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Author Topic: Post Severian Anti-Chalcedonians  (Read 9662 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: October 24, 2011, 11:31:19 PM »

I want to provide the book given by Severian here:

http://books.google.com/books?id=OcKasEOTR38C&pg=PA25&lpg=PA25&dq=monothelite+severus&source=bl&ots=9-Hp_3UDYB&sig=HQwADYjpK2yhTmrATNv2McCXQcI&hl=en&ei

Cyril Hovorun shows some good evidence for seeing that St. Severus does acknowledge human will, energy, operation, and properties.  However, he does provide quotes for those who say they follow St. Severus that might have seen nothing in Christ but a divine will.  Themistius for instance, an "Agnoetes" who believed that Christ's human ignorance was a real ignorance, i.e. that His human nature did not know all things.  He follows St. Severus very close in everything else though.  But because some people didn't like his ignorance doctrine, Cyril Hovorun argues that people like Pope Theodosius of Alexandria affirmed only a divine will, despite being according to Cyril Hovorun, "above all Severan," and quoting Grillmeier, "what Cyril was to Severus, the latter was to Theodosius."  Nevertheless, he says about St. Theodosius that even the blameless passions of Christ he called "divine energia," and that the human passions were very passive.  Then about a century later, Pope St. Benjamin of Alexandria affirmed again human component of energia, and he seemed to preach about it as active.

I guess two questions come out of this.  What was the difference between the Agnoetes and St. Theodosius?  One said the ignorance was real human ignorance, but the other said it was part of the economy to show that His humanity is real???

The other question is what did Pope St. Theodosius teach?  Do we have any translated works of his?  Do we know anyone who wrote his works?  And Pope St. Benjamin as well?
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« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2011, 04:23:08 AM »

As I said on the other thread. I don't think Hovorun understand our Christology properly. And this slightly mars an excellent volume.
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« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2011, 10:35:10 AM »

Oh, okay, I just read that post right now.


Also, I'm very deficient in post-Severian history.  Do you happen to have information or know anything about the controversy of the Agnoetes?
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« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2011, 02:33:29 PM »

Dear Mina,

Themistius was a follower of St Severus who accepted that the humanity of Christ was complete and consubstantial with us, and took this to the extent that he taught that Christ must also be ignorant in his humanity.

There is an excellent volume, Monophysite Texts of the Sixth Century, by Van Roey and Allen, which contains a selection of texts and useful commentary dealing with this issue.

In brief. St Theodosius would allow that it was Orthodox to say that the humanity of Christ was naturally ignorant en theoria, but that as the humanity of the Word of God the divine knowledge was always present to the humanity in the natural and hypostatic union. Themistius seems to want to say that the humanity is ignorant even in the union, and therefore was accused of establishing two subjects, one who was ignorant and one who was divinely knowledgeable.

The same volume contains many documents from St Theodosius.

The commentary is in English, the text in Syriac, unfortunately the translation is into Latin. I will ask Allen if the material was translated into English as part of the translation effort.
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« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2011, 03:05:37 PM »

I remember reading somewhere that St. Severus argued that Christ's human mind was omniscient, not ignorant, by virtue of the mind's hypostatic union with the Divine hypostasis. Is this true? And, if so, where can I read what St. Severus has to say on this matter?

Also where can I read St. Theodosius' and Benjamin's works? Were they in the volume Fr. Peter mentioned in message #3?
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« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2011, 03:26:52 PM »

This doesn't have anything to do with the questions I posted, but I found this that is attributed to Pope St. Theodosius concerning the Dormition and Assumption of the Theotokos.  According to the site, it was a homily told towards the end of his life, and the way it is written is as if it is written from the Apostles' perspectives.  But I don't know how authentic this is, but it was an interesting read:

http://pages.uoregon.edu/sshoemak/texts/coptic/Theodosius.htm

It has some Christology in it, but mainly what sparked my interest is the poetic dialogues and the beliefs that the Coptic Church in the sixth century might have had at the time, i.e. that the Assumption was an actual Resurrection of the Theotokos.
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« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2011, 03:43:30 PM »

There's lots by St Theodosius in the volume I mentioned. But you can also find some texts in the chronicles on tertullian.org/fathers. Can't remember which one and which volume.
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« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2011, 03:46:21 PM »

There is also his encomium of the Archangel Michael..

http://www.archive.org/details/saintmichaelarc00theouoft
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« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2011, 04:08:54 PM »

Bishop Severus of Al-Ashmumein wrote about the lives of Popes Sts. Theodosius and Benjamin here:

http://tertullian.org/fathers/severus_hermopolis_hist_alex_patr_02_part2.htm
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« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2011, 05:00:56 PM »

Themistius seems to want to say that the humanity is ignorant even in the union
Huzzah for Themistius!
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« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2011, 05:03:29 PM »

Themistius seems to want to say that the humanity is ignorant even in the union
Huzzah for Themistius!
Even Saint Athanasius argues that Christ is ignorant in His humanity after the union, IIRC.
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« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2011, 05:05:21 PM »

I don't find that likely. Do you have references?
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« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2011, 05:10:22 PM »

I don't find that likely. Do you have references?
Here's something:

"Of that day or that hour no one knows, not even He Himself - that is, when viewed according to the flesh, because He too, as human, lives within the limits of the human condition. He said this to show that, viewed as an ordinary man, He does not know the future, for this is a human characteristic. Insofar as He is viewed according to His divinity as the Logos Who is to come, to judge, to be Bridegroom, however, He knows when and in what hour He will come....Viewed according to His divinity, He knows, and there is nothing which He does not know." [ Discourses Against the Arians, Third Discourse]
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« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2011, 05:15:43 PM »

Well this is what I said St Theodosius said. En theoria we can say that the humanity is ignorant as taken on its own. But it is not on its own and the divinity, as St Athanasius says, knows all things.

Nicholas, does your Huzzah mean that you agree with Themistius?
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« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2011, 05:17:51 PM »

Nicholas, does your Huzzah mean that you agree with Themistius?
In that in the Kenosis the Logos chose to be truly ignorant in the flesh?

Yep.

If one of the Trinity can be crucified in the flesh, though divinity has no body, then one of the Trinity can be ignorant in the flesh, though divinity has no ignorance.

If one says "The Logos was ignorant in theory because he was really human, but could not have been truly ignorant because his humanity was divinized from the union" then one must say "The Logos could die in theory because he was really human, but could not have truly died because his humanity was divinized from the union".
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« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2011, 05:31:27 PM »

But he has been condemned for thesr views by the sixth EO council? And by the OO Fathers.
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« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2011, 05:32:38 PM »

But he has been condemned for thesr views by the sixth EO council?
He was? For this particular point?
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« Reply #17 on: October 25, 2011, 05:34:57 PM »

En theoria does not mean in theory.

And yes he has been condemned by the sixth council, and at the time St Theodosius condemned him he was also condemned by the Greek Alexandrian patriarch and by Pope Gregory I.
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« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2011, 05:35:39 PM »

This is the only issue he is known for.
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« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2011, 05:37:22 PM »

Well this is what I said St Theodosius said. En theoria we can say that the humanity is ignorant as taken on its own. But it is not on its own and the divinity, as St Athanasius says, knows all things.

Nicholas, does your Huzzah mean that you agree with Themistius?
Silly me then! Smiley
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« Reply #20 on: October 25, 2011, 05:45:22 PM »

I take the view that we always need to begin with our Fathers and understand their position thoroughly before we allow ourselves to move beyond it.
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« Reply #21 on: October 25, 2011, 05:49:12 PM »

I take the view that we always need to begin with our Fathers and understand their position thoroughly before we allow ourselves to move beyond it.
It was my impression that I shared the patristic view on this issue.
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« Reply #22 on: October 25, 2011, 05:50:22 PM »

This doesn't have anything to do with the questions I posted, but I found this that is attributed to Pope St. Theodosius concerning the Dormition and Assumption of the Theotokos.  According to the site, it was a homily told towards the end of his life, and the way it is written is as if it is written from the Apostles' perspectives.  But I don't know how authentic this is, but it was an interesting read:

http://pages.uoregon.edu/sshoemak/texts/coptic/Theodosius.htm

It has some Christology in it, but mainly what sparked my interest is the poetic dialogues and the beliefs that the Coptic Church in the sixth century might have had at the time, i.e. that the Assumption was an actual Resurrection of the Theotokos.
Isn't it?
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« Reply #23 on: October 25, 2011, 05:53:19 PM »

Nicholas, as I said. Themistius was condemned on all sides.
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« Reply #24 on: October 25, 2011, 05:53:27 PM »

This is the only issue he is known for.

"The holy and Ecumenical Synod further says, this pious and orthodox Creed of the Divine grace would be sufficient for the full knowledge and confirmation of the orthodox faith. But as the author of evil, who, in the beginning, availed himself of the aid of the serpent, and by it brought the poison of death upon the human race, has not desisted, but in like manner now, having found suitable instruments for working out his will (we mean Theodorus, who was Bishop of Pharan, Sergius, Pyrrhus, Paul and Peter, who were Archbishops of this royal city, and moreover, Honorius who was Pope of the elder Rome, Cyrus Bishop of Alexandria, Macarius who was lately bishop of Antioch, and Stephen his disciple), has actively employed them in raising up for the whole Church the stumbling-blocks of one will and one operation in the two natures of Christ our true God, one of the Holy Trinity; thus disseminating, in novel terms, amongst the orthodox people, an heresy similar to the mad and wicked doctrine of the impious Apollinaris, Severus, and Themistius, and endeavouring craftily to destroy the perfection of the incarnation of the same our Lord Jesus Christ, our God, by blasphemously representing his flesh endowed with a rational soul as devoid of will or operation." -6th Ecumenical Council

It seems they are condemning Themistius for perceived monophyistism, not for saying that Christ was ignorant in his humanity.
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« Reply #25 on: October 25, 2011, 05:54:48 PM »

There is a very comprehensive book by OUP which studies all the dormition narratives in great detail.
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« Reply #26 on: October 25, 2011, 05:57:11 PM »

Well you'll have to believe what you will then. You seem to have mafe up your mind already. What of the other EO and OO witnesses? And why on earth would he be mentioned if he was just another Severan.
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« Reply #27 on: October 25, 2011, 05:58:22 PM »

Well you'll have to believe what you will then. You seem to have mafe up your mind already.
If I had, Father, I wouldn't be here discussing it!


What of the other EO and OO witnesses? And why on earth would he be mentioned if he was just another Severan.
Byzantines tend to do that in councils.
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« Reply #28 on: October 25, 2011, 06:00:18 PM »

Also, since the teaching of Apollinarius was not the same as that of Severus at all they are describing three teavhings not one and are distinguishing Theomistius from Apollinarius and Severus.
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« Reply #29 on: October 25, 2011, 06:15:06 PM »

This doesn't have anything to do with the questions I posted, but I found this that is attributed to Pope St. Theodosius concerning the Dormition and Assumption of the Theotokos.  According to the site, it was a homily told towards the end of his life, and the way it is written is as if it is written from the Apostles' perspectives.  But I don't know how authentic this is, but it was an interesting read:

http://pages.uoregon.edu/sshoemak/texts/coptic/Theodosius.htm

It has some Christology in it, but mainly what sparked my interest is the poetic dialogues and the beliefs that the Coptic Church in the sixth century might have had at the time, i.e. that the Assumption was an actual Resurrection of the Theotokos.
Isn't it?

There are some in the Coptic Church today who are arguing that the Assumption was just an Assumption of her body, but was and will not be reunited with her soul until the second coming.
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« Reply #30 on: October 25, 2011, 06:20:29 PM »

That is one of two historic views. The book i mentioned goes into great detail.
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« Reply #31 on: October 25, 2011, 06:32:32 PM »

So, let me understand this.

Did Themistius probably missed saying that the Logos, who knows all things, voluntarily allowed to be ignorant of certain things in His human nature?  Did he preach more of an involuntary ignorant human nature of Christ, that might set apart from the Divine Person of Christ?
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« Reply #32 on: October 25, 2011, 06:36:38 PM »

That is one of two historic views. The book i mentioned goes into great detail.

True, I didn't mean to say that either view is wrong, but I am bothered by those who say so.
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« Reply #33 on: October 25, 2011, 06:47:22 PM »

This doesn't have anything to do with the questions I posted, but I found this that is attributed to Pope St. Theodosius concerning the Dormition and Assumption of the Theotokos.  According to the site, it was a homily told towards the end of his life, and the way it is written is as if it is written from the Apostles' perspectives.  But I don't know how authentic this is, but it was an interesting read:

http://pages.uoregon.edu/sshoemak/texts/coptic/Theodosius.htm

It has some Christology in it, but mainly what sparked my interest is the poetic dialogues and the beliefs that the Coptic Church in the sixth century might have had at the time, i.e. that the Assumption was an actual Resurrection of the Theotokos.
Isn't it?

There are some in the Coptic Church today who are arguing that the Assumption was just an Assumption of her body, but was and will not be reunited with her soul until the second coming.
So she is a zombie in heaven?

Is there many Copts who deny her resurrection?  I never met one.
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« Reply #34 on: October 25, 2011, 07:05:02 PM »

This doesn't have anything to do with the questions I posted, but I found this that is attributed to Pope St. Theodosius concerning the Dormition and Assumption of the Theotokos.  According to the site, it was a homily told towards the end of his life, and the way it is written is as if it is written from the Apostles' perspectives.  But I don't know how authentic this is, but it was an interesting read:

http://pages.uoregon.edu/sshoemak/texts/coptic/Theodosius.htm

It has some Christology in it, but mainly what sparked my interest is the poetic dialogues and the beliefs that the Coptic Church in the sixth century might have had at the time, i.e. that the Assumption was an actual Resurrection of the Theotokos.
Isn't it?

There are some in the Coptic Church today who are arguing that the Assumption was just an Assumption of her body, but was and will not be reunited with her soul until the second coming.
So she is a zombie in heaven?

Is there many Copts who deny her resurrection?  I never met one.

At the risk of defending something I personally don't believe in, it's in a way a preservation and veneration of her body.  We can't really call that as "zombie in heaven."  Do we have relics in Church and call them zombies?

At the same time, those who do believe this believe that no one can rise from the dead until the second coming of Christ.  So, for consistency's sake, they believe that the reunion between soul and flesh can never happen until the second coming.
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« Reply #35 on: October 26, 2011, 12:01:00 PM »

En theoria does not mean in theory.

And yes he has been condemned by the sixth council, and at the time St Theodosius condemned him he was also condemned by the Greek Alexandrian patriarch and by Pope Gregory I.

Father, this is fascinating. Thank you.
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« Reply #36 on: October 26, 2011, 04:29:17 PM »

One of the key texts for the Agnoetae was John 11:34 which says..

John 11:34  And [Jesus] said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.

This was taken by the Agnoetae as showing that our Lord was ignorant of some things, at least in his humanity. But St Cyril comments on this passage and very clearly illustrates that he would have had no sympathy with Themistius. His commentary is also a useful reminder of his view that the humanity was always the tool of the Word, as we discussed in relation to the Word so acting in his humanity that he felt no hunger for the forty days in the desert until the end.

St Cyril says..

When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, He groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, and said, Where have ye laid him?

Now since Christ was not only God by Nature, but; also Man, He suffers in common with the rest that which is human; and when grief begins somehow to be stirred within Him, and His Holy Flesh now inclines to tears, He does not allow It to indulge in them without restraint, as is the custom with us. But He groans in the spirit, that is, in the power of the Holy Spirit He reproves in some way His Own Flesh: and That, not being able to endure the action of the Godhead united with It, trembles and presents the appearance of trouble. For this I think to be the signification of "He was troubled;" for how otherwise could He endure trouble? Shall that Nature which is ever undisturbed and calm be troubled in any way? The flesh therefore is reproved by the Spirit, being taught to feel things beyond its own nature. For indeed on this account the Almighty Word of God was made in Flesh, or rather was made Flesh, that He might strengthen the weaknesses of the flesh by the energies of His own Spirit, and withdraw our nature from too earthly feelings, and transform it as it were to such feelings only as are pleasing to God. Surely it is an infirmity of human nature to be abjectly overcome by griefs, but this as well as the rest is brought into subjection, in Christ first, that it may be also in us.

Or thus we must understand the words: He groaned in the spirit and was troubled, viz:----as equivalent to: "Being moved to compassion by reason of many weeping, He in a manner gave commandment to His own Spirit to overthrow death before the time, and to raise up Lazarus." And it is not as being ignorant that He asks: Where have ye laid him? For He Who had known of Lazarus' death when He was in another part of the country, how could He be ignorant about the tomb? But He speaks thus as being averse to arrogance: therefore He did not say: "Let us go to the tomb, for I will awaken him," although asking the question particularly in the way He did has this significance. Moreover also by saying this, He prepared many to go before Him that they might shew Him that which He sought. With a set purpose therefore He said this also, drawing by His words many to the place, and appears not to know, not at all shrinking from the poverty of man's condition, although in His Nature God and knowing all things, not only those which have been, but also those which shall be, before their existence.

And the asking a question therefore does not imply any ignorance in Him Who for our sakes was made like unto us, but rather He is shown from this to be equal to the Father; for He too asks a question: Adam, where art thou? Christ also feigns ignorance and inquires: Where have ye laid him? so that through the inquiry a multitude might be gathered together to the manifestation, and that by His enemies, rather than by others, testimony should be given to the miracle of restoring to life one who was already corrupt.
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« Reply #37 on: October 26, 2011, 04:53:56 PM »

St. John Chrysostom says He asks "where" in order to free the miracle of any suspicion (I guess that means to show it wasn't a pre-planned set-up). He doesn't comment on ignorance vs. omniscience. He does say about the weeping and groaning:

Quote
2. He comes then to the tomb; and again rebukes His feelings. Why does the Evangelist carefully in several places mention that He wept, and that, He groaned? That you may learn that He had of a truth put on our nature. For when this Evangelist is remarkable for uttering great things concerning Christ more than the others, in matters relating to the body, here he also speaks much more humbly than they. For instance, concerning His death he has said nothing of the kind; the other Evangelists declare that He was exceedingly sorrowful, that He was in an agony; but John, on the contrary, says, that He even cast the officers backwards. So that he has made up here what is omitted there, by mentioning His grief. When speaking of His death, Christ says, I have power to lay down My life John 10:18, and then He utters no lowly word; therefore at the Passion they attribute to Him much that is human, to show the reality of the Dispensation. And Matthew proves this by the Agony, the trouble, the trembling, and the sweat; but John by His sorrow. For had He not been of our nature, He would not once and again have been mastered by grief. What did Jesus? He made no defense with regard to their charges; for why should He silence by words those who were soon to be silenced by deeds? A means less annoying, and more adapted to shame them.

I think Nicholas has a good point that if Christ could die, why couldn't He be ignorant?
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« Reply #38 on: October 26, 2011, 05:05:39 PM »

In his commentary on Matthew 24:36, however, he does allude to John 11:34 and says that Christ was not ignorant.

