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Author Topic: Sufferings of God  (Read 1062 times) Average Rating: 0
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Justin Kissel
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« on: December 19, 2008, 10:45:25 PM »

"Therefore the Unmingled is mingled; and not only is God mingled with birth and Spirit with flesh, and the Eternal with time, and the Uncircumscribed with measure; but also Generation with Virginity, and dishonour with Him who is higher than all honour; He who is impassible with Suffering, and the Immortal with the corruptible." - Gregory the Theologian, Oration 39.13

"For in reality, as the Scripture says, the shepherds became brutish, and many shepherds destroyed My vineyard, and defiled my pleasant portion, I mean the Church of God, which has been gathered together by the sweat and blood of many toilers and victims both before and after Christ, aye, even the great sufferings of God for us." - Gregory the Theologian,  Oration 21.24

In these two passages, does Gregory mean to speak of the person of Jesus Christ, as God-man, when he attributes suffering to God? I just want to make sure I understand, he is not talking about either nature of Christ, but is talking about the person? Do I have that correct?
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« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2008, 11:03:09 PM »

"Therefore the Unmingled is mingled; and not only is God mingled with birth and Spirit with flesh, and the Eternal with time, and the Uncircumscribed with measure; but also Generation with Virginity, and dishonour with Him who is higher than all honour; He who is impassible with Suffering, and the Immortal with the corruptible." - Gregory the Theologian, Oration 39.13

"For in reality, as the Scripture says, the shepherds became brutish, and many shepherds destroyed My vineyard, and defiled my pleasant portion, I mean the Church of God, which has been gathered together by the sweat and blood of many toilers and victims both before and after Christ, aye, even the great sufferings of God for us." - Gregory the Theologian,  Oration 21.24

In these two passages, does Gregory mean to speak of the person of Jesus Christ, as God-man, when he attributes suffering to God? I just want to make sure I understand, he is not talking about either nature of Christ, but is talking about the person? Do I have that correct?

You mean not the "physis" of Christ but His "hypostasis?"  It would have to be the hypostasis, because only in it can the impassible divinine physis suffer in the human physis.

I'm interested in what the Miaphysites have to day.
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« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2008, 11:30:29 PM »

he is not talking about either nature of Christ, but is talking about the person? Do I have that correct?

Correct.  Read St. Cyril's On the Unity of Christ:


http://www.amazon.com/Unity-Christ-Saint-Patriarch-Alexandria/dp/0881411337/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1229743072&sr=8-3

In this book, St. Cyril condemns attributing different acts and sayings to either the human or divine, but says instead to attribute everything to the "one Son, the Word who was made man for our sake.  I would say that everything refers to him, words and deeds, both those that befit the deity, as well as those which are human." 

The above is on pages 106-107 of the edition I have.  If you don't have the book, it is worthwhile getting.  It's a classic.   Smiley

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« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2008, 12:01:40 AM »

"Therefore the Unmingled is mingled; and not only is God mingled with birth and Spirit with flesh, and the Eternal with time, and the Uncircumscribed with measure; but also Generation with Virginity, and dishonour with Him who is higher than all honour; He who is impassible with Suffering, and the Immortal with the corruptible." - Gregory the Theologian, Oration 39.13

"For in reality, as the Scripture says, the shepherds became brutish, and many shepherds destroyed My vineyard, and defiled my pleasant portion, I mean the Church of God, which has been gathered together by the sweat and blood of many toilers and victims both before and after Christ, aye, even the great sufferings of God for us." - Gregory the Theologian,  Oration 21.24

In these two passages, does Gregory mean to speak of the person of Jesus Christ, as God-man, when he attributes suffering to God? I just want to make sure I understand, he is not talking about either nature of Christ, but is talking about the person? Do I have that correct?

You mean not the "physis" of Christ but His "hypostasis?"  It would have to be the hypostasis, because only in it can the impassible divinine physis suffer in the human physis.

I'm interested in what the Miaphysites have to day.

The "impassible divine physis" does not "suffer in the human physis," even in the hypostasis. It is the one Divine person of God the Word who suffers in the human physis, while remaining impassible in his divine physis. St. John of Damascus writes: "The Word of God then itself endured all in the flesh, while His divine nature which alone was passionless remained void of passion. For since the one Christ, Who is a compound of divinity and humanity, and exists in divinity and humanity, truly suffered, that part which is capable of passion suffered as it was natural it should, but that part which was void of passion did not share in the suffering. For the soul, indeed, since it is capable of passion shares in the pain and suffering of a bodily cut, though it is not cut itself but only the body: but the divine part which is void of passion does not share in the suffering of the body." http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf209.iii.iv.iii.xxvi.html Suffering is a passion, and the divine physis, since it is impassible, takes no part in it. The Divine Person, God the Son and Word, One of the Trinity, truly does suffer, however.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2008, 12:05:07 AM by Symeon » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2008, 12:30:57 AM »

"Therefore the Unmingled is mingled; and not only is God mingled with birth and Spirit with flesh, and the Eternal with time, and the Uncircumscribed with measure; but also Generation with Virginity, and dishonour with Him who is higher than all honour; He who is impassible with Suffering, and the Immortal with the corruptible." - Gregory the Theologian, Oration 39.13

"For in reality, as the Scripture says, the shepherds became brutish, and many shepherds destroyed My vineyard, and defiled my pleasant portion, I mean the Church of God, which has been gathered together by the sweat and blood of many toilers and victims both before and after Christ, aye, even the great sufferings of God for us." - Gregory the Theologian,  Oration 21.24

In these two passages, does Gregory mean to speak of the person of Jesus Christ, as God-man, when he attributes suffering to God? I just want to make sure I understand, he is not talking about either nature of Christ, but is talking about the person? Do I have that correct?

