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Author Topic: OO fathers on the wills of Christ  (Read 6607 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: May 23, 2010, 01:33:15 PM »

What do OO fathers say about the will/ wills of Christ and how they relate to the divine/ human natures? As much as possible I would like to see direct quotes or references.
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« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2010, 03:05:42 PM »

Good luck. This was our problem, not theirs.  I do recall OO polemics against the monothelites, but that was from the viewpoint of the Muslims assessing the arguments.
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« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2010, 11:09:06 PM »

Ummmm, I believe Severus of Antioch wrote about one theandric will...

I'll post it if I find any material from him.
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« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2010, 02:50:02 AM »

I thought we were already discussing that on another thread.

I don't think there is value in just trying to answer 'one wil'' or 'two wills'. It requires a much richer answer.

I will try to post later today. I have been thinking about the subject and relating it to St Severus.

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« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2010, 03:02:51 AM »

Just for everyone's reference, the other thread was here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,25645.0.html

I told Iconodule in reply #33 of that thread that if he wanted to ask for patristic resources, he should start another thread.  The other one was getting too tangential.  

Thank you, Iconodule, for your cooperation.   Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2010, 03:04:36 AM »

I thought we were already discussing that on another thread.

I don't think there is value in just trying to answer 'one wil'' or 'two wills'. It requires a much richer answer.

I will try to post later today. I have been thinking about the subject and relating it to St Severus.

Father Peter

I agree Father. The issue seems to me somewhat like what I saw in my protestant years in regards to the different Hebrew words of "one". In the Shema, it says that your Lord they God is One. I could be wrong, but I think it's the same word used for Adam and Eve being one. I could be wrong about that for it's been years since I last debated the issue. But the argument I used back then was that "One" was a complex unity and not a simple unity.

I see the samething going on here with Miaphysitism/Miaenergism/Miathelitism......etc. I see it as a complex unity whereas the Monophysitism/Monoenergism/Monothelitism.......etc. as a simple unity. From how you explained the issue in the other thread, it seemed as if you didn't deny the idea of two natures, two energies, two wills.......etc. Now we still may differ in how we understand all that, but I didn't see you deny the idea of two natures, wills, energies........etc.
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« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2010, 04:19:38 AM »

Sorry Salpy, I hadn't read that.

jnorm888, yes, the Oriental Orthodox position, which of course we consider the Orthodox one, is a complex (because unknowable) unity of diversity. As St Severus says (in paraphrase) 'we don't reject diversity, God forbid, but division and dividing everything up so that we end up with two subjects'.

We had mentioned in the previous posts that the notion of one will or two did not seem an entirely satisfactory response to the actual experience we wanted to describe, either in Christ or in ourselves. At the very least, I am sitting here and I am willing to write this post, but there is also a desire in me to turn to prayer, and I am also hungry because it is the start of the Apostles Fast. There seem to me to be at least three desires at work, and that desire is not entirely the same as will, which suggests a more deliberative personal activity.

Or perhaps, there is more deliberative personal activity of willing, but this can be subsumed under the force of animal desire (such as in the person who means to eat one biscuit and then finds they have eaten the whole packet without being able to stop!), or subsumed under a psychological desire perhaps, and subsumed under a spiritual desire/experience.

Who is choosing to write this post rather than eat something or turn to prayer? In what way is the desire to eat an aspect of will? If I am the chooser then what is the relationship between me and the choice, and where does the choice take place?

Likewise if there is within me a desire to write, and pray, and eat, then in what sense is one a willed activity, and the others non-willed, even though all are desires?

It seems to me that we need to understand and seek to describe ourselves more comprehensively before we start talking about one will or two. Because I am sure that I do not yet understand the process as I am experiencing it in myself now, and therefore it seems foolish to extrapolate from my lack of understanding of myself to some sort of authoritative position in respect of all people, and in respect of Christ.

But perhaps I can say a little about hunger and other such desires. As a beginning to use the Oriental Orthodox patristic sources. Hunger is routinely described as one aspect of will, and especially in regard to pointing out that Christ had a human will. If the Oriental Orthodox allow that Christ truly hungers then it seems to me that this aspect of human will is considered to be present in Christ.

He says in Letter I.. when discussing a passage from St Cyril.

..he was a warden to himself of hungering as well as of being tired after a journey, and of accepting the other human passions, such as do not fall under sin, in order to display the Humanization truly and without phantasy.

In Letter XXXV he says...

...he came to be with us as God who became man he was named Emmanuel, and that he was made like unto us in all things except sin, suffers like us and is susceptible of innocent passions... the impassible God united to himself those of our passions which do not fall under the description of sin ...

I could produce lots more of such passages from his other works, but it is morning here and I am supposed to start working. I think even these two show that there is no problem with accepting that Christ, the incarnate Word, experiences the blameless human passions such as hunger.

The question remains in my mind, how do these blameless passions relate to will in the controversial sense? And how do they relate to will in the description we are hopefully trying to determine here so as to avoid slipping into a polemics which misses the point?

St Severus also speaks very often of the rational and intelligent nature of the humanity of Christ. It seems to me that it is not possible to speak of rationality and intelligence without considering some aspect of rational and intelligent volition. What is rationality and intelligence if not some constant movement of some ascect of will?

He says..

..one of the three hypostases [..] was rationally and hypostatically united to soul-possessing flesh.

..Flesh does not renounce its existence as flesh, even if it has become God's flesh, nor has the Word departed from his nature, even if he has been hypostatically united to flesh which possesses a rational and intelligent soul: but the difference also is preserved, and the propriety in the form of natural characteristics of the natures of which Emmanuel consists, since the flesh was not converted into the nature of the Word, nor was the Word changed into flesh.


These all seem to me to speak of an intelligently volitional being, who is the Word of God incarnate.

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« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2010, 07:52:50 PM »

Thank you Fr. Peter and everyone for the quotes provided. The material by Severus is indeed interesting, though it doesn't directly address the issue (if I'm not mistaken, the controversy didn't flare up until after Severus reposed). But I should take some time to digest the material.

For the sake of keeping everything in one place, I do want to reproduce the quote from an Armenian father given in the other thread:

Quote from: VasnTearn
St Gregory of Tathev says in his "Book of questions" (pls, Salpy, edit my terrible English translation Smiley):

"As we say the nature of man is united with God's nature [in Christ], so also is the will of the Incarnate Word united and one. And the action follows the will, therefore one is His action, produced and performed by the one will of the one Christ.... Also, you ask how that one action is to be understood. We don't say one action because there are no higher and lower [actions], but we say that the action is one because it is performed by the union, as, [for example], the same hand cuts and sews, writes and erases. Also know this: We say one nature for Christ because of the end and not for the beginning; and we say one action for the beginning and not for the end of the action. As for the will, it is one because of willing and union which is the beginning and the end. In this way we say one nature, one will and one action of the Incarnate Word."

Since it's such a  brief passage, it's hard to conclude much from it, but I suspect the writer was familiar with the debates that had involved the EO world. I hope someone more knowledgeable can give some information about Gregory of Tathev, and perhaps VasnTearn could return to give some more context to the quote.  


Good luck. This was our problem, not theirs.

I'm not so sure of this. Monoenergism and monothelitism were devised specifically to reconcile the anti-Chalcedonians. The monoenergist Pact of Union (condemned at Constantinople III) was in fact accepted by the Copts and Armenians. Of course, it is possible that the anti-Chalcedonians interpreted this document differently from the Byzantine authors.

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« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2010, 02:53:53 AM »

Iconodule,

St Severus has much more to say, and I think that the earlier writers will be found speaking of actions, and energies, rather than will because as you say, this had not been controversial at that time. (or rather it surely would have been controversial but the arguments/discussions did not use that term as the point of controversy). I will find the notes I have on this subject because I have been considering it on and off for some time.

What I wanted to show narrowly from St Severus was that he fully accepts the reality of the blameless passions being present in Christ, and we have been calling those 'will' in the thread. He does hunger and thirst, which means at the least that his body is moved with the need for food and drink.

I think quote from St Gregory of Tathev is interesting and it resonates with my own understanding because it speaks of the union in beginning and end. In terms of the will, I like this thought because it seems to me that we wish to find a union of will in the identity of the incarnate Word who is one, and in the object of the will which is one, even though we recognise a diversity of willing.

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« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2010, 03:21:55 AM »

Looking briefly at the the volume 'The Orthodox Church in the Byzantine Empire' I note that the authors speak of the proposal that Christ be defined with a single energy and will as a means of reconciling the anti-Chalcedonians. Assuming for the moment that this is the case, it seems to me to reveal a lack of understanding on the part of the imperial authorities in the past and the authors in the present.

Though I would speak easily and comfortably of one energy and one will in the incarnate Christ, I would not wish to speak of one single energy and one single will. It is never a matter of one will or two, one energy or two. That is to not understand the Christology we believe that we have received from St Cyril.

