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

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  • 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
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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]
    • 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 2 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 3 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 4 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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