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Author Topic: Can one believe in the esssence/energies and divine simplicity?  (Read 1556 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: September 23, 2009, 06:40:15 PM »

I have been reading St. John Damascene's work on the Orthodox Faith. All throughout book one he discusses how God is "Simple and uncomposite." However, there a couple of places where his works seems like it might (but not necessarily) be compatible with the essence/energies distinction. My question is this: Can a person consistantly hold to the doctrine of Divine Simplicity and also believe in the essence/energies distinction. I know I have brought this up before but I have been reading online articles and the works of the Fathers and I am just having trouble coming to a resolution on the matter. I think even the Fathers support both ideas. Any help would be much appreciated.
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« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2009, 09:00:20 PM »

Yes and No, Both/And. if one is going to hold to a radical view of Divine Simplicity would chaff over a radical view of Essence/Energies. My guess would be that if one does not hold to an 'essential' distinction of Essence/Energies then the Divine Simplicity holds true. Regardless it's a fantastic means of establishing a static/dynamism concerning the Godhead.
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« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2009, 09:02:35 PM »

I don't see that it's any harder to reconcile the Divine Essence and Energies with divine simplicity than it is to reconcile the Trinity with the same--the fact that God is Three (much less the paradox that God is One and Three) is a deeply unsimple statement.

I think the key, as it usually is, is to remember God's transcendence. No words that our limited, creaturely minds can use can adequately describe the infinite, Absolute God. They are, at best, true in some, limited, contingent sense--that is, they are 'more true' than other statements would be but they are never fully adequate. Thus 'God is One' is a true statement, but it is only a true statement to the extent that we also recognize that the contradictory 'God is Three' is equally true--and both statements are 'truer' than false statements like 'God is two', 'there are many gods,' etc. Similarly, 'God is Love' is true because any other statement (i.e., God is not love) would be false--but at the same time we have to realize that even our purest conception of love is but the palest shadow of that Absolute Love which the Creator feels for His creation.

So while it is true that 'God is simple', He is not 'simple' in any sense that we normally use that word. In fact, the Fathers use the term in a deeply apophatic sense--as St. John makes clear when he pairs it with 'uncomposite'. God is 'simple' because He is Absolute, He cannot be broken down into smaller pieces nor is He 'composite', that is made up of (or from) smaller units. At its deepest sense, one cannot add the Father to the Son to the Holy Spirit and call the resultant sum 'God'--because each of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit is fully God, Absolute. They can't be added together nor separated or subtracted from each other.

Thus, God's simplicity actually underlies the Orthodox teaching that God's Energies and Essence are both fully Divine. If one can separate them, can speak of the Divine Essence without its Energies or the Energies without the Essence, then God is no longer simple, no longer Absolute. He becomes something that one can divide up into pieces, or an Essence that is simple but with the Energies somehow tacked on (and disrupting the divine simplicity the same way pasting a string onto a ball would disrupt the simplicity of the sphere). In fact, this is why the the Neo-Platonic Divine ended up being a Being which *did* nothing, because that was the only way they could think of to preserver it's simplicity--it was the Fathers of the Church who, because they started from the Incarnation knew that such an image of the Absolute was false, were able to overcome the philosophical dead-end by realizing that simplicity had to be understood in an apophatic sense.
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« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2009, 09:22:24 PM »

I don't see that it's any harder to reconcile the Divine Essence and Energies with divine simplicity than it is to reconcile the Trinity with the same--the fact that God is Three (much less the paradox that God is One and Three) is a deeply unsimple statement.

I think the key, as it usually is, is to remember God's transcendence. No words that our limited, creaturely minds can use can adequately describe the infinite, Absolute God. They are, at best, true in some, limited, contingent sense--that is, they are 'more true' than other statements would be but they are never fully adequate. Thus 'God is One' is a true statement, but it is only a true statement to the extent that we also recognize that the contradictory 'God is Three' is equally true--and both statements are 'truer' than false statements like 'God is two', 'there are many gods,' etc. Similarly, 'God is Love' is true because any other statement (i.e., God is not love) would be false--but at the same time we have to realize that even our purest conception of love is but the palest shadow of that Absolute Love which the Creator feels for His creation.

