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By Khaled Anatolios

This ebook provides the elemental components of Athanasius' reaction to the critical questions of the id of Jesus and the character of his courting with God. delivering an invaluable advent on his lifestyles and paintings, the ebook specializes in the tumultuous doctrinal controversies of the day during which he used to be a valuable determine. Key decisions from his writings, newly translated, have all been selected to be able to providing the explanation for Athanasius' basic theological positions: the divinity and humanity of Christ, human redemption, the divinity and paintings of the Holy Spirit, the common sense of Christian worship, and the scriptural foundation for the doctrinal formulations of the Council of Nicaea. scholars of background and classical experiences, or even scholars of spiritual experiences will locate this a necessary a part of their path interpreting.

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On the other hand, as we have already seen, the divine act of creation manifests both divine power and goodness. Sin, however, which we have characterized as “de-creation,” renders ineffectual both God’s capacity and God’s desire to bring humanity into communion with himself. On the Incarnation does not shy away from presenting this “de-creation” effected by sin as posing a dilemma also for God the Creator. Humanity’s destruction would seem to signal a defeat not only for human welfare but even for divine glory: What use was it then for humanity to have been created in God’s image from the beginning?

But what was closer to them was the body and its sensations. Thus they averted their minds from intelligible realities and began to be concerned with themselves. By being concerned with themselves and seizing upon the body and other sensible realities, they became deceived about their own identity and they succumbed to their desires, preferring what is their own to the contemplation of divine things. (Against the Greeks 3)132 Athanasius also speaks of the structure of the human being in terms of “soul” (psyche) and “mind” (nous).

He did not create human beings merely like all the irrational animals upon the earth, 34 INTRODUCTION but made them according to his own Image, and shared with them the power of his own Word, so that having a kind of reflection of the Word and thus becoming rational, they may be enabled to remain in blessedness and live the true life of the saints in paradise. (On the Incarnation 3)123 It is vital to distinguish this dramatically dialectical conception from later schematizations of “nature” and “grace” in the later Western tradition, where “nature” refers to the inherent structure of the human being as created by God, while “grace” is associated with the unmerited gifts which are granted by God over and above the original act of creation.

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