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Author Topic: Was the Incarnation a "Change" in God?  (Read 2814 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: November 22, 2011, 12:23:57 AM »

Welp?
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« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2011, 12:32:40 AM »

When you put change in quotation marks, I'm guessing you really don't mean change?  You mean welp?  Did God welp when he was incarnate?   Tongue
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« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2011, 01:39:22 AM »

If it was, would that be so wrong? If so, why?
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« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2011, 01:46:15 AM »

I'm pretty sure that Orthodoxy puts a lot of stock in God's immutability, even if she doesn't tend toward that language.
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« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2011, 01:47:09 AM »

If it was, would that be so wrong? If so, why?
Why would Perfection change?
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« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2011, 01:49:07 AM »

Cue orthonorm and NickMyra.
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« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2011, 01:49:29 AM »

If it was, would that be so wrong? If so, why?
Why would Perfection change?
Why do you assume Perfection can't change and still be perfect?
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« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2011, 01:50:44 AM »

If it was, would that be so wrong? If so, why?
Why would Perfection change?
Why do you assume Perfection can't change and still be perfect?
Wouldn't that be a contradiction though?
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« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2011, 01:54:51 AM »

I'm pretty sure that Orthodoxy puts a lot of stock in God's immutability, even if she doesn't tend toward that language.
Well it isn't in the Creeds and councils so it can't be that important. A lot of Church Fathers were Platonists which was a good choice for their milieu but if Platonism is untenable they would want us to discard it, wouldn't they?

I don't see how it's possible for the Incarnation to not be a change.
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« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2011, 01:59:08 AM »

If it was, would that be so wrong? If so, why?
Why would Perfection change?
Why do you assume Perfection can't change and still be perfect?
Wouldn't that be a contradiction though?
I don't see it. You're assuming every change is for the worse or the better, like a vertical sliding scale, yes?

I say why not turn it around. God exists on a horizontal nexus known as "perfection." He can move to the left or the right but He never leaves perfection.Every change is from one perfect state to another.
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« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2011, 02:00:24 AM »

Cue orthonorm and NickMyra.
Nick's on hiatus.

I'm doing my best to represent!  laugh
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« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2011, 02:03:25 AM »

I'm pretty sure that Orthodoxy puts a lot of stock in God's immutability, even if she doesn't tend toward that language.
Well it isn't in the Creeds and councils so it can't be that important. A lot of Church Fathers were Platonists which was a good choice for their milieu but if Platonism is untenable they would want us to discard it, wouldn't they?

I don't see how it's possible for the Incarnation to not be a change.

Can I put to you the same question I put to NickMyra in another thread?

What does it mean in when the priest prays in the liturgy "without change or differentiation thou didst become man"?

Jason's answer is that the liturgy is just wrong, which I'm not sure I am really okay with.

I quite liked Nick's answer, but was ultimately not satisfied by it. I am interested in your thoughts, and anyone else's.
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« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2011, 02:04:46 AM »

I'm pretty sure that Orthodoxy puts a lot of stock in God's immutability, even if she doesn't tend toward that language.
Well it isn't in the Creeds and councils so it can't be that important. A lot of Church Fathers were Platonists which was a good choice for their milieu but if Platonism is untenable they would want us to discard it, wouldn't they?

I don't see how it's possible for the Incarnation to not be a change.

Can I put to you the same question I put to NickMyra in another thread?

What does it mean in when the priest prays in the liturgy "without change or differentiation thou didst become man"?

Jason's answer is that the liturgy is just wrong, which I'm not sure I am really okay with.

I quite liked Nick's answer, but was ultimately not satisfied by it. I am interested in your thoughts, and anyone else's.

Also, it's not quite fair to describe the fathers as Platonists. They certainly held to certain aspects of Platonism, sometimes consciously and sometimes not, just as you or I probably hold to certain aspects of Locke's philosophy but couldn't be fairly described as Lockeans. Just a quibble.
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« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2011, 02:09:26 AM »

If it was, would that be so wrong? If so, why?
Why would Perfection change?
Why do you assume Perfection can't change and still be perfect?
Wouldn't that be a contradiction though?
I don't see it. You're assuming every change is for the worse or the better, like a vertical sliding scale, yes?

I say why not turn it around. God exists on a horizontal nexus known as "perfection." He can move to the left or the right but He never leaves perfection.Every change is from one perfect state to another.
Ok that makes more sense to me.
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« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2011, 02:14:12 AM »

What does it mean in when the priest prays in the liturgy "without change or differentiation thou didst become man"?

