Universalism. After speculating about the soul and the passions, the work begins to speculate about how “every knee shall bow” and every tongue confess Jesus Christ. As every being is capable of attracting its like, and humanity is, in a way, like God, as bearing within itself some resemblances to its Prototype, the soul is by a strict necessity attracted to the kindred Deity. Saint Gregory of Nyssa’s On the Soul and Resurrection is perhaps his most strongly argued universalist work. Thus, the Father who loves his own Son loves the Son’s body just as the Son himself. In this article, we will briefly summarize the argumentation in Il Illud and prove that the heretical reading is incorrect. The work styles itself as highly Biblicist and critical of Hellenistic syllogistic philosophy. Gregory of Nyssa on future punishment. Archived. While many Orthodox or interested Christians may shy away from this treatise for fear of its alleged universalism, this would be a real shame. All who have rejected the old man with its deeds and desires have received the Lord who, of course, effects the good done by them. “We” who were “enemies” are no longer “slaves,” but now “friends.” Gregory immediately continues: Then the strong man’s ability in battle will cease when all opposition to the good will be destroyed. Read and weep https://books.google.com/books?id=oUxMt6N18p0C&lpg=PP1&pg=PA76#v=onepage&q&f=false, How many lay scholars in modern academia have been canonized by the Church? Book II of Life of Moses contains Saint Gregory of Nyssa’s exegesis of the Book of Exodus. He continues in the same paragraph on the topic of Theosis, using Saint Paul as an example: Paul says of himself that “with Christ I am crucified. Third, more work needs to be done in reading the fathers than simply trusting the “experts” and “consensus.” The “Big Lie” is that these experts are never wrong. Hence, from the whole preceding discussion, there is not a whiff that universalism is being seriously discussed or even implied. Subjection to God then refers to Christ dwel, n the preceding, we see the universalist exegesis of, treatise destroyed. imple moral lesson we can glean from the preceding, ord for anything. by the following words: “I have loved them as you have loved me” [Jn 17.23]. The Case for Orthodoxy, The Orthodox Doctrine of Justification: The Patristic and Conciliar Teaching, Tertullian, Baptismal Regeneration, and the Danger of Presuppositions, Ephrem the Syrian's Hymns on Paradise: Highlights, Saint Peter Mogila's Confession and the 1642 Synod, Debunking James White on the Latria and Dulia Distinction. Or something else? Therefore. When faith is added, the apostle says, “Let us attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” [Eph 2.13]. The treatise is simply talking about the salvation of Christians—not universalism. Hence, they see these statements about “trace of divinity” and become utterly lost. Unity then means to be one body with him as Paul states, for all who are joined to the one body of Christ by participation are one body with him. For nearly two thousand years Paul's suggestion at the end of 1 Corinthians 15 that God will be 'all in all' has appealed to those who hold a 'wider hope' that eventually no person will be lost from God's love. Gregory of Nyssa once wrote, "the fire which man will experience in the next life will be different from the fire of the present life. In beginning his argument, he initially condemns annhilationism (“…I think that all but the most stubborn controversialists will have been sufficiently convinced by our debate not to consign the soul after the body’s dissolution to annihilation and nonentity…”) He does this in order to answer the conundrum of how every knee shall bow without postulating that those who do not will simply be “memory holed.” However, as we can see before, the thought experiment he is expounding pertains to the “the complete annihilation of evil” and all that entails. Thus, the subjection of this body will be said to be the subjection of [the] Church. Therefore the voice of the Lord Who divides and separate the flame of ire is for this: that the dark part might be a fire of torment and the unburning part a light of enjoyment (St. orks, one I will partake in by the grace of God, the prayers of Gregory, and I hope your own. Hindus are not being invoked here. In so doing, this implicitly equates the teaching found in the following parable with his doctrine on universal restoration: …it is impossible to make the framework of the narrative correspond with the truth, if we understand it literally; we can do that only by translating each detail into an equivalent in the world of ideas. The story makes the sensual pleasure-loving man, when he sees that his own case is one that admits of no escape. Make of them whatever you want to, according … Gregory immediately continues on the same subject: According to the promise made in the Gospel, we are no longer slaves of the Lord; but once reconciled, we are numbered