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Note: Below, please do not be put off by my seeming reification of the divine essence.

I should
have written what's below more artfully & rigorously, but please charitably interpret it within
the context of my entire oeuvre until I take the time to rewrite it (as well as rewrite most
everything else I've ever written, as this has never been my primary vocation, nor a discerned
charism). What I am talking about, below, are personal acts, whether regarding the Monarchy of
the Father (ur-kenotic) or the temporal Missions of the Spirit & Son (kenotic), and am observing
which divine communications ensue pursuant to the divine nature and/or will.

Divine ur-kenosis of divine esse naturale gifts divine persons (nondeterminate being)
participation in a mutual reciprocity of triune relationship (essence).

Analogously, divine kenosis of divine esse intentionale freely communicates Christ (self-
determinate being) via both a theandric humanization and a theandric deification and also gifts
determinate being (variously recognizable as vestigia, imagines and/or similitudines Dei)
participation in divine realities (energies) via both universal and particular incarnational

Some activities of the divine essence have been revealed via general and special revelation.
Furthermore, certain divine attributes have even been divinely decreed as participatable (logoi).

I distinguish the ur-kenotic generativity from the kenotic creativity as analogous ---not only
because the former’s ad intra, the latter – ad extra, but --- in order to emphasize that, while the
logoi or energies are participatable by determinate being, the essence is not.

Further, while one might interpret special revelation as proclaiming that acts of divine
communication (e.g. expression, disclosure, revelation, kenosis, etc all vaguely understood) are
essential to the divine nature, their precise forms are not. That is to suggest that even if there’s no
question regarding WHETHER & WHY divine communications are necessary per the divine
nature, the to whom, what, where, when and how elements of same are freely determined per the
divine will.

As divine communications go, then, it’s been revealed that ad intra generative communications
are essential, while ad extra creative communications are freely willed.

There’s an ontological plurality of ad extra divine creative communications regarding both their
precise natures and the various degrees of indeterminacy attendant to those ontological
categories (per divine kenotic decrees). This is to recognize, then, that the actualizations or
realizations of participatable divine logoi will be fulfilled differently by the vestigia Dei,
imagines Dei & similitudines Dei of determinate being and also by the theandric humanization &
deification of self-determinate divine being. Is this to suggest that those divine logoi will not
only be fulfilled differently but perhaps even to different degrees or extents? Which is also to ask
whether they might be variously frustrated, whether temporally and/or eschatologically?
In my view, each Imago Dei necessarily realizes (and cannot frustrate) its divine logoi, whether
temporally or eschatologically, while the perfect divine will allows each person to actualize
whatever degree of Similitudino Dei to which s/he individually aspires, all of this consonant with
God’s perfect nature & will and reflective of the perfect efficacies of all ad extra divine
communications. In this last case, both the manner and degree of actualization that each
Similitudino Dei realizes, beyond constituting a mere Cambridge property of the divine
esse intentionale, will affect God’s will via a thin passibility, whereby a divine responsivity
freely determines such actualizations & realizations per an infinite Pareto front (novel
equipoised optimalities) of communicable Divine Eros, which varies in its aesthetic
teleological scope, while remaining otherwise immutable in its eternally perfect aesthetic
intensity. Analogous to this divine freedom, we might say that the human person's essential
nature, as an Imago Dei, enjoys a pre-moral erotic aesthetic scope, while any degree of a
virtuous secondary nature, as a Similitudino Dei, enjoys an trans-moral agapic aesthetic
scope, along with a commensurate degree of beatific aesthetic intensity.

Whether we so happen to magnify the Lord as Mary in our own fiats or otherwise give God
AMDG, doesn’t variously affect but only variously reflects His perfect nature.

The theandric humanization & deification, of course, fully realized the efficacies of every divine
communication & communing.
A Roundup of Relevant URLs

I've encountered no novel, serious objections to universal salvation that cannot be overcome or
that could, in my view, disestablish it as a valid theological opinion. At the same time, DBH
proves too much in some of his categorical dismissals of other opinions.

Below is an unindexed, unannotated compilation of stuff that I think is worth pondering, even
thought I don't agree with it all:

About that Recent Seismic Activity in the Vicinities of Athos & Athens

Litanies of ad hominems betray the shrill rationalistic tenor

Of the quod erat demonstranda some would serve for theo-dinner
Where rogue Orthodox berate baroque Thomists and the Rad-O’s scold broke Scotists
They’re all a burger short of a happy meal, just take the time to notice
That they’re not strange bedfellows, at all, good ole Scotus and Palamas
So, rather than Feser and Hart, when you put on your pajamas
Take Bonaventure, Balthasar and Bulgakov to bed
To nurture mind and heart and soul, more peacably, instead!