Jason's answer is that the liturgy is just wrong, which I'm not sure I am really okay with.

Nor should you be. That's a horrible way to treat our liturgy.

It's probably the same as everything else: MYSTERY.

How can someone be both God and man? Not really possible to be two 100% things.
How is the Eucharist "eaten but never consumed" or whatever? When you eat something you consume it.

In the same way the the councils were not trying to create rationally delineated and exhaustive formulas to "solve" the God problem, but were rather trying to put the mystery into words even if it didn't make sense, I think that this might be the same thing. It is something that you can say with words that doesn't make sense, at least in our limited human logic and resigning abilities. Maybe it's one of those things where you just say what is true, even if it seems like nonsense. The Son become incarnate without causing a change in the Godhead.

I'm just throwing this out there as a curiosity.
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« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2011, 02:20:08 AM »

I'm pretty sure that Orthodoxy puts a lot of stock in God's immutability, even if she doesn't tend toward that language.
Well it isn't in the Creeds and councils so it can't be that important. A lot of Church Fathers were Platonists which was a good choice for their milieu but if Platonism is untenable they would want us to discard it, wouldn't they?

I don't see how it's possible for the Incarnation to not be a change.

Can I put to you the same question I put to NickMyra in another thread?

What does it mean in when the priest prays in the liturgy "without change or differentiation thou didst become man"?

Jason's answer is that the liturgy is just wrong, which I'm not sure I am really okay with.

I quite liked Nick's answer, but was ultimately not satisfied by it. I am interested in your thoughts, and anyone else's.
Jason told me you misunderstood him, he doesn't think the liturgy is wrong.

God is unchanging in the sense that He is always faithful to His people and doesn't act inconsistently (no guarantee we'll always see how He is consistent of course). If God can circumscribe Himself and lose knowledge without losing this steadfastness, then He is still perfect. Christ was still the Logos upholding the universe, He just did it automatically by nature. Note the account of the woman with the issue of blood. He felt power flowing out Him to heal her but had no idea what was happening. And yet rightly is this considered one of His miracles as opposed to some kind of accident. "Without differentiation" refers to Chalcedon.
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« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2011, 02:23:34 AM »

What does it mean in when the priest prays in the liturgy "without change or differentiation thou didst become man"?

Jason's answer is that the liturgy is just wrong, which I'm not sure I am really okay with.

Nor should you be. That's a horrible way to treat our liturgy.

It's probably the same as everything else: MYSTERY.

How can someone be both God and man? Not really possible to be two 100% things.
How is the Eucharist "eaten but never consumed" or whatever? When you eat something you consume it.

In the same way the the councils were not trying to create rationally delineated and exhaustive formulas to "solve" the God problem, but were rather trying to put the mystery into words even if it didn't make sense, I think that this might be the same thing. It is something that you can say with words that doesn't make sense, at least in our limited human logic and resigning abilities. Maybe it's one of those things where you just say what is true, even if it seems like nonsense. The Son become incarnate without causing a change in the Godhead.

I'm just throwing this out there as a curiosity.
And yet with this mystery you would reduce half the Gospels to meaningless "didactic" passages that we don't even know what we're supposed to learn from them. That's a horrible way to treat the Scriptures.
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« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2011, 02:29:22 AM »

Quote
He felt power flowing out Him to heal her but had no idea what was happening.

Impossible. That is like saying He did not know where Lazarus was buried. Of course He knew, in both cases! otherwise He could not be omniscient. 
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« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2011, 02:31:04 AM »

Quote
He felt power flowing out Him to heal her but had no idea what was happening.

Impossible. That is like saying He did not know where Lazarus was buried. Of course He knew, in both cases! otherwise He could not be omniscient. 
He gave up His omniscience in the process of becoming a lowly servant.
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« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2011, 02:34:09 AM »

Quote
He felt power flowing out Him to heal her but had no idea what was happening.

Impossible. That is like saying He did not know where Lazarus was buried. Of course He knew, in both cases! otherwise He could not be omniscient. 
He gave up His omniscience in the process of becoming a lowly servant.

If the Lord, in his incarnation, divested himself of all things proper to the divine (omniscience, for one), in what sense can we say he was incarnate in two natures?
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« Reply #20 on: November 22, 2011, 02:38:05 AM »

Quote
He felt power flowing out Him to heal her but had no idea what was happening.

