Dale Tuggy has some rather quote worthy sayings in his response to Fr Kimel’s condemnations of “analytic theologians” which I will put here.
I note there’s a kind of over-heated rhetoric here, in a patristic mode:
The God of the Scriptures transcends definition and categorization; his divine nature exceeds all human comprehension. “To tell of God is not possible,” declares the Theologian, “but to know him is even less possible” (Or. 28.4). And again: “Our starting point must be the fact that God cannot be named.” (Or. 30.17)
This strikes me as bluster.
- God. There, I just named God. I’ll do it again: Yahweh. So much for his being unnameable.
- Can he be categorized? Seemingly, yes: divine being. God. Perfect being. Ultimate source of all else. Creator. Non-created. There are five or six categorizations, all true. So much for the claim that he’s uncategorizable.
- Does his nature exceed all human comprehension? If that means humans completely understanding God, then trivially, yes. Of course, no non-omniscient being can fully comprehend an omniscient one. But if it means that no human can understand God to any degree, this is obviously ruled out by the Bible. We can understand that God is good, loving, and powerful, and is much like a perfect human Father. Jesus is the revelation of God – if you’ve seen him, so to speak, you’ve seen the Father.
- Needless to say, I’ve just been “telling of” (i.e. talking about) God. So, it is false that “To tell of God is not possible.”
In Fr. Aiden’s view, the ancient “fathers”
dared to write on the Trinity only with fear and trembling, fully aware of their inability to bring to accurate speech the holy mystery.
Yeah, they use that rhetoric often enough, but they seem veryconfident to me, at least as self-confident as most present-day analytic theologians. Hear them thunder condemnation and insults at their opponents, certain in their philosophical speculations – the ancient bishops, I mean. Present day analytic theologians – I have never seen a single one of them condemn people in any way for not engaging in analytic theology, or for disagreeing with their favored theories. They are merely trying to serve the wider Christian public, whoever can benefit from their work, and they’re sticking out their necks to do it.