I think I’ve come to the point in my theological journey where I am no longer bothered by the claim that Protestantism isn’t the original church. I’ll go further: Neither is the Dionysian Church. The following from Olivianus should be helpful. We further see this influence in the early church’s movement away from a plainer reading of Scripture (evidenced by its commitment to historic premillennialism) to allegorism (evidenced by its spiritualizing everything) and its scorn of the “carnal passages of Scripture.”
Lossky mentions that Maximus claimed that Proclus copied Dionysius and not the other way around. Lossky mentions that Koch believed it to be the other way around. Lossky rejects Koch and believes the opposite is true. Lossky says, “here is a Christian thinker disguised as a neo-Platonist, a theologian very much aware of his task, which was to conquer the ground held by neo-Platonism by becoming a master of its philosophical method.” (pg. 122) This is laughable. Paul says, 1 Cor 1: 20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God. Men do not come to know God by mastering the methods of pagans but by revelation. Lossky believes he has found another point of individuation between the Eastern Philosophy and the Alexandrian/Plotinian in the doctrine of the divine darkness. Lossky says,
“Knowledge of God can only be attained by going beyond every visible and intelligible object. It is by ignorance…that we know the One who is above all that can be an object of knowledge. It is not divine gnosis which is the supreme end, but the union…that surpasses all knowledge…We grasp the unknowable nature of God in ignorance, by detaching ourselves from all His manifestations or theophanies.”Attempts have been made to connect this union with God through ignorance to the ecstasy of Plotinus….[Individuating His view from Plotinus’ Lossky says] Human beings united to God are not simply identified with Him, they are ‘entirely in God’…In the state of union we know God at a higher level than intelligence-nous– for the simple reason that we do not know Him at all.” (pg 122-123)
I am still trying to figure out why he thinks the Plotinian view is an intellectual issue where thought reached the One as I demonstrated above. Dr. Clark in describing Plotinus says,
“The Supreme One, transcending even the duality of propositional truth, transcending Mind, beyond all knowledge, shines by its own nature, and its expanding rays are the ranks of being in the world, each less brilliant than the prior one, until the light is lost in darkness and nothingness.” Clark, Gordon. The Trinity, (Jefferson, Maryland: The Trinity Foundation, 1985) pg. 115
The Neo-Platonic view and the Eastern view are indistinguishable.