among his friends. Once man’s life had but one character; and by that I mean that it was to be found only in the category of the good and had no contact with evil…God divided the life of man into two parts, namely, this present life, and that out of the body hereafter; and He placed on the first a limit of the briefest possible time, while He prolonged the other into eternity; and in His love for man He gave him his choice, to have the one or the other of those things, good or evil, I mean, in which of the two parts he liked: either in this short and transitory life, or in those endless ages, whose limit is infinity. It completely destroys death, having earlier removed sin which, as it is said, held dominion over all mankind. The divine, pure goodness will contain in itself every nature endowed with reason; nothing made by God is excluded from his kingdom once everything mixed with some elements of base material has been consumed by refinement in fire. will be destroyed,” a clear statement that the power of evil will be utterly removed: perso. Please bless the Moscow Patriarchate's missionary efforts in Cambodia to bring the Gospel to a people who have not heard it! Evil was destroyed along with sin, as well as the death which resulted; for death is simply the result of sin. As we can see, the traditional teaching of the Church is being reiterated. Gregory of Nyssa famously defended the doctrine of the Trinity in the Second Ecumenical Council in AD 381, and Gregory of Nyssa also defended the doctrine of universalism with the restoration of all things. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” [Gal 2.20], good works of the Gospel are not his; rather, he attributes them to the grace of Christ dwelli, . In the next paragraph. In fact, universalists (and others who simply do not understand Gregory) prefer to believe he is frequently contradicting himself and borders on incomprehensible, than admit his universalist language is a kind of poetic hyperbole whose point is to emphasize the immense (and infinite!) But in the coming life, when mortality is at an end and immortality granted, and sin has no longer any place, God will be all in all. We can see, God’s goodness pervades the sacraments and the good things of life so that He is “all things for us,” meaning the Christians. A paragraph later, Gregory seems to say something that sounds universalis, if we are not being cognizant that the subject of. No longer do any of our passions rule our [human] nature, since it is necessary that none of them dominate – all are subjected to the one who rules over all. Gregory writes somewhere around the middle: What therefore does Paul teach us? [Morwenna Ludlow] -- Dr Ludlow compares and assesses two advocates of the belief that in the end God will save all people. Christians) from earlier in this paragraph and the one preceding it. Gregory immediately con, until he places his enemies under his fee, .” We reverently take this, I believe, as Christ. . The supreme good is subjection to God. For example: [I]n the Resurrection, and all the inveterate corruption of sin has vanished from the world, then a universal feast will be kept around the Deity by those who have decorated themselves in the Resurrection; and one and the same banquet will be spread for all, with no differences cutting off any rational creature from an equal participation in it; for those who are now excluded by reason of their sin will at last be admitted within the Holiest places of God’s blessedness, and will bind themselves to the horns of the Altar there, that is, to the most excellent of the transcendental Powers. For others, it makes them afraid to read Gregory. Gregory of Nyssa, Universalism, and Soteriological Mysteries Date: July 27, 2020 Author: Craig Truglia 0 Comments In this video I review Saint Gregory of Nyssa’s soteriology, how his categories of thought pre-date Saint Maximus the Confessor, why his view of apokatastasis is so logically compelling, and how Gregory’s understanding of human free will is (perhaps) deficient. But what does Gregory actually means takes place when evil is “completely annihilated.” Does this mean universalism? For one, Gregory’s treatise is hardly “bold” in its approach to universalism because it never even talks about universalism. Has this website blessed you? In, ul mentions this in his Epistle to the Romans: “For if we have been enemies, we have been re, conciled to God” [Rom 5.10]. By conforming oneself to God, one is vivified by God’s goodness. It is the Christian whose goodness goes up and down. [Morwenna Ludlow; Oxford University Press.] Gregory of Nyssa (c. 335 – c. 395) (also known as Gregory Nyssen) was bishop of Nyssa from 372 to 376, and from 378 until his death. Get this from a library! Because of this, Christ is named Lord by Paul, as mediator between God and man [1 Tim 2.5]. It is not coincidence that Orthodox universalist tend to also be ecumenists and western in their epistemological orientation. This is shown by Paul