Friday, October 02, 2009
Paul Blowers - Rule of Faith 3
"The regula fidei was authoritative for early Christians because it preserved a particular story (this story as opposed to another) as the ground and canon of faith. But therein also lay its properly doctrinal authority and its sanction of constructive theology. Reading through the principal renditions of the Rule of Faith, or through the Apostles' Creed of a later time, one is less struck by the pure linearity of the narrtive than by its 'thickness,' the sudden collapasing of divine eternity and humanity history in an economy initiatied and fulfilled by Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It's narrative flow as such runs through this thickness. Only God himself - principally by the strategy of the incarnation - can fully penetrate the thickness and make sense of its complexity. Yet from the church's faith-perspective, the economy stakes out a way of access, however restricted, to the very Godhead. It can rightly be argued that the Rule of Faith provided at least the groundwork of a trinitarian ontology which honored the mystery and integrity of the Three Persons just as it envisioned the destiny of creation within their extraverted life. It would be left to the ecumenical councils, and to great Christian thinkers of the fourth century and beyond - of the caliber of the Cappadocian Fathers, Augustine, Maximus the Confessor, and Thomas Aquinas - to advance the search for suitable language and precise theological means to negotiate Christian faith between oikonomia and theologia, between theprophetic and evangelic narrative of divine self-revelation in history and the ineffable reality of the Triune God."