It is time now to quote the apostle himself on these matters. Make of them whatever you want to, according … As we continue reading the work, it becomes clear that what universalists are confusing as Origen-lite apokatastasis is in fact Gregory simply teaching on the existence of purgation in Hades after death for a limited class of people. This requires a long. It requires that people repent, place their faith in Christ, and live obedient lives by the grace of Christ in the Church. Explicitly, the “Church” is the subject being discussed. Once death has been destroyed – for if there are no persons who will die, not even death would exist – then we will be subjected to him; but this is not understood by some sort of servile humility. Therefore, Paul says that such enemies are to be subjected to God and the Father; death no longer is to have authority. The person who is divinized is explicitly “in Christ” and has “separated himself from sin” and in so doing “denied in himself the power of death” like Saint Paul. Christ makes everyone as limbs of his own body – even if there are many such limbs, the body is one. . Or something else? Gregory – as well as the other Cappadocian fathers – was heavily influenced by Origen. St. Barsanuphius the Great and St. Mark of Ephesus, to name a few. It is a disservice to everyone that no one interprets Gregory’s own words according to his own teaching on the same topic. “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive, .” But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then, ory is speaking of Christians, not the universal salvation of M. thras worshippers, Hindus, Buddhists, and whatever else. In this story of the Rich and the Poor Man we are taught another doctrine also, which is intimately connected with our former discoveries. Christians) from earlier in this paragraph and the one preceding it. For others, it makes them afraid to read Gregory. Therefore, every wicked authority and domination has been destroyed in us. As follows, appears to me, Gregory’s case for “apokatastasis”—one which he highly qualified in Il Illud and the Great Catechism to the point where he was merely floating the concepts but not actually teaching the belief—is similar to those other works in that he is not teaching universalism. It, hrist receives in himself all who are joined to him through the fellowship of. “We” who were “enemies” are no longer “slaves,” but now “friends.” Gregory immediately continues: Then the strong man’s ability in battle will cease when all opposition to the good will be destroyed. Evil is not found among the faithful, because God does not unite to Himself wickedness as His goodness neither increases or decreases (as we stated previously). Unity then means to be one body with him as Paul state, ything, then the entirety of Christ’s body will be subjected to God’s vivifying power, Thus, the subjection of this body will be said to. The ellipses (“…”) are original to the translation. On this note, Gregory immediately continues: Once Paul has been subjected to God, he is brought to the One who lives, speaks and effects good things. In this article, we will briefly summarize the argumentation in, he treatise is simply talking about the salvation of Christians, While many Orthodox or interested Christians may shy away fro, d be a real shame. People so universally and consistently assume Gregory of Nyssa is a universalist, it unsettles the faith of many. In the next paragraph, Gregory teaches that the saving unity between God and men belongs to Christ’s disciples: The words contained in the Gospel then add, “The glory which you have given to me I have given to them” [vs. 22]. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading Universal Salvation: Eschatology in the Thought of Gregory of Nyssa and Karl Rahner … As we can see, it is Paul’s repentance and turning towards God that is proof of the “grace of Christ dwelling within him.” This is not something true for just Paul, but all of us through repentance after hearing the Gospel. Really makes you think…. Christ makes everyone as limbs of his own body – even if there are many such limbs, the body is one. For as salvation is brought near to us by sub, Being reconciled, we shall be saved in this life” [Rom. Decrease of the good always results by straying from its principle, while the good is found closer to us insofar as it lies in each one’s dignity and power; thus, a result follows from the action preceding it. Gregory died around AD 395 and is still revered as one of the greatest of the early Church Fathers. If, then whether by forethought here, or by purgation hereafter, our soul becomes free from any emotional connection with the brute creation, there will be nothing to impede its contemplation of the Beautiful; for this last is essentially capable of attracting in a certain way every being that looks towards it. This is shown by Paul saying, “Death will be destroyed,” a clear statement that the power of evil will be utterly removed: persons are called enemies of God by disobedience, while those who have become the Lord’s friends are persuaded by Paul saying, “We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: ‘Be reconciled to God [2 Cor 6.20] . Sadly for us