)."]
-------------------------------------------------------------------
A B'IEF 'EAIE@ OF J. BA'#I'IS5
A SCNOPSIS OF T>E !OG#ATIC T>EOLOGC OF
T>E O'T>O!OD CAT>OLIC C>E'C>
F 2000 by Orchid Land Publications [1-30-00]
Under comment here is the (not very adequate translation by !r" #"
$imo%oulos o& the 1'(3 %a%erbac) volume by $r" *ohn +armiris bearin, the
-n,lish title. A synopsis of the dogmatic theology of the Orthodox Catholic Church"
(/ have access only to the translation. 0hich mostly em%loys Latinate terminolo,y
rather than #ree) terms 0here it could slant the discussion in an undesirable
manner1 by not translatin, %assa,es in Latin and #erman. the translator leaves
readers 0ho are not at home in those lan,ua,es to their o0n devices" 2e &ind in
&ull ca%itals the atrocious &ormations. 3O4-5#/63U3 and 674-5#/63U3" /t
hardly needs sayin, that my comments in %laces may be relevant only to the
de,ree that the translation is valid" 2hile +amiris relates #race to ener,y in his
cha%ter (8h" 9 on that sub:ect. he stran,ely &ails to relate unity 0ith 8hrist and
$ivini;ation (mistranslated as Latinate <dei&ication< to the uncreated -ner,ies--
the very to%ic 0here the holy =radition 0ould most saliently s%ea) o& uncreated
-ner,ies>
2hat no0 &ollo0s s%eci&ically addresses 0hat +armiris says &rom the bottom o&
%" ?' throu,h the middle o& %" @2 in 8h" ( <8oncernin, the redem%tive 0or) o& our
6avior< and the short 8h" 9 on <#race"< =he author deduces &rom the
/ncarnation such an eAa,,erated vie0 o& the results o& the /ncarnation o& the
LO#O6 (mistranslated as <2ord< as to create %roblems in understandin, those
individuals that are not divini;ed. seein, that he ac)no0led,es (%" (? that <all are
not ,oin, to be saved"< 2e 0ill see ho0 he addresses this matter and esca%es the
a%%arent universalism o& 6alvation in his treatment o& the soterial rBle o& the
/ncarnation"
/n 8h" ( (%" ?'. +armiris tells the reader that
in the human nature o& the Lord *esus 8hrist 0as included and recalled and
redeemed the 0hole o& humanity. and as a unique or,anism united a,ain 0ith
$ivinity" Cs a result o& this &ollo0s " " " the $ei&ication o& saved man. 0ho becomes
<a %arta)er o& the divine 4ature"<
--0here <man< is %resumably ánthropos <humanity< or <human)ind< in #ree).
not an individual male--anér" +armiris continues (%%" ?'-@0 0ith the &ollo0in,
clari&ication o& the im%ort o& the &ore,oin,D
/t is sel&-eA%lanatory that dei&ication is to be understood &rom a moral [he
mentions the moral as%ect &our times in t0o %a,es] stand%oint. and not &rom a real
or %antheistic vie0" =hat is. the human nature is someho0 dei&ied by the ,race
(katà chárin o& the $ivine. " " "
Ee cites. inter alios. 6t" 3aAimos the 8on&essorFs 0ords (%" @0D
=he 0ord o& #od. becomin, 3an. did not dei&y it %hysically (or naturally. because
0ithout interru%tion " " " =he 2ord [&or LO#O6>] o& #od 0as made man--not
naturally. but qualitatively dei&yin, Eis nature. 0hich 0as un&ailin,ly %reserved
by the Eoly 6%irit. in much the same matter as 0ater and 0ine. once miAed. ever
remain thus" !or this reason. Ee truly becomes man. in order to. by Eis ,race.
