As for you, go your way till the end. Daniel a NIV. Many years ago I was asked to lead a study with a large group of young people about prophecy and the book of Revelation. The room was packed each week, not that this had anything to do with me or my teaching.
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My lessons rarely commanded such interest. Only one of my classes garnered such popularity and that was the one on the topic of sex go figure. There are a couple of specific and unique references in the chapter. There are just so many variables. Daniel was originally written in Hebrew and Aramaic. Hebrew is an ancient language and the definition of many words remain mysteries to the most scholarly of linguists. Aramaic is a dead language no longer even used today. The Babylonian culture and the educational system in which Daniel was schooled was steeped in very sophisticated arithmetic that they connected to both astronomy and their native religion.
I love the way the angelic being leaves Daniel scratching his head and reeling with confusion about all the mysterious prophetic numbers and phrases. Keep going. Press on. When it comes to the prophetic, I can have faith that things will take care of themselves.
You are commenting using your WordPress. Thus for any created goodness or capacity God can make a better. Nothing finite has power over an infinite number of things.
Iron Angels (Wayfarer)
But the grace of Christ had such power, for it had power over the salvation of an infinite number of men and over the effacement of an infinite number of sins. The grace of Christ was therefore infinite. Nothing created is infinite; otherwise a creature would be equal to the Creator. But the grace of Christ was something created. Therefore it was finite. All things, therefore, which are made by God are finite; and so the grace of Christ is not infinite. There may first of all come to mind an interpretation of those words in which the Spirit is said not to be given to Christ in measure, because the Holy Spirit, who is infinite, filled Christ by means of grace.
But that interpretation is not in accord with the meaning of the text. For the words under discussion are introduced in order to distinguish between Christ and John [the Baptist] and all the saints, as the Gloss points out. In that interpretation Christ does not differ in this respect from creatures; for the Holy Spirit, who is the third person of the Trinity, both is infinite in Himself and dwells in each one of the saints.
Nor can it be said that love is the reason for the eternal generation, since personal love is rather from the generation. Essential love, of course, pertains to the will; but we do not grant that the Father begot the Son by will.
Still another interpretation is accordingly given in the Gloss: the statement refers to the union of the Word with the human nature. The words in question therefore seem to refer properly to habitual grace, in which the Holy Spirit is shown to have been given to the soul of Christ, the union by which that man was the Son of God being presupposed. Now this grace, absolutely speaking, was finite; but in a certain sense it was infinite. To get a clear understanding of this matter we should bear in mind that finite and infinite are taken with reference to quantity, as the Philosopher makes clear.
Both kinds of quantity are differentiated into many species. Under dimensive quantity are included length, width, and depth, and potentially number.
Thomas Aquinas: Quaestiones disputatae de veritate: English
Virtual quantity is distinguished into as many classes as there are natures and forms, whose degree of perfection constitutes all the measure of quantity that they have. Now it sometimes happens that what is finite as regards one sort of quantity is infinite as regards another. This is easily seen if we take dimensive quantity in both cases, for we can conceive a surface which is finite in width but infinite in length.
It is also clear if we take one dimensive quantity and another virtual; for if we conceive an infinite white body, its whiteness will not on this account be infinite in intensity, but only indirectly in extension; for something whiter might be found. The same is no less evident if both quantities are virtual; for in one and the same subject different virtual quantities can be taken into consideration on the basis of different formalities of the attributes predicated of this subject. Thus if a thing is called a being, virtual quantity is considered in it with regard to the perfection of existing; and if it is called sentient, this quantity is considered with regard to the perfection of sensing; and so on.
With regard to the formality of existing, then, only that can be infinite which includes all the perfection of existing—a perfection which is capable of being diversified in an infinite number of different modes. In this respect only God is infinite essentially, because His act of existing is not limited to any determined perfection but embraces every mode of perfection to which the formality of being can extend. For this reason He is essentially infinite.
This kind of infinity cannot apply to any creature, for the act of existing of every creature is limited to the perfection of its own species. If, then, we conceive of a sentient soul which has in it whatever can contribute in the perfection of sensing in any way whatsoever, that soul will be finite essentially, because its act of being is limited to a particular perfection of existing, namely, sentience, which is surpassed by another perfection, intelligence.
Yet it would be infinite as regards the formality of sentience, because its sentience would not be limited to any definite mode of sensing. In like manner I say of the habitual grace of Christ that it is essentially finite because its act of being is limited to a particular species of being, that of grace; yet it is infinite in the line of grace.
Thus it must be said that the grace of Christ was finite essentially, but it was infinite in the perfection of the specific formality of grace. This answer is obvious from what has been said. Because grace is finite essentially but infinite in the line of grace, God can make a better essence than that of grace, but nothing better in the genus of grace, since the grace of Christ includes everything to which the specific formality of grace can extend. The capacity of a creature is predicated on the potency of reception which it has. Now the potency of a creature to receive is of two kinds.
One is natural; and this can be entirely fulfilled, because it extends only to natural perfections. The other is obediential potency, inasmuch as it can receive something from God; and such a capacity cannot be filled, because whatever God does with a creature, it still remains in potency to receive from God. Now a measure which increases when goodness increases is determined by the amount of perfection received rather than by that of the capacity to receive. Form is the principle of act; but in so far as it has existence in act, it is not possible for an action infinite in intensity to proceed from a form whose essence is finite.
Hence even the merit of Christ was not infinite in the intensity of the act, for He loved and knew finitely. But it had a certain infinity from the circumstance of the person, who was of infinite dignity; for the greater the one who humbles himself, the more praiseworthy his humility is found to be. Even though the charity or grace of a wayfarer can increase to infinity, it can never arrive at equality with the grace of Christ. That something finite can by a continuous increase attain to any finite degree however great, is true if the same sort of quantity is referred to in both of the finite factors for example, if we compare a line to a line or whiteness to whiteness , but not if different sorts of quantity are referred to.
This is evident in dimensive quantity; for no matter how much a line is increased in length, it will never reach the width of a surface. The same likewise appears in virtual or intensive quantity; for no matter how much the knowledge of one who knows God by a likeness may advance, it can never equal the knowledge of a possessor, who sees God through His essence. Similarly the charity of a wayfarer cannot equal the charity of a possessor; for a person is,differently affected toward things which are present and toward those which are absent.
In like manner also, however much the grace of a man who possesses grace in the line of a particular participation may increase, it can never equal the grace of Christ, which is full in every respect. Yet it does not follow that He could make Christ better, because Christ has His goodness from another, that is, from union with the Word, from which point of view His goodness cannot be conceived to be greater. The answer to this is clear from what has just been said. Does the grace of headship belong to Christ in his human nature? It is characteristic of the head to have an influence upon the members.
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But Christ in His human nature does not have an influence upon men, that is, not a spiritual influence, because such an influence relates especially to the soul. For, as is brought out in the comment in the Gloss on John , taken from Augustine, souls are vitalized by the Word of God; bodies, by the Word made flesh. Therefore Christ in His human nature is not the head of the Church. It was said in answer that Christ has an influence upon souls efficiently in His divine nature and dispositively in His human nature.