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Author Topic: Is Jesus *still* Human?  (Read 2682 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: May 07, 2012, 11:12:51 AM »

I found this at The United Methodist Church website:

Quote
We believe that Jesus was human. He lived as a man and died when he was crucified.
We believe that Jesus is divine. He is the Son of God.
[Bold added for emphasis.]

Doesn't Christiantiy traditionally teach that Jesus is still human, as well as "divine"?
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« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2012, 11:38:10 AM »

I found this at The United Methodist Church website:

Quote
We believe that Jesus was human. He lived as a man and died when he was crucified.
We believe that Jesus is divine. He is the Son of God.
[Bold added for emphasis.]

Doesn't Christiantiy traditionally teach that Jesus is still human, as well as "divine"?
Yes.
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« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2012, 11:40:54 AM »

Doesn't Christiantiy traditionally teach that Jesus is still human, as well as "divine"?

It's the premanence of the incarnation that gives us assurance of the permanency of our salvation.
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« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2012, 11:45:20 AM »

If Jesus is not human, then he never was human. It means he did not take on our humanity - you and I will never be anything other than human beings. It is the nature of a human being to always be a human being.
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« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2012, 11:50:49 AM »

It is the nature of a human being to always be a human being.
If that is true, then that means that Jesus was always human.
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« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2012, 12:14:34 PM »

It is the nature of a human being to always be a human being.
If that is true, then that means that Jesus was always human.

Maybe Im wrong, but isnt that what the Creed implies when it says Christ always existed co-eternally with the Father?
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« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2012, 12:43:04 PM »

It is the nature of a human being to always be a human being.
If that is true, then that means that Jesus was always human.

Maybe Im wrong, but isnt that what the Creed implies when it says Christ always existed co-eternally with the Father?
No, which is why it is pointed out that in the Incarnation He remains what He was and became what He was not.  He has been a human being since the Annunciation. He shall ever remain so.
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« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2012, 12:43:44 PM »

It is the nature of a human being to always be a human being.
If that is true, then that means that Jesus was always human.

Maybe Im wrong, but isnt that what the Creed implies when it says Christ always existed co-eternally with the Father?
Yes, but was Christ always fully man and fully God?
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« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2012, 12:51:30 PM »

Ialmisry is right. It does say that he 'became' man which would imply that he wasnt always man.
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« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2012, 01:25:00 PM »

It is the nature of a human being to always be a human being.
If that is true, then that means that Jesus was always human.

Maybe Im wrong, but isnt that what the Creed implies when it says Christ always existed co-eternally with the Father?
Yes, but was Christ always fully man and fully God?

If by "Christ" you are using a specific title for the Incarnate Word as distinguished from the pre-Incarnate Word, then yes. The Son/the Divine Logos was fully Divine. Then, at a specific point in time, He 'without change, became man" (the Incarnation) and from that point in time forward was and is fully God and fully Man. But the Son was not human when He was 'begotten of the Father before all ages'
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« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2012, 01:38:54 PM »

It is the nature of a human being to always be a human being.
If that is true, then that means that Jesus was always human.

Maybe Im wrong, but isnt that what the Creed implies when it says Christ always existed co-eternally with the Father?
Yes, but was Christ always fully man and fully God?

If by "Christ" you are using a specific title for the Incarnate Word as distinguished from the pre-Incarnate Word, then yes. The Son/the Divine Logos was fully Divine. Then, at a specific point in time, He 'without change, became man" (the Incarnation) and from that point in time forward was and is fully God and fully Man. But the Son was not human when He was 'begotten of the Father before all ages'
IOW, there was a time when the Son of God, the second Person of the Holy Trinity, was not the Christ, since "Christ" is a title that applies only to a particular human person: the Incarnate Son of God.
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« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2012, 01:50:49 PM »

There was also never a time when God was not the perfect image of man, because true man is the perfect image of God.  Wink

Anthropomorphism/Theomorphism.
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« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2012, 02:25:54 PM »

I am not Methodist, though the Methodist Church and the Church I belong (should) share doctrine, nor am I any type of authority on Wesleyan theology. One could also read that statement and claim Methodist are saying Christ was human, then gained divinity after the crucifixion which they certainly are not. Lets assume they are meaning what is literally written; was human.
 
With that said I will be a little surprised to find that Wesley did not think that Jesus Christ remains both fully human and fully God. While I cannot recall reading, or hearing anything where he specifically mentions Christ ‘still’ being fully human, much of his teachings, as I have received them anyway, are based around Christology.  He preached this was an absolute as Christ was, and is, the intercessor for us to the heavenly Father.  I'm curious how the Methodist came to the conclusion you posted. If John Wesley believed that Christ being fully human was necessary for His intercessions to The Father on our behalf, and preached that Christ still is and will be intercessor, I have always assumed that meant he believed Christ is still fully human.