Quote
But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of Heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. By saying, not the angels, He stopped their mouths, that they should not seek to learn what these angels know not; and by saying, neither the Son, forbids them not only to learn, but even to inquire. For in proof that therefore He said this, see after His resurrection, when He saw they had become over curious, how He stopped their mouths more decidedly. For now indeed He has mentioned infallible signs, many and endless; but then He says merely, It is not for you to know times or seasons. And then that they might not say, we are driven to perplexity, we are utterly scorned, we are not held worthy so much as of this, He says, which the Father has put in His own power. And this, because He was exceedingly careful to honor them, and to conceal nothing from them. Therefore He refers it to His Father, both to make the thing awful, and to exclude that of which He had spoken from their inquiry. Since if it be not this, but He is ignorant of it, when will He know it? Will it be together with us? But who would say this? And the Father He knows clearly, even as clearly as He knows the Son; and of the day is He ignorant? Moreover, the Spirit indeed searches even the deep things of God, 1 Corinthians 2:10 and does not He know so much as the time of the judgment? But how He ought to judge He knows, and of the secrets of each He has a full perception; and what is far more common than that, of this could He be ignorant? And how, if all things were made by Him, and without Him was not even one thing made, was He ignorant of the day? For He who made the worlds, it is quite plain that He made the times also; and if the times, even that day. How then is He ignorant of that which He made?
...
For that indeed I am not ignorant of it, I have shown by many things; having mentioned intervals, and all the things that are to occur, and how short from this present time until the day itself (for this did the parable of the fig tree indicate), and I lead you to the very vestibule; and if I do not open unto you the doors, this also I do for your good.

And that you may learn by another thing also, that the silence is not a mark of ignorance on His part...
...
Wherefore He first says this, Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his Lord shall set over His household to give them their meat in their due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord when He comes shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, that He shall make him ruler over all His goods.

Tell me, is this too the language of one who is in ignorance? For if because He said, neither does the Son know, you say He is ignorant of it; as He says, who then? what will you say? Will you say He is ignorant of this too? Away with the thought. For not even one of them that are frantic would say this. And yet in the former case one might assign a cause; but here not even this. And what when He said, Peter, do you love me? John 21:16 asking it, knew He not so much as this? Nor when He said, Where have ye laid him? John 11:34
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« Reply #39 on: October 26, 2011, 05:11:47 PM »

They are completely different states.

To be able to die requires a mortal nature, and we believe that the Word united to Himself just such mortal nature.

But ignorance is not a faculty of humanity, it is a condition of the faculty of 'knowing'. We understand that the Word has the human faculty of knowing, in accordance with the perfection of His humanity. But being 'ignorant' is not a human faculty, rather it describes the content of the human faculty of 'knowing'.

We ourselves have to acquire a limited amount of knowledge through experience, study, reflection etc. We watch sci-fi movies where this process is speeded up so that a character can learn an entire domain of knowledge in moments. We don't consider this 'inhuman', just a matter of technology. There is therefore nothing 'inhuman' in considering that the human faculty of knowing in Christ operates the same as ours but finds its content 'infused' with the divine knowledge as God the Word wills.

We see this throughout the Gospels..

When you were under the tree I saw you.

Let us go, our friend Lazarus has died.

He knew what they were thinking.

This is no different to all the other human faculties, they properly exist but are deified in union with the Word whose faculties they are. At every moment the Word allows His own humanity to know, in a human manner through the same process of cognition we experience, whatever it is that He wills to know. The difference is the source of knowledge.

For us it is the usual mental processing of sense data, as well as the effect of grace granting certain intuitions and knowledge beyond such sense data.

For Christ it is the mental processing of sense data, but also the direct (and not of grace) impenetration of the human mind with the Divine knowledge of the Word as He willed.

I don't think that this means that the human brain of Christ (how dare we dissect our Lord in such a way) contained in its neurons every fact in the universe. I think that would be impossible for a human brain. Rather I think that all knowledge was available to the human mind as the Word chose, and at the moment that the Divine knowledge was turned to some effect in the humanity that knowledge was known to the humanity. He knew and knows all things, but rather because all things are made transparent to the humanity as the Word wills.

Does any of that make sense?

En theoria we see that the human mind of Christ is limited just as our is, but in union with the Word all limitations are transcended.

This seems to me to be what St Cyril is teaching.
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« Reply #40 on: October 26, 2011, 05:27:04 PM »

They are completely different states.

To be able to die requires a mortal nature, and we believe that the Word united to Himself just such mortal nature.

But ignorance is not a faculty of humanity, it is a condition of the faculty of 'knowing'. We understand that the Word has the human faculty of knowing, in accordance with the perfection of His humanity. But being 'ignorant' is not a human faculty, rather it describes the content of the human faculty of 'knowing'.

Agreed.

Quote
We ourselves have to acquire a limited amount of knowledge through experience, study, reflection etc. We watch sci-fi movies where this process is speeded up so that a character can learn an entire domain of knowledge in moments. We don't consider this 'inhuman', just a matter of technology.

Actually, I would consider that inhuman. And while ignorance is not part of human nature (we do not become less human by growing in wisdom and knowledge), corporeality is; that is to say, it is human to exist in space-time, to have 'only so many hours in the day', to have limited experience, to learn, to grow, etc.

Quote
There is therefore nothing 'inhuman' in considering that the human faculty of knowing in Christ operates the same as ours but finds its content 'infused' with the divine knowledge as God the Word wills.

Probably not necessarily so, yes; but this idea could be problematic if you approached it in, for example, an Apollinarian manner, replacing Christ's human mind with the Logos. So I would like to see a more precise description of the structure of this infusion, if possible.

Quote
We see this throughout the Gospels..

When you were under the tree I saw you.

Let us go, our friend Lazarus has died.

He knew what they were thinking.

This is no different to all the other human faculties, they properly exist but are deified in union with the Word whose faculties they are. At every moment the Word allows His own humanity to know, in a human manner through the same process of cognition we experience, whatever it is that He wills to know. The difference is the source of knowledge.

For us it is the usual mental processing of sense data, as well as the effect of grace granting certain intuitions and knowledge beyond such sense data.

For Christ it is the mental processing of sense data, but also the direct (and not of grace) impenetration of the human mind with the Divine knowledge of the Word as He willed.

I don't think that this means that the human brain of Christ (how dare we dissect our Lord in such a way) contained in its neurons every fact in the universe. I think that would be impossible for a human brain. Rather I think that all knowledge was available to the human mind as the Word chose, and at the moment that the Divine knowledge was turned to some effect in the humanity that knowledge was known to the humanity. He knew and knows all things, but rather because all things are made transparent to the humanity as the Word wills.

Does any of that make sense?

En theoria we see that the human mind of Christ is limited just as our is, but in union with the Word all limitations are transcended.

This seems to me to be what St Cyril is teaching.
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« Reply #41 on: October 26, 2011, 05:36:35 PM »

We see this throughout the Gospels..

When you were under the tree I saw you.

Let us go, our friend Lazarus has died.

He knew what they were thinking.
He knew these things as a man, the ontologically-circumscribed Logos who remains un-circumscribed in logical paradox.

He did not know them because his mind had all the divine knowledge.
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« Reply #42 on: October 26, 2011, 05:40:11 PM »

In his commentary on Matthew 24:36, however, he does allude to John 11:34 and says that Christ was not ignorant.

Quote
But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of Heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. By saying, not the angels, He stopped their mouths, that they should not seek to learn what these angels know not; and by saying, neither the Son, forbids them not only to learn, but even to inquire. For in proof that therefore He said this, see after His resurrection, when He saw they had become over curious, how He stopped their mouths more decidedly. For now indeed He has mentioned infallible signs, many and endless; but then He says merely, It is not for you to know times or seasons. And then that they might not say, we are driven to perplexity, we are utterly scorned, we are not held worthy so much as of this, He says, which the Father has put in His own power. And this, because He was exceedingly careful to honor them, and to conceal nothing from them. Therefore He refers it to His Father, both to make the thing awful, and to exclude that of which He had spoken from their inquiry. Since if it be not this, but He is ignorant of it, when will He know it? Will it be together with us? But who would say this? And the Father He knows clearly, even as clearly as He knows the Son; and of the day is He ignorant? Moreover, the Spirit indeed searches even the deep things of God, 1 Corinthians 2:10 and does not He know so much as the time of the judgment? But how He ought to judge He knows, and of the secrets of each He has a full perception; and what is far more common than that, of this could He be ignorant? And how, if all things were made by Him, and without Him was not even one thing made, was He ignorant of the day? For He who made the worlds, it is quite plain that He made the times also; and if the times, even that day. How then is He ignorant of that which He made?
...
For that indeed I am not ignorant of it, I have shown by many things; having mentioned intervals, and all the things that are to occur, and how short from this present time until the day itself (for this did the parable of the fig tree indicate), and I lead you to the very vestibule; and if I do not open unto you the doors, this also I do for your good.

And that you may learn by another thing also, that the silence is not a mark of ignorance on His part...
...
Wherefore He first says this, Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his Lord shall set over His household to give them their meat in their due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord when He comes shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, that He shall make him ruler over all His goods.

Tell me, is this too the language of one who is in ignorance? For if because He said, neither does the Son know, you say He is ignorant of it; as He says, who then? what will you say? Will you say He is ignorant of this too? Away with the thought. For not even one of them that are frantic would say this. And yet in the former case one might assign a cause; but here not even this. And what when He said, Peter, do you love me? John 21:16 asking it, knew He not so much as this? Nor when He said, Where have ye laid him? John 11:34

JLatimer, I think that in the two examples given by Chrysostom at the end of the quote, Christ was not ignorant; the latter especially does not indicate ignorance even if you or I were to ask it.

I think that Christ could see into people's hearts, something that our saints can now do by grace, just as Christ did by natural union.

Quote
There is therefore nothing 'inhuman' in considering that the human faculty of knowing in Christ operates the same as ours but finds its content 'infused' with the divine knowledge as God the Word wills.

Probably not necessarily so, yes; but this idea could be problematic if you approached it in, for example, an Apollinarian manner, replacing Christ's human mind with the Logos. So I would like to see a more precise description of the structure of this infusion, if possible.

I agree. I think the danger is that one might pay lip-service to Christ technically having a human mind, whilst one functionally replaces that mind with the Logos for all intents and purposes through "divinized union".
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« Reply #43 on: October 26, 2011, 05:49:31 PM »

In his commentary on Matthew 24:36, however, he does allude to John 11:34 and says that Christ was not ignorant.

Quote
But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of Heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. By saying, not the angels, He stopped their mouths, that they should not seek to learn what these angels know not; and by saying, neither the Son, forbids them not only to learn, but even to inquire. For in proof that therefore He said this, see after His resurrection, when He saw they had become over curious, how He stopped their mouths more decidedly. For now indeed He has mentioned infallible signs, many and endless; but then He says merely, It is not for you to know times or seasons. And then that they might not say, we are driven to perplexity, we are utterly scorned, we are not held worthy so much as of this, He says, which the Father has put in His own power. And this, because He was exceedingly careful to honor them, and to conceal nothing from them. Therefore He refers it to His Father, both to make the thing awful, and to exclude that of which He had spoken from their inquiry. Since if it be not this, but He is ignorant of it, when will He know it? Will it be together with us? But who would say this? And the Father He knows clearly, even as clearly as He knows the Son; and of the day is He ignorant? Moreover, the Spirit indeed searches even the deep things of God, 1 Corinthians 2:10 and does not He know so much as the time of the judgment? But how He ought to judge He knows, and of the secrets of each He has a full perception; and what is far more common than that, of this could He be ignorant? And how, if all things were made by Him, and without Him was not even one thing made, was He ignorant of the day? For He who made the worlds, it is quite plain that He made the times also; and if the times, even that day. How then is He ignorant of that which He made?
...
For that indeed I am not ignorant of it, I have shown by many things; having mentioned intervals, and all the things that are to occur, and how short from this present time until the day itself (for this did the parable of the fig tree indicate), and I lead you to the very vestibule; and if I do not open unto you the doors, this also I do for your good.

And that you may learn by another thing also, that the silence is not a mark of ignorance on His part...
...
Wherefore He first says this, Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his Lord shall set over His household to give them their meat in their due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord when He comes shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, that He shall make him ruler over all His goods.

Tell me, is this too the language of one who is in ignorance? For if because He said, neither does the Son know, you say He is ignorant of it; as He says, who then? what will you say? Will you say He is ignorant of this too? Away with the thought. For not even one of them that are frantic would say this. And yet in the former case one might assign a cause; but here not even this. And what when He said, Peter, do you love me? John 21:16 asking it, knew He not so much as this? Nor when He said, Where have ye laid him? John 11:34

JLatimer, I think that in the two examples given by Chrysostom at the end of the quote, Christ was not ignorant; the latter especially does not indicate ignorance even if you or I were to ask it.

I think that Christ could see into people's hearts, something that our saints can now do by grace, just as Christ did by natural union.



Yes; then we agree Chrysostom does not seem to attribute ignorance to Christ?
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« Reply #44 on: October 26, 2011, 05:54:05 PM »

Yes; then we agree Chrysostom does not seem to attribute ignorance to Christ?
Not in those two examples, no. I do think that the Incarnate Logos had to learn who he was, didn't know calculus or Chinese, etc, but I don't think he was "ignorant" as we are.

I believe that the Logos willed, in eternity, all of his choices as the Incarnate God. But I believe that in the economia of the incarnation, when God chose to be incarnate, that initial choice ontologically limited his subsequent choices in time. Thus the Logos both willed everything in his life and Passion (in eternity) and was ontologically subjected to them, and limited by them, as a real human being in the economia of salvation.

I also believe that it is natural, fitting, and organic to the Divine Nature to be humbled, because God is truly humble even in eternity. Of all the things that Pope St. Leo wrote, his attribution of "exaltation" to the Divine nature and "humility" to the human nature, as if they contradict in this manner, is where I find the most disagreement with him.
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« Reply #45 on: October 26, 2011, 05:57:54 PM »

I think we need to reference all of the relevant passages in St Cyril. But I need to head to bed now.

Obviously I do not consider our Lord to be lacking in anything in his humanity. What is not assumed... But that does not mean that His experience of His own
humanity is the same as ours in all points.

We have already seen that His humanity did not feel hunger for forty days, beyond nature but not against nature. This is what St Cyril describes in relation to his knowledge.

If a saint may be given constant intuitions by grace then why not the humanity of our Lord directly by the Lord whose humanity it is and which serves his divine purpose?

But I'd rather we tried to turn to the Fathers and begin there than I build a castle on my own opinions. I will try to find all the Cyrilline references if no-one else does.

In regard to Nicholas' last point, I would absolutely deny that He had to learn who he was. I am 100% certain that the Fathers also disagree.
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« Reply #46 on: October 26, 2011, 06:03:43 PM »

Yes; what do you mean by "learn who he was"?
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« Reply #47 on: October 26, 2011, 06:09:44 PM »

Yes; what do you mean by "learn who he was"?
I mean, first and foremost, that Christ the Fetus did not intellectually know what a messiah was. I would also say that when Christ "grew in wisdom and stature" that growing in wisdom was not a feigned increase to demonstrate that he could be really human when he wanted to be.

St. Rumwould not withstanding.
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« Reply #48 on: October 26, 2011, 06:33:46 PM »

But I need to head to bed now.

Goodnight, Father.
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« Reply #49 on: October 26, 2011, 07:30:03 PM »

"Also, if you’re a real human being, then you’re limited. You learn things as a human being, with a human brain. And this would definitely be the teaching, that, as a man, hōs anthrōpos, Jesus was not omniscient. He was not omnipresent; he was not all over the place. He could express divinity through his circumscribed—that would be a good expression of the Church Fathers—his bounded humanity. So through his Jewish, first-century humanity, he could pronounce forgiveness of sins. He could raise the dead. He could heal the blind. He could do wonderful, divine actions: calm the wind, walk on the water. But he does all this as a man, in his humanity.

Therefore, there are certain elements in him that are really human. If he were not really human, they wouldn’t be so. For example, Jesus didn’t know English. Jesus couldn’t speak English. Now, you could say, 'Well, God could have infused in him the knowledge of English or something.' Well, perhaps God could; perhaps he could have infused it in anybody if he wanted to. It doesn’t seem very likely, but in any case, if Jesus is really human, then he is also ignorant of many things. He does not know the [theory] of relativity. He never read Charles Darwin. He didn’t know the Baghavad Gita. Maybe he even thought the earth was flat; who knows? He was a first-century, real human being.

And if the Incarnation is real, then all the limitations of humanity have to be his in his human form. And he can express his divinity within the limitations and the [circumscriptions] of his humanity. In other words, within the boundedness of what it means to be a human being. Because a human being is in time, is in space."

 -Fr. Thomas Hopko
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« Reply #50 on: October 26, 2011, 07:52:03 PM »

Quote
For had He not been of our nature, He would not once and again have been mastered by grief.
If, for all our perceived disagreements, you can believe this quote undefiled by caveats, I confess that we do not disagree at all.
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« Reply #51 on: October 26, 2011, 08:07:36 PM »

Quote
For had He not been of our nature, He would not once and again have been mastered by grief.
If, for all our perceived disagreements, you can believe this quote undefiled by caveats, I confess that we do not disagree at all.

Well, I did refuse to crop that part out, which I could have, just for you.
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« Reply #52 on: October 26, 2011, 09:44:17 PM »

They are completely different states.

To be able to die requires a mortal nature, and we believe that the Word united to Himself just such mortal nature.

But ignorance is not a faculty of humanity, it is a condition of the faculty of 'knowing'. We understand that the Word has the human faculty of knowing, in accordance with the perfection of His humanity. But being 'ignorant' is not a human faculty, rather it describes the content of the human faculty of 'knowing'.

We ourselves have to acquire a limited amount of knowledge through experience, study, reflection etc. We watch sci-fi movies where this process is speeded up so that a character can learn an entire domain of knowledge in moments. We don't consider this 'inhuman', just a matter of technology. There is therefore nothing 'inhuman' in considering that the human faculty of knowing in Christ operates the same as ours but finds its content 'infused' with the divine knowledge as God the Word wills.

We see this throughout the Gospels..

When you were under the tree I saw you.

Let us go, our friend Lazarus has died.

He knew what they were thinking.

This is no different to all the other human faculties, they properly exist but are deified in union with the Word whose faculties they are. At every moment the Word allows His own humanity to know, in a human manner through the same process of cognition we experience, whatever it is that He wills to know. The difference is the source of knowledge.

For us it is the usual mental processing of sense data, as well as the effect of grace granting certain intuitions and knowledge beyond such sense data.

For Christ it is the mental processing of sense data, but also the direct (and not of grace) impenetration of the human mind with the Divine knowledge of the Word as He willed.

I don't think that this means that the human brain of Christ (how dare we dissect our Lord in such a way) contained in its neurons every fact in the universe. I think that would be impossible for a human brain. Rather I think that all knowledge was available to the human mind as the Word chose, and at the moment that the Divine knowledge was turned to some effect in the humanity that knowledge was known to the humanity. He knew and knows all things, but rather because all things are made transparent to the humanity as the Word wills.

Does any of that make sense?

