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« Reply #180 on: October 01, 2011, 03:38:01 PM »

But where do you find the Fathers saying what you are saying?

Where do you find the Fathers saying that the Word became A man?

Father,

I am not sure why you keep bringing up this syntactic hang up.

It seems to assigning something to Nicklas' argument he hasn't made.

There seems to more than implication here. Why not expand your problem? I think Nicklas has already addressed your concerns.

He certainly is not saying Jesus was just merely or simply a man. But to say calling Him a man is inaccurate is wrong.

Jesus of Nazareth was a man. That is accurate. Not as precise as people would like to get, nevertheless accurate.

While there is a relationship between accuracy and precision, I think hanging onto this point without amplification is not moving forward one the better and profitable discussions on this board in a long time, for me.

Father, the discussion you and Nick are having and in which others are also participating has been very helpful to me. I would hate to see it start stalling over the many reasons nearly every discussion on the internet does.

EDIT: Posted while Nick was . . . not trying to pile on.





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« Reply #181 on: October 01, 2011, 03:51:14 PM »

But none of that proposes that Christ is a human person, which is what your use of the term does seem to do. And you have said that you think Christ is a human person.

None of the Fathers say this. None of them say he is a man.

In Christology words matter. So where are the Fathers who support what you are saying?
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« Reply #182 on: October 01, 2011, 03:53:00 PM »

None of the Fathers say this. None of them say he is a man.

"Therefore Abraham also, knowing the Father through the Word, who made heaven and earth, confessed Him to be God; and having learned, by an announcement, that the Son of God would be a man among men, by whose advent his seed should be as the stars of heaven, he desired to see that day, so that he might himself also embrace Christ; and, seeing it through the spirit of prophecy, he rejoiced."

-St. Irenaeus of Lyons, Against Heresies Book XI Chapter VII
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« Reply #183 on: October 01, 2011, 03:54:54 PM »

But none of that proposes that Christ is a human person, which is what your use of the term does seem to do. And you have said that you think Christ is a human person.
Not in the sense you mean when you say human person. The Person of Christ did not originate in the Theotokos's womb. The Divine Person of the Logos BECAME man.

So you could meet Christ in the flesh, point to him and say, "there stands a man, the Divine Person of God."
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« Reply #184 on: October 02, 2011, 12:43:14 AM »

"This foolish man [Julian], who confesses the passions with his lips only, hiding his impiety, wrote thus: 'Incorruptibility was always attached to the body of our Lord, which was passible of His own will for the sake of others.'

And in brotherly love I wrote and asked him: 'What do you mean by 'incorruptible,' and 'suffered of His own will for the sake of others,' and 'was attached to the body of our Lord,' if without any falsehood you confess it to be by nature passible? For, if by the incorruptibility possessed by it you mean holiness without sin, we all confess this with you, that the holy body from the womb which He united to Himself originally by the Holy Spirit of the pure Virgin, the Theotokos, was conceived and born in the flesh without sin and conversed with us men, because "He did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth," according to the testimony of the Scriptures.

But, if you call impassibility and immortality incorruptibility, and say that the body which suffered in the flesh on our behalf was not one that was [naturally] capable of suffering with voluntary passions and dying in the flesh, you reduce the saving passions on our behalf to a phantasy; for a thing which does not suffer also does not die, and it is a thing incapable of suffering.' And upon receiving such remarks as these from me he openly refused to call the holy body of Emmanuel passible in respect of voluntary passions; and therefore he did not hesitate to write thus, without shame and openly: 'We do not call Him of our nature in respect of passions, but in respect of essence. Therefore, even if He is impassible, and even if He is incorruptible, yet He is of our nature ' in respect of nature'.

[Compiler's note:] And the rest of the erring fatuity of Julian, which is contained at great length in the epistle, I forbear to record now, matters which are to be found in the many books which this holy Severus composed against Julian."

-OO Saint Severus of Antioch, Epistle to the King (Emperor?) Syriac Chronicle of Zachariah, Book IX Chapter 16
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« Reply #185 on: October 03, 2011, 12:09:35 PM »

To understand the Julian/Severus controversy was a difficult thing for me, but there is a thread somewhere where EA helped me out with this, albeit with a bit of arguing in the middle.

When we talk about the time of St. Athanasius, he talks about how the flesh is incorrupt due to the union with His divinity.  When we talk about the time of St. Severus, he talks about how the flesh is corruptible due to the flesh being truly flesh.  Would St. Athanasius agree?

