Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Three Inseparable Elements of Higher Life

Properly, the three elements of higher life are inseparable; and it is therefore extremely difficult to propound any invariable law applying to individual cases, as to the order in which these three grades of internal development must or ought always to succeed one another. Essentially they are one and indissoluble. As faith and hope are based upon love, so is love dependent on both the former; and this is as true of genuine love on earth as it is of that which lives in a higher domain. If its faith be hostilely disturbed, then it loses its hope also, and the very root of its existence. If hope is entirely cut off, it does not, indeed, lose thereby faith itself, and its object, but it preys on itself.

Friedrich von Schlegel, Philosophy of Language, Morrison, tr., pp. 478-479.

1 comment:

  1. Timotheos7:04 PM

    This of course just goes to show that a truly Christian
    Soteriology is properly Trinitarian; one must have faith, hope, and charity,
    distinct, yet inseparable and one.

    In fact, it’s interesting to evaluate the various Protestant
    positions with this in mind; you can pretty much associate every major
    Protestant soteriological scheme with one of the old Trinitarian heresies, or
    associate it (at least roughly) with the Catholic view.

    You’ve got:

    Reformed view (Calvinism/Traditional Arminianism)- make
    faith (defined Scholastically as intellectual assent) to be the only condition
    of salvation; the virtues of hope and charity are proper accidents, eternal
    creations if you will, that are only necessary for salvation in the sense that
    good works (properly so called) are necessary for salvation. Thus, they are soteriological Arians.

    Lutheran view- make “faith alone” to be the only condition
    of salvation, but define faith in such a way that it includes the virtue of
    hope (as a sort of trust that God will deliver on his promises known by faith).
    Charity here is treated as a proper accident of faith and hope, which is
    usually referred to as “living” faith (faith and hope) to distinguish it from “dead”
    faith (faith without hope). Thus, we have our soteriological Pneumatomachi (who denied that the Holy Spirit was God)

    Wesleyan view (and *some* Armenians) - define
    faith in such a way that a “living” faith requires all three virtues, while a “dead”
    faith may have only have faith or faith-and-hope. Can be essentially synonymous with the Catholic view, although the dead/living faith distinction is often overlooked, which leads to not clearly distinguishing the virtues. So this view, while admitting of an orthodox interpretation, has a tendency towards
    soteriological Sabellianism.

    Traditionally, Anglicans have fallen into one of these camps, the proportions changing with the times. Evangelicals, if they have a coherent soteriological theory, tend towards Sabellianism, although some of them are at least roughly orthodox. Everyone else broadly falls into one of these camps, doesn't have a theory, or isn’t recognizably Christian (Gnostic).

    And of course, all sides agree that good works (Mary) are a result,
    not an essential condition, for salvation, no matter how many well-intended (or
    not so well-intended…) Protestants or Catholics say otherwise. But of course, a
    perennial problem with “soteriological non-Trinitarians” is a depreciation of good
    works, if not outright Antinomianism, which is just what you get when you’re
    not Trinitarian enough (running parallel with Thetokos).


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