En theoria we see that the human mind of Christ is limited just as our is, but in union with the Word all limitations are transcended.

This seems to me to be what St Cyril is teaching.

I think that makes perfect sense, and I would agree wholly to it.  So Themistius denied that the Word allow anything for His human brain to know it seems, or that the Word was unable to give knowledge to His own humanity?
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« Reply #53 on: October 26, 2011, 09:52:11 PM »

Yes; what do you mean by "learn who he was"?
I mean, first and foremost, that Christ the Fetus did not intellectually know what a messiah was. I would also say that when Christ "grew in wisdom and stature" that growing in wisdom was not a feigned increase to demonstrate that he could be really human when he wanted to be.

St. Rumwould not withstanding.

Did not the fathers believe that St. John the Forerunner as a fetus in the womb of St. Elizabeth worship the Logos who was conceived in the womb of the Theotokos?  I believe with the Holy Spirit, children can understand who God is and worship Him in their own limited sense.  I believe Christ knew who He was ever since that conception, but allowed to grow in certain wisdoms and learn in human fashions.  In a way, the Logos allowed more wisdom and learning to enter the growing brain so as to proceed in a fashion that can be allowed at different levels of maturity.  Keep in mind, the Scriptures do record that at the age of 12, it seemed that Christ was teaching the elders themselves.

And let's not forget, this is an incredible mystery.  We always have to start with this part.
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« Reply #54 on: October 26, 2011, 09:56:20 PM »

"Also, if you’re a real human being, then you’re limited. You learn things as a human being, with a human brain. And this would definitely be the teaching, that, as a man, hōs anthrōpos, Jesus was not omniscient. He was not omnipresent; he was not all over the place. He could express divinity through his circumscribed—that would be a good expression of the Church Fathers—his bounded humanity. So through his Jewish, first-century humanity, he could pronounce forgiveness of sins. He could raise the dead. He could heal the blind. He could do wonderful, divine actions: calm the wind, walk on the water. But he does all this as a man, in his humanity.

Therefore, there are certain elements in him that are really human. If he were not really human, they wouldn’t be so. For example, Jesus didn’t know English. Jesus couldn’t speak English. Now, you could say, 'Well, God could have infused in him the knowledge of English or something.' Well, perhaps God could; perhaps he could have infused it in anybody if he wanted to. It doesn’t seem very likely, but in any case, if Jesus is really human, then he is also ignorant of many things. He does not know the [theory] of relativity. He never read Charles Darwin. He didn’t know the Baghavad Gita. Maybe he even thought the earth was flat; who knows? He was a first-century, real human being.

And if the Incarnation is real, then all the limitations of humanity have to be his in his human form. And he can express his divinity within the limitations and the [circumscriptions] of his humanity. In other words, within the boundedness of what it means to be a human being. Because a human being is in time, is in space."

 -Fr. Thomas Hopko

This is something I have always wondered about, thanks for the quote.

And thank you Father Peter for the above message that mina quoted, that is very simplified to my level.
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« Reply #55 on: October 26, 2011, 09:58:02 PM »

"Also, if you’re a real human being, then you’re limited. You learn things as a human being, with a human brain. And this would definitely be the teaching, that, as a man, hōs anthrōpos, Jesus was not omniscient. He was not omnipresent; he was not all over the place. He could express divinity through his circumscribed—that would be a good expression of the Church Fathers—his bounded humanity. So through his Jewish, first-century humanity, he could pronounce forgiveness of sins. He could raise the dead. He could heal the blind. He could do wonderful, divine actions: calm the wind, walk on the water. But he does all this as a man, in his humanity.

Therefore, there are certain elements in him that are really human. If he were not really human, they wouldn’t be so. For example, Jesus didn’t know English. Jesus couldn’t speak English. Now, you could say, 'Well, God could have infused in him the knowledge of English or something.' Well, perhaps God could; perhaps he could have infused it in anybody if he wanted to. It doesn’t seem very likely, but in any case, if Jesus is really human, then he is also ignorant of many things. He does not know the [theory] of relativity. He never read Charles Darwin. He didn’t know the Baghavad Gita. Maybe he even thought the earth was flat; who knows? He was a first-century, real human being.

And if the Incarnation is real, then all the limitations of humanity have to be his in his human form. And he can express his divinity within the limitations and the [circumscriptions] of his humanity. In other words, within the boundedness of what it means to be a human being. Because a human being is in time, is in space."

 -Fr. Thomas Hopko

Considering that I'm still trying to understanding what Themistius believed, I do say that where Fr. Thomas Hopko and Fr. Peter Farrington agree is that the Logos could infuse this knowledge into His human brain if He wanted to.  So perhaps, when Themistius mentioned that Christ's humanity is ignorant, maybe he said something along the lines of an inability for knowledge to be infused in His human brain.  But I don't know.

I would say one thing thought.  I think Christ came for a mission, and perhaps He had infused in Him the wisdom to care less what science of the day is. Wink
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« Reply #56 on: October 26, 2011, 10:53:56 PM »

Yes; what do you mean by "learn who he was"?
I mean, first and foremost, that Christ the Fetus did not intellectually know what a messiah was. I would also say that when Christ "grew in wisdom and stature" that growing in wisdom was not a feigned increase to demonstrate that he could be really human when he wanted to be.

St. Rumwould not withstanding.

Did not the fathers believe that St. John the Forerunner as a fetus in the womb of St. Elizabeth worship the Logos who was conceived in the womb of the Theotokos?  I believe with the Holy Spirit, children can understand who God is and worship Him in their own limited sense.  I believe Christ knew who He was ever since that conception
I agree with the Fathers there, which is why I specified "intellectually". If Christ was able to intellectually know who he was as a blastocyst, then Apollinarianism would follow.

And let's not forget, this is an incredible mystery.  We always have to start with this part.
I agree. I think that the Logos can be 100% really truly totally circumscribed whist remaining 100% really truly totally un-circumscribed. This statement is impossible but it remains true.

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« Reply #57 on: October 26, 2011, 11:11:34 PM »

Nicholas, what do you make of the line in St John's Liturgy where the priest prays "without change or differentiation thou didst become man"? Does this only mean that the Logos of God and second person of the Holy Trinity continued to be the Logos of God and second person of the Holy Trinity after the incarnation, or does it mean more than that?

I will forewarn you that "the Liturgy is wrong" will not satisfy me, but any other insight would be most welcome.
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« Reply #58 on: October 27, 2011, 12:00:54 AM »

Nicholas, what do you make of the line in St John's Liturgy where the priest prays "without change or differentiation thou didst become man"? Does this only mean that the Logos of God and second person of the Holy Trinity continued to be the Logos of God and second person of the Holy Trinity after the incarnation, or does it mean more than that?
It means several things, IMO.

It means that Christ is not a new Person produced by a union of two hypostases.

It means that the Person of the Logos is the Person of Christ.

It means that Divinity remained Divinity, and that humility is not alien to Divinity.

It means that "Jesus Christ is the same today, yesterday and tomorrow".

It means that the one crucified on the tree of the cross is that same one who banished Adam and Eve from the tree of life in the garden.

It surely cannot mean that God did not change in any sense of the word. The Logos became incarnate at a particular point in time. Before Christ, "no-one has seen God". After Christ, we can depict God in icons. Before him, God could not be located. Now he can be located in space/time. Before Christ, God could not die; and yet the Logos died on the Cross. In this sense he has caused a change to happen, but he remains the same Person.
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« Reply #59 on: October 27, 2011, 01:31:28 AM »

It means that Divinity remained Divinity, and that humility is not alien to Divinity.

Okay, I'm with you so far.

What does it mean that divinity remained divinity?
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« Reply #60 on: October 27, 2011, 03:30:52 AM »

It means that Divinity remained Divinity, and that humility is not alien to Divinity.

Okay, I'm with you so far.

What does it mean that divinity remained divinity?

The Logos remained the Logos who sustains all things.
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« Reply #61 on: October 27, 2011, 04:14:58 AM »

Yes; what do you mean by "learn who he was"?
I mean, first and foremost, that Christ the Fetus did not intellectually know what a messiah was. I would also say that when Christ "grew in wisdom and stature" that growing in wisdom was not a feigned increase to demonstrate that he could be really human when he wanted to be.

St. Rumwould not withstanding.

Did not the fathers believe that St. John the Forerunner as a fetus in the womb of St. Elizabeth worship the Logos who was conceived in the womb of the Theotokos?  I believe with the Holy Spirit, children can understand who God is and worship Him in their own limited sense.  I believe Christ knew who He was ever since that conception
I agree with the Fathers there, which is why I specified "intellectually". If Christ was able to intellectually know who he was as a blastocyst, then Apollinarianism would follow.

Not even close.  Apollinarius had nothing to do with the understanding of Christ as a fetus, let alone a blastocyst, a concept not even the Apostles might have understood.

I think it's dangerous to say Christ did not know Himself.  At the exact moment of incarnation, there was no separation.  So I don't know what "intellectually" means here.  But this is the point of talking about mystery.  He had human intellect, which Apollinarius couldn't fathom.  His intellect grew.  But the knowledge of oneself, I believe Christ knew, even at the moment of conception.  He divided into many cells for us, and not just for the experience of it.  The "for us" part has to mean something.  If He didn't know Himself, surely, that sounds borderline adoptionist.  How could St. John the Forerunner, the fetus, offer worship to an embryo, which has no human capability to even think, not to know Himself as the Messiah, the Son of the Living God?  This is a mystery that is best left untouched without further ramblings.  We know Christ knew Himself, and we know He has a rational soul which grew.  Anything more would be daring and dangerous.
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« Reply #62 on: October 27, 2011, 04:28:45 AM »

I have to say that I disagree with some aspects of the passage from Father Hopko. But he is not a Father of the Church. I disagree with some of the things that others have posted here, but none of us are Fathers of the Church.

This is why I don't think it is entirely productive to begin with Themistius, or with our own opinions. But I do believe it is necessary to begin with St Cyril and the other Fathers, and form an understanding of their positive teaching with which to approach our own views, and those views which have been condemned, such as those of Themistius.

There were Chalcedonian Agnoetae, and they, no less than the non-Chalcedonian Agnoetae, have been universally condemned. It is necessary to at least ask why, before a person determines that there views might be attractive.

Looking at the passage Nicholas has highlighted..

For had He not been of our nature, He would not once and again have been mastered by grief.

This must not be interpreted beyond what it says. It suggests that St John is saying that there were multiple times when the Word Incarnate was overcome with grief, and that these experiences of sorrow were real and human.

What it does not say is that Christ was such a man that he was always bound by the human condition to feel grief. I have already quoted St Cyril. Let me do so again, in relation to this very topic.

Now since Christ was not only God by Nature, but; also Man, He suffers in common with the rest that which is human; and when grief begins somehow to be stirred within Him, and His Holy Flesh now inclines to tears, He does not allow It to indulge in them without restraint, as is the custom with us. But He groans in the spirit, that is, in the power of the Holy Spirit He reproves in some way His Own Flesh: and That, not being able to endure the action of the Godhead united with It, trembles and presents the appearance of trouble.

This does not seem to me to allow an understanding of an untramelled experience of human grief. On the contrary we see that St Cyril is teaching that the human experience is always moderated by the Word Himself.

We see 'the action of the Godhead united with It', not in an external conjunction but in an interior union.

We see that 'he does not allow it'...'as is the custom with us'. So he does not always act according to human 'custom'. The humanity does not act independently and simply.

Nicholas, how do you respond to these words of St Cyril?
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« Reply #63 on: October 27, 2011, 04:38:56 AM »

In agreement with Mina, let me say that we must consider the saints. They are spirit without flesh at present. Do we consider that they have no thoughts or intellectual activity? I don't think that Orthodox Tradition allows us to view them in such a way.

But they do not have a physical brain. It seems to me that Orthodoxy (and Catholicism) require us to understand that the brain/mind is a vehicle for the spirit and that knowing and intellection are not restricted to the material level at all. Does St Cyril know that he is Cyril? But he doesn't presently have a physical brain.

As for Father Hopko, it seems wrong to me to decide what our Lord knew. Certainly wrong to say he thought the world was flat. This would seem to me to tend towards setting up two subjects. Why should we not think that if the Lord had needed to know Mandarin Chinese he would have immediately known? He knew that Nathaniel was sitting under the tree. He knew that Lazarus had died. He could not have know either of these things according to the usual processes of gathering knowledge. But he knew them humanly none the less. The source of the information is not what makes it human, it is the knowing it in a human way.

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« Reply #64 on: October 27, 2011, 04:50:23 AM »

Let me add a little more from St Cyril...

Certainly the Evangelist, seeing the tearless Nature weeping, is astonished, although the suffering was peculiar to the flesh, and not suitable to the Godhead. And the Lord weeps, seeing the man made in His own image marred by corruption, that He may put an end to our tears. For for this cause He also died, even that we may be delivered from death. And He weeps a little, and straightway checks His tears; lest He might seem to be at all cruel and inhuman, and at the same time instructing us not to give way overmuch in grief for the dead. For it is one thing to be influenced by sympathy, and another to be effeminate and unmanly. For this cause therefore He permitted His own flesh to weep a little, although it was in its nature tearless and incapable of any grief, so far as regards its own nature.

and

Be not therefore offended, considering perchance within thyself, How can God increase? or how can He Who gives grace to angels and to men receive fresh wisdom? Rather reflect upon the great skill wherewith we are initiated into His mystery. For the wise Evangelist did not introduce the Word in His abstract and incorporeal nature, and so say of Him that He increased in stature and wisdom and grace, but after having shewn that He was born in the flesh of a woman, and took our likeness, he then assigns to Him these human attributes, and calls Him a child, and says that He waxed in stature, as His body grow little by little, in obedience to corporeal laws. And so He is said also to have increased in wisdom, not as receiving fresh supplies of wisdom,----for God is perceived by the understanding to be entirely perfect in all things, and altogether incapable of being destitute of any attribute suitable to the Godhead:----but because God the Word gradually manifested His wisdom proportionably to the age which the body had attained.

The body then advances in stature, and the soul in wisdom: for the divine nature is capable of increase in neither one nor the other; seeing that the Word of God is all perfect. And with good reason he connected the increase of wisdom with the growth of the bodily stature, because the divine nature revealed its own wisdom in proportion to the measure of the bodily growth.


This latter shows where we might all be in agreement. St Cyril shows that Christ has in Himself ALL the Wisdom of God, and does not grow in this Wisdom, rather He chooses to manifest it appropriately. It is not something that is being learned or gained or added to, but it is being manifested more and more clearly.

He also speaks of the teaching by Christ in the temple as a youth..

Here then first He makes more open mention of Him Who is truly His Father, and lays bare His own divinity: for when the holy Virgin said, Child, why hast Thou so done unto us? then at once shewing Himself to transcend the measure of human things, and teaching her that she had been made the handmaid of the dispensation in giving birth to the flesh, but that He by nature and in truth was God, and the Son of the Father That is in heaven, He says, Did ye not know that I must be at My Father's?

This also illustrates that there is a manifestation of His divine wisdom and not an increase in it. Here he is as a twelve year old revealing that he knows he is God. St Cyril again speaks of God the Word being able to 'transcend the measure of human things'.

But IT IS A MANIFESTATION OF THE DIVINE WISDOM and not acquired human knowledge.
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« Reply #65 on: October 27, 2011, 12:37:11 PM »

Did not the fathers believe that St. John the Forerunner as a fetus in the womb of St. Elizabeth worship the Logos who was conceived in the womb of the Theotokos?  I believe with the Holy Spirit, children can understand who God is and worship Him in their own limited sense.  I believe Christ knew who He was ever since that conception
I agree with the Fathers there, which is why I specified "intellectually".

I agree with you if you mean 'intellectually' in the modern sense. If you mean 'noetically' I would disagree with you. The nous is what apprehends God directly and effortlessly (intuition). This is how St. John knew Christ in the womb, how children are said to 'behold the angels and saints in church with us as we worship, etc. At least as I understand it.

But obviously Christ would have to come to the type of knowledge that is only available to us as our physical brains and cognitive functions developm, in a manner and timeframe consistent with that natural, progressive development. Nevertheless, we know He had a rather good self-perception, to understate it, at age 12 or so.
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« Reply #66 on: October 27, 2011, 12:46:31 PM »

but because God the Word gradually manifested His wisdom proportionably to the age which the body had attained.

Could "manifested...proportionably" here mean, not so much that the Word could have manifested His full wisdom as a blastocyst, but merely held back in order to give the appearance of humanity; but rather that His body, His humanity manifested at every stage that much of the Divine wisdom as was possible for it to bear at its current stage of development, wisdom which was indeed proper to it by Hypostasis?

Sorry I know that's a bit convoluted. Just trying to make sure this isn't a 'demo' as Nicholas would say.
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« Reply #67 on: October 27, 2011, 01:08:42 PM »

I don't get any sense from the Fathers that the wisdom and knowledge of God was subject to development in the way in which we apprehend and accumulate knowledge.

As I have said, knowledge is not a passion or faculty. It is content. A person who doesn't learn much isn't less human than someone who knows a lot. The Word incarnate, who knows all things from the beginning, isn't less human because he knows all things. How He Himself chooses to manifest that knowledge in His own humanity does not seem to me to be liable to too close an investigation - not least because we have no idea ourselves about the connection between the nous and the brain.

But it seems to me that St Cyril and the other Fathers, including those later Chalcedonian ones opposing Themistius, are agreed that the knowledge of Christ was perfect and complete, even while it was manifested as He willed in His own humanity.

Please don't dialogue with my comments, but with St Cyril and the other Fathers. It doesn't matter what I say as I am trying to come to a fuller understanding. But it does matter that St Cyril says..

..at once shewing Himself to transcend the measure of human things..

What does that mean to you?

I believe that St Cyril would say that as soon as the humanity of the Word Incarnate was able to construct mental images/thoughts his mental images/thoughts were filled with a divine knowledge and wisdom, not merely the incoherent beginnings of a purely human mind. But even before that the human nous of the Word Incarnate was filled with the divine knowledge and wisdom.
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« Reply #68 on: October 27, 2011, 01:15:13 PM »

Did not the fathers believe that St. John the Forerunner as a fetus in the womb of St. Elizabeth worship the Logos who was conceived in the womb of the Theotokos?  I believe with the Holy Spirit, children can understand who God is and worship Him in their own limited sense.  I believe Christ knew who He was ever since that conception
I agree with the Fathers there, which is why I specified "intellectually".

I agree with you if you mean 'intellectually' in the modern sense. If you mean 'noetically' I would disagree with you. The nous is what apprehends God directly and effortlessly (intuition). This is how St. John knew Christ in the womb, how children are said to 'behold the angels and saints in church with us as we worship, etc. At least as I understand it.

But obviously Christ would have to come to the type of knowledge that is only available to us as our physical brains and cognitive functions developm, in a manner and timeframe consistent with that natural, progressive development. Nevertheless, we know He had a rather good self-perception, to understate it, at age 12 or so.