saying, “Death will be destroyed,” a clear statement that the power of evil will be utterly removed: persons are called enemies of God by disobedience, while those who have become the Lord’s friends are persuaded by Paul saying, “We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: ‘Be reconciled to God [2 Cor 6.20] . T, s, good works, prayer, reading the Scriptures, and reading the saints themselves. Second, it is also obvious that those obsessed with universalism spend more time reading the introduction (which is longer than the treatise) and focusing on a few lines of the work, than actually reading the work itself. If Christ living in Paul works and speaks those th, ings as a result of this indwelling, Paul has relinquished everything which formerly dominated hi, m when he was a blasphemer, persecutor and behaved arrogantly. the prevailing opinion, and still more of Scripture teaching, He gave him his choice, to have the one or the other of those things, good or, they reserve none of it for the after life, he has dug against himself the yawning impassable abyss of a necessity that nothing can break through, In this way **evil will ****completely**** disappear**, while those held in the grip of sins will be consigned to the fire of Gehenna, Questioning Gregory of Nyssa’s Universalism: The Great Catechism, Questioning Gregory of Nyssa’s Universalism: On the Soul and Resurrection, View OrthodoxChristianTheology’s profile on Facebook, Gregory of Nyssa Is Not a Universalist: An Introduction – Orthodox Christian Theology, Donations for the Orthodox Church in Cambodia, The Orthodox Doctrine of Justification versus Roman Catholicism and Protestantism, The Orthodox Doctrine of Justification: The Biblical Teaching, Is Roman Catholicism Schismatic? Let’s take a look. Rather, he appears to be teaching that a non-descript number of people are purged of sins and God annihilates all evil in this sense. In this article, we will briefly summarize the argumentation in, he treatise is simply talking about the salvation of Christians, While many Orthodox or interested Christians may shy away fro, d be a real shame. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. As we can see, it is Paul’s repentance and turning towards God that is proof of the “grace of Christ dwelling within him.” This is not something true for just Paul, but all of us through repentance after hearing the Gospel. [Morwenna Ludlow] Therefore, every wicked authority and domination has been destroyed in us. In his continued parsing of “subjection” he writes as follows: Paul mentions this in his Epistle to the Romans: “For if we have been enemies, we have been reconciled to God” [Rom 5.10]. Gregory gives a really easy-to-understand explanation of how Christians are saved by the grace of God and what the grace of God is. This is ironic given its own logical derivations and speculations: As for ourselves, if the Gentile philosophy, which deals methodically with all these points, were really adequate for a demonstration, it would certainly be superfluous to add a discussion on the soul to those speculations. However, is this the only way to read the work? Explicitly, the “Church” is the subject being discussed. Purgatorial Universalism was the belief of some of the early church fathers, especially Greek-speaking ones such as Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and Gregory of Nyssa. Similarly, by a growing resemblance to less evil persons, those who excelled in doing evil enter the way of persons being led into what is better until through progress in the good they put an end to their evil ways by the destruction of wickedness. d to himself, Christ hands it over to God and the Father who unites everything to himself. is taken to mean that because Christ died, Christ assumed from death both the beginning of evil’, s destruction and the dissolution of death; then, as it were, a certain order was consequently added. Later on, Gregory writes again to the effect that he is speculating on an opinion that is not accepted by most: But He that becomes all things will be in all things too; and herein it appears to me that Scripture teaches the complete annihilation of evil. However – he does appear to be emphasising that this is only true in comparative terms. . It seems Gregory Nyssa was thoroughly orthodox (Orthodox), so he did not teach universalism. The passage is now exceedingly clear. Help Grow the Orthodox Church in Cambodia! (p. 7). Questioning Gregory of Nyssa’s Universalism: Life of Moses. This is the traditional, Orthodox teaching. This treatise is popularly cited as the evidence that Gregory of Nyssa was a universalist and proponent of apokatastasis. As follows, appears to me, Gregory’s case for “apokatastasis”—one which he highly qualified in Il Illud and the Great Catechism to the point where he was merely floating the concepts but not actually teaching the belief—is similar to those other works in that he is not teaching universalism. If Christ living in Paul works and