Impossible. That is like saying He did not know where Lazarus was buried. Of course He knew, in both cases! otherwise He could not be omniscient. 
He gave up His omniscience in the process of becoming a lowly servant.

If the Lord, in his incarnation, divested himself of all things proper to the divine (omniscience, for one), in what sense can we say he was incarnate in two natures?
Who says omniscience is proper to the divine? That sounds like Anselm.
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« Reply #21 on: November 22, 2011, 05:24:44 AM »

NVM
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« Reply #22 on: November 22, 2011, 05:28:11 AM »

Ditto.
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« Reply #23 on: November 22, 2011, 05:30:54 AM »

Quote
He felt power flowing out Him to heal her but had no idea what was happening.

Impossible. That is like saying He did not know where Lazarus was buried. Of course He knew, in both cases! otherwise He could not be omniscient. 
He gave up His omniscience in the process of becoming a lowly servant.

If the Lord, in his incarnation, divested himself of all things proper to the divine (omniscience, for one), in what sense can we say he was incarnate in two natures?
Who says omniscience is proper to the divine? That sounds like Anselm.

While on the one hand, I wouldn't want to be prescriptive about what constitutes the divine nature, it seems a bit strange to me to say that God is ignorant of something/anything.

I'm more just trying to provoke discussion. I don't know with certainty anything about this topic.
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« Reply #24 on: November 22, 2011, 05:47:42 AM »

An examination of the hymnography for Vespers and Matins for the feasts of the Nativity, of the Meeting of the Lord, and the Raising of Lazarus would be a good start in looking at the question of Christ's omniscience.
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« Reply #25 on: November 22, 2011, 07:37:56 AM »

Quote
He felt power flowing out Him to heal her but had no idea what was happening.

Impossible. That is like saying He did not know where Lazarus was buried. Of course He knew, in both cases! otherwise He could not be omniscient. 
He gave up His omniscience in the process of becoming a lowly servant.

If the Lord, in his incarnation, divested himself of all things proper to the divine (omniscience, for one), in what sense can we say he was incarnate in two natures?
Who says omniscience is proper to the divine? That sounds like Anselm.

While on the one hand, I wouldn't want to be prescriptive about what constitutes the divine nature, it seems a bit strange to me to say that God is ignorant of something/anything.

I'm more just trying to provoke discussion. I don't know with certainty anything about this topic.
The Father and Spirit are still omniscient. Christ was only ignorant in the limitations of earthly life.
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« Reply #26 on: November 22, 2011, 08:01:27 AM »

Quote
Christ was only ignorant in the limitations of earthly life.

Not true. Look at the hymnography I referred to earlier. And how many times do we come across mention of Christ knowing the thoughts of others in the Gospels?
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« Reply #27 on: November 22, 2011, 08:11:33 AM »

What does it mean in when the priest prays in the liturgy "without change or differentiation thou didst become man"?

Jason's answer is that the liturgy is just wrong, which I'm not sure I am really okay with.

Nor should you be. That's a horrible way to treat our liturgy.

It's probably the same as everything else: MYSTERY.

How can someone be both God and man? Not really possible to be two 100% things.
How is the Eucharist "eaten but never consumed" or whatever? When you eat something you consume it.

Exactly, it's s paradox. It's right there in "Only begotten Son" too: "who without change didst become man..." How does one become without change? To Platonist ears this would sound ridiculous.
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« Reply #28 on: November 22, 2011, 08:13:25 AM »

Quote
Christ was only ignorant in the limitations of earthly life.

Not true. Look at the hymnography I referred to earlier. And how many times do we come across mention of Christ knowing the thoughts of others in the Gospels?

To add to the above: Here are some relevant selections from the feast of the Raising of Lazarus:

O Fountain of wisdom and foreknowledge, You asked the companions of Martha when You came to Bethany: Where have you laid My friend Lazarus? Shedding for him tears of tender love, You called to him in Your compassion and raised him by Your voice, though he was four days dead; for You are Giver of life and Lord.

In the beginning You brought all creation out of nothing, and You know the secrets of our hearts; and now as Master You foretold the falling asleep of Lazarus to Your disciples.

O Christ, You became man, taking human nature from the Virgin, and as man You asked where Lazarus was buried, although as God You were not ignorant of this.

Displaying Your two energies, O Savior, You made manifest Your two natures: for You are both God and man.

