Tuesday, May 09, 2017

The Twelve Theses of John Shelby Spong

As I continue to look at the prevailing Liberal Agenda, it makes sense to review one of the catalysts of the erosion of traditional Christianity. Bishop John Shelby Spong is one of the generators of applying the Liberal Agenda to Christian thought. I found this link to an article in 2015 by Spong in which he charts the "new Reformation". In this, he repeats a list of twelve theses which he proposed in a Diocesan news letter and expounded in his book, A New Christianity for a New World.

One should always be wary of people who hold a list of theses. Clearly Spong wishes to identify himself with Luther. I'm happy to make that identification given that I am rather of the opinion that Luther's contribution to Church History is rather more negative than positive. One can look at these twelve theses and readily see the tenets of Liberal Theology at work. I've discussed the unreliability of those tenets on that page already, so much of what I've said there should render Spong's theses utterly devoid of any worth beyond an intellectual exercise in futility. The Christian should have no problem in seeing how unChristian and disingenuous Spong's "theology" really is. I'll post the tenets of the Liberal Agenda again. Indeed, if I also include the Anathemas of the Council of Ephesus proposed by St Cyril of Alexandria and accepted by the council, we see that the faith of the Primitive Church would have expelled Spong straightaway for his opinions.

Why should I devote my time and energy to a man whose main work is past? I do so principally because of two reasons, one I give now, the other I give at the end of this essay where it becomes more apparent. I look at this now because it still influences people both within and without the Church today. While it may put forward ideas that require examination, it does so in a way that denies what the Church says. This comes from an authority in the Church, namely one consecrated bishop. Of course, the Canons of the Oecumenical Councils dictate that such an author of heresy should be deposed of his rank.

Tenets of Liberal Theology
Tenet 1: (Relevance) To be of value, religious faith must be relevant to our lives and consistent with our knowledge in other areas.
Tenet 2: (Fallibility) No one source of information is infallible.
Tenet 3: (Foundation) The foundation of Liberal Theology is Scripture, Reason, Tradition and experience and they shed light on each other.
Tenet 4: (Humility) Whatever we believe today, we always have more to learn from others.

Spong's Twelve Theses

Understanding God in theistic categories as “a being, supernatural in power, dwelling somewhere external to the world and capable of invading the world with miraculous power” is no longer believable. Most God talk in liturgy and conversation has thus become meaningless.

A good place to start by Spong demonstrating that he clearly has not read any of the Church Fathers especially (Pseudo) Dionysius the Areopagite or St Gregory Nazianzen. From the outset, Spong has shown what his mindset is, that of one who accepts the narrative of Science as the complete story of Reality. This puts debating Spong in a very difficult position as he will clearly not accept the authorities of Scripture and Tradition at all in line with Tenet 2. As we see Tenet 2 is not exactly consistent with Tenet 3! Spong argues only from Reason and Experience, not from Scripture or Tradition. To him, St Clement of Alexandria says,
"most of men, clothed with what is perishable, like cockles, and rolled all round in a ball in their excesses, like hedgehogs, entertain the same ideas of the blessed and incorruptible God as of themselves. But it has escaped their notice, though they be near us, that God has bestowed on us ten thousand things in which He does not share: birth, being Himself unborn; food, He wanting nothing; and growth, He being always equal; and long life and immortality, He being immortal and incapable of growing old. Wherefore let no one imagine that hands, and feet, and mouth, and eyes, and going in and coming out, and resentments and threats, are said by the Hebrews to be attributes of God. By no means; but that certain of these appellations are used more sacredly in an allegorical sense, which, as the discourse proceeds, we shall explain at the proper time. (Clement of Alexandria: Abstraction from Material Things Necessary in Order to Attain to the True Knowledge of God)"
The only thing to do is to show Spong that the questions that he raises have already been answered long ago by people of Faith in Our Lord. To call God "a being" misses His uniqueness as a Creator of all things as testified by St Augustine who saw God as Being itself - ipsum esse or idipsum esse (On the Immortality of the Soul) - St Thomas Aquinas and Paul Tillich. St Gregory of Nyssa says in his Life of Moses,"Every concept formed by the intellect in an attempt to comprehend and circumscribe the divine nature can succeed only in fashioning an idol, not in making God known." St Hilary of Poitier says in his work on the Trinity, "There is no place without God; place does not exist except in God."