Then again just yesterday I thought I was wrong but was sadly mistaken.   Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2012, 02:51:08 PM »

I am not Methodist, though the Methodist Church and the Church I belong (should) share doctrine, nor am I any type of authority on Wesleyan theology. One could also read that statement and claim Methodist are saying Christ was human, then gained divinity after the crucifixion which they certainly are not. Lets assume they are meaning what is literally written; was human.
 
With that said I will be a little surprised to find that Wesley did not think that Jesus Christ remains both fully human and fully God. While I cannot recall reading, or hearing anything where he specifically mentions Christ ‘still’ being fully human, much of his teachings, as I have received them anyway, are based around Christology.  He preached this was an absolute as Christ was, and is, the intercessor for us to the heavenly Father.  I'm curious how the Methodist came to the conclusion you posted. If John Wesley believed that Christ being fully human was necessary for His intercessions to The Father on our behalf, and preached that Christ still is and will be intercessor, I have always assumed that meant he believed Christ is still fully human.

Then again just yesterday I thought I was wrong but was sadly mistaken.   Smiley

I sure that if this were brought to their attention, the web-masters at UMC would change the language. But it's possible the language may reflect a common perception of the average Christian: that since Jesus ascended into heaven, He no longer is "human" in the way that He was on earth, or that He is now only divine.
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« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2012, 03:48:13 PM »

I found this at The United Methodist Church website:

Quote
We believe that Jesus was human. He lived as a man and died when he was crucified.
We believe that Jesus is divine. He is the Son of God.
[Bold added for emphasis.]

Doesn't Christiantiy traditionally teach that Jesus is still human, as well as "divine"?

Yes. The human and divine natures are inseparable. If the Lord's humanity were to cease for some odd reason, what would have been the whole point? I'm pretty sure the false belief that His humanity has disappeared or been swallowed up has been anathematized at least 40 times.
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« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2012, 03:49:06 PM »

It is the nature of a human being to always be a human being.
If that is true, then that means that Jesus was always human.

Maybe Im wrong, but isnt that what the Creed implies when it says Christ always existed co-eternally with the Father?

No. The Word was not flesh before He took flesh in the Incarnation.
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« Reply #16 on: May 07, 2012, 03:49:39 PM »

It is the nature of a human being to always be a human being.
If that is true, then that means that Jesus was always human.

Maybe Im wrong, but isnt that what the Creed implies when it says Christ always existed co-eternally with the Father?
Yes, but was Christ always fully man and fully God?

The Word of God was not fully man until the incarnation.
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« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2012, 04:25:41 PM »

I am not Methodist, though the Methodist Church and the Church I belong (should) share doctrine, nor am I any type of authority on Wesleyan theology. One could also read that statement and claim Methodist are saying Christ was human, then gained divinity after the crucifixion which they certainly are not. Lets assume they are meaning what is literally written; was human.
 
With that said I will be a little surprised to find that Wesley did not think that Jesus Christ remains both fully human and fully God. While I cannot recall reading, or hearing anything where he specifically mentions Christ ‘still’ being fully human, much of his teachings, as I have received them anyway, are based around Christology.  He preached this was an absolute as Christ was, and is, the intercessor for us to the heavenly Father.  I'm curious how the Methodist came to the conclusion you posted. If John Wesley believed that Christ being fully human was necessary for His intercessions to The Father on our behalf, and preached that Christ still is and will be intercessor, I have always assumed that meant he believed Christ is still fully human.

Then again just yesterday I thought I was wrong but was sadly mistaken.   Smiley

I sure that if this were brought to their attention, the web-masters at UMC would change the language. But it's possible the language may reflect a common perception of the average Christian: that since Jesus ascended into heaven, He no longer is "human" in the way that He was on earth, or that He is now only divine.

Good point. I would read it like you did by the way. To be fair was just leaving the possibility out there. 

I'll look around to see if I can find anything specific that Wesley said about Christ remaining fully human. If I can't find anything I'll check with some folks at Church that are better educated on the subject.

Not that that means anything one way or the other. I once heard the Wesleyan theology that the Methodest hold as doctrine was not documented till after his death. I have no idea if true. The Methodest Church has veered from some of those fundamentals in recent past apparently as well.

Interesting post though. I'm curious.
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« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2012, 04:30:24 PM »

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

I found this at The United Methodist Church website:

Quote
We believe that Jesus was human. He lived as a man and died when he was crucified.
We believe that Jesus is divine. He is the Son of God.
[Bold added for emphasis.]

Doesn't Christiantiy traditionally teach that Jesus is still human, as well as "divine"?

