Romanides follows very strongly the Patristic method of apophatic theology and claims that according to Orthodoxy, God is totally unlike anything in the created order (in both essence and energies) it being a creation and He being the creator, thus it is inappropriate to take any use of language taken from things belonging to the created order to describe God hence if we must use language truthfully we must use it negatively to say what God is not, any positive use of language is only to be taken metaphorically to guide us toward theosis when we will experience God as He is and therefore have no need for language. As Romanides writes, ‘No similarity whatsoever exists between the uncreated and the created, or between God and creation. This also means that no analogy, correlation, or comparison can be made between them. This implies that we cannot use created things as a means for knowing the uncreated God or His energy.’
However if we maintain that God is totally unlike anything in the created order how are we to understand the human being as being made in the image of God, for as far as I understand, the Church Father’s understand the ‘image of God’ to mean that God created man as a creature with some likeness between itself and God, for example like God man possesses rationality, free will, dominion over creation etc.? How then are we to understand how while the Church Fathers maintain God’s total otherness from the created order they also maintain that man (a creature) is also somehow like God being made in His image? I thought the answer was that while God is totally transcended in essence He is imminent in His energies, yet Romanides asserts that God is totally transcendent in both essence and energies (though I am yet to hear any words from the Fathers to this effect). Is Romanides wrong (as I found Vladimir Moss claims – see link)? Similarly if Moss is right and there does indeed exist a likeness between God and man then where does this leave apophatic theology?
Please help me to understand.
Edited by Administrator, 19 August 2010 - 09:55 PM.
Added blank lines between paras; activated link