Author Topic: Communicatio Idiomatum and Orthodoxy  (Read 1449 times)

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Offline Commander Xenophon

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Communicatio Idiomatum and Orthodoxy
« on: March 27, 2016, 10:33:59 AM »
Is the Lutheran idea of Communicatio Idiomatum compatible with a Theopaschite Chalcedonianism?  Or does it cause an actual confusion between the divine and human natures that leads to Monophysitism?  (By this, note that I do not mean the Miaphysite Oriental Orthodox like my friend Wgw, but Eutyches and the Tritheist heretics like John Philoponus, as well as thenearlier Apollinarians and the later Monothelites).

I am not Oriental Orthodox by the way but I like them, and do not believe them to be Monophysite.  I also really like the Assyrian Church of the East.  I wonder however if the Assyrians would interpret our Paschal hymn/recitation of the Psalm "Let God Arise" as having a Paschal meaning.

I am an ardent Theopaschite; if I were to describe my faith in one sentence it would be "The pre-existing uncreated Son of God, God the Word, took on our fallen human nature by being born of the Virgin Mary, and to restore it and save us from our sins, God, in his assumed human nature, suffered and died for us and was resurrected, glorifying our fallen humanity and allowing us to become like Him and inherit everlasting life."  I believe that since we say St. Mary is Theotokos, we must also say that God was crucified and resurrected, in His human nature.  We just have to be careful not to confuse the human and divine nature; God in His Divine Nature is immutable and impassable.

Communicatio Idiomatum is very interesting to me, because it seems, if I understand it right, to express my theopaschite ideal, but I want to make sure, since it does not come from Orthodoxy, that it does not confuse or conflate the divine and human natures as decreed by Chalcedon.
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Communicatio Idiomatum and Orthodoxy
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2016, 10:53:12 AM »
What is the Lutheran teaching of Communicatio Idiomatum?
« Last Edit: March 27, 2016, 10:53:40 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Communicatio Idiomatum and Orthodoxy
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2016, 11:06:26 AM »
St maxim the  confessor  said that human nature was divinized. But I don't know of Luther or EO'S saying that the human nature did not remain human as a result.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2016, 11:07:42 AM by rakovsky »
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Offline Commander Xenophon

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Re: Communicatio Idiomatum and Orthodoxy
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2016, 11:21:46 AM »
If I understand it correctly, it states that because of the hypostatic union, anything we say about the actions of Christ can be said to apply to either to Jesus Christ as a man or as God incarnate.   So, God was born of the Virgin Mary, St. Mary is the Mother of God, God was crucified for us, and the Son of Man created all things, and sits at the right hand of God, and is omnipresent and all powerful.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communicatio_idiomatum

But where I think we have to be very careful is that in expressing this, the distinction between the human and divine natures is strictly maintained, and this distinction is either implied or explicitly stated.  So, it is only by virtue of the communicatio idiomatum that this works.  God was crucified, but in His human nature, He was born, but only in His human nature, the Word of God having been eternally begotten of the Father, likewise Jesus Christ the Son of Man, Made all things (John 1:3), is Almighty, and is the Pantocrator, but only in His Divine Nature.

The hypostatic union joins the two, meaning that the uncreated Son of God glorified our humanity by dwelling in it, dying in it for our sins and rising from the dead in it, thus establishing the new creation, which is why in Orthodoxy we celebrate Pascha in the early hours of the morning, before dawn, in anticipation of the impending World to Come. 

I want to male sure Communicatio Idomatum as expressed by Lutherans respects the distinctions of the human and divine nature, which were hypostatically united in the Incarnation but not blended, confused, or mixed to create a new hybrid being who is no longer fully God and fully Man.  I believe the Lutherans didn't intend to engage in Eutychianism, amd I strongly suspect that Calvinist objections to Communicatio Idiomatum are evidence of Nestorianism on their part, but we must in all fairness admit the Lutherans aren't Orthodox and are prone to theological error (like sola fide and sola scriptura).
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Offline Commander Xenophon

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Re: Communicatio Idiomatum and Orthodoxy
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2016, 11:22:41 AM »
St maxim the  confessor  said that human nature was divinized. But I don't know of Luther or EO'S saying that the human nature did not remain human as a result.

Hey Rakovsky, good to see you here!  I've enjoyed debating with you on the other forum and serving with you in the Admiralty.
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Communicatio Idiomatum and Orthodoxy
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2016, 04:07:45 PM »
Are you an opponent of Scientology?

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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Communicatio Idiomatum and Orthodoxy
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2016, 04:14:22 PM »
If I understand it correctly, it states that because of the hypostatic union, anything we say about the actions of Christ can be said to apply to either to Jesus Christ as a man or as God incarnate.   So, God was born of the Virgin Mary, St. Mary is the Mother of God, God was crucified for us, and the Son of Man created all things, and sits at the right hand of God, and is omnipresent and all powerful.
....

...

Idiomatum are evidence of Nestorianism on their part, but we must in all fairness admit the Lutherans aren't Orthodox and are prone to theological error (like sola fide and sola scriptura).

One of the problems I find with Lutheranism is that I am not sure if he was wrong, but he would make a novel expression of what he found to be a spiritual truth with a different connotation than RC practice, and so it's hard to judge it.

Take for example his view on the Eucharist bread. It looks different than St Cyril's view and was condemned by a local synod of Jerusalem, but looks the same as Blessed Theodoret's view and Pope Gelasius'. So it's hard to judge it.

We commonly affirm meta ousia, but does Lutheranism teach that a change (trans) actually occurs in the bread? If Jesus' real body actually is there in the bread itself, can that be called a change in the bread? It's confusing, but maybe Luther is right.

The same kind of conundrum is true with his other claims. Take for example sola scriptura. Did Luther or the Book of Concord ever define precisely and succinctly what that means? I don't dismiss Lutheran or RC views out of hand, necessarily in every case.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2016, 04:15:14 PM by rakovsky »
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