Dear in Christ Keble,
Let’s put a fine point on it. To understand a different paradigm, one has to learn to think outside of one’s own box. Your box is obviously not the Orthodox one, so our thought modes will seem as strange to you as conversely. If you are immune to the difference between axioms and teachings moulded by them--and I don’t say you are, though some might deduce that from your postng--then you won’t understand the vast gulf between the incommensurate views on Grace and Salvation, as well as much else, on either side of the East-West divide in Christianity. That there are no differnces seems to have become a slogan for you and those who approve of your assertions. A slogan is more or less as irrefutable as an axiom or definition, so I won’t try. I have no idea why you keep bringing in the (papalist) Catholic Church in replying to me. Since that red herring seems more irrelevant than incoherent to me, I will also drop that matter.
. . . while my Greek isn’t that good, it’s good enough for me to tell that the LXX, the Vulgate, and nearly every English versions translate the passage the same way, etc., etc.
If you cannot understand the difference between a CAUSING and its paired RESULT, and if you cannot understand how that difference is expressed in Greek morphology with fem. -sis (tis after sigma) or masc. -asmos, -ismos on the one hand, and by neuter -ma on the other, then your “Greek isn’t that good.” (Sanskrit and other I-E languages have the -sis/-ma difference, as did pre-Aristotelian Greek to a certain extent, without the energetic exactitude of educated Greeks subsequent to Aristotle.) I think a high-school freshman can understand the difference between an assimilating and a likeness/resemblance; between a creating (ktisis) and a creature (ktisma), and scores of parallel examples one could cite. (I have cited a score or so elsewhere.) If you cannot abide with the fact that a causation and a result are different--which I doubt--then of course you will think the English translation of ‘omoisis as though it were ‘omoima is “word-for-word” correct.
As far as I can see, the quoted passage above is defining ‘omoiosis as “likenes.” Who can argue against a truth-invulnerable definition?
ADDENDUM: That -sis is causative/energetic is true only when the noun is derived from a causative verb ending in (later contracted) -aein, -eein, oein--or, in the case of ktisis, in -(i)zein (cf. English -ize). WIth such nouns, -ma is the result of the energization/causation.
Next are the uncreated Energies. You argue against its presence in Gen. 1:26--but who said uncreated energies are mentioned there” Who is the butt of the argument? All that I said was that the morphological formative in Hellenistic Greek represents an energization or causation. Be my guest and choose whether you wish it to refer to uncreated or created causation/energization (in the Hellenistic sense). I know you will also say that the Fathers uttered “misleading archaism
” in speaking of Grace as uncreated Energy. Why not quote one? Or perhaps you think (I understand your position so little that I can only guess) that the Assimilation to God was neither Energy nor uncreated--as the papalists characterize Grace (cf. L. Ott, for example). Finally, I am perhaps more aware than you are of the engineers’ definitions of energy, force, work, etc. That said, it’s unlikely I was equating the Hellenistic energeia with such definitions. If you think the Fathers are achaic, be my guest. I was in fact very careful to define what a Hellenistic speaker of Greek understood--and what you would understand if you would read Aristotle’s Metaphysics or the Fathers without one lens of your glasses being blackened out.
I don’t know what you are--papalist, Anglo-Catholic, Uniate, whatever. But if I had little knowledge of how Greek structured its words and were not at home in the Greek Fathers, I would not controvert those who know what they are talking about, at least without citing facts and evidence. To know what a Latin or Orthodox says, the surest method of avoiding error is to let Latins or Orthodox, respectively, say what they believe. If you have a campaign to blot out all differences--and I am not saying you do, though it seems possible or even likely--a different approach might serve that goal better . . . Defining others as wrong just doesn’t cut it.. Now I can cite the Latin view of Grace from authoritative sources, but I didn’t think it necessary, since they are so well known. Since I am happy to let Latins and Reformers conceptualize and define Grace (12 subdivisions among Latin Scholastics) for themselves and discuss what they say, I cannot understand the motive of a person who is not content to let the Eastern Fathers define Grace for the Orthodox. That you think that
the phrase “created energies” can have no meaning in reference to God
--a misunderstanding of what a phrase is in English grammar; and
--agrees with the Orthodox that it has no reference to God.
There is nothing there for me to reply to--and !I won’t be doing so in the future! Your asserting that “original sin” (a phrase in your parlance) “is losing its juridical sense” admits that it has had a juridical sense. So you must have read some Augustine and perhaps Anselm.
Another goophasm: I never “attribut[ed] some sort of error to Catholicism” other than to observe (what Latin theologians have also said) that there is a problem in having an all-pure Virgin (i) born in sin and (ii) dying [if death is understood as a penalty for sin]. If Latin theologians point this out in their efforts to claim she could not have die, why do you (if you do, I cannot tell) charge me in the above manner?
What is the point of telling an Orthodox what Lewis thought about the Theotokos; what point would there be of your telling an Orthodox what twelve Pope Piuses said? I feel that your statements about the infant Jesus in this respect could have been expressed with greater refinement.
YOU SEEM TO MISS THE MAIN POINT. My posting had no intention of (i) telling you what your or others ought to believe. Contrasting may logically imply that at least one side (possibly both sides) err; but that would be an inference apart from a simple contrast. I have contrasted Orthodox and Western beliefs at a level you do not seem to wish to look at--that of underlying paradigms. My motive was to offer a dioptic vision to help both sides understand where th’other is coming from--evidently something that repugns you. Why don’t you stick to expounding your own views, telling us what your faith is and what it teaches, and leave to us to do the same for our views? That’s a fair division of labor? What else is a forum for? I do not understand why you insist on telling us what we believe. What on earth is the motivation? I do not care whether you believe the Theotokos had a precursive resurrection or not and have too many jobs on my table to answer your provocations in the future. It’s beyond my ken why you are so wrapped up in concerns over what I (and my fellow-Orthodox) believe? If you don’t like some belief, you are as free to reject it as we are to embrace it. Why this impetus to pretend that such freedom does not exist--if that is your trip (I don’t know, I admit)? A final word about your penultimate or final charge against the Orthodox:
Ah, we guild the lily! How awful! And what do you do?