Now all this I mention in order to show one thing which is not often understood. Harnack and his followers have called the early Church as being infested by Greek intellectualism. I think this statement has two mistakes: first. Greek intellectualism is a wrong term because the Greeks were extremely interested in truth. but. with some exceptions, the truth they wanted to have was existential truth, truth concerning their existence, truth saving them out of the distorted existence and elevating them to the immovable One. And in the same way. the early congregations understood truth. Truth is not theoretical knowledge about objects, but truth is cognitive participation in a new reality. in the reality which has appeared in the Christ. Without this participation, no truth is possible. and knowledge is abstract and meaningless. This is what these people meant when they combined being and knowledge. Participating in the New Being is participating in truth. having the true knowledge.
This identity of truth and being mediates the other side. namely life. Christ gives immortal knowledge, the knowledge which gives immortality. He is the saviour and leader of immortality. He is in His being our imperishable life, He gives both the knowledge of immortality and the drug of immortality. which is the sacrament.
Ignatius calls the Lord’s Supper the antidotonto me apothanein . the remedy against our having to die, This idea that the sacramental materials of the Lord’s Supper are, so to speak, drugs or remedies which produce immortality, has a very profound meaning. It shows. first of all, one thing: these Apostolic Fathers did not believe in the immortality of the soul, There is no natural immortality. otherwise it would be meaningless for them to speak about immortal life. appearing and given to us in Christ, But they believed that man is natural..–..mortal, exactly as the Old Testament believes; that in Paradise man was able to participate in the food of the gods, called the “tree of life”, and to keep alive by participating in this Divine power. In the same way the Apostolic Fathers said that with the coming of Christ the situation of Paradise is reestablished. Now we again participate in the food of eternity, which is the body and the blood of Christ, and in doing so we build in ourselves the counter-balance against the natural having to die. Death is the wages of sin only insofar as sin is the separation from God, and therefore God’s power to overcome our natural having to die – from dust to dust, as the Old Testament says – does hot work any more: and now it works again, in Christ. and it is seen in a sacramentally realistic way in the materials of the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.