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Calvinism and free will

 

The position of the Calvinist in regards to the sovereignty of God is said to be the highest view one can hold of God being all knowing, all good, and all just. This is where the Calvinist will plant their mental flag, and then presuppose that they hold God in higher honor than anyone else. However, this view is actually one of the lowest views of God one can hold, since in the calvinistic view of opposites, the choice between good and evil are presupposed as well.

 
For the Calvinist, the choice by God to create everything was a good choice, but since 1) God’s nature is found in creation (ads) and 2) God can only choose the good, and God is the good-creation then becomes not a free choice, but the only choice. It is God’s nature to choose good rather than evil (opposites) so the choice not to bring about creation would have been the opposite of the good, making creation the only choice. Calvinists fall into this thinking, when they ponder if God could have stopped the fall. Creation which was necessary (entailed) and God who divinely chooses what shall come to pass, with the notion of opposites in view, clearly presents a problem when thinking about how the fall was possible. Calvinism falls into the company of Nestorianism, monothelitism/mono-energism, which means that Jesus isn’t in Calvinism.

 
-If the good was the choice of creation, then creation was a necessary choice, making creation eternal, and even human beings, since we must then be found in the nature of God, just as things such as ADS and Thomism say. The beatific vision is an extension of such theories.

 
– If creation is a necessary choice, opposed to the evil choice of not creating, then the universe is just a mere extension of God’s nature, making the cosmos God. How can this be rescued from being pantheism?

 
– If nature is the determining factor in which we, or God make choices, and not the person (total depravity/ads/Filioque) then the fall could not of happened, since Adam had a good nature.

 
– If two things must be opposed to one another, in order to distinguish between them, just as Monergism entails, then how do you distinguish between Jesus and the Father? Likewise, if Monergism is true, in that the divine will makes our human will choose the good, then how do profess that Jesus had two wills that freely, and synergistically made the same choice, and yet, are able to be distinguished between one another? (Same presupposition as the monothelites,same problem)

 
– If the Calvinist position on God’s sovereignty is correct, but the Calvinist takes the position that God did not predestine the fall, then the free choice of Adam to do the bad, was the prime factor in God’s redemptive plan, making God’s choices a product of Adam choices..which denies Calvinism.

 
Or……

 
– If God did make Adam sin: then in order for God to bring about the good, God then must rely on the evil. This would actually be the consistent position for a Calvinist, since destruction of the wicked warms the flames, by which the elect can see God’s glory clearer through the beatific goggles. However, this isn’t even theism anymore, since in order for God to be good prior to the fall, evil must have been present, making God only God if evil is eternal.

 
Those final points are the only two options for a Calvinist, which I would presume ties off any Calvinistic view as being theism, or Christian.

 
Now there is actually an answer to these problems, which I know R.C Sproul has even pondered as to how to answer the final two options. But, the rejection of Calvinism is the first step..

 
My next post will be on free choice in st Maximus the Confessor.


 

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St Augustine voted for the Septuagint

“For my part, I would much rather that you would furnish us with a
translation of the Greek version of the canonical Scriptures known as the
work of the Seventy translators. For if your translation begins to be more
generally read in many churches, it will be a grievous thing that, in the
reading of Scripture, differences must arise between the Latin Churches
and the Greek Churches, especially seeing that the discrepancy is easily
condemned in a Latin version by the production of the original in Greek,
which is a language very widely known; whereas, if any one has been
disturbed by the occurrence of something to which he was not accustomed
in the translation taken from the Hebrew, and alleges that the new
translation is wrong, it will be found difficult, if not impossible, to get at
the Hebrew documents by which the version to which exception is taken
may be defended. And when they are obtained, who will submit, to have
so many Latin and Greek authorities: pronounced to be in the wrong?
Besides all this, Jews, if consulted as to the meaning of the Hebrew text,
may give a different opinion from yours: in which case it will seem as if
your presence were indispensable, as being the only one who could refute
their view; and it would be a miracle if one could be found capable of
acting as arbiter between you and them.” [From Augustine of Hippo’s,
Letter LXXI, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, Volume 1.]