I want to share also in the Midnight prayers, we chant that all of nature praises the Lord.  Praise the Lord you birds, cattle, beasts of the sea and land.  Praise the Lord all you winds, snows, hail, rain, sun, and moon.  Praise the Lord all you mountains, valleys, seas, herbs, trees.  In an interesting way, Scripture even tells us all of creation knows and praises the Lord.  How much more a blastocyst Word of God!
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« Reply #69 on: October 27, 2011, 02:02:39 PM »

Did not the fathers believe that St. John the Forerunner as a fetus in the womb of St. Elizabeth worship the Logos who was conceived in the womb of the Theotokos?  I believe with the Holy Spirit, children can understand who God is and worship Him in their own limited sense.  I believe Christ knew who He was ever since that conception
I agree with the Fathers there, which is why I specified "intellectually".

I agree with you if you mean 'intellectually' in the modern sense. If you mean 'noetically' I would disagree with you. The nous is what apprehends God directly and effortlessly (intuition). This is how St. John knew Christ in the womb, how children are said to 'behold the angels and saints in church with us as we worship, etc. At least as I understand it.

But obviously Christ would have to come to the type of knowledge that is only available to us as our physical brains and cognitive functions developm, in a manner and timeframe consistent with that natural, progressive development. Nevertheless, we know He had a rather good self-perception, to understate it, at age 12 or so.

I want to share also in the Midnight prayers, we chant that all of nature praises the Lord.  Praise the Lord you birds, cattle, beasts of the sea and land.  Praise the Lord all you winds, snows, hail, rain, sun, and moon.  Praise the Lord all you mountains, valleys, seas, herbs, trees.  In an interesting way, Scripture even tells us all of creation knows and praises the Lord.  How much more a blastocyst Word of God!

But each in a manner in accordance with its nature.

As Dante says, "I love each leaf with which enleaved is all the garden of the Eternal Gardener in measure of the light he sheds on each."

Fr. Peter,

When you say, " as soon as the humanity of the Word Incarnate was able to construct mental images/thoughts his mental images/thoughts were filled with a divine knowledge and wisdom", I don't think we are saying anything that different. My point was just that the humanity increases in it's ability to manifest knowledge over time. For example, I see no reason to believe that Jesus could talk, read, or write as a newborn. Obviously He could have done this, just as He could raise up children for Abraham from stones; but He chose to manifest His Divinity in a human way.

However, I do agree with you that perhaps we are all going too far in our speculating.
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« Reply #70 on: October 27, 2011, 02:47:45 PM »

In agreement with Mina, let me say that we must consider the saints. They are spirit without flesh at present. Do we consider that they have no thoughts or intellectual activity? I don't think that Orthodox Tradition allows us to view them in such a way.

But they do not have a physical brain. It seems to me that Orthodoxy (and Catholicism) require us to understand that the brain/mind is a vehicle for the spirit and that knowing and intellection are not restricted to the material level at all. Does St Cyril know that he is Cyril? But he doesn't presently have a physical brain.

As for Father Hopko, it seems wrong to me to decide what our Lord knew. Certainly wrong to say he thought the world was flat. This would seem to me to tend towards setting up two subjects. Why should we not think that if the Lord had needed to know Mandarin Chinese he would have immediately known? He knew that Nathaniel was sitting under the tree. He knew that Lazarus had died. He could not have know either of these things according to the usual processes of gathering knowledge. But he knew them humanly none the less. The source of the information is not what makes it human, it is the knowing it in a human way.



While the hypostatic union is much more above and beyond this, we also see in the saints how God enlightens their minds and they understand and know things quickly without being taught by man. A good example of this would be Elder Porphyrios, who by divine enlightenment could speak with astrophysicists about the minutiae of the universe without ever having himself went to school.
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« Reply #71 on: October 27, 2011, 03:18:04 PM »

Reading your post, Shanghaiski, got me to wondering: How seriously do we take it that Jesus Christ is the Truth? We are so used to this modern understanding of knowledge and wisdom as fragmented and compartmentalized, so we take it for granted that Jesus didn't 'know' astrophysics. We might even say, 'That wasn't His department". But the example of Elder Porphyrios has me wondering whether I really should take that for granted. There are many logoi, but they are ultimately the One Logos. Truth finally is unitary. Jesus is the Truth, of which astrophysics is but a part. Physics describes the laws according to which nature is held to operate. Jesus is He Who established those laws. All the fragmented truths are gathered in Him, because He is the Logos.

I'm not saying Jesus as man had a rational-type knowledge of astrophysics. But I don't even think what we often call knowledge is the highest form of truth, knowledge, or wisdom anyway.
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« Reply #72 on: October 27, 2011, 03:31:50 PM »

So I don't know what "intellectually" means here. 
It means with a human mind.

When Christ was a mass of dividing cells, he did not have a mind. If, at that time, he intellectually (with the mind) knew who he was, then the Logos would have had to function in place of the mind, a la Apollinarianism.
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« Reply #73 on: October 27, 2011, 03:36:26 PM »

There were Chalcedonian Agnoetae, and they, no less than the non-Chalcedonian Agnoetae, have been universally condemned.
Where?
Now since Christ was not only God by Nature, but; also Man, He suffers in common with the rest that which is human; and when grief begins somehow to be stirred within Him, and His Holy Flesh now inclines to tears, He does not allow It to indulge in them without restraint, as is the custom with us. But He groans in the spirit, that is, in the power of the Holy Spirit He reproves in some way His Own Flesh: and That, not being able to endure the action of the Godhead united with It, trembles and presents the appearance of trouble.

This does not seem to me to allow an understanding of an untramelled experience of human grief. On the contrary we see that St Cyril is teaching that the human experience is always moderated by the Word Himself.

We see 'the action of the Godhead united with It', not in an external conjunction but in an interior union.
Does the Holy Spirit proceed from the Son, then?
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« Reply #74 on: October 27, 2011, 03:53:54 PM »

So I don't know what "intellectually" means here.
It means with a human mind.

When Christ was a mass of dividing cells, he did not have a mind. If, at that time, he intellectually (with the mind) knew who he was, then the Logos would have had to function in place of the mind, a la Apollinarianism.

In many translations, the words 'intellect' and 'mind' translate nous, the 'spiritual mind' or organ of direct apprehension/intuition. Perhaps that is causing some confusion. Knowing in the sense of 'rational work' is an activity of the body and the (rational) soul. This type of knowing is obviously impossible for a blastocyst, fetus, or an adult who is mentally retarded or in a vegetative state, to name a few examples. But this type of knowing is not necessary to "see God", for which the chief requirement is not mental genius or an excellent brain but purity of heart.

The nous is part of human nature. IIRC, Apollinarius actually granted Christ a brain and a rational soul (psuche), but not a human nous.
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« Reply #75 on: October 27, 2011, 04:07:03 PM »

So I don't know what "intellectually" means here.
It means with a human mind.

When Christ was a mass of dividing cells, he did not have a mind. If, at that time, he intellectually (with the mind) knew who he was, then the Logos would have had to function in place of the mind, a la Apollinarianism.

In many translations, the words 'intellect' and 'mind' translate nous, the 'spiritual mind' or organ of direct apprehension/intuition. Perhaps that is causing some confusion. Knowing in the sense of 'rational work' is an activity of the body and the (rational) soul. This type of knowing is obviously impossible for a blastocyst, fetus, or an adult who is mentally retarded or in a vegetative state, to name a few examples. But this type of knowing is not necessary to "see God", for which the chief requirement is not mental genius or an excellent brain but purity of heart.

The nous is part of human nature. IIRC, Apollinarius actually granted Christ a brain and a rational soul (psuche), but not a human nous.
Ah, I see. I was referring to the mind as we commonly use it today, I.E. the brain, data memory, etc.
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« Reply #76 on: October 27, 2011, 04:11:36 PM »

Fr. Peter, I understand that you see yourself as a loyal disciple of St. Cyril and the other Cyrilline Fathers. I do respect the Fathers, but to agree blindly with them would be inappropriate. If I agreed with the fathers of my choice, couldn't I just choose St. Isaac of Syria and become a Nestorian?

It is not unreasonable to ask one to reason one's argument out, to make a sensible apologia for a position, that doesn't rely on merely quoting the Fathers (or one or two fathers) in favor of one's position.

The notion that Christ cannot be ignorant is one that seems to rely on several Platonic beliefs about God. God is totally impassible. God is unchangeable. God does not feel. God is not acted upon. God is the perfect source/being/essence. Many Fathers gutted and Christianized these Platonic beliefs into acceptable ones; that's why we so greatly honor St. Gregory Palamas, for example. I have a great inertia, Father, against believing that St. Cyril and others were corrupted in their thoughts by Platonism. But arguments like the ones I have seen here are slowly but surely eroding that inertia.

I mean, doesn't it ring alarm bells when you have to come up with really odd, illogical and ad-hoc ways to explain away, for example, so much of the Gospel of Mark? Of Luke? Of Matthew? Of Christ claiming he didn't know when the paraousia was? When he had to heal in two-stages? When he got angry? When he was acted upon and mastered and controlled and fettered? Is it worth all the fuss to preserve some Greek pagan notion that the divine nature is immutable?
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« Reply #77 on: October 27, 2011, 04:17:17 PM »

Reading your post, Shanghaiski, got me to wondering: How seriously do we take it that Jesus Christ is the Truth? We are so used to this modern understanding of knowledge and wisdom as fragmented and compartmentalized, so we take it for granted that Jesus didn't 'know' astrophysics. We might even say, 'That wasn't His department". But the example of Elder Porphyrios has me wondering whether I really should take that for granted. There are many logoi, but they are ultimately the One Logos. Truth finally is unitary. Jesus is the Truth, of which astrophysics is but a part. Physics describes the laws according to which nature is held to operate. Jesus is He Who established those laws. All the fragmented truths are gathered in Him, because He is the Logos.

I'm not saying Jesus as man had a rational-type knowledge of astrophysics. But I don't even think what we often call knowledge is the highest form of truth, knowledge, or wisdom anyway.

Better I think to say that Christ came for a mission.  It wasn't in His best interest to "learn" or reveal or teach to us medicine, science, languages or anything else.  I would venture to say that He chose not to share those beliefs because they're a waste of time to what He really came to do.  But to say what He knew and what He didn't know is to me just mindless speculation.  Could Christ have known Latin for instance?  How did He communicate with Pontius Pilate?  Did Pontius Pilate speak Aramaic?  I think these question do not matter, and what matters is the salvation that Christ came for, not the minutia of details Christ may have known.  Let's leave it as we don't know because it was never something that mattered.

I think His "ignorance" on when the end of ages would be would also fall under that category.  To what benefit is it for your soul that you know when the world, or when even your life would end?  It's probably better that the ginormous majority of humanity shouldn't know.  "Not even the Son knows" could probably mean "don't bother wondering when the world will end."  It seems that's what St. John Chrysostom is saying.  No deep speculation on the ignorance of Christ's humanity, but He talks about the Logos Incarnate as a whole.

I think Themistius' problem was a belief of an involuntary ignorance.
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« Reply #78 on: October 27, 2011, 04:26:17 PM »

JL, I am sure that we are in agreement.

As far as I can presently see the main difference between Themistius and the Orthodox view is that where the Orthodox would allow for the natural limitation of human knowledge 'en theoria', they did not allow that Christ lacked knowledge in the hypostatic union.

On the contrary, it would seem. Themistius wanted to say that Christ was lacking knowledge within the hypostatic union, and therefore that the divine knowledge was not allowed to permeate and impenetrate the human mind and nous (in a way which is unknown to us).

I have St Theodosius' work, Ad Theodoram, in front of me and I am engaged in translating it into English. It is all about those the Agnoetae and I believe it will be useful.

[Having given continuing thought to this subject, I think that I am presently attached to the undoubtedly poor analogy of an old PC connected to a very modern server. All of the data on the server is available to the PC through the union that has been made with the server and the PC, in a sense, expresses the data on the server within the limitations of its own construction. It is not able to store locally all the data on the server, but it has a real and immediate access to all the data on the server and is, in a poor sense, both an extension of the server, and a distinct instance of a PC rather than a server.

It could perhaps be imagined that the server has Admin access and control over the PC, but this does not mean that the PC is not truly a PC rather than a server. It does not mean that all the limitations of the PC are overcome, but it does mean that the PC is protected perhaps by the anti-virus software on the server. It does mean that the PC has access to other networks through the server. It does mean that the server can run its own local programmes on the PC hard-drive. The PC never stops being a PC. But the union with the server extends and enhances the functionality and data which the unconnected PC might have had.

It might be said that another PC can also access some external data when a memory stick is plugged in (like the grace working in a saint), but this particular real PC is always connected to the server and all the data of the server is immediately and directly available to it. This does not mean that the countless Tb of data are all in the PC's RAM, indeed that would not be possible because of the structure of the PC's memory, but everything it ever needs to access in RAM, everything it could ever possibly need to access, and all the Tb of data it will never access are only a memory refresh away.

Now Themistius would seem to say, this PC has only got 512Mb of RAM and a 10 Gb hard drive. It is impossible for it to ever contain more than this amount of data. And Theodosius would answer, yes, on its own this is an old model PC and it can only hold that much data - BUT it is not on its own. It is connected to this server that has thousands of Tb of data which is all available to this little PC just as much as the local data it stores. When the data is in RAM it all looks the same and the PC operates exactly the same, but it has a union with the server which changes everything.]

Ref: Nicholas. If you are not willing to submit to the Fathers then how will you become Orthodox? What you are describing is essentially Protestantism. And we are not talking about a few Fathers. We are talking about St Cyril, St Severus, and both Fathers in the OO and EO traditions, and even the EO councils. This is not a theological opinion you can run with. It is a position which has been condemned.
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« Reply #79 on: October 27, 2011, 04:34:59 PM »

Did not the fathers believe that St. John the Forerunner as a fetus in the womb of St. Elizabeth worship the Logos who was conceived in the womb of the Theotokos?  I believe with the Holy Spirit, children can understand who God is and worship Him in their own limited sense.  I believe Christ knew who He was ever since that conception
I agree with the Fathers there, which is why I specified "intellectually".

I agree with you if you mean 'intellectually' in the modern sense. If you mean 'noetically' I would disagree with you. The nous is what apprehends God directly and effortlessly (intuition). This is how St. John knew Christ in the womb, how children are said to 'behold the angels and saints in church with us as we worship, etc. At least as I understand it.

But obviously Christ would have to come to the type of knowledge that is only available to us as our physical brains and cognitive functions developm, in a manner and timeframe consistent with that natural, progressive development. Nevertheless, we know He had a rather good self-perception, to understate it, at age 12 or so.

I want to share also in the Midnight prayers, we chant that all of nature praises the Lord.  Praise the Lord you birds, cattle, beasts of the sea and land.  Praise the Lord all you winds, snows, hail, rain, sun, and moon.  Praise the Lord all you mountains, valleys, seas, herbs, trees.  In an interesting way, Scripture even tells us all of creation knows and praises the Lord.  How much more a blastocyst Word of God!

But each in a manner in accordance with its nature.

As Dante says, "I love each leaf with which enleaved is all the garden of the Eternal Gardener in measure of the light he sheds on each."


I absolutely agree.  In accordance with the nature of a blastocyst, in a mysterious fashion, I still say the Logos Incarnate at that time, even through the blastocyst "knew" Himself.  In a way, at the risk of vain speculation, even the separation of cells and formation of the embryo is a "mission" that is done "for us," and so the blastocyst has the determination only the Logos Incarnate would have.
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« Reply #80 on: October 27, 2011, 04:36:29 PM »

Now Themistius would seem to say, this PC has only got 512Mb of RAM and a 10 Gb hard drive. It is impossible for it to ever contain more than this amount of data. And Theodosius would answer, yes, on its own this is an old model PC and it can only hold that much data - BUT it is not on its own. It is connected to this server that has thousands of Tb of data which is all available to this little PC just as much as the local data it stores. When the data is in RAM it all looks the same and the PC operates exactly the same, but it has a union with the server which changes everything.]
So you're saying that the Person of Christ could choose to access as much divine knowledge as necessary for a given situation, but that it wasn't floating around in his "PC"?

What you are describing is essentially Protestantism.
How is choosing Chrysostom over Cyril worse than choosing Cyril over Chrysostom?
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« Reply #81 on: October 27, 2011, 04:37:26 PM »

Greek pagan notion that the divine nature is immutable

Not an exclusively Greek pagan notion.

Malachi 3:6a
For I am the LORD, I change not;

Hebrews 13:8
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

James 1:17
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

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« Reply #82 on: October 27, 2011, 04:38:45 PM »

Fr. Peter, I understand that you see yourself as a loyal disciple of St. Cyril and the other Cyrilline Fathers. I do respect the Fathers, but to agree blindly with them would be inappropriate. If I agreed with the fathers of my choice, couldn't I just choose St. Isaac of Syria and become a Nestorian?

It is not unreasonable to ask one to reason one's argument out, to make a sensible apologia for a position, that doesn't rely on merely quoting the Fathers (or one or two fathers) in favor of one's position.

The notion that Christ cannot be ignorant is one that seems to rely on several Platonic beliefs about God. God is totally impassible. God is unchangeable. God does not feel. God is not acted upon. God is the perfect source/being/essence. Many Fathers gutted and Christianized these Platonic beliefs into acceptable ones; that's why we so greatly honor St. Gregory Palamas, for example. I have a great inertia, Father, against believing that St. Cyril and others were corrupted in their thoughts by Platonism. But arguments like the ones I have seen here are slowly but surely eroding that inertia.

I don't see how saying Christ wasn't ignorant relies on so-called Platonic impassibility or immutability, or especially the idea that God is 'ultimate Being'. I don't see Fr. Peter employing those terms or implying those concepts.

And in any case, in order to show that anyone was corrupted by Platonism, you'd first have to prove that Platonism is corrupting, and frankly, I don't remember seeing you do that.

It seems to me the core of Fr. Peter's argument is that 'knowledge' is a kind of content, not an organ or faculty constituent of human nature, so that human nature is unchanged by an increase or decrease in knowledge. Therefore, the fullness of Divine knowledge can reside in humanity without altering humanity.
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« Reply #83 on: October 27, 2011, 04:41:07 PM »

I would venture to say that He chose not to share those beliefs because they're a waste of time to what He really came to do.

That's along the lines of what I was thinking.

Quote
But to say what He knew and what He didn't know is to me just mindless speculation.

Probably so.
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« Reply #84 on: October 27, 2011, 04:42:51 PM »

Greek pagan notion that the divine nature is immutable

Not an exclusively Greek pagan notion.

Malachi 3:6a
For I am the LORD, I change not;

Hebrews 13:8
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

James 1:17
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.


But this is not meant in the Greek pagan sense of a still, static, 'perfect' 'being'. God truly changes in relationship to creation through his energies which are 100% God.

"So the Lord changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people"

"The LORD changed His mind about this. 'This too shall not be,' said the Lord GOD."

"And God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it; but as he was about to destroy it, the LORD saw and was sorry over the calamity, and said to the destroying angel, 'It is enough; now relax your hand."

