Saturday, June 27, 2020

"for this reason did the Word. . . . reveal . . . God to men through many dispensations, lest man, falling away from God altogether, should cease to exist."

     St. Irenaeus, Adv. haer. IV.xx.7, trans. Roberts & Rambaut (ANF 1) =IV.xxxiv.7 in ed. Harvey (Cambridge University Press, 1857), vol. 2, p. 219.
Therefore the Son of the Father declares [Him] from the beginning, inasmuch as He was with the Father from the beginning, who did also show to the human race prophetic visions, and diversities of gifts, and His own ministrations, and the glory of the Father, in regular order and connection, at the fitting time for the benefit [of mankind]. For where there is a regular succession, there is also fixedness; and where fixedness, there suitability to the period; and where suitability, there also utility. And for this reason did the Word become the dispenser of the paternal grace for the benefit of men, for whom He made such great dispensations, revealing God indeed to men, but presenting man to God, and preserving at the same time the invisibility of the Father, lest man should at any time become a despiser of God, and that he should always possess something towards which he might advance; but, on the other hand, revealing God to men through many dispensations, lest man, falling away from God altogether, should cease to exist [(hominibus per multas dispositions ostendens Deum, ne in toto deficiens a Deo homo, cessaret esse)]. For the glory of God is a living man; and the life of man consists in beholding God. For if the manifestation of God which is made by means of the creation, affords life to all living in the earth, much more does that revelation of the Father which comes through the Word, give life to those who see God.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Arian fundamentalism

"The Homoeans represented a simple and to a large extent even simplistic biblicism."

"Die Homöer vertraten einen schlichten und auch weithin undifferentzierten Biblizismus."

     Hanns Christof Brennecke, "Studien zur Geschichte der Homöer:  Der Osten bis zum Ende der homöischen Reichskirche," Beiträge zur historischen Theologie 73 (1988):  204n158, as quoted by Christoph Markschies in his "»Sessio ad dexteram«:  Bemerkungen zu einem altchristlichen Bekenntnismotiv in der christologischen Diskussion der altkirchlichen Theologen," in Le Trône de Dieu, ed. Marc Philonenko, Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum neuen Testament 69 (Tübingen:  J. C. B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck), 1993), 286n174 (252-317).  Homoeans or Homoians (Acacius, Bishop of Caesarea).

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

"Fear of scholasticism is the mark of a false prophet."

"Die Furcht vor der Scholastik ist das Kennzeichen des falschen Propheten."

     Karl Barth, CD I/1, 279 =KD I/1, 296.
At no time, even and especially in times of greatest flux, can the Church do without [regular—as distinguished from irregular—dogmatics], and on every hand there are indications that especially for Protestantism to-day an orderly school dogmatics might be healthier than a further plethora of irregularities in which it has always been so dangerously rich, particularly in the modern period. The results of irregular dogmatics are more exposed than those of regular dogmatics to the danger of being purely accidental, for in form at least they nearly always tend to be strongly influenced by the person and biography of their authors. The seriousness of their significance for the Church must at all events be proved by the fact that they can be presented not merely as the results of irregular dogmatics, e.g., in the form of sermons or the tone of pamphlets, not merely as the expression of religious and perhaps even prophetic experiences and impressions, but also in the stricter form of deliberations that can be tested academically. Almost all the insights in our field have first seen the light in the form of aphorisms and in the tone of proclamation. Dogmatics, i.e., the criticism and correction of previous proclamation, usually has its origin in proclamation itself. But an insight that is tied to the form of aphorisms or the tone of proclamation, an insight that cannot be taught as well, is no true insight, and hence dogmatics must develop as regular dogmatics even if it cannot begin as such. Nothing that can claim to be truly of the Church need shrink from the sober light of 'scholasticism.' No matter how free and individual it may be in its first expression, if it seeks universal acceptance, it will be under constraint to set up a school and therefore to become the teaching of a school. Fear of scholasticism is the mark of a false prophet. The true prophet will be ready to submit his message to this test too.
I was prompted to go back and reread §7.2 by Thomas Joseph White, O.P., The incarnate Lord:  a Thomistic study in Christology (Washington, DC:  The Catholic University of America Press, 2015), 235, which I may quote in its own right as well. 

Sunday, June 21, 2020

"The family is the primary obstacle to an ethic of choice, and so a primary target of genuinely radical liberal revolutionaries."

     Yuval Levin, channeling Edmund Burke.  The great debate:  Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and the birth of right and left (New York:  Basic Books, 2014), 103.