One energy and one will, yes of course, but a one of union not of exclusivity. To extend what St Gregory says, it is one because it is rooted in the one identity and subject of the incarnate Word, and because it has one united end, I mean that the energy and will is turned to one object and not two.

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« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2011, 08:25:37 PM »

St Severus says:
Quote
This has been said for our instruction. It is indeed most certain, since the will of the Son and of the Father is not different, but is one and the same will. Furthermore with these words he showed us again that he participated in the same nature as us, one who was fearful of death, and endured voluntarily the suffering of fear and of anguish, saying, "My soul is anguished even unto death", to the end that these sorrows, so that the sorrows which had come into conflict with Christ, the power of the Father, were radically uprooted from our race.
I've heard some accuse St Severus of 'monotheletism', does that sound 'monothelite'?
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« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2011, 04:22:21 AM »

As with all of these terms, it is necessary to ask what everyone means, otherwise terms become simply a means of polemics rather than understanding.

In the writings of St Cyril and St Severus, the willing nature of the humanity of Christ is described by the term 'rational'. St Cyril and especially St Severus, constantly speak of the rational flesh, meaning that it preserved in the union the integrity of human nature including the power of decision and choosing.

Since St Severus impresses so much upon his readers that it is the will of man which is the seat of sin, and the cause of the Fall, and that a man was required to undo the fault of Adam, then it is clear that his soteriology REQUIRES that the Word of God be truly incarnate, and truly be obedient in the exercise of a human will. Here is an excerpt from one of his homilies (LXXXIII).

The words 'he scorned', and 'he did not obey', and this other, 'he chose', show us that the Word of God is united hypostatically not only to flesh, but still to a soul endowed with will and reason, for the purpose of making our souls, bent towards sinfulness, incline toward the choice of good and the aversion to evil.

Whatever else we might want to say, we cannot say, and do not, and will not allow others to say of us, that we deny that the humanity of the incarnate Word was lacking the human faculty of will.

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« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2011, 11:10:25 AM »

One energy and one will, yes of course, but a one of union not of exclusivity. To extend what St Gregory says, it is one because it is rooted in the one identity and subject of the incarnate Word, and because it has one united end, I mean that the energy and will is turned to one object and not two.

Father Peter

Father,

Do the same caveats to nature apply here too? --without mixture, without confusion, without alteration, without separation (from the time of the hypostatic union in the incarnation unto eternity), without mingling, etc.?
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« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2011, 11:13:30 AM »

Do the same caveats to nature apply here too? --without mixture, without confusion, without alteration, without separation (from the time of the hypostatic union in the incarnation unto eternity), without mingling, etc.?
Of course, we don't believe the divine & human wills & energies united via means of confusion or commingling, but, rather both converged in a natural synthesis retaining their distinct characteristics. What is divine remains divine, what is human remains human.
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« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2011, 11:20:08 AM »

I am not sure that they apply in the same way because the faculty of will is but one aspect of human nature, and the Divine Will is not a faculty that can be examined.

St Severus reminds us that the humanity of the incarnate Word wills the Good, but the Word does not, in His Divine nature, will the Good because HE IS THE GOOD.

If you mean does the human faculty of will retain its integrity, then of course, but it is always the human faculty of will of the Word of God incarnate, and never wills or acts separately from the Word.
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« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2011, 11:56:29 AM »

I am not sure that they apply in the same way because the faculty of will is but one aspect of human nature, and the Divine Will is not a faculty that can be examined.

St Severus reminds us that the humanity of the incarnate Word wills the Good, but the Word does not, in His Divine nature, will the Good because HE IS THE GOOD.

If you mean does the human faculty of will retain its integrity, then of course, but it is always the human faculty of will of the Word of God incarnate, and never wills or acts separately from the Word.
I sort of realized that, what I meant was we that don't believe in some sort of unique 'demi-god' energy of a unique 'demi-god' will. I know that faculties of will and energy are a bit more... let's say... obscure/abstract(?). I just wanted to reassure our EO brothers that we don't believe in a divine-human 'crasis' of wills and energies. I have heard several (mostly on other forums) accuse us of such because when many EOs hear 'one will', 'one energy', etc. they assume that we teach some sort form of monoenergism/monothelitism. As has been said before, we never speak of 'one' in the exclusive singular sense, but, in a sense of complexity. We recognized the dualistic origin or 'two-ness' of Christ's one will, one energy, and one nature.

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« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2011, 04:04:24 PM »

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

In our hymns, liturgies, and commentaries the Ethiopian Fathers delve very deeply into their ontological theology and Christology, and also touch on the "Will" of Christ, however we do not discuss the concept of "Energies" in the same way as the Eastern Orthodox.  I am about to go to lunch but when I return I will post some quotes from both the Ethiopian Fathers and also their quoting from the Oriental and Orthodox Fathers.

I only posted this now because the search feature is not very useful and I didn't want to lose this thread.

Stay Blessed,
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« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2011, 04:16:51 PM »

Not that it is totally on topic, but it occured to me that a lot of the problem this age is that the libido has been elevated to a faculty of the human person equal to the will.
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« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2011, 07:04:41 PM »

I found this interesting passage from St Athanasius the Great while reading the letters of St Severus:

«As soon as there is flesh, there is at once flesh of God the Word; and, as soon as there is soul-possessing and rational flesh, there is at once soul-possessing rational flesh of God the Word: for in him also it acquired subsistence»

For me, "rational flesh" describes a human nature with an intelligent faculty of willing and volition. What do you all think?
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« Reply #19 on: September 07, 2011, 07:55:30 PM »

Click here

This hyperlink will direct you to a book which discusses the theletic christology of St. Severus of Antioch. The author does describe his christology as "monothelite", but that's probably because he isn't familiar with more "correct" terms (e.g. miathelite, miaenergist, etc.). In one passage, St. Severus affirms that Christ has two natural wills and that the human will is subject to the divine. And in his commentary on the book of Isaiah, St. Severus seems to be in agreement with Maximus the Confessor in saying that there is no gnomic will in Christ
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« Reply #20 on: September 08, 2011, 03:17:59 AM »

Rational does mean 'willing' in St Severus.

I'll find a reference somewhere later. This book ^ is one I want to get hold of. It looks very interesting and I have read bits of it before on google.
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« Reply #21 on: September 10, 2011, 05:13:22 PM »

Click here

This hyperlink will direct you to a book which discusses the theletic christology of St. Severus of Antioch. The author does describe his christology as "monothelite", but that's probably because he isn't familiar with more "correct" terms (e.g. miathelite, miaenergist, etc.). In one passage, St. Severus affirms that Christ has two natural wills and that the human will is subject to the divine. And in his commentary on the book of Isaiah, St. Severus seems to be in agreement with Maximus the Confessor in saying that there is no gnomic will in Christ

Then why did Constantinople III condemn his teachings on will? Is the anathema inaccurate or did Severus actually teach stuff that conflicts with Eastern Orthodox theletism?
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« Reply #22 on: September 10, 2011, 05:19:11 PM »

Then why did Constantinople III condemn his teachings on will? Is the anathema inaccurate or did Severus actually teach stuff that conflicts with Eastern Orthodox theletism?
Most of Saint Severus' writings were burned in the sixth century, thus the Bishops at Constantinople III were probably ignorant of his teachings on the wills in Christ.
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« Reply #23 on: September 10, 2011, 05:29:30 PM »

I guess that they figured that his alleged denial of Christ's consubstantiality with our humanity meant that Severus also taught that Christ's will would also not be fully human?
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« Reply #24 on: September 10, 2011, 05:36:07 PM »

I guess that they figured that his alleged denial of Christ's consubstantiality with our humanity meant that Severus also taught that Christ's will would also not be fully human?
Maybe, but St. Severus does affirm the consubstantiality of Christ with God and man.
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« Reply #25 on: September 10, 2011, 05:39:52 PM »

I'm aware of that. But wouldn't the bishops at Constantinople III not have been?
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« Reply #26 on: September 10, 2011, 05:40:41 PM »

It seems he was flexible (or "inconsistent" some would say) on the question of the wills, but he is firm in monoenergism.
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« Reply #27 on: September 10, 2011, 05:45:53 PM »

It seems he was flexible (or "inconsistent" some would say) on the question of the wills, but he is firm in monoenergism.
In His letter to Oecumenius the Count about properties and operations, St. Severus wrote that St. Cyril of Alexandria in the Scholion about the coal speaks as follows :

“Nevertheless we may see in the coal as in a figure that God the Word was united to the manhood, but has not cast off being that which he is, but rather changed what had been assumed or united into his glory and operation. For, as fire when it takes hold of wood and is introduced into it, prevails over it, and does not make it cease being wood, but rather changes it into the appearance and force of fire, and performs all its own acts in it, and is already reckoned as one with it, so understand in the case of Christ also. For, since God was ineffably united with manhood, he has preserved it as what we say it is, and he himself also has remained what he was. But, after he has once been united, he is reckoned as one with it, appropriating its qualities of himself, but he himself also carried on the operation of his nature in it”.  If  then the Word changed the manhood which he had hypostatically united to him, not into his nature, for he remained that which he was, but into his glory and operation, and things which manifestly belong to the flesh have come to belong to the Word himself, how shall we allow that each of the forms performs its own acts? But we must anathematize those who confine the one Christ in two nature and say that each of the natures performs its own acts. Between the things performed and done by the one Christ the difference is great. Some of them are acts befitting the divinity, while others are human. For example, to walk and travel in bodily form upon the earth is without contention human; but to bestow on those who are maimed in the feet and cannot walk upon the ground at all the power of walking like sound persons is God-befitting. Yet the one Word incarnate performed the latter and the former, and the one nature did not perform the one, and the other; nor, because the things performed are different, shall we on this account rightly define two natures or forms as operating.” (I took this from Metr. Bishoy's paper on St. Severus' Christology).