Fr. Peter, what do you make of this:

I believe that the Logos willed, in eternity, all of his choices as the Incarnate God. But I believe that in the economia of the incarnation, when God chose to be incarnate, that initial choice ontologically limited his subsequent choices in time. Thus the Logos both willed everything in his life and Passion (in eternity) and was ontologically subjected to them, and limited by them, as a real human being in the economia of salvation.

I also believe that it is natural, fitting, and organic to the Divine Nature to be humbled, because God is truly humble even in eternity.
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« Reply #85 on: October 27, 2011, 04:46:13 PM »

Now Themistius would seem to say, this PC has only got 512Mb of RAM and a 10 Gb hard drive. It is impossible for it to ever contain more than this amount of data. And Theodosius would answer, yes, on its own this is an old model PC and it can only hold that much data - BUT it is not on its own. It is connected to this server that has thousands of Tb of data which is all available to this little PC just as much as the local data it stores. When the data is in RAM it all looks the same and the PC operates exactly the same, but it has a union with the server which changes everything.]
So you're saying that the Person of Christ could choose to access as much divine knowledge as necessary for a given situation, but that it wasn't floating around in his "PC"?

What you are describing is essentially Protestantism.
How is choosing Chrysostom over Cyril worse than choosing Cyril over Chrysostom?

I thought Chrysostom and Cyril were in agreement on this issue?
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« Reply #86 on: October 27, 2011, 04:46:35 PM »

In terms of the passage in Mark 13 where our Lord says that only the Father knows the hour, we can note that ...

Blessed Theophylact says that he said he did not know so that his disciples would not be sad when he refused to tell them.

Hilary says 'He is not under the power of ignorance, but either it is not a fit time for speaking or it is an economy of not acting... lest he should be said to be ignorant from weakness'.

St Athanasius says..

Now why it was that, though He knew, He did not tell His disciples plainly at that time, no one may be curious where He has been silent; for ‘Who hath known the mind of the Lord, or who hath been His counsellor’ but why, though He knew, He said, ‘no, not the Son knows,’ this I think none of the faithful is ignorant, viz. that He made this as those other declarations as man by reason of the flesh....

...And concerning the day and the hour He was not willing to say according to His divine nature, ‘I know,’ but after the flesh, ‘I know not,’ for the sake of the flesh which was ignorant as I have said before; lest they should ask Him further, and then either He should have to pain the disciples by not speaking, or by speaking might act to the prejudice of them and us all. For whatever He does, that altogether He does for our sakes, since also for us ‘the Word became flesh.’ For us therefore He said ‘No, not the Son knoweth;’ and neither was He untrue in thus saying (for He said humanly, as man, ‘I know not’), nor did He suffer the disciples to force Him to speak, for by saying ‘I know not’ He stopped their inquiries.


This seems to me to be entirely of a piece with the other teaching of St Athanasius and St Cyril and others. In his humanity, as humanity, he lacked knowledge 'en theoria', but as the Word incarnate he knows all things and communicates what He wills and as He wills to his own humanity. His humanity is 'naturally ignorant', but the Word is not limited by this natural ignorance and fills his humanity with his divine knowledge as he chooses.

Themistius would just say that Christ is ignorant and leave it there. The Fathers say that he allows his human nature to express its own natural ignorance ONLY AS HE CHOOSES, just as he chooses to allow his humanity to fall under other human weaknesses or be lifted above them as he chooses at each moment of the incarnation.
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« Reply #87 on: October 27, 2011, 04:48:20 PM »

Themistius would just say that Christ is ignorant and leave it there. The Fathers say that he allows his human nature to express its own natural ignorance ONLY AS HE CHOOSES, just as he chooses to allow his humanity to fall under other human weaknesses or be lifted above them as he chooses at each moment of the incarnation.
We need to tackle what you mean by "choose", Fr. Peter. See my above statement.
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« Reply #88 on: October 27, 2011, 04:53:48 PM »

Chrysostom and Cyril ARE in agreement on this. As are the other Fathers and councils.

Nicholas, I have to say that your description strikes me as Nestorian. It requires a human person who is shipwrecked in humanity as it were and has lost touch with the divine person who remains 'out there' somehow. (I don't mean that polemically but in the sense that if I had to put your view into a Venn Diagram I would pop it in the Nestorian set.

This is the Christology I was taught as an evangelical at Bible College. The man Jesus Christ is God in a prosopic union sense, but actually God the Word is up there, and Jesus Christ is down here, and he must not be allowed any access to the divinity (because it would be unfair I remember some students saying!).

It is not, as far as I can see, either the picture of Christ in the Gospels and New Testament, or in the writings of the Fathers.

Where are the Fathers who support your description? What if you do not find any? Will you press on with your view? I mean these as questions, not polemics.

Where is God the Word really acting in his own humanity in your description? It seems to be you who wishes to preserve God from any sense of passibility because you seem to have denuded Christ of any real union with the divine nature? I am more than happy to say that God the Word died on the cross, I sense that you would say this in a prosopic union sense but have so far adopted a kenosis of the Word that all trace of divinity is gone?

Where have I misunderstood you?
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« Reply #89 on: October 27, 2011, 04:56:18 PM »

Fr. Peter, what do you make of this:

I believe that the Logos willed, in eternity, all of his choices as the Incarnate God. But I believe that in the economia of the incarnation, when God chose to be incarnate, that initial choice ontologically limited his subsequent choices in time. Thus the Logos both willed everything in his life and Passion (in eternity) and was ontologically subjected to them, and limited by them, as a real human being in the economia of salvation.

I also believe that it is natural, fitting, and organic to the Divine Nature to be humbled, because God is truly humble even in eternity.

Hmmm...He chose to be limited, but not subjected to the limitations.  It is the limitations that are subjected to the divinity.  And the fullness of the Divinity is there bodily as well, in those limitations.

What does it mean for the Divine Nature to be "humbled"?
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« Reply #90 on: October 27, 2011, 04:57:19 PM »

I mean by choose that at every micro-second God the Word chooses how to express himself in his own humanity and chooses now to preserve his own humanity from feeling hunger, now to allow it to fall under the blameless passion of tiredness, now to express his divine knowledge and wisdom, now to veil his knowledge in a natural ignorance.

At every moment of the incarnation, and continuing even now, the hypostatic union is a matter of divine choice and is a dynamic union. It is not two things bolted together in the past. It is a constant choice to be incarnate, and to be incarnate in THIS way and THAT way, as he wills for our salvation.
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« Reply #91 on: October 27, 2011, 05:00:22 PM »

What does it mean for the Divine Nature to be "humbled"?
To be bound to express itself through human limitations.
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« Reply #92 on: October 27, 2011, 05:02:24 PM »

What does it mean for the Divine Nature to be "humbled"?
To be bound to express itself through human limitations.

"Bound"?  I wouldn't say bound to express, but to be expressed through limitations, yes.  But to be bound, I would be uncomfortable to say.
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« Reply #93 on: October 27, 2011, 05:05:46 PM »

Nicholas, I have to say that your description strikes me as Nestorian. It requires a human person who is shipwrecked in humanity as it were and has lost touch with the divine person who remains 'out there' somehow. (I don't mean that polemically but in the sense that if I had to put your view into a Venn Diagram I would pop it in the Nestorian set.
I am not saying that "God the Word" is willing things in eternity while the person Jesus is hanging around not able to will them in time. I'm saying that before all ages, God the Word willed all of his choices in the incarnation. God wills ALL THINGS providentially. When the incarnation occurred,  in time, however, that same Word limited Himself and became bound, and because of that initial choice to do so, in time, in the economy of salvation, his subsequent choices were limited. The one who willed all of the choices before all ages and the one who is limited by the incarnation are the exact same one.
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« Reply #94 on: October 27, 2011, 05:07:01 PM »

But this is not meant in the Greek pagan sense of a still, static, 'perfect' 'being'. God truly changes in relationship to creation through his energies which are 100% God.

Agreed. As I see it, God is not a being at all. You might say He is 'beyond immutable'. My point was that the Scriptures do speak of God's immutability, as does the Liturgy:

Quote from: Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
for Thou art God ineffable, inconceivable, invisible, incomprehensible, ever existing and eternally the same.

The fact that Greek pagans had a somewhat similar notion does not make it wrong. Greek pagans were right about a great many things. The 'Platonic' bogey-man doesn't scare me.

Yes, there is a sense in which God changes, but there is also an important sense in which He does not. There is just as much danger in anthropomorphizing God as there is in abstracting Him into jargon-encrusted irrelevance. Whatever God is or does, is way way way beyond our ability to grasp or put into words, but that doesn't mean we should throw out the many Scriptural and traditional ways we have received of describing Him. To me that includes words like 'immutable' (and yes, it also includes phrases like "repentest of the evils of men").
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« Reply #95 on: October 27, 2011, 05:09:07 PM »

It is the limitations that are subjected to the divinity. 
Flesh becomes Word?
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« Reply #96 on: October 27, 2011, 05:09:51 PM »

It is the limitations that are subjected to the divinity. 
Flesh becomes Word?

The Word becomes flesh, which is why the flesh is subjected to the Word.
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« Reply #97 on: October 27, 2011, 05:11:39 PM »

It is the limitations that are subjected to the divinity.
Flesh becomes Word?

The Word becomes flesh, which is why the flesh is subjected to the Word.
So the Word in no way subjects himself to being limited, and "he humbled himself" is to be taken only to mean that he united himself to a nature unbefitting of divinity?
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« Reply #98 on: October 27, 2011, 05:12:39 PM »

Fr. Peter, what do you make of this:

I believe that the Logos willed, in eternity, all of his choices as the Incarnate God. But I believe that in the economia of the incarnation, when God chose to be incarnate, that initial choice ontologically limited his subsequent choices in time. Thus the Logos both willed everything in his life and Passion (in eternity) and was ontologically subjected to them, and limited by them, as a real human being in the economia of salvation.

I also believe that it is natural, fitting, and organic to the Divine Nature to be humbled, because God is truly humble even in eternity.

Hmmm...He chose to be limited, but not subjected to the limitations.  It is the limitations that are subjected to the divinity.  And the fullness of the Divinity is there bodily as well, in those limitations.

What does it mean for the Divine Nature to be "humbled"?

Was He humbled, or did he humble Himself?
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« Reply #99 on: October 27, 2011, 05:13:30 PM »

But this is not meant in the Greek pagan sense of a still, static, 'perfect' 'being'. God truly changes in relationship to creation through his energies which are 100% God.

Agreed. As I see it, God is not a being at all. You might say He is 'beyond immutable'. My point was that the Scriptures do speak of God's immutability, as does the Liturgy:

Quote from: Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
for Thou art God ineffable, inconceivable, invisible, incomprehensible, ever existing and eternally the same.

The fact that Greek pagans had a somewhat similar notion does not make it wrong. Greek pagans were right about a great many things. The 'Platonic' bogey-man doesn't scare me.

Yes, there is a sense in which God changes, but there is also an important sense in which He does not. There is just as much danger in anthropomorphizing God as there is in abstracting Him into jargon-encrusted irrelevance. Whatever God is or does, is way way way beyond our ability to grasp or put into words, but that doesn't mean we should throw out the many Scriptural and traditional ways we have received of describing Him. To me that includes words like 'immutable' (and yes, it also includes phrases like "repentest of the evils of men").
If both languages are used, then it's okay. Which is why I would say that God is circumscribed in the incarnation while remaining uncircumscribed without any division in his Hypostasis/Physis. This is absurd, and yet, there it is.
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« Reply #100 on: October 27, 2011, 05:14:48 PM »

Fr. Peter, what do you make of this:

I believe that the Logos willed, in eternity, all of his choices as the Incarnate God. But I believe that in the economia of the incarnation, when God chose to be incarnate, that initial choice ontologically limited his subsequent choices in time. Thus the Logos both willed everything in his life and Passion (in eternity) and was ontologically subjected to them, and limited by them, as a real human being in the economia of salvation.

I also believe that it is natural, fitting, and organic to the Divine Nature to be humbled, because God is truly humble even in eternity.

Hmmm...He chose to be limited, but not subjected to the limitations.  It is the limitations that are subjected to the divinity.  And the fullness of the Divinity is there bodily as well, in those limitations.

What does it mean for the Divine Nature to be "humbled"?

Was He humbled, or did he humble Himself?
Persons act, natures follow that person. The Logos humbled himself, and his divinity was humbled.
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« Reply #101 on: October 27, 2011, 05:18:20 PM »

It is the limitations that are subjected to the divinity.
Flesh becomes Word?

The Word becomes flesh, which is why the flesh is subjected to the Word.
So the Word in no way subjects himself to being limited, and "he humbled himself" is to be taken only to mean that he united himself to a nature unbefitting of divinity?

He absolutely subjects himself. In becoming a slave, however, He does not cease to be He Who rules all things.
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« Reply #102 on: October 27, 2011, 05:19:59 PM »

The Word is clearly accepting of limitations in his being through humanity, but these are never absolute.

Are you disagreeing with the Fathers who keep saying that he can raise his humanity above its natural weakness and often does?

The Word humbles himself in becoming a man, but he never becomes a mere man. Is it not humility to allow one's creation to spit at the creator and maker of all things? Is it not humility to allow his humanity to feel tiredness when the Word holds the universe with unceasing care his hands.

The Word is never bound in his humanity. Not for a second. He humbles himself in his human experience, but never in the absolute sense of being bound by it. If he doesn't want to feel hunger he does not. If he wants to walk on water he does. If he wants to see Nathanael under the tree he does. If he wants to curse a fig tree he does. If he wants to walk through walls he does.

In your view, what was God the Word doing when Jesus Christ was on earth? What was the connection between them? How did Jesus Christ know he was God? What experience did he have of being God that is more than a saint might have? Was this experience one of grace or of direct access to the divinity?
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« Reply #103 on: October 27, 2011, 05:21:23 PM »

I think you have missed the point of the incarnation, it was so that the Word might be able to taste death, and renew our humanity IN OUR HUMANITY.

You say that persons act and natures follow. This would mean that when the Divine Word died the divinity died with him.
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« Reply #104 on: October 27, 2011, 05:23:34 PM »

It is the limitations that are subjected to the divinity.
Flesh becomes Word?

The Word becomes flesh, which is why the flesh is subjected to the Word.
So the Word in no way subjects himself to being limited, and "he humbled himself" is to be taken only to mean that he united himself to a nature unbefitting of divinity?

He absolutely subjects himself. In becoming a slave, however, He does not cease to be He Who rules all things.
I agree. But I think that attempting to compromise either the slave part or the he-who-rules-all-things part does violence to the paradoxical mystery of the incarnation.

By saying "well he wasn't REALLY bound by his humanity" compromises the slave part. To say "well he didn't remain the Logos who sustains all things" compromises the latter.

In your view, what was God the Word doing when Jesus Christ was on earth? What was the connection between them?
They are 100% exact same being. That is the connection.
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« Reply #105 on: October 27, 2011, 05:24:14 PM »

Fr. Peter, what do you make of this:

I believe that the Logos willed, in eternity, all of his choices as the Incarnate God. But I believe that in the economia of the incarnation, when God chose to be incarnate, that initial choice ontologically limited his subsequent choices in time. Thus the Logos both willed everything in his life and Passion (in eternity) and was ontologically subjected to them, and limited by them, as a real human being in the economia of salvation.

I also believe that it is natural, fitting, and organic to the Divine Nature to be humbled, because God is truly humble even in eternity.

Hmmm...He chose to be limited, but not subjected to the limitations.  It is the limitations that are subjected to the divinity.  And the fullness of the Divinity is there bodily as well, in those limitations.

What does it mean for the Divine Nature to be "humbled"?

Was He humbled, or did he humble Himself?
Persons act, natures follow that person. The Logos humbled himself, and his divinity was humbled.

That seems to me to imply that Divinity became humanity. But I thought the teaching was that the Word (person, hypostasis) became human. I don't see how Divinity can be "humbled", in the sense of 'decreased' or something like that. BTW, I agree with you that God is by nature humble. And I don't think it was unbefitting for Him to assume our nature.
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« Reply #106 on: October 27, 2011, 05:24:23 PM »

You say that persons act and natures follow. This would mean that when the Divine Word died the divinity died with him.
"If I make my bed in Sheol, behold! You are there."

The whole point, I thought, is that Christ brought His undying divinity into Sheol, which destroyed death.
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« Reply #107 on: October 27, 2011, 05:26:07 PM »

Fr. Peter, what do you make of this:

I believe that the Logos willed, in eternity, all of his choices as the Incarnate God. But I believe that in the economia of the incarnation, when God chose to be incarnate, that initial choice ontologically limited his subsequent choices in time. Thus the Logos both willed everything in his life and Passion (in eternity) and was ontologically subjected to them, and limited by them, as a real human being in the economia of salvation.

I also believe that it is natural, fitting, and organic to the Divine Nature to be humbled, because God is truly humble even in eternity.

Hmmm...He chose to be limited, but not subjected to the limitations.  It is the limitations that are subjected to the divinity.  And the fullness of the Divinity is there bodily as well, in those limitations.

What does it mean for the Divine Nature to be "humbled"?

Was He humbled, or did he humble Himself?

Yes, He humbled Himself.  I think that's key.  He humbled Himself, but is not bound by the limitations He humbled Himself in.  He "emptied" Himself by being incarnate.
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« Reply #108 on: October 27, 2011, 05:27:41 PM »

The Word is never bound in his humanity. Not for a second. He humbles himself in his human experience, but never in the absolute sense of being bound by it. If he doesn't want to feel hunger he does not. If he wants to walk on water he does. If he wants to see Nathanael under the tree he does. If he wants to curse a fig tree he does. If he wants to walk through walls he does.
But almost everything Christ does is something that we should be able to do. He does these mighty works as a man. He does not need to override his humanity to do these things, rather, he fulfills it.

He is the only real man. He is the only anthropos.
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« Reply #109 on: October 27, 2011, 05:27:56 PM »

Are you saying that the divine nature experienced death?

Are you saying that you disagree with all the Fathers quoted in this thread who say that the Word was not at all absolutely bound by his humanity?

You say that the Word and Christ are the same being, but you seem to allow now real connection between the two (indeed having to speak of two shows how I feel about your description). How did Christ know that Nathanael was under the tree? How did Christ walk on water? By whose power?
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« Reply #110 on: October 27, 2011, 05:28:51 PM »

You are avoiding all the questions. Please go back and answer some.

Did Christ not feel hunger for forty days? Did he walk on the water?

By whose power were these more than natural experiences accomplished.

Please answer
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« Reply #111 on: October 27, 2011, 05:30:20 PM »

Are you saying that the divine nature experienced death?
I'm saying it descended into Sheol. If by "experienced death" you mean to ask whether or not it died/ceased in some sort of annihilationist sense, I would say no.
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« Reply #112 on: October 27, 2011, 05:30:56 PM »

If Christ is the only real man then how is he consubstantial with us?

Why is there no evidence in human history that it is natural for humans to walk on water, or not eat for forty days without hunger?

In all the cases we see these things in other humans they are understood as an exercise of divine power and grace, not natural human ability.

By what power did Christ accomplish them?
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« Reply #113 on: October 27, 2011, 05:31:38 PM »

How can the divine nature descend into Sheol? It is in all places at all times already.

