Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Reading Group 2e

The Moral Idea of the Dogma of the Incarnation

a. The significance of the example of Christ is extended only to those who confess Him as God; and even this is not sufficient to elevate them onto the cross of life and to give them the strength to bear this cross. In order to achieve this it is necessary to accept the teaching of Christ as Redeemer.

b. Perhaps contemplation of the suffering of the Son of God is enough to compel one to bear them. Kant reasons that moral perfection is the stripping off of the old nature and clothing oneself with the new. But where does one assimilate this new nature?

c. Examples of non-Orthodox asceticism convince one of the perniciousness of this path. The source of spiritual strength is grace alone.
  1. Why is accepting Christ as an example alone insufficient?
  2. How does false asceticism prove this point?


Becoming said...

1. In this question we don’t find so much of a contradiction that accepting Christ as an example is insufficient as much as it is that the multi-dimensional nature of salvation history comes to touch every area of life of which the God-man is the center and in combination with who He is what He has done also relates to many questions raised from our present human condition, ie. what are we to make of suffering? Therefore, Metropolitan Anthony, building on the foundation of Christ’s divinity, shows that Christ is also the Redeemer. The Metropolitan says that to believe in God is not enough to bear the cross of this present life. One needs to know that Christ is not only God but also Redeemer from whom man will derive a new nature which can overcome the world.

2. Metropolitan Anthony says that false asceticism proves this point in that when we look at other “systems”(my term) which try to offer answers, and actions, to this problem, one is left overcoming one passion only to have it replaced by another (ie. Buddhism) instead of being able to root it out altogether . Within Christianity, he says, one eradicates the passions by God’s grace and herein, collaterally, overcomes pride.


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