Chapter 5 The Incarnate Saviour Footnotes 120-153

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The Trinitarian Faith

“First we must remind ourselves of the boundless significance of what took place in Jesus Christ — if God did not spare his own Son but delivered him up for us all, as St Paul wrote to the Romans, the gifts of his love that flow to us freely with Christ are quite unlimited. The benefits of God’s free love. Clement of Alexandria had this in mind when he pointed out that, when the great love God gave himself as a ransom in establishing the new covenant and laid down his own life for every one of us, he offered a life which, not only exceeds what was called for, but has a value that outweighs the whole universe. this concept of transcendent worth of the sacrifice of Christ and its universal range was taken up by Basil of Caesarea, John Chrysostom, and Cyril of Jerusalem. It was Cyril of Alexandria, however, who argued most powerfully for the infinite worth of Christ’s sacrifice. He picked up the language of Clement and in stronger terms reinforced the claim that the death of Christ was much more than offering an equivalent redemption of man, because Christ himself was of infinite worth. While Athanasius did not speak specifically of the infinite value of Christ’s sacrifice, he did insist on the universal range of the vicarious work of Christ in incarnation and redemption, which was due to the fact that it was not just a man who suffered and died for us but the Lord as man, not just the life of a man that was offered to save us but the life of God as man. As we have seen, he never tired of asserting that what Christ accomplished on our behalf and in our place, whether in bearing the whole burden of divine judgment on sin or in freely bestowing upon mankind the immeasurable grace of God, applied to all without any qualification. In spite of this, there is no suggestion in the thought of Athanasius of the kind of ‘universalism’ advocated by Origen or by Gregory of Nyssa.”

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120. Basil In Ps., 48.3

121. Chrystostom In Rom., 5.17, ‘For Christ has paid down far more than the death we owe, yes, as much more as the boundless ocean exceeds a tiny drop of water.’ But cf. In Heb., 9.28, where Chrysostom claimed that while Christ’s death was ‘equivalent to the death of all’, he did not bear the sins of all men, for they were not willing’!

122. Cyril of Jer., Cat., 13.2-4, 33

123. Cyril of Alex., De inc. Dom., 27De rect. fid., 2.7 (N/A); In Jn., 1.29; 3.16.

124. Athanasius De inc., 7-10, 16, 20ff, 25, 37fCon Ari., 1.41, 49, 60; 2.7, 9, 13f, 53, 70; 3.20, 31ff, 39; 4.36Ad Adel., 4-8Ep., 10.10

125. Origen De princ., 1.6

126. Gregory Nyss., Or. cat., 26

127. Athanasius Con Ar., 1.43.

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128. Athanasius Con. Ar., 1.41; 2.22, 31, 69f; 3.33

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129. Clement Strom., 2.2; Origen De princ., 1.1; Athanasius De inc., 8, 16ff, 41ffDe decr., 14Con Ar., 1.23; 2.26; 3.1ff, 22f; 4.36; Hilary De Trin., 2.25; 10.16; Gregory Nyss. Or. cat., 10; Gregory Naz., Or., 28.7ff; 3.19 (typo?), etc. Consult my essay, ‘The Relation of the Incarnation to Space in Nicene Theology’, Andrew  Blane (Editor), The Ecumenical World of Orthodox Civilisation, vol. III,1974, pp. 43-70.  (This essay is also available in Torrance’s book, Divine Meaning in pdf, at Scribd with a monthly subscription you can download it, which I believe is quite reasonable. The first month is free).

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130. Isaiah 63.9 In all their affliction He was afflicted, And the angel of His presence saved them; In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them, And He lifted them and carried them all the days of old.

131. Athanasius Con Ar., 3.31ff, 41ff, 55ff; cf. 1.60Ad Adel., 4ffAd Epict., 5ffCon Apol., 1.10f; 2.1f; 10f. Refer to G Dragas, op. cit., pp. 242-280.

132. Gregory Naz., Or., 30.5f; 45.22 & 28. See the sensitive account of this by D. B. Harned, Creed and Personal Identity: The Meaning of the Apostle’s Creed, 1981, p. 67f.

133. Athanasius, Con Apol., 1.11; cf. 2.2f, 11fAd Epict., 6.

134. Cf. the logical argument advanced in Theodoret’s third Dialogue which inevitably imply a dualist interpretation of the incarnation – MPG, 83.220-317. Contrast Athanasius Ad Epict., 7

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135. Athanasius Con Apol., 2.11

136. Thus Didymus, De Trin., 3.12; εἰς ἀπάθειαν μετέστησεν. Cf. also 1.26 and De Sp. St., 1.11 for this interpretation of the divine ἀπάθεια(N/A)

137. Luke 2.52  And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

Mark 13.32 But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.

138. Athanasius Con Ar., 3.42-53

139. Athanasius Ad Ser., 2.9

140. Hilary De Trin., 9.58-75; Evagrius/Basil, Ep., 8.6-7; Basil, Ep., 236.2

141. Cf. Didymus De Trin., 3.22 (N/A)

142. Gregory Naz., Or., 30.15

143. Gregory Nyss., Adv. Apol., 24 Jaeger, 3.1, p. 167f (N/A)

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144. Cyril of Alex., Quod unus sit Christus, MPG. 75.1332Con Theod., MPG, 76.416Adv. Nest., MPG, 76.155Adv. anthr., MPG, 76.100-104De rect. fid., MPG, 76.1353Thes., MPG, 75.368-380; 421-429, etc. For a fuller discussion consult Theol. in Reconcil. pp. 163-7.

145. Athanasius De inc., 44.

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146. Athanasius De inc., 54

147. Athanasius  De decr., 14; See further De syn., 51Con Ar., 1.9, 37-42, 46-50; 2.47, 53, 59, 63-70, 74, 76-78; 3.17, 19-25, 34, 39f, 53; 4.33Ad Adel., 4Ad Epict., 5ffAd Ser., 1.24.

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148. Athanasius Con Ar., 1.38; 3.38Ad Afr., 7De syn., 51

149. Athanasius Con Ar., 1.38-39

150. Irenaeus Adv haer., 5.1.1., vol. 2, p. 315.

151. Irenaeus Adv haer., 3.18.1 (3.17.1), vol. 2, p. 92; 3.21.2 (3.20.2), p. 107

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152. Athanasius Con Ar., 1.46f – the biblical reference is 1Cor. 3.16 (Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?) – this is an Athanasian passage which shall consider later; cf. Con Ar., 3.24-25.

153. Hebrews 9.14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?