Soon began the struggle with imperialist and Arian churchmen that occupied much of his life. While they were yet idolaters, the Greeks and Barbarians were always at war with each other, and were even cruel to their own kith and kin. Is the agent through whom God created the universe 3. Athanasius to Marcellinus on the Interpretation of the Psalms. Christ alone, using common speech and through the agency of men not clever with their tongues, has convinced whole assemblies of people all the world over to despise death, and to take heed to the things that do not die, to look past the things of time and gaze on things eternal, to think nothing of earthly glory and to aspire only to immortality. He alone could 1 recreate all, 2 suffer for all, 3 represent all to the Father. Even in youth they are chaste, they endure in times of testing and persevere in toils.
One can see arguments and thought patterns that were common in the early church. It's a classic either way. Finally, Athanasius spent a few years in peace before his death in 373. Yet He is even now invisibly exposing every man's error, and single-handed is carrying off all men from them all, so that those who used to worship idols now tread them under foot, reputed magicians burn their books and the wise prefer to all studies the interpretation of the gospels. To allow to false gods the worship He made us to render to Himself? For He alone, being Word of the Father and above all, was in consequence both able to recreate all, and worthy to suffer on behalf of all and to be an ambassador for all with the Father.
His episcopate lasted 45 years c. It was, then, out of the question to leave men to the current of corruption; because this would be unseemly, and unworthy of God's goodness. But now that the Savior has raised his body, death is no longer terrible; for all who believe in Christ trample on it as it were nothing and choose rather to die than deny their faith in Christ. He thus purified the air, and made a new way for us up into heaven. And, in brief, behold how the teaching of the Saviour is everywhere increasing; and all idolatry and everything opposing the faith of Christ is daily becoming less and utterly weak, and falling into decay.
For it could not but die, inasmuch as it was mortal, and to be offered unto death on behalf of all: for which purpose it was that the Saviour fashioned it for Himself. He manifested Himself by means of a body in order that we might perceive the Mind of the unseen Father. Athanasius's work remains even today one of the definitive statements of orthodox Trinitarianism. Athanasius lived during exciting times, when in just over two brief centuries the Christian faith had swept the Roman world. Gilmartin, Professor of History, Maynooth, 1890 , writes in Church History, Vol. Athanasius argues that to accomplish this restoration of man, the Word needs to assume a human body.
And if it were absurd, as they say, for the Word to be through the works of the body, it would likewise be absurd for Him to be through the works of the. Or why, when they see even deserting their , and placing their hope, through Christ, on the of , do they deny Christ, Who was born of the root of Jesse after the flesh and henceforth is King? In that system Christ, under one aspect or another, is always in the central place. This distinctness of things argues not a spontaneous generation but a prevenient Cause; and from that Cause we can apprehend God, the Designer and Maker of all. But now He entered the world in a new way, stooping to our level in His love and Self-revealing to us. If He were dead, the dæmons would not obey Him, but they cry out that He is alive, and obey His behests. Whence, by offering unto death the body He Himself had taken, as an and free from any stain, straightway He put away death from all His peers by the offering of an equivalent. I highly recommend reading this if you like to think, and if you like to be challenged.
His discussion on grace is only given specific treatment before he delves into the Incarnation and is expressed as a contemplative and participative life in God. But the all-wise Savior did not do this, lest some should deny that it had really or completely died. But all this it seemed well for the Saviour to do; that since men had failed to His Providence, revealed in the Universe, and had failed to perceive His Godhead shown in creation, they might at any rate from the works of His body recover their sight, and through Him receive an idea of the of the , inferring, as I said before, from particular cases His Providence over the whole. The dispute began when Athanasius was the chief deacon assistant to Bishop Alexander of Alexandria. We have seen that to change the corruptible to incorruption was proper to none other than the Savior Himself, Who in the beginning made all things out of nothing; that only the Image of the Father could re-create the likeness of the Image in men, that none save our Lord Jesus Christ could give to mortals immortality, and that only the Word Who orders all things and is alone the Father's true and sole-begotten Son could teach men about Him and abolish the worship of idols But beyond all this, there was a debt owing which must needs be paid; for, as I said before, all men were due to die. For God has not only made us out of nothing; but He gave us freely, by the Grace of the Word, a life in correspondence with God. Or why, while when He had risen He proclaimed the Resurrection, should He His death to take place in secret? As a consequence, the whole conspiracy of the enemy against mankind is beaten off, and the corruption of death which previously overcame them is finished.