I would interpret this as an affirmation of one composite natural divine-human energy. Where it is the one incarnate Christ who does things God-befitting and human, but these actions flow from its own proper energy even though they are performed by the one Word Incarnate.

In any case, do you think St. Severus taught the "classical"/heretical monoenergism of Pyrrhus, or do you think he taught miaenergism?
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« Reply #28 on: September 10, 2011, 05:46:21 PM »

I'm aware of that. But wouldn't the bishops at Constantinople III not have been?
I assume so...
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« Reply #29 on: September 10, 2011, 05:56:19 PM »

It seems he was flexible (or "inconsistent" some would say) on the question of the wills, but he is firm in monoenergism.

What is monoenergism?
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« Reply #30 on: September 10, 2011, 05:58:40 PM »

It seems he was flexible (or "inconsistent" some would say) on the question of the wills, but he is firm in monoenergism.

What is monoenergism?
The belief that Christ has but one Divine energy/operation ('energeia' in Greek).
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« Reply #31 on: September 10, 2011, 06:04:06 PM »

As I recall, St. Maximus and St. John Damascene were at pains to show why, while it was fine to say that Christ has one composite nature (in the sense of hypostasis) one will or one energy could not be accepted as will and energy were properties of the distinct natures. So while "miaphysitism" is Orthodox "miatheletism" and "miaenergism" are not okay. To be honest I had trouble wrapping my head around these Fathers' arguments when I read them so I couldn't really explain it much better than that.
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« Reply #32 on: September 10, 2011, 06:05:52 PM »

I'd like to read Sts. Maximus and John Damascene's commentaries on the difference between miaphysitism and miatheletism/energism. Are they available online anywhere?
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« Reply #33 on: September 10, 2011, 06:09:30 PM »

As I recall, St. Maximus and St. John Damascene were at pains to show why, while it was fine to say that Christ has one composite nature (in the sense of hypostasis) one will or one energy could not be accepted as will and energy were properties of the distinct natures. So while "miaphysitism" is Orthodox "miatheletism" and "miaenergism" are not okay. To be honest I had trouble wrapping my head around these Fathers' arguments when I read them so I couldn't really explain it much better than that.
But when we say one will or energy, we do not mean it in the essentialistic sense. When we affirm one will we mean that Christ has one volitional impulse and that he who wills is one (I.e. because the Word Incarnate is the one who wills). Likewise, one theanthropic energy means that he who acts is the Theanthropos through one theandric action (for example, healing -a sign of Divine power/energy- with human spit -a sign of human lowliness/energy). So Maximos' and John's arguments make sense so long as they are understood correctly.
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« Reply #34 on: September 10, 2011, 06:12:43 PM »

I'd like to read Sts. Maximus and John Damascene's commentaries on the difference between miaphysitism and miatheletism/energism. Are they available online anywhere?
Damascene's "An exact exposition of the Orthodox faith" discusses this a bit, and that work of his is readily available online. Maximus probably discusses this in his work "Disputations with Pyrrhus", which you would have to purchase.
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« Reply #35 on: September 10, 2011, 07:22:47 PM »

Never mind.
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« Reply #36 on: September 10, 2011, 07:29:36 PM »

I'd like to read Sts. Maximus and John Damascene's commentaries on the difference between miaphysitism and miatheletism/energism. Are they available online anywhere?
Damascene's "An exact exposition of the Orthodox faith" discusses this a bit, and that work of his is readily available online. Maximus probably discusses this in his work "Disputations with Pyrrhus", which you would have to purchase.
Which book and chapter (of the "Exact Exposition") would that be in?
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« Reply #37 on: September 10, 2011, 07:33:35 PM »

Were Constantinople III's anathemas against monothelitism and monoenergism directly primarily against the Oriental Orthodox or a different group?
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« Reply #38 on: September 10, 2011, 07:37:07 PM »

Were Constantinople III's anathemas against monothelitism and monoenergism directly primarily against the Oriental Orthodox or a different group?
It anathematizes Monoenergism and monothelitism, both of which were created to reconcile the OO and Chalcedonian parties. But, the OO have never taught that Christ has but a single divine will/energy.
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« Reply #39 on: September 10, 2011, 07:43:24 PM »

Were Constantinople III's anathemas against monothelitism and monoenergism directly primarily against the Oriental Orthodox or a different group?
It anathematizes Monoenergism and monothelitism, both of which were created to reconcile the OO and Chalcedonian parties. But, the OO have never taught that Christ has but a single divine will/energy.
How were the condemned heresies defined? Mono in a Eutychian sense or mono/mia in a Cyrillian sense?

If the latter, then wouldn't that be a legitimate difference in Eastern and Oriental Orthodox theologies?
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« Reply #40 on: September 10, 2011, 08:06:44 PM »

I'd like to read Sts. Maximus and John Damascene's commentaries on the difference between miaphysitism and miatheletism/energism. Are they available online anywhere?
Damascene's "An exact exposition of the Orthodox faith" discusses this a bit, and that work of his is readily available online. Maximus probably discusses this in his work "Disputations with Pyrrhus", which you would have to purchase.
Which book and chapter (of the "Exact Exposition") would that be in?
Moreover, one cannot speak of one compound thing made of two wills in the same way as a subsistence is a composition of two natures. Firstly because the compositions are of things in subsistence (hypotasis), not of things viewed in a different category, not in one proper to them(6): and secondly, because if we speak of composition of wills and energies, we will be obliged to speak of composition of the other natural properties, such as the uncreated and the created, the invisible and the visible, and so on. And what will be the name of the will that is compounded out of two wills? For the compound cannot be called by the name of the elements that make it up. For otherwise we should call that which is compounded of natures nature and not subsistence. And further, if we say that there is one compound will in Christ, we separate Him in will from the Father, for the Father's will is not compound. It remains, therefore, to say that the subsistence of Christ atone is compound and common, as in the case of the natures so also in that of the natural properties.

And we cannot(7), if we wish to be accurate, speak of Christ as having judgment ( gnwmh ) and preference(8 ). For judgment is a disposition with reference to the decision arrived at after investigation and deliberation concerning something unknown, that is to say, after counsel and decision. And after judgment comes preference(9), which chooses out and selects the one rather than the other. But the Lord being not mere man but also God, and knowing all things, had no need of inquiry. and investigation, and counsel, and decision, and by nature made whatever is good His own and whatever is bad foreign to Him(1). For thus says Isaiah the prophet, Before the child shall know to prefer the evil, he shall choose the good; because before the child knows good or evil, he refuses wickedness by choosing the good(2). For the word "before" proves that it is not with investigation and deliberation, as is the way with us, but as God and as subsisting in a divine manner in the flesh, that is to say, being united in subsistence to the flesh, and because of His very existence and all-embracing knowledge, that He is possessed of good in His own nature. For the virtues are natural qualities(3), and are implanted in all by nature and in equal measure, even if we do not all in equal measure employ our natural energies. By the transgression we were driven from the natural to the unnatural(4). But the Lord led us back from the unnatural into the natural(5). For this is what is the meaning of in our image, after our likeness(6). And the discipline and trouble of this life were not designed as a means for our attaining virtue which was foreign to our nature, but to enable us to cast aside the evil that was foreign and contrary to our nature: just as on laboriously removing from steel the rust which is not natural to it but acquired through neglect, we reveal the natural brightness of the steel.


http://www.orthodox.net/fathers/exactiii.html#BOOK_III_CHAPTER_XIV
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« Reply #41 on: September 10, 2011, 08:08:37 PM »

How were the condemned heresies defined? Mono in a Eutychian sense or mono/mia in a Cyrillian sense?

If the latter, then wouldn't that be a legitimate difference in Eastern and Oriental Orthodox theologies?
I will try to discuss these things with you tomorrow if I can find the time. But I have to dash right now.

Best wishes and God bless. Smiley
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« Reply #42 on: September 10, 2011, 08:14:39 PM »

Thanks for your time, Severian.
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« Reply #43 on: September 10, 2011, 10:01:28 PM »

Moreover, one cannot speak of one compound thing made of two wills in the same way as a subsistence is a composition of two natures. Firstly because the compositions are of things in subsistence (hypotasis), not of things viewed in a different category, not in one proper to them(6):
I don't really get what that means. What is a "thing viewed in a different category, not in one proper to it"?
Quote
and secondly, because if we speak of composition of wills and energies, we will be obliged to speak of composition of the other natural properties, such as the uncreated and the created, the invisible and the visible, and so on.
By properties does he mean things proper to a hypostasis? Or, like, adjectives vs nouns?