I offer the above with tongue firmly planted in cheek, for, truth be known, I am deeply
sympathetic to that chorus of DBH apologists, who, most every time he gifts us new reflections,
commend the tenor of his ruminations, while begging our indulgence of the tone of his

By temperament, I typically recoil from coercive rhetoric in an initial visceral reaction. But, I’ve
slowly learned to be more discerning so as not to mute what may indeed be Spirit-inspired voices
of prophetic protest, especially those coming from the ecclesial margins.

After all, I’ve bought-in to a Tradition that inherently nurtures a healthy self-criticality, even if,
from a secular perspective, its corrective advances may seem way too glacial. But that’s always
reflected a pace that’s more so been governed by an astute pastoral sensitivity, of practice, which
remains appropriately attuned to the complex, dynamical & developmental nature of
humankind’s manifold and multiform advances. This is to suggest that such a pace has in no way
ever reflected a wholesale capitulation, of theory, to history’s otherwise vulgar zeitgeists.

Rather, to those with eyes to see and ears to hear, the seeds of truth, beauty, goodness, unity and
freedom have long grown in this Tradition, even if certain shoots and fruits have, at times,
sprung more visibly from the roots of our orchard’s margins. So as not to miss such a bountiful
harvest, the Tradition has always nurtured a preferential option for the marginalized and has
purposefully cultivated minority opinions, for example, whether of Franciscans, Scotists or
Palamites, or the words of its Prophets, even those written on subway walls and tenement halls.

While our subsidiarity principles reflect a proper bias for the least coercive influences, they also
precisely include any necessary escalations from softer to harder powers, when discerned,
communally, with prudential reason. Such escalations can certainly include those of harsh
rhetoric, which can take many forms, even if some seem more ostensible, e.g. scathing and/or
acerbic criticisms, others more subtle, e.g. clamors for political correctness.

I’ve indulged my own highly coercive, rhetorical strategies over the years, no less impolitic,
really, than those that might seem mean-spirited, by habitually resorting to an intemperate
volubility, likely all the more off-putting due to my idiosyncratic, impenetrable prose. I don’t
bring this up to invoke anyone’s indulgence on the off-chance I’m some prophet. But neither do I
bring it up in mere passing, but rather by way of owning my shadow and publically apologizing
to any and all ever affected by such an offense of charity.
Introspectively, I know this has grown from some neurotic desire to make a difference and
neurotic fear that I have not, what Merton described as a crisis of creativity. The other major
crisis we all must resolve, per Merton, is that of continuity, i.e. death in all its forms and guises.
So, point is, I am sorry and ask for everyone’s forgiveness.

Back to the main focus, so as to avoid any pretentiousness, it’s on entirely different grounds that
I commend any indulgence of David Bentley Hart. He may not be perfect, only One Prophet ever
was, but I do believe he’s one of the most important prophets of our times. And I encourage all
those baptized as priests, prophets and kings, as well as all baptized by desire, to contribute to the
conversation, which is about to escalate in the coming weeks. And don’t fail to contribute on any
silly pretense that your contribution won’t be perfect, as if it ever could be. The conversation is
too important and needs your voice --- if not that of your head, then, perhaps even more
importantly, that of your heart.

I know that much of the underlying tenor of DBH’s harsh rhetoric seems to betray a type of
rationalistic preoccupation, as if one could merely logically and syllogistically get this all correct
by merely thinking straight. But that analysis would be way off because, while good thinking
remains indispensable per his appeal, he precisely adverts that such remains necessary but
insufficient. Much of the tenor of the book, instead, he’s very deliberately aimed at our hearts
regarding love and at our souls regarding beauty and at our instincts regarding goodness. Hart, in
way better words than I could contrive, acknowledges that, finally, in my words, it will be on the
wings of beauty and goodness, lifted by the Spirit’s winds of love, that truth will coming flying
in. Those were my words but they came from Merton’s thoughts.

In conclusion, an abbreviated Litany of Humility:

Jesus, from the desire to be esteemed, exalted, consulted or celebrated, deliver me, Lord.

Jesus, from the fear of being ridiculed, insulted, corrected or humiliated, deliver me, Lord.

Jesus, that others may grow holier than me, grant me the grace to desire it, Lord, provided I may
grow as holy as I should.