Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Amillennialism of Gregory Thaumaturgus [A.D. 240]

Gregory Thaumaturgus (213 – 270 AD) was a bishop in Asia Minor during the 3rd century. Regarding eschatology, Gregory clearly has one resurrection, to be immediately followed by the “judgment of all”. In fact, the purpose of Christ’s coming is “for the judgment of the living and the dead, and for the eternal life of the saints.” No mention of any millennium.

“Moreover, the capital clement of our salvation is the incarnation of the Word. We believe, therefore, that it was without any change in the Divinity that the incarnation of the Word took place with a view to the renewal of humanity. For there took place neither mutation nor transposition, nor any circumscription in will, as regards the holy energy of God; but while that remained in itself the same, it also effected the work of the incarnation with a view to the salvation of the world: and the Word of God, living on earth after man’s fashion, maintained likewise in all the divine presence, fulfilling all things, and being united properly and individually with flesh; and while the sensibilities proper to the flesh were there, the divine energy maintained the impassibility proper to itself. Impious, therefore, is the man who introduces the passibility into the energy. For the Lord of glory appeared in fashion as a man when He undertook the economy upon the earth; and He fulfilled the law for men by His deeds, and by His sufferings He did away with man’s sufferings, and by His death He abolished death, and by his resurrection He brought life to light; and now we look for His appearing from heaven in glory for the life and judgment of all, when the resurrection of the dead shall take place, to the end that recompense may be made to all according to their desert.” (Gregory Thaumaturgus, Sectional Confession of Faith VI)

“We therefore acknowledge one true God, the one First Cause, and one Son, very God of very God, possessing of nature the Father’s divinity, - that is to say, being the same in substance with the Father; and one Holy Spirit, who by nature and in truth sanctifies all, and makes divine, as being of the substance of God. Those who speak either of the Son or of the Holy Spirit as a creature we anathematize. All other things we hold to be objects made, and in subjection, created by God through the Son, (and) sanctified in the Holy Spirit. Further, we acknowledge that the Son of God was made a Son of man, having taken to Himself the flesh from the Virgin Mary, not in name, but in reality; and that He is both the perfect Son of God, and the (perfect) Son of man, - that the Person is but one, and that there is one worship for the Word and the flesh that He assumed. And we anathematize those who constitute different worships, one for the divine and another for the human, and who worship the man born of Mary as though He were another than the God of God. For we know that “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1) And we worship Him who was made man on account of our salvation, not indeed as made perfectly like in the like body, but as the Lord who has taken to Himself the form of the servant. We acknowledge the passion of the Lord in the flesh, the resurrection in the power of His divinity, the ascension to heaven, and His glorious appearing when He comes for the judgment of the living and the dead, and for the eternal life of the saints.” (Gregory Thaumaturgus, Sectional Confession of Faith XV)

Regarding the false cult of Judaism, Gregory, like nearly all of the church fathers, did not consider such a belief system to be a sign of being in covenant with God, but rather of unbelief.

“One therefore is God the Father, one the Word, one the Spirit, the life, the sanctification of all. And neither is there another God as Father, nor is there another Son as Word of God, nor is there another Spirit as quickening and sanctifying. Further, although the saints are called both gods, and sons, and spirits, they are neither filled with the Spirit, nor are made like the Son and God. And if, then, any one makes this affirmation, that the Son is God, simply as being Himself filled with divinity, and not as being generated of divinity, he has belied the Word, he has belied the Wisdom, he has lost the knowledge of God; he has fallen away into the worship of the creature, he has taken up the impiety of the Greeks, to that he has gone back; and he has become a follower of the unbelief of the Jews, who, supposing the Word of God to be but a human son, have refused to accept Him as God, and have declined to acknowledge Him as the Son of God.” (Gregory Thaumaturgus, Sectional Confession of Faith IV).

What we have from Gregory Thaumaturgus clearly shows him to be amillennial, holding to “Replacement Theology”.


Anonymous said...

I'm confused why a puritan would blog icons of saints, and promote Magisterium.

However, I am happy that if a puritan can blog Catholicism, than there is hope for Christianity.


Puritan Lad said...

I think you are quite confused about Romanism and my purposes for blogging this. The Romanist cult you speak of didn't exist until much later in church history. You'll find nothing in early patristics, or on my blog, defending saint worship, penance, purgatory, indulgences, or cannbalism at the Lord's Supper.

Sola Scriptura!!!