Would it be Orthodox (from an Oriental POV) to say that Christ has the composite properties of being both invisible and visible or being created and uncreated?
Quote
And further, if we say that there is one compound will in Christ, we separate Him in will from the Father, for the Father's will is not compound. It remains, therefore, to say that the subsistence of Christ atone is compound and common, as in the case of the natures so also in that of the natural properties.
Following that logic, couldn't you say that Christ's subsistence as the Theanthropos separates Him from the Father because the Father's hypostasis is not compound?

I wonder if St. Cyril ever wrote about Christ's will(s). Probably not if the controversy never came up until centuries after his repose.
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« Reply #44 on: September 12, 2011, 03:24:08 PM »

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

As I recall, St. Maximus and St. John Damascene were at pains to show why, while it was fine to say that Christ has one composite nature (in the sense of hypostasis) one will or one energy could not be accepted as will and energy were properties of the distinct natures. So while "miaphysitism" is Orthodox "miatheletism" and "miaenergism" are not okay. To be honest I had trouble wrapping my head around these Fathers' arguments when I read them so I couldn't really explain it much better than that.

Yes but this is a misunderstanding based on the difference in the OO and EO Christological glossaries.

As I understand it,  in OO the will/operation is manifested by the hypostasis, even of the Father, who has His own unique, Divine hypostasis as "Father".  Through the Incarnation, the unique hypostasis of the "Son", the Eternal Word, united into the hypostasis we know as the Incarnate Christ.  In the Union, the natures manifest themselves as a single hypostasis.  So while they remain intact, they exist forever together, and in the OO conception, there would inherently be a unified will/operation because there is one, composite hypostasis.  We do not have a schizophrenic Jesus with split personalities in His head, He is One Christ, as authentic personalities stem from the person (hypostasis)

which is what it seems Severian was explaining here

It seems he was flexible (or "inconsistent" some would say) on the question of the wills, but he is firm in monoenergism.
In His letter to Oecumenius the Count about properties and operations, St. Severus wrote that St. Cyril of Alexandria in the Scholion about the coal speaks as follows :

“Nevertheless we may see in the coal as in a figure that God the Word was united to the manhood, but has not cast off being that which he is, but rather changed what had been assumed or united into his glory and operation. For, as fire when it takes hold of wood and is introduced into it, prevails over it, and does not make it cease being wood, but rather changes it into the appearance and force of fire, and performs all its own acts in it, and is already reckoned as one with it, so understand in the case of Christ also. For, since God was ineffably united with manhood, he has preserved it as what we say it is, and he himself also has remained what he was. But, after he has once been united, he is reckoned as one with it, appropriating its qualities of himself, but he himself also carried on the operation of his nature in it”.  If  then the Word changed the manhood which he had hypostatically united to him, not into his nature, for he remained that which he was, but into his glory and operation, and things which manifestly belong to the flesh have come to belong to the Word himself, how shall we allow that each of the forms performs its own acts? But we must anathematize those who confine the one Christ in two nature and say that each of the natures performs its own acts. Between the things performed and done by the one Christ the difference is great. Some of them are acts befitting the divinity, while others are human. For example, to walk and travel in bodily form upon the earth is without contention human; but to bestow on those who are maimed in the feet and cannot walk upon the ground at all the power of walking like sound persons is God-befitting. Yet the one Word incarnate performed the latter and the former, and the one nature did not perform the one, and the other; nor, because the things performed are different, shall we on this account rightly define two natures or forms as operating.” (I took this from Metr. Bishoy's paper on St. Severus' Christology).

I would interpret this as an affirmation of one composite natural divine-human energy. Where it is the one incarnate Christ who does things God-befitting and human, but these actions flow from its own proper energy even though they are performed by the one Word Incarnate.


and also here

As I recall, St. Maximus and St. John Damascene were at pains to show why, while it was fine to say that Christ has one composite nature (in the sense of hypostasis) one will or one energy could not be accepted as will and energy were properties of the distinct natures. So while "miaphysitism" is Orthodox "miatheletism" and "miaenergism" are not okay. To be honest I had trouble wrapping my head around these Fathers' arguments when I read them so I couldn't really explain it much better than that.
But when we say one will or energy, we do not mean it in the essentialistic sense. When we affirm one will we mean that Christ has one volitional impulse and that he who wills is one (I.e. because the Word Incarnate is the one who wills). Likewise, one theanthropic energy means that he who acts is the Theanthropos through one theandric action (for example, healing -a sign of Divine power/energy- with human spit -a sign of human lowliness/energy). So Maximos' and John's arguments make sense so long as they are understood correctly.
I believe the Christological differences between EO and OO also stem from misinterpreting each others Christological glossaries.  The OO insist on the "from two Natures" formula because realistically much of our theology is rather Athanasian in its interpreting "hypostasis" as being at once Essence and Substance and why many OO theologians generally accuse EO of Nestorianism.  Just as the EO often misunderstand OO as being monophysite because of the Chalcedonian development of a more elucidated glossary for Hypostasis which sort of separated it in discussions from the Essence/Nature.  It seems easy for EO to then conceive of Christ has being "in two Natures" because Natures are separated from hypostases, however while in the OO our fathers can understand this conceptionally, they often fall back on suspicions of Nestorianism because in OO two Natures have to necessarily exist in two separate hypostases.

Its only when our fathers sit at the table with dense, clear, and elaborate discussion to define our mutual terms, do we find that often we are saying the same things in different ways.


stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #45 on: September 13, 2011, 08:25:06 PM »

How were the condemned heresies defined? Mono in a Eutychian sense or mono/mia in a Cyrillian sense?

If the latter, then wouldn't that be a legitimate difference in Eastern and Oriental Orthodox theologies?
I will try to discuss these things with you tomorrow if I can find the time. But I have to dash right now.

Best wishes and God bless. Smiley
Severian! You still haven't discussed this with me.  Cry
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« Reply #46 on: September 13, 2011, 09:32:47 PM »

Sorry for the delayed response but I have had a lot of paperwork to do. Though I will probably be able to speak to you in more detail tomorrow. Smiley

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I don't really get what that means. What is a "thing viewed in a different category, not in one proper to it"?
I think here he is arguing that wills cannot be categorized as a property of hypostasis.

Quote
By properties does he mean things proper to a hypostasis? Or, like, adjectives vs nouns?

Would it be Orthodox (from an Oriental POV) to say that Christ has the composite properties of being both invisible and visible or being created and uncreated?
I think what he means is that if we speak of one faculty of willing we would have to say that the same will is both created and uncreated, invisible and visible. As per the second part of your post, I am not 100% sure what you mean by this. If what you mean is that we believe he is visible according to the flesh while being invisible in his divinity, etc., then yes we do believe that.

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Following that logic, couldn't you say that Christ's subsistence as the Theanthropos separates Him from the Father because the Father's hypostasis is not compound?
No, because the three hypostases of the Trinity are distinct in hypostasis but are united in one essence. Thus, the Father and Son would still be one God even though the Father's hypostasis is uncompound while the Son's hypostasis is compound, because they still share the same essence.

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I wonder if St. Cyril ever wrote about Christ's will(s). Probably not if the controversy never came up until centuries after his repose.
Actually, over in the private fora someone cited a quote from St. Cyril where he seems to imply that there are two natural faculties of willing in Christ. If I can find it for you (probably tomorrow), I will.
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« Reply #47 on: September 15, 2011, 05:19:15 PM »

Why are you agreeing with St. John's critique of miaenergism and miatheletism? I thought that the OO were miathelites/miaenergists.
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« Reply #48 on: September 15, 2011, 05:28:05 PM »

Why are you agreeing with St. John's critique of miaenergism and miatheletism? I thought that the OO were miathelites/miaenergists.
I am not agreeing with it, I am explaining it. In any case he isn't arguing against Miathelitism as the OO understand it (I.e. one volitional impulse and one willing subject), he is criticizing the belief that Christ has one faculty of willing. Both the OO and EO agree that there are two faculties of willing in Christ.
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« Reply #49 on: September 15, 2011, 05:34:41 PM »

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

Why are you agreeing with St. John's critique of miaenergism and miatheletism? I thought that the OO were miathelites/miaenergists.
I am not agreeing with it, I am explaining it. In any case he isn't arguing against Miathelitism as the OO understand it (I.e. one volitional impulse and one acting subject), he is criticizing the belief that Christ has one faculty of willing. Both the OO and EO agree that there are two faculties of willing in Christ.