 

Blessed Augustine was writing to Jerome, whom took up the task of translating the the OT into Latin, but made the decision to use the Hebrew OT rather than the Greek OT known as the Septuagint. Augustine voted against such an attempt, since the Septuagint was the common OT used in the church, and much like Marcion, Jerome decided that the OT had been tampered with, and the Septuagint was not a reliable text. However, it is known that the NT quotes more often from the Greek Septuagint that the Hebrew OT, meaning; if the Greek OT is fake, so is the NT.

Reformation over!

Apostolic succession

There is a huge misconception about what constitutes authority to teach what the truth is today. Many people in America seem to be under the impression that education is what gives one the authority to teach the scriptures in a church. Simply studying the Greek and Hebrew and a small amount of church history grants one the ability to instruct spiritual infants towards adulthood in the Christian faith.The problem with this is that once one becomes more educated than their authority, then they themselves now can take  the thrones of authority for themselves, and authority is also then not authority at all, since one who is not educated, must determine for themselves what is proper and true teachings first before being instructed. Others believe that it is merely one that has true faith, and as long as one is a true believer, God then gives them words of wisdom to instruct others, making infants instructors, and those who are in adulthood hearers, which brings about anarchy. These two systems are the very reason as to why protestantism is such a mess. Once someone in the Calvinist church knows more than their pastor, what is stopping them from starting another church under the same banner of authority? It can’t be that they were not granted authority from their pastors, since Calvin and Luther were granted no such authority, and such a claim would require succession. As for having authority simply upon having faith,  we must assume that when someone professes faith, which is merely predicated, they now have an ability to instruct without restraint.

However, can anyone have authority outside of being sent? Can one just pick up a microphone, or put the words “Church” on a building and determine that they are now able to preach and teach what their hearts tell them? This is precisely what has turned Christianity into a joke today. The secular world understands such ideas as foolish, and they see right through the confusion. What? You don’t believe in evolution because pastor Bob who has “true faith” told you it was wrong?  You are sitting under the gospel, because your pastor went to college, and spent a semester learning Greek?

Jesus didn’t even come into this world under his own authority, but the Father who sent him. To put one’s faith into Jesus Christ, who was sent by the Father, and turn around and trust a man who was sent by nobody, is to put men above Christ. Jesus Christ chose apostles, and those apostles he chose he also commissioned to go out into the world and preach the gospel.  So, Christ sent by the Father, the apostles sent by Jesus Christ, and the Apostles….hmmm?….what’s next?  Something needs to be considered here. It seems as though a road block needs to be cleared in order to proceed with the connection of early church authority and onto modern times. Since it is so, that many believe that scripture is bound by the dying of the final apostle, it requires another topic to be considered.

What is authority? Or, more precisely, what is authority in regards to the Christian faith?  Is the type of authority that bishops, priests and deacons have, the same as the type of authority politicians have, or bosses in the workplace have?  It seems that they are different, or should be different, however, the way people first think of authority when addressed in Christianity, is without restraint, or as most protestants assume, wrongly I might add, like Roman Catholicism, who’s pope demands their obedience.  But there is something else at play here. We submit to something no matter what. The scripture for example is considered infallible by protestants, Roman Catholics, and Eastern Orthodoxy, but in different ways.  What is it that gets us to look at the scripture and think that it should be considered infallible? Or better yet, what is infallibility anyways?  It seems as though we can all agree that if something is infallible, that it needs to be recognized as such, and submitted to.

How is it that St Paul wrote infallibly? Did God merely possess Paul’s body to write the gospels like Greek pagan oracles?

