Jordan Daniel Wood on Maximus’ Theory of Sin

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2 Responses to Jordan Daniel Wood on Maximus’ Theory of Sin

  1. brian says:

    This is how theology ought to explore the Mystery of the Good. Lots of folks get confused on gnomic will vs. natural will. There was a fella here a few weeks back who understood natural will as beneath fully realized liberty. Hence, he maintained the gnomic will was necessary to affirm truly human freedom. Maximus asserts the opposite. Christ lacks a gnomic will altogether because the natural will is coincident with perfect knowledge of the Good. Gnomic will is deliberative because of ignorance (imperfect knowledge of the good.) Wood properly locates this in terms of “bad fictions” driven by interpretive error. If you link ignorance as the root condition for sin with the view that love of mammon as in some way identical, one might equate instrumental reason, the economy of scarcity, Creation reduced from symbolic theophany that is message bearing of love to nature as Heidegger’s “standing reserve,” the living made into inert, objective possession as remedy against risk, adventure, dependence. All that, of course, is ground in a forgetting of agapeic gift and reverence for what is sacred. Similar to Maximus’ diagnosis of ignorance and faulty imagination is Isaac of Nineveh’s distinction between the demons and the angels. The demons have “keenness” without light. This is what engenders the fantasies that produce the phenomenon of “ontological falsehood.” I agree, btw, with the assertion that Creation is only properly known from the condition of theosis. We know only “but a little ounce of this” with regards to Creation in status via. (And in that sense, btw, everyone is still Pinocchio . . . ) It’s a rationalist reduction to ascribe to angel’s perfect knowledge, but it’s also, imo, driven by a failure to understand Triune bliss which is more than an Aristotelian Thought Thinking Itself. There is Event in divine life, a Plenitude that somehow still bears discovery.

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    • Logan(mercifullayman) says:

      It seems like a small thing to add but what is could be driving the “ignorance” is the mind’s ability to fragment and separate things that should be seen as One due to sensational immediacy taking primacy over the actuality of the real. It’s the false grasping of the all as a dis-unified field that sits between the one and the many in tension, when in fact they aren’t. The gnomic will is subjectivity that runs rampant on its own and only sees the immanent as that which is immediately real. The natural will is cluing us into the intuitive question of what lays beyond and what defies that ignorance as such. In harnessing the subjective mode and removing the illusions of falsity, we move the gnomic will into its proper function and as deified humans, morph into that which Christ has been from the beginning….The divine will that moves all things and is in all things. The very aseity of God himself.

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