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Author Topic: Man and God-Man  (Read 615 times) Average Rating: 0
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Justin Kissel
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« on: April 28, 2010, 08:13:44 PM »

This recent book (2008) by Sebastian Press is a collection of writings by St. Justin Popovich that had, for the most part, appeared in other English translations. In spite of the fact that it is mostly just a republication of previously available writings, I would still recommend this book for those who enjoy the writings of St. Justin, and don't have the other sources that Man and God-Man draws from. As for what works it has in it...

From The Struggle For Faith: A Treasury of Serbian Orthodox Spirituality (Vol. 4) we have:
  • Perfect God and Perfect Man
  • The God-man: The Foundation of the Truth of Orthodoxy
  • The Supreme Value and Infallible Criterion
  • A Deer in a Lost Paradise

From Philosophical Abyss (Serbian):
  • Sentenced To Immortality

From The Orthodox Church and Ecumenism:
  • Humanistic and Theanthropic Culture
  • Humanistic and Theanthropic Education

From Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ:
  • The Theory of Knowledge of Saint Isaac the Syrian

I would say that the essay on The Theory of Knowledge of Saint Isaac the Syrian alone is worth the cost, even if it is only 39 pages long. For those unfamiliar with St. Justin, a lot of his writings--the ones published in English, anyway--are devoted to teaching about the Church, the God-man Christ, denouncing man-focused philosophies, and living the life in Christ. Here are some quotes from the book, one from each chapter...

"The God-man has demonstrated and proved this most convincingly: man is only a true man when he is completely united with God, and in everything and every way completely lives in God, thinks in God, feels in God, acts in God, is virtuous in God, is immortal in God, is eternal in God. Only and solely in God is man a man, a true man, a perfect man, a man in whom all the fullness of the Godhead lives." (p. 9)

"Orthodoxy is Orthodoxy by reason of the God-man, and not by reason of anything else or anyone else. Hence another name for Orthodoxy is God-mahnhood. In it nothing exists through man or by man, but everything comes from God-man and exists through God-man. This means that man experiences and finds out about the fundamental eternal truth of life and the world only with the help of the God-man, in the God-man." (p. 13)

"The Godlikeness of human nature has ontological and teleological meaning: ontological, because the essence of man's being is given in it; teleological, because it has set for man a goal in life: God, with all His divine perfections. Godlikeness is the essence of the essence of man's being, on which and in which man has to form and make himself in this world. In actual fact, in man's being God is first and man--second. In other words, man was created as a potentially Divine-human being, which, guided by a Godlike soul, had the task of adapting itself to God in every way, and thus actually making itself into a Divine-human being, i.e., a being in which man is ideally united with God and lives in His divine, infinite perfections." (p. 20)

"Man overcomes death by conquering sin within himself with Christ. If you have lived a day without vanquishing a single sin of yours, know that you have become even more mortal than you are already. Vanquish one, two, or three of your sins, and behold, you have become younger by way of never-aging youthfulness, younger by way of immortality and eternity. Never forget that to believe in the Resurrection of the Lord Christ means to carry out a continuous fight with sins, with evil, with death." (p. 41)

"The goal of theanthropic culture is to transfigure, not just man and mankind, but, through them, the whole of nature. How can this goal be achieved? Only by theanthropic means: through the evangelical virtues of faith and love, hope and prayer, fasting and humility, meekness and compassion, love for God and one's fellow-man. Theanthropic, Orthodox culture is built by exercise in these virtues. By practicing these, a man makes his ugly soul beautiful, his dark soul light, his sinful soul holy and Christ-like. The body is transformed into a framework for its Christ-like soul." (p. 50)

"Let us ask what the goal of education is, if it is not the enlightening of man, the illumining of all his abysses and pits, the banishing of all darkness from him. How can man disperse the cosmic darkness that assails him from all sides, and how can he banish the darkness from his being without that one light, without God, without Christ? Even with all the light that is his, man without God is but a firefly in the endless darkness of this universe." (p. 65)

"What are the passions in themselves?" They are 'a certain hardness or insensitivity of being.' Their causes are to be found in the things of life themselves. The passions are the desire for wealth and amassing of goods, for ease and bodily comfort; they are thirst for honor and the exercise of power; they are luxury and frivolity; they are the desire for glory from men and fear for one's own body. All these passions have one common name--'the world'. 'The world means carnal conduct and a carnal mind.' The passions are attacks of the world on man by means of the things of the world. Divine grace is the only power capable of repulsing them. When the passions make their home in man, they uproot his soul. They confuse the mind, filling it with fantastic forms, images and desires, so that his thoughts are disturbed and filled with fantasy." (p. 70)

"I am a deer. I am the sense of sorrow in the universe. Long, long ago Someone thrust onto the earth everything that was sorrowful in all worlds, and from this He formed my heart. And therefore I am the sense of sorrow. I live by absorbing the sorrow out of all beings and creatures. Every being drops dark drop after dark drop of sorrow into my heart as soon as I approach him. And the dark dew of sorrow, like a fine, tiny stream, flows through my veins. And there, in my heart, the dark dew of sorrow is refined into a pale and bluish dew." (p. 107)
« Last Edit: April 28, 2010, 08:14:16 PM by Asteriktos » Logged

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jeanlerymc
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« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2010, 03:22:22 AM »

I had noticed the book by Sebastian Press before, and now it has already its English version. Upon publishing the book, they have first translated the old language to an English words. This is done for  people to understand and relate on the message of this book.
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zoarthegleaner
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« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2010, 04:01:02 PM »

Once you read  St. Justin Popovich you don't mistake him for anyone else, wow!

John
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Courteous is my name,
and I have always aimed to live up to it.
Grace is also my name,
but when things go wrong
its Courteous whom I blame;
but its Grace who sees me through it.
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