Though You are the Abyss of knowledge, You asked where they have laid the body of Lazarus. For it was Your purpose, O Giver of Life, to raise him from the dead.

Going from one place to another as a mortal man, You have appeared circumscribed; but, as God uncircumscribed, You fill all things.

O Lord who works miracles, standing in Bethany by the tomb of Lazarus, You shed tears for him in accordance with the law of nature, confirming the full reality of the flesh which You have taken, O Jesus my God.

The sisters of Lazarus stood beside Christ and, lamenting with bitter tears, they said to Him: “O Lord, Lazarus is dead.” And though as God He knew the place of burial, yet He asked them, “Where have you laid him?” Coming to the tomb, He called Lazarus that was four days dead; and he arose and worshipped the Lord who had raised him.

Foreknowing all things as Creator, You warned the disciples at Bethany, saying: “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep today.” And, though You were not ignorant, You asked: “Where have you laid him?” Weeping as a man, You prayed to the Father; You called Your friend Lazarus from hell, O Lord, and raised him when he had been four days dead. Therefore we cry to You: Accept, O Christ our God, the praise we dare to offer, and count us all worthy of Your glory.

You prayed to the Father, not because You are in need of any help, but to fulfil the mystery of Your Incarnation; and so, almighty Lord, You raised up a corpse that was four days dead.

Co-eternal with the Father, the Word that was revealed from the beginning as God, now offers prayers as man, though it is He that receives the prayers of all.

You are my might, O Lord, You are my power; You are my God, You are my joy. You were not separated from the Father, yet You have visited our poverty. Therefore with the Prophet Habakkuk I cry to You: Glory to Your power, O You who loves mankind.

As true God You knew of the falling asleep of Lazarus and announced it beforehand to Your disciples, giving them a proof, O Master, of the infinite power of Your divinity.

You who are by nature uncircumscribed was circumscribed in the flesh; coming to Bethany, O Master, as man You weep over Lazarus, and by Your power as God You raise him on the fourth day from the dead.

As mortal man You asked where Lazarus was buried; as Maker, You raised him from the dead by Your royal command. Hell was afraid of him when he cried out to You: “Praise the Lord and exalt Him above all for ever.”

As a mortal, You search for Lazarus; as God, You raise him by Your word, though he was four days dead. Therefore we sing Your praises forever.

As man You pray to the Father, as God You raise Lazarus. Therefore, O Christ, we sing Your praises forever.

You walk and weep and speak, my Savior, showing the action of Your human nature; and, revealing Your divine nature, You raise Lazarus.

In ways beyond words, my Master and Savior, You have brought about my salvation by the free will exercised in each of Your two natures.

O Christ, who is the Resurrection and the Life of man, standing by the tomb of Lazarus You have confirmed our faith in Your two natures, O forbearing Lord, proving that You were born from the pure Virgin as both God and man. For as man You asked, “Where is he buried?” and as God by Your life-giving command You raised him from the dead on the fourth day.

You have granted to Your disciples, O Christ, tokens of Your divinity, but You have humbled Yourself among the crowds, wishing to conceal it from them. Foreknowing all things as God, You have foretold to the apostles the death of Lazarus; yet at Bethany, when in the presence of the people, you have as man asked where Your friend was buried, being ignorant of this. But then You raised him four days after he was dead, and so he rendered manifest Your power as God. O almighty Lord, glory to You.
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« Reply #29 on: November 22, 2011, 09:41:13 AM »

What does it mean in when the priest prays in the liturgy "without change or differentiation thou didst become man"?

Jason's answer is that the liturgy is just wrong, which I'm not sure I am really okay with.

Nor should you be. That's a horrible way to treat our liturgy.

It's probably the same as everything else: MYSTERY.

How can someone be both God and man? Not really possible to be two 100% things.
How is the Eucharist "eaten but never consumed" or whatever? When you eat something you consume it.

In the same way the the councils were not trying to create rationally delineated and exhaustive formulas to "solve" the God problem, but were rather trying to put the mystery into words even if it didn't make sense, I think that this might be the same thing. It is something that you can say with words that doesn't make sense, at least in our limited human logic and resigning abilities. Maybe it's one of those things where you just say what is true, even if it seems like nonsense. The Son become incarnate without causing a change in the Godhead.

I'm just throwing this out there as a curiosity.