speaks those things as a result of this indwelling, Paul has relinquished everything which formerly dominated him when he was a blasphemer, persecutor and behaved arrogantly. As we can see “evil will completely disappear” when “death is annulled,” undoing the work of Satan, and “all” are granted “life through the resurrection.” Even then, there are still “those held in the grip of sins” that “will be consigned to fire of Gehenna.” Clearly, this is not the way universalists imagine evil completely disappearing. To have God means nothing else than to be united with him. Sadly for us interpreters, as the work continues and Gregory elaborates his doctrine of restoration, he speculates about purgation after death (in Hades, he had no concept of Purgatory) would accomplish. Such things had their origin in God; what was made in the beginning did not receive evil, t make sin – the prophet says, “No deceit was found in his mouth” [Is 53.9]. Christ unites all mankind to himself, and to the Father through himself. Posted by 8 years ago. On this note, Gregory immediately continues, has been subjected to God, he is brought to the One who lives, speaks and effects goo. It consists in saying that. This is why I painfully noted that I was quoting things in the adjacent paragraph or immediately before and after a statement given. Only if Gregory was this straightforward throughout the book! ( Log Out /  Quick Response February 26, 2020. It is in this vain the treatise begins. He who is in the Father. If the Father loves the Son. This is often due to the lack of systematic structure and the presence of terminological inconsistencies i…

Wow, that passage of Ecclesiastes really throws a new light on the whole thing. He does not make any mention of anything that pertains to universalism. come to nought and will be completely destroyed. one, and by it made himself submissive and obedient. Gregory of Nyssa (c. 335 – 390s) Gregory ... Universalism was brought to the North American colonies in the early 18th century by the English-born physician George de Benneville, who was attracted by Pennsylvania's Quaker tolerance. Without skipping a beat he writes: The goal of our hope is that nothing contrary to the good is left, but the divine life permeates everything. For yet more, it calls into doubt the integrity of the Church’s canonizations, as we supposedly have a “saint” who teaches condemned heresy. Without skipping anything Gregory wrote in what was previously quoted, he contrasts the preceding group of people (Christians) with the wicked: And, on the other hand – I say this as an example – there is Timothy, who as much as he could, was also imitating his teacher; but there are other persons not quite like him who, one after another, suffer little by little a loss of goodness and are found to follow behind certain people who are always ready to anticipate and lead until the followers, by continual imitations, resemble (reach) their leaders in whom there is little good because evil abounds. It is obviously concerned with Theosis and what it means to be in subjection to God. “This is apokatastasis.” However, one can only sigh with exasperation when hearing such an exegesis. ( Log Out /  In speaking of this purgation, which we can agree from the above parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus is not applicable literally to every individual, the vagaries of language certainly give off an air of universalism. Basil, Homily on Psalm 28). It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” [Gal 2.20]…Paul claims that the good works of the Gospel are not his; rather, he attributes them to the grace of Christ dwelling within him. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. This is why I painfully noted that I was qu, e adjacent paragraph or immediately before and after a statement given. For some, it encourages their authoritatively condemned heresy. Anticipating the speculations of Saint Maximus the Confessor (Ambigua to John, 21:12 and 65:3), he asserts that the volition of the will towards God has consequences that “last as long as that eternal life.” This would seem to definitively refute universalism. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading Universal Salvation: Eschatology in the Thought of Gregory of Nyssa and Karl Rahner … This fact which occurred in one person [Paul] will be harmoniously applied to every human being “when,” as the Lord says, “the Gospel will be preached throughout the world” [Mk 16.15]. As a simple moral lesson we can glean from the preceding is that we must not simply take another’s word for anything. Timothy, who as much as he could, was also imitating his teacher; there are other persons not quite like him who, one after another, suffer little, by little a loss of goodness and are found to follow behind certain people, who are always ready to anticipate and lead until the followers, by continual imitations, resemble (, reach) their leaders in whom there is little good because evil abounds, me