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Author Topic: Is Christ as man limited in space?  (Read 5435 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: June 17, 2008, 08:30:38 AM »

Dear folks,

AFAIK, according to the Chalcedon dogmat, Christ shares His humanity with us in each and every way except sin. I was wondering in this regard: is He also limited in space, like we are? Is His body at the present moment (as I am writing these lines) occupying a certain amount of the conventional three-dimensional space? Or, alternatively, is it that the limitation in space does not characterize the true human nature but, rather, is the result of the Fall - and therefore Christ as true man is not limited in space?

If He is, indeed, limited in space - can we say that He is, right now, in a certain defined location in space (on a certain planet, or between planets, etc.)? Or is He beyond the universe as we know it?

Thanks,

G.
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« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2008, 08:38:17 AM »

Interesting question; I haven't really thought about this before.

Well, after His Resurrection, Jesus appeared to the disciples through a locked door, so it would seem to me that He would not be limited to natural human interaction with the physical world. However, they could see Him, touch Him, and talk to Him, and He ate fish, so it would also seem that He can interact naturally with the physical world.

Of course, we are talking only of Christ's humanity here, which is inseparable from His deity, which we know to be infinite and omnipresent. Quite the paradox our God is, and beyond our understanding.

Thank you, George. You've got my head spinning. Cool
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« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2008, 09:13:10 AM »

I would say yes. That is the inescapable effect of the incarnation, that God voluntarily submitted himself to be part of his creation. Hunger and thirst, and being within our material context of up and down, here and there . He walked, he stood, he eat food he talked with a mouth he dressed from the cold, etc. God is great and also humble.
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« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2008, 09:19:41 AM »

IMO, when he was resurrected the traditional human state was transformed into something divine, i.e. fully God and fully man.
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« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2008, 09:35:20 AM »

I would say yes. That is the inescapable effect of the incarnation, that God voluntarily submitted himself to be part of his creation. Hunger and thirst, and being within our material context of up and down, here and there . He walked, he stood, he eat food he talked with a mouth he dressed from the cold, etc. God is great and also humble.

Well, as far as hunger and thirst are concerned - St. John of Damascus writes, in his "Exact rendering of the Orthodox faith," that after His resurrection, Christ no longer felt hunger or thirst; those, in this source's opinion, are not natural, not inherent to man but the consequences of the Fall.
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« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2008, 09:37:31 AM »

IMO, when he was resurrected the traditional human state was transformed into something divine, i.e. fully God and fully man.

Yet, His humanity was never "swallowed up" by His divinity, according to Chalcedon... so, again, is He small (relatively, as compared, for example, with planets, stars, etc.), is He retaining His exact human shape, density, volume, weight, ..., ..., ...? And WHERE is He?
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« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2008, 10:12:58 AM »

Well, as far as hunger and thirst are concerned - St. John of Damascus writes, in his "Exact rendering of the Orthodox faith," that after His resurrection, Christ no longer felt hunger or thirst; those, in this source's opinion, are not natural, not inherent to man but the consequences of the Fall.
Did not feel hunger or thirst, no; but he did eat nonetheless, as did Adam and Eve before the Fall, if we take Genesis 2:16 literally (but that's another discussion).

Yet, His humanity was never "swallowed up" by His divinity, according to Chalcedon... so, again, is He small (relatively, as compared, for example, with planets, stars, etc.), is He retaining His exact human shape, density, volume, weight, ..., ..., ...? And WHERE is He?
Right, in this discussion we must not make the same mistake Arius did. Christ our God is One. He is human and divine, but He is One Person.

As for where is He? He is omnipresent. Where is His body? In the Eucharist. Where is He when He's not in the Eucharist? I don't know. The Eucharist is the only place I've seen Him.
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« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2008, 11:21:31 AM »

Simple answer, I don't know.   Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2008, 11:22:55 AM »

in this discussion we must not make the same mistake Arius did. Christ our God is One. He is human and divine, but He is One Person.