If Spong can't believe that, then clearly his imagination is impressively stunted. The fact that Liturgy draws from the eye-witness statements of those who met with God and whose testimonies are collated into the Library which we now call the Bible or Holy Scripture.

Jesus – the Christ.
If God can no longer be thought of in theistic terms, then conceiving of Jesus as “the incarnation of the theistic deity” has also become a bankrupt concept.

It would be a false inference to assume that just because the premise is false that the conclusion is also false. Indeed, it is the eye-witnesses to the Resurrection, especially St John, who shows that that Spong's conclusion is false and thus, logically that the premise is false. St Gregory of Nyssa says in his Catechetical Orations "That God should have clothed Himself with our nature is a fact that should not seem strange or extravagant to minds that do not form too paltry an idea of reality."

Original Sin – The Myth of the Fall
The biblical story of the perfect and finished creation from which we human beings have fallen into “Original Sin” is pre-Darwinian mythology and post-Darwinian nonsense.

If one does not accept the Augustinian idea of "Original Sin", then one can probably find a certain degree of sympathy with Spong. If, however, one sees the whole business of Sin as something that does indeed affect and infect everyone, then there is a certain Darwinian flavour to its propagation. The sins of our fathers do affect us. Someone in humanities past sinned and in sinning produced a weakness in our ability to discern what is truly right and truly wrong. This weakness is infected with sin and evil and evolves with us. Sin begets sin. Origen says in his Thirteenth Homily on Genesis:
Consider, therefore, that perhaps even in the soul of each of us there is "a well of living water," there is a kind of heavenly perception and latent image of God, and the Philistines, that is hostile powers, have filled this well with earth. With what kind of earth? With carnal perceptions and earthly thoughts, and for that reason "we have borne the image of the earthly."At that time, therefore, when we were bearing "the image of the earthly," the Philistines filled our wells. But now, since our Isaac has come, let us receive his advent and dig our wells. Let us cast the earth from them. Let us purge them from all filth and from all muddy and earthly thoughts and let us discover in them that "living water" which the Lord mentions: "He who believes in me, from within him shall flow rivers of living water."Behold how great the Lord's liberality is: the Philistines filled our wells and hindered our small and trifling veins of water, and in place of these, springs and rivers are restored to us.
We require God to unblock the streams of living water which is achieved through our Baptism for only good can beget good. Our fallen nature cannot redeem itself. It requires the Divine assistance to bring Good into the world. Good begets good. Thus our world can be seen as interference patterns of waves of good and evil passing over the face of the waters of our Universe. That's not inconsistent with the current theory of the Multiverse and our universe being a Ten Dimensional Membrane floating about in an Eleven Dimensional Existence - if that theory hasn't been discredited yet.

The Virgin Birth
The virgin birth understood as literal biology is impossible. Far from being a bulwark in defense of the divinity of Christ, the virgin birth actually destroys that divinity.

And now Spong shows himself to be one of three classical heretics. Either he believes Jesus was just a man (Ebionite), only seems to be God (Docetist) or that Mary was the mother of the human bit of Jesus (Nestorian). Again he holds the idea that only scientific things are possible. Yet, there are examples of parthenogenesis in biology and even the possibility in human beings. Scientifically, the possibility exists, just not in Spong's imagination. It seems that Spong is just ill-educated. If Jesus is the Son of God, then His mother cannot have conceived Him of a human father. Far from destroying Jesus' Divinity, the Virgin birth proves it! The first of St Cyril's Anathemas against Nestorius is sufficient to state the Church's position. St Gregory of Nyssa says against Apollinarius
The Word, in taking flesh was mingled with humanity, and took our nature within Himself, so that the human should be deified by this mingling with God: the stuff of our nature was entirely sanctified by Christ, the first fruits of Creation.

Jesus as the Worker of Miracles
In a post-Newtonian world supernatural invasions of the natural order, performed by God or an “incarnate Jesus,” are simply not viable explanations of what actually happened.