Yes, the Church does, in fact that entirely the point of the Incarnation in the first place.  Of course, clearly those other folks seem to believe differently Wink

In the Incarnation, the real human body of Jesus Christ, which is the respective hypostasis of His assumed human nature, became through the mystery of the Union the hypostasis for His Divinity as the Word, hence "the Word became Flesh."  So Jesus Christ is quite naturally and also essentially a human being forever, and for eternity He exists hypostatically in a deified yet human body.

stay blessed,
habte selassie

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2012, 08:17:06 PM »

I found this at The United Methodist Church website:

Quote
We believe that Jesus was human. He lived as a man and died when he was crucified.
We believe that Jesus is divine. He is the Son of God.
[Bold added for emphasis.]

Doesn't Christiantiy traditionally teach that Jesus is still human, as well as "divine"?

This really is a great question,and one that needs to be asked in our post-reformation,post-modern society. If you were to ask any Protestant Evangelical of any brand,what they believe about the Incarnation,and the Person of Christ,you would get many different answers.  I would tend to think that the Theology that permiates most of Protestantism today is very similar to the Docetism that plagued the Early Church,for which St. Ignatius of Antioch spoke much about.  To me Christology is the very cornerstone by which every other tenet of the Christian faith rests on,our understanding of Eucharist,the Nature of the Church,Authority,etc.,etc.

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« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2012, 08:25:06 PM »

One more thought,you will find that most Evangelical preachers and teachers today speak of Christ's humanity in the past tense,meaning He WAS a man.
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« Reply #21 on: May 07, 2012, 08:27:16 PM »

The Orthodox position on the permanence of the humanity of Christ is most clearly expressed in the hymnography for the feast of the Ascension.
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« Reply #22 on: May 07, 2012, 08:36:26 PM »

I found this at The United Methodist Church website:

Quote
We believe that Jesus was human. He lived as a man and died when he was crucified.
We believe that Jesus is divine. He is the Son of God.
[Bold added for emphasis.]

Doesn't Christiantiy traditionally teach that Jesus is still human, as well as "divine"?

This really is a great question,and one that needs to be asked in our post-reformation,post-modern society. If you were to ask any Protestant Evangelical of any brand,what they believe about the Incarnation,and the Person of Christ,you would get many different answers.  I would tend to think that the Theology that permiates most of Protestantism today is very similar to the Docetism that plagued the Early Church,for which St. Ignatius of Antioch spoke much about.  To me Christology is the very cornerstone by which every other tenet of the Christian faith rests on,our understanding of Eucharist,the Nature of the Church,Authority,etc.,etc.



Observer bias may come in here, but I almost never see Docetism among Protestants (the closest are those extreme liberals who dismiss the actual historical person of Christ altogether in favor of the 'idea' of Christ). Nestorianism, on the other hand, is quite common, with Apollonarianism a rather distant second.

In the case of the website in question, I suspect, as Jetavan seems to as well, that it is more a case of sloppy terminology than anything else--sloppy terminology is even more common than heresy among modern Protestants (and not a few modern Roman Catholics and Orthodox as well, though thankfully that is rare among the actual leadership of those groups).
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« Reply #23 on: May 07, 2012, 08:56:15 PM »

I found this at The United Methodist Church website:

Quote
We believe that Jesus was human. He lived as a man and died when he was crucified.
We believe that Jesus is divine. He is the Son of God.
[Bold added for emphasis.]

Doesn't Christiantiy traditionally teach that Jesus is still human, as well as "divine"?

This really is a great question,and one that needs to be asked in our post-reformation,post-modern society. If you were to ask any Protestant Evangelical of any brand,what they believe about the Incarnation,and the Person of Christ,you would get many different answers.  I would tend to think that the Theology that permiates most of Protestantism today is very similar to the Docetism that plagued the Early Church,for which St. Ignatius of Antioch spoke much about.  To me Christology is the very cornerstone by which every other tenet of the Christian faith rests on,our understanding of Eucharist,the Nature of the Church,Authority,etc.,etc.



Observer bias may come in here, but I almost never see Docetism among Protestants (the closest are those extreme liberals who dismiss the actual historical person of Christ altogether in favor of the 'idea' of Christ). Nestorianism, on the other hand, is quite common, with Apollonarianism a rather distant second.

In the case of the website in question, I suspect, as Jetavan seems to as well, that it is more a case of sloppy terminology than anything else--sloppy terminology is even more common than heresy among modern Protestants (and not a few modern Roman Catholics and Orthodox as well, though thankfully that is rare among the actual leadership of those groups).

Yes,Nestorianism would probably be more accurate,since they do not see Mary as the Mother of God,and simply view Her as more of a surrogate mother,He thereby did not assume our humanity,vis-a-vis Her DNA,rather God took on a new human form.
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« Reply #24 on: May 07, 2012, 10:52:57 PM »

It is the nature of a human being to always be a human being.
If that is true, then that means that Jesus was always human.