Yes, and I think also we should not make the mistake that Monophysites did - consider Him only Divine, only God. Yet, in my experience, if I randomly ask a bunch of good Orthodox or Ukrainian Eastern Rite Catholic folks something like, "do you believe that Christ is man now, that He has arms and hands and fingernails, etc.?" - they will almost inevitably say, "are you crazy??? He is God, He is in HEAVEN!!!!!! What fingernails?Huh?"  Roll Eyes

As for where is He? He is omnipresent. Where is His body? In the Eucharist. Where is He when He's not in the Eucharist? I don't know. The Eucharist is the only place I've seen Him.

I think "omnipresence" is a characteristic of His divinity, rather then humanity... although I can be wrong in this.
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« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2008, 11:43:33 AM »

I don't get it.  How did he not hunger?  That's a natural part of his body.  The Scriptures said He was hungry.

He took on our corrupted humanity without sin.  If He didn't how could He save it?

And since God took on created nature, as creation implies, I would think it makes sense He was limited by time, space, and matter.

God bless.
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« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2008, 12:36:58 PM »

I don't get it.  How did he not hunger?  That's a natural part of his body.  The Scriptures said He was hungry.

Before His death and resurrection - yes. But not after. He certainly ate fish, we know it from Scripture. Yet, St. John of Damascus specifically points that He ate not because He was hungry. It's part of becoming alive in a new, "heavenly," incurruptible body - not having any kind of dependence on external material things. After His resurrection, according to St. John, Christ has no "need" in food, or in protection against cold, etc.

He took on our corrupted humanity without sin.  If He didn't how could He save it?

Honestly, I could never understand (rationally), how He DID save it when He took it. I just listen to what the Church teaches in this regard and take it on faith, but I do not understand it. But that's a different discussion.

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« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2008, 01:15:14 PM »

I think "omnipresence" is a characteristic of His divinity, rather then humanity... although I can be wrong in this.
Yes, which is why I made a distinction between the questions, "Where is He?" and "Where is His body?" The latter speaks only of His humanity, while the former speaks of Him as One Person.

Phew. You've got me thinking on this one. I don't know if anyone knows the answer to this. It would certainly require a relationship with God that is much closer than mine.
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« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2008, 08:08:59 AM »

Phew. You've got me thinking on this one. I don't know if anyone knows the answer to this. It would certainly require a relationship with God that is much closer than mine.

Then, maybe Gnostics are correct? He rose from the grave in a completely different body, with merely "signs" indicative of His "self," His own personality - apparent, external signs of holes from nails or spear; then, in this body, which is immaterial, a-substantial, "spiritual," He adcended to the "great beyond" and now has absolutely nothing like our fingernails, sweat glands, digestive enzymes, etc. etc. etc. - and He is not confined to any space or time? I am sure that quite a lot of faithful Orthodox, maybe the majority, would agree with this. Of all people I asked (a dozen or so), no one believes in the present existence of Christ's fingernails, sweat glands, digestive enzymes, etc. etc. etc. - all tend to say that even imagining all that would be a blasphemy!
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« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2008, 07:21:39 PM »

Then, maybe Gnostics are correct?
I have a hard time believing they're right about anything, but they may be in this case. In fact, my original musings about Christ's body were about His Resurrected body, not His Ascended body. Perhaps in Ascension, He became immaterial and remains so to this day. I don't know. I do know He is present in the Eucharist and that He promised never to leave us; other than that, it's beyond me. Even if He is not physically present, He is still with us, and it would by no means indicate that the physical body is inferior, as the Gnostics claim. In that they are completely wrong.

