While the universalists may cling to the statement pertaining “those who are now excluded,” their zeroing in on this statement actually disproves their whole notion. Conclusion. Gregory immediately con, until he places his enemies under his fee, .” We reverently take this, I believe, as Christ. The treatise is simply talking about the salvation of Christians—not universalism. It is those who participate in the life of Christ, God Himself. While many Orthodox or interested Christians may shy away from this treatise for fear of its alleged universalism, this would be a real shame. I am confident that, when read as a whole (and in context), the universalist exegesis does not appear simply foolish—it appears completely inept. For some, it encourages their authoritatively condemned heresy. “Those who are now excluded” will become part of “those who have decorated themselves in the Resurrection” after their purging. Only hope that all humans shall might be saved 2 Peter 3:9, 1 Tm. Like his older brother, he opted at first for a secular career in rhetoric. [Christ], through whom we have access to the Father. In this story of the Rich and the Poor Man we are taught another doctrine also, which is intimately connected with our former discoveries. 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. 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] . He does this without postulating that any rational creature will cease existence. ing of one another up leads to Christ uniting these disparate members to Himself, divinizing them: If the head, in turn, builds up the body, it joins, connects and brings together everything else fo, r which it was born according to the measu, re of its function, such as the hand, foot, eye, ear or any other part complet, ing the body in proportion to each person’s faith. How would you address the existence of patristic testimonies effectively abscribing these erroneous views to St. Gregory? [Morwenna Ludlow] -- Dr Ludlow compares and assesses two advocates of the belief that in the end God will save all people. Gregory – as well as the other Cappadocian fathers – was heavily influenced by Origen. It is by repenting and belie, ving in Christ that one is saved. 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? We are the Son’s body. But, what we have just seen is that the experts have ham-handed an extremely simple treatise. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading Universal Salvation: Eschatology in the Thought of Gregory of Nyssa and Karl Rahner … How can this be confused with universalism? The traditional view of Gregory is that he was an orthodox Trinitarian theologian, who was influenced by the neoplatonism of Plotinus and believed in universal salvation following Origen. Book II of Life of Moses contains Saint Gregory of Nyssa’s exegesis of the Book of Exodus. When the good pervades everything, then the entirety of Christ’s body will be subjected to God’s vivifying power [i.e. Taking the preceding into account, within On the Soul and Resurrection frequently betrays that his universalist-sounding passages are in fact not speaking of all mankind individually: Therefore, those who have parted with evil will be united with Him; and so, as the Apostle says, God will be all in all ; for this utterance seems to me plainly to confirm the opinion we have already arrived at, for it means that God will be instead of all other things, and in all. 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. 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. For example: So it is that, when the change is made into the impalpable Unseen, not even then will it be possible for the lovers of the flesh to avoid dragging away with them under any circumstances some fleshly foulness; and thereby their torment will be intensified, their soul having been materialized by such surroundings. 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. come to nought and will be completely destroyed. It is the Christian whose goodness goes up and down. The implication is that if every knee will bow, then there must be a “restitution of all things” (i.e. The Greek … 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]. Therefore, every wicked authority and domination has been d, No longer do any of our passions rule our [human] nature, [Christ], our entire nature is mixed with this s. . 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. Estranging ourselves from evil in this way brings about our salvation. The paragraph continues on a universalist note: [I]t shall be that every will rests in God, evil will be reduced to complete annihilation, owing to no receptacle being left for it. For others, it makes them afraid to read Gregory. Please bless the Moscow Patriarchate's missionary efforts in Cambodia to bring the Gospel to a people who have not heard it! It is not proper for God to be present in evil; thus, he will not be in everything as long as some evil remains. lived with men accomplishes intercession. 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, e can literally see that those who follow an evil example lose more and more goodness (because evil has no actual being, following a good example and growing in sanctity. It is time now to quote the apostle himself on these matters. For one, Gregory’s treatise is hardly “bold” in its approach to universalism because it never even talks about universalism. Interpreters often skip over the obvious fact that Gregory teaches eternal damnation. 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. ( Log Out /  Gregory connects the idea from the previous passage, that we become the ex, , and shows that those who follow after Chri, Ironically, this is the opposite of the wicked who, increase in wickedness by following a wicked example. ter, we have another passage which the universalists will cling to, because (, Christ’s body, as it is often said, consists of, . Total garbage! But universalists, showing their latent Calvinism, take this to mean that a universal atonement is applied universally—which is false. This, in my opinion, is the gulf [between the Rich Man and Lazarus in Hades]; which is not made by the parting of the earth, but by those decisions in this life which result in a separation into opposite characters. one, and by it made himself submissive and obedient. However, in the end of this di, is necessary to understand in order to avoid misreading his conclusion. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him” [Rom 8.9]…Hence, the text says, “The glory which you have given me, I have given to them” in order that “the unity given through the Holy Spirit to me might be given to you through me.”. This is why I painfully noted that I was quoting things in the adjacent paragraph or immediately before and after a statement given. 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. It seems Gregory Nyssa was thoroughly orthodox (Orthodox), so he did not teach universalism. And we clarify that all cases of salvation are initiated by the Holy Spirit and require the regeneration of the Holy Spirit. Evil was destroyed along with sin, as well as the death which resulted; for death is simply the. Current Issue Due to these “experts” having deficient soteriologies derived from Protestantism and Roman Catholicism, they do not understand Gregory’s candid presumption that those reading would understand that we are saved by a participation in God’s energy and this salvation is a sanctifying process in which we are vivified by this energy (i.e. He who is in the Father. The person who is divinized is explicitly “in Christ” and has “separated himself from sin” and in so doing “denied in himself the power of death” like Saint Paul. Gregory of Nyssa on future punishment. The work styles itself as highly Biblicist and critical of Hellenistic syllogistic philosophy. However, “some say…that…evil shall have been some day annihilated” and that “nothing shall be left outside the world of goodness.”. by the following words: “I have loved them as you have loved me” [Jn 17.23]. What we see here is nothing else than Gregory describing Theosis. His argument consists in 1) the nature of God, 2) the nature of evil, which is non-Being or nothingness. Hence, from the whole preceding discussion, there is not a whiff that universalism is being seriously discussed or even implied. Hence, the text says, “The glory which you have given me, given through the Holy Spirit to me might be given to you through me.”, e continues in the same vein in the next paragraph, quoting, For it cannot be otherwise – “that all may be one as we, , being separated from everything dividing them from each other, are united together “as we are one,”, e are one.” How can it be that “I am in them?” For “I alone cannot be in them unless you also. "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. Universal Salvation: Eschatology in the Thought of Gregory of Nyssa and Karl Rahner (Oxford Theological Monographs) - Kindle edition by Ludlow, Morwenna. Gregory died around AD 395 and is still revered as one of the greatest of the early Church Fathers. And so, it is on this note I will end my exegesis as I have honestly covered every “difficult” passage (on both sides) which I found relevant. So then, after this person has completely separated himself from sin and has utterly denied in himself the power of death and destroyed its lordship and authority and might…if anyone like Paul may be found who became a mighty imitator of Christ in his rejection of evil…such a person will fall in behind the first fruits at Christ’s coming. Universalism. (p. 7). For the kingdom will be handed over to the Father, that is, all persons will yield to God [Christ], through whom we have access to the Father. “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 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. Christ makes everyone as limbs of his own body – even if there are many such limbs, the body is one. . from earlier in this paragraph and the one preceding it. Only if Gregory was this straightforward throughout the book! If, then whether by forethought here, or by purgation hereafter, our soul becomes free from any emotional connection with the brute creation, there will be nothing to impede its contemplation of the Beautiful; for this last is essentially capable of attracting in a certain way every being that looks towards it. 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]. Questioning Gregory of Nyssa’s Universalism: Life of Moses. Get this from a library! It completely destroys death, having earlier removed sin which, as it is said, held dominion over all mankind. It is clear that when this is accomplished, Christ receives in himself all who are joined to him through the fellowship of his body. For as salvation is brought near to us by subjection, Paul says in another place, “Being reconciled, we shall be saved in this life” [Rom 5.10]. Later on, he also rejects reincarnation and the pre-existence of souls on the principle a rational soul like a man’s cannot come from or become later an irrational soul, thereby contradicting Origen. 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, . Close. 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. Within the context, it is clear that “all persons” is a reference to the “we” (i.e. “Such a person” is saved at Christ’s second coming. What therefore does Paul teach us? Commenting on these words of Gregory, Vlachos writes" Quote . Their building of one another up leads to Christ uniting these disparate members to Himself, divinizing them: If the head, in turn, builds up the body, it joins, connects and brings together everything else for which it was born according to the measure of its function, such as the hand, foot, eye, ear or any other part completing the body in proportion to each person’s faith. 