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The Image of God


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The most important thing to note here is that these so-called "refutations" of anthropomorphisms took place when the Church was neck deep in Greek phiolosophy. They were merely explained away as metaphors, they were not refuted. They were rejected because a new movement (Hellenization) became more favorable. Hellenizing the Judaic belief in God seemed to elevate God to a status that would trump the God of the pagans. By making God completely "other" they attempted to prove that the pagan gods were weaker. It was a competition for the strongest God in those days and the Fathers found help by inventing new attributes based on Aristotle and Plato. That is why you see them constantly highlighting a quote from one of these two, not first century Christians. Where God originally created from preexisting matter, the Fathers later declared that God created "ex nihilo" in accordance with Basilides, an early Greek philospher. That set him aside from all other gods. When they declared he didnt exist in this universe, that also exalted him above all else.

The problem with this is that God of Judaism was the Most High God long before these attributes needed to be invented. But we've become so adapted to referring to God in a Greek philosophical way, that we think anything less than this standard which we've created for him, makes him somehow less God. It is nonsense.

It is a fact that Church fathers like Origen relied first and foremost on the philosophers of the day as a rationale to reject anthropomorphism. He did not use the scripture because he couldn't. He had to rely on the authority of the academy. The rejection of anthropomorphism was originally based on an appeal to Greek philosophy, beginning with Aristobulus. In modern-times, Christian apologists are crawling out of the woodwork attempting to do something the early Church Fathers couldn't: refute the body of God doctrine by using scripture alone.

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