This doesn't really change my faith, and I hope it hasn't yours as well. If anything, it's proven to me again the paradox that is our God. As St. Paul said, "Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! For who has known the mind of the LORD? Or who has become His counselor?” (Romans 11:33-34).
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« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2008, 03:29:23 AM »

I think it's safe to say He continues to keep the materialistic body He always had, even after the Ascension, with the added glorification that fills the body within and without, the uncreated glorification that is probably the sustainment of His humanity, the glorification that we are all promised to receive.
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« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2008, 09:50:34 AM »

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Then, maybe Gnostics are correct? He rose from the grave in a completely different body, with merely "signs" indicative of His "self,"

I think it's his own body, just transformed and transfigured. Paul speaks of being raised in "a spiritual body," and says that "as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly" (1 Cor. 15:44, 49). I don't claim to know the answers to the questions raised in this thread, but in my opinion we will still have our own bodies when we are resurrected, they'll just be spiritualized. And they will still in some sense be material, as everything created is material in comparison to the uncreated immaterial God. Just my 2 cents.
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« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2008, 09:52:35 AM »

I have a hard time believing they're right about anything, but they may be in this case. In fact, my original musings about Christ's body were about His Resurrected body, not His Ascended body. Perhaps in Ascension, He became immaterial and remains so to this day. I don't know. I do know He is present in the Eucharist and that He promised never to leave us; other than that, it's beyond me. Even if He is not physically present, He is still with us, and it would by no means indicate that the physical body is inferior, as the Gnostics claim. In that they are completely wrong.

This doesn't really change my faith, and I hope it hasn't yours as well. If anything, it's proven to me again the paradox that is our God. As St. Paul said, "Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! For who has known the mind of the LORD? Or who has become His counselor?” (Romans 11:33-34).

It hasn't change my faith, but I have difficulties arguing with those who actually reject the formula that Christ is "co-substantial with us in everything except sin." They say that unless you really believe that right now, as we speak, Christ has volume, weight, exact location in space, body with fingernails (and dirt under them), anus, etc. etc. etc. - and you DON'T believe that, or else you are a blasphemer! - then you cannot claim this "co-substantiality" after His ascention. He WAS embodied, fleshly man when He lived on earth. The, when He rose from the dead, He turned into something else (a "pure" "spiritual" man without substances, molecules, chemical reactions and also without dimensions and spatial/temporal limitations), and so shall we.
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« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2008, 08:07:35 PM »

The, when He rose from the dead, He turned into something else (a "pure" "spiritual" man without substances, molecules, chemical reactions and also without dimensions and spatial/temporal limitations), and so shall we.
I'm not sure He's really something else. He is certainly still human, but Ascended human. When we ascend, we'll have similar transfigurations, but we also will remain ourselves. Who knows what the transformation will be? God is the only one, and He certainly has not told us. Since He's pretty good about letting us know what we need to know, I imagine our ascended appearance isn't critical information for salvation. It's fun to think about, though.
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« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2008, 09:14:46 PM »

If I may shove my oar in...

All that I understand about the patristic approach to Christ's Incarnation says that this is a dangerous and generally perilous direction of discussion. At the same time, my understanding of what has been believed everywhere and at all times by the Orthodox leads me to think that it is important that we affirm that Christ's body, although glorified in such a way that it would be rank and impious speculation to think about His gallbladder, spleen, or fingernails, is indeed still fully physical, indeed fully material. There is no other way to understand the realities shown to the disciples by Christ upon His resurrection. We should take our guidance in this from St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:51-54:
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Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet: For the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortality shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, 'Dead is swallowed up in victory.'

Or, the shorter articulation from 1 John 3:2:
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Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see him as he is.

Myself, I think the implications of this are clear: that Christ has indeed ascended to His Father, has returned to His original state, has returned, in fact, outside of the entire created order to the Infinity which we nonetheless affirm He never left, and has, further, returned there bringing Creation with Him, in His own human nature. This is in fact the very marvel and miracle of the Incarnation, that the created order has been united perfectly and eternally with the Uncreated, that God has taken up earthly matter into Heaven itself, that the separation between God and Man and the Creation which Man was created to govern has been bridged, by Christ our God and His holy Mother who enabled His entrance into our fallen nature by the submission of her will to His.

