Grace and Christology in the Early Church (Oxford Early by Donald Fairbairn

By Donald Fairbairn

How did the early Church comprehend the relation among grace, salvation, and the individual of Christ? Donald Fairbairn's persuasive research indicates that, regardless of excessive theological controversy, there has been actually a truly powerful consensus within the 5th century approximately what salvation used to be and who Christ had to be with a view to retailer humans. This consensus can function a regular in which to pass judgement on the numerous images of Christ which coexist within the modern Church.

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He views Christ's life, especially his growth from boyhood to manhood, as a way of prodding us out of our own infancy into adulthood (Adu. Haer. 948–50]). Irenaeus summarizes: ‘Now it was necessary that man should first be created; and having been created, should receive growth; and having received growth, should be strengthened, and having been strengthened, should abound, and having abounded, should become mature, and having become mature, should be glorified, and having been glorified, should see his Lord’ (Adu.

By christological grace, I mean the issue of what (or whom) God gives people through the incarnation and atoning work of Christ. 23 The anthropological aspect of grace is primarily concerned with the relation between the gift of freedom that God has already given to humanity at creation and the gifts of faith and perseverance that he gives in salvation. Does God's grace work with human freedom in a co-operative way as a person comes to faith in Christ and remains in the faith, or does grace somehow overcome or transform the human will in this process?

We are then called to achieve perfection, to mount up to a higher condition, which Origen associates with the likeness of God. Although these two strands of thought regarding the overall structure of salvation appeared in tension in the works of Irenaeus and Origen, most later writers leaned decidedly towards one or the other. 36 His dominant idea is that humanity was created in possession of immortality (although he makes clear that we possessed this as a 35 Origen understands the καταβολή or foundation of the cosmos to be the descent of the newly fallen souls from their previous condition to this universe (De Princ.

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