Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [LutheransLookingEast] Irenaeus, the Fall, and the Image ofGod

Expand Messages
  • 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 1 of 15 , Jul 4, 2011
    • 0 Attachment
      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 2 of 15 , Jul 4, 2011
      • 0 Attachment
        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 3 of 15 , Jul 5, 2011
        • 0 Attachment
          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 4 of 15 , Jul 5, 2011
          • 0 Attachment
            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 5 of 15 , Jul 5, 2011
            • 0 Attachment
              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]
            Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.