But that doesn't answer the question of whether Christ as a man is limited in space--more because it is the wrong question than because there is no answer.

We should keep in mind, however, that our destiny is not to pass outside of time and space, but rather for time and space to be renewed and sanctified, that what is prophesied and anticipated by Christians from the beginning is not an ascent into heaven, beyond time and space, but rather the descent of heaven itself to earth, the filling of time and space with the glory of God. We are created, and this we shall always be, bound by time and space, but freed to commune with our Creator on this earth, as we hear in Job 19:25-26:
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For I know that my redeemer lives, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God, Whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another, though my reins be consumed within me.

So in short, I suppose, Christ is not limited by time or space, but rather fills and transforms time and space by His divinity as He participates fully in our humanity.
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« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2008, 11:39:09 PM »

^  Welcome to OC.net and thank you for the excellent post, Fr. Anthony. Grin  I hope you'll find this forum a place for excellent discussion, though we can be quite an eclectic community, and that you'll continue to grace us with your presence.


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« Reply #20 on: June 20, 2008, 09:03:50 AM »

Thank you, Father. Your post really helps to clear up this issue. You are most welcome here.
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« Reply #21 on: June 20, 2008, 10:40:57 AM »

Thank you for your kind welcome. I've enjoyed lurking for awhile--I hope to stick around awhile longer in a more active way.
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« Reply #22 on: June 20, 2008, 11:22:17 AM »

Thank you, Father, from me, too.

So, is it correct to say that right now, as we speak (or write these lines), Christ does not have His material body with arms, legs and all?
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« Reply #23 on: June 20, 2008, 01:07:33 PM »

So, is it correct to say that right now, as we speak (or write these lines), Christ does not have His material body with arms, legs and all?

Fr. Anthony can give you a more definite answer but from my understanding Christ’s material body does exist in our time and space, albeit in its resurrected form as we will be after the Final Judgment.

Also, if Christ still does have a material body I would think that He would not be limited by space since He is one with the Trinity, and because Christ was not limited by time and space before the creation.
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« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2008, 01:12:33 PM »

Fr. Anthony can give you a more definite answer but from my understanding Christ’s material body does exist in our time and space, albeit in its resurrected form as we will be after the Final Judgment.

That's what I keep reading... but will it be with legs, bowels, and all?

Also, if Christ still does have a material body I would think that He would not be limited by time and space since He is one with the Trinity, and because Christ was not limited by time and space before the creation.

In His divinity -yes; however, according to the Chalcedon dogmat, if I understand it correctly, He became fully human and this "full humanity" does not affect His divinity... in other words, as God, He was, and is, and for ever more shall be immaterial, bodiless, "simple" (St. John of Damascus' favorite term), simultaneously everywhere, not confined to any space or time, not having dimensions. As man, however - if He indeed is fully human like we are, - He after His incarnation acquired dimensions, occupies a certain space, weighs something, has an appearance... or not?
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« Reply #25 on: June 20, 2008, 01:29:50 PM »

Thank you, Father, from me, too.

So, is it correct to say that right now, as we speak (or write these lines), Christ does not have His material body with arms, legs and all?

On the contrary--I think it is essential that we affirm that Christ does in fact still "have" His material body--or rather, that He is, and shall ever Be, fully human. And yet we must not think of Him as having left His body behind in time and space when ascended to the Father, but rather must affirm that, as He sat at the right hand of the Father in Heaven, He was even as the Disciples saw Him in those forty days from His Resurrection until Pentecost, that indeed, the organic molecules of the human body of our Lord and Saviour are enthroned on high, that the matter of space and time has passed outside into Infinity in the person of Jesus Christ our God, and thus that creation and Creator are now inextricably and eternally and perfectly joined, so that, as Christ said,
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« Reply #26 on: June 20, 2008, 01:39:10 PM »

