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Author Topic: Jesus and the Essence/Energy Distinction.  (Read 834 times) Average Rating: 0
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Volnutt
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« on: July 07, 2011, 02:04:39 PM »

Please forgive me if this is worded poorly.

Is Christ in His humanity united to the Essence of God the Son or only His Energies?

If He is united to the Essence then are the Saints also united to It through theosis (since it is defined as becoming by Grace what Christ is by nature)?
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« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2011, 02:21:22 PM »

Please forgive me if this is worded poorly.

Is Christ in His humanity united to the Essence of God the Son or only His Energies?

If He is united to the Essence then are the Saints also united to It through theosis (since it is defined as becoming by Grace what Christ is by nature)?
Theosis is the process of becoming God by Grace, since Christ is God by nature. Becoming God by grace involves becoming one with the Energies of God. Being God by nature involves being one with the Essence of God.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2011, 02:21:51 PM by Jetavan » Logged

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Volnutt
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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2011, 03:26:28 PM »

Oh! Well, that makes sense. Thanks.
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« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2011, 07:28:16 AM »

Is Christ in His humanity united to the Essence of God the Son or only His Energies?

The humanity of Christ is hypostatically united to Logos. The Logos is one of three hypostases who subsist in the divine Essence.

If He is united to the Essence then are the Saints also united to It through theosis (since it is defined as becoming by Grace what Christ is by nature)?

The key point you are missing in that phrase is that Grace is Energy. The phrase itself answers the question for you, if you know the Palamite understanding of Grace.
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Volnutt
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« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2011, 07:31:23 AM »

Good point.

I guess Grace can't do "more" than "be Itself," so to speak.
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Seraphim98
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« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2011, 02:15:36 PM »

I've long thought a hologram neatly illustrates the issue.

In a hologram there is the film with its images and there is the light source. The images were made to be filled with/animated by the light. The light shining through them unobstructed reveals them to be as they were meant to be. But as much as the individual image is filled with, united to, and sustained by the light, the image will never share the essence/being of the light source. The otherness of the light source from the image precludes a sharing of essence but not the sharing of energy (the light as it encounters creation)
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Volnutt
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« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2011, 02:59:15 PM »

Nice illustration!
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HabteSelassie
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« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2011, 03:09:04 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
I've long thought a hologram neatly illustrates the issue.

In a hologram there is the film with its images and there is the light source. The images were made to be filled with/animated by the light. The light shining through them unobstructed reveals them to be as they were meant to be. But as much as the individual image is filled with, united to, and sustained by the light, the image will never share the essence/being of the light source. The otherness of the light source from the image precludes a sharing of essence but not the sharing of energy (the light as it encounters creation)

You should specify that you are addressing the OP issues with our own human theosis, as in regards to the Incarnation, Jesus Christ is not a reflection or revealed Image through the Light of the Godhead, but rather is a corporeal and physical Incarnation of the Godhead in His Person through the Union.  I would also like to add that physically in the details of science that analogy is flawed in the sense that the waves of light are actually physical and exist as free moving electrons/photons, and so are not actually as separate as you may mean to imply with the Godhead.  In that sense then, both the light source and the light rays and the hologram all fundamentally share the same, physical nature of atoms and subatomic particles, but I'm really just being a wet blanket, that is a good analogy such scrupulous details aside Smiley

I asked on an OO-EO discussion thread, but it is not getting the feedback I was hoping for so I will add the question here.  Could some folks kindly explain the EO concept of The Energies distinction in the context of the Incarnation and of the Holy Communion? According to EO theology, is in fact the Divine Essence/Godhead actually present in the Real Presence of the Holy Communion, or is this a process of the Energies?

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Stay blessed,
habte selassie
« Last Edit: July 11, 2011, 03:28:24 PM by HabteSelassie » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2011, 03:22:18 PM »

I've been taught that at the consecration the bread and wine become/are changed into the body and blood of the Lord. Yet, I believe we do not believe that the Holy Gifts upon becoming the Body and Blood cease to be bread and wine…but are rather both…sort of like iron infused with fire…becoming all fire without ceasing to be iron…though that analogy may be lacking or misdirected…my betters can correct me.

How the Holy Spirit does this…I don't know.  I have wondered though if it might work in the opposite direction.  That is to say the bread and wine are "pulled into" whatever Christ means when He says "This is my flesh", "This is my blood"…so that Christ extends to consecrated bread and wine the "whatness" of His flesh and bloods so that we don't have bread becoming human tissue per se but rather human tissue becoming bread…maybe it works both ways…or maybe I'm babbling about something about which so little has been revealed beyond what is necessary to understand that it is pointless to offer a speculative opinion.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2011, 03:22:43 PM by Seraphim98 » Logged
HabteSelassie
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« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2011, 03:27:53 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I've been taught that at the consecration the bread and wine become/are changed into the body and blood of the Lord. Yet, I believe we do not believe that the Holy Gifts upon becoming the Body and Blood cease to be bread and wine…but are rather both…sort of like iron infused with fire…becoming all fire without ceasing to be iron…though that analogy may be lacking or misdirected…my betters can correct me.