Quote from: On the Incarnation
The body of the Word, then, being a real human body, in spite of its having been uniquely formed from a virgin, was of itself mortal and, like other bodies, liable to death. But the indwelling of the Word loosed it from this natural liability, so that corruption could not touch it. Thus it happened that two opposite marvels took place at once: the death of all was consummated in the Lord's body; yet, because the Word was in it, death and corruption were in the same act utterly abolished. Death there had to be, and death for all, so that the due of all might be paid. Wherefore, the Word, as I said, being Himself incapable of death, assumed a mortal body, that He might offer it as His own in place of all, and suffering for the sake of all through His union with it, " might bring to nought Him that had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might deliver them who all their lifetime were enslaved by the fear of death."

This is what St. Severus was saying.  If Julian is confessing that Christ assumed an IMMORTAL body, then how can death occur?  How is that body liable to death?  He just feigned death then if it wasn't liable to it.  So here, St. Severus agrees with St. Athanasius, but Julian's starting point doesn't agree with St. Athanasius on this one.  In fact, St. Severus wouldn't disagree with the special unity the divinity had with humanity, transforming Christ's human nature in an incorrupt fashion, as he demonstrated confirming and admiring St. Cyril's analogy of the fired coal.
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« Reply #186 on: October 03, 2011, 01:21:36 PM »

But Mina, Severus clearly identifies Orthodox incorruptibility as meaning having no sin and thus not falling under death. No mention of it being a result of a substantial property of divinity at all. Don't you find that strange?

"For, if by the incorruptibility possessed by it you mean holiness without sin, we all confess this with you, that the holy body from the womb which He united to Himself originally by the Holy Spirit of the pure Virgin, the Theotokos, was conceived and born in the flesh without sin and conversed with us men, because "He did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth," according to the testimony of the Scriptures."

It seems that Severus's idea of incorruptibility is closer to St. Paul's than St. Athanasius'.
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« Reply #187 on: October 03, 2011, 02:17:55 PM »

But did you miss the part when St. Severus said, "But, if you call impassibility and immortality incorruptibility" where St. Athanasius also mentions that Christ's body is "mortal," therefore agreeing with each other?
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« Reply #188 on: October 03, 2011, 02:29:17 PM »

But did you miss the part when St. Severus said, "But, if you call impassibility and immortality incorruptibility" where St. Athanasius also mentions that Christ's body is "mortal," therefore agreeing with each other?
Yes, they agree on that point.

But would St. Athanasius define Christ's incorruptibility as holiness and having no sin?
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« Reply #189 on: October 03, 2011, 02:45:33 PM »

Hi Nicholas

I don't think you have fully understood the nature of Julianism.

He insisted conflated the issue of moral and natural incorruptibility and therefore insisted that the humanity which the Word took to Himself was both morally incorruptible (it was sinless), and was also naturally incorruptible (it was immortal). Against him, following St Athanasius, St Cyril and the Cappadoian Fathers, St Severus insists that the humanity of Christ is naturally mortal, while He is morally incorruptible.

St Severus, following the Fathers, teaches that the humanity of Christ is consubstantial with us, but he follows the Fathers in saying that the humanity does not absolutely limit the incarnate Word and that He chooses to allow his humanity to experience those things natural to it, while also raising it above its natural limitations as He chooses.

I believe this is what JLatimer and I have been in agreement on, contrary to your view. Would you say that was fair?

The Julianist view is defective because it means that the Word is not incarnate in our mortal condition, and that all those things which He suffers and experiences are not natural to His immortal and naturally incorruptible humanity. So, according to Julian, he may choose to feel pain, but this is not a pain which belongs to naturally to his humanity.

While for St Severus, following the Fathers, he experiences pain when He chooses, and is not bound by His humanity, but when He chooses to allow His humanity to be moved by natural and blameless passions these are real experiences which are natural to the mortal condition of his humanity. St Severus is entirely in agreement with St Athanasius. Believe me. I have been a student and disciple of St Severus for 17 years. More than any other he is my patron and I know that he is entirely a disciple of St Cyril, and with him, a disciple of St Athanasius.

I can bark like a dog, but if barking is not natural to my condition then I am acting out being a dog. This is the problem with Julianism.

I think we are all agreed that the humanity of Christ is a true humanity, which is able to experience all those natural and blameless passions which characterise our humanity. But we seem to differ in that JLatimer and I seem to be agreed, based on the teachings of the Fathers, that the Word is able to choose when His humanity will experience those things proper to it, and when it will be lifted above them for the sake of the economy of our salvation.

Do you not think that if a member of ROCOR and the Coptic Church agree on something like this then it has a good chance of reflecting the universal Orthodox pov? Do you not think that if you are able to criticise the teachings of St Cyril, St Athanasius and other Fathers and suggest that they are different or even contrary to St Paul, then you might not understand the issues entirely?

I say that with the best will in the world.
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« Reply #190 on: October 03, 2011, 02:55:27 PM »

when He chooses to allow His humanity to be moved by natural and blameless passions these are real experiences which are natural to the mortal condition of his humanity...