Maybe Im wrong, but isnt that what the Creed implies when it says Christ always existed co-eternally with the Father?
Yes, but was Christ always fully man and fully God?

The Word of God was not fully man until the incarnation.

Was man, truly man after the fall?  Did not Christ Jesus take on our corrupted nature and in Him redeem man in Him?  It would seem to my little brain, that is the reason we are baptized into Him.
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« Reply #25 on: May 08, 2012, 12:36:01 AM »

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

It is the nature of a human being to always be a human being.
If that is true, then that means that Jesus was always human.

Maybe Im wrong, but isnt that what the Creed implies when it says Christ always existed co-eternally with the Father?
Yes, but was Christ always fully man and fully God?

The Word of God was not fully man until the incarnation.

Was man, truly man after the fall?  Did not Christ Jesus take on our corrupted nature and in Him redeem man in Him?  It would seem to my little brain, that is the reason we are baptized into Him.

Orthodox teaches that human nature was not essentially corrupted by  Ancestral Sin, rather that as a result of sin we have been pushed away from God.  Our relationship was broken by sin, but not the essence of our human nature.  We are not necessarily restored by nature through Baptism, rather we are renewed and reconciled to God in the Spirit, as a relationship established by God's Grace, and so after Baptism humans have the potentiality for God's Grace to assist them.  The fall of humanity in Ancestral Sin was to forever introduce the potentiality and inclination towards Sin into human nature, but we were not marred in our essence to be entirely sinful.  Even a single sin produces mortality, but what is mortality? It is to be absent from God, who is the source of Life.  So when Adam and Eve sinned, they were banished by nature from God's presence.  God separated Himself from us.  Our nature was not so much changed in some kind of physical way so much as God distanced Himself from our nature.  Without God, inevitably we die.  By God's Grace, in the Divine Mysteries, our relationship is restored, we are brought nearer to God and sin is removed.  In this same way, Jesus Christ in His Incarnation did not necessarily cleanse human nature, as indeed He inherited the one and same human nature of us all, so much as by the very nature of His Incarnation and the Union we brought human nature back into a direct, tangible relationship with the Divine in His Body.

We discussed all  this here..

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #26 on: May 08, 2012, 01:07:03 AM »

The Orthodox position on the permanence of the humanity of Christ is most clearly expressed in the hymnography for the feast of the Ascension.

This was, indeed, the only point I wished to add to the conversation: the Ascension makes no sense unless Jesus, the Christ, Son of the Living God, Incarnate Son of God and 2nd member of the Holy Trinity, is still fully man after His Crucifixion and Resurrection.  (IOW: What exactly needed to Ascend?)  Thank you, LBK.
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« Reply #27 on: May 08, 2012, 01:34:55 AM »

The Orthodox position on the permanence of the humanity of Christ is most clearly expressed in the hymnography for the feast of the Ascension.

This was, indeed, the only point I wished to add to the conversation: the Ascension makes no sense unless Jesus, the Christ, Son of the Living God, Incarnate Son of God and 2nd member of the Holy Trinity, is still fully man after His Crucifixion and Resurrection.  (IOW: What exactly needed to Ascend?)  Thank you, LBK.

I would like to add that if Christ did abandon His humanity after His ascension, it would not be possible to portray Him iconographically as the heavenly Christ in Majesty, enthroned, and surrounded by the heavenly powers. An invisible spirit cannot be depicted in visual form.
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« Reply #28 on: May 08, 2012, 07:38:36 AM »

Well of course Christ maintains his humanity Wink
The way they phrase it is a bit weird.
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« Reply #29 on: May 08, 2012, 09:27:32 AM »

An invisible spirit cannot be depicted in visual form.
Isn't the Holy Spirit depicted as a dove?
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« Reply #30 on: May 08, 2012, 11:06:37 AM »

An invisible spirit cannot be depicted in visual form.
Isn't the Holy Spirit depicted as a dove?

It should only be thus in icons of the Theophany (Baptism of Christ), as it is at that particular time and place that the Spirit manifested itself in the form of a dove. The same goes with the tongues of fire at Pentecost. It is an error to show the Holy Spirit as a dove, or a tongue of fire, in any other icon. Sadly, such errors continue to this day.  Sad Sad
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« Reply #31 on: May 08, 2012, 11:45:49 AM »

An invisible spirit cannot be depicted in visual form.
Isn't the Holy Spirit depicted as a dove?

It should only be thus in icons of the Theophany (Baptism of Christ), as it is at that particular time and place that the Spirit manifested itself in the form of a dove. The same goes with the tongues of fire at Pentecost. It is an error to show the Holy Spirit as a dove, or a tongue of fire, in any other icon. Sadly, such errors continue to this day.  Sad Sad

Interesting... would that include those that believe (profess) speaking in tongues as an indication of the gift of Spirit?
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« Reply #32 on: May 08, 2012, 07:19:01 PM »

An invisible spirit cannot be depicted in visual form.
Isn't the Holy Spirit depicted as a dove?

