The Logos existed before creation and time; was with the very God and was God; and all things were made through Him.
The system unfolds itself like a drama, of which the successive stages are as follows: the transcendental fall, the creation of the material world, inaugurating the history of punishment and redemption, the clothing of fallen souls in flesh, the dominion of sin, evil and the demons on earth, the appearing of the Logos, His union with a pure human soul, His esoteric preaching of salvation, and His death in the flesh, then the imparting of the Spirit, and the ultimate restoration of all things.
On the other hand, when he turned to consider the origin of the Logos he did not hesitate to speak of Him as a KTivµa, and to include Him amongst the rest of God's spiritual creatures.
As the theological doctrine of the Logos which bulks so largely in the writings of the apologists of the 2nd century came to the front, the trinitarian problem became acute.
After the close of the 2nd century we find two sections amongst the Western Montanists, just as amongst the Western Catholics - there were some who adopted the Logos-Christology, and others who remained Monarchians.1 Sources.
For in this Logos is Life, and this Life is a Light which, though shining in darkness, cannot be suppressed by it.
John the Baptist testified concerning Him, the Logos-Light and Logos-Life incarnate; but this Logos alone, who is in the bosom of the Father, bath declared the very God.
" My motives spring no more from the old religion," words devoid of difficulty, if spoken thus by the Eternal Logos to the passing Jewish church.
In the Synoptists, Jesus " grows in favour with God and man," passes through true human experiences and trials, prays alone on the mountain-side, and dies with a cry of desolation; here the Logos' watchword is " I am," He has deliberately to stir up emotion in Himself, never prays for Himself, and in the garden and on the cross shows but power and self-possession.
But could Christians sufficiently numerous to deserve a long discussion by St Epiphanius in 374-377, who upheld the Synoptists, stoutly opposed the Gnostics and Montanists, and had escaped every special designation till the bishop nicknamed them the " Alogoi " (irrational rejectors of the Logos-Gospel), dare, in such a time and country, to hold such views, had the apostolic origin been incontestable ?
In this case too a combination was effected, the idea of Christ as the incarnation of the Logos or Son of God being retained and yet his deity being preserved by the assertion of the deity of the Logos.
The drawback for the dogmatist of such a view as Serapion broaches in his prayers was this, that although it explained how the Logos comes to be immanent in the elements, as a soul in its body, nevertheless it did not guarantee the presence in or rather substitution for the natural elements of Christ's real body and blood.
The semi-Oriental mysticism of the Neoplatonists and the Logos doctrines of the Stoics alike influence early Christian doctrine, and the pantheistic view is found frequently in medieval theology (e.g.
The hypostasis through which this takes place is the personal Logos through whose union with this potential man, in the womb of Mary, the potential man acquires a concrete reality, an individual existence.
So man, both soul and body, is brought into unity with the Logos; there being then one hypostasis for both natures."
According to this doctrine the personality of Christ is twofold; the divine Logos dwells as a distinct personality in the man Jesus Christ, the union of the two natures being analogous to the relation between the believer and the indwelling Holy Spirit.
He blends the tradition of the Old Testa ment with Greek philosophy, and, within the latter, exhibits that union of Platonism with Stoicism, especially in the doctrine of the Logos, which became dominant in the Christian apologists and the great theologians of the ancient church.
This group of ideas culminated in the Logos of Philo, expressing the world of divine ideas which God first of all creates and which becomes the mediating and formative power between the absolute and transcendent deity and passive formless matter, transmuted thereby into a rational, ordered universe.
Philo's God is described in terms of absolute transcendency; his doctrine of the Logos or Divine Sophia is a theistical transformation of the Platonic world of ideas; his allegorical interpretation of the Old Testament represents the spiritualistic dissolution of historical Judaism.
The most convincing proof of this is that Origen (i) takes the idea of the immutability of God as the regulating idea of his system, and (2) deprives the historical "Word made flesh" of all significance for the true Gnostic. To him Christ appears simply as the Logos who is with the Father from eternity, and works from all eternity, to whom alone the instructed Christian directs his thoughts, requiring nothing more than a perfect - i.e.
Christianity consists for him in the doctrines, guaranteed by the manifestation of the Logos in the person of Christ, of God, righteousness and immortality, truths which have been to a certain extent foreshadowed in the monotheistic religious philosophies.
They held that Christ's body was so inseparably united with the Logos as not to be consubstantial with humanity; its natural attributes were so heightened as to make it sinless and incorruptible.
An extreme school, the Aktistetae or Gaianists (Gaianus was bishop of Alexandria c. 550) even held that from the moment the Logos assumed the body the latter was untreated, the human being transmuted into the divine nature; and the Adiaphorites went still further; denying, like Stephen Barsudaili, an Edessan abbot, all distinction of essence not even between the manhood and the Godhead in Christ, but between the divine and the human, and asserting that "all creatures are of the same essence with the Creator."
In the first Clement discusses the necessity for and the true nature of the Paedagogus, and shows how Christ as the Logos acted as Paedagogus, and still acts.
By these and similar arguments he arrives at the fundamental principle of Scepticism, the radical and universal opposition of causes; panti logo logos antikeitai.
Apollinaris denied the completeness of the human nature, and substituted the divine Logos for the reasonable soul of man.
His views on the problems of Arianism, and his attempt to reconcile it with orthodox theology, are contained in A Specimen of True Philosophy (1730, reprinted in Metaphysical Tracts, 1837) and Logology, or a Treatise on the Logos in Seven Sermons on John i.
He dealt with (a) human life as explained by the relative nature of Man and God, (b) the Divine nature and the existence of God, and, (c) the great Logos doctrine as the explanation of the relation between God and the material universe.
10 The identificaton of the Mal'akh Yahweh with the Logos, or Second Person of the Trinity, is not indicated by the references in the Old Testament; but the idea of a Being partly identified with God, and yet in some sense distinct from Him, illustrates the tendency of religious thought to distinguish persons within the unity of the Godhead, and foreshadows the doctrine of the Trinity, at any rate in some slight degree.
He is bound to admit that Christianity has been stated reasonably; against the moral teaching of Jesus he can only bring the lame charge of plagiarism, and with the Christian assertion that the Logos is the Son of God he completely accords.
(f) Manifestation of Jesus as the vivifying Life-Logos and its contradiction in Judea, v.: the paralytic's cure.