Tag Archives: Georges Florovsky

Jesus is united to the whole of humanity

A little significant theological reflection is needed. What actually is the point of the Incarnation of Jesus? What difference does it make? Why is what happened to Jesus in the Paschal Mystery important for my redemption and salvation? One of my favorite Orthodox theologians/historians of theology, Father Georges Florovsky points to the fact Christ is not for one person, but for all people, and that all people are to become divine. Make sense to you?

Christ Pantocrator, detail of the Deesis mosaic

The Word became man so that we could “become divine,” “in order to deify us in Himself.” Deification is adoption by God, and “humans sons have become the sons of God.” We are “received by the Word and are deified through His flesh” by virtue of the Incarnation. Born from the Virgin, the Word was not united with only one man, but with the whole of human nature. Therefore everything that was achieved in the human nature of Christ is immediately extended to all men because they have a body in common with Him. There is no coercion involved here. Men are more than similar to Christ; they are truly participants in the human nature of the Word. Christ is a vine and we are the branches, “united with Him by our humanity.” In the same way that the tendrils which grow from a grapevine are consubstantial with it, so are our bodies consubstantial with the body of the Lord, and we receive what He has accomplished. His body is the “root of our resurrection and salvation.” Everyone is renewed, anointed, healed, and exalted in Christ, for “He has taken everyone on Himself.” This is not merely similarity or substitution, but actual unity. Therefore all humanity is anointed by the Spirit in the Jordan, dies on the cross, and is resurrected to immortality in Christ because “He Himself bears our body.”

Father Georges Florovsky, discussing the theology of Saint Athanasius the Great, in chapter two of Florovsky’s patrology.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Distinguishing religion and theology

Subconsciously we are still studying the history of doctrine as a history of philosophy, and therefore we are bound to miss the very thing. For both theology and doctrine are not philosophy. It is not a speculation on religious topics or problems, even as it does not exclude the theological use of reasons. But it begins, earnestly and emphatically, with revelation — not with an innate “revelation” of the truth in the human mind, but with a concrete Revelation in history, with a true encounter. It is a personal datum — not because it is a private business of human personalities, but because it is a self-disclosure and challenge of a Divine Person of the Personal God.

Father Georges Florovsky

Religion and Theological Tensions

When you meet Christ, you accept his history

Father Sergius Bulgakov expressed himself very adequately when he said: “He who has once met Christ, His Savior, on his own personal path, and has felt His Divinity, has, in that very moment, accepted all fundamental Christian dogmas — Virgin Birth, incarnation, Second Glorious Advent, the Coming of the Comforter, the Holy Trinity. To this I want to add: Or else he has not yet met Christ, or, at any rate, has not recognized him.”

— Father Georges Florovsky in The Work of the Holy Spirit in Revelation

Treachery to the truth today?

Theologians are after divine truth and not mere human opinions. There is a danger and a difficulty about this point. We are in danger of modern disregard of theology. . . . The danger nowadays is overemphasis on non-intellectual elements. This means a kind of treachery to the truth. It used to be assumed that man is a reasonable animal. The modern idea seems to be that man is first and foremost a creature with a heart. I am not prepared, however, to give up my reason in connection with the things of God.

Father Georges Florovsky

Remarks made at the Second World Conference on Faith and Order

Edinburgh, August 4, 1937

Is Father Florovsky correct in his perception? I tend to think so….

Enhanced by Zemanta

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
coat of arms



Humanities Blog Directory