Reading the Church Fathers discussion

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Gregory of Nyssa: Life of Moses > Mar. 31: Par.41-50

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message 1: by Nemo (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 1429 comments
41. ... All the necessities of life were provided for them without toil. The air from above rained bread already prepared for them, and the rock from below provided drink. The cloud in turn tempered the unpleasantness of being out in the open, forming a shelter from the heat by day and at night dispelling the darkness by shining with a torch-like radiance

Bread from heaven, Rock and Cloud. Is this an allegorical representation of the Sufficiency of the Trinity for the spiritual journey of the believers?


message 2: by Nemo (last edited Apr 01, 2018 01:46PM) (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 1429 comments
44. The manifestation was of such a nature that it not only caused consternation in their souls through what they saw but it also struck fear in them through what they heard. A terrible sound ripped down from above upon everything below. Its first impact was harsh and intolerable to every ear. ...

When I read this passage, I thought about how many atheists argued that God should prove His existence by revealing Himself to them in a dramatic and spectacular manner. I have reason to think that, if He did that, they would be scared to death, and still would not believe.


message 3: by Kerstin (new)

Kerstin | 317 comments Nemo wrote: "41. ... All the necessities of life were provided for them without toil. The air from above rained bread already prepared for them, and the rock from below provided drink. The cloud in turn tempere..."

To me this passage represents God's care for us as a Father. He provides everything we need to flourish. Food and drink for the body, shelter from the elements, and his visual presence in the cloud reminding us that there is something far greater beyond ourselves.


message 4: by Kerstin (new)

Kerstin | 317 comments Nemo wrote: " When I read this passage, I thought about how many atheists argued that God should prove His existence by revealing Himself to them in a dramatic and spectacular manner. I have reason to think that, if He did that, they would be scared to death, and still would not believe."

You think of Jesus and all the miracles he performed, and still it wasn't enough to convince the skeptics. There is a willful ignorance at work here that's hard to overcome, for most of the time there is something personal that becomes the stumbling block, not the idea or concept of a Creator God. This has been my experience with atheists that have been close to me.


message 5: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 415 comments This reminds me of C.S.Lewis, who said that the only person he knew who had seen an angel, said that it had been an illusion.


message 6: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 415 comments I like this sentence at the end of paragraph 46: the one who is going to associate intimately with God must go beyond all that is visible and (lifting up his own mind, as to a mountaintop, to the invisible and incomprehensible) believe that the divine is there where the understanding does not reach.


message 7: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 415 comments Paragraph 49 reminds me of Hebrews 8:5-6. It is interesting, because if you read Exodus 25:9 "Exactly as I show you concerning the pattern of the tabernacle, and of all its furniture, so you shall make it." then I would say that God showed a pattern with the purpose of building that sanctuary.

But both the letter to the Hebrews and now Gregory reverse that and say that the tabernacle is there to show something of heavenly realities.


message 8: by Nemo (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 1429 comments Ruth wrote: "Paragraph 49 reminds me of Hebrews 8:5-6. It is interesting, because if you read Exodus 25:9 "Exactly as I show you concerning the pattern of the tabernacle, and of all its furniture, so you shall ..."

It may be both, i.e., to build the tabernacle and to show the heavenly realities. Like the Incarnation.


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