Come go with me on a rabbit trail, a rabbit trail, a rabbit trail.
Come go with me on a rabbit trail; are we the rabbit or the hunter?
Either way we have to move fast.
If Christ is more excellent than the angels, what about the angels? Are we to pay any attention to them? Are they thus nothing? If there is a movement to dis them, and to focus only on the most excellent, then where did that come from? Plato? Protestantism? Modernism which disses all heirarchy?
Maybe the last two come from Plato. If he espouses the one over the many, then the many get reduced to nothingness. I’m not saying he totally does, but he does seem to lean in that direction. From Wikipedia:
One-over-many: For any plurality of F things, there is a form of F-ness by virtue of partaking of which each member of that plurality is F.
Self-predication: Every form of F-ness is itself F.
Non-self-partaking: No form partakes of itself.
Uniqueness: For any property F, there is exactly one form of F-ness.
Purity: No form can have contrary properties.
One/many: The property of being one and the property of being many are contraries.
Oneness: Every form is one.
The concept of forms itself ridicules its own examples. A table only exists as a shadow of the higher, immaterial form of tableness, for example. Therefore any lesser beings are meant to be transcended above to contemplate the One. The one who can do this has left the cave, as it were.
Let’s take the example of excellence, since Christ is more excellent than the angels. According to Plato, the form of excellence must be contemplated, and if we must stumble through the angels and then to Christ, we would see that he is a better example of the form of excellence than the angels, and so, why waste your time on them?
But one would have to know the person of Christ to understand the nature of excellence. Excellence does not pre-exist Christ. If He is most excellent, what does he do? He sustains every insignificant part of creation for one thing. He makes his ministers (the angels) spirits and his servants flames of fire.
Hierarchy does not exist alone. We can qualify this as a choice instead of necessity.
What about other forms, like tallness? One can say that tallness is more excellent than shortness, but isn’t there only room for infinite tallness to exist? Everything else comes up short, and there you blow the purity qualification. So are the angels shorter than God, and thus disqualified as excellent?
No, he is more excellent. That does not mean that by being less excellent, that angels aren’t excellent. But does that also mean we stop qualifying things in order to make angels feel less inferior? No, hierarchies are our friends. Is there a self-existing form of hierachy? No again, God as Trinity and his heavenly host pre-exists the notion.
So, since we are in a hurry, we must just conclude by saying, give angels and saints and rabbits and dust their due.