“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.”
81. Basil Con Eun., 1.18ff.
83. Athanasius, Con Ar., 2.82.
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.
90. Athanasius Ad Episc., 13
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., 17; Con Ar., 2.21f, 29, etc.
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., 19ff; Con Ar., 1.19; 2.31; 3.4, 39; De syn., 35, etc.
94. Athanasius De syn., 46.
96. Athanasius Ad Adel., 8.
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.
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., 1.39; Ad 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., 23f; Con Ar., 1.43; 2.41; 3.3ff, 125; 4.18; Ad Ser., 1.19f, 30, etc.
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.
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
114. See Athanasius Con Ar., 1.42f
117. Athanasius Ad Afr., 2