So while it is true that 'God is simple', He is not 'simple' in any sense that we normally use that word. In fact, the Fathers use the term in a deeply apophatic sense--as St. John makes clear when he pairs it with 'uncomposite'. God is 'simple' because He is Absolute, He cannot be broken down into smaller pieces nor is He 'composite', that is made up of (or from) smaller units. At its deepest sense, one cannot add the Father to the Son to the Holy Spirit and call the resultant sum 'God'--because each of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit is fully God, Absolute. They can't be added together nor separated or subtracted from each other.

Thus, God's simplicity actually underlies the Orthodox teaching that God's Energies and Essence are both fully Divine. If one can separate them, can speak of the Divine Essence without its Energies or the Energies without the Essence, then God is no longer simple, no longer Absolute. He becomes something that one can divide up into pieces, or an Essence that is simple but with the Energies somehow tacked on (and disrupting the divine simplicity the same way pasting a string onto a ball would disrupt the simplicity of the sphere). In fact, this is why the the Neo-Platonic Divine ended up being a Being which *did* nothing, because that was the only way they could think of to preserver it's simplicity--it was the Fathers of the Church who, because they started from the Incarnation knew that such an image of the Absolute was false, were able to overcome the philosophical dead-end by realizing that simplicity had to be understood in an apophatic sense.

Grace and Peace,

I guess what Papist is pointing to is the fact that Orthodox teach a 'distinction' inherent in the Godhead. I tend to understand 'energies' as 'grace' (i.e. Gratia, Charis) in the western context but Grace is typically not thought, in the west, as an 'essential' part of the Godhead but a pouring forth or sharing of that which transforms or/and enlivens within His creatures a mirroring of His Divine Attributes. I believe this is at the core of the whole created/uncreated debate.
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« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2009, 09:36:46 PM »

I have been reading St. John Damascene's work on the Orthodox Faith. All throughout book one he discusses how God is "Simple and uncomposite." However, there a couple of places where his works seems like it might (but not necessarily) be compatible with the essence/energies distinction. My question is this: Can a person consistantly hold to the doctrine of Divine Simplicity and also believe in the essence/energies distinction. I know I have brought this up before but I have been reading online articles and the works of the Fathers and I am just having trouble coming to a resolution on the matter. I think even the Fathers support both ideas. Any help would be much appreciated.

From reading the Energetic Procession blog, I would say that the Orthodox understanding of "Divine Simplicity" would be a different form or interpretation than the common Thomas Aquinas view.

It is not the same and so some Orthodox will deny the use of the term "Divine Simplicity" all together but after reading a number of posts from Perry's blog........I would say it's just a different interpretation, so if you believe in the essence vs energies distinction, then you will automatically have a different interpretation of what "Divine Simplicity" means.......that's if you choose to use that term. But double check me on this for this may or may not be correct.....I have to re-read Energetic Procession to make sure.










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« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2009, 10:54:52 PM »

I guess what Papist is pointing to is the fact that Orthodox teach a 'distinction' inherent in the Godhead.

Which is why I pointed to the Trinity to start the post. With the exception of certain extinct heresies and fringe Protestant groups, all Christians recognize 'distinctions' in the Godhead as we distinguish the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. However, we (Orthodox, Roman Catholic and traditional Protestant) don't see this as compromising divine simplicity because while we distinguish we do not divide. That is, we recognize the 3 Persons but in doing so we recognize the full Divinity in each; we cannot seperate one from the others. If you subtract the Holy Spirit from the Trinity, you do not get 3-1=2 or 1-1/3=2/3, you get 1-1=0 because the Holy Spirit is not a part or a piece of God, but God Himself. And yet at the same time we recognize that Holy Spirit is not the Father nor is He the Son.

