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Author Topic: Christ's Two Natures  (Read 1312 times) Average Rating: 0
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Delphine
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« on: October 07, 2012, 07:36:10 PM »

This is based off of a conversation I had with my priest earlier today, but after thinking about it more, I'm still a little confused.

My priest was saying that while the Son is co-eternal with the Father, it is only His divine nature that is co-eternal, not His human nature. This does not mean that Christ was incomplete before His incarnation, since He is fully divine. It shows that taking on human nature was freely chosen for our benefit.

But now that God has been made man, is the second person of the Trinity now incomplete without His human nature? He's fully human and divine, but those natures are now inseparable, right? Does removing His human nature take away from who Christ is, or is the only thing that's important about it stem from it being necessary for our salvation?

Also, how does this fit into Adam being made in the image of God? I've been told that since Christ is the image of the invisible God, man was fashioned after Christ Himself. Is that the pre-human Christ we are fashioned after, or is this a matter of the wacky things that happen when you try to pin God to our conception of time?
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Alveus Lacuna
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« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2012, 08:24:17 PM »

I'd be interested to see how your priest answers this next part of your question. But the second "part" of the Trinity (but remember it's not divided) in not incomplete, right, because He's still fully human?

Enjoy the wacky carousel ride that is theology.
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NicholasMyra
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« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2012, 09:48:44 PM »

But now that God has been made man, is the second person of the Trinity now incomplete without His human nature?


It would be incomplete, really impossible,  to refer to or concieve of the Logos as Divine and not also man now. That's the only way Christians have to relate to him. You could recount the past,  but the old testament workings of the logos ultimately point to the incarnation.
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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.

"Simply put, if you’re not willing to take what is dearest to you, whether plans or people, and kiss it goodbye, you can’t be my disciple."
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« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2012, 01:15:25 AM »

The hymnography for Lazarus' Saturday, Thomas' Sunday, and the Ascension are particularly useful in dealing with the mystery of Christ's human and divine natures.
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Delphine
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« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2012, 01:18:58 PM »

LBK, is there somewhere online where I can find these hymns? Google is not my friend today. Also, are there any of those hymns in particular that I should look to in answering my questions?

It would be incomplete, really impossible,  to refer to or concieve of the Logos as Divine and not also man now. That's the only way Christians have to relate to him. You could recount the past,  but the old testament workings of the logos ultimately point to the incarnation.

Do you mean that it is truly impossible to separate Christ from his humanity, or does the impossibility come from our inability to relate to Him without it?

Another Old Testament thought: I was told that when Moses talked to God face to face, it was Christ that he saw. This experience is reflected in his authoring of Genesis, in the account of man being made in the image and likeness of God. Is this pre-incarnate Christ pointing to the incarnation, or did Moses see Christ incarnate somehow?
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Delphine
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« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2012, 01:29:50 PM »

I'd be interested to see how your priest answers this next part of your question. But the second "part" of the Trinity (but remember it's not divided) in not incomplete, right, because He's still fully human?

Enjoy the wacky carousel ride that is theology.

Hopefully I'll get a chance to speak to my priest on Wednesday, but also hopefully I'll have a better grasp on this by then. I feel like I'm hogging his time with questions every time I see him.
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NicholasMyra
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« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2012, 03:44:47 PM »

Do you mean that it is truly impossible to separate Christ from his humanity, or does the impossibility come from our inability to relate to Him without it?
Both.

Quote
Another Old Testament thought: I was told that when Moses talked to God face to face, it was Christ that he saw. This experience is reflected in his authoring of Genesis, in the account of man being made in the image and likeness of God. Is this pre-incarnate Christ pointing to the incarnation, or did Moses see Christ incarnate somehow?

God always works through his Word and Spirit. Every encounter with God was through his Son and in the Spirit. But Moses didn't encounter the incarnate human Christ imo, in the flesh. In some sort of foreshadowing vision? I don't know.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2012, 03:45:43 PM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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

"Simply put, if you’re not willing to take what is dearest to you, whether plans or people, and kiss it goodbye, you can’t be my disciple."
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« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2012, 06:32:59 PM »

LBK, is there somewhere online where I can find these hymns? Google is not my friend today. Also, are there any of those hymns in particular that I should look to in answering my questions?

