Hilarion_TroitskyThe Sunday nearest January 25th (new calendar) is the feast of the Holy New Martyrs of Russia, one of whom was Hilarion Troitsky.

In the Church there are no stone tablets with letters inscribed by a Divine finger.

The Church has the Holy Scriptures, but He Who established the Church wrote nothing.

[…] And yet the Church has Scripture, which is called by her Holy and Divine. Christ did not write anything.

It seems that if one reflects enough on this fact, one can somewhat understand the very essence of the work of Christ.

As a rule, other religious leaders of humanity, founders of various philosophical schools, have written readily and in abundance, and yet Christ wrote nothing at all.

Does not this mean that in its essence the work of Christ has nothing in common with the work of any of the philosophers, teachers, or leading representatives of the intellectual life of mankind?

Furthermore, has the Church herself ever viewed her Founder as one of the teachers of mankind? Has she ever considered His teachings as the essence of His work?

No, with the utmost exertion of her theological strength, the Christian Church has defended as the greatest religious truth that Christ is the Only-begotten Son of God, One in essence with God the Father, Who became incarnate on earth.

For that truth, the greatest Fathers of the Church labored to the point of blood. They were unbending in the battle for this truth.

They did not yield a single inch to their adversaries, literarlly not even a single iota, which in the Greek language differentiates homoiousion, ”of similar essence,” from homoousion, “coessential.”

“Those who call these men [i.e., Arians] Christians are in great and grievous error,” writes St. Athanasius the Great.

Thus did this adamant of Orthodoxy argue definitively about the impossibility of being a Christian while denying the Incarnation of the Son of God, Who is coessential with God the Father. 

But was the Incarnation of the Only-begotten Son of God necessary only in order to write a book and entrust it to mankind?

Was it absolutely essential for Him to be the Only-begotten Son of God just to write a book?

If the Church insisted with such determination on the Divine dignity of her Founder, then obviously she did not regard writing to be the essence of His work.

It was the Incarnation of the Son of God that was necessary for the salvation of mankind, and not a book.

No book is able, nor could it ever have been able to save mankind. Christ is not the Teacher but precisely the Savior of mankind.

It was necessary to regenerate human nature, which had become decayed through sin, and the beginning of this regeneration was laid by the very Incarnation of the Son of God—not by His teaching, not by the books of the New Testament.

Hilarion Troitsky (1886-1929; Russian Orthodox): Holy Scripture and the Church (1914), translated by Igor Radev in The Orthodox Word № 264-265 @ Pravoslavie.