Quote
I tend to understand 'energies' as 'grace' (i.e. Gratia, Charis) in the western context but Grace is typically not thought, in the west, as an 'essential' part of the Godhead but a pouring forth or sharing of that which transforms or/and enlivens within His creatures a mirroring of His Divine Attributes. I believe this is at the core of the whole created/uncreated debate.

I agree that Grace and Energies are essentially two words for the same thing. But I'm not sure how that affects my point. Orthodoxy sees that you can distinguish His Essence from His Energies--simplistically speaking, what He is from what He does. While the terminology may be particularly Orthodox, I don't think that recognition is particular to Orthodoxy or what Papist is asking about. What is particular to Orthodox teaching, and therefore what I presume Papist is asking about is that having distinguished Essence and Energy, Being from Doing, Orthodoxy refuses to separate them, and insists that both are fully divine.

But Orthodoxy does this *because* of divine simplicity, not in apposition to it. If God's Essence and Energies are both fully divine, then the same reasoning that allows us to distinguish the 3 persons of the Trinity without separating them (without making God 'composite), allows us to distinguish Essence and Engergy without separating them. But if the Energies are not 'fully divine' then we would have to separate the two because otherwise you end up with some kind of 'composite'.
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« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2009, 10:59:15 PM »

Grace and Peace,

I guess what Papist is pointing to is the fact that Orthodox teach a 'distinction' inherent in the Godhead. I tend to understand 'energies' as 'grace' (i.e. Gratia, Charis) in the western context but Grace is typically not thought, in the west, as an 'essential' part of the Godhead but a pouring forth or sharing of that which transforms or/and enlivens within His creatures a mirroring of His Divine Attributes. I believe this is at the core of the whole created/uncreated debate.

I must offer a correction concerning my own 'limiting' of Sanctifying Grace to 'enlivening... a mirroring of His Divine Attributes'. Upon reviewing the 'Theological Definition of Supernatural Grace' within Ludwig Ott's Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma I found two extremes are to be avoided concerning the view of the nature and degree of the participation in the divine nature:

It must not be conceived in the pantheistic sense of the transformation of the soul into the Divinity; the infinite distance between Creator and created remains. AND Neither must it be conceived as a a mere moral communion with God, which consists in the imitation of the moral perfections of God, analogous to the sinner's childhood of the devil.

Positively, it represents a physical communion of man with God. This consists in an accidental unification which is accomplished by a created gift of God; this assimilates the soul to God and unifies it with Him in a manner transcending all created powers.

Papist, I recommend you read the whole section on The Nature of Sanctifying Grace. If you simply think of the Divine Energies as God's Sanctifying Grace then you will understand how it doesn't compromise even the Western view of the Divine Simplicity.
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« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2009, 11:15:12 PM »

I guess what Papist is pointing to is the fact that Orthodox teach a 'distinction' inherent in the Godhead.

Which is why I pointed to the Trinity to start the post. With the exception of certain extinct heresies and fringe Protestant groups, all Christians recognize 'distinctions' in the Godhead as we distinguish the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. However, we (Orthodox, Roman Catholic and traditional Protestant) don't see this as compromising divine simplicity because while we distinguish we do not divide. That is, we recognize the 3 Persons but in doing so we recognize the full Divinity in each; we cannot seperate one from the others. If you subtract the Holy Spirit from the Trinity, you do not get 3-1=2 or 1-1/3=2/3, you get 1-1=0 because the Holy Spirit is not a part or a piece of God, but God Himself. And yet at the same time we recognize that Holy Spirit is not the Father nor is He the Son.

