Hypostatic Union

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Don

Puritan Board Freshman
I've been trying to think through some things and had some questions.

I know that we say Christ has two natures (human and divine) that are joined in one person/essence (distinct yet insperable).

So the human nature would have attributes of humanity while the divine nature attributes of divinity which are joined in this one 'essence'.

My question is, In his 'essence'/'person', was Christ omniscient or not omniscient (this can be replaced with any divine/human attributes)? Or is this an illegimate question? If so, why?
 

raderag

Puritan Board Sophomore
Originally posted by Don
I've been trying to think through some things and had some questions.

I know that we say Christ has two natures (human and divine) that are joined in one person/essence (distinct yet insperable).

So the human nature would have attributes of humanity while the divine nature attributes of divinity which are joined in this one 'essence'.

My question is, In his 'essence'/'person', was Christ omniscient or not omniscient (this can be replaced with any divine/human attributes)? Or is this an illegimate question? If so, why?

Yes, the attributes can be communicated from one nature to another. That is the essential feature of the union to for the one person.
 

larryjf

Puritan Board Senior
I think the whole point of hypostatic union is that each nature completely retains its own properties.
 

raderag

Puritan Board Sophomore
Originally posted by larryjf
I think the whole point of hypostatic union is that each nature completely retains its own properties.

Yes, that is true, but they are communicated to the person. The question is if the person is omniscient, not the human nature. The person of Christ is both God and man.
 

Don

Puritan Board Freshman
Thanks guys.

Matt after posting this I found your article and just finished it. It was on spot! Awesome article.

Don
 

larryjf

Puritan Board Senior
Excellent.

I especially liked...

"...the human nature is impersonal. The divine nature, which is personal already as the eternal Son, took upon itself the impersonal nature of a human being."

"That does not mean He absorbed the human nature into His divine nature, but that He attached the human nature of the man Jesus Christ to Himself. The divine nature did not change, but assumed the flesh of the human nature. "

"When the Son of God assumes, or takes upon Himself, the human nature of Jesus Christ, the union of the two natures adds nothing but a "œrelationship" to the person of the Son"...

..."that one person, the eternal Son, expresses Himself through both natures in their respective capacities."
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
When I went to Peru, we had a question and answer session witht he pastors. The hypostatic union was a big question. The mitten or glove analogy really sinched it for them.

Glad it was of help.
 

VanVos

Puritan Board Sophomore
I sometimes like to use an analogy of the eye and eyelid.
The eye is always there (the deity of Christ) but it can be vield by the eyelid (the incarnation).

Just case you don't have clove at hand.

VanVos
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Originally posted by VanVos
I sometimes like to use an analogy of the eye and eyelid.
The eye is always there (the deity of Christ) but it can be vield by the eyelid (the incarnation).

Just case you don't have clove at hand.

VanVos

Thank you, that is very helpful.
 

Robin

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by VanVos
I sometimes like to use an analogy of the eye and eyelid.
The eye is always there (the deity of Christ) but it can be vield by the eyelid (the incarnation).

Just case you don't have clove at hand.

VanVos

Great! Matt and Vanvos...:up:

I'm not trying to be a smarty-pants...but, how do we deal with the question: if Christ is truly Human and truly God - and Christ really died - than does that mean God "died"? How can God die? And if God can't die, how can Christ be God?

:um:

Robin
 

VanVos

Puritan Board Sophomore
In my understanding Christ died as man not as God, although he has always been true God Heb 2:9-10.

VanVos
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Originally posted by VanVos
In my understanding Christ died as man not as God, although he has always been true God Heb 2:9-10.

VanVos

Ditto, Bahnsen in his second lecture on Revelation mentioned the idiomata communicata. I don't know what it means, but it answered my question at the time. I gave that tape to my pastor.
 

Robin

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by VanVos
In my understanding Christ died as man not as God, although he has always been true God Heb 2:9-10.

VanVos

So, where was His Godly nature while his body was dead in the tomb? (Paradise and/or preaching to the OT saints?) Was there a separation of the natures during the 3 days?

?

r.
 

VanVos

Puritan Board Sophomore
Originally posted by Robin
Originally posted by VanVos
In my understanding Christ died as man not as God, although he has always been true God Heb 2:9-10.

VanVos

So, where was His Godly nature while his body was dead in the tomb? (Paradise and/or preaching to the OT saints?) Was there a separation of the natures during the 3 days?

?

r.

Christ the God-Man was in paradise for 3 days Luke 23:43.
 

Robin

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by Paul manata
Originally posted by Robin
Originally posted by VanVos
In my understanding Christ died as man not as God, although he has always been true God Heb 2:9-10.

