Who do we say He is?
by Andrea Elizabeth
To explain my idea of Theology First, since teased by the Intro to GHD by Dr. Joseph Farrell, I propose that being made in the image of God makes the primacy of theology inevitable whether one is an atheist, pagan, or Christian (not going so far as to distinguish between the east and west at this point). I believe all try to live by What Would Jesus Do, and that unbelievers merely substitute another deity, an admired person, or his own ideal self, based on his ideas of a good person, in Christ’s place. An atheist is his own god who invents the universe as he sees fit.
Therefore a person’s understanding of God guides his pursuits in other disciplines. If he believes God is strict, he’s conservative. If he believes God is lovingly lenient, he’s liberal. If he believes sometimes and both, I guess he’s moderate.
There are a few more things I’d like to quote from the Introduction to God, History, and Dialectic (which can be read in its entirety here). (btw, I found the quoted text in my posts align better if zoomed in)
Theology — not philosophy, literature, geography, economics, politics, law, art,
music, or science — was and is the mainspring of our culture and history. It is that which
set it in motion, and maintained its cohesion and harmonious movement. When the
theological unity of Europe was fractured in that original break of 1014, the movement
became disjointed, with the Two Europes tied together like racers in a three-legged race,
tied together in the leg of a common history, but now with two “minds” and two different
sets of historical time operating. This Geistesgeschichte is therefore an unabashedly
theological work based upon traditional Eastern Orthodox dogmatics. But this should not
be taken to mean that it is merely about theology. It is rather about the consequences of
theology, both heretical and Orthodox, in all areas of culture: law, politics, constitutional
development, philosophy, and science. (p. 6. the unlocked version has different page numbers. This is probably around p. 12 in the sample.)
About the autonomy of culture within the Church, where God is truly first,
Orthodox Christian Tradition is its core essence, and because of that cultural autonomy, it is able to
transplant itself into a variety of vernaculars. It is able therefore to create in Russia a
nation whose origins and national culture do not depend on the simultaneous transmission
of Graeco-pagan culture in any sense, even in the sense of the transmission of that pagan
heritage that became typical of the Second Europe after Augustine and down to our own
day. (p. 8 )
I tend to view Church and then family culture as all important. I’m not sure how secular culture fits in exactly, (Render to Caesar what is Caesar’s and such) but like I say, one’s view of God affects how one behaves in and responds to society.
And regarding if the hellenic god is the same as the Christian God,
Augustine the Hellenizer erected a system founded upon a continuity of theology with
Greek philosophy, a continuity of incalculable enormity: the identification of The One(to
en) of Greek philosophy with the One God and Father of Christian doctrine. That
marriage of Theology and Philosophy occurred not at some secondary level of doctrine,
but at the core, at the height, of all Christian belief, the doctrine of God Himself. So long
as this cohabitation went undetected and unchallenged, so long did its hidden
implications take root, grow, and eventually overwhelm and choke the Christian
component. Our current moral and spiritual crisis is the result of that marriage, and will
not be resolved until the churches which persist in it, beginning with Rome, repent and
recant the error. For Augustine saw discontinuity with that Graeco-pagan world, but the
theologians, philosophers, and humanists who came after him and who were the heirs of
his system, came increasingly to see continuity. (p. 9 out of 10)
I have had a softer, more from Mars Hill, view of this in that I’ve thought that pre-Christian ideas about God were less detailed and less accurate, but that they were the best ignorant people could do, short of the revelation of Christ. He may even have given them a clue, being their Father too. However, we are created for his revelation and communion, so one should not minimize the distinction between those who have properly entered into Christ through the Church, His Body, and those who have not. Nor about who people rightly or wrongly say Christ is.