Here you are:

http://www.anastasis.org.uk/ThomasSun.htm

http://www.anastasis.org.uk/assumpti.htm

Unfortunately, I don't have a link to the Lazarus Saturday service, though I have it on file in Word format.
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mike
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« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2012, 09:30:35 AM »

That EO vs. OO semi-debate was moved to the Private Fora If you want to continue it and do not have the permission to join it, as Fr. George for one.
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Delphine
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« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2012, 10:50:32 AM »

I'd be interested to see how your priest answers this next part of your question.

I was able to talk to my priest last night. His answers:

1. Now that the incarnation has occurred, you could say that Christ would be incomplete without his human nature. God has chosen to unite himself with man, and he will never renege that decision.

My priest then brought it around to a question he once had of a new heaven and new earth - does "new" mean the old one will be wiped away and replaced? No. God has taken fallen creation as it is, and has chosen to make it whole. He's not going to start from scratch. (This didn't directly answer my question, but I thought it was interesting.)

2. Instances of Christ in the Old Testament show the pre-incarnate Christ--time shenanigans are not involved. While Adam was fashioned after Christ, this was due to a foreseeing of Christ's humanity, not Christ being modeled after the fact. When Moses saw Christ, it was his energies, not his humanity.
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IoanC
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« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2012, 10:53:21 AM »

As someone has said, it is impossible now to separate Christ from His human nature. Yet, the reason Christ took on human nature was for us to become god (theosis). It does not add anything to Him as a person because He is also pre-eternal God and it is His divine will which leads His human will. In our case, we are primarily human, yet, by following Christ we can become like Him through The Grace of The Holy Spirit (not by our own means which are not enough, as opposed to Christ who has life in Himself). This process of theosis continues forever, so we will always need Christ's humanity to serve as bridge between us and divinity. Also, we have a physical nature, so by nature we require a physical environment. For us, the spiritual comes together with the physical, that's why we can only be accomplished if we know God both as spirit and a body, whereas angels are content knowing God just as spirit (being only spirits themselves). Man has both the physical and the spiritual aspect; that's his distinction. Strictly speaking though, God does not need His physical nature for Himself, as there is nothing that can add or subtract from Him, but out of His infinite love for us, He desires to help and bless us in this way. Also, by becoming both God and Man, He proves that there is no barrier in the way of man becoming like God; man is infinite in potential.
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Delphine
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« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2012, 11:06:32 AM »

Thanks, IoanC. What you said about angels being content to only know God as spirit, since that's all they are themselves, is especially interesting--I never thought of that before.

I do wonder after looking at LBK's link with the Assumption services, though: "Angels marvel to see a human high above them." I love that line. But do you mean that while the angels are aware that God took on human nature, they still will never connect to Him in that way?
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IoanC
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« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2012, 01:07:46 PM »

Thanks, IoanC. What you said about angels being content to only know God as spirit, since that's all they are themselves, is especially interesting--I never thought of that before.

I do wonder after looking at LBK's link with the Assumption services, though: "Angels marvel to see a human high above them." I love that line. But do you mean that while the angels are aware that God took on human nature, they still will never connect to Him in that way?

Well, saying angels are content knowing God as spirit is not an absolute statement. They do wonder at Christ's Human Nature, and even human beings and the physical universe because they are unique and also an expression of God's creativity. Yet, being spirits themselves they naturally will understand God in their own unique way also.

Indeed angels marvel to see that God is also Man, that The Theotokos surpassed them beyond comparison. It's intuitive for them, but to also see it in action is very powerful, knowing that man is a little lower than themselves, not in potential, but more as a "little brother". So, to see their little brother being that much bigger than them it's something that amazes them. They also marvel that man can suffer, while they cannot. Yet, truth be told, they wouldn't have any trouble suffering themselves; they could really carry out our own mission without any problems and that much better given their stature. Still, to see as their little brothers do suffer is a very overwhelming experience.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2012, 01:08:13 PM by IoanC » Logged
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