Abstraction

September 29, 2016

 

“…the modern mind has somehow made abstractions its reality, while treating its true concrete existence as a metaphor, something that, at best, only gives rise to abstraction...all learning takes place through an immediate encounter with Christ, not through the abstract concepts of the rational mind… Christianity is never taught, only ‘caught.’ ” (Father Stephen Freeman, Dynamis 1/13/15)

 

"Our faith is not based on some abstract “system” of moral values, nor on some abstract ideology, devised by the Apostles. It is rather based on the historical, eye-witness experience of God’s revelation of Himself to these Apostles, like the experience of the Transfiguration, witnessed by the Apostles Peter, James, and John, on the mountain. It is the experience of the “majestic glory,” of the glory of the divine, uncreated energies of the Holy Spirit, -of grace, simply put, in the life of the believer. This experience is passed on and lived on, from generation to generation of believers, walking in His light." (Sr. Dr. Vassa Larin)

 

“Our sins are literally placed on Christ. And as our Mercy Seat, He destroys them, cleanses them, remits them, carries them away, etc. It would be a frightful death were it meant to accomplish something in the abstract. But sin is not an abstraction. Christ’s bearing of our sin is the bearing of our disintegration, our drive towards non-being. It is the recreation of His creation.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

 

“Human intellect is incurably abstract...the only realities we experience are concrete—this pain, this pleasure, this dog, this man. While we are loving the man, bearing the pain, enjoying the pleasure, we are not intellectually apprehending Pleasure, Pain or Personality. When we begin to do so, on the other hand, the concrete realities sink to the level of mere instances or examples: we are no longer dealing with them, but with that which they exemplify. This is our dilemma—either to taste and not to know or to know and not to taste—or, more strictly, to lack one kind of knowledge because we are in an experience or to lack another kind because we are outside it.” (C. S. Lewis)

 

 “The Christian faith is precisely that—a faith. It is not based exclusively on the static historicity of an abstract figure, but in the living relationship with the living God. In order to be understood, the Christian faith must be lived and experienced relationally. Each one of us needs to know in whom we have believed.” (Theo Nicolakis)

 

 

 

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