Four Hundred Texts on Love (Third Century) 26

Posted: December 7th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: St. Maximos the Confessor | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Four Hundred Texts on Love (Third Century) 26

74.  If God is essential knowledge, then God is subordinate to the intellect, for clearly the intellect is prior to all knowledge that it embraces. Therefore God is beyond knowledge because He is infinitely  beyond every intellect, whatever the knowledge it embraces.

It seems to me this is a central failing that permeates many of the fragments within the Protestant tradition. There is a sense that knowing God is the same as acquiring knowledge about God. Thus, infants are not baptized or considered to be able to be Christian because they have not attained the level of cognitive development required to grasp the essential knowledge of God. The primary discipline for knowing God is bible study. God is subordinate to the intellect.

Now, that’s not to say that reading and studying the Holy Scriptures is unimportant. St. John Chrysostom often chided his wealthy parishioners in Constantinople for failing to spend their wealth on a copy of the Scriptures (or at least the Gospels if they couldn’t afford the whole Scriptures), or if they had, for failing to read them. But God is beyond all knowledge, even the knowledge of the Scriptures. In some ways, we might even be better served if we could continue to know him as uncritically as an infant does. Jesus seems to say something like that at times.


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