THE INNER MAN & THE FORMATION OF CHRIST

Related Video

Saved without the Savior!

388236-under-construction-1

The Book

[Incomplete.. in progress]

Commentary by editor3

God created man in His own image after His likeness. Man was created in the image of the Triune God; the widely recognizable and understandable concept of a man that he is created body, spirit, and soul. In 2 Corinthians 4:16, Paul said “therefore we do not lose heart; but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day”. Here Paul was talking about the regenerated spirit as the inner man and the body of the person as the outer man. When Paul mentioned the inner man in Romans 7:22, he was talking about his soul before regeneration. Thus Paul was talking about the spirit and the soul before and after regeneration. When the fathers talk about the spiritual growth, they obviously talk about growth related to the spirit, not to a parallel body that has parallel organs, like eyes and ears and has the same contour. When the fathers talk about the release of the spirit, they talk about a release from the chains of the desires of the body. It is not a seed that grows literally, but a connection to God that grows figuratively.

When you contemplate on the title of the book, The Inner Man and the Formation of Christ, and you read further into the book, you get overwhelmed by some contradictory interpretations and diversions of concepts. Is the inner man a parallel body that has parallel organs as the outer man, or the inner man is “Christ in me”, or both? The answer to this question according to Paul is very simple; the inner man is the spirit. When one has faith in Christ, the spirit is regenerated through the Holy Spirit that proceeds from the Father. The following verses make the point clear: Romans 8:10; 1 John 3:24; John 14:17.

So what is spiritual growth? Again, the simple answer is in the above mentioned verses. It is keeping His commandments, and following in His footsteps, to be strengthened by His Spirit in the inner man.

So what is “Christ is formed in you” (Galatians 4:19)? The simple answer is Ephesians 3:17, “Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith”. Also, in 1 John 3:24, “He abides in us by the Spirit Whom He has given us.”

There is no need for this pseudo-profundity to explain the well-established concepts and doctrines of spiritual growth and/or salvation. The author of the book knows that his readers might get confused when he asks the question “how can I have a person in me when I am already a person?”. It is good that the authors answers “this is a mystery”, as our church is indeed a church of mysteries; yet it is not good to explain the mystery and cause more confusion to his readers by getting into the medical field and putting too much into Paul’s words. In his book introduction he says “the enemy has buried and hidden most of these five principles leaving the church of Christ with only one of these principles…Christ desires to restore to His church all the richness that has been lost”. This has been frequently written or said in the author’s books or sermons. In other books by the same author, and in some of his other speeches as well, the author explicitly says that the church itself needs to be restored.

 At the end of the book the author says “theologians say that Christ accompanies us through the Holy Spirit”, which is the widely accepted belief. Yet the author continues to say “that is true; however, if Christ is formed in us, He will be in us and around us; and hence it will be a continuous accompaniment."

Background

The book is published mid-2016 under the name “FR. MACARIUS (ATEF MESHREKY)”. Fr. Macarius is the name given to Dr. Meshreky on his tonsuring as a Stavrofor in the OCA on March 23rd, 2016 at the Monastery of St John of San Francisco in Manton, CA, USA. A few days after he went back with his disciples to Phoenix, AZ, USA.

Book Summary

Book Structure

Critical Issues

  1. The ‘inner man’ entity: Early, in “INTRODUCTION” the effort tis about defining the ‘inner man’, which is essential for the whole book and potentially other teachings and books as well. The ‘logic’ used ends up with an ‘inner man’ that’s ‘inner’ to the body, contoured and membered like it (if healthy grown), but not in the body as it separates from it at death. Then it is seeded ‘in our spirit’, but not in the spirit. Then it is ‘Christ in me’, but how in me? In my spirit or my body? A 3rd independent entity that’s not in my spirit, not in my body, but seeded in my spirit, with the contour, shape, and parallel members of my body? But that ‘Christ in me’ can be deformed and missing members? Seems like an elaborate attempt to assert that spiritual characteristics are parallel replicas of physical ones.

Chapter Analysis

“INTRODUCTION TO BOOK 1: THE INNER MAN AND THE FORMATION OF CHRIST”

Introducing as the first book in “the Inner Man series”. Goes over an over view of the two parts of the book. As typical of the author, uncovering “principles” “buried and hidden” from the Church; Introducing some “theological terms”; and discussing the “seasons of salvation” calendar. All these concepts and method are repeated in other publications and lectures.

Then “the inner man is exactly like the outer man; having parallel members: eyes, ears, hands, legs, and so on.”; “not a spirit”; “having the same contour as the outer one.”[P13-14]

That “inner man” “begins in the form of a seed, in our spirit.”! If it experience growth issues, when departing, “can be seen as a face without eyes, a face and neck without hands, a face and neck and hands without an abdomen, or missing any of the parts or members.” [P14]

On the other hand,…. Can come out glorious.

“Therefore, the ‘inner man’ is ‘Christ in me’.”

“Part 1 · The Inner Man & the Process of the Formation of Christ”

“Part 2 · The Principles of the Formation of Christ”

“Part 3 · The Results of the Formation of Christ”

Conclusion

The book based on its timing has some of the common features recent of Dr. Meshreky’s teachings: Anatomical features of the “spiritual” body, similar to the members of the body in a previous book “Prayers and Prophesying”; focus on “growing” and “protecting” those members; and deficiencies of the Church.

Contradictions to the Bible and the Church

  1. Anatomical and member features of the “inner man”: It is somewhat palatable to use tangible adjectives to describe heavenly and spiritual “things”, as repeatedly used in the New Testament by Jesus, St. Pau, in Revelation, because non-materialistic things that “Eye has not seen” 1 Corinthians 2:9 where there are “inexpressible words” 2 Corinthians 12:4. So “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 out of necessity since we cannot comprehend nor express. Even some descriptions of visions and revelation, describe “body” features not fully comprehensible by human and body anatomical measures, but barely imaginable. But we do not believe that the “inner man” is “not spirit”, and has same “outer shape” and members. At least nobody knowledgeable of that gave us a “picture” and “anatomy” of it, which we’ll never comprehend, nor understand anyway!
    1. In addition to the physical body and spirit, we have a 3rd “thing”? What’s the reference and significance of that “inner man” that’s not spirit, has same contour and members of the physical, and can be seen while departing to heaven? Why such contour with eyes, nose, ligaments, etc depart to heaven and how it functions there?
    2. Paul speaks of resurrected bodies, compared to material bodies as a plant compares to the seed, and comes at resurrection. (read 1 Corinthians 15). So where that “Inner man” lifecycle fits?
    3. References to members of the spiritual body are descriptive not parallel. For instance while the physical eye is an external light receiver, the spiritual one is “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great isthat darkness!” (Matthew 6:22). So when it is bad, the spiritual body is full of darkness, not deformed or ‘without eyes’.

Some References and Links

. . انشر وشارك - Share this . .