...the Word is able to choose when His humanity will experience those things proper to it, and when it will be lifted above them for the sake of the economy of our salvation.
Before Christ's Death and Resurrection, did he ever "lift himself above" (override) his natural and blameless passions? If so, when?

Do you not think that if a member of ROCOR and the Coptic Church agree on something like this then it has a good chance of reflecting the universal Orthodox pov?
That's what terrifies me.

you might not understand the issues entirely?
I sure hope so.
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« Reply #191 on: October 03, 2011, 03:11:37 PM »

It has already been referenced in the writings of the Fathers.

St Cyril says this, and St Severus says it, and St Gregory says it.

As an example, He did not feel hunger until the end of forty days, the the Word allowed His own humanity to feel the natural and blameless passion of hunger.
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« Reply #192 on: October 03, 2011, 03:14:35 PM »

As an example, He did not feel hunger until the end of forty days, the the Word allowed His own humanity to feel the natural and blameless passion of hunger.
Father, I don't know if I can believe that.

Also, can you clarify: Is Christ allowing his humanity to feel something in the sense that he is altering a default state of hungerless-ness, or are you saying that he *halted his divine intervention* that was suppressing his human passions?
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« Reply #193 on: October 03, 2011, 03:21:05 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
HabteSelassie wrote:
Quote
the "In" leaves open the suggestion for the potential of a plurality where as the "from" implies the fullness of the Union.

But on the other hand, does not "from" leave open the suggestion that the human nature existed apart/before the Incarnation and that there is a mixing of the natures?

Actually it can, and folks from this forum are the ones who helped me sort that out.  Initially, I had an almost Origenian conception of pre-existing humanity based on my own ignorant misinterpretation of the formula, but when you connect the "from" with the doctrine that the humanity of Jesus Christ specifically was not pre-existing before the Incarnation, then the confusion it properly mitigated.  

Are you saying that Christ's divinity "fed" his humanity, making up for what is "lacking" in humanity when it comes to the natural passions?

Sort of.. Jesus Christ's humanity was 100% naturally human with all the typical human needs, food, shelter, clothing, physical contact, medicine, defecation, etc etc.. Jesus Christ the Word, Eternally Self-Existing, was not subject to these naturally human traits until the Incarnation when by Kenosis He became a human being by Hypostatic Union.  That means in a scientific sense that the Hypostatic body of Jesus Christ, which was fully human including being naturally subject to hunger, to pain, and ultimately to death, and so while the Divine Word existed in Union, He experienced this inherent mortality "in His Flesh"

That is to say, the fully human flesh of Jesus Christ endured these fully human weaknesses, but His lifeforce, His existence, was perpetually maintained and sustained by His Divinity, just as we mortals are perpetually existing in God's Grace and Power of His Divinity to be the Life-Giver and Sustain all of Creation.  The Incarnation then is the perfect example of Synergy, where the fully mortal humanity cooperates with the fullness of Divinity.

Jesus Christ was really hungry, really thirsty, really pained, really angered, really tempted, and ultimately really died, by His humanity.  However, He endured these because of His  OWN Divinity, whereas we all endure these not of ourselves, but of His Divinity, as a gift.  His Divinity was not a gift to His Humanity, rather it was simply a natural and essential part of the Union.  He is as much Human as Divine, and so as a human body Jesus Christ is subject to human weakness, and by His Divinity He eternally overcomes these weakness, unlike ourselves, who inevitably fail and die because we are not self-existing like God, rather we rely upon Him for our entire existence, mind, body, and soul.

Quote
Seems the human Jesus is working the mighty works of God without mention of "by one nature versus another" or "by his divinity". Man in union with God can stop tidal waves, walk on water, command the cosmos, heal the sick.

True, but that is man cooperating in synergy with God, where as in the Incarnation, Jesus Christ IS God, and so acts by His own natural faculties, will, and power of God.  The Saints never acted on their own for miracles, these always came from God, Jesus Christ on the other hand, brought about His miracles by His own Divinity which was united in the Hypostatic manifestation of His Person.  As I said before, the natures are not separate, they work together, by nature the body of Jesus Christ is subject naturally to weakness, however by nature His Divinity sustains Himself, just as He sustains all things.  We humans can never do such, without God we would simply stop existing altogether, and technically, so to would the humanity of Jesus Christ, however by virtue of the Union His humanity was fully Himself, and therefore became part of His self-existence.  Remember, that all things exist through their Hypostasis, even God the Father, exists through and by His own unique Divine Hypostasis.  When the Word became Incarnate, the human-divine Hypostasis of Jesus Christ's body became the way in which the Divine Word manifests Himself in Creation.

