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Re: [LutheransLookingEast] Irenaeus, the Fall, and the Image of God

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  • Benjamin Harju
    Pr. Futrell, Okay, I ll try to clarify. Not only was man stuck in an immature status and unable to grow, but this immature man was also thrown into bondage
    Message 1 of 15 , Jul 3, 2011
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      Pr. Futrell,

      Okay, I'll try to clarify. Not only was man "stuck in an immature status
      and unable to grow," but this immature man was also thrown into bondage to
      the devil. He became corrupt, which is a spiritual injury. Gustaf Wingren,
      a Lutheran scholar, writes on the subject in "Man and the Incarnation" p.20
      "...but he [man] is different from the rest of Creation in that in addition
      he was created in order to become like God--to become the very image of
      God. This is his destiny. Irenaeus does not say that he _is_ this image,
      nor was this destiny wholly realised [sic] in Creation before sin entered
      the world, because man was a _child_. This means, in part, that man has not
      arrived at his appointed destiny in Creation, because he is not the son of
      God in that sense, but it also means that, if he grew up to maturity without
      being confused by the adversary, he would reach the end which has been
      ordained for him by God."

      If man is not actually the image yet because he is a child and needs to
      attain to the image, then to lose the image cannot mean that he lost
      something he had in full, but rather he lost the potentiality to something.
      He lost the ability to mature into the likeness of God.

      Pr. Futrell, in saying on your part that St. Irenaeus lost the image, you
      have not said what you believe that image is for Irenaeus yet. That makes
      it hard to understand what you mean when you say you hold to Irenaeus losing
      the image and that I only say the image was wounded/diminished. In
      _Irenaeus_ to lose the image is to lose the potentiality to be like God
      through growth in union with God. What do you think this image is that is
      absolutely lost?

      In Christ,
      Benjamin Harju

      On Sat, Jul 2, 2011 at 10:23 PM, Richard K. Futrell <
      PastorFutrell@...> wrote:

      > **
      >
      >
      > Ben,
      >
      > I just take it that when Irenaeus says that we lost the image of God in the
      > Fall, that's what he means. We lost it completely. I happen to agree with
      > Irenaeus.
      >
      > Ben, I may be understanding what you are saying incorrectly. Here�s what I
      > hear you saying:
      >
      > Ben�s words: "That the image and likeness of God is destroyed in man for
      > St. Irenaeus means that man in his child-status has been removed from the
      > pathway of growth in the Life that he received from God."
      >
      > What Rich hears: Lost image = being stuck in an immature status and unable
      > to grow. Thus, the lost image was not really lost but stuck in a state of
      > immaturity until Christ comes into the person�s life. If so, then
      >
      > - Ben: The image of God that is lost is only seriously wounded and
      > diminished until Christ starts to vivify it.
      > - Rich: The image is completely gone and begins to be restored when Christ
      > comes into a person�s life.
      >
      > Is my understanding of your word accurate?
      >
      > Rich
      >
      >
      >


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Richard K. Futrell
      Ben, Sorry for my tardy response. I ve haven t religiously :-) been checking my e-mail during the Independence Day weekend. You said, Pr. Futrell, in saying
      Message 2 of 15 , Jul 4, 2011
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        Ben,

        Sorry for my tardy response. I've haven't religiously :-) been checking my e-mail during the Independence Day weekend.

        You said, "Pr. Futrell, in saying on your part that St. Irenaeus lost the image, you have not said what you believe that image is for Irenaeus yet."

        Short answer: Only man was created in God’s image. We were created to be like God, never to die, as we lived in communion with Him and could live holy lives according to His will. The image of God and ability to live in such communion was lost in Adam (Genesis 5:3; Romans 5:12-21; 1 Corinthians 15:20–24). In Christ, it is restored and will be fully restored on the Last Day (1 Corinthians 15:49; Romans 8:29).