I think you just answered your very own question.
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« Reply #30 on: November 22, 2011, 10:14:42 AM »

God the Father didn't become something other than what He was before. God the Holy Spirit didn't become something other than what He was before. God the Son did become something other than what He was before, without ceasing to be what He was before. The divine nature did not cease to be what it was before, but became united to human nature when a Divine Person became human.

Or as we sing in the liturgy, "without change became".

And back to the Eucharistic reference, how does the bread and wine become changed into the Body and Blood of Christ without losing what pertains to the nature of bread and wine (I'll give you a hint, don't try to give any more detailed of an answer than "making the change by the Holy Spirit")? The point is that it just is.

The answer is, the entire Godhead was not united to us through the Son until the incarnation but is now, so yes there was a change.
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« Reply #31 on: November 22, 2011, 01:07:10 PM »

For the record, I ain't getting into this.

But please folks, don't just reduce my thoughts to x is y. I rarely take such a reductionist stance on anything.

In fact I don't even buy this: x is x means x = x.

Thank you.
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« Reply #32 on: November 22, 2011, 02:51:46 PM »

nothing about Divinity changed when the Incarnation happened.
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« Reply #33 on: November 22, 2011, 02:53:52 PM »

nothing about Divinity changed when the Incarnation happened.
What's a Divinity?
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« Reply #34 on: November 22, 2011, 03:39:07 PM »

I'm pretty sure that Orthodoxy puts a lot of stock in God's immutability, even if she doesn't tend toward that language.
Well it isn't in the Creeds and councils so it can't be that important. A lot of Church Fathers were Platonists which was a good choice for their milieu but if Platonism is untenable they would want us to discard it, wouldn't they?

I don't see how it's possible for the Incarnation to not be a change.

Read this book:


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« Reply #35 on: November 22, 2011, 03:47:46 PM »

Get your tangential omniscience up outta my thread:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,28594.0.html
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« Reply #36 on: November 22, 2011, 04:10:54 PM »

I'm pretty sure that Orthodoxy puts a lot of stock in God's immutability, even if she doesn't tend toward that language.
Well it isn't in the Creeds and councils so it can't be that important. A lot of Church Fathers were Platonists which was a good choice for their milieu but if Platonism is untenable they would want us to discard it, wouldn't they?

I don't see how it's possible for the Incarnation to not be a change.

Read this book:



That book does not explain the more fundamental question he is asking.
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« Reply #37 on: November 22, 2011, 04:50:58 PM »

A lot of Church Fathers were Platonists

How many is "a lot"? Which ones?

Every change is from one perfect state to another.

'Change' from A to A is not change.


Jason's answer is that the liturgy is just wrong, which I'm not sure I am really okay with.

I would go further and say I am sure I'm not okay with that (if that's actually what he said - and meant).

meaningless "didactic" passages

Why is something meaningless because it is didactic? And why do some folks around here seem so uncomfortable with any of our Lord's actions having a didactic purpose?

Quote
He felt power flowing out Him to heal her but had no idea what was happening.

Impossible. That is like saying He did not know where Lazarus was buried. Of course He knew, in both cases! otherwise He could not be omniscient. 
He gave up His omniscience in the process of becoming a lowly servant.

Where does it say that in the Scriptures or the Fathers?

If the Lord, in his incarnation, divested himself of all things proper to the divine (omniscience, for one), in what sense can we say he was incarnate in two natures?
[/quote]

Good question.

Who says omniscience is proper to the divine?

Um... you did.

That sounds like Anselm.

So Anselm's the new bogeyman?

Exactly, it's s paradox. It's right there in "Only begotten Son" too: "who without change didst become man..." How does one become without change? To Platonist ears this would sound ridiculous.

Thank you.
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« Reply #38 on: November 22, 2011, 05:24:09 PM »

No.
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« Reply #39 on: November 22, 2011, 06:31:31 PM »

An examination of the hymnography for Vespers and Matins for the feasts of the Nativity, of the Meeting of the Lord, and the Raising of Lazarus would be a good start in looking at the question of Christ's omniscience.

