Dear Athanasius…A Letter to a Friend : Duane W.H. Arnold PhD

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18 Responses

  1. Josh says:

    This is really good. I love it! You should compile a Letters to the Fathers book like this. Sort of a reverse Screwtape letters.

    I taught from Titus 3 yesterday -Remind them to be obedient to authorities…and then to think of what was going on in the Roman empire at the time. It is comforting to know that others in Church history have suffered through worse times than we have face with their faith still intact. May they be a model for our continued faithfulness.

  2. Duane Arnold says:


    Many thanks! Athanasius is so familiar to me, that it really was writing a letter to a friend… and, he’s still teaching me…

  3. S. Barnard says:

    Wow…..pretty good!!!!!

  4. Michael says:

    “This self-revealing of God in the Incarnation, is not mere knowledge, but rather the transformation of individuals, of the Church and, in the end, the transformation of the world itself. And it is all because, “He became what we are so that he might make us what he is.”

    That…is what I’m trying to get my arms around everyday…

  5. Duane Arnold says:


    It’s what I’ve tried to wrap my arms around for years. I know it… I read it… but I’ve yet to fully comprehend it.

  6. Jean says:

    I know this may not be the thrust of today’s article, but one day I hope you will unpack this for a healthy discussion:

    “He became what we are so that he might make us what he is.”

  7. Josh says:

    What language was On the iNcarnation originally written in?

  8. Duane Arnold says:


    It is the basis of the Orthodox concept of theosis or in “western speak” divinization. That is, in that Christ united himself with us in the Incarnation, we are brought into the life of God…

  9. Duane Arnold says:


    Greek, and it’s approachable with a decent lexicon.

  10. Josh says:

    Is Theosis similar to the concept of “being conformed to the likeness of Christ”, or is it more than that?

  11. Josh says:

    Duane – thanks! found a 2nd edition greek PDF. Gonna give it a go.

  12. Duane Arnold says:


    Similar but a bit more. In the Incarnation, Christ not only became truly human (therefore sharing in our humanity), but that very humanity was assumed into the life of God. Therefore, in some sense, we share in that life both now and even more profoundly at our death…

  13. Duane Arnold says:


    Great! You’ll run into a few odd constructions, but if you diagram the Greek sentence, you’ll get it.

  14. Michael says:

    Had I ever been able to write a masters thesis it would have been on the similarities and differences between theosis and Calvin’s union with Christ…

  15. Josh says:

    That is interesting, Michael.

  16. Michael says:


    Calvin studied (and memorized) a lot of the work of the church fathers…it isn’t a direct correlation but there are some interesting similarities.

  17. CM says:

    Dear Athanasius,

    Unfortunately in this day and age, you may need to brush up on your pugilism skills. The descendants of Arias are still around, except that they call themselves “Jehovah’s Witnesses”.

  18. Duane Arnold says:


    Indeed… and the Way International, not to even mention some of the sloppy theological propositions in vogue among what we once thought were mainstream churches…

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