        BTW, you can call me "Rich" if you would like. It is not a sign of disrespect; I know you were a Lutheran pastor. It is simply being informal, and I hope, always cordial.

        --
        Rich Futrell, Pastor
        Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Kimberling City, MO
        http://sothl.com

        Where we receive and confess the faith of the Church (in and with the Augsburg Confession): The faith once delivered to the saints, the faith of Christ Jesus, His Word of the Gospel, His full forgiveness of sins, His flesh and blood given and poured out for us, and His gracious gift of life for body, soul, and spirit.
      • xcjorr@gmail.com
        Since we look a lot like Jesus who became incarnate well after the Fall, I ve always taken that to mean we did not completely lose the image of God in the
        Message 3 of 15 , Jul 4, 2011
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          Since we look a lot like Jesus who became incarnate well after the Fall, I've always taken that to mean we did not completely lose the image of God in the Garden. Our likeness with Him is alone the difference between us - apart from sin and divinity, that is.

          Christopher

          Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

          -----Original Message-----
          From: "Richard K. Futrell" <PastorFutrell@...>
          Sender: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Mon, 04 Jul 2011 21:51:25
          To: <LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com>
          Reply-To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [LutheransLookingEast] Irenaeus, the Fall, and the Image of
          God

          Ben,

          Sorry for my tardy response. I've haven't religiously :-) been checking my e-mail during the Independence Day weekend.

          You said, "Pr. Futrell, in saying on your part that St. Irenaeus lost the image, you have not said what you believe that image is for Irenaeus yet."

          Short answer: Only man was created in God’s image. We were created to be like God, never to die, as we lived in communion with Him and could live holy lives according to His will. The image of God and ability to live in such communion was lost in Adam (Genesis 5:3; Romans 5:12-21; 1 Corinthians 15:20–24). In Christ, it is restored and will be fully restored on the Last Day (1 Corinthians 15:49; Romans 8:29).

          BTW, you can call me "Rich" if you would like. It is not a sign of disrespect; I know you were a Lutheran pastor. It is simply being informal, and I hope, always cordial.

          --
          Rich Futrell, Pastor
          Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Kimberling City, MO
          http://sothl.com

          Where we receive and confess the faith of the Church (in and with the Augsburg Confession): The faith once delivered to the saints, the faith of Christ Jesus, His Word of the Gospel, His full forgiveness of sins, His flesh and blood given and poured out for us, and His gracious gift of life for body, soul, and spirit.




          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Richard K. Futrell
          Chris, You wrote: I m not sure what the original Greek (or Latin) is or how this section may be translated differently, but in the selection you provided,
          Message 4 of 15 , Jul 4, 2011
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            Chris,

            You wrote: "I'm not sure what the original Greek (or Latin) is or how this section may be translated differently, but in the selection you provided, Irenaeus is not saying saying we (in Adam) lost the "image of God" but the " the image of likeness of God". I take this latter phrase to mean basically "likeness"."

            Response: I can only go by how the translator translated it, as I do not know what the original said. If I do otherwise, then (to me) it’s doing the same “twisting” of a text we see Protestants do all the time (and I know you consider me a Protestant ;-( ).

            For Irenaeus’ Against Heresies, I believe the only complete text we have is in Latin, which was a translation from the original Greek. I do know we have quotations of the Greek text in Eusebius’ Church History. So the probability of error or an improperly nuanced translation is increased as Against Heresies is a translation of a translation.

            We also have to factor in any translator bias. For example, I was reading several different translations of Clement’s Letter to the Corinthians. One translator had “justify” and another had “sanctify.” I thought, “What is going on?” Fortunately, one of the translations was a diglot, so I looked at the Greek and the Greek word was “dikiao.” The translator who rendered dikiao as “sanctify” was a Roman Catholic. Go figure!