Two faculties of the One (mia, composite) Will though correct? What is the specifically EO take on this considering I understand them to profess two converging wills?



stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #50 on: September 15, 2011, 05:43:00 PM »

^Yes, two faculties of willing. Meaning two ways of willing, but one incarnate will. Christ is one willing subject with one object of willing (I.e. to follow the will of his Father) who expresses this one will in two real and distinct ways. I cannot say what the EO think of our theletic Christology, but between the agreed statements, St. Severus' dyothelite confession in his work "Contra Impium Grammaticum" (though his theletism is probably more consistent with our Christology), and amongst other things I don't find anything objectional to what the sixth council has to say about the "two natural wills" in Christ.
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« Reply #51 on: September 15, 2011, 05:53:23 PM »

What's the difference between Christ having two faculties of willing and having two wills?
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« Reply #52 on: September 15, 2011, 05:56:57 PM »

Also, is Christ's divine will part of the essence of the Most Holy Trinity or part of His hypostasis? If it's part of the divine essence common to all three hypostases, then I can see St. John's point about how Christ cannot have one composite will because the will is not His but also that of His Father and Holy Spirit.
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« Reply #53 on: September 15, 2011, 08:47:43 PM »

What's the difference between Christ having two faculties of willing and having two wills?
For the EO "two faculties of willing" and "two natural wills" seem to be synonymous. To the ear of an OO "two wills" can be interpreted as meaning that Christ has two "schizophrenic" objects of willing, so we speak of one will meaning one willing subject and one object of willing with two natural faculties by which the "one will" is expressed/willed. I have heard some OO theologians explain our theletism by saying that Christ has "one personal will with two natural wills". One personal will because Christ is one person and he has one object of willing, two natural wills because he has two faculties of willing. One faculty of willing stems from the divine nature and the other stems from the human nature.

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« Reply #54 on: September 15, 2011, 08:50:44 PM »

Also, is Christ's divine will part of the essence of the Most Holy Trinity or part of His hypostasis? If it's part of the divine essence common to all three hypostases, then I can see St. John's point about how Christ cannot have one composite will because the will is not His but also that of His Father and Holy Spirit.
Perhaps Fr. Peter can correct me on this one if I am wrong, but I would think that the divine faculty willing in the All-Holy Trinity is a part of the one divine essence. Otherwise we would have to say that there are three divine faculties in the All-Holy Trinity! But of course the OO do not confess one composite faculty of willing, we confess two distinct faculties of willing.
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« Reply #55 on: September 16, 2011, 10:46:41 AM »

I'm not very knowledgable on this but Fr. Kyrillos posted a link to a lecture by HG Anba Bishoy that touched on the subject in another thread. Perhaps it may be of interest to you. The topic of willing starts on p. 64 (the 9th page of the word doc)

brief excerpt:

Quote
Our church also does not accept this concept that the natural human will was dissolved.  The natural divine will, natural human will were united without confusion and without mixture.  To say ‘without confusion’, means that the natural human will of Jesus Christ was not eliminated because of the union.  Does this mean that Jesus Christ had two wills?  It is impossible to say that He had two wills, otherwise He is going to be considered two persons.  That’s why we should define what we mean by the word ‘will’.  The same problem concerning the natures emerges with ‘will’.  He has His natural divine will united to His natural human will, but the two natural wills continued to exist in the union, in complete harmony without contradiction.

What is the natural will and what is the personal will? 

The natural will is the desire; the personal will is the decision. 
You can say, ‘I want to drink, but I don’t want to drink’;  ‘I have a will to go, but I don’t will to go.’   What does this mean?  If you are fasting you say ‘I am willing to drink, but I shall not drink’?   It means that ‘I desire to drink but I decided not to drink’.  So, there is difference between the natural will and personal will.  The personal will works with the decision, while the natural will works with the desire.

As a human being Jesus Christ felt hunger and thirst while He was fasting on the mount. He naturally desired to drink or to eat, because His divinity did not eliminate the properties of His humanity; the energies and the natural will were not eliminated. Only tendency to sin was absolutely not in Him.  He never had a desire for sin - not to desire and resist;  no never.  He was absolutely holy and infallible.  However, all the other human desires were in Him.  One of these desires as any human being was that he does not like to die.  This normal desire was present in Him when He was approaching the cross.  But, obeying the Father, as a person He is the second Person of the Holy Trinity;  He is free, but He has input to His personal decision from His human desire and divine desire.  His divine desire is identical with the desire of the Father.  The three hypostaseis are three persons, three in their will, loving each other, but they have the same will and the same desire.  Three in number, but one in nature.  Naturally, whatever the Father desires, the Son desires, and the Holy Spirit desires. 

Are the natural wills identical?  No, because if they are identical this means that we are Eutychean and that there is confusion, since the natural desire of His humanity was absorbed in His divinity.  This is the heresy of Monotheletism.  If the two natural energies and natural wills are reduced to one natural will, this is the Eutychean heresy.  Saint Cyril of Alexandria said that the differences of the properties of the two natures were not destroyed because of the union. 


http://www.metroplit-bishoy.org/files/lectures/Lecture%204.doc
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« Reply #56 on: September 16, 2011, 02:01:26 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
What's the difference between Christ having two faculties of willing and having two wills?

As it has just been explained with CoptoGeek's quote, we have a natural will and a faculty of will.  In our own humanity, we are physical-spiritual beings, which necessarily have two "wills" and yet do not. The spirit may desire one thing, and the flesh another, but we as individual persons maintain only a single will, even if multifaceted. We are not two persons, a spiritual and a physical united, rather we are of one nature, one person, yet clearly are differences between the will of the flesh and the will of the spirit as the Apostle Paul explains in Romans 7

Quote
"For we are aware that the law is spiritual, yet I am fleshly, having been disposed of under Sin. For what effecting I know not, for not what I will, this I am putting into practice, but what I am hating, this I am doing.  Now what I am not willing, this I am doing."

This is the faculties of willing, that we can desire things which we are not necessarily doing, just as Jesus Christ, as God, surely being Immortal desired not to die, and yet allowed His Person do experience death.
stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #57 on: September 16, 2011, 06:29:36 PM »

What's the difference between Christ having two faculties of willing and having two wills?
For the EO "two faculties of willing" and "two natural wills" seem to be synonymous. To the ear of an OO "two wills" can be interpreted as meaning that Christ has two "schizophrenic" objects of willing, so we speak of one will meaning one willing subject and one object of willing with two natural faculties by which the "one will" is expressed/willed. I have heard some OO theologians explain our theletism by saying that Christ has "one personal will with two natural wills". One personal will because Christ is one person and he has one object of willing, two natural wills because he has two faculties of willing. One faculty of willing stems from the divine nature and the other stems from the human nature.


Why do you OOs have to keep believing the exact same thing as the EO with different terminology? Come on! Throw me a bone, here! There's got to be at least one doctrinal difference!

 Wink
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« Reply #58 on: September 16, 2011, 06:35:40 PM »

Ok. So, how can the divine will in Christ possibly only be a "natural will" and not a "personal will"? It is a personal will for the Father and Holy Spirit, and the divine essence of the Logos did not change during the incarnation. So wouldn't Christ's divine faculty of willing/natural will be a personal will?
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« Reply #59 on: September 16, 2011, 08:03:35 PM »

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

Ok. So, how can the divine will in Christ possibly only be a "natural will" and not a "personal will"? It is a personal will for the Father and Holy Spirit, and the divine essence of the Logos did not change during the incarnation. So wouldn't Christ's divine faculty of willing/natural will be a personal will?

It is a natural will because of the Union within the Incarnation.  While the Divine Essence of the Word did not change, it was unified with the human essence which has its own "natural" will, and so in the Union, Jesus Christ is One Person, of One (mia/composite) Nature and subsequently has only One Will.  Jesus Christ's unified, one will is at once both naturally Divine and yet human because of the unity of the Incarnation. Naturally [i.e. essentially, or by nature], Jesus Christ expressed the Divine Will, and yet due to the unique status of His Incarnation and His uniquely Divine-Human hypostasis, Jesus Christ has His Own Will, that is naturally a synergy of both Divine and Human wills.  In this concept, Jesus Christ represents the truest manifestation of the human prayer of "Father, let Thine Will be Done."

In being Divine, Jesus Christ manifests the Divine Will of God, and yet as a perfect human being, Jesus Christ also at the same time manifests the human will in synergy with the Divine.  This is a composition, as the theology of miaphysis suggests.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #60 on: September 16, 2011, 11:33:28 PM »

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

Ok. So, how can the divine will in Christ possibly only be a "natural will" and not a "personal will"? It is a personal will for the Father and Holy Spirit, and the divine essence of the Logos did not change during the incarnation. So wouldn't Christ's divine faculty of willing/natural will be a personal will?

It is a natural will because of the Union within the Incarnation.  While the Divine Essence of the Word did not change, it was unified with the human essence which has its own "natural" will, and so in the Union, Jesus Christ is One Person, of One (mia/composite) Nature and subsequently has only One Will.  Jesus Christ's unified, one will is at once both naturally Divine and yet human because of the unity of the Incarnation. Naturally [i.e. essentially, or by nature], Jesus Christ expressed the Divine Will, and yet due to the unique status of His Incarnation and His uniquely Divine-Human hypostasis, Jesus Christ has His Own Will, that is naturally a synergy of both Divine and Human wills.  In this concept, Jesus Christ represents the truest manifestation of the human prayer of "Father, let Thine Will be Done."