Grace and Peace,

I think you might be 'conflating' our Trinitarian distinctions of 'persons' and distinctions of the Godhead (i.e. essence of the Divine Nature). In the west, we are taught that "In God there are Three Persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. Each of the Three Persons possesses the one (numerical) Divine Essence". The term "essence, nature, substance," refer to the Divine "Being," whch is the same for the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, while the terms "hypostasis and person" refer to the three owners or more properly 'bearers of the Divine Being'. We are also taught that "God is absolutely simple". We have tended to understand this by a denial of any 'essential compositions' within the Divine Being. It is my guess that Papist has also been taught this as well as I and the teaching of a disillusionment of that Divine Simplicity would be challenging for us to accept that there exists a composition within the Divine Being. We are don't discussion 'person' but that 'unity' and Divine Simplicity which exists within the Divine Being of the Godhead shared by the Persons of the Trinity.

Quote
Quote
I tend to understand 'energies' as 'grace' (i.e. Gratia, Charis) in the western context but Grace is typically not thought, in the west, as an 'essential' part of the Godhead but a pouring forth or sharing of that which transforms or/and enlivens within His creatures a mirroring of His Divine Attributes. I believe this is at the core of the whole created/uncreated debate.

I agree that Grace and Energies are essentially two words for the same thing. But I'm not sure how that affects my point. Orthodoxy sees that you can distinguish His Essence from His Energies--simplistically speaking, what He is from what He does. While the terminology may be particularly Orthodox, I don't think that recognition is particular to Orthodoxy or what Papist is asking about. What is particular to Orthodox teaching, and therefore what I presume Papist is asking about is that having distinguished Essence and Energy, Being from Doing, Orthodoxy refuses to separate them, and insists that both are fully divine.

But Orthodoxy does this *because* of divine simplicity, not in apposition to it. If God's Essence and Energies are both fully divine, then the same reasoning that allows us to distinguish the 3 persons of the Trinity without separating them (without making God 'composite), allows us to distinguish Essence and Engergy without separating them. But if the Energies are not 'fully divine' then we would have to separate the two because otherwise you end up with some kind of 'composite'.

This is why I tend to not have a real problem with Essence/Energies in the same way I don't have a problem with Divine Simplicity/Sanctifying Grace. Both afford 'participation in the Divine Nature'. I think if Papist reaches this same view, he would cease to see it as a 'new' teaching within the Eastern Church and find that we too have a common understanding of the outpouring of God toward all of His Creation.
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« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2009, 12:09:59 AM »



But Orthodoxy does this *because* of divine simplicity, not in apposition to it. If God's Essence and Energies are both fully divine, then the same reasoning that allows us to distinguish the 3 persons of the Trinity without separating them (without making God 'composite), allows us to distinguish Essence and Engergy without separating them. But if the Energies are not 'fully divine' then we would have to separate the two because otherwise you end up with some kind of 'composite'.

Thank you. This is very helpful.
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« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2009, 06:49:19 PM »

I have been reading St. John Damascene's work on the Orthodox Faith. All throughout book one he discusses how God is "Simple and uncomposite." However, there a couple of places where his works seems like it might (but not necessarily) be compatible with the essence/energies distinction. My question is this: Can a person consistantly hold to the doctrine of Divine Simplicity and also believe in the essence/energies distinction. I know I have brought this up before but I have been reading online articles and the works of the Fathers and I am just having trouble coming to a resolution on the matter. I think even the Fathers support both ideas. Any help would be much appreciated.

Indeed, it was the 6th Ecumenical Council that made such a distinction.   
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« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2009, 07:08:53 PM »

I have been reading St. John Damascene's work on the Orthodox Faith. All throughout book one he discusses how God is "Simple and uncomposite." However, there a couple of places where his works seems like it might (but not necessarily) be compatible with the essence/energies distinction. My question is this: Can a person consistantly hold to the doctrine of Divine Simplicity and also believe in the essence/energies distinction. I know I have brought this up before but I have been reading online articles and the works of the Fathers and I am just having trouble coming to a resolution on the matter. I think even the Fathers support both ideas. Any help would be much appreciated.