St Augustine denies such thoughts. However, it makes sense in regards to protestantism and how salvation works for this to be so. If nothing separates me, the new believer in the eyes of God, since Christ’s perfect life covers over me, then it seems as though the only way he could have written with such divine knowledge, and I am not able to, is if God intervened and directed his pen. But, that is completely pagan. Why then does God even need man to do such a thing?  Why couldn’t God just, I don’t know, write his will with his finger on table

This is interesting. We actually do see God write something with his own hand. The famous story of Moses and his accent up Mt Sinai, where Moses would go stay for 40 days and 40 nights. During this time, God instructed Moses to inform the people to not even touch the edge of the mountain, or they would die. Not even animals could touch the mountain without dying. This proves that the it wasn’t just God’s pride that would get hurt if someone didn’t obey, but that Moses was in some way different, and was able to stand in the presence of God without being destroyed by God’s presence. The coincides perfectly with the Essence/Energy distinction found in St Gregory of Nyssa. Obviously, if one is to understand this distinction, we can experience God’s operations but not His essence. Even in heaven, since we will remain creatures, God’s essence will still be unknowable, but His energies will be knowable, but as fury to some, or, hell.  St Theophanes said: “the divine light will be perceived as the punishing fire of hell”,  However, it is taught in the early church, and still in Eastern Orthodoxy today, that those who are Holy experience the divine light.

So what is my point with all of this? What if Moses could receive revelation because he was holy?  Why is it that Moses wasn’t destroyed by God’s glory, and even stood in God’s presence multiple times, and didn’t die? Yet, animals would have if they unknowingly wondered to close? What if infallibility is not pagan oracles, such as statues talking to us, or just merely men being used as conduits for the transferring of information? What if the apostles were writing from experiencing God, which is unknown to others who have not? What if the bible is a compilation of writings from Moses to St John who walked in high places, and brought down what they knew to be true, because they had experienced the presence of God? What if this is what is known as Glorification?

This extremely changes things in regards to how we would understand why it is we see the scripture as infallible.  Now the question is, how does this change our understanding of authority?

The ecumenical councils are clear about the requirements of priests, deacons and bishops. It is not centered on academics, merely the profession of faith, but on noetic prayer. It is true, that in the early church, a theologian was someone who prayed, not one who was educated. This was one shift in Rome which led to the schism. Augustine had a passion for knowledge, yet had a concubine:

“It was a sweet thing to be loved, and more sweet still when I was able to enjoy the body of a women” (Confessions 3, 51)

This shift, slowly changed what it was to be a teacher of God. It went from those who know God through prayer and participation, to academic understanding. This led to sermons becoming worship. This is by far, the worst part of the great schism in my mind.

So who then determines who is fit to preach the gospel?  Ourselves?  Even more, how can we even understand the bible, unless someone who walks in the high places can explain such writings to us?

Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place. And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.

We see here in Acts 8, that St Phillip is speaking with an Angel, which clearly illustrates that he is deified. As he goes over to the Ethiopian eunuch, who was a very educated man historian claim, since his position in regards to the Queen of the Ethiopians was that of a very educated man during this time, and he of all people, is honest enough to know that he needs to be instructed by someone who is holy.

Apostolic succession then, is not just authority, in a sense of academics, or having a certificate. It is the passing down of authority, after being examined by those who were deemed holy by other holy men before them, as men with the prayer of heart, and know God through participating in God’s divine energies. This is exactly why it does not matter what Calvin thinks the bible says, or Luther feels is true. If it is true, that we are all totally depraved, why trust Calvin, Luther, or more importantly, yourself ?  Why let your emotions guide you?  With the above illustration of infallibility and the passing down of authority, through proper confession, prayer and participation in God, we see a continuity that is not matched anywhere else in Christianity. We have an explanation as to how men wrote the bible, but it is infallible, how we can rely on the scriptures because of apostolic succession, and the Holy Spirit guiding these men through the laying on of hands, and how councils, in which bishops who are blameless among others in the church, can come to a collective consensus on what is true pertaining to God and His church. There is not problem between the continuity of why we see these things to be consistent, and to be honest, all other stances on scripture and tradition are faulty, and completely open for secular criticism, since they are off the wall, and not logical, and quite frankly, pagan in origin.

If protestants want to say that we rely on men rather than God, I wonder how it is they even believe Moses’s words, or the patristic fathers words on scripture, that it was in fact the bible passed down through the succession of bishops? I think that is called the law of contradiction.