In being Divine, Jesus Christ manifests the Divine Will of God, and yet as a perfect human being, Jesus Christ also at the same time manifests the human will in synergy with the Divine.  This is a composition, as the theology of miaphysis suggests.

stay blessed,
habte selassie

That sounds like a spot on explanation to me! *Thumbs up*
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« Reply #61 on: September 16, 2011, 11:49:32 PM »

This post from Monachos.net was really helpful regarding St. Severus' teaching on the freely-willing soul of Christ:
Quote
Dear M.C. Steenberg,

+irini nem ehmot,

Nonetheless, I would wager that the concern he wishes to address is not that of a struggle in Christ, but that of real freedom in Christ: is Christ truly free, in the sense that the human will is a free will, to be disobedient?
Severos of Antioch addresses this issue by essentially concluding that it is because of the fact that Christ’s human will is trulyfree will that it is always in sync with the divine will.

True freedom of will, in the sense that Severos had in mind, is not freedom in the sense of mere volitional capacity, but rather in the sense of fully informed volition. When man opposes the will of God, we do so primarily because of the ignorance of our person which inhibits us from recognising true, absolute and objective goodness (which our spirits are naturally inclined towards) in order to consequently will and act in accordance to such goodness; we recognise as the good that which falsely appears good to us by virtue of our ignorance.

Christ, being none other than True, Absolute, and Objective Goodness Incarnate, could not have possibly suffered from the same problem, hence the impossibility of His human will freely acting contrary to the divine will. It seems contradictory for me to use variations of the terms “impossible” and “free” in application to the same subject, but essentially it is no contradiction, just a paradox.

Is there any Father or theologian of the EO Church that would share similar sentiments to this?

In IC XC
-Athanasius (http://www.monachos.net/forum/showthread.php?2964-The-relationship-of-two-wills-in-Christ&p=36853&viewfull=1#post36853)
I think that Maximus of Constantinople argued very similarly to St. Severus in this regard, am I wrong?
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« Reply #62 on: September 18, 2011, 07:03:47 PM »

Ok, thanks to HabteSelassie and Severian for their willingness to educate me.

I really need to study this stuff more in depth sometime. But finding the time is hard.
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« Reply #63 on: September 19, 2011, 01:21:20 PM »

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

I was reading the Gospels this morning, and came across the passage regarding the Leper on the roadside who asked Jesus for a healing saying, "Lord if you are willing, I can be cleansed."  Jesus replied, "I am willing, be cleansed."

Notice Jesus Christ didn't say, "My Divine Nature is willing, be cleansed" to perform this miracle in distinction from His natural human will stemming from Him being a God-Man standing and breathing and speaking those words to that Leper, rather in demonstrating the synergy of His Will He said in the singular first-person, "I am willing.."  In Oriental Orthodox the fathers teach that there is One composite Nature incarnate in One composite hypostasis, having One composite Will, both human and divine in all three regards.

By the way to William, the year I have spent here on the forum has been life changing in regards to the depth of my theological discussions and studies, I had studied many things before, but this place is a valuable outlet to have not only the discussions that are very rare in day to day encounters (even with priests, really who has the time?) but also speak with such a variety of brothers and sisters with great experience and understanding to share.  Its one of the things I love most about our forum and why I invest so much time here, to give back to folks as much as I can for all they give to me Smiley

stay blessed,
habte selassie

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #64 on: September 29, 2011, 03:28:09 PM »

What do St. Timothy Aelurus and the other great OO Fathers say about the will of Christ?
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« Reply #65 on: September 29, 2011, 05:25:31 PM »

At that early time in the controversial period they used the term 'rational' to describe a 'thinking, acting, willing agent'. So when you see the insistence that the humanity of Christ is 'rational' it always means that it is a humanity with the integrity of the human faculty of will preserved. Of course it does not stand for an independently willing agent apart from the Divine willing of the Word.

Since the Cyrilline tradition insists on the necessity for one who is human to take up again the conflict with Satan, the enemy and deceiver of mankind, it is inconceivable that our anti-Chalcedonian tradition would remove this necessary aspect from the humanity of Christ. It is as man that God the Word shows Himself entirely obedient to the Will of the Father, not independently from His Divinity, but in perfect hypostatic union with His own humanity.

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« Reply #66 on: October 03, 2011, 05:47:33 PM »

Since the Cyrilline tradition insists on the necessity for one who is human to take up again the conflict with Satan, the enemy and deceiver of mankind, it is inconceivable that our anti-Chalcedonian tradition would remove this necessary aspect from the humanity of Christ. It is as man that God the Word shows Himself entirely obedient to the Will of the Father, not independently from His Divinity, but in perfect hypostatic union with His own humanity.

Father Peter

Father,

I feel like Gandalf trying to pick up the Ring here, but I don't see a difference between EO and OO on this explanation.
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« Reply #67 on: October 04, 2011, 03:07:39 AM »

There isn't a difference.
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« Reply #68 on: October 17, 2011, 06:29:18 AM »

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

Why are you agreeing with St. John's critique of miaenergism and miatheletism? I thought that the OO were miathelites/miaenergists.
I am not agreeing with it, I am explaining it. In any case he isn't arguing against Miathelitism as the OO understand it (I.e. one volitional impulse and one acting subject), he is criticizing the belief that Christ has one faculty of willing. Both the OO and EO agree that there are two faculties of willing in Christ.

Two faculties of the One (mia, composite) Will though correct? What is the specifically EO take on this considering I understand them to profess two converging wills?



stay blessed,
habte selassie

This is our take on it:
http://www.amazon.com/Disputation-Pyrrhus-Father-Maximus-Confessor/dp/1878997017 (The Disputation With Pyrrhus of Our Father Among the Saints Maximus the Confessor)



As well as this:
http://www.amazon.com/Free-Choice-Saint-Maximus-Confessor/dp/1878997025/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1318847257&sr=1-1 (Free Choice in Saint Maximus the Confessor)






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« Reply #69 on: October 17, 2011, 07:57:21 AM »

Can you distill those two volumes into an easy to appreciate paragraph?
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« Reply #70 on: October 18, 2011, 08:27:34 PM »

Can you distill those two volumes into an easy to appreciate paragraph?

Father,

I read free choice in Saint Maximus the Confessor, and it quoted the other work a number of times, but before I give an answer, I would like to read The whole Disputation first, and not just quotes of it, as seen from the other book. I'm getting my copy from the Library and so I should have it soon.

But if you would like to see a snippet of free choice in Saint Maximus the Confessor you can. I quoted 4 pages of it back in January:

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/2011/01/more-about-western-confusion.html (from pages 207 to 211)

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« Reply #71 on: October 19, 2011, 07:30:56 AM »


jnorm888, what an awesome website!
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« Reply #72 on: October 20, 2011, 09:12:11 AM »



Thank you!
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« Reply #73 on: October 24, 2011, 05:59:58 PM »

The Library wants me to pick up the book this Thursday, but I will be out of town that day and so I should have it by Friday.
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« Reply #74 on: October 24, 2011, 06:52:07 PM »

Also, is Christ's divine will part of the essence of the Most Holy Trinity or part of His hypostasis? If it's part of the divine essence common to all three hypostases, then I can see St. John's point about how Christ cannot have one composite will because the will is not His but also that of His Father and Holy Spirit.
The Divine will is part of the divine essence, or rather, the divine will is not a faculty of a divine person.
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« Reply #75 on: October 24, 2011, 08:23:35 PM »

Mina provided me these interesting quotes from St. Severus on another thread (from Fr. V.C. Samuel's book):


Quote
God the Word who brought us into being, through whom the Father made all things, when by his grace alone he willed to restore him who had fallen to the original order to give back to him who had fallen to the original order the grace of immortality, did not exercise force by using divine power.  On the contrary, in accordance with the word of justice, he made him who had fallen to fight again the battle. ... It was necessary for man to obtain the crown of victory over satan who had formerly deceived and defeated him.
p. 339


Quote
The Lord suffered the vehement feeling of hunger, which arouses the yearning for food.  Therefore, the voluntary passions permitted by the Word were not without any operation; but there was in him the stirring up of operations.  These were, however, subjected to the power of the invincible God.
p. 341


Quote
By his death our Saviour vanquished death.  It is clear, therefore, that if he did not die, death would not have been abolished.  The same is true of every one of the passions of the flesh.  If he did not fear, nature would not have been freed from fear.
p. 341

The second quote is particularly interesting. St. Severus says that the "voluntary passions" of the Word which were exercised by virtue of the Divine kenosis in the Incarnation were brought about by a "stirring of operations" intrinsic to the human will. Here, the human will, and the "voluntary passions" intrinsic hitherto, take initiative, yet at the same time, the human will is "subject to the power of the invincible God". Therefore, St. Severus cannot be accused of teaching that the human will was a mere "marionette" of the Divine will.
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« Reply #76 on: October 24, 2011, 08:41:20 PM »