Indeed, it was the 6th Ecumenical Council that made such a distinction.   
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« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2009, 03:21:06 PM »

Dogmatic Decree of the 6th Ecumenical Council:

Following the five holy Ecumenical Councils and the holy and approved Fathers, with one voice defining thatour Lord Jesus Christ must be confessed to be very God and very man, one of the holy and consubstantial and life-giving Trinity, perfect in Deity and perfect in humanity, very God and very man, of a reasonable soul and human body subsisting; consubstantial with the Father as touching his Godhead and consubstantial with us as touching his manhood; in all things like unto us, sin only excepted; begotten of his Father before all ages according to his Godhead, but in these last days for us men and for our salvation made man of the Holy Ghost and of the Virgin Mary, strictly and properly the Mother of God according to the flesh; one and the same Christ our Lord the only-begotten Son of two natures un-confusedly, unchangeably, inseparably indivisibly to be recognized, the peculiarities of neither nature being lost by the union but rather the proprieties of each nature being preserved, concurring in one Person and in one subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons but one and the same only-begotten Son of God, the Word, our Lord Jesus Christ, according as the Prophets of old have taught us and as our Lord Jesus Christ himself hath instructed us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers hath delivered to us;
Defining all this we likewise declare according to the teaching of the holy Fathers that Christ has two volitions or wills, and two natural energies, without division or change, without partition or commingling.  And the two natural wills are not opposed (by no means!) as the godless heretics have said; but the human will is compliant, and not opposing or contrary; as a matter of fact it is even obedient to his divine and omnipotent will. For it was necessary for the human will to move itself, but in obedience to the divine will, as the great wisdom of Athanasius has taught.  Because just as His human nature is said to be and is the human nature of God the Word, so too the natural will of his human nature is said to be and is God the Word's very own, as He Himself says: "I have come down from heaven not to do my own will, by the will of the Father who sent me" (see John 6.38).  Here he calls the will of His human nature His own will, since the human nature also was His own. For his most holy and innocent body, animated by his soul, was not taken away by being deified [or divinized], but stayed true to its own determinate nature.  In the same way his human will was not taken away either by being deified, but is preserved rather, according to the word of Gregory the Theologian: "For his will ('his' being understood as referring to the Savior [according to human nature]) is not at all opposed to God; it is wholly deified.
       Moreover, in our same Lord Jesus Christ, our true God, we glory in proclaiming two natural energies without division or change, without partition or commingling, namely, a divine energy and a human energy, as Leo, the teacher in matters relating to God, asserted with utmost clarity: "For each nature performs the functions proper to itself, yet in conjunction with the other nature: the Word does what is proper to the Word, and the humanity what is proper to the humanity" (Tome of Leo). For we absolutely refuse to admit that there is but one natural energy, that of God and of creature; for thus we would either exalt what is created into the divine nature or else degrade what is uniquely proper to the divine nature to the level of creatures; because we know that both miracles and sufferings belong to one and the same person, according to the different natures of which he consists and in which he has his being, as the marvelous Cyril has said.  In every way possible, therefore, we uphold our denial both of commingling and of divisions and in this concise utterance we may express the entire matter: We believe that one of the Holy Trinity who, after the Incarnation, is our Lord Jesus Christ, is our true God; and we assert that both his natures clearly appear in his one hypostasis.  In it throughout the whole ordered conduct of His life He gave evidence of both his miracles and his sufferings, not just in appearance, but in actuality.  The difference of natures within the same one person is recognized by the fact that each nature, in conjunction with the other nature, wills and carries out what is proper to itself.  Accordingly, we hold that there are two natural wills and energies concurring in harmony for the salvation of the human race.  (6th Ecumenical Council of Constantinople, 680-681:  Dogmatic Decree)
 
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« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2009, 03:26:23 PM »

Or, more simply, the dogmatic decree of the 7th Ecumenical Council:

With the Fathers of this synod we confess that He who was incarnate of the immaculate Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary has two natures, recognizing him as perfect God and perfect man, as also the Council of Chalcedon hath promulgated, expelling from the divine Atrium as blasphemers, Eutyches and Dioscorus; and placing in the same category Severus, Peter and a number of others, blaspheming in divers fashions. Moreover, with these we anathematize the fables of Origen, Evagrius, and Didymus, in accordance with the decision of the Fifth Council held at Constantinople. Furthermore we affirm that in Christ there be two wills and two energies according to the reality of each nature, as also the Sixth Synod, held at Constantinople, taught, casting out Sergius, Honorius, Cyrus, Pyrrhus, Macarius, and those who agree with them, and all those who are unwilling to be reverent.
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« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2009, 03:41:48 PM »

Or, more simply, the dogmatic decree of the 7th Ecumenical Council:

With the Fathers of this synod we confess that He who was incarnate of the immaculate Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary has two natures, recognizing him as perfect God and perfect man, as also the Council of Chalcedon hath promulgated, expelling from the divine Atrium as blasphemers, Eutyches and Dioscorus; and placing in the same category Severus, Peter and a number of others, blaspheming in divers fashions. Moreover, with these we anathematize the fables of Origen, Evagrius, and Didymus, in accordance with the decision of the Fifth Council held at Constantinople. Furthermore we affirm that in Christ there be two wills and two energies according to the reality of each nature, as also the Sixth Synod, held at Constantinople, taught, casting out Sergius, Honorius, Cyrus, Pyrrhus, Macarius, and those who agree with them, and all those who are unwilling to be reverent.
I appreciate the quote Father but I think some one has to make a huge leap from affirming that Christ has a divine energia and a human energia to the idea that in God, essence and energies are distinct.
Again, thanks you none the less.
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« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2009, 04:19:39 PM »

Or, more simply, the dogmatic decree of the 7th Ecumenical Council:

With the Fathers of this synod we confess that He who was incarnate of the immaculate Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary has two natures, recognizing him as perfect God and perfect man, as also the Council of Chalcedon hath promulgated, expelling from the divine Atrium as blasphemers, Eutyches and Dioscorus; and placing in the same category Severus, Peter and a number of others, blaspheming in divers fashions. Moreover, with these we anathematize the fables of Origen, Evagrius, and Didymus, in accordance with the decision of the Fifth Council held at Constantinople. Furthermore we affirm that in Christ there be two wills and two energies according to the reality of each nature, as also the Sixth Synod, held at Constantinople, taught, casting out Sergius, Honorius, Cyrus, Pyrrhus, Macarius, and those who agree with them, and all those who are unwilling to be reverent.

Essence is Nature according to the 5th Ecumenical Council.  Nature (Essence) here is distinguished from Energy.  There is no leap, it is what the councils say
I appreciate the quote Father but I think some one has to make a huge leap from affirming that Christ has a divine energia and a human energia to the idea that in God, essence and energies are distinct.
Again, thanks you none the less.
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« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2009, 04:44:52 PM »

Or, more simply, the dogmatic decree of the 7th Ecumenical Council:

With the Fathers of this synod we confess that He who was incarnate of the immaculate Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary has two natures, recognizing him as perfect God and perfect man, as also the Council of Chalcedon hath promulgated, expelling from the divine Atrium as blasphemers, Eutyches and Dioscorus; and placing in the same category Severus, Peter and a number of others, blaspheming in divers fashions. Moreover, with these we anathematize the fables of Origen, Evagrius, and Didymus, in accordance with the decision of the Fifth Council held at Constantinople. Furthermore we affirm that in Christ there be two wills and two energies according to the reality of each nature, as also the Sixth Synod, held at Constantinople, taught, casting out Sergius, Honorius, Cyrus, Pyrrhus, Macarius, and those who agree with them, and all those who are unwilling to be reverent.

