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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.

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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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