So you can say the result of the Montanist struggles was that traditional theology and above all its safeguards, were victorious against any danger, and that the conservative establishment of the Church was victorious against any eschatological radicalism and expectation. These two consequences are there, and now we must ask: What was taught in the framework of these very strict safeguards given by the anti-Gnostic Fathers of the early Catholic church? There is first one point which is obvious if you think of it as I said in connection with the Gnostics, namely the contrast between the father-God and the savior-God.
One called the Gnostic theory blasphemia creatoris, the blasphemy of the creator- God. Now such blasphemy of the creator-God is something which should be kept in mind by all neo-orthodox theologians of today. There is much Gnostic Marcionism in them, much dualistic blasphemy of the creator-God. They put the savior-God so much over the creator-God that, although they never fall into a real heresy about it, they implicitly blaspheme the Divine creation by identifying it actually with the sinful state of reality.. Against all this – of today and of the past – people like Irenaeus said that God is one, and there is no duality in Him; law and Gospel, creation and salvation, are derived from the same God.
This God is known to us not speculatively but existentially. He expresses this: “Without God, you cannot know God.” God is never an object. But in all knowledge, He is He who knows, in us and through us. Only He can know Himself, and we may participate in His knowledge of Himself, but He is not an object whom we can know from outside. According to His greatness, His absoluteness, His unconditional character, God is unknown. According to His love, in which He comes to us, He is known. Therefore in order to know God, you must be within God, you must participate in Him. You never can look at Him as an object outside of yourselves. This God has created the world out of nothing. This phrase “out of nothing” is not a story about. the way in which God has created, but is a protective concept which in itself is only negatively meaningful, that. there was no presupposed resisting matter out of which God created the world – as we have it in paganism.. This is the meaning of this doctrine. God has created the world “out of nothing” means God was not dependent on a matter which, (as the Greek matter, against the Demiurge), resisted the form which the Demiurge, the world-builder, wanted to impose on it. This is not Christian. The Christian idea is that everything is created directly by God, without a resisting matter; He is the cause of everything.