Damascene Cosmology – Is God moved?


While the previous answer given to “Does God change” might be adequate to some since it allows for us to understand that God does not operate in the way we do, meaning he can change his mind without changing his nature, to others such an answer is unsatisfactory.

For instance, even if we say that God’s emotions are higher than our own – such as when he’s angry he’s not holding some different quality of angry as we do, but instead holds the entire property of angry without actualizing on the entire property – the critic could point out that God’s emotional state is still a reaction to something we have done. When we look to Moses, God changed his mind after he listened to Moses, that is, he reacted to Moses.

If God reacts to us then that means he is, at times, moved by us. Many lay theologians, pastors, and even professional theologians argue that while God is immutable, by creating us he opened himself up to be moved by us at times. Such a view, however, ignores that (1) Scripture is emphatic that God did not lower himself to relate to us, but rather raises us up to relate to him and (2) God still had mutability within his nature under such a view. If God lowered himself in creation so that he could be moved by his creation at times, that means within his nature he changed from immutable to mutable, which would indicate that he was never immutable to begin with. As we discovered earlier, if anything has mutability within its nature, that is it has the potential to change, then it is mutable. Immutable beings must be immutable by nature. If God lowered himself in the act of creation, then he is not immutable and therefore we must abandon the idea of the Christian God. Continue reading

Reflections on the Trinity – On the Incarnation


You counted it nothing to abandon your place in Heaven, O Word, to take on our flesh, on our behalf, to rescue us from ourselves. How could we ever dream of such a God who would love us enough to die for us? But you did more; you lived as us so as to redeem us.

In the beginning you created us and we rebelled against you. As you walked in the garden shortly after our rebellion you asked where we were, but you knew. Nothing is hidden from you Lord. You knew what had occurred and what we had done, but in your question you shamed us. You made us contemplate on the sickness that we had just done.

You were not without love or compassion. Rather than eradicating us, you lovingly fashioned animal skins to cover our nudity. My Lord, you did this as a foreshadow of your own death on our behalf! Just as Adam and Eve had become ashamed of their nudity in the Garden and needed to be covered, so too did we become ashamed of our nudity before your Law. But just as you did with Adam and Eve, rather than letting us lay there in despair, you fashioned yourself as a skin to cover our iniquity so that we might not be ashamed. How can my sinful mind ever hope to understand your love, O Lord?

You came into the world as we do, only without human father. It was the blessed Virgin Mary, the Theotokos, who you chose as the worthy vessel to carry you. We ask that you send your Spirit to us to aid us in following her example, for at hearing that she was to be blessed with you in her womb she humbly and joyfully submitted. May we too react in the same way when invited to hold you within ourselves! It is in Mary that we find the eternal mystery of how the infinite was contained to her womb, but this foreshadowed the mystery of how your would Spirit would be contained within us. Continue reading

Reflections on the Trinity – The Spirit


Who am I to be so bold as to declare to you who you are? I offer this prayer up humbly to you my Lord, knowing that you are the Alpha and Omega. You are beyond me. It is in your mystery that I find clarity. It is in your hidden nature that I find you. I take sweet rest in your grace. I am weary O Spirit, but my rest is in you.

Eternally proceeding from the Father, but uncreated, you comfort us my God. You proceed as the heat proceeds from the sun, though distinct you are unified to the Father, though uncreated you find your existence in him. Such a mystery I shall never comprehend or understand, but in my finite nature I worship you.

Never let me blaspheme you, O Spirit. Should I ever blaspheme you, may you make my thoughts and actions cease! May you restrict me like an unruly child. Should I ignore your discipline, which is your love, then may you cast me into oblivion. May I never experience your presence or find comfort in you should I rebel against you!

But in all, please show patience with me Lord. I am a sinner, lowly in heart and low in mind. I need you to guide my path and to give me the strength to follow your path. It is through you, O Spirit, that I am defied, not in my identity and being, but in all other things I become like you. What a humbling thought that you would step down from heaven to dwell with me so that I might become like you. I do not deserve this for I have soiled your name. I have cursed you in word and deed. I have been your enemy. Yet you live within me and guide me to what you desire; your love I shall never comprehend.

You are the gift given by the Word to us mere mortals. You are the strength behind the martyrs. You are the power that raised Christ from the dead. You are the one that resides within those who follow and proclaim Jesus as the Christ. It is only through you that we know anything. But you are not a force, an inanimate object that permeates all of creation. You are a person unified with the Father and Son in identity and being, a living person who thinks and feels and I worship you.

How amazing it is that I could not worship were it not for you. It is only through you that I can worship you. I am so finite and so sinful that I am not even capable of uttering your name in a worthy fashion without your power. But you do not withhold this joy from me. You do not abandon me to live a life absent of worshiping you, which is Hell. Instead, you indwell me and open my mind. You enlighten me in every aspect of my being to prepare me to worship you and to wholly worship you. Such a beautiful mystery.

Christ called you the Comforter, the one who would walk with us and dwell within us in our darkest moments. What glory there is in such a thought! To know that there is no pain too great that you cannot overcome it, for what is our temporary pain in comparison to the infinite God of the universe? There is no sadness that can quench the joy you instill in us. There is no harm that can capture the soul that belongs to you.

You have been breathed into man twice, at our creation and at our re-creation. When created you are the one who crafted us into the image of God. When we are redeemed by the Word you are the one who is breathed into us again to craft us into the image of Christ, to make us holy, to make us more than we ought to be.

