Theologossip

This one is from Jenkins’ Jesus Wars, quoting from St. Gregory of Nyssa who in the 380s wrote about how the theological controversy of the teaching of Arius was not only discussed among theologians, but more importantly everywhere in the neighbourhood of Constantinople:

“Every part of the city is filled with such talk; the alleys, the crossroads, the squares, the avenues. It comes from those who sell clothes, moneychangers, grocers. If you ask a money-changer what the exchange rate is, he will reply with a dissertation on the Begotten and Unbegotten. If you enquire about the quality and the price of bread, the baker will reply: “The Father is greatest and the Son subject to him.” When you ask at the baths wherever the water is ready, the manager will declare that “the Son came forth from nothing.”” (p. 62)

Question: which one is the orthodox, the baker or the manager?

(By the way, what a fun time to live.)

7 thoughts on “Theologossip

      1. septian Post author

        lol ya it’s supposed to be a trick question. the manager is definitely arian, and the baker’s statement has arian overtone, although a complementarian might agree with that statement with further qualifications. nonetheless, given the context of the controversy, i think the statement will be interpreted as arian.

        Reply
        1. septian Post author

          I doubt that is the case, as the Orthodox tends to move towards the other direction — completely divine Jesus without his human nature (think of the icon of Christ the Pantokrator). That’s why the Monophysites are huge in the East.

          By the way, the Greek (Chalcedonian) and Armenian (Monophysites) Orthodox priests were fighting again, this time around in the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem:

          I could totally imagine what they were saying to each other: “Die you heretics! We are the Orthodox! Die you Monophysites! Die you Chalcedonians!”

          On the other hand, Arianism gained much popularity in the West, as the Western barbarians picked up Arianism as their official religion. So, if the East needs to be reminded that Jesus is human too, the West needs to be reminded that Jesus is God. I wonder how the cultural background affects this difference. I mean, even until today, the study of historical Jesus comes not from the East, but from the West.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s