Apostolic succession: Introduction

There are allot of issues to discuss between the reformed and the early church, but none so obvious of a departure than apostolic succession. It seems that the lack of evidence for authority in the reformed is a major issue that needs to be addressed as to how they even can carry the bible in their churches, and even more, how they can properly call themselves teachers of the doctrine of God. If they do not have any reason to stake a claim as to why they should have a position of authority, then they would be nothing more than fakes, or anti Christ’s, in that they are representing a church that they have no part in, and leading people, when they are not properly called by Christ Himself to lead his sheep. My next 4-5 posts will be addressing the issue of apostolic succession, and why the reformed need to stop arguing against Christ.

This outline will be similar to Felix L. Cirlot’s book on apostolic succession.  I will start with the historical criticism against apostolic succession, and then into the biblical criticism.  I am currently working on the first post of the historical criticism, and I hope I can post in in a few days.

 

St. Maximus the Confessor: Providence

On God’s preservation and the Integration of the Universe

 

Q. If the Creator made all the forms which fill out the world in six days (Gen 1:31-2:2), what is the Father doing henceforth? For the Savior says, My Father is working even now, just as I am working (Jn 5:17). Is he therefore speaking of a preservation of what he had once created?

 

R. God, as he alone knew how, completed the primary principles of creatures and the universal essences of beings once for all. Yet he is still at work, not only preserving these creatures in their very existence but effecting the formation, progress, and sustenance of the individual parts that are potential within them. Even now in his providence he is bringing about the assimilation of particulars to universals until he might unite creatures’ own voluntary inclination to the more universal natural principle of rational being through the movement of these particular creatures toward well-being, and make them harmonious and self-moving in relation to one another and to the whole universe. [notes: Here, in effect, is a brief encapsulation of Maximus’ entire christocentric cosmology: the binding of all particular beings in their individual modes of existence, and with their peculiar drives and volition, to the universal whole as manifested in the (Greek word, maybe logoi) of all created things. On the divine providence pervading the cosmos, see Ambigua 10. In Maximus’ vision God will graciously raise his creatures from being to well-being, and beyond this to “eternal well-being” as he sometimes says. On the broader philosophical parameters of Maximus’ cosmology, see Torstein Tollefsen, The Christocentric Cosmology of Maximus the Confessor: a Study of His Metaphysical Principles. (maybe I will)] In this way there shall be no intentional divergence between universals and particulars [notes: Envisioning the activity of the cosmos as a whole, Maximus presupposes here, as elsewhere, that the overcoming of “intentional divergence”, the self-centered deliberative movement of creatures, will be requisite to the restoration of all things to the Creator.] Rather, one and the same principle shall be observable throughout the universe, admitting of no differentiation by the individual modes according to which created beings are predicated, and displaying the grace of God effective to deify the universe. [notes: Such is a most important reminder that Maximus projects not only the deification of human beings but of the universe as a whole: a cosmic transfiguration, where, commenting on Gregory Nanzianzen’s celebrated phrase that the “natures are innovated” in the Incarnation, Maximus explains in depth how Christ the Logos harmonizes and transfigures the whole creation by uniting in himself the logoi of universals and particulars.] It is on the basis of this grace that the divine Logos, when he became man said, My Father is working even now, and I am working. The Father approves this work, the Son properly carries it out, and the Holy Spirit essentially completes both the Father’s approval of it all and the Son’s execution of it [notes: This kind of trinitarian amplification is found in Maximus’s predecessor St. Gregory Nazianzen, and has parallels elsewhere in his own writings], in order that the God in Trinity might bethrough all and in all things (Eph. 4:6), contemplated as a whole reality proportionately in each individual creature as it is deemed worthy by grace, and in the universe altogether, just as the soul naturally indwells both the whole of the body and each individual part without diminishing itself.”

Who is Chalcedonian?

