“In his earliest work, Contra Gentes, Athanasius had already singled out the basic question posited by the incarnation as to the relation of the one and only begotten Word of God, who is unchanging, unlimited and cot composite in his being and nature, to things created out of nothing which are changing, limited and composite in their existence and nature. The answer to that question, however, he found in the incarnation itself, for it was the wonderful union of the Word with created things that showed that the nature of things created out of nothing, when considered in themselves, is not only weak and mortal but fleeting or in a state of flux, and subject to dissolution even so far as its own laws are concerned. However, when created nature is considered in the perspective of the ungrudging goodness and loving-kindness of God, it is found to be maintained in being by the creating and ordering activity of the Word of God, and thus preserved by divine grace from lapsing back into nothing. It is indeed, as St Paul taught, through and in Christ that all things visible and invisible consist.”
110. In modern Greek ἐνδεχόμενος is now used for ‘contingent,’ which is rather appropriate since ἐνδέχεται is the Greek equivalent of the Latin conting
111. See John Philoponos, De aetern.mundi con. Proclum, 9.11-13 (N/A)
112. Mark 4.28
114. Athanasius, De inc., 4ff
115. Athanasius, De inc., 3-10;
118. Basil Hex., 6.1ff.
122. Refer to my discussion of this in Space, Time and Incarnation, 1969; and in ‘The Relation of Incarnation to Space,’ my contribution to the Festschrifit for Georges Florovsky, The Ecumenical World of Orthodox Civilisation, Vol. III, 1974, pp. 42-70.
126. Basil Hex., 1.8-10; 3.1ff; 9.2ff. This view of the constancy of nature was reinforced by John Philoponos in the sixth Century in his De opoficio mundi, 3.4 and his lost Contra Aristotelem, fragments which are preserved by Simplicius, Comm. in Arist. Gr., vol. 10, pp. 329ff.
127. See especially Athanasius Con Ar., 1.20;. 2.2; 2.24; 3.36. Cf. his insistence that Jesus Christ himself is the will of God, Con Ar., 2.31; 3.63; and Gregory Nazianzen’s distinction between ‘the person who wills’ and ‘the act of willing,’ Or. 29.6 .
129. Georges Florovsky, ‘The Concept of Creation in Athanasius,’ Studia Patristica, 1962, p. 37; Collected Works, Vol II, pp. 48, 57ff
131. Origen Con. Cel., 5.7; Basil, Hex., 1.3; cf. particularly the stoic view of nature, J. von Arnim, Stoicorum veterum Fragmenta, Vol II, 1027; Cicero, De natura deorum, II. 22, 57, etc. Rejection of the eternity and the unchangeability of the world was the main theme of the works of John Philoponos, De aeternitate mundi contra Proclum and Contra Aristotelem.
134. Basil Hex., 3.8
135. Basil Hex 2.1f.
136. John Philoponos, de op mundi, 2.1ff, which was evidently influenced by Basil’s discussion in Hexaemeron 6.1ff; De aetern. mundi. Proclum, 1.6-8, etc.
137. Cf. the statement of Aristides that God established everything on his own steadfastness (ἀσφάλεια), Ad Aut., 1.4. See Athanasius, Con Ar., 1.9, 35ff, 51f; 2.6-10; 3.36; De decr., 14; cf. de syn., 27.12; Con Apol., 1.12, 15