Wednesday, October 28, 2015

THE 2nd CENTURY "CHRISTOLOGY" OF THE APOLOGIST'S AND THE RISE OF 2nd-3rd CENTURY "MODALISM"


Just an interesting point or two I thought I'd like to share.

James Leonard Papendrea, in his: “Novatian of Rome - The Culmination of Pre-Nicene Orthodoxy,” (See http://www.jimpapandrea.com/), made some thought provoking comments about the second century Apologists: “Logos Christology.”

He brought up, the common concept they, (the Apologists), seem to have shared about the Logos.

Some of them, (Athenagoras of Athens, Justin the Samaritan Philosopher and Martyr, Tatian of Syria, Theophilus of Antioch, Tertullian of Carthage), taught that the Logos resided within the Father as an undifferentiated part of the Father's mind, thought, or intelligence. Meaning, originally, (among the Apologists at least), the Logos was not considered as a real, and different, distinct, or separate person to the Father, (thus un-differentiated). That the Logos only existed potentially, (but not in the later sense that Nicene so-called "Orthodoxy" understood it), but as all creation did, (i.e. potentially), before they were actually created, within the Father's mind as an IM-PERSONAL concept.

They also taught that the Logos did not become: "the Son," (as a real separate and different person to the Father), until his instantaneous temporal: “generation,” (actually “creation” = in my opinion), and subsequent, (in some cases simultaneous): “procession” “from out of” the Father's intelligence, mind, and power, by an act of, and as: “a work” of His, (i.e. the Father's), singular will.

And also, because the likes of Justin, Tatian, Theophilus, Tertullian etc, sometimes blurred the identity of “the spirit” with: “the Logos,” (= again undifferentiated as a separate person or identity from “the holy spirit” in this case), thus, they, in some cases, appeared to identify the “the holy spirit,” and: “the Logos,” as one and the same person, (see also the same earlier in Ignatius of Antioch and the Shepherd of Hermas).

So, in brief summary:

[1.] The Son was not differentiated from the Father as a separate person before his generation by some.
[2.] The Son was not differentiated from the spirit as a separate person post his generation by some.

He remarked, that these ideas, found in their, (generally considered as “Orthodox”), works and teaching, may have, at least in part, contributed to the rise of 2nd-3rd century “Modalism.” A prominent Post-Death-Of-The-Apostles confusion heresy that took 2-IN-1 and 3-IN-1 forms.

I found that an interesting thought. Perhaps, this gives you something to think about.

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P.S. This does not necessarily mean I agree with the information, and/or religious views in J. L. Papandrea's book. He also gives some good information on the Mutability, (ability to change), of the Logos, vs the Im-mutability, (in-ability to change), of the Father as well. There were just isolated points in the book that got me thinking.
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