Can you find any Father who says the same as you on this point?
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« Reply #114 on: October 27, 2011, 05:31:41 PM »

Did Christ not feel hunger for forty days? Did he walk on the water?
He resisted hunger for 40 days and he walked on water because he was expressing his Divinity through his bounded Humanity via hypostatic/physis union and not an external union.

By the power and action of the Holy Spirit.
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« Reply #115 on: October 27, 2011, 05:32:17 PM »

You say that persons act and natures follow. This would mean that when the Divine Word died the divinity died with him.
"If I make my bed in Sheol, behold! You are there."

The whole point, I thought, is that Christ brought His undying divinity into Sheol, which destroyed death.

This is because His divinity remained inseparable from His full humanity (full rational soul and body), despite His humanity being dead (rational soul and body separate) at the moment.  But I don't think that means the divinity is bound by Sheol or the tomb.  In fact, if anything, wouldn't that refute it?
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« Reply #116 on: October 27, 2011, 05:32:23 PM »

Why is there no evidence in human history that it is natural for humans to walk on water, or not eat for forty days without hunger?
Because human history is fallen and unnatural.
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« Reply #117 on: October 27, 2011, 05:32:49 PM »

I don't think that means the divinity is bound by Sheol or the tomb.
That's the point.
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« Reply #118 on: October 27, 2011, 05:33:47 PM »

It is the limitations that are subjected to the divinity.
Flesh becomes Word?

The Word becomes flesh, which is why the flesh is subjected to the Word.
So the Word in no way subjects himself to being limited, and "he humbled himself" is to be taken only to mean that he united himself to a nature unbefitting of divinity?

He absolutely subjects himself. In becoming a slave, however, He does not cease to be He Who rules all things.
I agree. But I think that attempting to compromise either the slave part or the he-who-rules-all-things part does violence to the paradoxical mystery of the incarnation.

As do I. But time and again we seem to disagree about what it means to 'compromise' one or the other.

Quote
By saying "well he wasn't REALLY bound by his humanity" compromises the slave part.

This is where we usually start disagreeing, often over specific words or phrases.

Quote
To say "well he didn't remain the Logos who sustains all things" compromises the latter.

As does, IMO, saying, "His Divinity was humbled".
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« Reply #119 on: October 27, 2011, 05:35:04 PM »

If Christ is the only real man then how is he consubstantial with us?
St. Athanasius says:

"You know what happens when a portrait that has been painted on a panel becomes obliterated through external stains. The artist does not throw away the panel, but the subject of the portrait has to come and sit for it again, and then the likeness is re-drawn on the same material. Even so was it with the All-Holy Son of God. He, the Image of the Father, came and dwelt in our midst, in order that He might renew mankind made after Himself, and seek out his lost sheep, even as He says in the Gospel: 'I came to seek and to save that which was lost."

Because what happened to Christ's nature happened to human nature, didn't it? And we are real human beings *by virtue of communion with Christ*.
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« Reply #120 on: October 27, 2011, 05:36:59 PM »

It is the limitations that are subjected to the divinity.
Flesh becomes Word?

The Word becomes flesh, which is why the flesh is subjected to the Word.
So the Word in no way subjects himself to being limited, and "he humbled himself" is to be taken only to mean that he united himself to a nature unbefitting of divinity?

He absolutely subjects himself. In becoming a slave, however, He does not cease to be He Who rules all things.
I agree. But I think that attempting to compromise either the slave part or the he-who-rules-all-things part does violence to the paradoxical mystery of the incarnation.

As do I. But time and again we seem to disagree about what it means to 'compromise' one or the other.

Quote
By saying "well he wasn't REALLY bound by his humanity" compromises the slave part.

This is where we usually start disagreeing, often over specific words or phrases.

Quote
To say "well he didn't remain the Logos who sustains all things" compromises the latter.

As does, IMO, saying, "His Divinity was humbled".
Because the Divinity is of the Persons of the Trinity, whom we know are humble from all eternity, wouldn't it make sense that the Divine nature would be humbled? Was it not humbled when God created the universe? Is it not humbled when the Father begets the Son and the Son offers Himself back to the Father eternally? Is it not humbled when God interacts with creatures?
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« Reply #121 on: October 27, 2011, 05:37:32 PM »

You said he was the only real man - now you are saying that he is not the only real man because we are in communion with him!

If he walked on the water by his divine power and if he did not feel hunger then he was not bound by his humanity and you are not saying differently to the Fathers, so what are you saying?  Undecided  And why have you been disagreeing with the Fathers for the last 30 posts if you now say you agree with them?

Huh??

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« Reply #122 on: October 27, 2011, 05:43:11 PM »

You said he was the only real man - now you are saying that he is not the only real man because we are in communion with him!
I call you Father in virtue of God my Father, the only true father. (see Matthew 23)

In that same manner you are anthropos only by virtue of the true Anthropos.

If he walked on the water by his divine power and if he did not feel hunger then he was not bound by his humanity and you are not saying differently to the Fathers, so what are you saying?  Undecided  And why have you been disagreeing with the Fathers for the last 30 posts if you now say you agree with them?
The bold part is where we disagree. It is natural for humanity to be in communion with God and to work mighty acts by his power, thus is it not superhuman to walk on water or to turn to God for true food and true drink.

The Word is not breaking the bounds of his humanity. He is being truly human. To avoid confusion I will re-iterate that these acts were by hypostatic/physis union and not by external union as in a saint, hence the by nature vs. by grace difference.
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« Reply #123 on: October 27, 2011, 05:43:24 PM »

I don't think that means the divinity is bound by Sheol or the tomb.
That's the point.

Not really.

Quote
In the tomb with the body and in Hades with the soul, in Paradise with the thief and on the throne with the Father and the Spirit, wast Thou, O boundless Christ filling all things.

It seems to me precisely the point that He Who as Divine cannot be bound by Hades is also man, and His Divine boundlessness is communicated to His humanity, so that in Him humanity shows itself to be unconquerable by death. By experiencing death, the Deathless One overthrows death in His humanity. His Divinity is no more bound by death than a hook is bound by a fish that gets caught on it, to paraphrase St. Gregory of Nyssa.
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« Reply #124 on: October 27, 2011, 05:44:38 PM »

I don't think that means the divinity is bound by Sheol or the tomb.
That's the point.

Not really.
I was agreeing with Mina and you when I said "That's the point".
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« Reply #125 on: October 27, 2011, 05:46:23 PM »

You say that persons act and natures follow. This would mean that when the Divine Word died the divinity died with him.
"If I make my bed in Sheol, behold! You are there."

The whole point, I thought, is that Christ brought His undying divinity into Sheol, which destroyed death.

Yes. He brought His Divinity into Sheol in Hypostatic Union with humanity, where, rather than being bound by Sheol, that boundless Divinity exploded like an atom bomb (still in Hypostatic Union with humanity, giving humanity the victory over death).
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« Reply #126 on: October 27, 2011, 05:46:48 PM »

"it not superhuman to walk on water"

Sorry I just don't see where you have got this from.

Please provide some patristic evidence.

All of the Fathers use this to show that Christ is God, not that he is man.

Please provide some evidence that this is an Orthodox view and not just an opinion.
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« Reply #127 on: October 27, 2011, 05:47:02 PM »

It is the limitations that are subjected to the divinity.
Flesh becomes Word?

The Word becomes flesh, which is why the flesh is subjected to the Word.
So the Word in no way subjects himself to being limited, and "he humbled himself" is to be taken only to mean that he united himself to a nature unbefitting of divinity?

He absolutely subjects himself. In becoming a slave, however, He does not cease to be He Who rules all things.
I agree. But I think that attempting to compromise either the slave part or the he-who-rules-all-things part does violence to the paradoxical mystery of the incarnation.

As do I. But time and again we seem to disagree about what it means to 'compromise' one or the other.

Quote
By saying "well he wasn't REALLY bound by his humanity" compromises the slave part.

This is where we usually start disagreeing, often over specific words or phrases.

Quote
To say "well he didn't remain the Logos who sustains all things" compromises the latter.

As does, IMO, saying, "His Divinity was humbled".
Because the Divinity is of the Persons of the Trinity, whom we know are humble from all eternity, wouldn't it make sense that the Divine nature would be humbled? Was it not humbled when God created the universe? Is it not humbled when the Father begets the Son and the Son offers Himself back to the Father eternally? Is it not humbled when God interacts with creatures?

How the eternal persons of the Trinity humble themselves with each other is a divine mystery touching the essence.  When it comes to creation, God communicates through His energies.  So I don't see the necessity of using "humbling" the divine nature in the cases you describe.
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« Reply #128 on: October 27, 2011, 05:51:28 PM »

"it not superhuman to walk on water"

Sorry I just don't see where you have got this from.
It is super[fallen]human to walk on water, certainly.
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« Reply #129 on: October 27, 2011, 05:53:39 PM »

All of the Fathers use this to show that Christ is God, not that he is man.
He is God become man. We can be real humans and do those mighty works because God did them as man.

The Fathers are right to show that Christ is God by these acts because only God could do them via hypostatic/physis union, and before Christ no man could work such wonders. Christ repaired communion with God so that we can be real humans again and do mighty works in virtue of that communion.
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« Reply #130 on: October 27, 2011, 05:56:29 PM »

"it not superhuman to walk on water"

Sorry I just don't see where you have got this from.
It is super[fallen]human to walk on water, certainly.

Or better yet, we can say that the divine properties were manifest through the human act of walking on water.  "Divine humanity" so to speak, that is a real humanity infused with the fire of divinity, like a heated metal.
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« Reply #131 on: October 27, 2011, 05:57:27 PM »

"it not superhuman to walk on water"

Sorry I just don't see where you have got this from.
It is super[fallen]human to walk on water, certainly.

Or better yet, we can say that the divine properties were manifest through the human act of walking on water.  "Divine humanity" so to speak, that is a real humanity infused with the fire of divinity, like a heated metal.
Sounds good!
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« Reply #132 on: October 27, 2011, 05:59:52 PM »

That's not what you are saying though.

You are saying these acts are human.

The Fathers say they are divine.

The Word did not do them as man, he did them as God in his humanity.

Can you please show where the Fathers agree with you.
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« Reply #133 on: October 27, 2011, 06:03:06 PM »

The Word did not do them as man, he did them as God in his humanity.
Doesn't Christ do everything as God in his humanity?

You are saying these acts are human.

The Fathers say they are divine.
Both statements are true.

I cite our Father among the saints, chief of the Apostles Simon Peter:

"His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust."

And Jesus Christ, the Image of our true Father:

“Amen, Amen, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father."
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« Reply #134 on: October 27, 2011, 06:08:19 PM »

Then what have you been going about for the last 48 hours?

You have insisted that the humanity of Christ limits the Word and that the Word had to accept all these limits. Now you have changed your position 180 degrees. You insisted that the Fathers were wrong to say that Christ felt no hunger for 40 days because of the divine will, now you are saying the opposite.

What is happening here?
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« Reply #135 on: October 27, 2011, 06:09:22 PM »

What is happening here?
Father, I believe we have different understandings of what a natural human being is.
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« Reply #136 on: October 27, 2011, 06:13:39 PM »

Then what have you been going about for the last 48 hours?

You have insisted that the humanity of Christ limits the Word and that the Word had to accept all these limits. Now you have changed your position 180 degrees. You insisted that the Fathers were wrong to say that Christ felt no hunger for 40 days because of the divine will, now you are saying the opposite.

What is happening here?

Lord have mercy!
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« Reply #137 on: October 27, 2011, 09:04:38 PM »

Nicholas, I have to say that your description strikes me as Nestorian. It requires a human person who is shipwrecked in humanity as it were and has lost touch with the divine person who remains 'out there' somehow. (I don't mean that polemically but in the sense that if I had to put your view into a Venn Diagram I would pop it in the Nestorian set.
I am not saying that "God the Word" is willing things in eternity while the person Jesus is hanging around not able to will them in time. I'm saying that before all ages, God the Word willed all of his choices in the incarnation. God wills ALL THINGS providentially. When the incarnation occurred,  in time, however, that same Word limited Himself and became bound, and because of that initial choice to do so, in time, in the economy of salvation, his subsequent choices were limited. The one who willed all of the choices before all ages and the one who is limited by the incarnation are the exact same one.

I'm not familiar with this way of expressing things. Where are you getting it?

Quote from: NicholasMyra link=topic=40542.msg660601.html#msg660601
If both languages are used, then it's okay.

Frankly, that's not what you've been saying. I haven't seen any indication until this that you would be even slightly "okay" with using so-called Platonic language. You even started a thread about how "impassibility" is un-Scriptural.

Quote
Which is why I would say that God is circumscribed in the incarnation while remaining uncircumscribed without any division in his Hypostasis/Physis. This is absurd, and yet, there it is.

His Hypostasis is incarnate/human.
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« Reply #138 on: October 27, 2011, 09:15:29 PM »

"it not superhuman to walk on water"

Sorry I just don't see where you have got this from.
It is super[fallen]human to walk on water, certainly.

It's super[unfallen]human to walk on water, too. Supernatural, by the way, does not necessarily mean 'against nature'. Additionally, it is helpful to maintain a (Greek pagan) distinction between 'according to nature' and 'by nature'; for example, a man is virtuous according to nature, but he is not so by nature (he must be made so by habituation by laws, etc.). We might say that a human being is destined to be 'supernatural' according to his nature, or that grace is in some sense endemic to human nature, or that a human being is created in God's image and called to grow into His likeness.

Go and look at the way St. Athanasius plays with the words 'nature' and 'natural' in his discussion of mortality at the very beginning of On the Incarnation.
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« Reply #139 on: October 27, 2011, 09:26:06 PM »

I remember reading somewhere that St. Severus argued that Christ's human mind was omniscient, not ignorant, by virtue of the mind's hypostatic union with the Divine hypostasis. Is this true? And, if so, where can I read what St. Severus has to say on this matter?
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« Reply #140 on: October 28, 2011, 12:43:34 AM »

His Hypostasis is incarnate/human.
I know.

You even started a thread about how "impassibility" is un-Scriptural.
*Platonistic* Impassibility. I specified that for a reason.

Nicholas, I have to say that your description strikes me as Nestorian. It requires a human person who is shipwrecked in humanity as it were and has lost touch with the divine person who remains 'out there' somehow. (I don't mean that polemically but in the sense that if I had to put your view into a Venn Diagram I would pop it in the Nestorian set.
I am not saying that "God the Word" is willing things in eternity while the person Jesus is hanging around not able to will them in time. I'm saying that before all ages, God the Word willed all of his choices in the incarnation. God wills ALL THINGS providentially. When the incarnation occurred,  in time, however, that same Word limited Himself and became bound, and because of that initial choice to do so, in time, in the economy of salvation, his subsequent choices were limited. The one who willed all of the choices before all ages and the one who is limited by the incarnation are the exact same one.

I'm not familiar with this way of expressing things. Where are you getting it?

The understanding of God's ontological will vs. his providential will is, as I understand it, a patristic one. It has come up in Fr. Hopko's stuff and in several discussions on OC.net if I'm not mistaken.

It is this distinction that allows God to not be the author of evil or death, but still will all things.
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« Reply #141 on: October 28, 2011, 12:47:47 AM »

"it not superhuman to walk on water"

Sorry I just don't see where you have got this from.
It is super[fallen]human to walk on water, certainly.

It's super[unfallen]human to walk on water, too. Supernatural, by the way, does not necessarily mean 'against nature'. Additionally, it is helpful to maintain a (Greek pagan) distinction between 'according to nature' and 'by nature'; for example, a man is virtuous according to nature, but he is not so by nature (he must be made so by habituation by laws, etc.). We might say that a human being is destined to be 'supernatural' according to his nature, or that grace is in some sense endemic to human nature, or that a human being is created in God's image and called to grow into His likeness.

Go and look at the way St. Athanasius plays with the words 'nature' and 'natural' in his discussion of mortality at the very beginning of On the Incarnation.
I would say, JLatimer, that it is actually natural for man to be in communion with God and to be energized by his grace. He does not do these acts by his own power alone, of course, but then again, a real human being never does anything autonomously.

When I say natural to man, I mean "in his proper state/taxis". I am not implying that God does not choose to give man the power to work mighty acts (I.E. that it happens automatically).
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« Reply #142 on: October 28, 2011, 08:17:10 AM »

His Hypostasis is incarnate/human.
I know.

Then why did you say God is "uncircumscribed...in His Hypostasis"? If His Hypostasis is human, His Hypostasis is circumscribed.

You even started a thread about how "impassibility" is un-Scriptural.
*Platonistic* Impassibility. I specified that for a reason.

The Biblical idea of impassibility stems directly from the fundamental difference between Greek and Biblical thought: the creatio ex nihilo. The paradox in Christianity starts right in the beginning. That God created everything that is out of nothing (2 Macc. 7:28) is a way of saying that God is wholly other than everything created. He shares nothing in common with creation, with the 'things that are'; he is utterly beyond all being (Kierkegaard's "absolute difference"). And yet, He created. He is in creation in His energies; totally other, absolutely transcendent, and yet, paradoxically immanent, "closer than a brother".

God does not undergo anything in His ousia (impassibility), because only beings can be acted upon by other beings, and God is not a being. He is beyond being, beyond nature, beyond ousia.

In contrast to this way of thinking, the Demiurge of the philosophers is an eternal being who shapes eternal matter into the cosmos. So right from the outset, there is a fundamental similarity, rather than an absolute difference, between God and creation. They are both eternal.

Nicholas, I have to say that your description strikes me as Nestorian. It requires a human person who is shipwrecked in humanity as it were and has lost touch with the divine person who remains 'out there' somehow. (I don't mean that polemically but in the sense that if I had to put your view into a Venn Diagram I would pop it in the Nestorian set.
I am not saying that "God the Word" is willing things in eternity while the person Jesus is hanging around not able to will them in time. I'm saying that before all ages, God the Word willed all of his choices in the incarnation. God wills ALL THINGS providentially. When the incarnation occurred,  in time, however, that same Word limited Himself and became bound, and because of that initial choice to do so, in time, in the economy of salvation, his subsequent choices were limited. The one who willed all of the choices before all ages and the one who is limited by the incarnation are the exact same one.

I'm not familiar with this way of expressing things. Where are you getting it?

The understanding of God's ontological will vs. his providential will is, as I understand it, a patristic one. It has come up in Fr. Hopko's stuff and in several discussions on OC.net if I'm not mistaken.

It is this distinction that allows God to not be the author of evil or death, but still will all things.

Thanks.
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« Reply #143 on: October 28, 2011, 08:21:02 AM »

I would say, JLatimer, that it is actually natural for man to be in communion with God and to be energized by his grace.

As would I, but again, in the sense of 'according to nature', according to man's telos, but not 'by nature', not self-causingly.
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« Reply #144 on: October 28, 2011, 08:53:53 AM »

I would say, JLatimer, that it is actually natural for man to be in communion with God and to be energized by his grace.

As would I, but again, in the sense of 'according to nature', according to man's telos, but not 'by nature', not self-causingly.
Well, do we even exist at all "by nature", then?

His Hypostasis is incarnate/human.
I know.

