8/9/16

From The Roots of Christian Mysticism by Olivier Clement

“At the beginning of the fourth century the Church had to confront a heresy which might be called the master heresy, because it is seen to reappear the moment that the sense of mystery is obscured, notably in contemporary forms of Christianity that are seeking a compromise with the world and its ways. For heresy is not just a cultural episode now past. It expresses a permanent temptation of the human mind in its desire to explain the mystery and to reduce its scope. Primitive Arianism was not an abstract and complicated dispute. On the contrary, it was a radical way of simplifying and ‘understanding’ the incarnation and the Trinity” (373).


“The Trinitarian revelation is that of a sacrificial and liberating Fatherhood which offers the Spirit and destroys at its very root the relation of master and slave. In our own day a whole process of reflection on power is quickly developing that disparages Christianity by concentrating solely on the authoritarian aspects of ‘Christian society’, such as were inaugurated by Constantine. That is to forget the phenomena of the confessing Church, the uncompromising prophetic testimony of the monks, the endurance of the great witnesses to the faith such as St. Athanasius of Alexandria, so many proofs that the tension between the kingdom of Caesar and the kingdom of God, a space for the freedom of the spirit, has never been able to be relaxed” (376).

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