Posts Tagged spermatikos logos
St. Justin Martyr (c. 100 – 165) taught that all truth came from the Logos, or Word, of God. Therefore, whatever truth was stated by any human being at any time, anywhere, was the result of the influence of the immanent Logos within him/her; and was, therefore, Christian. It was later generations of Christians that claimed for the institutional Christian church a total monopoly on truth as its sole source and repository… as it does to this day.
“the teachings of Plato are different from those of Christ, … they are not in all respects similar, as neither are those of the others, Stoics, and poets, and historians. For each man spoke well in proportion to the share he had of the spermatic word [spermatikos logos; the Logos inherent in all humans], seeing what was related to it. But they who contradict themselves on the more important points appear not to have possessed the heavenly wisdom, and the knowledge which cannot be spoken against. Whatever things were rightly said among all men, are the property of us Christians… For all the writers were able to see realities darkly through the sowing of the implanted word [spermatikos logos] that was in them. For the seed and imitation imparted according to capacity is one thing, and quite another is the thing itself, of which there is the participation and imitation according to the grace which is from Him.” Second Apology, 13.
Everything in proper Christianity is experiential; it is based on relationship. Take some examples: The immanent presence of spermatikos logos, the Son, within us, giving our minds the reason and order to recognize the existence of God and his moral will; the Incarnation of the Logos, God becoming flesh and dwelling among us in the person of Jesus was so that we would have a concrete living person that we could relate to and love as the human exemplar of God; the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost was so that each of us could have a direct personal relationship with God in the Church Age, after Jesus’ resurrection.
Proper theology is always, always top-down; about God’s relationship to man. That is so our theology is always based on how man, the creation, experiences relationship with his loving Creator, God. When theology is done backwards, bottom-up, based on man’s ideas of God, you end up with a God that is an extrapolation of man, an anthropomorphized super-human God; and that is the error of Western Latin theology.
Union with God, theosis, is the goal of all proper theology and religion. In Eastern Orthodox theology, deification (theosis) is both a transformative process as well as the goal of that process; the attainment of likeness to or union with a loving God. Likeness and union are terms that inherently imply close personal realtionship. Any dogma or doctrine that does not reflect this experience of man’s love relationship with God is most likely in error and bad theology; an afterthought of man.