Chalcedon is a council that I believe can clear allot of major issues that prevail in protestantism and Roman Catholicism. It is the council that for some reason, Calvinists believe they hold to in some way, however, some of the brighter Calvinists have actually decided to read Chalcedon, and have all had interesting responses. Bruce McCormick knows Chalcedon, and is reformed, and makes the statement that:

“Heinrich Bullinger offers the most extreme example.  In his Second Helvetic Confession, he writes, “We therefore acknowledge either two natures or two hypostases or substances, the divine and the human, in one and the same Jesus Christ our Lord.”  Two hypostases is extreme; indeed, it is something less than orthodox. According to Chalcedon, there is but one hypostasis in which the two natures subsist………………….

Mind you, I am not accusing the theologians of Westminster of abandoning Reformed soteriology!  But they do not seem to realize that in advocating the version of Chalcedonian Christology they do, unreconstructed by Reformed sources, they have taken a most important step in that direction.  After all, which soteriology do they think the Chalcedonian Definition was originally designed to support?………………..

For Reformed Christians, it is not simply Chalcedon which defines “orthodoxy” within the realm of Christological reflection; it is Chalcedon as interpreted by the Reformed Confessions.”

Bruce McCormack sees the problem. Chalcedon promotes synergism, theosis, and a view of Christology that is not at all compatible with the reformed confessions or reformed theology as a whole. For him, reformed theology is superior to Chalcedon then, which is fine, but please stop including yourselves as Chalcedonian!

 

” When he opposed Monotheletism, this was not because of some technicality, but because such a view subverted the understanding of the full reality of man’s salvation and deification in Christ.”

ST MAXIMUS THE CONFESSOR

“God made us so that we might become ‘partakers of the divine nature’ (2 Pet. 1:4) and sharers in His eternity, and so that we might come to be like Him (cf. 1 John 3:2) through deification by grace. It is through deification that all things are reconstituted and achieve their permanence; and it is for its sake that what is not is brought into being and given existence.” p. 173 – St Maximus the Confessor

 “A sure warrant for looking forward with hope to deification of human nature is provided by the incarnation of God, which makes man god to the same degree as God Himself became man. For it is clear that He who became man without sin (cf. Heb. 4:15) will divinize human nature without changing it into the divine nature, and will raise it up for His own sake to the same degree as He lowered Himself for man’s sake. This is what St. Paul teaches mystically when he says, ‘…that in the ages to come He might display the overflowing richness of His grace’ (Eph. 2:7). p. 178

Theotokos in scripture, tradition, and an argument against Marion development

Tonight I was able to have a great discussion with some of my old reformed friends at my house. We talked about many things, and I was able to give them some insight into my thoughts on reformed theology from and Eastern Orthodox perspective. The conversation naturally came to Nestorianism, and who is the real Nestorian. Though this topic is probably the main topic I cover on this blog, an interesting perspective came out from one of the people that was here on Nestorius and his position of Mary. His point was that Nestorius was correct in arguing that the Divine nature didn’t originate with Mary, and that to say Mary is the Mother of God (Theotokos) seems to imply such a thing. He also added that the response to Nestorius by the church, or St Cyril of Alexandria produced an elevated view of Mary, which can be seen in Rome and in Orthodoxy that is not known in scripture.

My goal with this post is to show that the answer to Nestorius was not a new view of Mary, or that it now brought about some view of her that was higher than previously thought, and that scripture clearly shows that Mary has a very honorable position.

“for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed” – Luke 1:48

Nestorius’s position on Mary was a new position. It was a challenge to the received tradition from the fathers before him. Mary was called the Theotokos previously. The controversy between Nestorius and the Orthodox church was in the 5th century, yet, we read this prayer to the Theotokos in the 3rd century, which reads:

“Beneath your compassion we take refuge, Theotokos. Our petitions do not despise in time of trouble, but from dangers ransom us, Only Holy, Only Blessed” – 3rd century letter. Egypt, Circa AD 250 

With this we see that the term Theotokos was not invented, or implied in the 5th century, but was a term used prior to the Nestorian controversy. It also shows that prayers to Mary were common among Christians prior to the 3rd-5th centuries.

“Under the Holy place of Mary, I wrote there the names. The imaged I adored of her” – The Grotto of the Annunciation in Jerusalem (Inscription in a Church) Somewhere between the 1st and 2nd centuries

Here again, we see that Mary is prayed to, and adorned. What we also can see, is that images of Mary were in churches from the earliest times of Christianity.