It should only be thus in icons of the Theophany (Baptism of Christ), as it is at that particular time and place that the Spirit manifested itself in the form of a dove. The same goes with the tongues of fire at Pentecost. It is an error to show the Holy Spirit as a dove, or a tongue of fire, in any other icon. Sadly, such errors continue to this day.  Sad Sad

 
Interesting... would that include those that believe (profess) speaking in tongues as an indication of the gift of Spirit?

Yes. The Holy Spirit singularly appeared as tongues of fire to the disciples in the Upper Room at Pentecost. The Holy Spirit is not fire by nature, nor is it a dove by nature. God the Father is completely indescribable and unrepresentable. Christ, through His incarnation, became visible and material, so it is permissible and necessary to portray Him iconographically as the God-Man (Theanthropos).
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« Reply #33 on: May 08, 2012, 07:29:23 PM »

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

An invisible spirit cannot be depicted in visual form.
Isn't the Holy Spirit depicted as a dove?

It should only be thus in icons of the Theophany (Baptism of Christ), as it is at that particular time and place that the Spirit manifested itself in the form of a dove. The same goes with the tongues of fire at Pentecost. It is an error to show the Holy Spirit as a dove, or a tongue of fire, in any other icon. Sadly, such errors continue to this day.  Sad Sad

 
Interesting... would that include those that believe (profess) speaking in tongues as an indication of the gift of Spirit?
Christ, through His incarnation, became visible and material, so it is permissible and necessary to portray Him iconographically as the God-Man (Theanthropos).



stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #34 on: May 08, 2012, 07:32:51 PM »

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

An invisible spirit cannot be depicted in visual form.
Isn't the Holy Spirit depicted as a dove?

It should only be thus in icons of the Theophany (Baptism of Christ), as it is at that particular time and place that the Spirit manifested itself in the form of a dove. The same goes with the tongues of fire at Pentecost. It is an error to show the Holy Spirit as a dove, or a tongue of fire, in any other icon. Sadly, such errors continue to this day.  Sad Sad

 
Interesting... would that include those that believe (profess) speaking in tongues as an indication of the gift of Spirit?
Christ, through His incarnation, became visible and material, so it is permissible and necessary to portray Him iconographically as the God-Man (Theanthropos).



stay blessed,
habte selassie

We have gone over this ground many times before, Habte. The teaching of the Quinisext and Seventh Ecumenical Councils (does the OO church accept these councils?) on iconography are clear, yet images such as the one you have posted continue to be painted.
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« Reply #35 on: May 08, 2012, 07:54:03 PM »

Glad to see you all are agreeing with me explicitly and not quibbling.

God changes. Even "essentially".

Thanks guys.
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« Reply #36 on: May 08, 2012, 08:18:13 PM »

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


An invisible spirit cannot be depicted in visual form.
Isn't the Holy Spirit depicted as a dove?

It should only be thus in icons of the Theophany (Baptism of Christ), as it is at that particular time and place that the Spirit manifested itself in the form of a dove. The same goes with the tongues of fire at Pentecost. It is an error to show the Holy Spirit as a dove, or a tongue of fire, in any other icon. Sadly, such errors continue to this day.  Sad Sad

 
Interesting... would that include those that believe (profess) speaking in tongues as an indication of the gift of Spirit?
Christ, through His incarnation, became visible and material, so it is permissible and necessary to portray Him iconographically as the God-Man (Theanthropos).



stay blessed,
habte selassie

We have gone over this ground many times before, Habte. The teaching of the Quinisext and Seventh Ecumenical Councils (does the OO church accept these councils?) on iconography are clear, yet images such as the one you have posted continue to be painted.
I know I know, I was just playing with you a little bit.  No, to my understanding the Orientals do not adhere to the Seventh Council.  Of course, this is the first you've mentioned the Quinisext, which Peter of Alexandria signed and so I am more willing to respect. Most of what I've read there is perfectly agreeable and recognizable in the Ethiopian tradition. Now, I did not see anything regarding images of the Father or the Holy Spirit in that Council.  I did notice this this which the Ethiopians spurn, but which my Coptic Agpeya still faithfully upholds.

