April 11, 2010 Leave a comment
No one should be afraid to read someone even the West believes to be a Doctor of the Church. Some Latins, however, actually discourage people from reading St. John of Damascus. Ironically, Aquinas himself read the Damascene and cited him extensively.
Since I can’t seem to get anyone to read Book III, I’ll post the relevant chapter that explains it all. Why do I keep harping on Book III? In this Book of On the Orthodox Faith, St. John give his exposition of the teaching of Ephesus, Chalcedon and Constantinople II and III. These councils are key, as they focus on Christology. Christology is central, since that is our bridge to God, and not speculation and philosophizing about God’s essence in supposed “natural theology.”
It is in Christ that we meet the Father and the Spirit. It is the Incarnate Christ who shows us the Trinity. So if we want the clearest, most explicable understanding of the meaning of the essence/energy discinction and what hypostasis is, or what enhypostatized means, we should look to Christology, as it should be evident that what we formulate about the ontological Trinity must match up with our doctrine of Christ Incarnate. In other words, it makes no sense to come up with some hyper-philosophical, speculative view of God “ad intra” and God “ad extra,” as if we can come up with views that don’t have to match up with what we are saying about the divine hypostasis Who assumes human nature.
Everything about Christology proves the essence – energy distinction and is the doctrine of the 6th council in particular. Below, St. John exposits perfect Christology, as it culminated in the 6th Ecumenical Council.
Confusions resolved. Read more of this post