Like Hume, Spong's reality argues that miracles cannot happen because miracles cannot happen. Again, there is a long list of material on the nature of miracles. One must assume that Spong has never read C.S. Lewis. St Augustine of Hippo in Book XXI of the City of God (Chapter 8) says:
From the book of Marcus Varro, entitled, Of the Race of the Roman People, I cite word for word the following instance: There occurred a remarkable celestial portent; for Castor records that, in the brilliant star Venus, called Vesperugo by Plautus, and the lovely Hesperus by Homer, there occurred so strange a prodigy, that it changed its color, size, form, course, which never happened before nor since. Adrastus of Cyzicus, and Dion of Naples, famous mathematicians, said that this occurred in the reign of Ogyges. So great an author as Varro would certainly not have called this a portent had it not seemed to be contrary to nature. For we say that all portents are contrary to nature; but they are not so. For how is that contrary to nature which happens by the will of God, since the will of so mighty a Creator is certainly the nature of each created thing?
St Augustine does not divide the world up into Natural and Supernatural. A miracle is simply natural because it has its source in the goodness of God. Again, Spong is unable to see beyond his own "rational explanation" that there are alternatives to his point of view that the Church has espoused from her early days!

Atonement Theology
Atonement theology, especially in its most bizarre “substitutionary” form, presents us with a God who is barbaric, a Jesus who is a victim and it turns human beings into little more than guilt-filled creatures. The phrase “Jesus died for my sins” is not just dangerous, it is absurd.

However, Christians are not united in the understanding of the Atonement. Aside from the biblical problems that Spong encounters such as St John Baptist's statement "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" and the fact that Jesus went willingly to His death rather than forced. As St Paul famously says in his Epistle to the Philippians:
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow , of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Who made Jesus of no reputation? Who humbled Him? Who was obedient unto death? And for what reason?

St Maximus the Confessor, in agreement with St Athanasius, says in his Theological and Economic Chapters:
Because God has become man, man can become God. He rises by divine steps corresponding to those by which God humbled Himself out of love for men, taking on Himself without any change in Himself the worst of our condition.
How are we saved? Irenaeus of Lyons in Against Heresies says "communion with God is life, and separation from God is death." In uniting His Divinity with our Humanity, Jesus provides the vehicle by which this eternal communion occurs. His sacrifice on the Cross ransoms us from Death and Evil because Death is an absence of Life and Evil is an absence from God's Righteousness. In paying the ransom to Death and Evil, the power of Death is destroyed by being filled with Life itself and Evil is obliterated through the very presence of God in its clutches, just as a hole is obliterated when it is filled with something truly real.

The Resurrection
The Easter event transformed the Christian movement, but that does not mean that it was the physical resuscitation of Jesus’ deceased body back into human history. The earliest biblical records state that “God raised him.” Into what, we need to ask. The experience of resurrection must be separated from its later mythological explanations.

But Spong makes an error of huge proportions here. The Gospels are eye-witness accounts of the Resurrection. It is historical fact, not myth. It is only myth because, again, he is appealing to the world of reason in which men do not rise from the dead. Spong is relying on Biblical scholarship that comes from the Demythologising Programme of Bultmann. Given that modern historians do see the Gospels as historical documents in their own right, especially St Luke, the questions that they raise still remain. This was the belief that sent martyrs to their death rejoicing within the first few years after the Resurrection.

St Gregory Nazianzen in his forty-fifth Oration says:
Today is salvation come unto the world, to that which is visible, and to that which is invisible. Christ is risen from the dead, rise ye with Him. Christ is returned again to Himself, return ye. Christ is freed from the tomb, be ye freed from the bond of sin. The gates of hell are opened, and death is destroyed, and the old Adam is put aside, and the New is fulfilled; if any man be in Christ he is a new creature; be ye renewed. Thus he speaks; and the rest sing out, as they did before when Christ was manifested to us by His birth on earth, their glory to God in the highest, on earth, peace, goodwill among men. And with them I also utter the same words among you. And would that I might receive a voice that should rank with the Angel's, and should sound through all the ends of the earth.

The Ascension of Jesus
The biblical story of Jesus’ ascension assumes a three-tiered universe, which was dismissed some five hundred years ago. If Jesus’ ascension was a literal event of history, it is beyond the capacity of our 21st century minds to accept it or to believe it.

