If Christ Is the One Idea…

This does not mean that all esse commune (created being) is redeemed by virtue of the incarnation or his one act on the cross. Of course there is an eschatological element in which all of creation has the promise of redemption now through Christ’s realization of that promise.  However, those who espouse a universalist atonement based on folks like Aquinas attributing Platonic principles to Christ’s being are incorrect.  I agree that the Logos ensarkos (i.e. Jesus) is the One through whom all things were made and are recreated.  Through his incarnation the Son united himself, not only with humanity, but with created being, esse commune. Although, just as Christ’s two natures are united via the Holy Spirit, esse commune is only recreated by this One whom St. Augustine defined as that Bond of Love between the Father and the Son – the Paraklete. In other words, there is no redemption without Pentecost just as there is no Atonement without Golgatha.     

Fruit In the Trees of Jesus’ Garden

“A man had a fig tree in his vineyard and came seeking fruit on it and found none.” (Luke 13:6) 

“He was trying to get a look at Jesus, but being a short man he could not see over the crowd. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, because Jesus was going to pass that way. And when Jesus came to that place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly,because I must stay at your house today.” So he came down quickly and welcomed Jesus joyfully.” (Luke 19:3-6)

Amen

I should as soon expect a farmer to prosper in  business who contented himself with sowing his fields and never looking at them till harvest, as expect a believer to attain much holiness, who was not diligent about his Bible reading, his prayers and the use of his Sundays. Our God is a God who works by means, and He will never bless the soul of that man who pretends to be so high and spiritual that he can get on without them” (J.C. Ryle, Holiness, 20).

St. Augustine on Being Christian

… At the same time you are slave, and free; slave, because you are created such; free, because you are loved by God, by whom you were created:  yes, free indeed, because you love Him by whom you were made.  Do not serve with discontent; for your murmurs do not tend to release you from serving, but to make you a wicked servant.  you are a slave of the Lord, you are a freedman of the Lord:  do not seek to be emancipated as to depart from the house of Him who frees you … (Commentary on Psalm 100)

Aquinas: Two Ways of Christ’s Reconciliation of Man

It is important to ask if sin is an ontological reality rather than an exclusive legal reality. To ask this is also to ask if man’s relationship to God is effected by the nature of man’s reflecting God’s own image.  Aquinas’ distinction in two ways is helpful:

On the part of Christ he [Paul] writes of two ways through which Christ has made us pleasing [to God]. For within us there exists two antagonisms to the divine good pleasure, the stains of sin and the punishing injuries [sin inflicts]. Justice is as opposed to sin as life is to death, so that through sin, having departed from our likeness to God, we cease being pleasing to God. But through Christ he has made us pleasing. First, indeed, by abolishing the punishment; and in reference to this he says that in Christ we have redemption from the slavery of sin. “You know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as gold or silver, from the vain manner of life handed down from your fathers: but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb unspotted and undefiled” (1 Pet. 1:18*-19). “Thou hast redeemed us to God, in thy blood” (Apoc. 5:9).  Continue reading “Aquinas: Two Ways of Christ’s Reconciliation of Man”