His use of logic is very well done, laying out numerous biblical references and many external proofs for the incarnation of God through Jesus Christ. For one can ascertain the genealogy of all the , and declare it from the beginning, and of whom each was born; but the generation of Him that is the Life the refer to as not to be declared. Was not Samuel the son of Elkanah, David of Jesse, Solomon of David, Hezekiah of Ahaz, Josiah of Amon, Isaiah of Amos, Jeremiah of Hilkiah and Ezekiel of Buzi? The Whole Christ London: Dennis Dobson Ltd, 1938 , 265 266 Louis Bouyer: The center of the theology of Athanasius: we must live a genuinely divine life, and this life is literally the life of Christ in us. This He did out of sheer love for us, so that in His death all might die, and the law of death thereby be abolished because, having fulfilled in His body that for which it was appointed, it was thereafter voided of its power for men. Or to bring to naught death? Nothing strikes me more when I read the controversies of past ages than the fact that both sides were usually assuming without question a good deal which we should now absolutely deny.
When they are insulted, they are patient, when robbed they make light of it, and, marvelous to relate, they make light even of death itself, and become martyrs of Christ. But He comes in condescension to show loving-kindness upon us, and to visit us. For this is exactly what is written: Cursed is he that hangs on a tree. It did show hints of decent research into the original Greek text. Adulteries and thefts were everywhere, murder and rapine filled the earth, law was disregarded in corruption and injustice, all kinds of iniquities were perpetrated by all, both singly and in common. The amazing thing, moreover, is this. He could simply have appeared to us, coming to us in some grander way, but this was not what he wanted.
Whence, while it died as mortal, it came to life again by reason of the Life in it; and of its Resurrection the works are a sign. For just as, if a man wished to see the light of the sun, he would at any rate wipe and brighten his eye, purifying himself in some sort like what he desires, so that the eye, thus becoming light, may see the light of the sun; or as, if a man would see a city or country, he at any rate comes to the place to see it — thus he that would comprehend the mind of those who speak of God must needs begin by washing and cleansing his , by his manner of living, and approach the themselves by imitating their works; so that, associated with them in the conduct of a common life, he may understand also what has been revealed to them by , and thenceforth, as closely knit to them, may escape the peril of the sinners and their fire at the day of judgment, and receive what is laid up for the in the , which Eye has not seen , nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of , whatsoever things are prepared for them that live a life, and the God and Father, in : through Whom and with Whom be to the Father Himself, with the Son Himself, in the , and might and for ever and ever. The death on the Cross, then, for us has seemly and fitting, and its has been shown to be reasonable in every respect; and it may be argued that in no other way than by the Cross was it right for the of all to take place. And, in fine, who persuaded men from among the barbarians and men belonging to the nations in various places to lay aside madness and to mind peace, except the faith of Christ and the sign of the cross? Would not anyone who saw the substance of water transmuted into wine understand that He Who did it was the Lord and Maker of the water that He changed? Then, having once let it be seen that it was truly dead, He did not allow that temple of His body to linger long, but forthwith on the third day raised it up, impassable and incorruptible, the pledge and token of His victory. But men alone, having rejected what was , then devised things of nought instead of the , and have ascribed the due to , and their of Him, to and men in the shape of stones.
And I would give him this advice precisely because he is an amateur and therefore much less protected than the expert against the dangers of an exclusive contemporary diet. To which also refers when he says, By we understand that the worlds have been framed by the , so that what is seen has not been made out of things which do appear. As, then, it is possible to see with the eyes that these things are true, so when death is mocked and despised by the believers in Christ, let him no longer doubt, let no one be wanting in faith, that by Christ death was brought to naught, and its corruption destroyed and made to cease 96. Again, they see the heathen forsaking idols and setting their hopes through Christ on the God of Israel; why do they yet deny Christ Who after the flesh was born of the root of Jesse and reigns henceforward? And like as when a great king has entered into some large city and taken up his abode in one of the houses there, such city is at all events held worthy of high , nor does any enemy or bandit any longer descend upon it and subject it; but, on the contrary, it is thought entitled to all care, because of the king's having taken up his residence in a single house there: so, too, has it been with the Monarch of all. Athanasius wrote this text in the 4th century, his style is easy to follow and his concepts are of irreplaceable worth. For being Word of the , and above all, He alone of natural fitness was both able to recreate everything, and worthy to suffer on behalf of all and to be ambassador for all with the Father. His first act was to convene a council which reaffirmed the terms of the.