Quote from: peterfarrington
. The Definition of Chalcedon doesn't say he became A man.
True, but the Nicene-Constantinople Creed specifically does say,"who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man" (at least in the Tewahedo translation)
I think Nicolas is talking logistics and mechanics and we're talking spirituality and theology.  If I am interpreting him correctly, he isn't all wrong, just clumsy in his explanation.  He has been asking all the right questions.  Jesus Christ is fully human, and subject all of humanity by nature, and so is rightfully a "human person" and yet He is also mutually God, however this does not negate His being human (that is the Absorption/Adoption heresies) in the very physical sense.  Ontologically, being God, He almost trumps His Humanity, however in thought and rhetoric, we can say His human body is normal like our own.  As I explained above, what separates His Incarnation from our own human existence, is that our human bodies are not self-existing, and neither was the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ, strictly speaking.  However, ontologically, since we know He is God, we also know that He sustains Himself.  His own flesh is subject to the weakness of natural laws, but unlike human beings, He at the same time He sustains the weakness of His own human body the way He sustains all the billions of our own bodies.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #194 on: October 03, 2011, 03:27:00 PM »

Thanks for the response, Habte. I'll have to contemplate it.
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« Reply #195 on: October 03, 2011, 04:01:00 PM »

But did you miss the part when St. Severus said, "But, if you call impassibility and immortality incorruptibility" where St. Athanasius also mentions that Christ's body is "mortal," therefore agreeing with each other?
Yes, they agree on that point.

But would St. Athanasius define Christ's incorruptibility as holiness and having no sin?

Probably not, I don't know.  But the essence of the teaching is the same.  If St. Athanasius were to read the arguments St. Severus is putting forth, considering that St. Athanasius said "Disputes merely about words must not be suffered to divide those who think alike," he probably would agree Christ's humanity is holy and without sin, and that if this is called "incorruptible," then that shouldn't really be an issue.
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« Reply #196 on: October 04, 2011, 04:08:43 PM »

*bump*

As an example, He did not feel hunger until the end of forty days, the the Word allowed His own humanity to feel the natural and blameless passion of hunger.
Father, I don't know if I can believe that.

Also, can you clarify: Is Christ allowing his humanity to feel something in the sense that he is altering a default state of hungerless-ness, or are you saying that he *halted his divine intervention* that was suppressing his human passions?

As an example, He did not feel hunger until the end of forty days, the the Word allowed His own humanity to feel the natural and blameless passion of hunger.
Is this what you mean: Christ resisted hunger, as a man, until the end of forty days, because he is God by nature, an act which was worked through the operation of the Holy Spirit; and a saint could resist hunger, as a man, until the end of forty days, in the same manner as Christ, only replacing the words "by nature" with "by grace"?
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« Reply #197 on: October 04, 2011, 04:42:23 PM »

I mean what several of us have already quoted from the Fathers.

Christ did not feel hunger for forty days because as God he raised his own humanity above such a passion for a season. Then at the end of forty days he allowed His own humanity to experience the passion of hunger which was proper to it.

I understand you do not accept this, but it is what the Fathers teach us. And I believe that JLatimer as a ROCOR member and I as a Coptic Orthodox member are in agreement that this is what the Fathers teach.

Where do we go from here? How do you weigh the authority of the Fathers in your consideration of these things?

For me, I pretty much accept whatever St Cyril and St Severus teach, and then reflect on their teachings from a position of acceptance.

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« Reply #198 on: October 04, 2011, 06:03:23 PM »

I mean what several of us have already quoted from the Fathers.
Christ did not feel hunger for forty days because as God he raised his own humanity above such a passion for a season. Then at the end of forty days he allowed His own humanity to experience the passion of hunger which was proper to it.
And I am trying to understand just what you mean by such a statement. Does the rephrasing I've said above match up with what you believe?


Is Christ allowing his humanity to feel something in the sense that he is altering a default state of hungerless-ness, or are you saying that he *halted his divine intervention* that was suppressing his human passions?

and

Is this what you mean: Christ resisted hunger, as a man, until the end of forty days, because he is God by nature, an act which was worked through the operation of the Holy Spirit; and a saint could resist hunger, as a man, until the end of forty days, in the same manner as Christ, only replacing the words "by nature" with "by grace"?

For me, I pretty much accept whatever St Cyril and St Severus teach, and then reflect on their teachings from a position of acceptance.
Is that what they would want?
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« Reply #199 on: October 04, 2011, 08:36:57 PM »

Quote
Also, can you clarify: Is Christ allowing his humanity to feel something in the sense that he is altering a default state of hungerless-ness, or are you saying that he *halted his divine intervention* that was suppressing his human passions?