How the Holy Spirit does this…I don't know.  I have wondered though if it might work in the opposite direction.  That is to say the bread and wine are "pulled into" whatever Christ means when He says "This is my flesh", "This is my blood"…so that Christ extends to consecrated bread and wine the "whatness" of His flesh and bloods so that we don't have bread becoming human tissue per se but rather human tissue becoming bread…maybe it works both ways…or maybe I'm babbling about something about which so little has been revealed beyond what is necessary to understand that it is pointless to offer a speculative opinion.

Please, I'm OO, we're content with simply calling a Mystery a Mystery  and leaving it at that (Wink ), but I am trying to understand this EO concept of Energies, and it had been explained to me before in a discussion that the Energies were involved with the Holy Communion, not the Essence, and I was hoping some folks here could clarify on that.  As for the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, we fully believe in the Real Presence of the Godhead at the Holy Communion.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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Seraphim98
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« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2011, 04:07:04 PM »

Quote
we're content with simply calling a Mystery a Mystery

So are we…but that doesn't keep a guy from thinking about things. 

I certainly don't know enough either academically or exeriencially about essence and energies to say anything definitive or new that you've not likely encountered before.

Conceptually it is rooted in the distinction between the created and the uncreated and how communion exists between the created and the uncreated.  It is clear the uncreated can go over to/interact with the created but the created can only go so far towards the uncreated.  The gulf is not bridgeable in the creature. Man simply cannot be united to God in His essence. That is not communicable

Yet we know God interacts with and even entered creation. We call this the energies of God…not like a mere emanation of physical energy that is separate from the thing itself…no mere star wars style "force"..rather the energy is God too, but not God in His essence but God in His revelation and interaction.

Simplistically speaking, if not pressed too far, I suppose we could use the analogy of the Sun. The light of the Sun is not other than the sun, but it is the sun as it communicates itself to the world.  We can know and be enlivened by this light and warmth. But what we cannot know is the sun in its essence…directly…it would destroy us…reduces us to streaming plasma. What it is is communicated to us by its light and heat…via the light we have a connect to it's essence, but no coinherence with the heart of the sun directly is open to us.

With respect to the Holy Eucharist we are told it is Christ's Holy Body and Blood.
We understand Christ is fully God and fully man.
The holy have witnessed the Holy Gifts transfigured and made brilliant with the uncreated light at the consecration.
Others have seen it transform directly into human flesh…at least for a moment, sometimes longer.

The mechanism of how it all works I don't believe has been revealed, but the language of essence and energy exists as conceptual toolbox and safeguard about how we talk about and understand the nature of our communion with God in Christ. There is a sharing of His life. There is a cleaning and revelation of His image. There is a transformation into His likeness. There is a communion with Him, the Father, and the Spirit, and with the Church in the Spirit. We are made to be partakers of His nature by grace, but we are never made partakers of His nature by nature. We remain created tasters of the uncreated. He remains the uncreated sharer with creation.

That's the best I can do.  Perhaps those with more patristic knowledge and resources can unpack this question more suitably.
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« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2011, 08:34:18 PM »

The Person of Jesus Christ is fully God and fully human, not "partly" God or "partly" human. When the woman with the hemorrhage touched the hem of His garment, Christ "felt the power go out of Him". This "power" which healed the woman could not have been a created power, rather it was the Eternal, Uncreated Energies, and the Uncreated Energies can only flow from the Divine Essence.
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Seraphim98
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« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2011, 11:09:54 PM »

 No disagreement there.
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« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2011, 11:11:43 PM »

The Person of Jesus Christ is fully God and fully human, not "partly" God or "partly" human. When the woman with the hemorrhage touched the hem of His garment, Christ "felt the power go out of Him". This "power" which healed the woman could not have been a created power, rather it was the Eternal, Uncreated Energies, and the Uncreated Energies can only flow from the Divine Essence.
So is the Essence partaken of in the chalice?
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Seraphim98
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« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2011, 11:58:54 PM »

I don't see how, since God does not communicate His essence to us, so far as I know.  Maybe someone else can address what the Father's say on this issue.
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Tags: Essence/Energy Distinction  theosis  Hypostatic Union 
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