Then why did you say God is "uncircumscribed...in His Hypostasis"? If His Hypostasis is human, His Hypostasis is circumscribed.
Rather I meant that God is truly circumscribed while mystically remaining uncircumscribed without producing a division in his hypostasis.
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« Reply #145 on: October 28, 2011, 09:04:04 AM »

I think I'll not address Nicholas' comments as, respectfully, they seem to be changing all the time and it is not clear to me what he is saying.

I will though, continue to deal with the error of Themistius and will press on with trying to translate the works of the Fathers which addressed and condemned his error.
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« Reply #146 on: October 28, 2011, 01:52:45 PM »

Rather I meant that God is truly circumscribed while mystically remaining uncircumscribed without producing a division in his hypostasis.

Sounds good to me.
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« Reply #147 on: October 28, 2011, 04:03:01 PM »

I remember reading somewhere that St. Severus argued that Christ's human mind was omniscient, not ignorant, by virtue of the mind's hypostatic union with the Divine hypostasis. Is this true? And, if so, where can I read what St. Severus has to say on this matter?

Now that the posts have slowed down a bit, I do feel bad that Severian's question is not answered here.
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« Reply #148 on: October 28, 2011, 04:10:38 PM »

Themistius didn't really develop his teaching until after the death of St Severus, and when he moved to Constantinople with St Theodosius.

The OO objections to this teaching are found especially in St Theodosius' writings.

St Cyril also writes about this subject as it relates to various passages in the Gospels. I have the sermon on the Epiphany by St Severus and I think that also discusses the idea of Christ growing as a child, and I expect this to be following St Cyril.

I'll find that sermon. I think I have translated it into English.
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« Reply #149 on: October 28, 2011, 04:38:51 PM »

Here are some passages translated from Homily X on the Epiphany..

2. Moreover, Jesus advanced in age, in wisdom and in grace, he who is himself the Wisdom and gives to all wisdom and grace, so that in him as in the second beginning of our race, we rise up, once more towards grace and wisdom, from which we had fallen, after having been deceived by the serpent.

3. Towards what, indeed, was he to progress, the one who is far from all progress, ......., the one towards whom anyone converges  who progresses in perfection? But this which the evangelist calls a progress is the manifestation and revelation of his divinity which is made little by little and in relation with age and according to measure. For this reason he also joins age with wisdom and grace, exclaiming as it were that if, the one who is without old age and is ageless and without time had not been subjected to age and time after being himself made man for us, it would not be said that he progressed in wisdom and in grace. But because in truth it is in age that he progresses, for this reason he progresses also in wisdom and in grace, while appropriating to himself all our imperfection and paving a way towards his perfection. That it is thus, and that it is the divinity of the economy of Emmanuel, which, in its gradual appearance, is called a progress, here how it is known.

5. After the evangelistic Luke had given this account, he adds afterwards these words: Jesus also progressed in wisdom, in age and in grace, so that we, we ourselves might learn that he calls the gradual revelation of the divinity of Jesus a progress. For the one who has in himself all that which is proper to the Father, which increase could he receive? And however he seems to progress in favour with God and in favour with men when an idea worthy of God progressed little by little on this subject among men, this which he manifested by the will of the Father, which he made to appear publically, at the same time both the passing of age and the appearance of his divinity.

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« Reply #150 on: October 28, 2011, 06:03:38 PM »

Well, do we even exist at all "by nature", then?

To better explain myself, let me take an example you have raised before. Human flesh is not naturally (in the sense of 'by nature') invincible. In its 'natural' state, it is capable of being wounded, because it is created, because it is a being capable of being acted upon by other beings, because it exists under the 'laws of nature'. By contrast, Christ's Resurrection flesh is invincible; yet, it has not ceased to be what it is, it has not ceased to be human. To me, the best way to make sense of this is still to say something like, 'it is according to human nature to become supernatural', because the human being was created as free, and called to become like God.

Am I making sense?
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« Reply #151 on: October 28, 2011, 07:40:55 PM »

By contrast, Christ's Resurrection flesh is invincible; yet, it has not ceased to be what it is, it has not ceased to be human.
But it is indeed a different sort of flesh, it is a pneumatikos (spiritualized) body rather than a nephesh/psyche body.

But it's still human, yes. Interestingly enough, Julianism may re-appear in our discussion. Tongue
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« Reply #152 on: October 28, 2011, 07:59:56 PM »

That it is thus, and that it is the divinity of the economy of Emmanuel, which, in its gradual appearance, is called a progress, here how it is known.
So When St. Cyril says the gradual revelation of divinity, does that mean to say that witnesses observed a gradual revelation of divinity from a human (not just a created, but a human) perspective, or that an actual change occurred in the "working knowledge and wisdom" of the incarnate Christ along with the appearance?
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« Reply #153 on: October 29, 2011, 11:37:28 AM »

By contrast, Christ's Resurrection flesh is invincible; yet, it has not ceased to be what it is, it has not ceased to be human.
But it is indeed a different sort of flesh, it is a pneumatikos (spiritualized) body rather than a nephesh/psyche body.

But it's still human, yes. Interestingly enough, Julianism may re-appear in our discussion. Tongue

My point was simply that He remains human. He has never ceased to be homoousios with us. I don't see 'Julianism' anywhere hereabouts.

I thought for the heck of it I'd post the Scripture passage to which you alluded, and St. John Chrysostom's commentary on it.

Quote from: 1 Corinthians 15:36-38,42-50 (KJV)
Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: [37] And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain : [38] But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. [42] So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: [43] It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: [44] It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. [45] And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening [I don't have the words, but I'm fairly certain the distinction between "living" and "life-giving" is important, especially in relation to "Death is swallowed up in victory."] spirit. [46] Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. [47] The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. [48] As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. [49] And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. [50] Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

Quote from: St. John Chrysostom, Homilies 41 and 42 on 1 Corinthians
1 Corinthians 15:36 (KJV)
Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:

For they said, the body rises not again, because it is dead. What then does he, retorting their argument, say? Nay, but unless it died, it could not rise again: and therefore it rises again, because it died. For as Christ more clearly signifies this very thing, in the words, Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides by itself alone: but if it die, it bears much fruit: John 12:24 thence also Paul, drawing this example, said not, it does not live, but, is not quickened; again assuming the power of God and showing that not the nature of the ground, but God Himself, brings it all to pass.

...
1 Corinthians 15:37
And he who sows, sows not that body that shall be.

...the heretics, considering none of these things, dart in upon us and say, one body falls and another body rises again. How then is there a resurrection? For the resurrection is of that which was fallen. But where is that wonderful and surprising trophy over death, if one body fall and another rise again? For he will no longer appear to have given back that which he took captive. And how can the alleged analogy suit the things before mentioned? Why, it is not one substance that is sown, and another that is raised, but the same substance improved. [I'm guessing that 'substance' here is translating ousia; though, I could be wrong.] Else neither will Christ have resumed the same body when He became the first-fruits of them that rise again: but according to you He threw aside the former body, although it had not sinned, and took another. Whence then is that other? For this body was from the Virgin, but that, whence was it? Do you see to what absurdity the argument has come round? For wherefore shows He the very prints of the nails? Was it not to prove that it is that same body which was crucified, and the same again that rose from the dead? And what means also His type of Jonah? For surely it was not one Jonah that was swallowed up and another that was cast out upon dry land. And why did He also say, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up? For that which was destroyed, the same clearly He raised again. Wherefore also the Evangelist added, that He spoke of the temple of His body. John 2:19-21
...
1 Corinthians 15:44
It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

What do you say? Is not this body spiritual? It is indeed spiritual, but that will be much more so. For now oftentimes both the abundant grace of the Holy Ghost flies away on men's committing great sins; and again, the Spirit continuing present, the life of the flesh depends on the soul: and the result in such a case is a void, without the Spirit. But in that day not so: rather he abides continually in the flesh of the righteous, and the victory shall be His, the natural soul [psuche]also being present.
...
1 Corinthians 15:47
The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.

Having said that the natural was first, and the spiritual afterward, he again states another difference, speaking of the earthy and the heavenly. For the first difference was between the present life and that which is to come: but this between that before grace and that after grace. And he stated it with a view to the most excellent way of life, saying—(for to hinder men, as I said, from such confidence in the resurrection as would make them neglectful of their practice and of perfection, from this topic also again he renders them anxious and exhorts to virtue, saying,)— The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven: calling the whole by the name of man , and naming the one from the better, and the other from the worst part.

1 Corinthians 15:48
As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: so shall they perish and have an end. As is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly: so shall they abide immortal and glorious.

What then? Did not This Man too die? He died indeed, but received no injury therefrom, yea rather by this He put an end to death. Do you see how on this part of his subject also, he makes use of death to establish the doctrine of the resurrection? For having, as I said before, the beginning and the head, so he speaks, doubt not of the whole body.

Moreover also he frames hereby his advice concerning the best way of living, proposing standards of a lofty and severe life and of that which is not such, and bringing forward the principles of both these, of the one Christ, but of the other Adam. Therefore neither did he simply say, of the earth, but earthy, i.e., gross, nailed down to things present: and again with respect to Christ the reverse, the Lord from heaven.

2. But if any should say, therefore the Lord has not a body because He is said to be from heaven, although what is said before is enough to stop their mouths: yet nothing hinders our silencing them from this consideration also: viz. what is, the Lord from heaven? Does he speak of His nature, or His most perfect life? It is I suppose evident to every one that he speaks of His life. Wherefore also he adds,

1 Corinthians 15:49
As we have borne the image of the earthy, i.e., as we have done evil, let us also bear the image of the heavenly, i.e., let us practise all goodness.

But besides this, I would fain ask you, is it of nature that it is said, he that is of the earth, earthy, and, the Lord from heaven?  Yea, says one. What then? Was Adam only earthy, or had he also another kind of substance congenial with heavenly and incorporeal beings, which the Scripture calls soul, and spirit? Every one sees that he had this also. Therefore neither was the Lord from above only although He is said to be from heaven, but He had also assumed our flesh. But Paul's meaning is such as this: as we have borne the image of the earthy, i.e., evil deeds, let us also bear the image of the heavenly, the manner of life which is in the heavens. Whereas if he were speaking of nature, the thing needed not exhortation nor advice. So that hence also it is evident that the expression relates to our manner of life.

Wherefore also he introduces the saying in the manner of advice and calls it an image, here too again showing that he is speaking of conduct, not of nature. For therefore are we become earthy, because we have done evil: not because we were originally formed earthy, but because we sinned. For sin came first, and then death and then the sentence, Dust thou art, and unto dust shall you return. Genesis 3:19 Then also entered in the swarm of the passions. For it is not simply the being born of earth that makes a man earthy, (since the Lord also was of this mass and lump ,) but the doing earthly things, even as also he is made heavenly by performing things meet for heaven.
...
1 Corinthians 15:50
Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.

Do you see how he explains himself again, relieving us of the trouble? Which he often does: for by flesh he here denotes men's evil deeds, which he has done also elsewhere; as when he says, But you are not in the flesh: and again, So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:8-9 So that when he says, Now this I say, he means nothing else than this: therefore said I these things that you may learn that evil deeds conduct not to a kingdom. Thus from the resurrection he straightway introduced also the doctrine of the kingdom also; wherefore also he adds, neither does corruption inherit incorruption,  i.e., neither shall wickedness inherit that glory and the enjoyment of the things incorruptible. For in many other places he calls wickedness by this name, saying, He that sows to the flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption. Galatians 6:8 Now if he were speaking of the body and not of evil doing, he would not have said corruption. For he nowhere calls the body corruption, since neither is it corruption, but a thing corruptible: wherefore proceeding to discourse also of it, he calls it not corruption, but corruptible, saying, for this corruptible must put on incorruption.
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« Reply #154 on: October 29, 2011, 01:31:27 PM »

Good stuff from Chrysostom there!
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« Reply #155 on: October 29, 2011, 02:46:25 PM »

As regards the questions 'what is human nature?' and 'what are natural human activities?', I would like to zero in on the remark of Chrysostom that "not the nature of the ground, but God Himself, brings it all to pass."

Here you can see the distinction I am trying to make between 'by nature' and 'according to nature'. 'By nature' (phusei) implies instrumentality on the part of nature (nature as 'efficient cause'). Does new life spring from a dead seed (forget modern science for a moment  Wink) because of "the nature of the ground"? Chrysostom says no; it is the power of God Himself that "brings it all to pass." Likewise, it is not by nature that a man is raised from the dead; nor, for that matter, is it by nature that a man walks on water, heals the sick, casts out demons, commands the waves of the sea. It is rather by the power of God.

Nevertheless, we would not say that to do these things is contrary or opposed to [human] nature, if indeed we believe that man is himself created in the Image of God and called to grow into His Likeness; rather, we would say that to do these things is wholly consonant with man's ultimate purpose or end (nature as 'final cause'?), and thus is 'according to [in agreement with/not opposed to] nature' (kata phusin). Super-nature is not necessarily against-nature. The super-natural is 'above' nature in the sense that nature cannot 'reach' it on its own, but in the case of a human being, nature itself is 'oriented' towards what is higher than itself.

In communion with God, man can indeed transcend the limitations of his own nature, without, so to speak, leaving behind that nature, but rather carrying it up with himself into God's freedom and sovereignty, of which man is called to partake: the created, as created, showing forth the Uncreated Light. St. Athanasius writes,

Quote from: On the Incarnation
By nature, of course, man is mortal, since he was made from nothing; but he bears also the Likeness of Him Who is, and if he preserves that Likeness through constant contemplation, then his nature is deprived of its power and he remains incorrupt. ...though they were by nature subject to corruption, the grace of their union with the Word made them capable of escaping from the natural law, provided that they retained the beauty of innocence with which they were created. That is to say, the presence of the Word with them shielded them even from natural corruption.

---

I would say, JLatimer, that it is actually natural for man to be in communion with God and to be energized by his grace.

As would I, but again, in the sense of 'according to nature', according to man's telos, but not 'by nature', not self-causingly.
Well, do we even exist at all "by nature", then?

Quote from: On the Incarnation
...it is God alone Who exists.
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« Reply #156 on: October 29, 2011, 03:44:56 PM »

If he walked on the water by his divine power and if he did not feel hunger then he was not bound by his humanity and you are not saying differently to the Fathers, so what are you saying?  Undecided  And why have you been disagreeing with the Fathers for the last 30 posts if you now say you agree with them?
The bold part is where we disagree. It is natural for humanity to be in communion with God and to work mighty acts by his power, thus is it not superhuman to walk on water or to turn to God for true food and true drink.

The Word is not breaking the bounds of his humanity. He is being truly human. To avoid confusion I will re-iterate that these acts were by hypostatic/physis union and not by external union as in a saint, hence the by nature vs. by grace difference.

I find it frustrating that you have expended so much digital ink insisting that the Incarnation matters only if Christ is truly bound by His humanity, only to define-down 'bound' to where it is practically meaningless. How is human nature binding at all if human beings can naturally fly, bi-locate, move mountains, go forever without food, walk on water, etc.?

If being 'bound' consists in these things, then the idea of God involuntarily (after the intitial, voluntary choice, as you say) 'bound' by human nature, is frankly much less startling than what the rest of us have been saying, namely: God, Who is all-powerful and without any limitation, utterly freely and voluntarily choosing at every moment to subject* Himself to and to experience the very real limitations of human nature, e.g., birth from a woman, bodily growth over time, the need to walk from place to place, sinkability in water, the need to eat, wound-ability, corruptibility, mortality.

If we don't maintain some sort of distinction between natural and supernatural, between human and superhuman, between bare humanity and deified humanity, between human and Divine, then "the Word became flesh" is not a paradox at all, and we have gained nothing by the Incarnation.

*In the same way He truly subjected Himself to the Jews and to Pilate, even allowing Himself to be killed, though He could have at any moment had twelve legions of angels at His disposal (Matthew 26:53, John 19:11).
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« Reply #157 on: October 29, 2011, 04:01:57 PM »

I have also found it frustrating. Indeed I am very glad that JLatimer is expressing my own understanding of Christology so clearly that I do not need to keep expressing my frustration!  Smiley
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« Reply #158 on: October 29, 2011, 04:21:26 PM »

It is the limitations that are subjected to the divinity. 
Flesh becomes Word?

Ephesians 4:8
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« Reply #159 on: October 30, 2011, 12:10:32 AM »

what the rest of us have been saying, namely: God, Who is all-powerful and without any limitation, utterly freely and voluntarily choosing at every moment to subject* Himself to and to experience the very real limitations of human nature, e.g., birth from a woman, bodily growth over time, the need to walk from place to place, sinkability in water, the need to eat, wound-ability, corruptibility, mortality.

But you aren't saying he experienced these limitations at every moment. You are saying that he experienced them sometimes and other times he chose not to or "raised himself above them" (a sophistic way of saying that he chose not to experience human passions).

Believe me, I get that you think because Christ is "not just a man, but the Logos incarnate" that means that his humanity is lifted above its "passions" when he chooses; or that because that humanity is united to the Word, it is divinized to the point where passions become "filled up" when the Logos chooses to do so. I get that this affirms hyper-cyrilline doctrine.

It is also docetic sophistry.

If he walked on the water by his divine power and if he did not feel hunger then he was not bound by his humanity and you are not saying differently to the Fathers, so what are you saying?  Undecided  And why have you been disagreeing with the Fathers for the last 30 posts if you now say you agree with them?
The bold part is where we disagree. It is natural for humanity to be in communion with God and to work mighty acts by his power, thus is it not superhuman to walk on water or to turn to God for true food and true drink.

The Word is not breaking the bounds of his humanity. He is being truly human. To avoid confusion I will re-iterate that these acts were by hypostatic/physis union and not by external union as in a saint, hence the by nature vs. by grace difference.

I find it frustrating that you have expended so much digital ink insisting that the Incarnation matters only if Christ is truly bound by His humanity, only to define-down 'bound' to where it is practically meaningless. How is human nature binding at all if human beings can naturally fly, bi-locate, move mountains, go forever without food, walk on water, etc.?

If being 'bound' consists in these things, then the idea of God involuntarily (after the intitial, voluntary choice, as you say) 'bound' by human nature, is frankly much less startling than what the rest of us have been saying
I think you misunderstand what I mean when I say these things are "natural" to man. I am not saying "by nature" in the sense of "by the intrinsic faculty of the human physis". In fact, I clarified this earlier. I am referring to man's natural state/taxis in relationship to God and creation.

And I also affirm that the Logos chose every single moment in the incarnation from eternity, whist at the same time being ontologically bound in-time. Remember the providential vs. ontological will thing?
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« Reply #160 on: October 30, 2011, 12:11:02 AM »

It is the limitations that are subjected to the divinity.
Flesh becomes Word?

Ephesians 4:8
No.
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« Reply #161 on: October 30, 2011, 12:45:56 PM »

You are saying that the acceptance of St Cyril's teaching is docetism.

If so then your position is clearly not Orthodox.
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« Reply #162 on: October 30, 2011, 03:46:09 PM »

and other times he chose not to or "raised himself above them" (a sophistic way of saying that he chose not to experience human passions).

