May 04, 2003

Paul Burns - “Church Fathers and their spirituality”

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Dr. Paul Burns (UBC, Dept. of Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies) spoke on the thinking of Gregory of Nyssa (4th century A.D.) Gregory was the bishop that convinced people to add the phrase to the Creed which indicates that the Holy Spirit proceeded from the Father. Living in the cultural tradition of Alexandria, he was influenced by the thinking of the secular Graeco-Roman world. Scholars at that time were examining the texts of Homer and were keenly embarrassed by the cavorting of the heroes and deities, so they started looking for deeper meanings in the texts, developing allegorical interpretations. Christian writers, such as Gregory, started doing the same for passages in the bible which were otherwise seemingly useless (e.g., Numbers, Song of Songs). Thus, the Exodus is really the journey of the individual today out of slavery of sin to the promised land of heaven, where one seeks union with the Divine (Song of Songs). Looking at the story of Sinai in the life of Moses, Gregory concluded that encountering God happens beyond light, similar to being in darkness at the end of day, when one is at peace with someone you love, not saying a word, just quietly at peace. God (in Exodus) came in a cloud and smoke, so Moses (the believer) met God in the darkness. Discussion was extended and fascinating, as was the meal with Paul afterwards. [JEK]


Communion: No
Ecumenical or Event:
Potluck Lunch: No
Congregational Meeting: No


Speaker: Paul Burns
Worship Leader: Evan Kreider
Song Leader: Eric Hannan
Pianist: Cynthia Friesen
Zoom Coordinator:
Children's Feature Leader: Ken Friesen


Bring Flowers: Paul & Evangeline Thiessen
Coffee Helper:
Sound Helper:


Child Care Volunteer: Heather Schantz

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