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Athanasius On God As Creator And Recreator

1567 words - 6 pages

In the study of the ancient Church Fathers, you cannot avoid studying Athanasius. He was the first Church Father to really understand and articulate a theology of the Trinity and its mutual love towards Creation. As well, the development of his Trinitarian theology came at a crucial time in Christian thought. Athanasius was influential in refuting the Arian controversy which had Christ as a lesser being than the Father. Understanding the theology of Athanasius is essential to understanding who he was as a person.
Athanasius was Greek; He was born in Alexandria to Christian parents. His theology is linked to Irenaeus and Bartholomew; we can see this in his use of Logos as Christ. Athanasius was the Athanasius dealt with the Arian Controversy, where he was able to develop his theology of the Trinity. His theology was developed with Athanasius' fourty-five years as bishop of Alexandria from 328 to 373. Unfortunately, some modern scholars have criticized Athanasius for his lack of discussion on Christ’s human soul, whether he had one and if he did, what that meant in regards to Soteriology. The divinity of Christ was more important to Athanasius than the humanity. As well, how Arius viewed the Bible as privatized teaching as opposed to public teaching that was to be used with all teaching. “Athanasius regarded as divinely inspired. Most importantly, the Bible contained the words of Christ. Accordingly, the Bible is sufficient for the exposition of the truth, about both the things of philosophy and the things of God and so it demands our obedience.” In Athanasius' writings there is the influence of Platonism in his thought, though Athanasius himself does not hold to be a Platonist. We can see his Platonist influenced education with statements like these: “Athanasius says of the Creator that He is ‘beyond all being’ and ‘good.’ These are allusions to two well-known statements by Plato, to which, however, as a Christian Athanasius gives his own interpretation.”
Athanasius' theology is filled with understanding God of creating Athanasius taught that God Himself created out of nothing as well as understanding that only Christ being a divine being could save humankind from themselves. “The Scriptures rather teach, says Athanasius, a creation from nothing, and therefore the power of God to bring into existence that which had no existence is revealed to be an expression of God’s goodness.” In his theology of Creation, Athanasius taught that there was no evil until man chose knowledge in the fall; humankind does not simply disobey God with Adam and Eve eating the apple in Eden, they fall from His favour. “‘God, then, had so created man and willed that he should remain incorruptibility.’ But man turned away from God and invented ‘invented for themselves wickedness’ and so ‘received the condemnation of death’ and ‘no longer remained as they had been created, but as they devised, they were ruined’” God did not create death, instead man chose...

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