The Historian in the day of the Nestorian controversy, Socrates,  notes in his letter to the Royal Princesses, and to Theodosius that Nestorius is “Disgracefully Illiterate” seeing that tradition was overwhelmingly saturated with Mary being called the Theotokos, in which Socrates lists for Nestorius.

He lists: Origen, commentary on Deuteronomy (PG 12.813) Hom 7, In Lucam 7 (Socrates Hist Eccl. 7.32)  Peter of Alexandria (PG 18.517) Alexander of Alexandria Ep, Ad Alexandrum 12, PG. 18.568; Eusebius Caesarea, Vita Constantini 3.43 PG. 20.1104; Athanasius, Con. Arianos 3.14, PG. 26.349. Vita Antonii 36, PG. 26.897;  Gregory of Nazianzin Ep. 101. PG 37.177;  Gregory of Nyssa Ep.3 PG. 46.1024

Here we can see, that Nestorius was going away from the traditional use of the term Theotokos. This brings about a big issue. The idea that sola scriptura, or the denial of the use of tradition as somewhat informative for fallible generations, is not only useful, but completely adhered to in the times of heresy. Each council even would say in defense of a councils authoritative position on a said subject, that this has been taught before us by the fathers, and brought down to us, whereas, the heretics always strayed away from tradition, and used a singular dogmatic position against the the heavy consensus of the fathers before them.

We can see above, that the argument that Mary was elevated to a higher place as a reaction to Nestorianism is false, since the patristic fathers before Nestorius was around held to the same thing as the St Cyril of Alexandria, and the plurality of bishops against Nestorius. What it also shows, is that the consensus of the church before Nestorius held the very answer to such Christological issues as Nestorianism. St. Cyril notes, that the only non heretical name for Mary is Theotokos, which was not an invention of St. Cyril

Scriptural support for the Theotokos

This notion that Mary in the bible is not ever mentioned in a high place seems accurate as a protestant. You seem to never see any place where she is given honorable mention, however, with a patristic perspective on the biblical view of Mary, we see an extremely deep, and an almost impossible to argue away view of Mary as the Ark of the Covenant

This seems to make complete sense, seeing that Christ, who came to restore life, was carried in the womb of Mary, much like the Holy Law of God was carried in the Ark of the Covenant. Also was the mana in the Ark of the Covenant, and the obvious connection between Christ being the bread of life. But is there scriptural support for such a thing?

The story of David in 2 Samuel, as he is bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, is obviously mirrored in Luke. We read:

David “arose and went” (2 Samuel 6:2)  The same words are applied in Luke 1:39 Mary “arose and went”

Both David and Mary proceeded to the hill country of Judah

David speaks of his unworthiness with the words ” How can the Ark of the Lord come to me?” (2 Samuel 6:9)  Which are almost said verbatim in Luke 1:43 “Why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”  The word “Ark” is changed with “mother”.

David danced for joy in the presence of the Ark (2 Samuel 6:14,16)  and we read in Luke 1:44 that the child in Elizabeth’s womb leaped as Mary approached.

Finally, the ark remained in the hillside for 3 months (2 Samuel 6:11) In which Mary spent 3 months with Elizabeth (Luke 1:56)

We can clearly see the typology, which is strikingly obvious.  The early church evidence of such and idea before the Nestorian controversy were:

St Ephrem of Syrian (S. Ephrem, Rhythm iii, On the Nativity); St Hippolytus “At that time, the Savior coming from the Virgin, the Ark, brought forth His own Body into the world from that Ark” In Dan.vi., Patr. Gr., Tom. 10, p. 648; St Ambrose “The prophet David danced before the Ark.  Now what else should we say the Ark was but holy Mary?” Serm. xlii. 6, Int. Opp., S. Ambrosii; St Athanasius  full of grace, Lady, Queen, Mistress, Mother of God, and Ark of sanctification” (Orat. In Deip. Annuntiat, nn. 13, 14. Int. Opp. S. Athanasii) 

Mary as women

John’s Gospel opens declaring “In the beginning” (John 1:1) just as Genesis starts out by saying “In the beginning” (Genesis 1:1).

