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By William R. Schoedel, Robert L. Wilken (eds.)

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Additional resources for Early Christian Literature and the Classical Intellectual Tradition. In honorem Robert M. Grant (Théologie historique 54)

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Yet even so Origen states that God is incomprehensible and immeasurable. In what sense then does he understand lhese words?

YOUNG As Gregory himself hints, a respoc:table philosophical heritage enables him to indicate the intellectual abswdity and blasphemous chanK:ter of Eunomius' claims. The Greek theologian to wbom he refers is Plato, and the te•t to which he alludes is Plato's much quoted ~~:mark in the TimQeus (28e): But it is an effon to discover the Father and Maker of all this universe; and it is impossible for the discoverer to speak of him to all men 3 • Gregory clearly lakes this to mean that Plato thougbt that God was ine•pressible though 001 incomprehensible, and be proceeds to argue that it is necessary 10 go beyond Plato.

His answer ''God knows'', is not one of despair. but offinn faith in God. We men on earth have partial knowledge. Irenaeus finds his epistemological position in the words of St. Paul: "we know in part, and prophecy in part" (I Cor 13:9, quoted in Adv. haer. 9). he view that uncertainty reigns everywhere and that no knowledge wharever can be obtained by men. However from the study of his handbook and the questions it raises, he draws the conclusion that in nature- that is. 3). Arguing then a minori ad majus he concludes: if this rule holds good in the created world, it can also be applied to the spiritual world: ''we shall leave some questions in the hands of God" (§ 4).

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