I think this question shows you're thinking deeper than you should concerning this.  There's a sense of mystery of the union of the flesh and divinity of Christ.  What is only required of you is that you should know that the human nature Christ took is a real and mortal body with all the natural properties in it, including hunger.  The divinity of Christ is "interwoven" in the humanity (Athanasius) or lightens and transforms the humanity into the glory of the divinity (Cyril), so that what is natural to it can be superseded and transcended, so that any natural property in it the Logos allows, He wills to allow it.  He wills to allow many other things, such as His sadness when meeting at Lazarus' grave, His ignorance of the end of times, His pain and suffering, and laying His own life at the Cross.  It is neither because His humanity is at a "default state of hungerlessness" nor did He "halt His divine intervention," for even in pain, ignorance, sadness, and hunger, the divinity still is there, interwoven in the human nature, transforming and glorifying it.  It is a matter of His will, not of a Julianist version of humanity nor of a lack of divine nature, as in a semi-Nestorian sense.
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« Reply #200 on: October 05, 2011, 03:12:20 AM »

I agree entirely with Mina.

His humanity is consubstantial with us. It's default state (on its own) is to be subject to all the blameless passions and weaknesses of our human nature. It is mortal. It can suffer and die. But it need not always suffer because it is not humanity on its own, but it is the humanity which belongs to and is in union with God the Word. There is the difference between nature and grace. But I think it a mistake to consider Christ as a super-saint. He is not. He is God. God made flesh. He is what God looks like when he becomes incarnate. He remains the one who sustains the universe even while he is held in his mother's arms. He feeds the world even while he cooks fish for his disciples. He is both God and man. Not in two different places. But altogether the same one. 

It is not humanity on its own, it is the humanity of the Word who unites his own humanity with his own divinity. As I have said, his he did not become flesh just to experience our condition for himself, but for a purpose, and his humanity serves that purpose. It is never independent of union with his divinity and with his divine person.

Was it St Cyril (paraphrasing) who said that on this occasion he chose to raise his humanity above hunger but on all other occasions allowed it to feel the hunger natural to it. The hunger is natural to his humanity, his humanity is consubstantial with us. But his is never a bare humanity as ours is, because his humanity is the humanity of God.

His humanity is impenetrated with his divinity, it cannot be mixed as they are of two entirely different qualities, indeed the divine nature is beyond quality and existence. But all the fulness of the Godhead dwells in him bodily. A perfect and complete union and unity without confusion or mixture.

I am very concerned that I do not misread what you are saying, as orthonorm warns.

As for following the Fathers. Absolutely we should submit to them and begin our own theological reflections from that position. St Severus, one of the greatest of Fathers, insisted that he followed not only the teaching but even the language of St Cyril, and held fast to it as if to an anchor. I do not consider myself better placed than St Severus to choose which teachings I will adopt. Some require a greater degree of reflection, study and discretion so that we understand what the Fathers are really saying. But as an Orthodox of 17 years, and a student of Christology for all that time, I am much less convinced by my own independent opinions.
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« Reply #201 on: October 05, 2011, 08:12:26 PM »

I don't get the Crypto-Nestorianism tag. If anything I'm being crypto-reverse Eutychian.
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« Reply #202 on: October 05, 2011, 08:21:28 PM »

Is that some kind of triple twist you get a medal for in the Olympics?  Huh
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« Reply #203 on: October 05, 2011, 09:05:14 PM »

Is that some kind of triple twist you get a medal for in the Olympics?  Huh
I mean that if anything, Father Peter seems to think that I am con-fusing Christ's humanity and divinity in the incarnation to such a degree that his Divinity is impaired. Eutyches was accused of the reverse position, that is, of destroying Christ's humanity.
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« Reply #204 on: October 06, 2011, 03:49:45 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Is that some kind of triple twist you get a medal for in the Olympics?  Huh
I mean that if anything, Father Peter seems to think that I am con-fusing Christ's humanity and divinity in the incarnation to such a degree that his Divinity is impaired. Eutyches was accused of the reverse position, that is, of destroying Christ's humanity.

His Divinity is not impaired.  Think scientifically again, what force keeps living cells animated? What force keep material reality in seemingly perpetual existence rather than simply for everything to stop existing? This is God, who creates and sustains everything.  So, we human beings, who exist as human beings, exist only in God's Grace.  Without God, we would simply cease to exist right? What the Fathers and folks here are trying to explain is that in the Incarnation, the humanity of Jesus Christ is perfectly mortal in the same exact sense which our own bodies are perfectly mortal, in that His Humanity fully depended upon His Divinity to even just exist.  Without God, nothing exists.  Why are we hungry? It is because we need to ingest calories to sustain our physical bodies through chemistry, what is the underlying force behind this metabolism,  indeed behind all the chemistry and physics in the Universe? God Almighty! So when Jesus hungers, it is His body that is hungry, because it is a perfectly mortal body, and like our own It needed to ingest calories to metabolize them at a cellular level into ATP to keep the cells alive.  What was the source of the existence of His human body? His own inherent Divinity, which creates and sustains all things, including Himself.

