His Eminence Prof. PhD Irineu Popa, Archbishop of Craiova and Metropolitan of Oltenia, The Economy of Fulfilling the Times in Jesus Christ

Publishing House Mitropolia Olteniei, Craiova, 2013, ISBN 978-973-1794-77-8

From the tireless search through the mysterious corners of dogma, His Eminence Metropolitan Father comes and strengthens the conviction that the greatest Mystery of our existence is union with Christ, the Son of the Unnamed God, Who „is a real Person, indisputably historical and unquestionably mysterious. In Him the most obvious reality unites with the deepest mystery ” (p. 17). Moreover, the author shows that in the love with which the Son of God embraced the world are contained all the ages, for in it „the unsearchable and hidden things of God are revealed (cf. Ps. 50: 4) and those of man, which only the Creator Word knows them, they stand out and unite in God-Man”. This interpenetration of mysteries (the Mystery of God and the mystery of our existence) is the key element of the divine economy, full of love and parental care, through which the Son of God raises man „to the highest stage of full deification, through the sacrifice of on the Cross, death, Resurrection, Ascension and sitting at the right hand of the Father”.

The dogmatic preoccupations of the author are by no means inapplicable, but are permanently related to the life and mission of the Church, the Mysterious Body of the Savior Christ, our ship and our escape until the end of the ages. „In view of all this”, notes the author, „I considered that today the Orthodox priest and believer need moral and spiritual formation in the spirit of the faith of the Savior Christ and in His saving work. Without a concrete understanding of the Lord’s teaching and without a personal conversion, in a desecrated society that puts Christianity on the same level as popular mythology and mentalities, the Christian mission cannot defend itself and assert itself in the world. So, in this fragile and undefined society, the apostles of the Church of Christ the Savior have an obligation to place above all belief that the Father’s Logos is the life of the world, the absolute truth of faith, boundless love and joy that call all people into intimate communion with God. In this context, the Incarnation, Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ are shown to the world as fundamental realities of faith and love that must be presented and explained to those in schools, universities, hospitals and prisons, or other categories of curious or indifferent people” (pp. 37- 38).

Eight Christological themes evaluated dogmatically

From the perspective of content, the work „The Economy of Fulfilling the Times in Jesus Christ” includes an introduction, eight large chapters, arranged in turn on subchapters and general conclusions. The title of each chapter suggestively conveys the theological message that the author then analyzes in content. In this way, each doctrinal theme is announced from the beginning, thus following a crescendo based on the saving work of Christ the Savior in the world (I. Son of the Father, true God and true man, II. Chenosis of the Son of God and the deification of man, III. „You are the Christ, the Son of the living God, the true God and the true man”, IV. The Savior Christ, as the hypostasis of our humanity, teaches us, sacrifices and reigns eternally in His inheritance) and completed in the eschatological dimension of the union ours with Him (V. Son of God made human, King of the ages in the mystery of His Resurrection from the dead and deification of man, VI. Through the Cross and Resurrection to the Kingdom of heaven, VII. Ascension of the Lord to heaven as the finality of the economy of the named Logos). The last chapter of the paper refers to „The Christological Thinking of Contemporary Theologians”. Important names of Orthodox theology are evoked here and not only: Panayotis Nellas, Oliviér Clément, John Meyendorff, Paul Evdokimov, Vladimir Lossky and last but not least Father Dumitru Stăniloae, to whom the author gives a special place in his work.

Price: 150 RON