On the contrary--I think it is essential that we affirm that Christ does in fact still "have" His material body--or rather, that He is, and shall ever Be, fully human. And yet we must not think of Him as having left His body behind in time and space when ascended to the Father, but rather must affirm that, as He sat at the right hand of the Father in Heaven, He was even as the Disciples saw Him in those forty days from His Resurrection until Pentecost, that indeed, the organic molecules of the human body of our Lord and Saviour are enthroned on high, that the matter of space and time has passed outside into Infinity in the person of Jesus Christ our God, and thus that creation and Creator are now inextricably and eternally and perfectly joined, so that, as Christ said,  Or, in Greek, καὶ ἰδοὺ ἐγὼ μεθ᾿ ὑμῶν εἰμι πάσας τὰς ἡμέρας ἕως τῆς συντελείας τοῦ αἰῶνος.

Father, thank you again. That's what the Church teaches, I understand - even though I found, much to my surprise, that the majority of my friends and acquaintances, who consider themsselves Orthodox or Ukrainian Eastern Rite Catholics, completely refuse to believe this. (Again, they would say to it - "are you serious, Christ NOW has buttocks and ... you know, all that? ... you must be insane, stop blaspheming.")  Yet, it's not clear to me, does He have a *particular* location (as a human being with body He must have it), and what are His dimensions believed to be?
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« Reply #27 on: June 20, 2008, 01:52:18 PM »

Heorhij,   I am curious why your Orthodox friends consider the idea of our Lord and Saviour having a physical form as "blasphemous"?    Shocked   Juliana

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« Reply #28 on: June 20, 2008, 01:59:38 PM »

^ Juliana, I wish I knew. Honestly, it does not bother me to think about our Lord currently having legs, feet, fingernails etc., but it does bother them. Also, they seem to completely reject the idea that after the general Resurrection, our souls will be re-united with our quite material bodies. They believe that both Paradise and Hell exist right now and will exist forever, "housing" "pure" souls of the departed, without any bodies.
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« Reply #29 on: June 20, 2008, 02:27:01 PM »

Well then my advice is not to discuss the matter with these people if it upsets both of you.  I also think that Mr. EofK (sorry, about the abbrev. but I have trouble spelling your name) had an excellent point that this particular speculation is of no consequence to the salvation of your soul.  Sometimes it is better to leave some things alone and turn our thoughts toward more productive matters.  Are you interested in this subject because of your field of study?  Please understand that I am not trying to hurt you or cause offense.

forgive me if I am prying,   Juliana
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« Reply #30 on: June 20, 2008, 02:55:27 PM »

Well then my advice is not to discuss the matter with these people if it upsets both of you.  I also think that Mr. EofK (sorry, about the abbrev. but I have trouble spelling your name) had an excellent point that this particular speculation is of no consequence to the salvation of your soul.  Sometimes it is better to leave some things alone and turn our thoughts toward more productive matters.  Are you interested in this subject because of your field of study?  Please understand that I am not trying to hurt you or cause offense.

forgive me if I am prying,   Juliana

No, you aren't prying, Juliana. You are right. I know that it really isn't crucial for our salvation. I just want to learn how to argue better with those whom I call "body loathers," proponents of the extremely dark, misantropic view on the human bodily existence. As I wrote before, there is this one man who keeps posting on a Ukrainian Web forum "Maidan," where yours truly happens to be a section moderator. That man is a Gnostic; he believes that humans were created "ethereal," without any appearance, any "heavy" flesh, and then, for their disobedience to God, they were punished (!) by "materiality," "driven into" these filthy stinking rottening bodies. Christ, in his view, deliberately took upon Himself this filthy rottening body, in order to... KILL it, and thus show us that body is but filth, that it does not matter, and we should leave its disintegrating, disgusting remains to this damned, hopeless "material world," from which our pure souls will escape to a better world, where there is no "filthy materiality."