            All that being said, I’m going to stick with how the translator, James Payton, translated it. Next year, Steenberg and Unger are supposed to release their translation of Against Heresies, Book 3! It’ll be interesting to see how they translate "When [Jesus] became incarnate and was made human, he began anew the long line of human beings and, to state it briefly, furnished us with salvation. Consequently, what we had lost in Adam--namely, the image of likeness of God--we recovered in Christ Jesus" (Against Heresies, 3:18,1).


            --
            Rich Futrell, Pastor
            Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Kimberling City, MO
            http://sothl.com

            Where we receive and confess the faith of the Church (in and with the Augsburg Confession): The faith once delivered to the saints, the faith of Christ Jesus, His Word of the Gospel, His full forgiveness of sins, His flesh and blood given and poured out for us, and His gracious gift of life for body, soul, and spirit.
          • Benjamin Harju
            Rich, Regarding your translation issue with Clement s letter, it has been a longstanding (but not always uniform) practice in early Christian and patristic
            Message 5 of 15 , Jul 5, 2011
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              Rich,

              Regarding your translation issue with Clement's letter, it has been a
              longstanding (but not always uniform) practice in early Christian and
              patristic hermeneutics to translate dikaios as either justify or sanctify,
              because the force behind each option was always considered the same in both
              Western and Eastern theology. One is to make righteous, the other to make
              holy, but the cause of making one either righteous or holy is the divine
              energy of Grace [note, though, that RCs claim this is a created substance
              and EO teach it's uncreated energy that is distinct from God's essence].
              Often we use the word "sanctify" to mean more than just make holy, but also
              to be positively affected or changed by God's energy and/or operation. In
              such a case where this Grace operates on a person, holiness and
              righteousness become very closely related terms. It was the Protestant
              reformation that began insisting that to justify referred to a
              non-sanctifying activity, actually a forensic activity outside of man and
              rather in the heart of God concerning justice.

              Regarding St. Irenaeus, I hear you saying that the image of God is 1) to be
              like God, 2) not to die, 3) to live a holy life, and 4) these occur through
              communion with God. So if this image was *lost*, then that would mean that
              man ceases to be like God in every respect (not just in part), he dies
              (though I'm unsure what you mean by death), he can do only evil and not good
              anymore (including the civil realm), and this happens through a break in
              communion with God. Obviously all of this is not so, especially since St.
              Irenaeus demonstrates that man has the freedom to choose the good and to
              believe in Christ and is not consigned only to evil and unbelief through his
              own power (Book IV, Chapter 37). So I don't think your take on the image
              in St. Irenaeus matches up with his own statements.

              If, though, we said to lose the image was to become less like God, to die
              but maintain existence, to misuse freedom to do evil, and that this locates
              in a break in communion, then this would seem as if the image is only
              injured and not lost. Yet this is much closer to what St. Irenaeus
              teaches.

              What is missing from both approaches is the link in St. Irenaeus between
              image and likeness (and the issue of growth). These are not one and the same
              for him, but two interrelated concepts. From Book V, Chapter 16, par. 2:

              "And then, again, this Word was manifested when the Word of God was made
              man, assimilating Himself to man, and man to Himself, so that by means of
              his resemblance to the Son, man might become precious to the Father. For in
              times long past, it was said that man was created after the image of God,
              but it was not [actually] shown; for the Word was as yet invisible, after
              whose image man was created, Wherefore also he did easily lose the
              similitude. When, however, the Word of God became flesh, He confirmed both
              these: for He both showed forth the image truly, since He became Himself
              what was His image; and He re-established the similitude after a sure
              manner, by assimilating man to the invisible Father through means of the
              visible Word."

              So Christopher's comment about loosing the likeness is not out of bounds at
              all. In fact, if we read the original passage in question again from the
              public domain electronic collection of Ante-Nicene fathers...

