Evaluating von Balthasar on St Maximus

My criticisms of the book in no way detract from the scholarship of the book.  HuvB (Hans urs von Balthasar) has done groundbreaking work.  The parts on Origen and the Areapogite are probably the best out there.  His talk on number as sign pointing beyond probably cut the Gordian knot of postmodernism.

Problems with the book:
HuvB has an annoying habit of reading back into the Fathers current philosophical debates as though positions they held.  He really wants to make St Maximus a proto-Hegelian, minus the errors of Hegel, and sees Maximus anticipating (if not secretly holding) all of the theology of St Thomas Aquinas.
He reads Maximus’ appeal to the Pope has an early church endorsement of Papal Supremacy and probably infallibility. While it is true that all of the Fathers ascribed primacy to the Pope as the Bishop of Rome, first among equals, it is quite another thing to read Vatican I back into the Fathers!!
HuvB also claims that Maximus held to the Filioque but aside from a vague reference to an untranslated section of Patrologia Graece, he offers no proof.
He tries to use St Maximus as a refutation of the Russian Sophiologists: Bulgakov, Florensky, and Solovyov.  While Solovyov’s gnosticism is fair game, HuvB’s criticism of the other Russians is inaccurate at best and hypocritical at worst.  I grant HuvB the right to point out ambiguities and weaknesses in 19th century Sophiology–I myself do that quite frequently.  He does not have the right to call it Gnosticism when the same arguments that apply to Sophiology also apply to St Maximus–arguments that HuvB has listed as positives of St Maximus!!! LOL!!!  Secondly, who is HuvB to criticize the Sophiologists for allegedly leading to the darkness of Muscovite Communism?  Wait a minute–Hans urs von Balthasar, what nationality is that name?  Sounds German and he wrote this around WWII; that means he’s a Nazi!  See how stupid this line of reasoning is?  Thirdly, on the next page he praises Alyosha Karamazov for kissing the earth.  He says (quite rightly, I might add) that is an extension of St Maximus’s thought.  There’s only one problem with that.  Fyodor Dostoevsky was a disciple of–you got it–Vladimir Solovyov and his Sophiological Godmanhood!
And there’s more problems I could point to, but it wouldn’t be fair at this point.

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