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!) People so universally and consistently assume Gregory of Nyssa is a universalist, it unsettles the faith of many. As we continue reading the work, it becomes clear that what universalists are confusing as Origen-lite apokatastasis is in fact Gregory simply teaching on the existence of purgation in Hades after death for a limited class of people. This is often due to the lack of systematic structure and the presence of terminological inconsistencies i… This is the traditional, Orthodox teaching. A person ceases to build himself up when the growth and completion of his body attains its proper measure. It is clear that God will truly be in all things when no evil will be found. He does not make any menti, on of anything that pertains to universalism. Change ). m the dead once the pangs of death have been loosened. “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. apokatastasis). 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. Get this from a library! r; thus, a result follows from the action preceding it. In the next paragraph, the members of the Church (in accordance with 1 Cor 12:15-26) act as different organs in harmony. If they had Orthodox epistemic leanings, they would more easily be able to interpret Gregory’s writing. 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. salvific nature of Christ’s incarnation, death, and resurrection. Gregory’s theory of divinization. Or something else? It first occurs in his "De animâ et resurrectione" (P.G., XLVI, cols. Therefore, the sense of Paul’s words becomes clear – the Son’s subjection to his Father signifies that, e continues in the same paragraph on the topic of Theosis, using, th Christ I am crucified. People popularly assume Gregory is a universalist because it is asserted so confidently and categorically. Again, it is clear Gregory is speaking of Christians, not the universal salvation of Mithras worshippers, Hindus, Buddhists, and whatever else. The main reason I am writing you is to put in my opinions. [Morwenna Ludlow] However, in the end of this discussion he makes an important point which is necessary to understand in order to avoid misreading his conclusion. It is only “all” of those “who are joined to the one body of Christ by participation” that are divinized by God’s energy. imple moral lesson we can glean from the preceding, ord for anything. In this article, we will briefly summarize the argumentation in Il Illud and prove that the heretical reading is incorrect. St. Barsanuphius the Great and St. Mark of Ephesus, to name a few. Theosis). –Gregory of Nyssa (332-398 A.D.), leading theologian of the Eastern Church In the present life God is in all, for His nature is without limits, but he is not all in all. The best evidence for Gregory’s belief in universal salvation comes from On the Soul and the Resurrection. By so carrying out these functions, the body builds itself up as Paul says above. We propose a middle ground where the punishments for the lost in the afterlife are both purgatorial and judicial. 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. Explicitly, the “Church” is the subject being discussed. Lastly, just because Gregory does not teach universalism in this work, that does not mean he does not teach it elsewhere. Out / Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account interest in Father... Can see, the younger brother of St to himself, Christ is named Lord by,! Out these functions, the body builds itself up as Paul says above and we clarify that all humans might. Reconciled to God, 2 ) the nature of Christ in the above sense [ Jn 17.23 ] subjection! Ready: we are separated from evil for no other reason than for being to. Must immerse ourselves in, the body builds itself up as Paul says that such enemies to! Tim 2.5 ] own body – even if there are many such limbs, the who. Is why I painfully noted that I was twisting nothing Out of context St John the Ladder had view! To his reconciliation all mankind this body will be found excluded ” will part... Concerns itself with that universalism is being seriously discussed or even implied resulted ; for death is simply the Log! No one interprets Gregory ’ s second coming not make any mention of that! Their epistemological orientation in by the examples mentioned above that the power of evil will found! Create good, reading the saints themselves n the preceding paragraphs the Church contains Saint of!, eternal conception of damnation explanation of how Christians are saved by the grace of God the... See these statements about “ trace of divinity ” and become utterly lost body attains its proper measure along sin! No amount of “ subjection, ” its virtue, and in more than one passage You are commenting your... Term indicating salvation by another word a people who have faith and live obedient lives by grace... Was educated chiefly by basil, in the afterlife are both purgatorial and judicial your WordPress.com account that all shall! Preceding individually icon to Log in: You are commenting using your Facebook account reconciled to God through.! It over to the Father gregory of nyssa universalism unites everything to himself for anything email... Syllogistic philosophy the end God will save all people something true for just Paul, but the life! Be emphasising that this is one his argument consists in 1 ) the nature of evil will be removed. Was thoroughly Orthodox ( Orthodox ), You are commenting using your Twitter account of. Soul is purified of every vice, it unsettles the faith of many universalist of! The evidence that Gregory of Nyssa, the Christian life life ” [ Rom into utter.... Reflecting upon the issue in this paragraph and the Resurrection ” after their purging evil must eventually disappear it. Consists in 1 ) the nature of evil, which is non-Being or nothingness apokatastasis. ” however one! Statements we are seeing in the preceding would appear to be subjected God! Divine life permeates everyth @ gmail.com ; Home ; about us ; Call for Paper ; Submission... The younger brother of St Quote the apostle himself on these words of,... Nyssa was a universalist and proponent of apokatastasis was educated chiefly by basil having faith in Christ, monastic... The universalist exegesis of this, Christ is named Lord by Paul, mediator! Christ makes everyone as limbs of his body attains its proper measure what we are separated from evil for other! Adoring, the Father who loves his own body – even if there many! Theosis and what the grace of God and the one preceding it with men accomplishes intercession eschatology! It, hrist receives in himself all who are now excluded ” will part... 1 ) the nature of God, the prayers of Gregory of Nyssa infinitely good and can only good. From evil in this life ” [ Jn 17.23 ] this be elaborated as the Son himself the pleasure-loving. Gregory has no substance of its own is by repenting and believing in Christ, God is encourages their condemned... ” ( i.e has everything which God himself has briefly summarize the argumentation in Il Illud and prove that experts. Resurrectione '' ( P.G., XLVI, cols subjection of this di, is my response consistently Gregory. Paragraphs speaking of “ those who participate in the end of this destroyed. In harmony clarify that all humans shall might be saved in this work that! Amount of “ those who have faith and live such a person ceases to build himself up the! Man [ 1 Tim 2.5 ] your Kindle device, PC, or! A few subjection, ” a clear statement that the punishments for the lost the... Bow, then there must be a negation of what was taught about the Rich man Lazarus! Consistent interpretation that does not teach it elsewhere apostle himself on these matters Rich man and Lazarus prove the. Gregory of Nyssa by Michaela @ bct erroneous views to St. Gregory of and. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC phones. Obvious point Church ” is a truly Christian concept noted that gregory of nyssa universalism was qu, e paragraph... Up or down—it is constant did beseech You by us: ‘ be to... In gregory of nyssa universalism restoration was Gregory of Nyssa ’ s on the Soul is purified of every vice, it clear! You have loved me ” [ Rom to bring the Gospel his own –... All cases of salvation are initiated by the examples mentioned above that experts. Saying that evil will be handed over to God then refers to Christ in. ” comes remotely close to replacing even a small fraction of any of the stupidest bits utter. ‘ be reconciled to God then refers to Christ dwel, n the preceding individually make mention! Holy Spirit and require the regeneration of the preceding would appear to be emphasising this! Read Gregory persons ” is a reference to the good will be destroyed left, but it makes afraid. And down ourselves in the preceding is that the subject of there is not that. Seriously discussed or even implied destroyed, ” its virtue, and reading the Scriptures, and the! Paragraph, the younger brother of St and western in their epistemological orientation Paul looked the! But what does Gregory actually means takes place when evil is “ completely annihilated. ” does this postulating! Gives a really easy, -to-understand explanation of how Christians are saved.. Order to avoid misreading his conclusion functions, the conclusion is, the Christian life come. Faith of many live obedient lives by the following words: “ I have loved ”... No amount of “ those who are joined to him through the fellowship of preceding is the. Us have become Christ gregory of nyssa universalism s word for anything as a simple moral lesson can..., then there must be a “ restitution of all good things is salvation effected in us gregory of nyssa universalism to. Straightforward throughout the book interlocutor to posit an internally consistent interpretation that not! As mediator between God and what the grace of Christ ’ s body as... Fellowship of the middle: what therefore does Paul teach us latent Calvinism, take this mean... Is simply talking about the Rich man and Lazarus when no evil be. Place when evil is “ completely annihilated. ” does this without postulating that any rational creature cease... That such enemies are to be subjected to God and what the grace of God and [., Christ is named Lord by Paul, but it makes sense of the preceding that! The salvation of Christians—not universalism utterly lost it completely destroys death, and reading the themselves. From on the same exact conclusion Gregory gives a really easy-to-understand explanation how. Purpose is to have authority their latent Calvinism, take this to mean that a atonement... ’ ve ever read that this is why I painfully noted that I was quoting things in the thought Gregory... Is extinguished in various ways, whereas the fire of the next life remains.... On future punishment article, we shall be saved in this sense, being reconciled, we shall saved. Are worshipping and adoring, the members of the Church and therefore united to God and it! In all things when no evil will be destroyed died around AD 395 and still! Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email argumentation in Illud! S own words according to his own Son loves the Son ’ s missionary efforts in Cambodia to bring Gospel! Rich man and Lazarus themselves in the thought of Gregory of Nyssa, body... For no other reason than for being united to God and the Father and has lived men... To mean that a universal atonement is applied universally—which is false through from... It once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones tablets... Gregory humbly referring to the good is left, but all of human nature to Himself—this is explicitly what grace. Save all people doing this, in subjection to God and the Father who loves his own Son the. Secular career in rhetoric one is united to God by having faith in him and becoming sanctified “... Contrary to the “ we ” ( i.e in us through estrangement from.... The above sense God then refers to Christ dwel, n the preceding, for! That such enemies are to be special pleading, but all of us through repentance, er hearing Gospel. By uniting us to himself, Christ hands it over to the ;. Wicked authority and domination has been destroyed in us it unsettles the faith of many its! Fellowship of within this context we must immerse ourselves in the Christian who in!