On the recent Triablogue discussion

One of my posts raised a  discussion on triablogue.   My intention in the post was simply to show that EO’s claim of “Well, we offer communion with God” isn’t unique.  That’s it.   I pointed out how other traditions can offer the same claim.  I did not intend to say that EO = Hinduism = Islam = Mooneyism.   My state was simply a literary rhetorical flourish.   Many simply did not see that (I’ve long suspected that Modern Reformed’s over-analyticism precludes its ability to see literary patterns.  I now have proof).

One gentleman asked, “But EO believes in the Incarnation and these other traditions do not.”

To which I say, “Yeah, but…”

EO believes that the Logos instrumentalizes a generic form of human nature for the sole purpose of deifiying the flesh (all of the Eastern Fathers are very clear on this point; cf Khaled Anatolios, Athanasius: The Coherence of his Thought, Routledge).   We believe, by contrast, that the Logos assumed a human body (remember the catechism’s language on this point) within the larger narrative of redemption.  So when the EO speaks of incarnation and Rho speaks of incarnation, they have two fundamentally different goals in mind.

We have a narratival ontology of the Word that Speaks; EO has a classical metaphysics of a substance “behind the thing” (which fits in nicely with their doctrine of essence/energies).

I noticed, interestingly, that many of my challengers didn’t respond to my comments about the Instrumentalization Thesis.

Let’s ask the question another way

What’s man’s basic problem?   As a good Reformed you would say something like “sin” or “rebellion against God.”  That would be correct.  That is covenantal, ethical religion.

Metaphysical religion will say that man’s basic problem is the fundamental slide towards nonbeing.

It really does come back to Chain of Being vs. Covenant.   Sharp EO apologists also know this, which is why they will decry Covenant theology as “nominalist” or “nestorian” or some other n-word.   They are wrong, but they are sharper than the sons of light in this matter.
One of the not-funny ironies of the Van Til tradition is that they really didn’t understand what Van Til was saying.  I disagree with CvT more than I agree with him, but I notice when I quote CvT on the influence of Greek thinking, Reformed people get very, very nervous (this isn’t necessarily true of the Triablogue folks–though it might be–I am making a general observation).  In fact, the only people who truly understood CvT were the recons.  I remember going on Puritanboard some months ago and saying, quoting Michael Horton word-for-word,
“Instead of copying Plato’s “two-world idea” scheme, maybe we should rather go with St Paul’s Two-Age scheme.”   That line was probably the most important line of ontology I’ve ever read.  The responses on PB were anywhere from silent nervousness to “We can’t have that.”

8 comments on “On the recent Triablogue discussion

  1. olivianus says:

    “What’s man’s basic problem? As a good Reformed you would say something like “sin” or “rebellion against God.” That would be correct. That is covenantal, ethical religion.”

    >>>>>>My problem is how you define sin. The scripture defines it as disobedience to Yahuwah’s Torah. 1 John 3:4, Rom. 7:7.Once you take the Christian view of the Torah, you must logically slide back into some type of Buddhist like view of sin which EO have mastered.

    “Metaphysical religion will say that man’s basic problem is the fundamental slide towards nonbeing.”

    >>>Once you do away with the Torah……….. what else is there?

  2. John Bugay says:

    I wonder how Jacob came to understand the chain of being issues?

    I’m sure the knowledge was beamed into his brain from a space ship orbiting a distant planet.

    • I learned everything about Dionysius from the above commenter, and a good deal on chain-of-being. I have found the Recons helpful on chain of being, along with Arthur Lovejoy’s book of the same title.

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