St Cyril of Alexandria's teaching from the Gospel of St John on Lazarus and omniscience:

But you will perhaps say, How then? the Father is greater in knowledge, for therefore doth He teach the Son. But we again will say that we have entirely shewn through many words that the Wisdom of the Father is without any need of learning and instruction and having joined together many arguments thereto, we proved that their speech has its exit in boundless blasphemy. Next, it is necessary to tell thee besides that the Son's aim and special care is ever to abate His own Dignity and not to speak much in God-befitting manner, because of the Form of the servant and of the abasement thence for our sakes undertaken. For whither hath He descended, and whence unto what removed, if He say nothing inferior and not wholly worthy of God-befitting glory? For for these reasons He often takes the form of not knowing as Man what as God He knows. You will see this clearly in the history of Lazarus of Bethany, whom when now of four days and stinking, He with wonder-working might and most God-befitting voice caused to return to life. Look at the economy fashioned herein. For knowing that Lazarus was dead and having fore-announced this, as God, to His disciples, in human wise Ho asked, saying, Where have ye laid him? O wondrous deed! He Who was living far away from Bethany and was not ignorant as God, that Lazarus is dead, how sought He to learn where the tomb was? But you will say (thinking most rightly) that He made feint of the question, arranging something profitable. Receive therefore in this case too that He economically says that what He knows as God, this He learnt of the Father; not permitting the mad folly of the Jews to be further excited, and punishing the wrath of the more unlearned, He does not introduce God-befitting language to them unsoftened, although it rather befitted Him so to do.

Source: http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/cyril_on_john_05_book5.htm
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« Reply #40 on: November 22, 2011, 06:51:39 PM »

Every change is from one perfect state to another.

'Change' from A to A is not change.


What if the whole alphabet were perfect?
#shakes head
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« Reply #41 on: November 22, 2011, 07:14:11 PM »

A lot of Church Fathers were Platonists

How many is "a lot"? Which ones?

Every change is from one perfect state to another.

'Change' from A to A is not change.
God's Divine Energies are all "perfect", yes? God's Divine Energies are myriad, not simple. God's Divine Energies do not act the same way at all times (the earth wasn't always flooded, King David's son wasn't born pre-smitten, etc)

Therefore "Divine Perfection" (perhaps we should say glory instead) can move from one manifestation of perfection to another manifestation of perfection and there is a change but at the same time there is not a change *depending on the sense in which the word 'change' is used.

God became materially mutable; Change.
God died; Change.
God was "mastered by grief"; Change.
God was acted upon by thirst and hunger and altered by his environment; Change.
God the Son was and is the Word, was obedient unto death, humble, and faithful to Israel; No change.
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« Reply #42 on: November 22, 2011, 07:24:24 PM »

I would not say the Fathers were Platonists- they all disagreed with Plato on some key points- but certainly a lot of Platonic ideas were borrowed and reworked to express Christian theology and spirituality. Read what Plato says about the soul, the ascent to the Beautiful, the study of nature, etc. and it's clear how indebted to Plato we are.
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« Reply #43 on: November 22, 2011, 07:53:51 PM »

A lot of Church Fathers were Platonists

How many is "a lot"? Which ones?

Every change is from one perfect state to another.

'Change' from A to A is not change.
God's Divine Energies are all "perfect", yes? God's Divine Energies are myriad, not simple. God's Divine Energies do not act the same way at all times (the earth wasn't always flooded, King David's son wasn't born pre-smitten, etc)

Therefore "Divine Perfection" (perhaps we should say glory instead) can move from one manifestation of perfection to another manifestation of perfection and there is a change but at the same time there is not a change *depending on the sense in which the word 'change' is used.

God became materially mutable; Change.
God died; Change.
God was "mastered by grief"; Change.
God was acted upon by thirst and hunger and altered by his environment; Change.
God the Son was and is the Word, was obedient unto death, humble, and faithful to Israel; No change.

would you say God changed "when" He created?
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« Reply #44 on: November 22, 2011, 10:55:01 PM »

Every change is from one perfect state to another.

'Change' from A to A is not change.


What if the whole alphabet were perfect?
#shakes head
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« Reply #45 on: November 22, 2011, 10:58:32 PM »

Quote
Christ was only ignorant in the limitations of earthly life.

Not true. Look at the hymnography I referred to earlier. And how many times do we come across mention of Christ knowing the thoughts of others in the Gospels?
I said ignorant, not "completely with knowledge or ability of any kind." Think of it this way, are clairvoyant Athonite Elders omniscient?
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« Reply #46 on: November 22, 2011, 11:02:54 PM »

Get your tangential omniscience up outta my thread:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,28594.0.html
Sorry. LBK, we can continue this in the other thread if you like.
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« Reply #47 on: November 22, 2011, 11:25:26 PM »

How many is "a lot"? Which ones?
St. Gregory of Nyssa, St. Cyril, Clement of Alexandria, St. Justin Martyr, St. John Crysostom, St. Ireneaus, I'm sure there are others who could be named.