interpreters, as the work continues and Gregory elaborates his doctrine of restoration, he speculates about purgation after death (in Hades, he had no concept of Purgatory) would accomplish. However, in the end of this di, is necessary to understand in order to avoid misreading his conclusion. The treatise is simply talking about the salvation of Christians—not universalism. salvific nature of Christ’s incarnation, death, and resurrection. “Those who are now excluded” will become part of “those who have decorated themselves in the Resurrection” after their purging. The Greek … In the same way, there is a conformity that comes from those who are less flawed and, as a consequence, turn from those who excel in evil by following their own inclinations and who are driven back from better things until at the last gasp of evil, growth in goodness achieves the destruction of evil. For one, Gregory’s treatise is hardly “bold” in its approach to universalism because it never even talks about universalism. Subjection to God is complete alienation from evil. orks, one I will partake in by the grace of God, the prayers of Gregory, and I hope your own. Gregory gives a really easy-to-understand explanation of how Christians are saved by the grace of God and what the grace of God is. "By the days of Gregory of Nyssa it (Universalism), aided by the unrivaled learning, genius and piety of Origen, had prevailed, and had succeeded in leavening, not the East alone, but much of the West. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. This is ironic given its own logical derivations and speculations: As for ourselves, if the Gentile philosophy, which deals methodically with all these points, were really adequate for a demonstration, it would certainly be superfluous to add a discussion on the soul to those speculations. [Christ], through whom we have access to the Father. Gregory’s interest in the salvation of Christians. They discuss the soul, its nature and origin, and the resurrection. His goodness neither goes up or down—it is constant. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. What can we conclude from the preceding? Timothy, who as much as he could, was also imitating his teacher; there are other persons not quite like him who, one after another, suffer little, by little a loss of goodness and are found to follow behind certain people, who are always ready to anticipate and lead until the followers, by continual imitations, resemble (, reach) their leaders in whom there is little good because evil abounds, me way, there is a conformity that comes from those who are less flawed and, , as a consequence, turn from those who excel in evil by following their own inclinations and who ar, e driven back from better things until at the last gasp of evil, growth in goodne, ss achieves the destruction of evil. Anticipating the speculations of Saint Maximus the Confessor (Ambigua to John, 21:12 and 65:3), he asserts that the volition of the will towards God has consequences that “last as long as that eternal life.” This would seem to definitively refute universalism. Two paragraphs later, we have another passage which the universalists will cling to, because (when taken out of context) it can be consistent with their false doctrine: Christ’s body, as it is often said, consists of human nature in its entirety to which he has been united. “This is apokatastasis.” However, one can only sigh with exasperation when hearing such an exegesis. We therefore learn by the examples mentioned above that the person in God has everything which God himself has. T, s, good works, prayer, reading the Scriptures, and reading the saints themselves. Words such as these signify what is proper to God. Close. Gregory of Nyssa famously defended the doctrine of the Trinity in the Second Ecumenical Council in AD 381, and Gregory of Nyssa also defended the doctrine of universalism with the restoration of all things. ( Log Out / However, “it is necessary for him to reign, until he places his enemies under his feet.” We reverently take this, I believe, as Christ valiantly holding sway in his power. When he argues that God pervades all things “and by this penetration of the whole keeps the world in a state of being,” he uses this as a leaping off point on how God restores everything to goodness. Therefore. In, ul mentions this in his Epistle to the Romans: “For if we have been enemies, we have been re, conciled to God” [Rom 5.10]. For example: [I]n the Resurrection, and all the inveterate corruption of sin has vanished from the world, then a universal feast will be kept around the Deity by those who have decorated themselves in the Resurrection; and one and the same banquet will be spread for all, with no differences cutting off any rational creature from an equal participation in it; for those who are now excluded by reason of their sin will at last be admitted within the Holiest places of God’s blessedness, and will bind themselves to the horns of the Altar there, that is, to the most excellent of the transcendental Powers. (p. 7). The supreme good is subjection to God. Read and weep https://books.google.com/books?id=oUxMt6N18p0C&lpg=PP1&pg=PA76#v=onepage&q&f=false, How many lay scholars in modern academia have