What Fr. Peter actually said, following St. Cyril, is that the Incarnate Word "can raise his humanity above its natural weakness and often does". Not that the Word raises Himself above His humanity. When He, in His perfect freedom and sovereignty, chooses not to feel hunger for forty days, He does so as the Godman. It's not as if 'in His Divinity' He did not feel hunger. What would be so special about that? God as God doesn't feel hunger in the first place. In His humanity He does not feel hunger because, via the Hypostatic Union, His humanity partakes of His Divine freedom and sovereignty. That is indeed wondrous.

Quote
But you aren't saying he experienced these limitations at every moment.

Your criticism here of what I wrote is fair. What I was trying to say is that the nature He assumed is indeed limited. And even when 'raised above itself' it remains limited, in the sense that it remains what it is. This is the point I was trying to make in my two longish posts above: that the deification of human nature does not cause it to cease being human. When Christ walks on water, He does so in sinkable flesh. That's why it's a miracle. Sinkable flesh showing itself to be unsinkable because of its union with Divinity.

If he walked on the water by his divine power and if he did not feel hunger then he was not bound by his humanity and you are not saying differently to the Fathers, so what are you saying?  Undecided  And why have you been disagreeing with the Fathers for the last 30 posts if you now say you agree with them?
The bold part is where we disagree. It is natural for humanity to be in communion with God and to work mighty acts by his power, thus is it not superhuman to walk on water or to turn to God for true food and true drink.

The Word is not breaking the bounds of his humanity. He is being truly human. To avoid confusion I will re-iterate that these acts were by hypostatic/physis union and not by external union as in a saint, hence the by nature vs. by grace difference.

I find it frustrating that you have expended so much digital ink insisting that the Incarnation matters only if Christ is truly bound by His humanity, only to define-down 'bound' to where it is practically meaningless. How is human nature binding at all if human beings can naturally fly, bi-locate, move mountains, go forever without food, walk on water, etc.?

If being 'bound' consists in these things, then the idea of God involuntarily (after the intitial, voluntary choice, as you say) 'bound' by human nature, is frankly much less startling than what the rest of us have been saying
I think you misunderstand what I mean when I say these things are "natural" to man. I am not saying "by nature" in the sense of "by the intrinsic faculty of the human physis". In fact, I clarified this earlier. I am referring to man's natural state/taxis in relationship to God and creation.

And I also affirm that the Logos chose every single moment in the incarnation from eternity, whist at the same time being ontologically bound in-time. Remember the providential vs. ontological will thing?

Yes; I remember that. And I remember thinking it sounded like a "really odd, illogical and ad-hoc [way] to explain away" God's leading captivity captive.

With all due respect, I think it is you who are missing the force of my argument. You are on the record as saying that to walk on water is not only Divine, but human. (As Fr. Peter has pointed out, the Fathers univocally disagree with you.) Then you say that the Word was 'bound' by human limitations, but according to your own definition of human nature, it essentially has no limitations.

Your insistence that humanity is 'naturally' capable of wonder-working, and yet that for Jesus to act Divinely is for Him to "override" His humanity - the only consistency I can see here is a general commitment to keeping Divinity and humanity at a safe and comfortable distance.

I don't think that's what you are trying to do, but in the end that's the result of your reasoning, IMO.

And BTW, why do you insist on calling your interlocutors Sophist, Platonist, docetist, Julianist, Apollinarianist, Monophysite, etc?


Wow.  Huh
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« Reply #163 on: October 30, 2011, 04:27:32 PM »

You are saying that the acceptance of St Cyril's teaching is docetism.

If so then your position is clearly not Orthodox.
Believing that Cyril was infallible and taking certain teachings of his to odd and docetic conclusions is clearly not Orthodox.

Jlatimer, as for you, your last post suggests that you have completely ceased trying to actually understand my argument.
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« Reply #164 on: October 30, 2011, 04:45:23 PM »

How is simply printing St Cyril's teaching taking it to docetic ends?

How is accepting St Cyril's Christological teaching taking 'certain' rather than 'core' teachings to an 'odd conclusion'?

Can you confirm that you reject St Cyril's teaching that, for instance, the Word raised his own humanity above all feelings of hunger for 40 days?

Can you confirm whether you accept or reject this teaching...

..his human will follows and that not as resisting and reluctant, but rather as subject to his divine and omnipotent will.  For it was right that the flesh should be moved but subject to the divine will, according to the most wise Athanasius.

Do you accept the the flesh is subject to the divine will at all times and that his human will is subject to his divine will?
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« Reply #165 on: October 30, 2011, 05:21:15 PM »

You are saying that the acceptance of St Cyril's teaching is docetism.

If so then your position is clearly not Orthodox.
Believing that Cyril was infallible and taking certain teachings of his to odd and docetic conclusions is clearly not Orthodox.

Jlatimer, as for you, your last post suggests that you have completely ceased trying to actually understand my argument.

Both EO and OO Christology is Cyrillian at it's core, and if you read the book "Grace and Christology in the Early Church"
http://www.amazon.com/Christology-Church-Oxford-Christian-Studies/dp/019929710X (the book I mentioned above)

Then you would know that Saint Cyril's view was pretty much the consensus, and so he was a heavy weight when it comes to the issue of Church Fathers.

The 3rd Ecumenical council was heavily influenced by him. The 4th Ecumenical council has alot of Cyrillian language and thought in it (although not enough for OO's to accept). And the 5th Ecumenical council was heavily influenced by Cyrillian thought, even to the point of giving the official interpretation of the 4th Ecumenical council as well as allowing for the acceptability of the use of more Cyrillian language if interpreted the right way. And so, there is really no way getting around Saint Cyril when it comes to Eastern Christianity. Saint Cyril will always be an influence when it comes to the issue of Christology.

There is a book I'm going to read soon in regards to the Christology of the Emperor Justinian, he seemed to be a fan of Saint Cyril and so there is really no way of getting around Cyrillian thought when it comes to Eastern Christianity. Now, we(EO and Rome) don't just follow Saint Cyril exclusively, for we follow other people too, as seen in the formula of re-union between Cyril and John, but when it comes to this issue, Saint Cyril will always be a part of the conversation, especially in the Christian East. Things might be different with Rome and how she filters things, but with us, in regards to this issue, things have to be filtered through the Christological lense of Saint Cyril. And so for us, Saint Leo is filtered through the eyes of Saint Cyril. Although for Rome it might be the opposite.

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« Reply #166 on: October 30, 2011, 05:44:20 PM »

When the lowness arising from the exinanition seems hard to you, wonder greatly at the love of the Son toward us. For, what you say is a mean thing, this he did voluntarily for your sake. He wept in human fashion, that he might take away your weeping. He feared by dispensation, inasmuch as he sometimes permitted his flesh to undergo the passions proper to it, that he might make us valiant. - St Cyril of Alexandria (in answer to the objections made by Theodoret, in the defence of the tenth anathema)
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« Reply #167 on: October 30, 2011, 05:55:59 PM »

The key word in that passage for the present discussion is 'sometimes'
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« Reply #168 on: October 30, 2011, 08:29:23 PM »

You know who else accused St. Cyril of docetism?

I hope we should learn that we need to be humble in our learnings of correct doctrines.  "Lean not on your own understandings."  Julianism used to make sense in my mind.  But after a while, I had to swallow my pride to come to a realization that I might be wrong.  If anything, I learned quickly it stemmed from a misunderstanding of St. Athanasius' teachings, and not noticing the subtleties of language.

The issue of "sometimes" is very simple and Scriptural really.  If one wants to take what you believe, that the Logos was subject to the limitations He put Himself in, then He could have never walked on water or did miracles or transfigure Himself on Mt. Tabor.  He subjected humanity to divinity, that we may also be subject to divine graces.  By being subject to the limitless God rather than to the limited world, we are set free rather than slaves to sin.  It is a very important soteriological point that one must understand.
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« Reply #169 on: October 30, 2011, 08:32:12 PM »

Lord have mercy!
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« Reply #170 on: October 31, 2011, 12:21:05 AM »

If one wants to take what you believe, that the Logos was subject to the limitations He put Himself in, then He could have never walked on water or did miracles or transfigure Himself on Mt. Tabor.
Then you have not read what I wrote.

There is a book I'm going to read soon in regards to the Christology of the Emperor Justinian
I have it, it's a good book.
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« Reply #171 on: October 31, 2011, 01:06:47 AM »

Lord have mercy!
Has that become your version of Severian's "Nevermind"?
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« Reply #172 on: October 31, 2011, 03:53:27 AM »

Can you answer these questions please Nicholas,

How is simply printing St Cyril's teaching taking it to docetic ends?

How is accepting St Cyril's Christological teaching taking 'certain' rather than 'core' teachings to an 'odd conclusion'?

Can you confirm that you reject St Cyril's teaching that, for instance, the Word raised his own humanity above all feelings of hunger for 40 days?

Can you confirm whether you accept or reject this teaching...

..his human will follows and that not as resisting and reluctant, but rather as subject to his divine and omnipotent will.  For it was right that the flesh should be moved but subject to the divine will, according to the most wise Athanasius.

Do you accept the the flesh is subject to the divine will at all times and that his human will is subject to his divine will?
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« Reply #173 on: October 31, 2011, 09:58:19 AM »

If one wants to take what you believe, that the Logos was subject to the limitations He put Himself in, then He could have never walked on water or did miracles or transfigure Himself on Mt. Tabor.
Then you have not read what I wrote.

From what I have read, you're having trouble in thinking that he "sometimes" transcended His human passions.  You want to believe that there was never a time when he didn't go through His human passions.

I'm asking why stop at human passions?  Why not when He walked on water or when He did miracles?
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« Reply #174 on: October 31, 2011, 10:31:18 AM »

If one wants to take what you believe, that the Logos was subject to the limitations He put Himself in, then He could have never walked on water or did miracles or transfigure Himself on Mt. Tabor.

Or, for that matter, risen from the dead. After all, he took upon Himself mortal flesh. Is it docetic to proclaim His 'overriding' mortality by Resurrection?
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« Reply #175 on: October 31, 2011, 10:39:49 AM »

I'm asking why stop at human passions?  Why not when He walked on water or when He did miracles?

In the root sense, 'passion' is just what it means to be created, to be a 'being'. Passion is 'undergoing'. To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. When we walk on the ground, it is because the ground is exerting force on us in a certain way. We are beings capable of being acted upon by other beings, whether we will it or not. That's what it means to be passible. We can't control the fact that water exerts force in a way other than earth so that we sink.

So I agree with you, that the issue of the passions and the miracles are really linked.
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« Reply #176 on: November 11, 2011, 11:11:38 PM »

When Christ said "nor the Son", he must've coughed "(en theoria in his humanity)" under his breath, but St. John didn't hear him.  laugh

Once again, St. Athanasius says it better than OC.net.

I think over and over again, this verse concerning "nor the Son" has a general agreement among Church fathers, even with St. Athanasius here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,40693.msg667848.html#msg667848

that Christ is not involuntarily ignorant, but He uses human ignorance as an excuse for all of humanity to be blessed with ignorance of that specific moment in time as a good thing, and not something one should dwell on.  He even teaches later that we should live each moment as our last (for Christ will come like a thief in the night).  It's not ignorance in the sense that Christ had no choice in the matter.  I'm sure if He wanted to download that information into His human brain (using Fr. Peter's analogy), He could, but He chose not to.  Nevertheless, we can still say He does know, and He can share that knowledge, but He wanted us to be ignorant specifically of this time, and so He chooses to be ignorant for us, even though He really does know.
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« Reply #177 on: November 12, 2011, 01:47:20 AM »

that Christ is not involuntarily ignorant, but He uses human ignorance as an excuse for all of humanity to be blessed with ignorance of that specific moment in time as a good thing, and not something one should dwell on.  He even teaches later that we should live each moment as our last (for Christ will come like a thief in the night).  It's not ignorance in the sense that Christ had no choice in the matter.  I'm sure if He wanted to download that information into His human brain (using Fr. Peter's analogy), He could, but He chose not to.  Nevertheless, we can still say He does know, and He can share that knowledge, but He wanted us to be ignorant specifically of this time, and so He chooses to be ignorant for us, even though He really does know.
Lord, have mercy.
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« Reply #178 on: November 12, 2011, 01:55:20 AM »

He wanted us to be ignorant specifically of this time, and so He chooses to be ignorant for us, even though He really does know.
Is this a paradox or do you parse it out somehow?
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« Reply #179 on: November 12, 2011, 08:02:56 AM »

He wanted us to be ignorant specifically of this time, and so He chooses to be ignorant for us, even though He really does know.
Is this a paradox or do you parse it out somehow?

I don't understand your question.  I would say that our faith is filled with paradox that works together.  By death He conquered death, for instance.  The Unlimited took limit, etc.
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« Reply #180 on: November 12, 2011, 08:41:38 AM »

When Christ said "nor the Son", he must've coughed "(en theoria in his humanity)" under his breath, but St. John didn't hear him.  laugh

Once again, St. Athanasius says it better than OC.net.

I think over and over again, this verse concerning "nor the Son" has a general agreement among Church fathers, even with St. Athanasius here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,40693.msg667848.html#msg667848

that Christ is not involuntarily ignorant, but He uses human ignorance as an excuse for all of humanity to be blessed with ignorance of that specific moment in time as a good thing, and not something one should dwell on.  He even teaches later that we should live each moment as our last (for Christ will come like a thief in the night).  It's not ignorance in the sense that Christ had no choice in the matter.  I'm sure if He wanted to download that information into His human brain (using Fr. Peter's analogy), He could, but He chose not to.  Nevertheless, we can still say He does know, and He can share that knowledge, but He wanted us to be ignorant specifically of this time, and so He chooses to be ignorant for us, even though He really does know.

Thanks, this really helps me to understand. Smiley
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« Reply #181 on: November 12, 2011, 02:06:06 PM »

He wanted us to be ignorant specifically of this time, and so He chooses to be ignorant for us, even though He really does know.
Is this a paradox or do you parse it out somehow?

I don't understand your question.  I would say that our faith is filled with paradox that works together.  By death He conquered death, for instance.  The Unlimited took limit, etc.

I mean, when you say that Christ chose to be ignorant, even though because he is the Logos he knows,

Was he really, truly ignorant, while really, truly knowing at the same time in a paradox? Are you okay with that paradox, and okay not trying to explain that he wasn't really ignorant or wasn't really knowing?
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« Reply #182 on: November 13, 2011, 09:09:35 AM »

He wanted us to be ignorant specifically of this time, and so He chooses to be ignorant for us, even though He really does know.
Is this a paradox or do you parse it out somehow?

I don't understand your question.  I would say that our faith is filled with paradox that works together.  By death He conquered death, for instance.  The Unlimited took limit, etc.

I mean, when you say that Christ chose to be ignorant, even though because he is the Logos he knows,

Was he really, truly ignorant, while really, truly knowing at the same time in a paradox? Are you okay with that paradox, and okay not trying to explain that he wasn't really ignorant or wasn't really knowing?

Notice how I chose my words.  He does know, but He also chose not to download that information.  That's the extent of "ignorance" Christ has.  But in His person, yes, He does know.  To say anything further would be troublesome.  Is this a paradox?  I suppose you can say so.  Clearly, even St. Athanasius says, He does know, just chose to bless human ignorance of this specific subject.  I'm not sure why you're pressing the issue on "truly ignorant" and the same time "truly knowing."  On the other thread, you praised St. Athanasius for not taking the subject further, but after another quote posted, he did take it further.
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« Reply #183 on: November 13, 2011, 09:19:12 AM »

Ignorance is an aspect of the manner in which we learn as humans. We must ACQUIRE knowledge. But the Word Himself has all knowledge INNATELY. The humanity of Christ does not cease to need to acquire knowledge. But RECEIVES all knowledge by the union with the Word. Thus he is truly human in that his knowledge must be acquired, but he receives all knowledge at the point of union, just as he is entirely holy, and entirely wise. He does not learn wisdom by trial and error. He is himself the Word of Wisdom and the Word of Knowledge.
 
There is however a very real point at which the psychology of Christ should not be investigated. We do not know. We should not presume.
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« Reply #184 on: November 13, 2011, 09:22:35 AM »

Ignorance is an aspect of the manner in which we learn as humans. We must ACQUIRE knowledge. But the Word Himself has all knowledge INNATELY. The humanity of Christ does not cease to need to acquire knowledge. But RECEIVES all knowledge by the union with the Word. Thus he is truly human in that his knowledge must be acquired, but he receives all knowledge at the point of union, just as he is entirely holy, and entirely wise. He does not learn wisdom by trial and error. He is himself the Word of Wisdom and the Word of Knowledge.
 
There is however a very real point at which the psychology of Christ should not be investigated. We do not know. We should not presume.
I totally agree!
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« Reply #185 on: September 21, 2012, 04:15:56 AM »

I remember reading somewhere that St. Severus argued that Christ's human mind was omniscient, not ignorant, by virtue of the mind's hypostatic union with the Divine hypostasis. Is this true? And, if so, where can I read what St. Severus has to say on this matter?

Also where can I read St. Theodosius' and Benjamin's works? Were they in the volume Fr. Peter mentioned in message #3?

HE Metropolitan Bishoy said on CYC that Christ did not have all knowledge contained in His mind simultaeneously, since the human mind cannot fit all the facts of the world in it.  Rather, he said that He could call up any piece of information at any time to Himself.  Is this correct, because it seems to stand in contrast with this thread?
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« Reply #186 on: September 21, 2012, 04:33:49 AM »

I would tend to agree with the position described as being that of Metropolitan Bishoy.

I would probably not phrase it in the same way though. I would say that it is another interior mystery in the humanity of Christ but that he did always know everything that he ever needed to know to know because he is God the Word incarnate. But this omniscience was manifested humanly in and through the limitations of humanity.

I would say that in some sense the act of conscious recall made all things present to him, just as I may know the capital of China but only bring it to mind when I think of it. You can already see what I think in this thread, and the volume with the necessary writings in it is unfortunately in Syriac or Latin. Take you rpick!
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« Reply #187 on: September 21, 2012, 05:32:28 AM »

Wow, you're quick Abouna.
Actually, I do know quite a bit of Latin, so I'd pick that over Syriac!
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« Reply #188 on: September 21, 2012, 07:15:16 AM »

Then do take a look at the volume as the content seems really important as far as I can understand it and should be the subject of someone's study and effort.
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« Reply #189 on: September 21, 2012, 07:44:11 AM »

Which volume, Abouna, 'Ad Theodoram'?
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« Reply #190 on: September 21, 2012, 07:51:20 AM »

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=HLOVxgqrN6AC&printsec=frontcover&dq=monophysite+text&source=bl&ots=zDC3pQgDS3&sig=gELv4bQ2IYCzp4yUM8Rjcoh_Zc8&hl=en&sa=X&ei=z1RcUKLAAamJ0AXt5oDQDA&ved=0CDAQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=monophysite%20text&f=false

All the texts against the Agnoetai
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« Reply #191 on: September 21, 2012, 09:09:52 AM »

OK, Father. I will have a crack at it when I am free, probably late November/early December.
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