Quote
CANON LXXXI.
WHEREAS we have heard that in some places in the hymn Trisagion there is added after "Holy and Immortal," "Who was crucified for us, have mercy upon us," and since this as being alien to piety was by the ancient and holy Fathers cast out of the hymn, as also the violent heretics who inserted these new words were cast out of the Church; we also, confirming the things which were formerly piously established by our holy Fathers, anathematize those who after this present decree allow in church this or any other addition to the most sacred hymn; but if indeed he who has transgressed is of the sacerdotal order, we command that he be deprived of his priestly dignity, but if he be a layman or monk let him be cut off.
NOTES.
ANCIENT EPITOME OF CANON LXXXI.
Whoever adds to the hymn Trisagion these words "Who wast crucified" shall be deemed heterodox.

The Ethiopian Trisagion chanted each morning and night as well as at each Divine Liturgy chants, "..We'teseqle Deebe Iste Meskal.." (literally "and was executed on the Cross") which seems to disagree.

Quote
CANON XC.
WE have received from our divine Fathers the canon law that in honour of Christ's resurrection, we are not to kneel on Sundays.
We also kneel on Sundays Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #37 on: May 08, 2012, 08:25:14 PM »

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


God changes. Even "essentially".

Thanks guys.

No God did not and does not change.  When the Word essentially and hypostatically (in Cyrillian terms these are one and the same of course) united with Flesh, His Divine Nature did not change in any way, but is preserved entirely within the Union.  Cyril's analogy of the heat and the iron ingot is again perfect.  The iron is not changed essentially when heated, neither does the heat change into iron, but the principles of heat are enacted through the iron as it is heated.  The Divine is not changed by the Flesh, but the Divine hypostatically exists through the Flesh, albeit unchanged by the experience, by essence.  This is entirely why the Chalcedonians felt the need to better define the terms physis and hypostasis, where as Cyrillian language has them as one.  The Oriental thought then always assumes that a hypostasis and its respective nature are fundamentally interconnected.  Chalcedonian though elaborates further on these terms, so that we can describe the Word as having united by hypostatic form with Flesh, while preserving the sanctity of His Divine Essence.   I have also used the analogy from chemistry.  In the molecule of water, the hydrogen does not become oxygen, but both remain intact by their natural essence (ie, the content of their respective nuclei)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #38 on: May 08, 2012, 08:56:49 PM »

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


God changes. Even "essentially".

Thanks guys.

No God did not and does not change.  When the Word essentially and hypostatically (in Cyrillian terms these are one and the same of course) united with Flesh, His Divine Nature did not change in any way, but is preserved entirely within the Union.  Cyril's analogy of the heat and the iron ingot is again perfect.  The iron is not changed essentially when heated, neither does the heat change into iron, but the principles of heat are enacted through the iron as it is heated.  The Divine is not changed by the Flesh, but the Divine hypostatically exists through the Flesh, albeit unchanged by the experience, by essence.  This is entirely why the Chalcedonians felt the need to better define the terms physis and hypostasis, where as Cyrillian language has them as one.  The Oriental thought then always assumes that a hypostasis and its respective nature are fundamentally interconnected.  Chalcedonian though elaborates further on these terms, so that we can describe the Word as having united by hypostatic form with Flesh, while preserving the sanctity of His Divine Essence.   I have also used the analogy from chemistry.  In the molecule of water, the hydrogen does not become oxygen, but both remain intact by their natural essence (ie, the content of their respective nuclei)

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Keep your analogy. It is wrong and unconvincing. Iron is indeed changed when heated.

That's why you have to say it is now heated.

Again, this thread shows you all agree with me when you are not caught up in the language and debates which are not germaine to our time.

God changes. You all said it.

Awesome.
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« Reply #39 on: May 08, 2012, 09:42:08 PM »

Christ is Risen!

No kneeling or prostration on the day of the Lord, the cannons forbid this. even if people seem to ignore them sometimes,( some out of ignorance , some out of the habit of prostration) the church is clear about it.

http://www.ethiopianorthodox.org/biography/01thelawofkings.pdf

on chapter 14 the cannon on prayer, you can find it on page 88 it explains the days where prostration is forbidden, only bowing ( which the translation calls genuflection, as Ethiopians do not genuflect, they bow from the waist without bending the knees)


Edit, I know this is not the topic of this thread, however since the incorrect information was given thought I would pitch in.

As to the topic of this thread,after the Incarnation, Our Lord's Humanity  never separated from His Divinity not even for a twinkling of an eye.

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« Reply #40 on: May 08, 2012, 10:13:11 PM »

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

It is the nature of a human being to always be a human being.
If that is true, then that means that Jesus was always human.

Maybe Im wrong, but isnt that what the Creed implies when it says Christ always existed co-eternally with the Father?
Yes, but was Christ always fully man and fully God?

The Word of God was not fully man until the incarnation.

Was man, truly man after the fall?  Did not Christ Jesus take on our corrupted nature and in Him redeem man in Him?  It would seem to my little brain, that is the reason we are baptized into Him.