It might be beyond our minds to understand the Ascension, but why does that stop us from believing it? Nor does it make any such assumption of a three-tiered universe. Again, Spong's lack of ability in being able to see beyond earthly thinking makes his objections ridiculous. All he is seeing is Our Lord shooting up from Earth like a rocket into outer space. Yet, nowhere in the Church Fathers is this view of Christ held as a necessity for a people who had yet to explore space. The Creed says that Jesus ascended to the Right Hand of the Father, and all Church Fathers understood that to be a place inconceivable to the mind of mortal man. St Maximus the Confessor says in his commentary on the Lord's Prayer:
Christ, having completed for us His saving work and ascended to Heaven with the body He had taken to Himself, accomplishes in His own self the union of Heaven and Earth, of material and spiritual beings, and thus demonstrates the unity of Creation in the polarity of its parts.
Just as Spong cannot believe in a God who doesn't occupy space, likewise, he cannot accept an Ascension that goes beyond his physics, unlike the Church Fathers who can!

The ability to define and to separate good from evil can no longer be achieved with appeals to ancient codes like the Ten Commandments or even the Sermon on the Mount. Contemporary moral standards must be hammered out in the juxtaposition between life-affirming moral principles and external situations.

Well, if you can't believe in God, then you cannot believe in an objective morality. If there is no God to reveal Himself, then there can be no commandments, there can be no Good, no Evil. St Gregory the Great in the twenty-seventh chapter of his commentary on Job says:
It is well said therefore by Eliu, Therefore men will fear Him, and all who seem to themselves to be wise will not dare to contemplate Him. For they who seem to themselves to be wise, cannot contemplate the wisdom of God; because they are the more removed from His light, the more they are not humble in themselves. Because while the swelling of pride increases in their minds, it closes the eye of contemplation, and by considering that they outshine others, they thence deprive themselves of the light of truth. If, therefore, we seek to be truly wise, and to contemplate Wisdom Itself, let us humbly acknowledge ourselves to be fools. Let us give up hurtful wisdom, let us learn praiseworthy folly. For hence it is written, God hath chosen the foolish things of this world to confound the wise. [1 Cor. l, 27] Hence again it is said, If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. [ib. 3,18] Hence the words of the Gospel history attest, that when Zaccheus could see nothing for the crowd, he ascended a sycamore tree, to see the Lord as He passed by. [Luke 19, 4] For the barren [lit. ‘foolish’] fig is called a sycamore. Zaccheus therefore, being small of stature, ascended a sycamore, and saw the Lord, because they who humbly choose the foolishness of the world, do themselves minutely contemplate the wisdom of God. For the crowd hinders smallness of stature from beholding the Lord, because the tumult of worldly cares keeps the infirmity of the human mind from looking at the light of truth. But we prudently ascend a sycamore, if we carefully maintain in our mind that foolishness which is commanded by God. For what is more foolish in this world, than not to seek for what we have lost; to give up our possessions to the spoilers, to requite no wrong for the wrongs we have received, nay more, to exhibit patience, when other wrongs have been added? For the Lord commands us, as it were, to ascend a sycamore, when He says, Of him that taketh away thy goods, ask them not again; [ib. 6, 30] and again, If any man smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. [Matt. 5, 39] The Lord is seen, as He passes along, by means of the sycamore, because though the wisdom of God is not yet steadily beheld, as it really is, by this wise folly, yet it is seen by the light of contemplation, as though passing by us. But they, who seem to themselves to be wise, according to the words of Eliu, cannot see it; for, hurried away in the haughty crowd of their thoughts, they have not yet found a sycamore, in order to behold the Lord.

Prayer, understood as a request made to a theistic deity to act in human history, is little more than an hysterical attempt to turn the holy into the servant of the human. Most of our prayer definitions of the past are thus dependent on an understanding of God that has died.

