Jul 27, 2009

Ignatius v. the Docetists: A Debate part 2

I thought it would be interesting to create an imaginary - but realistic - dialogue between Ignatius of Antioch and his Docetic opponents. I tried to keep it true to what we know about him/them. The next several posts will deal with this. Today's post is the Docetist opening - tomorrow will be Ignatius' reply!

Docetist Reply:

I would begin by giving you my name. However, since we all know full well that a name is nothing more than a superfluous title placed upon us by our natural, physical, earthly, and therefore, evil mothers and fathers, I will not waste time speaking of such a triviality as a name. My devotion is to the truth, to things unseen, to the spiritual and Godly. Hence, you may simply refer to me as a student of philosophy of the truth. For even my master teachers care nothing for their earthly titles.

Our aim is simple, yet it seems to confound even some of the most enlightened minds of our time, including the most intelligent, but alas most ignorant, prisoner Ignatius. We seek the truth concerning our Lord, the Christ.

In particular, our study’s primary concern is over the period of time when our Father sent His spirit to the earth in order to shed light on His ultimate truths. Brothers and sisters, please understand our premises are simple, yet conclusive.

First, all can agree that we live in an evil world in which every man is trapped in the body of flesh.

Second, any orthodox follower of Christ knows from his study of the Scriptures that God is infinitely perfect in both substance and deed. How then could our perfect Lord take on the sinful flesh of the man Jesus of Nazareth here on this earth? The logical conclusion must be then that when the Christ came to earth, He did not become a dreadful man, but only took on the appearance of such, while always remaining a perfect spirit. He appeared as a man, but it only seemed to be so. For we can all logically conclude that Jesus the man would have been subject to the sinful nature of the flesh.

Therefore, the Christ could not possibly have lowered Himself to this standard. An impossibility of all reasoning based on the truth of the Scriptures!

This series of articles was co-written by Jacob Baumann, an M.Div. student at Phoenix Seminary.

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