In this way, the human body of Jesus Christ can naturally hunger for food, or be wounded with pain even unto death, however it is His own Divinity which creates and sustains this human body.  We can say in our minds that He is voluntarily lowering Himself for this human body to be hungry, but then again that is not necessarily true because even in that instant where Jesus Christ in His body felt hunger or thirst for material sustenance, we know that by the natural power of His Divinity that He is at the same instant God Almighty who creates and sustains all things, including His own body. 

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« Reply #205 on: October 06, 2011, 03:58:27 PM »

His Divinity is not impaired.  Think scientifically again

I challenge you to try to be more condescending while inaccurate at the same time.

Scientifically?


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« Reply #206 on: October 06, 2011, 04:28:41 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Is that some kind of triple twist you get a medal for in the Olympics?  Huh
I mean that if anything, Father Peter seems to think that I am con-fusing Christ's humanity and divinity in the incarnation to such a degree that his Divinity is impaired. Eutyches was accused of the reverse position, that is, of destroying Christ's humanity.

His Divinity is not impaired.  

I know, Habte. My point was that if I'm going to be accused of something, it would be impairing the Divinity, not separating Divinity and Humanity.

Think scientifically again, what force keeps living cells animated?
Metabolism?

Actually, Habte, I think your view is the closest to mine and Orthonorm's of anyone who's posted in this thread. But Fr. Peter's citation of the Fathers and JLatimer seem to be taking a different route. They are speaking of Christ actually overriding his human passions in specific instances, and that to allow himself to experience those passions is something he has to "check off on" moment by moment.
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« Reply #207 on: October 06, 2011, 04:38:23 PM »

Without God, nothing exists.

Because I am feeling squirrelly and all, I decided to read past your more triumphal than normal beginning.

This ties into another thread.

You believe this? Seems wrong to me.

Don't try to think scientifically about this one. It will go nowhere.

What would exist without God?



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« Reply #208 on: October 06, 2011, 04:58:00 PM »

Do you not think that if a member of ROCOR and the Coptic Church agree on something like this then it has a good chance of reflecting the universal Orthodox pov?
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« Reply #209 on: October 06, 2011, 05:23:36 PM »

Think scientifically again, what force keeps living cells animated?
Metabolism?

Actually, Habte, I think your view is the closest to mine and Orthonorm's of anyone who's posted in this thread. But Fr. Peter's citation of the Fathers and JLatimer seem to be taking a different route. They are speaking of Christ actually overriding his human passions in specific instances, and that to allow himself to experience those passions is something he has to "check off on" moment by moment.

Don't bring my ruminations from the place that shall be named into this! But I do feel more sympathetic to what Habte is saying (if not his method) and I think from our conversations in that place we are close as well.

Perhaps I was just generalizing from Habte's posts when I said at times I felt more close to the OOs in their expression of Christology than the EOs.

Maybe I was missing mark, as it seems the rest of his team ain't playing exactly on the same page.

But I dunno. Habte's overly refined analogy probably obscured more than it enlightened.

This is why sometimes actual talking is better. Stuff gets too refined, bloodless, and off track once people start getting into threads.

But those times of musing on Christology are past. So here we are.

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« Reply #210 on: October 06, 2011, 05:24:37 PM »

Do you not think that if a member of ROCOR and the Coptic Church agree on something like this then it has a good chance of reflecting the universal Orthodox pov?
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« Reply #211 on: October 06, 2011, 05:35:45 PM »

I decided to stop talking and just listen in for a while. As could be expected, my absence has yielded a much better conversation lol. So at the risk of ruining it again, I'll chime in.

Is Christ allowing his humanity to feel something in the sense that he is altering a default state of hungerless-ness, or are you saying that he *halted his divine intervention* that was suppressing his human passions?

I would endorse the latter view. A default state of hungerlessness would imply a different sort of nature. But as we all seem to agree, Christ was fully consubstantial with us, having assumed our nature: mortal by nature, capable of being wounded, subject to the blameless passions, etc.

Is this what you mean: Christ resisted hunger, as a man, until the end of forty days, because he is God by nature, an act which was worked through the operation of the Holy Spirit; and a saint could resist hunger, as a man, until the end of forty days, in the same manner as Christ, only replacing the words "by nature" with "by grace"?

This, I believe, is not however correct. What Fr. Peter is saying, based on his reading of the Fathers, with which I am in agreement, is that Christ suspended, not merely resisted hunger. I can only speculate, but I always assumed that saints such as Seraphim of Sarov on the rock experienced hunger, but resisted it. In any case, they could not suspend hunger of their own will (nor frankly could they resist it but by Grace). The Scriptures suggest and the majority of Fathers seem to teach Christ experienced hunger only after the 40 days had elapsed, at which point He resisted it successfully as He did the Devil.