Nothing seems to convince this man that what he believes is not quite Christian. He has hundreds of lines of quotes, both from Scripture and from Fathers (esp. St. Gregory Nazianzen and St. Gregory of Nyssa), supporting the idea that while the soul is "high," the flesh is "low," etc. etc. etc. When an Eastern Rite Catholic priest tried to reason with him, he wrote that some "false filth-blabbering pseudo-priests" just have no understanding of the real Christian faith, and that he will complain to that priest's bishop, etc.

And the most worrisome thing is, people do listen to this man, and sometimes express their understanding or agreement! Indeed, as one woman wrote in reply to one of that man's posts, it would be simply ridiculous to even imagine trillions of BODIES joining with souls upon Resurrection - where in the world would all these trillions fit? Certainly, immaterial souls are immortal, and will be (or are being) judged, and then joined with, eh, something - but not on this earth, and definitely with that which is completely unlike our present fleshly bodies. And Christ, of course, rose and ascended into Heaven in something that was/is entirely different from our bodies.

In a more practical sense, apart from these "theological" (or "quasi-theological") discussions, I fear that people who have this Gnostic body-hating mentality will influence on some state policies in Ukraine. They seem to have such a hatred towards sex. To them sex is the ultimate filth, the extreme manifestation of human depravity. When Adam and Eve were still in their "ethereal" bodies, they, of course, did not engage in anything THAT disgusting. Only after the Fall, when they received, as punishment, their filthy stinking rottening flesh, they acquired these evil, horrible "desires." Just to produce progeny, we, Christians, can, of course after asking the Lord and the most holy Theotokos to forgive us, have a sexual relationship - just once, quickly, mechanically, not allowing ourselves any joy, etc. And God forbid if we do "it" NOT for the purpose of having a child! That's abomination, the ultimate victory of the devil... One can imagine what kind of "family education" or "marriage counseling" will these people promote if their views prevail...
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« Reply #31 on: June 20, 2008, 03:26:19 PM »

Mr. EofK (sorry, about the abbrev. but I have trouble spelling your name)

I think he's ok with "Mr. Y" ... he hasn't complained about it yet, anyway. Wink
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« Reply #32 on: June 21, 2008, 11:45:57 PM »

So, Fathers... no answer re. dimensions?
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« Reply #33 on: June 22, 2008, 01:24:44 AM »

As I understand Orthodox thinking on this...

Christ's physical body (pre-crucifixion) was constrained by the same laws of physics as the rest of us.  Upon his ascension, his body departed the earth.  That was only about 2000 years ago, so even if he were moving at the speed of light, he would only be a tiny fraction of the way out of our own galaxy, let alone out of this physical universe.  So, it is 100% impossible for his human nature to be anywhere like heaven.

But at the same time, that is exactly where his body is -- it is everywhere; it is no longer constrained by either time or space as we know them.  This is how he appeared in the furnace in Daniel, for example -- he went there after his resurrection, after his body existed outside the bounds of time. 

This is not the only paradox possible with an infinite God.  It is one of the mysteries of our faith.

(This is my version (my words) of the explanation my priest gave during catechism.  I don't claim inerrancy.  Comments/rebuttals welcome!)
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« Reply #34 on: June 22, 2008, 01:34:22 AM »

It was good to read this discussion. Thanks!
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« Reply #35 on: June 22, 2008, 08:37:15 AM »

As I understand Orthodox thinking on this...

Christ's physical body (pre-crucifixion) was constrained by the same laws of physics as the rest of us.  Upon his ascension, his body departed the earth.  That was only about 2000 years ago, so even if he were moving at the speed of light, he would only be a tiny fraction of the way out of our own galaxy, let alone out of this physical universe.  So, it is 100% impossible for his human nature to be anywhere like heaven.

But at the same time, that is exactly where his body is -- it is everywhere; it is no longer constrained by either time or space as we know them.  This is how he appeared in the furnace in Daniel, for example -- he went there after his resurrection, after his body existed outside the bounds of time. 

This is not the only paradox possible with an infinite God.  It is one of the mysteries of our faith.

