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Author Topic: Christ's Knowledge of Self  (Read 1790 times) Average Rating: 0
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SamB
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« on: October 27, 2003, 12:27:01 PM »

I'd like to throw a theological conundrum on the table.

We certainly do not subscribe to the image of the self-doubting Christ as presented in The Last Temptation of Christ.  We know Christ to have always been self-conscious and aware of Who He was, when He was in the Flesh.

However, to explore the dynamics of His two Natures, can we say that His human cognitive faculties were aware of this fact or that He possessed this constant awareness of His divine identity partly by virtue of these faculties?  

The question comes to mind when we realise that we accept the fact that though the Person, Christ, knew all languages (being God, not to mention the Divine Word, which can only impel Him to not lose claim to that title by reason of functional illiteracy), His human knowledge of these was limited.  His human abilities enabled His human intelligence to comprehend no more than the languages He learned as He grew up in the world, and yet He always remained knowledgeable of all languages by virtue of His Divine Omniscience.

By the same token, do we dare say that Christ's self-consciousness and knowledge of Himself comes only from His Divine Knowledge, and that His mind does not in some way participate in this knowledge and reach it in some way by means of its own cognitive powers?  Does Divine Knowledge somehow 'inform' the human consciousness?

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« Last Edit: October 27, 2003, 12:34:11 PM by SamB » Logged
SamB
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« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2003, 12:39:43 AM »

*bumping up this thread*

Come on, guys.  Let's see what answers you can bring up, eh?

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« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2003, 01:11:57 AM »

I wasn't going to touch this one with a barge-pole - too easy to fall into material heresy!
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« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2003, 01:56:42 AM »

I suppose this makes it regrettable that the list has no priests on hand for just this type of inquiry.  When weighty matters of this sort harass the highly inquisitive mind, it can warp one's theological perceptions, and I dare say, disturb one's peace of prayer.

Well then, best to call it a solid theological question with a sign hung on it saying, "Approach at your own risk."  I suppose non-Chalcedonians need not fear, as I cannot see them as prone to tackling this sort of question in the first place.

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« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2003, 08:47:05 AM »

I agree with Serge.  This is one that I would not want to try to answer at this point.  I do not have enough experience with Orthodox Theology.
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« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2003, 12:32:23 PM »

I agree with Serge.  This is one that I would not want to try to answer at this point.  I do not have enough experience with Orthodox Theology.

I don't think many priests do either!  No, I don't want to even think about this.
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« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2003, 04:17:12 AM »

I'm going with the consensus on this issue. Only the truly dispassioned need apply because there is too little revealed for anyone who is not enlightened by God to say anything of value.

If you really want it looked into Samer, you could try fishing at Mo'Nachos (mmm, chilli dip and cheese sauce).

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« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2003, 05:18:55 AM »

This is only another investigation into the same group of questions that have produced most if not all of the heresies.  When one considers Greek ideas such as the Pure, the Absolute or the Platonic Being, how can one say something as outside the concept of logic as nonsensical as a person who is the Logos, as one who is both Becoming and Being.  Many have come up with formulations to rectify what they have perceived as what cannot be.  Whether these formulations be that Mary really didn’t give birth to our LORD or the wrestling with the dual nature.  How can that which is Infinite be finite: that which is Perfect, be man?  How can that which is pure be in contact with the impure and remain pure? That which is foolish to the wiseGǪ  Certainly, if one is to truly learn what the lesson here is to be learned one must wrestle with it fully and with every part of one’s being, but do not create formulations for they are heresy.  The Truth is not known by the understanding but by the nous.  I know of no concept as enigmatic as Christ Jesus, and no relation as close as the relationship with Christ.  In seeking out “That which Is” the “I Am” one shouldn’t seek what he wants Him to be, but what IS, not to change the formulary as to change the way he thinks.  My point is that your question is just another expression of this same question.  This question is the one that lead me to Orthodoxy, it is one on which I’ve spent a lot of time, but if you think I’m go’na touch it, your wrong.  I’m not about to step into that.
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« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2003, 10:34:30 AM »

As yet a non-Orthodox, but one who certainly affirms Orthodox Christology, it boils down to a mystery.  None of us can fully comprehend how two natures--One, Infinite and Divine, and the other, finite and human--can be united into one Person, Christ.  Yet this is the revealed truth of Scripture and the Church.  Though they could not comprehend how it could be, the Fathers affirmed that it was in fact the apostolic teaching of the Incarnation.  To my knowledge (which I admit is very limited) the Fathers accepted the truth of this without trying to reconcile issues such as how Christ who is the Divine Logos Incarnate can appear to be ignorant of certain things, other than ascribing that ignorance to His humanity.  As far as I can tell, they were content to leave this as a mystery, and perhaps so should we.
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« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2003, 02:38:30 PM »


What an interesting question. Unfortunately I dont have an interesting answer. Wink

I have to agree with what others have said, that such a question is BEYOND what God has revealed to us. Wondering what went through the mind of Christ shows on one hand good intentions to understand Christ better, but on the other hand it is walking a VERY fine line, perhaps even crossing it which is problematic.

Remember what we know of God, through His prohets, through the Scriptures, and through the Church is only because He revealed stuff to us. If we know about the Trinity it's because God told us, in one of the above (or all the above) ways.
We as human beings don't figure stuff out. The Church doesn't even figure out new stuff. This question, I think is an interesting one. It can lead to some interesting ideas, and speculations....but that is all they ever would be, speculations. Speculation can be fun, enlihgtening etc...but it should never become more than that.

And so I agree that this question is beyond our ability to answer, simply because God never intended for us to know the answer to it. It's a Mystery, like the Eucharist, trying to figure it out will just drive us crazy because we dont have the ability to understand it.

However it is a great question that I've never thought of before. I would like to hear what Bishop Kallistos Ware would have to say on the subject though becuase I think he is really good at this type of philosophical reasoning and giving answers us non-philosophers can understand.
(however I think delving to much into philosophy can be dangerous because like someone else mentioned that's how heresies get started. Trying to understand what simply cannot be understood) Besides, I dont reckon Bishop Ware posts here ...:-)





« Last Edit: October 31, 2003, 02:43:36 PM by Chuck S. » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2003, 03:07:02 PM »

The rest of you might think I'm being reckless in attempting to respond to this, but while I understand that everyone wants to avoid looking like a heretic, like Chuck said, in the end, it's only speculation, and we all submit ourselves to the teaching of the Church.  

By the same token, do we dare say that Christ's self-consciousness and knowledge of Himself comes only from His Divine Knowledge, and that His mind does not in some way participate in this knowledge and reach it in some way by means of its own cognitive powers?  Does Divine Knowledge somehow 'inform' the human consciousness?
 

Can one's human capabilities ever lead a man to come to the conclusion that he is God?
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« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2003, 04:25:40 PM »

I appreciate all your replies on the subject, but keep in mind that I posed the question not to see what our individual understandings on the issue would be, but to inquire as to what Church teaching may exist concerning the topic.  The Fathers spoke extensively about the two Natures, and were graced with the ability to elaborate on this theologically.  I attempted to see if someone well-read in the writings of the Fathers could present any relative material that would shed some light and possibly answer the question outright.

Phil, I see you live up well to your tagline.  Smiley  I would of course answer "no" to your question, which leads me to inquiring as to whether something is gained in human understanding when Humanity and Divinity are conjoined in Hypostatic Union.

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« Last Edit: October 31, 2003, 04:48:21 PM by SamB » Logged
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