It seems to me we are making progress. The only other thing I'd like to add that I think may be helpful, is that is important to remember that it is according to human nature to be divinized. I mean in terms of the image and likeness of God, in terms of the plan God had for us from the beginning. It is human nature's ultimate telos or end to be transfigured. So when we speak of Christ's Divine and human natures interpenetrating, I do not think this should be taken to mean that human nature is in any way destroyed. It is, rather, fulfilled. Does that make sense?
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« Reply #212 on: October 06, 2011, 05:37:37 PM »

Do you not think that if a member of ROCOR and the Coptic Church agree on something like this then it has a good chance of reflecting the universal Orthodox pov?
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« Reply #213 on: October 06, 2011, 05:44:12 PM »

The only other thing I'd like to add that I think may be helpful, is that is important to remember that it is according to human nature to be divinized. I mean in terms of the image and likeness of God, in terms of the plan God had for us from the beginning. It is human nature's ultimate telos or end to be transfigured. So when we speak of Christ's Divine and human natures interpenetrating, I do not think this should be taken to mean that human nature is in any way destroyed. It is, rather, fulfilled. Does that make sense?
This is the teaching that, to me, appears to be undermined through some of the things taught in this thread.

I can only speculate, but I always assumed that saints such as Seraphim of Sarov on the rock experienced hunger, but resisted it... the Scriptures suggest and the majority of Fathers seem to teach Christ experienced hunger only after the 40 days had elapsed, at which point He resisted it successfully as He did the Devil.
Do all humans feel hunger after the same interval has passed after eating? Does one man who fasts begin hungering at the same time that another man does during his fast?
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« Reply #214 on: October 06, 2011, 06:07:01 PM »

I think you are missing, or failing to properly respond to, the fact that the Fathers say that Christ deliberately chose not to allow his humanity to feel hunger for 40 days.

Your position is not consistent with the Fathers as far as I can see.

I guess we need to consider what that means. Are we allowed to take up a different position? In terms of Christology I don't think we are. I certainly don't think I am able to.
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« Reply #215 on: October 06, 2011, 06:12:54 PM »

I think you are missing, or failing to properly respond to, the fact that the Fathers say that Christ deliberately chose not to allow his humanity to feel hunger for 40 days.

Your position is not consistent with the Fathers as far as I can see.
Father, I cannot properly respond to this particular teaching until it has been fully unpacked. To do so would be disingenuous of me.
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« Reply #216 on: October 07, 2011, 02:40:07 AM »

I don't understand how not feeling hunger for forty days even qualifies as a "fast". Do the fathers universally teach that this was the Lord's experience of the desert?
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« Reply #217 on: October 07, 2011, 02:53:33 AM »

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« Reply #218 on: October 07, 2011, 03:21:29 AM »

What would exist without God?

It wouldn't be love.
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« Reply #219 on: October 07, 2011, 05:27:28 AM »

Hi Nicholas

I don't think that you diminish the divinity, but I am struggling to see where and how there is a hypostatic union of divinity and humanity in Christ according to the criticisms you have presented.

I mean that in a friendly manner and not polemically or aggressively.

How is Christ not just or simply or merely a man with a connection somehow to the divine in your thinking?

When I was an Evangelical I used to think that God the Word was 'up there' somewhere, and that Jesus Christ was 'down here' and that they were somehow united in a personal sense. I was more or less taught such a view at Bible College, but I rather resisted it there as I had come to understand that Jesus Christ IS THE SAME Word of God IN AND THROUGH a true humanity.

I think it is important to insist on the IN AND THROUGH. He is not God the Word stuck in a human existence. He is God the Word taking up and owning his own humanity THROUGH WHICH he exercises his divine will and purposes in hypostatic union of divinity and humanity.

Where do you see the divine in Jesus Christ? How do you see your description as different from that which might say that Jesus Christ, a man, was an iconic representation of God the Word in flesh, but was a human individual who was not the same in inner identity as God the Word? How do you prevent your description so isolating Jesus Christ from union with the divine nature that he is only a simple man, only a bare man, and essentially a teacher rather than the means of God acting in power in the world?

These are not accusations, just an opportunity for you to unpack what you mean a bit more clearly.
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« Reply #220 on: October 07, 2011, 09:04:21 AM »

I think it is important to insist on the IN AND THROUGH. He is not God the Word stuck in a human existence. He is God the Word taking up and owning his own humanity THROUGH WHICH he exercises his divine will and purposes in hypostatic union of divinity and humanity.