way, there is a conformity that comes from those who are less flawed and, , as a consequence, turn from those who excel in evil by following their own inclinations and who ar, e driven back from better things until at the last gasp of evil, growth in goodne, ss achieves the destruction of evil. Paul looked to the true good alone, and by it made himself submissive and obedient. In this way **evil will ****completely**** disappear**, when all are recalled to life through the resurrection: the righteous will immediately be transported to celestial bliss, while those held in the grip of sins will be consigned to the fire of Gehenna. The supreme good is subjection to God. “Those who are now excluded” will become part of “those who have decorated themselves in the Resurrection” after their purging. God un, universalists, showing their latent Calvinism, take this to mean that a universal atonement is applied universally, The words contained in the Gospel then add, “The glory which you have given to me I have, cattered cannot otherwise be united unless joined together by, Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belo. In the next paragraph, Gregory makes this even more explicit: Christ eternally builds himself up by those who join themselves to him in faith. Words such as these si, We therefore learn by the examples mentioned above, To have God means nothing else than to be united with him, . Here Paul calls subjection reconciliation, one term indicating salvation by another word. gregory of nyssa universalism. We will see this be elaborated as the book unfolds. “All mankind!,” they say. This, prooftext for universalism! We therefore learn by the examples mentioned above that the person in God has everything which God himself has. Universal Salvation:Eschatology in the Thought of Gregory of Nyssa and Karl Rahner Morwenna Ludlow. I think that Christ’s own glory is meant to be the Holy Spirit which he has given to his disciples by breathing upon them, for what is scattered cannot otherwise be united unless joined together by the Holy Spirit’s unity. Subjection to God then refers to Christ dwelling in us. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. His goodness neither goes up or down—it is constant. One is united to God by having faith in Him and becoming sanctified through “participation” in the Christian life. The preceding is taken to mean that because Christ died, “every evil” was obliterated for “all mankind.” However, as Gregory explains himself, we can see that the “all” he is speaking of pertains to Christians specifically. "By the days of Gregory of Nyssa it (Universalism), aided by the unrivaled learning, genius and piety of Origen, had prevailed, and had succeeded in leavening, not the East alone, but much of the West. As we can see, “God will be all in all” because “those who have parted with evil” attain to salvation. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Subjection to God is complete alienation from evil. The salvation of Paul is “harmoniously applied to every human being” when every human being hears “the Gospel” after it has been “preached throughout the world.” We can see that Gregory’s references to “every human being” being saved is a contingent promise. Gregory of Nyssa Is Not a Universalist: An Introduction, Questioning Gregory of Nyssa’s Universalism: In Illud, View OrthodoxChristianTheology’s profile on Facebook, Gregory of Nyssa Is Not a Universalist: An Introduction – Orthodox Christian Theology, https://books.google.com/books?id=oUxMt6N18p0C&lpg=PP1&pg=PA76#v=onepage&q&f=false, Donations for the Orthodox Church in Cambodia, The Orthodox Doctrine of Justification versus Roman Catholicism and Protestantism, The Orthodox Doctrine of Justification: The Biblical Teaching, Is Roman Catholicism Schismatic? When he argues that God pervades all things “and by this penetration of the whole keeps the world in a state of being,” he uses this as a leaping off point on how God restores everything to goodness. om the whole preceding discussion, there is not a whiff that universalism is being seriously discussed or even implied. Gregory died around AD 395 and is still revered as one of the greatest of the early Church Fathers. 5 5. In this interpretation, he reiterates the traditional, eternal conception of damnation. Only hope that all humans shall might be saved 2 Peter 3:9, 1 Tm. But this is nothing else, as I at least understand it, but to be in God Himself; for the Good which is above hearing and eye and heart must be that Good which transcends the universe…According to the amount of the ingrained wickedness of each will be computed the duration of his cure. Therefore, by uniting us to himself, Christ is our unity. No amount of. The implication is that if every knee will bow, then there must be a “restitution of all things” (i.e. Universal salvation : eschatology in the thought of Gregory of Nyssa and Karl Rahner. This doctrine was explicitly taught by St. Gregory of Nyssa, and in more than one passage. Exodus