Chapter 4 God of God Light of Light Footnotes 80-117

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The Trinitarian Faith

“What kind of God would we have, then, if Jesus Christ were not the self-revelation or self-communication of God, if God were not inherently and eternally in his own being what the Gospel tells us he is in Jesus Christ? Would ‘God’ then not be someone who does not care to reveal himself to us? Would it not mean that God has not condescended to impart himself to us in Jesus Christ, and that his love has stopped short of becoming one with us? It would surely mean that there is no ontological, and therefore no epistemological, connection between the love of Jesus and the love of God — in fact there would be no revelation of the love of God but, on the contrary, something that rather mocks us. For while God is said to manifest his love to us in Jesus, he is not actually that love in himself.”

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80. Athanasius Con Ar., 1.19; 2.2, 14De decr. 15. Cf. G. D. Dragas, Athanasiana, Vol. 1, 1980, p. 54.

81. Basil Con Eun., 1.18ff.

82. See the citations from Arius’ Thalia in Athanasius, De syn., 15De decr., 16Ad Episc., 14, 16.

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83. Athanasius, Con Ar., 2.82.

84. Basil Ep., 28.8. Cf. Athanasius Con Ar., 2.18, 22; 3.3f.

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85. Athansasius, Exp. fidei, 1 & 4De decr., 13fAd episc. 17Con Ar., 2.18, 67, etc.

86. Athanasius Ad Epict., 2-9Con Ar., 4.30-36.

87. Athanasius Con Ar., 3.30. Epiphanius, Haer., 77.29: ‘The self-same was God and man, not as if he dwelt in a man, but that he himself became man wholly.’

88. The two treatise Contra Apollinarem present powerful arguments for the full reality of the humanity of Christ in effecting salvation of the whole man. See the recent work of G. D. Dragas, St Athanasius Contra Apollinarem, (Vol. 1) (Vol.2) 1985, for a full discussion of the Athanasian Christology and soteriology of these treatise.

89. Athanasius was quick to ask how, in that case, the Logos himself could endure the absolute presence and hand of God, if he too, according to the Arians, was a creature. De decr., 7ff.

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90. Athanasius Ad Episc., 13

91. Athanasius Ep. fest., 4.4; 5.6; 10.9Ad Adel., 2ff

92. John, 5.17 (But He answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.”), cited frequently by the Nicene theologians – e.g. Athanasius In ill. om., 1; Ad episc., 17Con Ar., 2.21f, 29, etc.

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93. Athanasius De decr., 7 & 1Cor. 8.6 (yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him) – see further De decr., 19ffCon Ar., 1.19; 2.31; 3.4, 39; De syn., 35, etc.

94. Athanasius De syn., 46.

95. Athanasius Con Ar., 2.21ff, 29, 31, 56ffAd Max., 3f.

96. Athanasius Ad Adel., 8.

97. Athanasius Con Ar., 1.6, 38-39, 42-43.

98. Athanasius De decr., 1, 25Con Ar., 2.6, 9f, 45, 51f, 75fAd Ant., 7.

99. One and the same grace is from the Father in the Son, as the light of the sun and of the radiance is one, and the sun’s illumination is effected through the radiance.’ Athanasius Con Ar., 3.11; cf. also 3.13.

100. Athanasius De decr., 14Con Ar., 1.16, 39f, 50; 3.1f.

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101. While the word θέωσις is not found in the writings of Athanasius, it does seems to express what lay behind the use of the verb θεοποιέω – cf. De inc., 54; ‘He became man that we might be made divine’ (αὐτος γὰρ ἐνηνθρώπησεν, ἵνα ἡμεῖς θεοποιηθῶμεν).

102. John 10.35 ( If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came) – see Athanasius, Con Ar., 1.39Ad Afr., 7. The concept of θεοποίησις was also reinforced by that of enlightenment (φωτισμός), for since Christ is God of God and Light of Light, not just a witness to the Light but the real Light, his enlightening of us is necessarily a divine and deifying activity. See De decr., 23fCon Ar., 1.43; 2.41; 3.3ff, 125; 4.18Ad Ser., 1.19f, 30, etc.

103. Athanasius Con Ar., 1.9, 16, 37-43, 46-50; 2.47, 53, 59, 63-70, 74, 76-78; 3.17, 19-25, 34, 39-40, 53; 4.33-36. See Also De Decr., 14; De syn., 51Ad Adel., 4; Ad Ser., 1.24.

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104. Thus in a comment on Philippians 2.9-10, Athanasius wrote: ‘For as Christ died and was exalted a man, so as man he is said to take what as God ever had, that the grace thus given (ἡ ποιαύτη δοθεῖσα χάρις) might come to us. For the Word did not suffer loss in taking a body in order that he should seek to receive grace, but rather he deified (ἐθεοποίησεν) what he put on, and more than that graciously gave (ἐχαρίστατο) it to mankind.’ Con Ar., 1.42. Cf. 2.69; 3.39-40.

105. Athanasius, Con Ar., 3.12

106. It is unfortunate that θέωσις or θεοποίησις, with reference to 2Peter 1.4 (θείας κοινωνοὶ φύσεως), is often misunderstood in this debased sense of grace – an idea that Athanasius clearly rejected, Con Ar., 2.17ff, 24f. For Athanasius’ use of 2Peter 1.4, see Ad Adel., 4, with reference to the fact that in becoming man the Son of God transferred our ‘erring generation’ (πλανηθεῖσαν γέννησιν) into himself that we might be a ‘holy race’.

107. Athanasius Ad Ser., 1.27.

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108. Athanasius Con Ar., 2.18; 3.11ff, 24-25, 39f; 4.6f.

109. Athanasius Ad Ser., 1.14; cf. 3.5: ‘The Spirit is not outside the Word, but, being in the Word, through him is in God. And so the spiritual gifts (τὰ χαρίσματα) are given in the Triad . . . For the Father himself through the Word in the Spirit works and gives all things.’

110. Athanasius Ad Ser., 1.30

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111. Athanasius, Con Ar., 1.41ff, 59ff; 2.7ff, 68ff, 75f; 3.31ff, 56f; 4.6f; and see especially the Athanasian Con Apol., 1 & 2.

112. Gregory Naz., Or., 45.28f; also ibid., 22.

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113. Athanasius Con Gent., 47De inc., 20f, 56In Ill. om., 2; Con Ar., 1.59f; 2.14, 31, 69, 76; 4.6fCon Apol., 1.11; cf. De incet con Ar., 22; and Serm. maj. de fid., 26

114. See Athanasius Con Ar., 1.42f

115. Gregory Nyss. Con Eun., 1.15; cf. 2.12

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116. See especially Athanasius Con Ar., 1.46; 2.69-76; 3.1-6, 30-35; 4.1ff, 33-36Ad Epict., 5-9

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117. Athanasius Ad Afr., 2

Chapter 5 The Incarnate Saviour