Well said.
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« Reply #221 on: October 07, 2011, 04:26:11 PM »

Nicholas,

What do you make of this passage?

For it was right that the flesh should be moved but subject to the divine will, according to the most wise Athanasius.  For as his flesh is called and is the flesh of God the Word, so also the natural will of his flesh is called and is the proper will of God the Word, as he himself says:  “I came down from heaven, not that I might do mine own will but the will of the Father which sent me!” where he calls his own will the will of his flesh, inasmuch as his flesh was also his own.


I have always read this as stating that the flesh of our Lord is indeed subject to the divine will, the action of which in his own humanity, does not destory the humanity but deifies it. The natural human will of the Word is the own will of God the Word. It is the same will but humanised. It is not a bare human will, but it is the human will subject to the will of the Word.

Do you read this differently? Do you agree with my reading of it?
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« Reply #222 on: October 07, 2011, 05:17:51 PM »

Nicholas,

What do you make of this passage?

For it was right that the flesh should be moved but subject to the divine will, according to the most wise Athanasius.  For as his flesh is called and is the flesh of God the Word, so also the natural will of his flesh is called and is the proper will of God the Word, as he himself says:  “I came down from heaven, not that I might do mine own will but the will of the Father which sent me!” where he calls his own will the will of his flesh, inasmuch as his flesh was also his own.


I have always read this as stating that the flesh of our Lord is indeed subject to the divine will, the action of which in his own humanity, does not destory the humanity but deifies it. The natural human will of the Word is the own will of God the Word. It is the same will but humanised. It is not a bare human will, but it is the human will subject to the will of the Word.

Do you read this differently? Do you agree with my reading of it?
First off, I think it is important not to con-fuse "Christ/The Logos [The Person]" and "The Divine Will". God the Son has a Divine Will but is not "Divine Will" in some divine simplicity sense.

I affirm that the Son of God made man humbled himself, taking the form of a servant, and, as man, subjected Himself to the Divine Will of the Father, which that self-same Word does and shares from all eternity. And I also affirm that there is no interval during which God the Word made man did not subject himself to the Will of the Father.

I think that Christ's incarnation, life, death and resurrection involved the deification of his humanity, but not in a manner alien to the deification of our humanity as well.

Father Peter, what do you make of Akimori's comment above?
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« Reply #223 on: October 07, 2011, 06:00:29 PM »

I think that Christ's incarnation, life, death and resurrection involved the deification of his humanity, but not in a manner alien to the deification of our humanity as well.

Can it be different without being alien? The Hypostatic Union is unique; it is different from the energetic union we experience with God. At the same time, the Hypostatic Union is, so to speak, analogous to our union with God, and indeed provides the very basis for our union with God.
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« Reply #224 on: October 07, 2011, 06:35:55 PM »

I think it is important to insist on the IN AND THROUGH. He is not God the Word stuck in a human existence. He is God the Word taking up and owning his own humanity THROUGH WHICH he exercises his divine will and purposes in hypostatic union of divinity and humanity.

Father Peter,

I want to see if I'm understanding this statement of yours properly. Would you agree with the following?

We know the essence (ousia) of a thing by its energies, operations, or actions. In the case of Christ, we have one personal subject performing actions that pertain to humanity and actions that pertain to Divinity*. Therefore, we conclude that this one personal subject is both human in essence and Divine in essence**: He is the Theanthropos, or Godman. In the Incarnate Word of God, humanity and Divinity are indissolubly united in one Hypostasis. The meaning of this is that when Jesus does 'something Divine', such as walking on water, He is humanly being Divine, so to speak; and when He does 'something human', such as weeping, He is Divinely being human.

*By 'actions that pertain to Divinity' I mean something very specific. When Christ heals, for example, He does so by a word, on His own authority, and not, for example, by praying to God that the sick might be healed. We have saints that work wonders, and in a sense we might say that in so doing, they perform 'actions that pertain to Divinity'; however, none of them works wonders on their own authority, by their own will, but rather by the will of God and by His Grace. The saints participate in the Energies of God, but not in His Essence. Now, if there was nothing exceptional about the Divine actions of Jesus, if they could always have been attributed to Grace, we would never, so to speak, have recognized that He is both human and Divine in essence. He would simply be the greatest saint, rather than the Godman. So by 'actions that pertain to Divinity', I mean actions that unmistakably show Jesus to be God.

**I stress in essence, because although through the saving work of Christ all men are called into participation in the Divine life, becoming by Grace what Christ is by nature (theosis), they do so by participation in the Energies of God, not His Essence.

Am I on the right track here?
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1 Samuel 25:22 (KJV)
So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.
Tags: Incarnation Chalcedon Hypostatic union Aphthartodocetism Christology Julianism Crypto-Nestorianism St. Severus Crypto-reverse Eutychian 
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