Theodoret of Cyrus on The Mash-up of Tiered Cosmology and Philosophical Theology, with An Eye to The Ascension, 5

This is the fifth follow-up to the post, “Gagarin and the Seven Heavens“. The first follow-up post is here. The second follow-up post is here. The third follow-up post is here. The fourth follow-up post is here. The fifth follow-up post will be broken up into several parts; follow-up post five-one is here, post five-two is here, post five-three is here, and post five-four is here.

~7~

In Theodoret, God’s presence is apparently cautiously ciphered as his “providence”. When the psalmist writes “Do not thrust me from your presence, and do not remove your Holy Spirit from me” (Psalm 51:11), Theodoret suggests that the psalmist is “not bereft of the grace of the all-holy Spirit”, and that he is, instead, “beg[ging] not to be deprived of it, nor kept far from divine care, calling care presence here.” [Theodoret, Commentary on the Psalms 1-72, 300] Similarly, the psalmist’s cry, in Psalm 84, for his hearers (or is it God?) to  “gaze on the face of your Christ [anointed]” is ciphered as the psalmist “begging […] God […] to grant the people […] his peculiar care, calling this face of the Christ“. [Theodoret, Commentary on the Psalms 73-150, transl. Robert C. Hill (Washington, D.C.: CUA Press, 2001), 65] This seems to deny the theophanies a status as particular divine presences. Nonetheless, the doctrine that the divine presence is “divine care”, and the teaching that imagery of the divine body is a cipher for “divine activities” (commentary on psalm 5), together suggest that God’s activity is not everywhere the same — or that God’s providence can even be absent, as Theodoret interprets the meaning of Psalm 88:5 (“I was like a person devoid of help” — Theodoret says “they are cut off from your providence” [Commentary on the Psalms 73-150, 82]). The contradiction between the uncircumscribability of God and his differentiatedly present powers, and even the affirmation that in some significant sense God has the heaven as his “dwelling” (commentary on Psalm 115, Commentary on the Psalms 73-150, 227), is, with regard to location, not far from a God located in the sky and needing to move to the earth — though it becomes more like ‘action at a distance’, so to speak.

In short, the particularly Platonistic framework being employed still suggests location in a sense that is not insignificant, because divine care, no less than divine appearance, can be displayed in bounded contexts.

____________________________

Header image found here.

9 thoughts on “Theodoret of Cyrus on The Mash-up of Tiered Cosmology and Philosophical Theology, with An Eye to The Ascension, 5

  1. Pingback: Theodoret of Cyrus on The Mash-up of Tiered Cosmology and Philosophical Theology, with An Eye to The Ascension, 6 | Into the Clarities

  2. Pingback: Theodoret of Cyrus on The Mash-up of Tiered Cosmology and Philosophical Theology, with An Eye to The Ascension, 7 | Into the Clarities

  3. Pingback: Millard Erickson on the Ascension of Jesus | Into the Clarities

  4. Pingback: Wayne Grudem on the Ascension of Jesus, and on Heaven | Into the Clarities

  5. Pingback: J.I. Packer on Heaven, and on the Ascension of Jesus | Into the Clarities

  6. Pingback: Polkinghorne on the Ascension of Jesus | Into the Clarities

  7. Pingback: Robert Jenson, 1: on the Ascension of Jesus & Modern Cosmology | Into the Clarities

  8. Pingback: Robert Jenson, 3: on the Ascension of Jesus & Modern Cosmology | Into the Clarities

  9. Pingback: C. S. Lewis on the Ascension of Jesus | Into the Clarities

Start a conversation!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.