Here's another interesting quote from St. Severus:

Quote
"But [Christ's soul] was not without intelligence and imperfect, according to the statement of the proverbs of Apollinaris, but was in fact intelligent, as indeed the very term 'boy' and the fact that he was named 'man' is enough to show this same thing: for a boy's soul is not without reason, but it is reasonable because it is human. However this very same thing is also clearly shown even by the sacred writings of the gospel; for it said of him, «Then he began to be distressed and grieved, and to say, 'My soul is sorrowful, even unto death'». But it is plain to everyone that distress and grief happen to a rational and intellectual soul. But, if they say that the Godhead of the Only one took the place of intellect, this is in truth a thing without intellect, for us to assign the passion of distress to the impassible nature of God."

http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/severus_coll_3_letters.htm
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« Reply #77 on: October 24, 2011, 08:43:04 PM »

Mina provided me these interesting quotes from St. Severus on another thread (from Fr. V.C. Samuel's book):


Quote
God the Word who brought us into being, through whom the Father made all things, when by his grace alone he willed to restore him who had fallen to the original order to give back to him who had fallen to the original order the grace of immortality, did not exercise force by using divine power.  On the contrary, in accordance with the word of justice, he made him who had fallen to fight again the battle. ... It was necessary for man to obtain the crown of victory over satan who had formerly deceived and defeated him.
p. 339


Quote
The Lord suffered the vehement feeling of hunger, which arouses the yearning for food.  Therefore, the voluntary passions permitted by the Word were not without any operation; but there was in him the stirring up of operations.  These were, however, subjected to the power of the invincible God.
p. 341


Quote
By his death our Saviour vanquished death.  It is clear, therefore, that if he did not die, death would not have been abolished.  The same is true of every one of the passions of the flesh.  If he did not fear, nature would not have been freed from fear.
p. 341

The second quote is particularly interesting. St. Severus says that the "voluntary passions" of the Word which were exercised by virtue of the Divine kenosis were brought about by a "stirring of operations" intrinsic to the human will. Here, the human will, and the "voluntary passions" intrinsic hitherto, take initiative, yet at the same time, the human will is "subject to the power of the invincible God". Therefore, St. Severus cannot be accused of teaching that the human will was a mere "marionette" of the Divine will.


Thanks for posting the quotes from the other thread. I would also like to quote one that you presented as well:

Quote
Quote from: Severian on July 25, 2011, 10:53:28 PM
I think that this passage from St Severus would refute any allegation that he was a "Monothelite":

"But [Christ's soul] was not without intelligence and imperfect, according to the statement of the proverbs of Apollinaris, but was in fact intelligent, as indeed the very term 'boy' and the fact that he was named 'man' is enough to show this same thing: for a boy's soul is not without reason, but it is reasonable because it is human. However this very same thing is also clearly shown even by the sacred writings of the gospel; for it said of him, «Then he began to be distressed and grieved, and to say, 'My soul is sorrowful, even unto death'». But it is plain to everyone that distress and grief happen to a rational and intellectual soul. But, if they say that the Godhead of the Only one took the place of intellect, this is in truth a thing without intellect, for us to assign the passion of distress to the impassible nature of God."
_____________________________________________________________________________________
Here St Severus attributes the anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane to the freely willing and rational soul of the Incarnate Word. The Monothelites, from my understanding, would posit the human will of Christ as a "marionette" of his divinity. That is, they would attribute the anguish of Christ to his divinity activating the human faculty of willing, unless of course I'm wrong.

You're not wrong. For that's exactly what Pyrrhus (from the quotes I read) was saying in his conversation with Saint Maximus.



Thanks for sharing, for now I know that you and I are extremely close in this area.
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« Reply #78 on: October 24, 2011, 08:46:40 PM »

@Jnorm888 Thank you for informing me of this. Smiley Do you think that St. Severus of Antioch was in agreement with Pyrrhus' doctrine based on the information I have provided? Curious...
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« Reply #79 on: October 24, 2011, 08:54:34 PM »

@Jnorm888 Thank you for informing me of this. Smiley Do you think that St. Severus of Antioch was in agreement with Pyrrhus' doctrine based on the information I have provided? Curious...

ISTM that Pyrrhus and the Monothelites are marrianettists, while Severus and St. Maximus are in agreement.
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« Reply #80 on: October 24, 2011, 08:56:12 PM »

^This is indeed interesting because Maximus himself accused Saint Severus of being a "marrionettist", but the latter's works were almost completely destroyed during the former's life, so... who knows? Huh
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« Reply #81 on: October 24, 2011, 09:05:35 PM »

@Jnorm888 Thank you for informing me of this. Smiley Do you think that St. Severus of Antioch was in agreement with Pyrrhus' doctrine based on the information I have provided? Curious...

No, based on the quotes you provided, I would say they were not in agreement. The quotes you posted by the O.O. St. Severus were in agreement with the E.O. Saint Maximus.


Thus, you and I are mostly in agreement on this issue. (I agree with the quotes you posted, not only on this thread, but in the other one as well)
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« Reply #82 on: October 24, 2011, 09:11:12 PM »

^This is indeed interesting because Maximus himself accused Saint Severus of being a "marrionettist", but the latter's works were almost completely destroyed during the former's life, so... who knows? Huh

The works of Severus were destroyed? Just the Greek versions? I assume the Syriac versions survived. (Although, the rate of survivorship of patristic manuscripts is not so good. A lot of St. John Chrysostom was apparently lost, but it seems we have almost all of Blessed Theodoret's Biblical commentaries. However, being Antiochene, they're kind of terse, but still worth a read. No Christological problems in the Biblical commentaries that I know of.)
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« Reply #83 on: October 24, 2011, 09:19:00 PM »

@Jnorm888 Thank you then, that's interesting. Smiley

@Shanghaiski Yes, most of the Greek works of St. Severus were destroyed, though many of his works translated in Syriac survive.
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« Reply #84 on: October 24, 2011, 09:24:03 PM »

^This is indeed interesting because Maximus himself accused Saint Severus of being a "marrionettist", but the latter's works were almost completely destroyed during the former's life, so... who knows? Huh

The works of Severus were destroyed? Just the Greek versions? I assume the Syriac versions survived. (Although, the rate of survivorship of patristic manuscripts is not so good. A lot of St. John Chrysostom was apparently lost, but it seems we have almost all of Blessed Theodoret's Biblical commentaries. However, being Antiochene, they're kind of terse, but still worth a read. No Christological problems in the Biblical commentaries that I know of.)
I just saw something on his abandonment of the term "Temple" for the human nature in the Commentaries.
The Christology of Theodoret of Cyrus: Antiochene Christology from the Council of Ephesus (431) to the Council of Chalcedon (451) By Paul B. Clayton
http://books.google.com/books?id=2m5Xnlarz8UC&pg=PA289&dq=Theodoret+Epistels&hl=en#v=snippet&q=suffered%20in%20the%20flesh&f=false

btw, the rate of survivorship of anything of ancient literature is not so good.
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« Reply #85 on: October 24, 2011, 10:56:28 PM »

It seems he was flexible (or "inconsistent" some would say) on the question of the wills, but he is firm in monoenergism.
With respect, St. Severus affirmed the pseudo-Dionysian formula "new God-man energy" and even (Father?) Cyril Hovorun said he affirmed a human "component" in the energy of the Incarnate Word, so I do not think it is accurate to accuse him of monoenergism.
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« Reply #86 on: October 25, 2011, 04:18:51 AM »

ialmisry, if you read all of Clayton's book, which is a good read, you will see that Clayton shows that while Theodoret moderated his language he never changed his Christology and remained a Theodorean all his life.
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« Reply #87 on: October 25, 2011, 04:21:48 AM »

I think Hovorun fails to understand our Christology fully. He quotes things which I read naturally one way, and then he takes a different (and wrong) view.

If he, and others, (generally) always took 'one' to mean 'one by composition and union', rather than 'simply one', then they would be less confused. Hovorun's difficulty is that he has relied on Grillmeier to describe our Christology and Grillmeier is usually very wrong indeed. One academic in a paper I read recently said that Grillmeier had led an entire generation of theological students astray. I felt the same thing when I first read him 15+years ago.
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« Reply #88 on: October 25, 2011, 02:47:52 PM »

Grillmeier says that St. Severus denied Christ's human will was active, but on what basis does he derive his argument from? I have not read too much from him, only a few excerpts from his books on Google.books.
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« Reply #89 on: October 25, 2011, 02:51:39 PM »

Grillmeier is consistently wrong on our Christology, and even that of St Cyril.

He reads everything that speaks of 'one' with a certain perspective that is not true to our faith.