ma)e us ,ods. dei&yin, us by virtue o& Eis /ncarnation"
/ 0ould translate the %assa,e &rom Pròs Thalássion . . . per !iaphor"n ap#ron t$s
the%as graph$s <=o 3arinos " " " on unmana,eable ambi,uities o& Eoly 6cri%ture<1
3i,ne P# '0. G00$-G01C. H G0. thusD
2hen the LO#O6 o& #od had become human. " " " Ee divini;ed [humanity] not in
4ature [%resumablyD -ssence] but in quality. havin, 0ithout cease revam%ed it
[sc" human nature] to [be li)e] Eis o0n 6%irit. :ust as 0ater [assimilates] to the
quality o& 0ine in accordance 0ith the measure o& 0hat has been miAed" /n that
0ay. Ee became human in truth. so that accordin, to #race Ee mi,ht constitute us
,ods"
=his does seem. i& 0e read no &urther and inter%ret ph&sis <nature<--that sli%%ery
and &luctuatin, term in #ree)--as <-ssence.< to ,ive some countenance to a
soterial quality received by humanity in the /ncarnation" Iut. as 0ill be seen. there
is more to be said about 3aAimosF vie0"
Eavin, observed that the <mystical Iody o& the 6econd Cdam< is <com%osed o&
all the &aith&ul 0ho have sub:ectively (by 0illJ a%%ro%riated to themselves the
salvation o& 8hrist.< +armiris adds (%" @0 thatD
the dei&ication o& the human nature o& 8hrist is %assed on <by virtue< to all o& the
members o& Eis body" /n this manner. the 0hole mystical body o& 8hrist is dei&ied
to,ether"
/& 0e %ut the idea <that $ivini;ation is to be understood &rom a moral
stand%oint--and not &rom a real< %oint o& vie0--beside its transmission <by virtue<
(i"e" virtually to the &aith&ul members o& 8hrist. 0e &ind little di&&erence &rom
current Latin <intentional< unity 0ith 8hrist and the 5e&ormersF &oederal or
covenantal unity 0ith 8hrist" One recalls that 6t" Paul vie0ed incor%oration into
8hrist as a real or ontolo,ical <ne0 creation<--not as a moral or intentional union
only" +armiris says [%" ('] in a virtually Lutheran manner that p%stis (<&aith<
<includes the acce%tance o& truth<--that &aith is not <an intellectual e&&ort alone<
but <is also <undoubtedly a moral 0or)<--that is. a matter o& the 0ill"
Iut let us return to 6t" 3aAimos" 2ithout citin, the %assa,e. the &ootnote in
0hich +armiris ,ives the re&erence to the quotation &rom this !ather already cited
also re&ers to H" ?G (3i,ne P# '0. ?20" 4otice that P# '0. ?1($-?20C-8 readsD
[=he LO#O6 is the Undoer o& the ca%tivity o& the true /sraKl--not &rom an
earthly %lace to an earthly %lace " " " but &rom earth to Eeaven. &rom evil to virtue1
&rom i,norance to reco,nition o& truth1 &rom decay to incorru%tion and &rom dyin,
to immortality1 and to s%ea) succinctly. &rom the sensible and &leetin, cosmos to
stable noKtic reality [no'(menon]1 also &rom the transient li&e to 0hat is durable
and %ermanent" " " " =he LO#O6

has im%arted a second %artici%ation in nature.
much more un&athomable than the &ormerD /n&erior to the [same] de,ree that
0hat Ee &irst dis%osed o& [0as] su%erior 0as 0hat Ee later voluntarily %artoo) o&
in order that Ee mi,ht save the /con (/ma,e and ma)e the &lesh immortal1 and
havin, in [our] nature detected the ser%entFs endemic bli,ht [l#gos--literallyD
<inherent rationale or %rinci%le o& bein,<] and havin, com%letely and utterly
destroyed [it]. Ee re-established a nature %ure as at the be,innin,. havin, by
théosis [i"e" $ivini;ation] ,ained the advanta,e over the &irst &ormin," Cnd by
brin,in, into bein, 0hat had not eAisted &rom the outset. Ee thus rescued 0hat
had been eAhausted [in Eis] havin, reLn&orced the no lon,er &allen [nature] 0ith
immutability" Cnd to &ul&ill the 0hole 0ill o& #od the !ather [literallyD o& the #od
and !ather] &or Eimsel&. Ee divini;ed [nature] 0ith the %o0er [orD <%otential<D
d&namis] o& the /ncarnation"
On the &ace o& it. it 0ould seem that 6t" 3aAimosF understandin, o& the
$ivini;ation o& human nature--0hether or not an ener,i;ation o& the %otential o&
the Cssimilation ([h]omo%osis to #od that our &irst ancestors 0ere endo0ed 0ith
alon, 0ith the /con or /ma,e o& #od--is that it itsel& is but a %otential &or the
$ivini;ation o& an indi)idual member o& 8hrist""
/ndeed. +armiris s%ea)s [%" (?] o& an <ob:ective< and <%otential redem%tion
obtained &or us by the 6avior &or a%%ro%riation to all men< (a%%arently throu,h
the /ncarnation. thou,h +armiris later [%" ?(] s%eci&ically includes the teachin,.
