Reason and Theology - Response to Jay Dyer on Future Debates
#31
Augustinian, It should be noted, though, that the word "energeia" appears in the Greek and other Eastern Fathers, though it is usually translated "Divine Operations" in the West when translated into Latin and English. What is surprising is that even Photius - the originator of the Greek Orthodox Schism - takes the Dogma of Divine Simplicity for granted! In fact, in his Mystagogy, he tries to argue from Divine Simplicity against Filioque, quite contrary on that matter also to modern Orthodox revisionists who deny Divine Simplicity. Even Gregory Palamas admits Divine Simplicity. The question of the "Divine Operations" pertains to the Manifestation of the Divine Attributes "ad extra" i.e. to say externally.

Otherwise, would not the Council of Florence have required retraction of "Divine Energies/Operations" from Eastern Orthodox Christians? But, we do not read of any such thing in that Council. On the contrary, we read this, as explained by the Catholic Dictionary:

Definition of terms from the Catholic Dictionary: " Term DIVINE OPERATION

Definition

God's activity outside of himself. Also called divine activity ad extra in contrast with divine activity within the Trinity. The Fourth Lateran Council and the Council of Florence teach that all of God's activity outside the Trinity is done simultaneously and equally by all Three Persons. Thus everything that God does in the world of creatures, whether naturally or supernaturally, is the Operation of all Three Divine Persons." https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/...m?id=33161

This indeed is what is correctly called Divine Energy or Divine Operation - i.e the External Manifestation of the Divine Attributes, or the Dispensation of God's Grace to us creatures. In the sense in which it appears in a St. Cyril or a St. Damascene - who, as you note, also taught Divine Simplicity of the Divine Essence Ad Intra - and it never caused controversy, until some people falsely began to claim that Divine Activity outside the Holy Trinity somehow compromises Divine Simplicity within the Holy Trinity. It does not. And so Orthodox Christians don't need to reject all those expressions in the Eastern Fathers, but should accept Divine Simplicity as taught by those same Fathers.

And similarly, Grace is uncreated in its Eternal Source, Who is God, but if it is sometimes said to be created in the soul, the meaning is that it has a beginning of existence in the soul.
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#32
(01-21-2020, 06:46 PM)XavierSem Wrote: This indeed is what is correctly called Divine Energy or Divine Operation - i.e the External Manifestation of the Divine Attributes, or the Dispensation of God's Grace to us creatures. In the sense in which it appears in a St. Cyril or a St. Damascene - who, as you note, also taught Divine Simplicity of the Divine Essence Ad Intra - and it never caused controversy, until some people falsely began to claim that Divine Activity outside the Holy Trinity somehow compromises Divine Simplicity within the Holy Trinity. It does not. And so Orthodox Christians don't need to reject all those expressions in the Eastern Fathers, but should accept Divine Simplicity as taught by those same Fathers.

And similarly, Grace is uncreated in its Eternal Source, Who is God, but if it is sometimes said to be created in the soul, the meaning is that it has a beginning of existence in the soul.

It doesn't sound like something other than a misunderstanding of terms by both parties. And when the question arises of the Absolutely Simple God being infinitely distant and unreachable from His creation, wasn't the introduction of Christ as Logos the thing that fixed this problem in St. John's Gospel? We don't understand how the hypostatic union unites God with creature, but obviously it does since the Incarnation happened.

Therefore, when accusations of Monadism on the part of Western theology arises, and the impossible gap that creates, clearly Christ Himself solves that problem.

I will note that in Dyer's article, toward the end, he conflates the West's acceptance of Divine Simplicity as tantamount to our modern issues with syncretism and the acceptance of a "Freemasonic Monad" which spans across all religions (Islam, Judaism, etc.) Which would have ground if the West did not accept the Trinity. And since we very clearly are Trinitarians, any sort of condemnation of the past 1,000 years of Western theology based upon this presupposition (a favored term of his), is completely false. So to say that we worship a Monad like Jews and Muslims falls flat on its face.
Sure, we can throw in the manufactured Filioque "controversy" to undermine Western conceptions of the Trinity. But I don't see how that dead horse has any weight when the West accepts both the filioque and the removal of it, as well as "through the Son." If things were on the contrary, then there would be some issues with Eastern Catholic omission of the filioque as well as their acceptance of Palamite theology. And since they are still accepted as in the Catholic Church, it becomes apparent that these supposed theological issues that so many anti-Catholic Orthodox like to hammer on have no real grounding in reality.
"The Heart of Jesus is closer to you when you suffer, than when you are full of joy." - St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

'And he shall be as a tree that is planted by the waters, that spreadeth out its roots towards moisture: and it shall not fear when the heat cometh.' - Jeremias 17:8
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#33
(01-21-2020, 05:48 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote: I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. I think Jay's arguments against ABS are pretty clear and locktight regardless of what people may say about his often pompous and mean spirited personal jibes.

If you think so, do you mind posting a summation of Dyer's argument against ABS (a term he made up) since you seem well-versed in his polemics.

I don't have time to read the link.
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#34
(01-21-2020, 07:41 PM)Augustinian Wrote: I will note that in Dyer's article, toward the end, he conflates the West's acceptance of Divine Simplicity as tantamount to our modern issues with syncretism and the acceptance of a "Freemasonic Monad"

I am tired of Thomism being blamed for the issues of today, as if it was Aquinas and not nominalism and a return to gnosticism (which itself is lend from neo-Platonism...a philosophical view opposite of Aquinas and deeply influential in Palamites like Dyer!) that have been the real cause of these issues.

Thomism only failure was not being able to stop the deluge of Nouvelle-Theologie, which itself reeks of the same Humanism of the XV-Century that lead directly to the Protestant revolt.
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#35
(01-21-2020, 08:49 PM)austenbosten Wrote:
(01-21-2020, 07:41 PM)Augustinian Wrote: I will note that in Dyer's article, toward the end, he conflates the West's acceptance of Divine Simplicity as tantamount to our modern issues with syncretism and the acceptance of a "Freemasonic Monad"

I am tired of Thomism being blamed for the issues of today, as if it was Aquinas and not nominalism and a return to gnosticism (which itself is lend from neo-Platonism...a philosophical view opposite of Aquinas and deeply influential in Palamites like Dyer!) that have been the real cause of these issues.

Thomism only failure was not being able to stop the deluge of Nouvelle-Theologie, which itself reeks of the same Humanism of the XV-Century that lead directly to the Protestant revolt.

While I don't identify as a Thomist (more a Bonaventurian-Augustinian) I don't see how St. Thomas's thought is the problem here beyond imagined issues which most likely result from inconsistencies in their own understanding, rather than the doctrine itself. I do agree that some Thomists (not to include the Angelic Doctor) have a tendency to portray a sense of Monadism in their vain study of God as some sort of philosophical object rather than the Person(s) He is, but that's a different thing altogether.

And here's the thing with Palamas, of the handful of his writings I've had time to read, I don't see anything which fundamentally bars a Catholic acceptance of his doctrine. Essentially, the Hesychastic doctrine isn't so different from Carmelite spirituality and it's focus on detachment from things, minus the Hesychast emphasis on a single prayer. There's a good article by Orthodox theologian David Bentley Hart on St. John of the Cross who makes a similar observation.
"The Heart of Jesus is closer to you when you suffer, than when you are full of joy." - St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

'And he shall be as a tree that is planted by the waters, that spreadeth out its roots towards moisture: and it shall not fear when the heat cometh.' - Jeremias 17:8
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