O Spirit, I pray that you sustain me tonight and for all the days of my life and once you have called for my mortal life to end that you will embrace my soul and bring me to your bosom. I pray that you will welcome me as a faithful servant and not a rebellious child. Continue to live within my life so that I may disappear and you may appear. Have mercy upon me O Spirit, a sinner.

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This was a scheduled post. I am currently out of town and subsequently have turned comments off since I cannot moderate or interact with commenters. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about this post, please feel free to contact me.

Reflections on the Trinity – On the Word


O blessed Word of God, how we worship you! It is through you that all things were created. It is through you that we have existence. The begotten of the Father, but uncreated and timeless, you share all things with the Father except in this; you were begotten of the Father, not in the way we humans are begotten, but in a mystery that we mere humans will never know.

I reflect upon your good deeds and your revelation to us. Certainly God must have a Word, but not one that dissipates as soon as spoken as our words do. Rather, you are a person who shares in the divine essence of God.

How wonderful you are for the love you have shown to humanity. It was you who walked in the Garden with Adam and Eve, sharing with them the Divine wisdom that was meant for us humans. It was you who discovered humanity’s rebellion in the Garden and cursed us. But in the curse you showed such restraint! You showed such love! For you did not destroy us, but rather allowed us to continue.

It was you who guided Abraham’s path and it was you who met with Moses. You guided your people, the Hebrews, from Egypt into the land you had prepared for them. These have been your interactions with men, always guiding us along the path of righteousness.

You stood with the three in the furnace and you closed the mouths of the lions who desired to consume Daniel. You walked with Israel and guided her paths, but she turned from you as all humanity turned from you. But you did not despair. Instead of destroying us, O precious Word, you came down and lived amongst us!

Such blasphemy to the Jews and foolishness to the Greeks! That you, the begotten Word, would come down and live amongst us is unfathomable to all. But you took on our nature. My struggles are now your struggles.

When I sin, you are the one who forgives. When I am burdened, you are the one who guides me along the path to relief. You go between us and the Father on our behalf, issuing your forgiveness to us.

To whom can the burdened and tired take refuge? It is in you alone my Lord. It is in you that the weary may lay their heads and rest. It is in you that the traveler may find his home. It is in you that we learn that the mountains that impede our paths belong to you! There is no trial we can face, no persecution too great, that we cannot find hope in you O Lord! Continue reading

Reflections on the Trinity – On the Father


Oh most blessed and holy Father, what ever can I say about you? To what can I compare you? What words can I say that will offer up an explanation as to who you are? Nothing in all of existence may be compared to you and no words come close to describing who you are.

The unbegotten and uncreated Father, holy beyond all comprehension. For no words can come close to describing you Father. Our words are mere analogies to your splendor and greatness. To say you are holy does not close to expressing your majesty.

The holy Father, forgiver of sins and origin of all things. For it is by your Word that we all came into existence. You spoke into the void and created us, not out of need or desire, but out of love and glory. You have safeguarded your creation and protected us.

It is by your will that you sent your only begotten Son to die on our behalf, to die for the creation that rebelled against you. Out of love you watched as your Son was tortured on our behalf. But you did not let your Son die in vain on the cross, but instead sent your Spirit to raise him from the dead and sit him at your right hand.

It is this same Spirit you sent to those who believe in you. God indwelling in man. Father I confess that were it not for the sacrifice of your Son and the indwelling of your Spirit I would not know you, for I am a lowly creation who has made myself lower by partaking in rebellion against you. Have mercy upon me Father! Continue reading

Reflections on the Trinity – On God


On God

What among your creation is like you, O God? What in your creation can be compared to you? Shall we point to the tallest peaks in order to match your majesty? Yet your majesty towers over them. Shall we look to the furthest galaxies and the vast expanse of space to find something as big as you? Yet you contain it all within your hands.

All is contingent upon you, O God. A dove does not fly, a drop of rain does not fall, a wave does not churn, an atom does not move without your constant reflection upon their being. Were you to ever turn our gaze from your creation it would disappear. Nothing in your creation can ever compare to you for you are infinitely above it.

I confess that you are not weak. Your piercing gaze tames the untamable lion. When the storm rages and the seas refuse to cease and yield their might to no one, they are calmed by your whisper. What man can bring down the planets or the various galaxies? What man can ever hope to travel light years, to traverse billions of miles within a human lifetime, to visit these distance lands? And yet with your mere word they came into existence. You are above your creation and control your creation.

You are not limited to any space. We do not need to climb a mountain to find you or travel to a distant land to seek your wisdom. You are eternally present in all your creation, though your creation remains distinct from you and is not in you. For as the Psalmist says, if I should make my bed in the deepest valley, you shall be there. I cannot escape the presence of my God for my God is beyond all of creation. Continue reading

Reflections on the Trinity – Introduction


The following posts concerning my “reflections on the Trinity” is actually one giant prayer that I wrote out. I do not go into philosophical detail on much of what I say for two reasons; (1) that goes against the style of writing and (2) who does that in a prayer?

These are written in a more “artistic” manner, but I did not intend this to be the way. I am simply writing in a way that I find respectful to God, but also conveys my feelings. It is my hope that the reader will gain from these prayers as much as I have.

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This was a scheduled post. I am currently out of town and subsequently have turned comments off since I cannot moderate or interact with commenters. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about this post, please feel free to contact me.