Essence is Nature according to the 5th Ecumenical Council.  Nature (Essence) here is distinguished from Energy.  There is no leap, it is what the councils say
I appreciate the quote Father but I think some one has to make a huge leap from affirming that Christ has a divine energia and a human energia to the idea that in God, essence and energies are distinct.
Again, thanks you none the less.
Where does it say that they must be viewed as distinct?
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« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2009, 05:04:05 PM »

It is the meaning of the words "also likewise."  It already said that there were two natures, and "also likewise" there are two energies.   

Or, more simply, the dogmatic decree of the 7th Ecumenical Council:

With the Fathers of this synod we confess that He who was incarnate of the immaculate Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary has two natures, recognizing him as perfect God and perfect man, as also the Council of Chalcedon hath promulgated, expelling from the divine Atrium as blasphemers, Eutyches and Dioscorus; and placing in the same category Severus, Peter and a number of others, blaspheming in divers fashions. Moreover, with these we anathematize the fables of Origen, Evagrius, and Didymus, in accordance with the decision of the Fifth Council held at Constantinople. Furthermore we affirm that in Christ there be two wills and two energies according to the reality of each nature, as also the Sixth Synod, held at Constantinople, taught, casting out Sergius, Honorius, Cyrus, Pyrrhus, Macarius, and those who agree with them, and all those who are unwilling to be reverent.

Essence is Nature according to the 5th Ecumenical Council.  Nature (Essence) here is distinguished from Energy.  There is no leap, it is what the councils say
I appreciate the quote Father but I think some one has to make a huge leap from affirming that Christ has a divine energia and a human energia to the idea that in God, essence and energies are distinct.
Again, thanks you none the less.
Where does it say that they must be viewed as distinct?

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« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2009, 05:06:30 PM »

The whole purpose of the council was to contradict the monergists/monothelites, who affirmed that there were two essences but only one energy.   The council was convened for the purpose of saying not only does he have divine and human natures but also divine and human energies. 
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« Reply #18 on: October 02, 2009, 05:10:49 PM »

Where does it say that they must be viewed as distinct?


The grammar. If Essence/Nature and Energy were the same thing, then the Fathers, having spoken of two Natures would not need to also mention two Energies--or if they chose to do so would have used a phrasing indicating equivalence or apposition (i.e., 'has two natures, or energies', 'has two natures, that is energies', etc). Instead they put energies in a separate sentence, parallel to wills, and use an additive conjunction ("furthermore" in the translation FatherHLL quotes). They are clearly distinguishing Essence/Nature and Energy (and will) as distinct 'things'.
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« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2009, 07:17:28 PM »

Where does it say that they must be viewed as distinct?


The grammar. If Essence/Nature and Energy were the same thing, then the Fathers, having spoken of two Natures would not need to also mention two Energies--or if they chose to do so would have used a phrasing indicating equivalence or apposition (i.e., 'has two natures, or energies', 'has two natures, that is energies', etc). Instead they put energies in a separate sentence, parallel to wills, and use an additive conjunction ("furthermore" in the translation FatherHLL quotes). They are clearly distinguishing Essence/Nature and Energy (and will) as distinct 'things'.
I disagree. Catholics believe in Divine simplicity but speak of God's Mercy and Justice separately. This does not mean that we really think that they are two different things in God but rather we are just experiencing God in two different ways. I think you must adopt the EO mindset to understand these passages as suporting the essence/energies distinction. Thank you for your help none the less.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2009, 07:18:20 PM by Papist » Logged

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« Reply #20 on: October 02, 2009, 09:34:29 PM »

I think you must adopt the EO mindset to understand these passages as suporting the essence/energies distinction. Thank you for your help none the less.


Uh, given that you are asking these questions on 'orthodoxchristianity.net' rather than 'newadvent.com' or some such, weren't you expecting/wanting answers from an EO mindset?
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