              "...but when He became incarnate, and was made man, He commenced afresh(1)
              the long line of human beings, and furnished us, in a brief, comprehensive
              manner, with salvation; so that what we had lost in Adam -- namely, to be
              according to the image and likeness of God -- that we might recover in
              Christ Jesus" [III:18:1].

              ... we see that what was lost was to be _according to_ the image and
              likeness of God, which St. Irenaeus says is Christ. We have lost being
              according to Christ, which in St. Irenaeus involves not just initial
              creation but also growth, hence the distinction he indicates between image
              and likeness.

              I can only recommend that you spend some time with St. Irenaeus to discover
              the relationship between image and likeness in Against Heresies. The
              patristic scholar at the Ft. Wayne seminary (when I was there) highly
              recommended Gustaf Wingren's "Man and the Incarnation" during my freshman
              year, calling it the best presentation on St. Irenaeus's theology out
              there. At the time it was out of print, but not so any more. I just
              purchased a copy (which I've been desiring for 11 years) shortly before this
              thread popped up. You can also check out "One Right Reading?: A Guide to
              Irenaeus" by Mary Ann Donovan. This book was part of the curriculum in an
              STM level course I took on St. Irenaeus with the same professor near the end
              of my time at seminary. The outlines in the Donovan book alone make the
              book worthwhile to own.

              Personally I find St. Irenaeus to be a very good introduction to Orthodoxy
              and Orthodox patristics.

              Regarding your Scripture quotes, Gen. 5:3 is an argument from silence (and
              could be reversed from silence to demonstrate a retention of God's image),
              Rom. 5:12-21 demonstrates only a broken communion and bondage to death
              (...death reigned over Adam...), not an answer to whether the image is lost
              or distorted, and the same for 1 Co. 15:20-24. In actuality Scripture
              demonstrates that man remains created in God's image, as God says after the
              Fall in Genesis 9:6. We might even be persuaded by St. James 3:9, though he
              uses the word likeness (homoiwsis) and not image (eikon).

              In Christ,
              Benjamin Harju




              On Mon, Jul 4, 2011 at 10:12 PM, <xcjorr@...> wrote:

              > **
              >
              >
              > Since we look a lot like Jesus who became incarnate well after the Fall,
              > I've always taken that to mean we did not completely lose the image of God
              > in the Garden. Our likeness with Him is alone the difference between us -
              > apart from sin and divinity, that is.
              >
              > Christopher
              >
              > Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
              >
              > -----Original Message-----
              > From: "Richard K. Futrell" <PastorFutrell@...>
              > Sender: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
              > Date: Mon, 04 Jul 2011 21:51:25
              > To: <LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com>
              > Reply-To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
              > Subject: Re: [LutheransLookingEast] Irenaeus, the Fall, and the Image of
              > God
              >
              > Ben,
              >
              > Sorry for my tardy response. I've haven't religiously :-) been checking my
              > e-mail during the Independence Day weekend.
              >
              > You said, "Pr. Futrell, in saying on your part that St. Irenaeus lost the
              > image, you have not said what you believe that image is for Irenaeus yet."
              >
              > Short answer: Only man was created in God�s image. We were created to be
              > like God, never to die, as we lived in communion with Him and could live
              > holy lives according to His will. The image of God and ability to live in
              > such communion was lost in Adam (Genesis 5:3; Romans 5:12-21; 1 Corinthians
              > 15:20�24). In Christ, it is restored and will be fully restored on the Last
              > Day (1 Corinthians 15:49; Romans 8:29).
              >
              > BTW, you can call me "Rich" if you would like. It is not a sign of
              > disrespect; I know you were a Lutheran pastor. It is simply being informal,
              > and I hope, always cordial.
              >
              > --
              > Rich Futrell, Pastor
              > Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Kimberling City, MO
              > http://sothl.com
              >
              > Where we receive and confess the faith of the Church (in and with the
              > Augsburg Confession): The faith once delivered to the saints, the faith of
              > Christ Jesus, His Word of the Gospel, His full forgiveness of sins, His
              > flesh and blood given and poured out for us, and His gracious gift of life
              > for body, soul, and spirit.
              >
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
              >
              >


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Richard K. Futrell
              Ben, You know your stuff! I have yet to read book 4 in this translation. So what you are saying is that my understanding of the loss of the image of God does
              Message 6 of 15 , Jul 5, 2011
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                Ben,

                You know your stuff! I have yet to read book 4 in this translation. So what you are saying is that my understanding of the loss of the image of God does not purport with Irenaeus'. Fair enough--and you make your case with that rather soundly.

