The Essence & Energies Distinction as Dogma

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According to the Synodikon, which was declared at the Council of 843. Which re-affirmed the teaching and authority of the 7th Ecumenical Council against Iconoclasm; the essence-energies distinction is a dogmatic teaching. It also makes it every clear that the distinction can’t be collapsed into itself as a mere conceptual one. Nor does it allow one to say the energies are the essence of God, or a created reality.

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THE CHAPTERS AGAINST BARLAAM AND AKINDYNUS

To them who at times think and say that the light which shone forth from the Lord at His Divine transfiguration is an apparition, a thing created, and a phantom which appears for an instant and then immediately vanishes, and who at other times think and say that this light is the very essence of God, and thus dementedly cast themselves into entirely contradictory and impossible positions; to such men who, on the one hand, raving with Arius’ madness, sever the one Godhead and the one God into created and uncreated, and who, on the other hand, are entangled in the impiety of the Massalians who assert that the Divine essence is visible, and who moreover, do not confess, in accord with the divinely-inspired theologies of the saints and the pious mind of the Church, that that supremely Divine light is neither a created thing, nor the essence of God, but is rather uncreated and natural grace, illumination, and energy which everlastingly and inseparably proceeds from the very essence of God,

Anathema (3)

Again, to those same men who think and say that God has no natural energy, but is nought but essence, who suppose the Divine essence and the Divine energy to be entirely identical and undistinguishable and with no apprehensible difference between them; who call the same thing at times essence and at times energy, and who senselessly abolish the very essence of God and reduce it to non-being, for, as the teachers of the Church say, “Only non-being is deprived of an energy” to these men who think as did Sabellios, and who dare now to renew his ancient contraction, confusion and coalescing of the three Hypostases of the Godhead upon the essence and energy of God by confounding them in an equally impious manner; to these men who do not confess in accord with the divinely-inspired theologies of the saints and the pious mind of the Church, that in God there is both essence and essential, natural energy, as a great many of the saints, and especially all those who gathered at the Sixth Ecumenical Council, have clearly explained with respect to Christ’s two energies, both Divine and human, and His two wills; to those then who in nowise wish to comprehend that, even as there is an unconfused union of God’s essence and energy, so is there also an undivided distinction between them, for, among other things, essence is cause while energy is effect, essence suffers no participation, while energy is communicable; to them, therefore, who profess such impieties,

Anathema (3)

Again, to those same men who think and say that every natural power and energy of the Tri-hypostatic Godhead is created, and thereby are constrained to believe that the very essence of God is also created, since, according to the saints, created energy evidences a created nature, whereas uncreated energy designates an uncreated nature; to these men who, in consequence, are in danger now of falling into complete atheism, who have affixed the mythology of the Greeks and the worship of creatures to the pure and spotless faith of the Christians and who do not confess, in accord with the divinely-inspired theologies of the saints and the pious mind of the Church, that every natural power and energy of the Tri-hypostatic Godhead is uncreated,

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