(This is my version (my words) of the explanation my priest gave during catechism.  I don't claim inerrancy.  Comments/rebuttals welcome!)

Thank you, but if He is bodily everywhere, then His humanity cannot be called "exactly like ours, except sin." I am not everywhere and you are not everywhere. So, Christ is distinct from us not only as God, but also as man. Honestly, I am even tempted to write, as "man," using quotation marks. Again... maybe Monophysites and even Gnostics are correct, after all...
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« Reply #36 on: June 22, 2008, 10:06:37 AM »

So, Christ is distinct from us not only as God, but also as man. Honestly, I am even tempted to write, as "man," using quotation marks. Again... maybe Monophysites and even Gnostics are correct, after all...

There's no need to got to such extremes. Christ's Glorified human body is no different to what our glorified human bodies will be at the Resurrection. He is no different to us except in the fact that His Humanity has already attained the eschaton which our bodies will one day attain.
In the OP you ask: "Is His body at the present moment (as I am writing these lines) occupying a certain amount of the conventional three-dimensional space?" But the "present moment" in which Christ's Humanity now dwells is the Eternal Now.
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« Reply #37 on: June 22, 2008, 12:54:17 PM »

There's no need to got to such extremes. Christ's Glorified human body is no different to what our glorified human bodies will be at the Resurrection. He is no different to us except in the fact that His Humanity has already attained the eschaton which our bodies will one day attain.
In the OP you ask: "Is His body at the present moment (as I am writing these lines) occupying a certain amount of the conventional three-dimensional space?" But the "present moment" in which Christ's Humanity now dwells is the Eternal Now.

Thank you, George. As always, you hit the nail on the head. Yet, still, you see... the whole point of my ongoing struggle with Gnostics (particularly at the Maidan forum) is that they say, Christ is absolutely different from us, because we are "lowered," because our so-called humanity is not real, not true humanity. Our present state of being in material bodies is our punishment for Adam's sin. We might attain the true humanity after the Final Judgment, when (and if) God deems us worthy of salvation; then, we will be placed in brand new, ethereal, immaterial bodies that have no dimensions and no external appearance. That's how Christ is now. That's what true humanity is...
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« Reply #38 on: June 22, 2008, 02:31:04 PM »

That's what true humanity is...
Rather, that's what true humanity is destined to become. The same way that Christ's Incarnate Humanity was destined to become.
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« Reply #39 on: June 22, 2008, 05:30:09 PM »

Rather, that's what true humanity is destined to become. The same way that Christ's Incarnate Humanity was destined to become.

So, it is true that our present day material, three-dimentional humanity is fake, it will be destroyed?

We were not created that way (the alternative - that God created us what we aren't meant to be - is unthinkable) - ?

Or, we were not material and not three-dimensional when we were created, but were (as Origen taught) "punished" by being driven into this three-dimentional materiality after the Fall?

And that's why we say, "He is the only one REAL  (not quite material, not three-dimensional and definitely not confined to space) human, while we are but "becomings?"
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« Reply #40 on: June 22, 2008, 08:44:26 PM »

So, it is true that our present day material, three-dimentional humanity is fake, it will be destroyed?
No. It will be tranformed: "unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain".
There can be bo butterfy if there was no caterpillar. Our humanity then will be a continuation of our humanity now, not a replacement of it.

We were not created that way (the alternative - that God created us what we aren't meant to be - is unthinkable) - ?
Or, we were not material and not three-dimensional when we were created, but were (as Origen taught) "punished" by being driven into this three-dimentional materiality after the Fall?
We were created from mud and clay- how much more "material" and "gross" and "three dimensional" can you get? Wink The Genesis account makes it clear that we are grossly material as well as spiritual beings.