You mean not the "physis" of Christ but His "hypostasis?"  It would have to be the hypostasis, because only in it can the impassible divinine physis suffer in the human physis.

I'm interested in what the Miaphysites have to day.

The "impassible divine physis" does not "suffer in the human physis," even in the hypostasis. It is the one Divine person of God the Word who suffers in the human physis, while remaining impassible in his divine physis.
The divine person and the human person in one person.  Who's that sound like?

Quote
St. John of Damascus writes: "The Word of God then itself endured all in the flesh, while His divine nature which alone was passionless remained void of passion. For since the one Christ, Who is a compound of divinity and humanity, and exists in divinity and humanity, truly suffered, that part which is capable of passion suffered as it was natural it should, but that part which was void of passion did not share in the suffering. For the soul, indeed, since it is capable of passion shares in the pain and suffering of a bodily cut, though it is not cut itself but only the body: but the divine part which is void of passion does not share in the suffering of the body." http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf209.iii.iv.iii.xxvi.html Suffering is a passion, and the divine physis, since it is impassible, takes no part in it. The Divine Person, God the Son and Word, One of the Trinity, truly does suffer, however.

I think you want to stick a "Incarnate" in there somewhere.
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A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2008, 12:36:09 AM »

The divine person and the human person in one person.  Who's that sound like?

I didn't say that. Physises aren't persons, they are essences. You appear to have the two things confused.

Quote
I think you want to stick a "Incarnate" in there somewhere.

I might, as a clarification, but its not absolutely necessary. The person of God the Word is the same person both before and after the incarnation.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2008, 12:39:06 AM by Symeon » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2008, 01:44:35 AM »

In this book, St. Cyril condemns attributing different acts and sayings to either the human or divine, but says instead to attribute everything to the "one Son, the Word who was made man for our sake.  I would say that everything refers to him, words and deeds, both those that befit the deity, as well as those which are human."

Here is the full context:

"B. So in the case of the evangelical and apostolic preaching, one must not divide the words or the acts in this way?

A. Certainly not, at least not as referring to two persons or two hypostases divided from one another and completely diverging into distinct and separate spheres. For there is only one Son, the Word who was made man for our sake. I would say that everything refers to him, words and deeds, both those that befit the deity, as well as those which are human."

From this, it should be obvious that he did not condemn "attributing different acts and sayings to either the human or divine." He only condemns distributing the acts and saying to "two persons or hypostases divided from one another..."

Indeed, how could he do that when the Formula of Union, which St. Cyril agreed to, says this: "As for the evangelical and apostolic sayings about the Lord, we are aware that theologians take some as common, as referring to one prosopon, but distinguish others as referring to two natures; that they interpret the God-befitting ones in accordance with the Godhead of the Christ, and the humble ones in accordance with the manhood."

It is quite appropriate to attribute the human sufferings to the nature that suffers, since that nature belongs to the Word's person.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2008, 01:55:38 AM by Symeon » Logged
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« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2008, 02:48:08 AM »

On the Unity of Christ was written after the Formula of Union.  Those interested in the subject should read the entire book for themselves, not just what you and I have quoted.  That way they can see for themselves what St. Cyril meant, and whether he actually taught that a nature could suffer, as your last sentence put it. 

If you want to further engage in a polemical discussion on this, go back to the thread in the private forum. 
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« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2008, 02:52:08 AM »

On the Unity of Christ was written after the Formula of Union.  Those interested in the subject should read the entire book for themselves, not just what you and I have quoted.  That way they can see for themselves what St. Cyril meant, and whether he actually taught that a nature could suffer, as your last sentence put it. 

If you want to further engage in a polemical discussion on this, go back to the thread in the private forum. 

Yeah, it's written after the Formula of Union, but it doesn't contradict it at all, as I've shown. St. Cyril was not one to contradict himself. There is no polemical intent here, I'm not attacking anyone's communion or saints, just clarifying what St. Cyril said. And yes, people should read the entire book; we're agreed on that.

Natures partake of the attributes proper to them, since in persons they are individuated, and the attributes are really and actually communicated to the person, not just verbally.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2008, 02:55:53 AM by Symeon » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2008, 02:56:52 AM »

I'm glad you agree with me that others should read the book for themselves, rather than rely on someone else's spin, which may or may not actually reflect what St. Cyril taught.
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« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2008, 03:18:14 AM »

Saying that His human nature suffered is no different from saying He himself suffered, since its the Word's human nature. Like St. John wrote, and as I quoted him earlier: "...that part which is capable of passion suffered as it was natural it should."

And everyone should be reading the writings of the Saints. Wink
« Last Edit: December 20, 2008, 03:19:59 AM by Symeon » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2008, 06:43:18 PM »

Saying that His human nature suffered is no different from saying He himself suffered, since its the Word's human nature. Like St. John wrote, and as I quoted him earlier: "...that part which is capable of passion suffered as it was natural it should."

And everyone should be reading the writings of the Saints. Wink
And not telling others how to read the Fathers and what to see in their works. Wink
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