Even though they disagree with Play-Doh in some aspects, one of things they definitely share with him is the assumption that perfection is changelessness, it's what drives all the hemming and hawing over passages such as the healing of the woman with the issue of blood.

Why is something meaningless because it is didactic? And why do some folks around here seem so uncomfortable with any of our Lord's actions having a didactic purpose?
It's meaningless because it doesn't teach us anything useful. What are we supposed to learn? That Jesus knows how to to ask a fake question? What was He trying to teach?

Where does it say that in the Scriptures or the Fathers?

Philippians 2:5-8 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

How is being all-knowing taking our likeness? Your view makes Him little more than God in a meat suit.

Um... you did.
No, omniscience is just something God happens to have.

So Anselm's the new bogeyman?
Yes, he lives in my closet and points at me menacingly.
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« Reply #48 on: November 22, 2011, 11:50:20 PM »

A lot of Church Fathers were Platonists

How many is "a lot"? Which ones?

Every change is from one perfect state to another.

'Change' from A to A is not change.
God's Divine Energies are all "perfect", yes? God's Divine Energies are myriad, not simple. God's Divine Energies do not act the same way at all times (the earth wasn't always flooded, King David's son wasn't born pre-smitten, etc)

Therefore "Divine Perfection" (perhaps we should say glory instead) can move from one manifestation of perfection to another manifestation of perfection and there is a change but at the same time there is not a change *depending on the sense in which the word 'change' is used.

God became materially mutable; Change.
God died; Change.
God was "mastered by grief"; Change.
God was acted upon by thirst and hunger and altered by his environment; Change.
God the Son was and is the Word, was obedient unto death, humble, and faithful to Israel; No change.

would you say God changed "when" He created?
Unless you posit that the Divine Energies have always created creation (which would imply pre-existent matter), then in some sense a change occurred.
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« Reply #49 on: November 22, 2011, 11:51:42 PM »

A lot of Church Fathers were Platonists

How many is "a lot"? Which ones?

Every change is from one perfect state to another.

'Change' from A to A is not change.
God's Divine Energies are all "perfect", yes? God's Divine Energies are myriad, not simple. God's Divine Energies do not act the same way at all times (the earth wasn't always flooded, King David's son wasn't born pre-smitten, etc)

Therefore "Divine Perfection" (perhaps we should say glory instead) can move from one manifestation of perfection to another manifestation of perfection and there is a change but at the same time there is not a change *depending on the sense in which the word 'change' is used.

God became materially mutable; Change.
God died; Change.
God was "mastered by grief"; Change.
God was acted upon by thirst and hunger and altered by his environment; Change.
God the Son was and is the Word, was obedient unto death, humble, and faithful to Israel; No change.

would you say God changed "when" He created?
Unless you posit that the Divine Energies have always created creation (which would imply pre-existent matter), then in some sense a change occurred.

You people are winning me over.
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« Reply #50 on: November 23, 2011, 10:06:00 AM »

How many is "a lot"? Which ones?
St. Gregory of Nyssa, St. Cyril, Clement of Alexandria, St. Justin Martyr, St. John Crysostom, St. Ireneaus, I'm sure there are others who could be named.

I'll take their opinion over yours any day.

Even though they disagree with Play-Doh
How mature.
in some aspects, one of things they definitely share with him is the assumption that perfection is changelessness,
that's not Platonism; that's logic.
it's what drives all the hemming and hawing over passages such as the healing of the woman with the issue of blood.

Cite an example of "hemming and hawing".

Why is something meaningless because it is didactic? And why do some folks around here seem so uncomfortable with any of our Lord's actions having a didactic purpose?
It's meaningless because it doesn't teach us anything useful. What are we supposed to learn? That Jesus knows how to to ask a fake question? What was He trying to teach?

That He is both God and man?

Where does it say that in the Scriptures or the Fathers?

Philippians 2:5-8 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

That passage says nothing about losing omniscience.

How is being all-knowing taking our likeness? Your view makes Him little more than God in a meat suit.

Your view makes Him little more than just a meat suit.
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« Reply #51 on: November 23, 2011, 10:48:00 AM »

"Unchangeable, yet All-Changing" St. Augustine, "Confessions"
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« Reply #52 on: November 23, 2011, 11:07:01 AM »

"Unchangeable, yet All-Changing" St. Augustine, "Confessions"

Exactly. Not either one or the other, but both at the same time. Both transcendent and immanent.
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« Reply #53 on: November 25, 2011, 04:50:44 PM »

52 replies and not one mention of Chalcedon? Wassup wit dat?

