Saturday, September 19, 2009

Always Going Deeper

Knowing God is the biggest adventure anyone can ever have.

Here is where Gregory of Nyssa makes his most noteworthy contribution to Christian theology: that the Christian life must first be defined by seeking God without end, and "that true satisfaction of the soul's desire consists in constantly going on with this quest and never ceasing in the ascent to God." This is a joyful conclusion, since it ensures that one can always progress in holiness because spiritual progress is one of infinite growth. For the Platonist, all change is regarded as a defect or loss; in Gregory's system, the process of changing may be redeemed by perpetual growth in the good. It is this sort of movement that describes our transformation "from one degree of glory to another" (2 Cor. 3:18, ESV). However much the Christian is transformed into the likeness of God, God remains ever beyond, so that the soul must always push forward in anticipation in this life and in the one to come.

Ancient writers like Gregory remind us that the door to joyful mystery must be opened. Knowledge, even the knowledge that comes from Scripture, is not undermined but humbled, as it is placed before the vast depths of God. Because God is eternal and infinite, there will never come a time when we've exhausted all that God has to give us; we'll never plumb the depths of the Almighty, but will always find ourselves going deeper in and higher up.

D.H. Williams, from here.

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