Continuing Home

The ongoing saga of a Continuing Anglican church home, as seen by a member of the laity.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Docetism

"Is Jesus Christ really human or did he just appear to be so?" is the subtitle of the second chapter, by the Rev. Canon John Sweet. And this eclipses the first chapter for difficulty.

As stated in the opening, "Most heresies look all right and have a degree of truth in them, or else they would not catch on." This heresy is named for its fundamental element, "appearance," rather than a prime proponent because the latter did not exist (though there were offshoots). But like Arianism there seems to be element of ancient Greek philosophy behind it.

The key element was: Was Jesus fully human, or only partially so (and how does one reconcile that with His divinity)? The discussion covers three prongs of this question, noting that it came to a head with promoter Apollinarius of Laodicea, a friend of Athaniasius the defender against Arianism.

Many takes on this. The one that resounds with me is: "Try thinking in verbs, rather than nouns. The Hebrews thought primarily in terms of activity, of doing: the Greeks in terms of being..." (with illustrations from the Fathers). The author notes that (the former) "is still a part of Eastern Orthodoxy. We in the West need to recover it."

Being versus doing. From one who in retrospect sometimes sits on one side and sometimes the other: Is this central to the catholic - protestant divide?

More to ponder.

1 Comments:

  • At 6:40 AM, Anonymous Jack said…

    "Many takes on this. The one that resounds with me is: "Try thinking in verbs, rather than nouns. The Hebrews thought primarily in terms of activity, of doing: the Greeks in terms of being..." (with illustrations from the Fathers). The author notes that (the former) "is still a part of Eastern Orthodoxy. We in the West need to recover it."

    The Cappadocian Fathers used to say, "I believe in God. God does not "exist"." Sounds silly or even heretical until one understands that God is the Creator of "existence"; He is, as is taught by so many holy icons, Ο ΩΝ.

    An understanding of God's loving transcendence helps avoid excessive, and demonstrably dangerous, anthropomorphism.

     

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