been canonized by the Church? Basil, Homily on Psalm 28). God united all of human nature to Himself—this is explicitly what the statement says. How would you address the existence of patristic testimonies effectively abscribing these erroneous views to St. Gregory? In the next paragraph. The church of North Africa, in the person of Augustine, enters the field. Ironically, the Fifth Ecumenical Council in 553 condemned Origen's universalism according to the wishes of Emperor Flavius Justinian, who wanted to condemn all universalist teachings, but the Fifth Ecumenical Council also commended Gregory of Nyssa, … Again, it is clear Gregory is speaking of Christians, not the universal salvation of Mithras worshippers, Hindus, Buddhists, and whatever else. Saint Gregory of Nyssa, philosophical theologian and mystic, leader of the orthodox party in the 4th-century Christian controversies over the doctrine of the Trinity. Universal salvation : eschatology in the thought of Gregory of Nyssa and Karl Rahner. He is venerated as a saint in Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, Lutheranism and Anglicanism.Gregory, his brother Basil of Caesarea and Gregory of Nazianzus are collectively known as the Cappadocian Fathers I think that Christ’s own glory is meant to be the Holy Spirit which he has given to his disciples by breathing upon them, for what is scattered cannot otherwise be united unless joined together by the Holy Spirit’s unity. When we are removed from evil in imitation of the first fruits [Christ], our entire nature is mixed with this selfsame fruits. This is often due to the lack of systematic structure and the presence of terminological inconsistencies i… To have God means nothing else than to be united with him. You’re no scholars. He does not make any mention of anything that pertains to universalism. However – he does appear to be emphasising that this is only true in comparative terms. However, is this the only way to read the work? Without skipping a beat he writes: The goal of our hope is that nothing contrary to the good is left, but the divine life permeates everything. Thus, the Father who loves his own Son loves the Son’s body just as the Son himself. This requires a long slog through all his works, one I will partake in by the grace of God, the prayers of Gregory, and I hope your own. The work styles itself as highly Biblicist and critical of Hellenistic syllogistic philosophy. Like his older brother, he opted at first for a secular career in rhetoric. Evil was destroyed along with sin, as well as the death which resulted; for death is simply the result of sin. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Posted by 8 years ago. Taking the preceding into account, within On the Soul and Resurrection frequently betrays that his universalist-sounding passages are in fact not speaking of all mankind individually: Therefore, those who have parted with evil will be united with Him; and so, as the Apostle says, God will be all in all ; for this utterance seems to me plainly to confirm the opinion we have already arrived at, for it means that God will be instead of all other things, and in all. Questioning Gregory of Nyssa’s Universalism: Life of Moses (an Addendum) Book II of Life of Moses contains Saint Gregory of Nyssa’s exegesis of the Book of Exodus. This fact which occurred in one person [Paul] will be harmoniously applied to every human being “when,” as the Lord says, “the Gospel will be preached throughout the world” [Mk 16.15]. Such grace is more clearly shown by the following words: “I have loved them as you have loved me” [Jn 17.23]. If they had Orthodox epistemic leanings, they would more easily be able to interpret Gregory’s writing. The treatise is simply talking about the salvation of Christians— not universalism. ( Log Out / In his continued parsing of “subjection” he writes as follows: Paul mentions this in his Epistle to the Romans: “For if we have been enemies, we have been reconciled to God” [Rom 5.10]. Universal Salvation:Eschatology in the Thought of Gregory of Nyssa and Karl Rahner Morwenna Ludlow. Archived. ( Log Out / Gregory seems cautious, admitting that he “believes…the prevailing opinion, and still more of Scripture teaching” and that there is a judgement. om the whole preceding discussion, there is not a whiff that universalism is being seriously discussed or even implied. have been reconciled so that death no longer has autho, ic and obvious point. Clearly, because we recognize these are classes of people, this betrays the existence of yet another class: “those” who are not saved. Although Nyssa never received the , who became the first fruits of our human nature, received in himself the divinity, first fruits of those who have fallen asleep and the first. “All mankind!,” they say. One body has been formed with the good as predominant; our body’s entire nature is united to the divine, pure nature. By conforming oneself to God, one is vivified by God’s goodness. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. It completely destroys death, having earlier removed sin which, as it is said, held dominion over all mankind. … It is obviously concerned with Theosis and what it means to be in subjection to God. Christian Universalism in the Bible. On the preceding note, with Gregory humbly referring to the limitations of his understanding of the passage, is how the treatise ends. No longer do any of our passions rule our [human] nature, since it is necessary that none of them dominate – all are subjected to the one who rules over all. Words such as these si, We therefore learn by the examples mentioned above, To have God means nothing else than to be united with him, . In discussing this, the conclusion is obviously drawn that it is the Christian who is in subjection to God and this pertains to his reconciliation. In fact, we have indications that the “we” who are saved are Christians and in Gregory’s “universalist” poetic flourish, he announces that this is proof that “, ese teachings which we have accepted from the great Saint P. l. It is time now to quote the apostle himself on these matters. “Such a person” is saved at Christ’s second coming. The salvation of Paul is “harmoniously applied to every human being” when every human being hears “the Gospel” after it has been “preached throughout the world.” We can see that Gregory’s references to “every human being” being saved is a contingent promise. All who have rejected the old man with its deeds and desires have received the Lord who, of course, effects the good done by them. In short, God is infinitely good and can only create good. If Christ living in Paul works and speaks those th, ings as a result of this indwelling, Paul has relinquished everything which formerly dominated hi, m when he was a blasphemer, persecutor and behaved arrogantly. When the good pervades everything, then the entirety of Christ’s body will be subjected to God’s vivifying power [i.e. Primarily a scholar, he wrote many theological, mystical, and monastic works in which he balanced Platonic and Christian traditions. d to himself, Christ hands it over to God and the Father who unites everything to himself. At first glance, it would appear that the Rich Man will reap the fruits of “his choice” for “those endless ages, whose limit is infinity.” Clearly, this is the teaching of the Church. Therefore, by uniting us to himself, Christ is our unity. The salvation of Paul i, ent, place their faith in Christ, and liv, varying meanings. The passage is now exceedingly clear. Current Issue It first occurs in his "De animâ et resurrectione" (P.G., XLVI, cols. Purgatorial Universalism was the belief of some of the early church fathers, especially Greek-speaking ones such as Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and Gregory of Nyssa. God un, universalists, showing their latent Calvinism, take this to mean that a universal atonement is applied universally, The words contained in the Gospel then add, “The glory which you have given to me I have, cattered cannot otherwise be united unless joined together by, Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belo. But in the coming life, when mortality is at an end and immortality granted, and sin has no longer any place, God will be all in all. Without skipping anything Gregory wrote in what was previously quoted, he contrasts the preceding group of people (Christians) with the wicked: And, on the other hand – I say this as an example – there is Timothy, who as much as he could, was also imitating his teacher; but there are other persons not quite like him who, one after another, suffer little by little a loss of goodness and are found to follow behind certain people who are always ready to anticipate and lead until the followers, by continual imitations, resemble (reach) their leaders in whom there is little good because evil abounds. This is one of the stupidest bits of utter nonsense I’ve ever read. On this note, Gregory immediately continues, has been subjected to God, he is brought to the One who lives, speaks and effects goo. Universal salvation : eschatology in the thought of Gregory of Nyssa and Karl Rahner. It is only “all” of those “who are joined to the one body of Christ by participation” that are divinized by God’s energy. His purpose is to exegete from Exodus teachings about asceticism and warn against sins and passions. The work styles itself as highly Biblicist and critical of Hellenistic syllogistic philosophy. And we clarify that all cases of salvation are initiated by the Holy Spirit and require the regeneration of the Holy Spirit. If, then, the soul is purified of every vice, it will most certainly be in the sphere of Beauty. Obviously, with all the discussion of Theosis throughout this, in subjection to God. Here Paul calls subjection reconciliation, one term indicating salvation by another word. Hence, the text says, “The glory which you have given me, given through the Holy Spirit to me might be given to you through me.”, e continues in the same vein in the next paragraph, quoting, For it cannot be otherwise – “that all may be one as we, , being separated from everything dividing them from each other, are united together “as we are one,”, e are one.” How can it be that “I am in them?” For “I alone cannot be in them unless you also. The story makes the sensual pleasure-loving man, when he sees that his own case is one that admits of no escape. 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