Archbishop Chrysostomos, Discernment, Genuine Orthodoxy, Glossary, Humility, James L. Kelley, Metropolitan (Emeritus) Chrysostomos, Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos, Monastery of St. Gregory Palamas, Noetic, Patristic Theology, Romanides, St. Dionysios the Areopagite, Theology, Theoria, Theosis, Uncreated
The Fathers were obligated to employ various sets of terms in order to formulate their teaching and to provide a defense for the teaching of the Church. Of course, even the Fathers say, “the Word was begotten of the Father before the ages.” But the point that the Fathers stress is that human thought merely corresponds to human experience. So man’s every thought and every intellectual concept correspond to everyday human experiences and nothing more than human experiences. Man cannot break through the limitations of his created nature in order to be able to grasp the uncreated.
According to the Fathers, it is absolutely impossible to break through these limitations. We can think about the uncreated and how something exists that wasn’t created, that always exists, and that does not resemble created things, but none of these categories are positive. They are completely negative. They are not positive positions, but negations. When we say that God is uncreated, we are not saying what God is, but simply what He is not. The word ‘uncreated’ simply means that God is not a creature. But this says what God is not, not what He is. So we have said what God is not.
—Protopresbyter John S. Romanides