VanVos

So, where was His Godly nature while his body was dead in the tomb? (Paradise and/or preaching to the OT saints?) Was there a separation of the natures during the 3 days?

?

r.

to ask "where" His Godly nature was is to make a category mistake. Immaterial entities, especially omnipresent ones, are not located in a place. That is, if we're trying to be technical;)

secondly, the human nature is not "the body" (the body is a property of the human nature) the two natures were still joined. If your friend got their arms cut off would they still be the same person? Why, it's a different body (an armless one)?

:up: Great clarification, Paul! I'm still percolating, though. We can't say the Imago Dei is strictly rational, can we? Isn't that another category distinction? (moral vs. rational)

:up: Thanks, also, VanVoss!

:detective:

r.
 

R. Scott Clark

Puritan Board Senior
The Reformed Christology (doctrine of Christ) must be distinguished from the Lutheran Christology. We both have a doctrine of communication of properties (communicatio idiomatum), but they are different doctrines. The Lutherans teach that whatever can be said about the person can be said about a given nature. If, then, Jesus the person can be said to be everywhere (ubiquitous), then his humanity can be said to be everywhere. This is the ground for the Lutheran doctrine of the ubiquity (everywhereness) of Christ's humanity, so that his humanity can be said to be "in, with, and under" the elements of bread and wine in the Supper.

The Reformed have always been concerned that our Lutheran brethren tend to deify the humanity of Christ and thus tend to obliterate it. Their Christology looks to us a little too much like the Eutychian heresy. They, of course, accuse us routinely of being Nestorian. We deny that categorically. We do not separate the two natures (see below). We distinguish them. There is a considerable difference.

The Reformed doctrine of communication is that what can be said about a given nature can be said of the person. If Jesus' deity is ubiquitous, then we can say that Jesus is ubiquitous, but it doesn't follow that, therefore, Jesus' humanity is ubiquitous.

The Reformed Christology follows the Definition of Chalcedon (451) very closely. If you are not familiar with this catholic creed you should get to know it. Those attributes that are proper (belong to) to the Deity remain proper to it and those attributes proper to the humanity remain so in the incarnation.

The incarnation neither makes the humanity divine nor the divinity human. That said, we do well the heed the warning of the Chalcedon about speaking glibly about "the humanity" doing x and the deity doing y. We should speak of the person of Jesus doing x or y.

With that caveat in mind we can say that Jesus died. Because what can be said of a nature can be said of the person, Acts 20:28 says that God purchased the church with his blood. Thus Jesus' was and remains (!) true human. His humanity died. In his human nature he experienced real weakness, real suffering, hunger, pain, growth, and even ignorance.
Scripture does not deify Jesus' humanity.

Thus the Reformed orthodox distinguished different classes of knowledge. There is that which only God knows (archetypal theology), and there is that which can be known by creatures. We have what they called "pilgrim theology." Jesus, in his humanity, had a sort of pilgrim theology that they called, "the theology of union." Jesus' deity had archetypal theology, but that theology/knowledge was not communicated to the humanity or it would not be human. This is the burden of the early chapters of Hebrews.

This last bit is important because American evangelicals tend to obliterate or downplay Jesus' humanity. They do so partly out of reaction to German liberalism which tended to deny the deity of Jesus, but they also do it because it seems more pious. There is a Gnostic tendency in American religion of which American evangelicalism partakes. This is not our theology, however.

So, Jesus was in the grave until he was raised. His deity was always totally identified with his humanity and transcended it at the same time. Our Lutheran critics called this the "so called Calvinistic extra." In this case, "extra means literally "beyond." The Deity is with the humanity and beyond it. Inasmuch as the Son was sustaining the universe and cooperating with the Father in bringing all things to pass, he was doing it before the incarnation, during the incarnation, and he continues to do it in Jesus' glorification. So the deity was beyond ("extra") the humanity when the humanity was in the tomb. God the Son was where he has always been. Upon his death, Jesus' human soul (he had all the human faculties) was with his Father. At his resurrection, Jesus' rational soul was re-united with his body, as ours shall be if we die before the Lord returns.

As to the image of God, it has been traditional to identify it primarily with the intellect, but there is some reason to identify it with more than the intellect. Personally I think Scripture identifies it, to some degree anyway, with our bodies in Gen 9:1-6. We ARE body and soul. Remember, the Christian hope is the resurrection of the body (1 Cor 15; 2 Cor 4).

rsc

[Edited on 8-22-2005 by R. Scott Clark]
 

VanVos

Puritan Board Sophomore
Yeah what Scott. Thanks, that's the clarity this subject needs.

VanVos

[Edited on 8-23-2005 by VanVos]
 
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