June 20, 2010

Quote of the Day: Theological Warfare

Long ago God spoke to the fathers by the prophets at different times and in different ways. In these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things and through whom He made the universe. He is the radiance of His glory, the exact expression of His nature, and He sustains all things by His powerful word. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

    - Hebrews 1:1-3, HCSB


When therefore [the author of Hebrews] would show that [the Son] is of [the Father], he speaks of necessity lowly things. But when he would utter high things, Marcellus takes a handle, and Sabellius; avoiding however the excess of both, he holds a middle [way]. For neither does he dwell on the humiliation, lest Paul of Samosata should obtain a standing place, nor yet does he ever abide in the high sayings; but shows on the contrary His abundant nearness, lest Sabellius rush in upon him. He names Him "Son," and immediately Paul of Samosata comes on him, saying that He is a son, as the many are. But he gives him a fatal wound, calling Him "Heir." But yet, with Arius, he is shameless. For the saying, "He appointed Him heir," they both hold; the former one saying, it comes of weakness; the other still presses objections, endeavoring to support himself by the clause which follows. For by saying, "by whom also He made the worlds," he strikes backwards the impudent Samosatene: while Arius still seems tob e strong. Nevertheless see how he smites him likewise, saying again, "who being the brightness of His glory." But behold! Sabellius again springs on us, with Marcellus, and Photinus: but on all these he inflicts one blow, saying, "and the express image of His person and upholding all things by the word of His power." Here again he wounds Marcion too; not very severely, but however he doth wound him.

    - St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on Hebrews 2.2, tr. P. E. Pusey, rev. Frederic Gardiner


Who knew Hebrews was so violent! It would have been nice if St. Chrysostom had been more explicit as to exactly how this text refutes all of these heretics, but I suppose that's more a topic for a theological treatise than a sermon.

Posted by Kenny at June 20, 2010 8:57 PM
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