8ruci&iAion. and 5esurrection o& 8hrist" +armiris contrasts <ob:ective
6alvation< and <%otential <5edem%tion< 0ith the <a%%ro%riation< o& 6alvation as
its <sub:ective< side" On %" (?. he says that 6alvation <needs to be %ersonally and
sub:ectively a%%lied and a%%ro%riated by each man individually " " " throu,h the
li&e-,ivin, and savin, ener,y o& the Eoly 6%irit. 0ho d0ells in him"<
One could easily conclude that +armiris is addressin, 2estern 8hristians and
s%eci&ically Protestants as much as OrthodoA readers. or,ani;in, his eA%osition in
accord 0ith this %ur%ose" /n the absence o& disclaimers. his already commented-on
2estern <moral unity< 0ith 8hrist could be understood as a :uridical
5edem%tion. 5e,eneration. and Cdo%tion" =his occurs in +armirisF 2estern-li)e
division bet0een *usti&ication (%resumably #ree) dika%osis <bein, made
ri,hteous< and 6ancti&ication--thou,h he at least avoids Atonement and. 0orst o&
all. Cnselmian *atisfaction" 4ote +armirisF more ty%ically 2estern &rame0or) o&
<Pro%het. Priest. and +in,< in his cha%ter on the redem%tive 0or) o& our 6avior"
C&ter s%ea)in, o& the /ncarnation (and citin, 1 8or" 1D30. he (%" ?( describes the
three o&&ices (&unctions o& 8hrist as Eis %ro%hetic teachin,. Eis %riestly
8ruci&iAion. and Eis royal 5esurrection" (One is :usti&ied in assumin, that the
/ncarnation is the ontolo,ical basis o& the three o&&ices" Ct least. +amiris deals
0ith %ur,atory only in a &ootnote" /& it is the translator that 0rites <subsistence<
&or hyp#thesis and +ord &or LO#O6. it is also reasonable to assume that the author
himsle& uses Latinate terminolo,y. es%ecially the :uridical terminolo,y used to
describe and eA%lain 6alvation1 this diminishes the OrthodoA &lavor o& this
0ritin," (On the other hand. 0e read [in #ree) ortho,ra%hy] on %" @0 methéxei,
0ith no ,loss. thou,h katà chárin on the same %a,e itsel& ,losses <by ,race"<
+armiris also seems to ado%t LutherFs fiducial conce%tuali;ation o& faith in
claimin, (see above that &aith is <undoubtedly a moral 0or)<--that is. a matter o&
the 0ill"
4evertheless. he ,ets it ri,ht 0hen he s%ea)s o& syner,y or coM%eration [%" ((]D
<=hus. even thou,h 0e acce%t salvation as bein, 0holly a 0or) o& #race. it still is
not %ossible 0ithout the condition o& its &ree acce%tance on the %art o& the human
0ill"< =hou,h +armiris (see %" (0. 33. 0here he cites a #erman theolo,ian.
