Meyendorff John, Christ the Saviour today, transl. John Lappas, Synaxi publication, 1985, pp. 70.
In a small volume published in 1985 as a publication of the known journal “Synaxis”, containing a speech by Fr. Ioannis Meyendorff under the title “Christ the Saviour Today” and the discussion that follows, surprises us with a topical and substantial theological word on the person on Christ, as saviour, and its importance in this globalised era of secularism.
The sequence of thoughts begins from the connection of the person of Christ with the Word, which is not dealt with simply as a genius concotion of the fourth Evangelist to issue philosophical, stoic mostly, investment to the person of the historic Jesus, but as extension of the salvificl energy of His person, in the whole structure of creation.
The world, as creation, is held or should be held by the Word. The wordification of the world constitutes in effect a motion which is contrary to that of the fall. Christ-Word constitutes the meaning and the restitution of the whole of the creation and the salvation of the latter, a necessary extension of Divine Economy. The world as creation is revealed as a sacred world.
In this direction patristic theology is employed, mostly that of St. Maximus the Homologitis, who with his teaching about “words” of creatures, engrafts the sperms, the beginnings of creation, into divine logic.
Naturally, the extensions of all the above for Christian mission in the modern world are surprising. This appears from its repercussions that the speech by father Meyendorff had on the audience, and the most substantial points of note – questions that were put to him. Questions that begin from the currency or otherwise of the patristic teachings in the modern world, to the possible theological ecclesiastical determinism in the Christian perspective of nature, the fear of the transformation of Christian faith into ideology, whatever differences between East – West, even up to the concept and the function of the so called “Christian culture” in the past, the present and the future, and many more.
The answers, characterised by a synthesis between realism and tradition, attempt to deter the idealisation of the past as well as the illegitimate recourse to the inspiration of the divinised realism and its needs.
The currency of the person of Jesus, as saviour, in our day, does not constitute to his arithmetic acceptance, neither on its ideological cleanliness of those who accepted it, but the fertile u-topia of the very few who transform in every era and society, the world into creation.