Indeed, Spong has a point. Often we do behave as if God is a genie to do our bidding. Yet, there are some definitions of prayer from the Primitive Church that make perfect sense when all the other less careful definitions have passed away. St Evagrius of Pontus in speaking of prayer says that
Prayer is a conversation of the spirit with God. Seek therefore the disposition that the spirit needs, in order to be able to reach out towards its Lord and to hold converse with Him without any intermediary.
In his ninth Conference, St John Cassian says in Chapters 35 and 36
Before all things however we ought most carefully to observe the Evangelic precept, which tells us to enter into our chamber and shut the door and pray to our Father, which may be fulfilled by us as follows: We pray within our chamber, when removing our hearts inwardly from the din of all thoughts and anxieties, we disclose our prayers in secret and in closest intercourse to the Lord. We pray with closed doors when with closed lips and complete silence we pray to the searcher not of words but of hearts. We pray in secret when from the heart and fervent mind we disclose our petitions to God alone, so that no hostile powers are even able to discover the character of our petition. Wherefore we should pray in complete silence, not only to avoid distracting the brethren standing near by our whispers or louder utterances, and disturbing the thoughts of those who are praying, but also that the purport of our petition may be concealed from our enemies who are especially on the watch against us while we are praying. For so we shall fulfil this injunction: Keep the doors of your mouth from her who sleeps in your bosom. (Micah 7:5)

Wherefore we ought to pray often but briefly, lest if we are long about it our crafty foe may succeed in implanting something in our heart. For that is the true sacrifice, as the sacrifice of God is a broken spirit. This is the salutary offering, these are pure drink offerings, that is the sacrifice of righteousness, the sacrifice of praise, these are true and fat victims, holocausts full of marrow, which are offered by contrite and humble hearts, and which those who practise this control and fervour of spirit, of which we have spoken, with effectual power can sing: Let my prayer be set forth in Your sight as the incense: let the lifting up of my hands be an evening sacrifice. But the approach of the right hour and of night warns us that we ought with fitting devotion to do this very thing, of which, as our slender ability allowed, we seem to have propounded a great deal, and to have prolonged our conference considerably, though we believe that we have discoursed very little when the magnificence and difficulty of the subject are taken into account.
Life after Death
The hope for life after death must be separated forever from behavior control. Traditional views of heaven and hell as places of reward and punishment are no longer conceivable. Christianity must, therefore, abandon its dependence on guilt as a motivator of behavior.

It is hard to see what type of Eschatology Spong can have here. If there is no life after death, then everything is moot. If there is, then can Hitler, Judas, and a myriad of suicide bombers ever hope to be brought to justice in Spong's non-behavioural afterlife? Does the fact that our deeds do affect our salvation really mean that guilt motivates our behaviour? In contemplating the Holy Trinity, St Hilary of Poitiers says
though I could not tax with folly and uselessness this counsel of theirs to keep the soul free from blame, and evade by foresight or elude by skill or endure with patience the troubles of life, still I could not regard these men as guides competent to lead me to the good and happy Life. Their precepts were platitudes, on the mere level of human impulse; animal instinct could not fail to comprehend them, and he who understood but disobeyed would have fallen into an insanity baser than animal unreason. Moreover, my soul was eager not merely to do the things, neglect of which brings shame and suffering, but to know the God and Father Who had given this great gift, to Whom, it felt, it owed its whole self, Whose service was its true honour, on Whom all its hopes were fixed, in Whose lovingkindness, as in a safe home and haven, it could rest amid all the troubles of this anxious life. It was inflamed with a passionate desire to apprehend Him or to know Him.
We don't earn our way into Heaven. We co-operate with the grace of God to find Him more deeply. This is not a motivation from guilt but a movement of desire from our souls. Indeed, St Gregory the Great says that "the language of souls is their desire." In the Ladder of Divine Ascent, St John Climacus says, "Blessed is the person whose desire for God has become like the lover's passion for the beloved." We need to seek perfect contrition for our sins because that moves us towards God. Imperfect contrition fuelled by guilt moves us away from that sin. But St Paul still reminds us that "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." (Romans viii.1)

Judgment and Discrimination
Judgment is not a human responsibility. Discrimination against any human being on the basis of that which is a “given” is always evil and does not serve the Christian goal of giving “abundant life” to all. Any structure either in the secular world or in the institutional church, which diminishes the humanity of any child of God on the basis of race, gender or sexual orientation must be exposed publicly and vigorously. There can be no reason in the church of tomorrow for excusing or even forgiving discriminatory practices. “Sacred Tradition” must never again provide a cover to justify discriminatory evil.

