deified; and his religion, which begins by giving predominance to the good Spirit, ends by being honeycombed with nature worship.?
This theory holds that the universe is of the same substance with God, and is the product of successive evolutions from his being. This was the view of the Syrian Gnostics. Their system was an attempt to interpret Christianity in the forms of Oriental theosophy (a similar doctrine was taught, in the last century, by Swedenborg).
We object to it on the following grounds:
(a) It virtually denies the infinity and transcendence of God by applying to him a principle of evolution, growth, and progress which belongs only to the finite and imperfect,
(b) it contradicts the divine holiness since man, who by the theory is of the substance of God, is nevertheless morally evil and
(c) it leads logically to pantheism since the claim that human personality is illusory cannot be maintained without also surrendering belief in the personality of God.
Saturninus of Antioch, Bardesanes of Edessa, Tatian of Assyria, Marcion of Sinope, all of time second century, were representatives of this view. Blunt, Dictionary of Doct. and Hist. Theology, art.: Emanation: ?The divine operation was symbolized by the image of the rays of light proceeding from the sun, which were most intense when nearest to the luminous substance of the body of which they formed a part, but which decreased in Intensity as they receded from their source, until at last they disappeared altogether in darkness. So the spiritual effulgence of the Supreme Mine formed a world of spirit, the intensity of which varied inversely with its distance from its source, until at length it vanished in matter. Hence there is a chain of ever expanding ^ons which are increasing attenuation of his substance and the sum of which constitutes his fullness, i.e. , the complete revelation of his hidden being.? Emanation, from e, and manare. to flow forth. Guericke, Church History, 1:160 ? ?many flames from one light? the direct contrary to the doctrine of creation from nothing.? Neander, Church History, 1:372-374. The doctrine of emanation is distinctly materialistic. We hold, on the contrary, that the universe is an expression of God, but not an emanation from God.
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