Genesis goes on to say “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen 1:1) and John states “In the beginning, the word was the Word, and the Word was with God”

Genesis 1;:3-5 God creates light to shine in the Darkness, and in John 1:4-5 we read “life was the light of men” and it “shines in darkness”

Genesis 1:2  Speaks of “the Spirit of God..hovering over the face of the waters” and in John 1:32-33 we read that the Spirit hovering over the water of Baptism

Clearly John is setting up a comparison of the new creation in Christ, as his pattern is Genesis. John then starts to number the days

“The next day” John 1:29 with the encounter of Jesus and John the Baptist

“The next day” John 1:35 Christ calling the first disciples

“The next day” John 1:43 Christ calls two more disciples

From the opening narrative of the Messiah, to the day we find ourselves in the book of John, we are now in the 4th day

John then goes into the Wedding feast of Cana, and writes “On the 3rd day” which is the third day from where he left off. This brings us to the seventh day, which is a type of the creation account, and from this point on, John stops counting days.

So on the 7th day, we find ourselves at the wedding, which is where Christ is at with His mother and His disciples. John 2:3 ” They have no wine” says Christ’s mother, in which Christ responds “O Women..what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come” Which is a popular text that protestants use against the doctrines of Mary found in Rome and Orthodoxy. However, this is just a word concept fallacy, in which, applying the term “women” as we would use it today, can be applied to this verse in question. However, what must we take note of in this text?

-Mary’s observation that there is no wine is upheld by Christ, in that he fills the wine jars. So, if this is a rebuke, it makes Christ seem to be a reluctant son, who bickers with his mother, then does what she asks even though he is a bitter about it.

– The saying “What have you to do with me” was a common saying in the OT and NT and sources during that time outside of scripture show this to have a completely different meaning than protestants want it to say. It speaks more to the effect, that one has been commissioned to do something.

However, Christ’s use of the word “Women” for Mary is the significant part of the text. Here we are in the 7th day, at a wedding, and the new Adam gives the new Eve the term “Women” just as in Genesis 2:23. Clearly Jesus is fulfilling the role of the new Adam in this way. Jesus also calls his mother “Women” somewhere else in scripture. John 19:26 ““Woman, behold, your son!” Obviously, this term used by Christ is not a spurn, but a image of Mary as the new Eve.

The Women in the garden led Adam to the first act of sin, whereas Mary the new Eve, led the new Adam (Christ) to the first glorious act, in filling up the wine jars.

We can find the teaching that Mary is the new Eve in the major patristic fathers before the Nestorian controversy. Listed is:

Justin Martyr Dialogue with Trypho the Jew; St Ireneus Bishop of Lyons.  Adv. haereses, 3.22 (Eve tied the knot, Mary the new Eve loosened it); Terullian (Witness) post Nicea writings. St. Ambrose of Milan (Speaks of our nature being destroyed through Adam and Eve, and linked to God through Mary) St. Jerome “Death through Eve, life through Mary” (Epist. 22.21) 

Conclusion

I have give sufficient evidence to show that the view of Mary did not develop out of the name Theotokos during the Nestorian controversy, or that the name Theotokos was something that was man made in response to Nestorius. I have shown that Nestorius’s position was man made, outside of tradition, and that he shifted away from tradition. I have shown that the biblical view of Mary is strong, and a patristic usage prior to Nestorius. I have shown that images were made of Mary prior to Nestorius, and that prayers were given to her prior to Nestorius.

The argument I am addressing, is another typical argument from the reformed camp, which cannot find any stable ground in the early church in order to argue for their beliefs. This is exactly what happened to Nestorius. His teachings were not found in the previous fathers, and the fathers before them had the better teaching than Nestorius’s heretical position of Mary. The name Theotokos was ultimately the answer to Nestorianism, and St. Cyril of Alexandria even notes that no other name can be used without being a heretic Christological speaking,