Orthodox teaches that human nature was not essentially corrupted by  Ancestral Sin, rather that as a result of sin we have been pushed away from God.  Our relationship was broken by sin, but not the essence of our human nature.  We are not necessarily restored by nature through Baptism, rather we are renewed and reconciled to God in the Spirit, as a relationship established by God's Grace, and so after Baptism humans have the potentiality for God's Grace to assist them.  The fall of humanity in Ancestral Sin was to forever introduce the potentiality and inclination towards Sin into human nature, but we were not marred in our essence to be entirely sinful.  Even a single sin produces mortality, but what is mortality? It is to be absent from God, who is the source of Life.  So when Adam and Eve sinned, they were banished by nature from God's presence.  God separated Himself from us.  Our nature was not so much changed in some kind of physical way so much as God distanced Himself from our nature.  Without God, inevitably we die.  By God's Grace, in the Divine Mysteries, our relationship is restored, we are brought nearer to God and sin is removed.  In this same way, Jesus Christ in His Incarnation did not necessarily cleanse human nature, as indeed He inherited the one and same human nature of us all, so much as by the very nature of His Incarnation and the Union we brought human nature back into a direct, tangible relationship with the Divine in His Body.

We discussed all  this here..

stay blessed,
habte selassie

I was not thinking of corruption as in total, but are nature is both body and soul in communion with God.  In this, if we did not have an inclination before the fall to sin, then after wards humanity had the inclination to sin, there is a change, an illness if you like, in us and a broken communion, our bodies or flesh came to rule over our souls.   Christ Jesus took on our corruption but without sin, He was crushed for His purification (removing the illness) that is His human nature from my understanding of Isaiah.  It is He alone in which the soul ruled over the body in complete obedience to His divine nature, He alone was the only complete truly Human in that sense.  So, do we die to our old nature and rise again in Him as declared by St. Paul, becoming part of His Body?  Do we not become His flesh and Bones also described by St. Paul in Corinthians? Do we then also continue down the road to a deeper communion with Him, become healthier and having our nature restored in Him and us?
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« Reply #41 on: May 09, 2012, 06:10:16 AM »

Quote
Now, I did not see anything regarding images of the Father or the Holy Spirit in that Council.

Canon 82 of the Quinisext Council:

In certain reproductions of venerable images, the Forerunner is pictured pointing to the lamb with his finger. This representation was adopted as a symbol of grace. It was a hidden figure of that true Lamb who is Christ our God, shown to us according to the Law. Having thus welcomed these ancient figures and shadows as symbols of the truth transmitted to the Church, we prefer today grace and truth themselves, as a fulfilment of the Law. Therefore, in order to expose the sight of all, at least with the help of painting, that which is perfect, we decree that henceforth, Christ our God be represented in His human form, and not in the form of the ancient lamb. We understand this to be the elevation of the humility of God the Word, and we are led to remembering His life in the flesh, His Passion, His salvific death, and thus, deliverance which took place for the world.

More here: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,39189.msg655992/topicseen.html#msg655992

God the Father has never revealed Himself to mankind in any tangible or visual form, only ever as a voice from heaven; the Holy Spirit has appeared in the forms I mentioned above, at specific times and places.
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« Reply #42 on: May 09, 2012, 09:32:47 AM »

It's hard for me to believe that the United Methodist Church does not teach that the Ascended Christ eternally is human, but I concede that the website to which the OP has directed us is ambiguous and confusing. 

What interests me about this question is the relationship of the eternity and temporality of the Son of God.  Must we not say both (1) from the human, temporal point of view there was a time when the eternal Son of God was not Jesus of Nazareth and (2) from God's point of view there was never a moment in his eternal life when God was not incarnate as Jesus of Nazareth?

The problem for us is that it is quite literally impossible for us to understand what eternity means for God, and so we tend to project temporality upon God. I have found Fr Herbert McCabe's (Catholic) reflections on the pre-existent Christ especially helpful:

Quote
There can be no succession in the eternal God, no change. Eternity is not, of course, a very long time; it is not time at all. Eternity is not timeless in the sense that an instant is timeless--for an instant is timeless simply in being the limit of a stretch of time, just as a point has no length not because it is very very short but because it is the limit of a length. No: eternity is timeless because it totally transcends time. To be eternal is just to be God. God's life is neither past nor present, nor even simultaneous with any event, any clock, any history. The picture of the Son of God "becoming" at a certain point in the divine duration the incarnate Son of God, "coming down from heaven," makes a perfectly good metaphor but could not be literally true. There was, from the point of view of God's life, no such thing as a moment at which the eternal Son of God was not Jesus of Nazareth. There could not be any moments in God's life. The eternal life of Jesus as such could not precede, follow or be simultaneous with his human life. There is no story of God "before" the story of Jesus. This point would not, of course, be grasped by those for whom God is an inhabitant of the universe, subject to experience and to history. I am not, need I say, suggesting that it can be grasped intelligibly by anyone, but in the traditional view it is the mystery that we affirm when we speak of God. (God Matters, pp. 49-50)