I always use him for his references, which are great, but I have never trusted his commentary.
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« Reply #90 on: October 25, 2011, 02:52:59 PM »

^I see, then. Thank you. Smiley
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« Reply #91 on: October 25, 2011, 08:49:13 PM »

This is Dr. Jeffrey Macdonald talking about the 6th Ecumenical council:


http://orthodoxchurchhistory.com/uploads/WEB_15-6th_Ec_Council_ed.mp3 (6th Ecumenical Council-681 AD)

Most of the lecture is mostly about the back drop of what came before, and the context that set it all up. He also talks about how the Muslim conquest kept our two communions apart for a thousand plus years. He mentioned the 5th council and how that eventually brought alot of OO's back in communion with us. He talks about a number of different issues really and brings them together in how they relate to the 6th council.
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« Reply #92 on: December 21, 2011, 02:10:09 AM »

^This is indeed interesting because Maximus himself accused Saint Severus of being a "marrionettist", but the latter's works were almost completely destroyed during the former's life, so... who knows? Huh

I found something else that might seem interesting: (page 62)
http://www.syriac.ca/Library/Still%20to%20be%20added/from%20fr%20ken/Maximus%20the%20Confessor.pdf (Maximus the Confessor PDF file/book)
quote:
Quote
"There is nothing overtly polemical about this piece,
which is an exposition of the fourth letter ascribed to Denys the
Areopagite. But it is implicitly polemical, since this letter contains the
key phrase quoted by the Monenergists—‘one divine-human (or
52 THE DOCTRINE OF THE PERSON OF CHRIST
theandric) activity’. According to all the manuscripts of the Corpus
Areopagiticum that we possess, this letter in fact refers to ‘a new
theandric activity’, and this is the reading Maximus knows and uses
as the basis for his exposition. But since all the Greek manuscripts of
the Dionysian writings go back to the edition prepared by John of
Scythopolis in the middle of the sixth century, and John was himself
anxious to present Denys as an orthodox Cyrilline Chalcedonian, the
authenticity of theMonophysite/Monenergist/Monothelite reading ‘one
theandric activity’ cannot be ruled out.
Amb. 5 consists of a lengthy paraphrase of Denys the Areopagite’s
fourth letter. In this letter Denys explains that in the Incarnation God
is called human, not as being the cause of humanity (which is the
ground of ‘cataphatic’ theology, in accordance with which God can be
called everything of which he is the cause, that is, everything that is),
but because ‘he is himself in his whole being truly a man’. Denys then
goes on to explain how in the Incarnation there is a comherence of
divine and human, so that Christ does human things divinely and
divine things humanly, and thus manifests ‘a certain new theandric
activity’. It is not difficult to suspect Denys’ language of deliberately
contradicting the Tome of Leo with its assertion that ‘each form
does what is proper to it in communion with the other’. It is hardly
surprising that those who rejected the Tome of Leo called in support of
their position this letter of Denys’. Maximus’ paraphrase is intended
to show that the fourth letter is entirely in accordance with
Chalcedonian orthodoxy. It is, however, Chalcedonian orthodoxy read
in the light of Cyril—Cyrilline Chalcedonianism. Nowhere is this more
apparent than in the interpretation of Jesus’ walking on the water—
listed by Leo as an example of an unequivocably divine activity—
where Maximus seems to be following Severus of Antioch (entirely
unwittingly, one imagines, given his habitual denunciation of the
Monophysite patriarch):
‘if then with unmoistened feet, which have
bodily bulk and the weight of matter, he traversed the wet and unstable
substance, walking on the sea as on a pavement, he shows through
this crossing that the natural energy of his own flesh is inseparable
from the power of his divinity’ (1049BC: and see my note ad loc.)."


To read the rest please visit the pdf file link
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« Reply #93 on: December 21, 2011, 01:42:27 PM »

^Thank you for that interesting post! Smiley
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« Reply #94 on: December 21, 2011, 02:10:53 PM »

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

Quote

where Maximus seems to be following Severus of Antioch (entirely
unwittingly, one imagines, given his habitual denunciation of the
Monophysite patriarch):
‘if then with unmoistened feet, which have
bodily bulk and the weight of matter, he traversed the wet and unstable
substance, walking on the sea as on a pavement, he shows through
this crossing that the natural energy of his own flesh is inseparable
from the power of his divinity’
(1049BC: and see my note ad loc.)."

Simply beautiful! I was just discussing this exact issue in a Christological lesson with my Sunday School class this past Sunday.  We were talking about the depth and faculties of the Tewahedo Union of the Incarnation according to Cyrillian Miaphysitism.  A question was asked in just this manner, about the seemingly human and divine activities of Christ, and one of my students suggested (and even used the same phrasing as Pope Leo's Tome) that some actions are the Divine and others are Human, however we as a class came to Oriental conclusion that example was inaccurate, and instead followed the Oriental understanding that through the Union, the Divine exists interdependently through the Humanity because according to the Hypostatic Union, the Human Body is forever and inseparably the hypostatic Body and Person of the Divine Word, and so the Divine both exists and functions through the Humanity.  So when Jesus Christ performs Divine acts such as miracles, it is not the Divine performing one action and the humanity performing another, because this implies a separation, which we in the Ethiopian tradition entirely reject.  

In the story of walking on water, clearly it is not a purely Divine action, because the Divine Word of God has no feet with which to walk because the Divine naturally lacks all physicality.  So if we see the Word performing any kind of physical activity, including physically walking on water, then we know it is a Divine-Human action because the human gives physical form to the Divine through the hypostatic Union.  

Jesus Christ walks on water in His human body, and yet can only achieve this clearly supernatural act because of the inherent power of His Divinity, and thus the walking on water is one of the most perfect examples of the fullness of the Union and the absolute lack of separation.

Severian, can you repost the link to the website you sent me before full of Saint Severus writings? I would like to use them for my classes..

stay blessed,
habte selassie

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« Reply #95 on: December 21, 2011, 02:45:00 PM »

I have never understood the supposed distinction between 'one theandric activity' and 'a new theandric activity'. It seems to me to be only a polemical pose.

It would also make sense that the Chalcedonian transmission of the text has become corrupted. At one time it was even considered that St Severus WAS pseudo-Dionysius.
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« Reply #96 on: December 21, 2011, 02:55:41 PM »

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

I have never understood the supposed distinction between 'one theandric activity' and 'a new theandric activity'. It seems to me to be only a polemical pose.

It would also make sense that the Chalcedonian transmission of the text has become corrupted. At one time it was even considered that St Severus WAS pseudo-Dionysius.

I would agree, all the Theandric activities of God would be "new" to the Incarnation, because prior to the Incarnation it could not be said that God had any such human activities in the first place! However, folks how prefer "new" obviously are those who reject the concept of "One" and instead insist on two, human and divine.  Sometimes it is purely semantics, however I would argue in some examples the "two" camp reject some of the Oriental interpretations of the faculties of the Oneness of the Unity, especially emphasized by the language of Leo's Tome which from our Oriental perspective seemingly suggests a duality in Christ.  We in Oriental easily understand that through the Incarnation the Divine exists through the Human form, so that ALL Divine actions have become humanized because they stem from the Divine-Human Hypostasis of Jesus Christ, however Chalcedonians clearly have issues with this idea, hence a preference for "new" as opposed to "one"

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #97 on: December 21, 2011, 03:43:22 PM »

Severian, can you repost the link to the website you sent me before full of Saint Severus writings? I would like to use them for my classes..
Here you go:
http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/index.htm#Severus_of_Antioch
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« Reply #98 on: December 21, 2011, 03:48:29 PM »

I know what a new theandric activity means but I dont know why the words one theandric activity should be considered polemically as being different.
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« Reply #99 on: December 21, 2011, 04:47:29 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
I know what a new theandric activity means but I dont know why the words one theandric activity should be considered polemically as being different.

It seems to me that "new" could leave open the Chalcedonian option of duality between the Natures, where as clearly "One" limits the activities to the Miaphysite interpretation. I think all parties equally insist that the Theandric activities are "new" however only the Orientals insist on "One"  Smiley

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #100 on: December 21, 2011, 06:13:42 PM »

But 'one' and 'a' both mean the same thing.

My issue is that I can see no legitimate reason for some Chalcedonians to consider that one form is heretical and the other Orthodox. It just seems polemical for the sake of polemics.
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« Reply #101 on: December 21, 2011, 06:22:24 PM »

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

But 'one' and 'a' both mean the same thing.


True, but not always, "one" mountain clearly indicates a singularity, where as "a mountain range" is both singular and yet mutually pluralistic. In this context, "a new theandric activity" would imply a singularity to the newness, but not necessarily to the activities, where as clearly "one" theandric activity leaves no doubt as to the singularity.

stay blessed,
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« Reply #102 on: December 21, 2011, 06:42:06 PM »

One theandric activity does not necessarily describe a singularity, just as one incarnate nature does not describe a singularity. In both cases there is always a proper duality.
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« Reply #103 on: March 12, 2012, 04:16:06 PM »

Marked for later reading.

Gr8 topic.
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