                So with Irenaeus, loss of God's image does not mean what I take it to mean. That seems to be the case (I'll wait until I get through book 4).

                So with Ireneaus, he is saying we lost the image, but the ramifcations of that are different than I hold the ramifications to be. (And your assessment of my position, if you were doing that, is not what I hold it all to be, but that's OK, for I didn't spell all that out).

                I also at some later time plan to read Wingren's take on Irenaeus.


                Rich

                BTW; Thank you for taking tiem to write lenghty posts opn this as needed to continue the conversation in a good way. That's refreshing.


                --
                Rich Futrell, Pastor
                Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Kimberling City, MO
                http://sothl.com

                Where we receive and confess the faith of the Church (in and with the Augsburg Confession): The faith once delivered to the saints, the faith of Christ Jesus, His Word of the Gospel, His full forgiveness of sins, His flesh and blood given and poured out for us, and His gracious gift of life for body, soul, and spirit.
              • Benjamin Harju
                Rich, I apologize if I took the wording of your description of St. Irenaeus s position too far into distortion. It would be good conversation to read your
                Message 7 of 15 , Jul 5, 2011
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                  Rich,

                  I apologize if I took the wording of your description of St. Irenaeus's
                  position too far into distortion. It would be good conversation to read
                  your full take on St. Irenaeus's position, but in the context of this list
                  it might be more fruitful to discuss the image and likeness of God in
                  Lutheran and Orthodox terms, and place St. Irenaeus in those contexts, as
                  Randall Hay did. I especially like how Randall demonstrates that Orthodox
                  teaching is a matter for the entire Church Catholic, not just what one
                  teacher says as if that's that.

                  In Christ,
                  Benjamin Harju

                  On Tue, Jul 5, 2011 at 10:56 PM, Richard K. Futrell <
                  PastorFutrell@...> wrote:

                  > **
                  >
                  >
                  > Ben,
                  >
                  > You know your stuff! I have yet to read book 4 in this translation. So what
                  > you are saying is that my understanding of the loss of the image of God does
                  > not purport with Irenaeus'. Fair enough--and you make your case with that
                  > rather soundly.
                  >
                  > So with Irenaeus, loss of God's image does not mean what I take it to mean.
                  > That seems to be the case (I'll wait until I get through book 4).
                  >
                  > So with Ireneaus, he is saying we lost the image, but the ramifcations of
                  > that are different than I hold the ramifications to be. (And your assessment
                  > of my position, if you were doing that, is not what I hold it all to be, but
                  > that's OK, for I didn't spell all that out).
                  >
                  > I also at some later time plan to read Wingren's take on Irenaeus.
                  >
                  > Rich
                  >
                  > BTW; Thank you for taking tiem to write lenghty posts opn this as needed to
                  > continue the conversation in a good way. That's refreshing.
                  >
                  > --
                  >
                  > Rich Futrell, Pastor
                  > Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Kimberling City, MO
                  > http://sothl.com
                  >
                  > Where we receive and confess the faith of the Church (in and with the
                  > Augsburg Confession): The faith once delivered to the saints, the faith of
                  > Christ Jesus, His Word of the Gospel, His full forgiveness of sins, His
                  > flesh and blood given and poured out for us, and His gracious gift of life
                  > for body, soul, and spirit.
                  >
                  >
                  >


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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