St Maximus the Confessor in his Questions to Thalassius says, "Christ's death on the cross is a judgment of judgement" For the Early Church judgment is a restoration of justitia - Righteousness. Spong is right that any institutionalised method to belittle, diminish and enslave humanity is vile, but notice how inconsistent he is. If judgment is not a human responsibility, then on what basis can the judgment be made as to whether a practice is discriminatory or diminishing. On what basis is discrimination seen to be evil if one cannot make a judgment between right and wrong? There is an unreasonable discrimination when a black man is denied a job as an accountant because he is black; there is also a reasonable discrimination when a black man is denied a job as an accountant because he cannot count.  Isaac of Nineveh says, "Do not say that God is just... David may call Him just and fair, but God's own Son has revealed to us that He is before all things good and kind."

I hope that I have shown that Spong is unoriginal in his deviations from the Christian Faith and that his thoughts have been shown wanting from antiquity.  From what I read of him he lacks imagination and the ability to see beyond his tiny view of reality.

I hope also that my " conditions reason for devoting my time and energy to this poor theology is also clear. Spong lacks faith. He has no hope for the things unseen. His theology is literally hopeless. There is no justice, nothing holy, nothing to give solace in the suffering in this world. These are not the theses of a man of God: they are a cry for help for one unwilling to open his mind to the One who can still save him. My prayers are for him, but he must realise that St Cyril calls him to repent very clearly!

The Anathemas of the Council of Ephesus
Is it coincidence that there are twelve, one for each of Spong's theses?

1. If anyone does not confess that Emmanuel is God in truth, and therefore that the holy virgin is the mother of God (for she bore in a fleshly way the Word of God become flesh, let him be anathema.

2. If anyone does not confess that the Word from God the Father has been united by hypostasis with the flesh and is one Christ with his own flesh, and is therefore God and man together, let him be anathema.

3. If anyone divides in the one Christ the hypostases after the union, joining them only by a conjunction of dignity or authority or power, and not rather by a coming together in a union by nature, let him be anathema.

4. If anyone distributes between the two persons or hypostases the expressions used either in the gospels or in the apostolic writings, whether they are used by the holy writers of Christ or by him about himself, and ascribes some to him as to a man, thought of separately from the Word from God, and others, as befitting God, to him as to the Word from God the Father, let him be anathema.

5. If anyone dares to say that Christ was a God-bearing man and not rather God in truth, being by nature one Son, even as "the Word became flesh", and is made partaker of blood and flesh precisely like us, let him be anathema.

6. If anyone says that the Word from God the Father was the God or master of Christ, and does not rather confess the same both God and man, the Word having become flesh, according to the scriptures, let him be anathema.

7. If anyone says that as man Jesus was activated by the Word of God and was clothed with the glory of the Only-begotten, as a being separate from him, let him be anathema.

8. If anyone dares to say that the man who was assumed ought to be worshipped and glorified together with the divine Word and be called God along with him, while being separate from him, (for the addition of "with" must always compel us to think in this way), and will not rather worship Emmanuel with one veneration and send up to him one doxology, even as "the Word became flesh", let him be anathema.

9. If anyone says that the one Lord Jesus Christ was glorified by the Spirit, as making use of an alien power that worked through him and as having received from him the power to master unclean spirits and to work divine wonders among people, and does not rather say that it was his own proper Spirit through whom he worked the divine wonders, let him be anathema.

10. The divine scripture says Christ became "the high priest and apostle of our confession"; he offered himself to God the Father in an odour of sweetness for our sake. If anyone, therefore, says that it was not the very Word from God who became our high priest and apostle, when he became flesh and a man like us, but as it were another who was separate from him, in particular a man from a woman, or if anyone says that he offered the sacrifice also for himself and not rather for us alone (for he who knew no sin needed no offering), let him be anathema.

11. If anyone does not confess that the flesh of the Lord is life-giving and belongs to the Word from God the Father, but maintains that it belongs to another besides him, united with him in dignity or as enjoying a mere divine indwelling, and is not rather life-giving, as we said, since it became the flesh belonging to the Word who has power to bring all things to life, let him be anathema.

12. If anyone does not confess that the Word of God suffered in the flesh and was crucified in the flesh and tasted death in the flesh and became the first born of the dead, although as God he is life and life-giving, let him be anathema.

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