St. Stephen's Musings

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:: Friday, March 19, 2004 ::

The Image of the Invisible God--Part I:

I recently had a conversation with someone about the purpose of Lent in the Orthodox Church. The response I got was very similar to this quote by Jacques Ellul:

"The Bible vigorously opposes mystics of all descriptions, including Christians, who ascend to heaven and contemplate God by means of ascetic practices. God can never be directly grasped or contemplated face to face ... The only channel of revelation is the Word."

Take that, St. Gregory of Palamas (and Fr. Florovsky!)

Ellul's kind of Christianity is what we get when we start limiting God to a radical OT ideal, mixing in some modern gnosticism, and throwing in a pinch of Cartesian dualism.
Of course, it helps when you decide that the Bible itself is really God.

Thankfully some are realizing that when you read the ancient Fathers and participate in the Church's liturgical life you get a much better and different picture of what Christianity actually is.

Update: J. Anthony wonders, for those who would agree with Ellul's quote above, "what does that do to your way of life? What is your goal in life if not communion with God?"

:: Karl :: 12:04:00 PM [Link] ::

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