And that's why we say, "He is the only one REAL  (not quite material, not three-dimensional and definitely not confined to space) human, while we are but "becomings?"
He is the human par excellence in that he is fully Human. We are alienated from our full humanity, which is why we so often behave like brutes and beasts, especially with one another. The gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, September 11, Abu Graihab are all stark reminders of our inhumanity. But humanity is not "foreign" to us, it is our true Nature. It's alrerady there, we just have to real-ize and actualize it.
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« Reply #41 on: June 23, 2008, 07:36:25 AM »

No. It will be tranformed: "unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain".
There can be bo butterfy if there was no caterpillar. Our humanity then will be a continuation of our humanity now, not a replacement of it.

But shall it have dimensions?

We were created from mud and clay- how much more "material" and "gross" and "three dimensional" can you get? Wink The Genesis account makes it clear that we are grossly material as well as spiritual beings.

To that, my opponent always says that those "mud and clay" were diferent, because they existed without time and space. God "dwells" in Eternity. The universe was/is created in Eternity. In the Eternity, there is no space or time (Eternity does not mean something "very-very long" but, rather, something where duration isn't applying; so, there is no "time" as such in God's world). Because of its being in the entirely different condition ("Eternity" vs. what we know now - the universe with its physical dimensions), everything, including "mud" and "clay," were/are completely different from what we peceive now. So were the "bodies" of Adam and Eve - they were "noble," pure, unstained by the "damned materiality." They did not have outward appearance, contours. Everything changed after the Fall, because God "damned" the "earth" (actually the Universe), making it material - by introducing "dimensions" - time and space. Being "saved," according to my opponent, is being delivered FROM this present status of dwelling in the "damned" material world with its dimensions, time and space. When one dies, one's soul immediately transfers from this "damned" universe into the original God's eternal, un-constrained by time and space "forever now." Christ's mission was to show us that our present "lowered" body is mere filth, and should be gotten rid of. It is only the "house of sin." Living in the "damned" dimensional, time- and space-constrained world means sinning - that's why the Church only canonizes those who have departed.

He is the human par excellence in that he is fully Human. We are alienated from our full humanity, which is why we so often behave like brutes and beasts, especially with one another. The gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, September 11, Abu Graihab are all stark reminders of our inhumanity. But humanity is not "foreign" to us, it is our true Nature. It's alrerady there, we just have to real-ize and actualize it.

That's what I believe, too. But in my Gnostic opponent's theological system, this "true humanity" of Christ means that He has always been human even before the Incarnation (in his views on the Incarnation, he is a tacit "docetist," saying that Christ only temporarily entered into this filthy human "nature," and again, for the sole purpose - to show us what miserable nothing this filthy matter is!). And we, similarly, attain the TRUE humanity only when we die and return to our prelapsarian existence as immaterial beings in an immaterial universe with no time and space.
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« Reply #42 on: June 23, 2008, 10:21:43 AM »

But shall it have dimensions?

Yes it will have dimensions. We will still have a material body.  I’d think that we’d have the same dimensions as we do now. After Christ’s Resurrected He showed us what a transformed human looks like. Apostle Thomas physically touched the wounds of Christ. Christ even ate food.
 

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« Reply #43 on: June 23, 2008, 11:10:50 AM »

Yes it will have dimensions. We will still have a material body.  I’d think that we’d have the same dimensions as we do now. After Christ’s Resurrected He showed us what a transformed human looks like. Apostle Thomas physically touched the wounds of Christ. Christ even ate food.

But if He does have dimensions now, then He must also have a particular location, and not be physically omnipresent - correct?
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« Reply #44 on: June 23, 2008, 04:39:09 PM »

But if He does have dimensions now, then He must also have a particular location, and not be physically omnipresent - correct?


I always enjoy when you post such difficult questions and I think I agree with some of your comments. That said. Christ's body is an inclusive concept. He is a head, together with a body. The body is the Church. He cannot be imagined without the body, and that body is not a personal body. It is the body of the Saints. I think Christ has showed us that resurrected bodies will be something in between material and spiritual. Possibly unexplainable by physics. After the resurrection physics as we know it may not exist in the same way.
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