a%%arently not OrthodoA. 0ho correctly describes the ,oal o& the /ncarnation in
-astern theolo,y as -ergottung is sur%risin,ly a%olo,etic &or the -astern em%hasis
on the soterial rBle o& $ivini;ation. he is o&ten very -astern in much o& the content
he inserts into his 2estern-a%%earin, &rame0or)--not least in his not limitin,
8hristFs <redem%tive 0or)< to Eis /mmolation on the 8ross in the 2estern
manner and his attention to the rBle o& the -ucharist in incor%oration 0ith 8hrist"
Iut his &requent har%in, on human &ree0ill seems li)e the sort o& OrthodoA
theolo,y (eAhibitin, a stron, in&iltration o& 2estern conce%tuolo,y that a%%eared
in the siAteenth to ei,hteenth centuries in 5ussia and in #reece into the early
t0entieth century" Cs noticed near the be,innin, o& this revie0. the basic
OrthodoA conce%t o& bein, (and o& #race and Li&e and Li,ht and $ivini;ation in
terms o& energy (that 0hich actuali;es the %otential o& d&namis is mostly absent"
2e do not &ind a d&namis.enéryeia distinction bet0een the /con or /ma,e o& #od
and the Cssimilation to #od (misrendered statically as <Li)eness<--0hich 0ould
be omo%oma. not omo%osis in #ree). both o& 0hich the &irst humans 0ere endo0ed
0ith at their creation" (/t 0as the Cssimilation to #od (omo%osis The". or
8o,nation 0ith #od. that 0as lost. the latter bein, the activator or actuali;er o&
the %otential (d&namis o& the reason and &ree0ill o& the /con that 0as ,ot lost"
2ithout the #race or uncreated -ner,y o& the Cssimilation. the reason and
&ree0ill o& the /con o& #od 0ould be im%otent &or %leasin, #od" (8&" Phil%" 2D13 in
#ree)1 had the /con been lost. humans 0ould be anythin, but human--animals or
automatons" =here is o& course no 6alvation 0ithout the ener,i;ation o&
uncreated #race. sharin, in the Li&e o& 8hrist--the Li&e and Li,ht o& the cosmos"
2hile it may be relevant to note that +armiris studied at the #erman
Universities o& Ierlin and o& Ionn. he received his doctorate &rom the University o&
Cthens" Cnother %oint in %assin, o& %ossible si,ni&icance is the translatorFs
re&erence to !ran) #avinFs *ome aspects of contemporary /reek Orthodox thought.
a volume that the reader is le&t to eAamine &or onesel&"
/& / may recur to the %rior question. are 6alvation and théosis natural (since the
/ncarnation or %ersonal and individualJ +armiris says that <human nature is
someho0< divini;ed <by #race< (and this is re%eated belo0 0ithout <someho0.<
thou,h <someho0< %o%s u% t0o more times" /& 8hristFs members are morally
but not really (ontolo,ically divini;ed <by virtue o& Eis /ncarnation< and humans
,enerally are divini;ed by the marria,e o& natures in the one Person o& 8hrist. then
0hy are some humans--unbelievers--not saved or divini;edJ =his ans0er is buried
in some o& +armirisF em%hases on the /ncarnation1 one is not sure in various
%laces 0hether the $ivini;ation o& an abstract. collective human nature or the
individual OrthodoA 8hristianFs $ivini;ation throu,h unity 0ith the Person o&
8hrist is bein, commented on. e"," in <dei&ication is %assed on. as it 0ere. to all
0ho are saved. and 0ho com%ose the mystical body o& 8hrist. 0ho %artici%ate in
Eis dei&ied and Li&e-,ivin, [eucharistic] !lesh< (%" @0--0ith a hint at the ant%dosis
t"n idiomáton (the eAchan,e or mutual trans&er o& the characteristics o& each
nature to the other" /& +armiris eventually distin,uishes <ob:ective< $ivini;ation
&rom its <sub:ective a%%ro%riation.< he nevertheless seems to &ail to ta)e into his
consideration that the /ncarnation 0as in &act a Personal union in 0hich se%arate
natures came to,ether in one Person and that individual believers have to be
united 0ith 8hrist in order to %artici%ate in 0hat Ee came to brin, and do"