We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach people to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood;
truly God and truly man, of a reasonable [rational] soul and body;
consubstantial [co-essential] with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the Manhood;
in all things like unto us, without sin;
begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, and in these latter days, for us and for our salvation, born of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, according to the Manhood;
one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably;
the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person and one Subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and only begotten God (μονογενῆ Θεὸν), the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ;
as the prophets from the beginning [have declared] concerning Him, and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself has taught us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers has handed down to us.
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« Reply #54 on: November 25, 2011, 08:14:33 PM »

To argue that such things as creation of time and a world of change involve a change in time's Creator smuggles temporality into the being of God, which is, of course, a very fashionable assumption these days. Still, on the classical understanding it is not necessary to view incarnation or creation as involving change sub specie aeternitatis:

Quote from: Hans Kung
“Let us put it once more sub specie temporis: On the basis of our temporal images we can speak of a time in which the Son of God had ‘not yet’ become man… And now sub specie aeternitatis: When we reason from the viewpoint of God’s eternal manner of existence, we must abandon transitory and temporal conceptions. God has time in its fullness without end; His time is not fragmented into a sequence of present, past, and future. Rather it is the unity of the before, the now, and the hereafter –of beginning, middle, and end. It is erroneous to conceive of the divine Logos as if He had ‘already’ become man in some ‘pre-temporal’ eternity, just as it would be wrong to imagine that the divine Logos had ‘not yet’ become man in some ‘pre-temporal’ eternity. From this viewpoint there is no such thing in God Himself as an eternity before the incarnation. This would amount to dissolving eternity into an interior time of unlimited duration… On the basis of our temporal images we can ask: What is the Son of God before the incarnation? From the standpoint of eternity, however, the most we can ask is: What would the Logos be without the incarnation? –a question possibly helpful in formulating the absolutely free graciousness of the incarnation. In the realm of eternity, it is impossible to speak simply in the strict sense of a non-incarnate Logos, of a prehistorical, pre-Christian, or post-Christian epoch. In this connection, all terms expressing a “pre” (like predetermination, prevision, predestination, pre-existent Christ) easily mislead, since they result, often unconsciously, in the application of inferior temporal images to God’s eternity. We must not overlook the primacy in knowing which existent act has over all forms of potency. To think of God’s knowing as first focused on the yet-undefined, on the potential and possible and only thereafter on the actual and the real, on the final existential definiteness of things, is an anthropomorphism. It is deceiving to imagine that for God knowledge of possibilities (possiblilia) could be an anterior prerequisite for knowing existing things or for deciding to create them. Equally deceiving is the notion that God’s knowledge of what is necessary in His person (for instance, His omnipotence or the Trinity of Persons) could be an anterior prerequisite for knowing what is free in Himself (for example the human nature of the Son).
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« Reply #55 on: November 25, 2011, 08:36:20 PM »

52 replies and not one mention of Chalcedon? Wassup wit dat?

We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach people to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood;
truly God and truly man, of a reasonable [rational] soul and body;
consubstantial [co-essential] with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the Manhood;
in all things like unto us, without sin;
begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, and in these latter days, for us and for our salvation, born of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, according to the Manhood;
one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably;
the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person and one Subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and only begotten God (μονογενῆ Θεὸν), the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ;
as the prophets from the beginning [have declared] concerning Him, and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself has taught us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers has handed down to us.

Now that Chalcedon has been brought up... Wink

In His letter to Succensus Bishop of Diocaesarea in Isauria, Saint Cyril of Alexandria wrote:
  ‘Considering, therefore, as I said, the manner of His incarnation we see that His two natures came together with each other in an indissoluble union, without blending and without change, for His flesh is flesh and not divinity, even though his flesh became the flesh of God, and likewise the Word also is God and not flesh, even though He made the flesh His own according to the dispensation. Therefore, whenever we have these thoughts in no way do we harm the joining into a unity by saying that he was of two natures, but after the union we do not separate the natures from one another, nor do we cut the one and indivisible Son into two sons but we say that there is one Son, and as the holy Fathers have said, there is one φυσις [nature] of the Word (of God) made flesh.


Emphasis mine. Brackets mine.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2011, 08:50:57 PM by zekarja » Logged

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