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Author Topic: Yet another Christological thread  (Read 1179 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: December 07, 2011, 10:36:34 PM »

Alright, get ready, this excerpt from The Orthodox Way was sent to me in an email...

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Secondly, this notion of salvation as sharing implies – although many have been reluctant to say this openly – that Christ assumed not just unfallen but fallen human nature.  As the Epistle to the Hebrews insists (and in the New Testament there is no Christological text more important than this): “We do not have a high priest who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but he was in all points tempted exactly as we are, yet without sinning” (4:15).  Christ lives out his life on earth under the conditions of the fall.  He is not himself a sinful person, but in his solidarity with fallen man he accepts to the full the consequences of Adam’s sin.  He accepts to the full not only the physical consequences, such as weariness, bodily pain, and eventually the separation of body and soul in death.  He accepts also the moral consequences, the loneliness, the alienation, the inward conflict.  It may seem a bold thing to ascribe all this to the living God, but a consistent doctrine of the Incarnation requires nothing less.  If Christ has merely assumed unfallen human nature, living out his earthly life in the situation of Adam in Paradise, then he would not have been touched with the feeling of our infirmities, nor would he have been tempted in everything exactly as we are.  And in that case he would not be our Savior.

Any thoughts anyone?
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« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2011, 08:21:58 AM »

I remember reading this section of the book. Very powerful for me, and quite pivotal in the way I understood sin, death and the Incarnation.

I agree with Metropolitan Kallistos' statement. Is there anything you're looking for specifically? Sorry, just not sure what thoughts to share...
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« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2011, 09:20:38 AM »

Nothing in particular. It seemed somewhat relarted to some of the other topics that have been up for discussion here recently. I thought it was interesting.
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« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2011, 02:16:46 PM »

I feel that it really puts it well that Christ was in every way, human.

PP
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« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2011, 03:28:35 PM »

just wanted to say in advance that i'm unsubscribing... Wink
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« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2011, 06:36:24 PM »

hey, i'm reading this book now! just put it down to check the forum. i didn't get to this bit yet, but i think the important thing to note is that when orthodox people like metropolitan kallistos say 'fallen nature', we mean 'mortal, not immortal'.
we don't mean 'fallen' = 'sinful'.
saint augustine promoted the concept of 'original sin' and most catholics and protestants (as far as i can tell) teach that the children of adam and eve inherited sin.
but they actually inherited mortality, so it is right to say that Jesus took on a mortal human nature (making it one with His divine nature).

orthocat, how can u 'unsubscribe' without 'subscribing' first?
that's confusing, u are making Christology look simple by comparison...
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« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2011, 07:36:35 PM »

Christ assumed unfallen nature, but also the blameless consequences of fallen nature, such as hunger, tiredness, etc. Lossky says that according to St. Maximus there are 2 assumptions by Christ - first assuming manhood (in unfallen nature), and then assuming the blameless passions. But He did not assume fallen nature.
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« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2011, 08:50:16 PM »

Christ assumed unfallen nature, but also the blameless consequences of fallen nature, such as hunger, tiredness, etc. Lossky says that according to St. Maximus there are 2 assumptions by Christ - first assuming manhood (in unfallen nature), and then assuming the blameless passions. But He did not assume fallen nature.

So you are saying Christ's godhood overpowered his humanity? 
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« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2011, 09:37:38 PM »

Christ assumed unfallen nature, but also the blameless consequences of fallen nature, such as hunger, tiredness, etc. Lossky says that according to St. Maximus there are 2 assumptions by Christ - first assuming manhood (in unfallen nature), and then assuming the blameless passions. But He did not assume fallen nature.

So you are saying Christ's godhood overpowered his humanity? 

no. what makes you think that?
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« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2011, 01:21:38 AM »

A brilliant answer from Met. Kallistos Ware.
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« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2011, 06:34:01 PM »

"For that which He has not assumed He has not healed; but that which is united to His Godhead is also saved." –St. Gregory Nazianzen
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« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2011, 02:10:00 AM »

It was taught to me that there is no such thing as "fallen" and "unfallen" human nature, but that there is simply "human nature". In our situation, our human nature has been subject to death and corruption, but it is still human nature nonetheless. Adam was created with a human nature. Seth has a human nature. The Theotokos has a human nature. We have a human nature today. It is that human nature which Christ assumed.
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« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2011, 02:16:33 AM »

It was taught to me that there is no such thing as "fallen" and "unfallen" human nature, but that there is simply "human nature". In our situation, our human nature has been subject to death and corruption, but it is still human nature nonetheless. Adam was created with a human nature. Seth has a human nature. The Theotokos has a human nature. We have a human nature today. It is that human nature which Christ assumed.

sure, "fallen nature" doesnt mean a different nature, but rather a different condition of the same nature. but whereas all men are subject to death, Christ voluntarily laid down His life - He did not assume our nature in its fallen condition.
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« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2011, 03:09:17 AM »

It was taught to me that there is no such thing as "fallen" and "unfallen" human nature, but that there is simply "human nature". In our situation, our human nature has been subject to death and corruption, but it is still human nature nonetheless. Adam was created with a human nature. Seth has a human nature. The Theotokos has a human nature. We have a human nature today. It is that human nature which Christ assumed.

sure, "fallen nature" doesnt mean a different nature, but rather a different condition of the same nature. but whereas all men are subject to death, Christ voluntarily laid down His life - He did not assume our nature in its fallen condition.

