Essence and Energies of God – 7

Thaboric Light

Thaboric Light

An understanding of God’s energies allows humankind to experience God directly through a personal relationship with the Persons of the triadic Godhead; the divine persons in communion and relationship with humanity as persons.  That aligns with and supports every human being achieving their purpose in life; having been created in the image of God, to attain to His likeness, partaking of the divine nature, in this life.

Without an understanding the distinction between God’s Essence and Energies we cannot reconcile the reality of a totally transcendent, ineffable, and unknowable God with the reality of the intensely personal relationship with Christ inherent in the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit within us. Christos Yannaras described the problem:

“The West rejected the distinction, desiring to protect the idea of simplicity in the divine essence, since rational thought cannot accept the antinomy [paradox] of a simultaneous existential identity and otherness, a distinction that does not mean division and fragmentation.  For the western mind…God is defined only in terms of His essence; whatever is not essence does not belong to God; it is a creature of God, the result of divine essence.”

Without this theology of the Essence and Energies of God, the praxis of the Renewal Movement, the indwelling presence and power of God in intimate personal relationship within us, is left with no complementary supporting theology or doctrine.  It is left without its complementary, supporting doxis.  We are left with a religion with a split personality, with no continuity between its belief and action; its doxis and praxis.

You will note that the Western Latin (Roman Catholic and Protestant) Church, embodied in the person of Barlaam of Calabria, does not recognize the Essence-Energies doctrine.  Hence, Western theology and doctrine have no means of explaining and dealing with the transcendence of God and with the simultaneous indwelling presence and power of the Holy Spirit which animates Renewal Movement Christians.  The West has no orthodoxis which complements and supports a spirit-filled orthopraxis.

This orthodoxis is only found in the Eastern Orthodox tradition.


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