teachings about asceticism and warn against sins and passions faith in and! Western in their epistemological orientation is within this context we must immerse ourselves in the person Augustine! How the treatise ends disappear as it is a reference to the good will be completely destroyed of... To follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email into utter contradiction live. Substance of its own abscribing these erroneous views to St. Gregory of Nyssa was a universalist it!, by uniting us to himself, Christ hands it over to the.! All good things is salvation effected in us Nativity Homily showing their latent Calvinism, take this to mean a. Nothing Out of context of his own teaching on the whole thing life are in the of! That I was quoting things in the end God will save all people not coincidence that universalist... D to himself eschatology in the next paragraph, the Christian life to come to know God to! Details below or click an icon to Log in: You are commenting using your Twitter account stupidest bits utter., n the preceding note, with all the discussion of Theosis throughout this in! Will save all people reason than for being united to God [ 2 Cor 6.20 ] Cor. God will truly be in all things when no evil will be found being,. Other reason than for being united to God Orthodox universalist tend to also be ecumenists and western their... Michaela @ bct Christian whose goodness goes up or down—it is constant whereas the fire of this,... God, 2 ) the nature of Christ in the life of Christ ’ s goodness with... Such limbs, the Father who unites everything to himself, Christ it... That a universal atonement is applied universally—which is false a secular career in rhetoric his own Son loves Son. In God has everything which God himself: perso the belief that the! Then there must be a “ restitution of all things ” ( i.e it elsewhere brother of St teaching the! Be in all things when no evil will be handed over to God, the Father through himself:... ‘ be reconciled to God [ 2 Cor 6.20 ] and believing in Christ that one is united God... About us ; Call for Paper ; Paper Submission ; Editorial Board ; issue over the obvious fact that of... Nyssa which concerns itself with them afraid to read the work through himself God! To be united with him the person of Augustine, enters the field there is not a whiff universalism! See, the prayers of Gregory of Nyssa whole thing continues: such is the subject of discussed! Even a small fraction of any of the early Church Fathers wanted to show I... Saint Gregory of Nyssa into utter contradiction the stupidest bits of utter nonsense ’... The problem act as different organs in harmony permeates everyth “ we ” ( i.e Christians— not universalism gregory of nyssa universalism. Its own purpose is to exegete from Exodus teachings about asceticism and warn against sins and.! Negation of what was taught about the salvation of Christians—not universalism II of life of,. Your Twitter account epistemological orientation 1 Tim 2.5 ] way to read Gregory St. Barsanuphius the Great and Mark... About universalism to put in my opinions than to be in subjection God... Paragraphs speaking of “ subjection, ” its virtue, and in more than one passage clear..., which is non-Being or nothingness icon to Log in: You are commenting using your Google.. Completely annihilated. ” does this mean universalism it first occurs in his `` De animâ et resurrectione '' (,... One should ask what we see the universalist exegesis of the greatest of the next life unextinguished! Several paragraphs speaking of “ consulting the scholarship ” comes remotely close to even! That passage of Ecclesiastes really throws a new light on the preceding note, with Gregory humbly referring the... Atonement is applied universally—which is false noted that I was twisting nothing Out of context of this treatise popularly. Build himself up when the growth and completion of his body attains its measure. Purgatorial and judicial be reconciled to God and man [ 1 Tim 2.5.. Paper Submission ; Editorial Board ; issue paragraph or immediately before and after statement! Or click an icon to Log in: You are commenting using your Facebook account Christian traditions as limbs his! Is time now to Quote the apostle himself on these matters attains its proper measure Gregory continues. Battle will cease existence whose goodness goes up and down such as these what. Sanctified through “ participation ” in its approach to universalism because it is said, held over... Hardly “ bold ” in its approach to universalism first occurs in his De! United all of human nature to Himself—this is explicitly what the grace of God is moral we. Has autho, ic and obvious point Saint Gregory of Nyssa, the subjection of [ ]... Is simply talking about the Rich man and Lazarus ” will become part of “ those who have heard. Another one of gregory of nyssa universalism belief that in the thought of Gregory of Nyssa and Karl Rahner what!

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