In certain circles, "fallen nature" does mean that it is a different nature, especially in Calvinism and Reformed Theology. I certainly do not wish to nit-pick with you, as, from what I've seen of your posts, I think that I tend to agree with your point of view on just about any issue that I can think of. Having come from a Reformed background myself, perhaps my emphasis is a reaction to that line of thinking.
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« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2011, 03:15:18 AM »

It was taught to me that there is no such thing as "fallen" and "unfallen" human nature, but that there is simply "human nature". In our situation, our human nature has been subject to death and corruption, but it is still human nature nonetheless. Adam was created with a human nature. Seth has a human nature. The Theotokos has a human nature. We have a human nature today. It is that human nature which Christ assumed.

sure, "fallen nature" doesnt mean a different nature, but rather a different condition of the same nature. but whereas all men are subject to death, Christ voluntarily laid down His life - He did not assume our nature in its fallen condition.
Whether or not Christ would have died of old age is a matter of debate, even in the Orthodox world in recent times.

You have to be careful about how you apply that "voluntarily", lest you end up in some form of docetism.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2011, 03:16:05 AM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2011, 03:25:19 AM »

You have to be careful about how you apply that "voluntarily", lest you end up in some form of docetism.

How does one lead to the other?
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« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2011, 03:41:41 AM »

You have to be careful about how you apply that "voluntarily", lest you end up in some form of docetism.

How does one lead to the other?
Well, a certain bishop named Julian took the "voluntarily" thing to some odd conclusions. He said that "voluntarily" meant that Christ had to choose to make his pre-resurrection self mortal for certain occasions-- his humiliation, his crucifixion, etc. Basically Julian taught that Christ was incorrupt and had to "voluntarily" allow himself to be corruptible whenever the occasion called for it.

He was condemned for heresy by both EO and OO, and a docetic heresy called "Julianism" was named after him; a heresy also known as Aphtharto-docetism.

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Aphthartodocetism
http://orthodoxwiki.org/Eutychius_of_Constantinople


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if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

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« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2011, 05:56:17 AM »

Christ assumed unfallen nature, but also the blameless consequences of fallen nature, such as hunger, tiredness, etc. Lossky says that according to St. Maximus there are 2 assumptions by Christ - first assuming manhood (in unfallen nature), and then assuming the blameless passions. But He did not assume fallen nature.

I saw the samething in Saint Maximus
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« Reply #18 on: December 11, 2011, 01:05:06 PM »

Ok, i'm back Tongue

So saying that Christ assumed our fallen nature, and that he experienced internal conflict...these are the two hot button issues stated in the OP, right?

It seems that this contradicts some positions in the discussions we have had of late...
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« Reply #19 on: December 11, 2011, 04:16:47 PM »

Ok, i'm back Tongue

So saying that Christ assumed our fallen nature, and that he experienced internal conflict...these are the two hot button issues stated in the OP, right?

It seems that this contradicts some positions in the discussions we have had of late...

yes, those would be the issues. the personal subject in Christ is the divine Logos - how could the Logos be internally conflicted?
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« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2011, 04:46:50 PM »

not sure, for me it goes back to "Father take this cup from me, nevertheless not my will but thy will be done". I have a tough time explaining that without internal conflict...
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« Reply #21 on: December 11, 2011, 05:10:38 PM »

not sure, for me it goes back to "Father take this cup from me, nevertheless not my will but thy will be done". I have a tough time explaining that without internal conflict...

That has been explained by several holy fathers quoted in other threads. They interpret it, speaking for the Church, as not referencing contradiction or internal division but the simple human trait of wanting to avoid death, if I have understood it correctly. Though they say it more better.
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« Reply #22 on: December 11, 2011, 05:14:44 PM »

yes, its the blameless passion of shrinking away from death. but He never had the will to NOT do the Father's will.
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« Reply #23 on: December 12, 2011, 04:52:06 PM »

Ok, i'm back Tongue

So saying that Christ assumed our fallen nature, and that he experienced internal conflict...these are the two hot button issues stated in the OP, right?

It seems that this contradicts some positions in the discussions we have had of late...

Definitely food for thought.
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« Reply #24 on: December 12, 2011, 10:17:02 PM »

I always get wordy and jumbled when I address these issues -- I have much left to learn.  Because of that, I'll offer only this:

If you don't understand the essence and energies and person and nature distinctions, you will never understand proper Christology and how Christ assumed our human nature, yet without sin, and healed it.  The "yet without sin" part becomes "oh, so it was a sinless/perfect/illumined/glorified nature," which is very Western in understanding and, IMHO, muddles things greatly.  Christ was without sin, because sin is personal and Christ did not sin.  The nature He assumed is our nature, fully.  There is no "sin" at the level of nature, because natures don't sin, people do.  What Christ did with our nature is illumine it in His person with the Divine energies which are part of His divine nature.

I hope I didn't mess that up too badly.
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