Chapter 2 Access to the Father Footnotes 1-24

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The Trinitarian Faith

“When the Christian Church spread out from its centre in Judaea into the Mediterranean world its preaching and teaching of the Gospel came up against radical dualism of body and mind that pervaded every aspect of Graeco-Roman civilisation, bifurcating human experience and affecting fundamental habits of mind in religion, philosophy and science alike. The Platonic separation (χωρισμός) between the sensible world (κόσμος αἰσητός) and the intelligible world (κόσμος νοητός), hardened by Aristotle, governed the disjunction between action and reflection, event and idea, becoming and being, the material and spiritual, the visible and the invisible, the temporal and the eternal, and was built by Ptolemy into scientific cosmology that was to dominate European thought for more than a millenium.”

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1. Athanasius De syn., 46; Ad episc Aeg., 4ff. For the fuller discussion of these issues consult Theology in Reconstruction., 1965, Chapters 2 & 3.

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2. Athanasius Ad Afro., 4-11; Ad Jov., 1 etc.

3. Athanasius Con. Ar., 1.34 ; Οὑκοῡν εὐσεβέστερον καὶ ἀληθὲς ἂν εἴη μᾱλλον τὀν Θεὸν ἐκ τοῡ Υἱοῡ σημαίνειν καὶ Πατέρα λέγειν ἢ ἐκ μόνων τῶν ἔργον ὀνομάζειν καὶ λέγειν αὐτὸν ἀγένητον. Cf. 1.16, ; D Decr., 31; Hilary, de Trin., 1.17; 3.22; cf. 2.6-8

4. For Athanasius εὐσέβεια denoted ‘orthodoxy’, De syn 3; De Decr., 1; Con Ar., 1.7, etc; Ep Enc., 2; Ad Afr., 2; Ad Ant., 8 while ἀσέβεια or δυσσέβεια, impiety, denoted heresy, Con Ar., 1.1ff, 37, 52f; 2.18; 3.10, 55, etc.

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5. Hilary De Trin., 2.6f;

6. See Athanasius De Dec., 13; Con. Ar., 1.29; 2.22; etc

7. Athanasius De decr., 13; De Syn 34. Athanasius could also cite this passage from Plato (Republic, VI, 509b [The author of being is superior to all being]) but amended it so say that God is “beyond all created being’ – Con. Gent. 2.2; 35.1; 40.2. Cf. Origen Con. Cel., 7.38; Gregory Naz., Or., 30.18

8. Cf. Gregory Naz., Or 28.9; Athanasius Ad Mon., 2; Basil, Con Eun., 1.10 and contrast John of Damascus De fide orth., I.4

9. Athanasius Contra Ar. 1.29-34; De Syn., 35, 46-47

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10. Athanasius Con Ar., 1.1f, 14f, 37, 52f, 2.18, 38; 3.10, 55 De syn., 15. He charged the Arians with thinking of God κατ’ ἐπινοιαν, dreaming up conceptions of Him with no ground in reality – De Sent. Dion., 2, 23f; Ad episc., 12ff; Con Ar., 1.12; 2.37; 4.2f, 8f, 13; cf. Con Apol., 2.7.

11. Consult my account of this in Oikonomia. Heilgeschite als Thema der Theologie. edit. by F Christ, 1967, pp. 233-238; Theology in Reconciliation, 1975, pp. 215ff, 239ff, 255ff

12. The Athanasian/scientific realism is very evident in Con. Apol., 1.10, 13; 16f; 2.9. To think ‘in accordance with nature’ is contrasted with the fallacy of attempting to think ‘beyond nature’. 1.9; cf 1.13, 17; 2.18f. See Ad Epict 2, 7; De Syn., 54

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13. Athanasius Con Ar., 1.30; Ad ser., 1.9, 24; 2.5; cf also Con. gent., 9; Con Ar., 2.21, 41; De Dec., 11

14. Athanasius Con Ar., 1.9; cf. 3.11

15. Cf. Plato, Timaeus 28c, cited by Origen, Con Cel., 7.42

16. Athanasius Con. Ar., 1.33

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17. Cf Hilary: ‘The very centre of a saving faith is the belief not merely in God, but in God as Father, and not merely in Christ, but in Christ as the Son of God, in him, not as a creature, but as God the Creator, born of God.’ De Trin., 1.17; cf. 3.22; 5.20; 6.30.

18. Hilary De syn., 62 & 69; cf De Trin., 2.5ff; 3.1ff; 4.2.

19. Hilary De Trin., 2.6-11

20. Hilary De Trin., 2.6-7; cf. Athanasius, Ad Mon., 1ff; Gregory Nyss., Or. cat., 3.

21. Hilary, De Trin., 2.7; cf. 2.6, 11; 3.1-5; 4.1ff; 11.44-49

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22. See especially Athanasius, Exposito fidei, 1-4; and In Illud “omnia mihi tradita”, 1-6

23. Thus Irenaeus Adv. Haer., 4.11.1-5 (4.6.1-5); See ‘Deposit of Faith‘, SJT, vol. 36, 1983, no 1, pp. 8ff.

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24. Eph 2.18  for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.

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