McCabe then asks us to consider what a person who lived before the conception and birth of Jesus might have been able to say about the Son of God. Moses, says McCabe, could definitely have truly said "Jesus of Nazareth is not yet" or "Jesus of Nazareth does not exist," because in fact Jesus had not been conceived and born. He was future to Moses, and the future, at least for those of us who live in time, does not exist--that is what makes it future. Moses could also have truly said, "The Son of God exists," for God is eternally Trinitarian. Moses could not, however, have truly said "The Son of God exists now." What is the difference between saying "The Son of God exists" and "The Son of God exists now"? The latter proposition, which attributes temporal existence ("now") to the Son of God, only becomes true in the womb of Mary, i.e., at the moment when Jesus begins to exist. "The simple truth," McCabe concludes, "is that apart from incarnation the Son of God exists at no time at all, at no 'now,' but in eternity, in which he acts upon all time but is not himself 'measured by it,' as Aquinas would say. 'Before Abraham was, I am'" (p. 50).
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« Reply #43 on: May 09, 2012, 10:25:28 AM »

Selections from Vespers and Matins of the Ascension:

You have ascended, O Christ, to Your Father who is without beginning, yet You were never parted from His bosom which is uncircumscribed; and the heavenly powers accepted no addition to the thrice-holy hymn of praise, but acknowledged You, Lord, as one Son, only-begotten of the Father, even after the incarnation. In the multitude of Your pity, have mercy on us.

O God, having renewed in Yourself Adam’s nature, which had descended to the lower parts of the earth, You took it up today above every rule and authority; as You loved it, so You made it sit with you; as You had compassion on it, so You united it to Yourself; as united with it, so You suffered with it; as not subject to suffering, yet You suffered and glorified it with Yourself. But the Bodiless powers were saying: Who is this man of beauty? Not man only, but both God and man, both together they appear. And so the astonished Angels flying in shining robes cried out to the Disciples: Men of Galilee, this Jesus who has gone from you as man and God, will come again as God-man, judge of living and dead, granting the faithful remission of sins and His great mercy.

When You were taken up in glory, Christ God, while Your Disciples watched, the clouds received You with Your flesh; the gates of heaven were lifted up; the choir of Angels rejoiced with gladness; the higher powers cried out, saying; Lift up our gates, you rulers, and the King of glory will enter. While the Disciples, amazed, were saying: Good Shepherd, do not be parted from us, but send us Your all-holy Spirit, to guide and strengthen our souls.

When You came down from heaven to things on earth, and as God raised up with You Adam’s nature which lay below in Hades’ prison, You brought it to heaven by Your Ascension, O Christ, and made it sit with You on your Father’s throne, as You are merciful and love mankind.

The ranks of Angels, as they saw Your mortal nature going up with you, O Saviour, were astounded, and without ceasing sang your praise.

The choirs of Angels were amazed, O Christ, as they saw You being taken up with your body, and they sang the praise of Your holy Ascension.

Human nature, which had fallen by corruption, You raised up, O Christ, and by Your Ascension You exalted and glorified us with Yourself.

When You had filled the universe with gladness, merciful Lord, You took Your place with Your flesh among the powers on high.

The Angels came and cried out, O Christ, to Your Disciples: In the way that you have seen Christ going up, He will come in the flesh as the righteous Judge of all.

As the heavenly powers saw You, our Saviour, lifted up to the heights with Your body, they cried out, saying: Great, Master, is Your love for mankind.

Lifting up on Your shoulders the nature which had been led astray, O Christ, You were taken up and brought it to God the Father.

You ascended in the flesh to the bodiless Father; blessed are You, the God of our fathers.

Lifting up our nature which had been slain by sin, O Saviour, You brought it to Your own Father.

Christ, the giver of life, who rose in His two natures with glory to heaven and is now seated with the Father, you priests praise, you people highly exalt to all the ages.

As the Angels saw in the heights Your flesh now made divine, O Christ, they signalled to one another: Truly this is our God.

The men of Galilee, seeing You, O Word, taken up from the mount of Olives with a body, heard Angels crying out to them, ‘Why do you stand gazing? He will come again in the flesh in the same way that you have seen Him’.


Pretty clear that the resurrected and ascended Christ is "still human", according to Orthodox teaching.
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« Reply #44 on: May 09, 2012, 03:36:02 PM »

God the Father has never revealed Himself to mankind in any tangible or visual form, only ever as a voice from heaven; the Holy Spirit has appeared in the forms I mentioned above, at specific times and places.

Didn’t God appear to Abraham as 3 guests (3 aged men)?
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