Saturday, December 14, 2013

Question on Agnoeticism

A young man recently posted a question on my Facebook regarding Hypostasis.  Here is the question and my reply:

I've got a question in Christology I have not satisfactorily answered. It is what is written in Mark 13:32, "32 "But of that day or that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."...I know about Acts 1:7 ("7 He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority.")...but this would not answer, WHY WOULD JESUS WOULD APPARENTLY LIE OF NOT KNOWING WHEN THE JUDGEMENT DAY IS.....I would not subscribe to the idea that he doesnt really know being God, of the Parousia. And the reasoning, that only his human nature speaks when he said that denial, is impossible, because of the reality of the Hypostasis. Can anybody help me or can Sacerdotus reply ? Thanks in advance...and i would appreciate if the reply is made via my email.

Sacerdotus replies:

Thanks for your question.  

Your question is important and I'm glad you posed it.  Agnoeticism was a heresy that was condemned by many Popes.

“If anyone says that the one Jesus Christ who is both true Son of God and true Son of man did not know the future or the day of the Last Judgment and that he could know only as much as the divinity, dwelling in him as in another, revealed to him, anathema sit.” - Pope Vigilius, Constitutum I of 14 May 553

It states that Jesus did not know the hour of His second coming, basically making Jesus to look like a demi-god or merely human and not divine.

Jesus has three kinds of knowledge:

  • Beatific knowledge 
  • Infused knowledge 
  • Acquired knowledge.  
Beatific knowledge is when a human being knows things via inspiration or Divine guidance. Infused knowledge is when God directly puts knowledge in our minds without us doing anything by means of learning on our own.  Acquired knowledge is what we all rely on which is learning via the senses. Christ knows of His second coming via the first two, but not acquired knowledge because no human can know/learn of this on his/her own.

St. Augustine comments:
“According to the form of God everything that the Father has belongs to the Son for All things that are mine are yours, and yours are mine. According to the form of a slave, however, his teaching is not his own but of the One who sent him. Hence of that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. He is ignorant of this in the special sense of making others ignorant. He did not know it in their presence in such a way as to be prepared to reveal it to them at that time.”

So to sum it up: Christ knew, always knew, but it was not the time for him to reveal it.  Think of it as a sort of mental reservation, not absence of knowledge.

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